Ah, Dad... He's the guy who taught you how to hammer a nail, ride a bike, catch a fish and belch like a man. When he came home from work, he'd give you that bear hug, smelling like cold air and Old Spice, his five o'clock shadow bristling against your baby-butt-smooth cheek, and you loved it. He was the soft touch when it was time to go to bed, but you needed just a little more TV time... and when you went to bed, he could throw you up in the air like you were flying! He knew how to make your mom laugh like no one else, and he knew how to make the perfect pancakes on Sunday morning.
Father's Day is the day we get to thank Dad for all of it-- for making our childhood more magical, and for making us feel special when he took the time to do things with us. Harbor Freight understands what dads like, and he knows how you can thank them, too. All you have to do is visit the website and you'll know why it's their favorite toy store. So to help make the decision of what to get him easier, here are 10 popular items currently on sale at Harbor Freight Tools, any of which that will make him smile:
This Harbor Freight favorite is a great general-purpose drill; home use, furniture building, etc. The keyless chuck is tight, the power is strong, and users love the LED light! This high performance cordless drill driver has 21 torque clutch settings to handle a variety of chores around the house and garage. It includes an electric brake and the battery is interchangeable with other 18-volt Drill Master tools. For sale at $18.99, it would cost more to buy a new battery for any other drill! In fact, pick up a Drill Master 18V NiCd Replacement Battery along with it, so when Dad's on a roll, he'll never have to stop to charge!
What a great idea to save the back and knees! With a thick cushion, integrated easy-to-reach storage tray and a 15" to 20" lift range, this pneumatic adjustable roller seat is as practical as it is comfortable. Non-marring casters allows for smooth mobility while the 360 degree swivel seat and one-hand height adjustment lever let Dad get into the perfect position for whatever he's doing. Whether it's working on a bicycle, motorcycle, washing and waxing the car, lug nuts, changing brakes, wheel bearings, painting low cabinets, etc., he'll be quietly thanking you again and again while he's relaxing on his roller seat. At just $22.99, this is the ticket!
The legendary Pittsburgh 22-piece combination wrench set from Harbor Freight includes 11 of the most widely used SAE wrench sizes and 11 of the most popular metric sizes to accommodate almost any wrenching moment. Fully polished, they're made of chrome vanadium steel and a chrome plate finish for added durability, and come with an organized portable storage rack for quick access. This wrench set is great for everything from around the house to auto work-- even working on trucks, trailers, tractors and farm equipment! And at just $16.99, everyone should have a set of these! And did I mention the lifetime warranty? This set of wrenches is awesome!
A good socket set makes your life so much easier. How about a great socket set? Well, now you're talking! The wrenches in the Pittsburgh professional-quality set are constructed of rugged chrome vanadium are triple-chrome-plated. They also come with high visibility markings for quick and easy socket selection, a quick-release ratchet with reversible 72-tooth gearing and a comfy cushion grip. An awesome set, believe me, and it beats paying hundreds for those big name brand sets off the tool trucks. And, of course, it's got that lifetime warranty! Pick up a set (or two!) for just $14.99.
And while we're talking about incredible deals on hand tools, what do you get the man who's got all the wrenches and sockets he'll ever need (like that's going to happen)? Why, a Pittsburgh 60-pc. SAE-metric tap & die set, of course! Thread and bore taps like a pro with this tap and die set! This tap and die set will perform-- and out-perform!-- other tool & die sets that cost ten times as much. Each tap and die is constructed of long-lasting alloy steel and the sizes are embedded in, not printed on, the surfaces. This set will cover most all Dad's tap and die needs and, in no time, it'll become his go-to tool for creating and repairing his own screws and bolts. For the home workshop and auto shop; thread plastic, wood, brass, and even plate steel-- everything from an aluminum frame to a hardened steel bumper! Tell Dad to keep them oiled and they'll last him a lifetime-- which, it just so happens, is how long the warranty lasts. Only $29.99 at Harbor Freight.
Dad will save time and hacksaw blades with this angle grinder. This lightweight grinder is powerful and easy to operate while he's cutting or shaping a brick walkway, cutting steel bolts, rebar, masonry, plaster, copper or galvanized pipe. or grinding welds, removing rust, removing bolts, sharpening sections on blades like sickle bars, etc. This grinder’s 4.5 amp ball-bearing mount motor delivers 11,000 RPMs for fast stock removal. It also has a spindle lock for fast and easy wheel changes, easy access brushes, a removable side handle, an easy-to-replace carbon brush and aluminum gear housing. Included with the grider are a 4" grinding wheel, arbor wrenches and a 7/8" arbor adapter. Other cutting blades sold separately. An incredible price at $19.99!
The car battery on Dad's old Crown Vic been dead for months? No problem! This jump starter will easily jump-start nearly any weak or dead 12-volt car battery. Tell him to throw it in the trunk and never worry about getting stuck somewhere again. The #4 industrial copper booster cables include durable alligator clips that can easily attach to any car battery, and the jumper's got a built-in 3.6 watt light to illuminate his sight under the hood, making this a perfect jump companion to have on the road! It also comes with an invaluable power supply for electrical equipment in case of an emergency, such as a C-PAP, spotlight, air pump, etc. The Cen-Tech jump starter/power supply has an automatic cutoff to prevent overcharging, a charge/battery level indicator, and an easy-to-read battery indicator. And before he can say, "What are you, a Rockefeller?" tell him, "Dad, relax. It was only $42.99 at Harbor Freight!"
This hoist lifts loads up to 10 feet high easily, thanks to its sturdy, hardened steel chain. The strength of this hoist can lift up to 2,000 lbs. hassle-free and includes a mechanical load brake to give operator more control when lifting or spotting. Works wonderfully with a gantry or I-beam. Dad can use it for lifting and swapping out engines and trannies like they're not even there-- for a lot less than an engine lift!-- hoist motorcycles for chain and other maintenance, lift the front of a tractor or heavy-duty truck for tire repair, etc. Rugged and reliable, this chain hoist is ideal for heavy loads at the auto repair shop or industrial warehouse. This jewel works as smooth as silk., and for only $44.99, is worth every penny. He'll love it!
Powered with a reliable Predator engine, this portable generator is ideal for emergencies, job-site use, recreation, family reunions, heating and cooling. The generator features a 420cc air-cooled OHV gas engine, a low oil indicator, UL-listed circuit breaker and 11 hours run-time at 50% capacity. With a heavy-duty steel roll cage for protection, this is the ideal portable generator for powering countless electronics, appliances and tools! And if Dad's left without power after a storm or other occurrence, this will keep him going with whatever he needs to power. On sale for Father's Day at $469.99, the 5500 watt generator comes in a standard and California-certified model.
The ultimate go-to Father's Day present when you don't know WHAT'S going on in Dad's head! He'll appreciate this 'cause he gets to choose exactly what's he's had his eye on. You can even have it sent directly to him if you order online; just enter his mailing information on the Shipping Address page. Harbor Freight has gift cards for $10, $25, $50, $75, $100 and $500!
So, take some time and check out these and other tremendous Father's Day deals at Harbor Freight Tools. And when you give your gift to your dad, mention something about those childhood memories, and thank him. Chances are, that's the best present you could have given him. The tools don't hurt, though.
"Aiiii! David! My flaw! My flaw!"
I can't tell you how many times I heard that, growing up in New York. I'd come home after playing hard all day, burst in the door, oblivious to where I was walking.
"Ma, I'm home!"
"Aiii! My flaw! My flaw!"
"Hah? Wha? Ma?"
"My flaw! I jus' mopped da flaw!!"
It was like being greeted by some big, exotic Bronx bird. And, of course we lived in an apartment, so you'd hear it coming from open windows all over the building.
"Eeeek! Get awf da flaw!"
Not exactly The Waltons, but you embrace the memories you're handed.
Too bad our Moms didn't have the Chicago Electric 3-Speed Portable Blower from Harbor Freight. Their flaws would have been dry long before we showed up, and we would have been spared the tinnitus. The portable blower fan not only speeds up the drying of floors, carpets and paint jobs, it's also great for blowing away heat, fumes, dust and odors. Durable and lightweight, it's built for adjustable wind direction and comes with a convenient carry handle for easy transport.
Take a look at what people who've bought the powerful, little blower have to say:
"I use this for creating a breeze during hot summer times outside, or drying up the kitchen after mopping. This thing is small (I was a little scared that it would be under-powered) but it delivered great performance. I would compare it to those Lasko high-velocity blowers. This sucker blows as hard or even harder than that. The outlets on the side are perfect for connecting tools close to the blower to keep cool. This thing will out-blow any floor fans you can buy at Walmart. Great investment, been using for 3+ months every day for extended hours (overnight when I sleep) and it's lasting." Jae - Bakersfield, CA
"Not light weight. Very heavy construction. Squirrel cage fan. Very directional. When I want to dry something or blow air on me, this critter does not cause a room tornado. The power cord of course is metric but seems to be 12 or 14 gauge. I have connected at 1650 watt heater to the onboard receptacle when I lacked a suitable extension cord and after 8 hours of use the power cord and plug were cool. The unit puts out more air for its size than anything else I've ever owned. It has spent two years in the jungle area of México and survived. I cannot imagine the most expensive blower on the market as being better, size for size." El Codo - Mexico
"This unit was bought to help circulate the air and cool the basement during the summer months. Works great, strong blower at 1/2 the price of national home centers blower can't say anything negative about unit, if you need to dry out a wet basement or rooom or need to get air moving to help cool you in the summer this unit is the one for you." Germpa1 - US
When you consider all of the uses for the 3 Speed Portable Blower, the more you realize what an excellent tool it is to have around-- and for just $49.99 (not to mention using the 20% Off Coupon, bringing the price down to $39.99), there's no excuse NOT to run over to Harbor Freight, or jump on the website, and get this blower now!
And if for no other reason, do it to stop tinnitus. For the kids, man.
Oh, what a difference a cool breeze makes! I think we've all experienced enough hot air (even when it's not an election year) to know that buying a capable fan is NOT a no-brainer. Such disagreeable memories linger with us, and the recent unseasonably warm days are reminding us, it's time to buy some fans! For the garage or shop... the porch and patio... maybe the loft.
Do yourself a favor and check out the Chicago Electric 30" Pedestal Shop Fan. Its three settings --7400, 7430 and 7730 CFM-- deliver strong currents of cool air; the fan tilts up to 75 degrees and the base can be adjusted from 62-3/4” to 85-1/2”, so air will go directly where you need it to.
But, like I always say, it's not enough to just give in to fancy promises from slick copywriters. What are the customers around the country saying? Here are a few comments:
"I bought this fan for my AZ house, where it gets very hot. As a retired Fire Fighter, I use it for positive-pressure ventilation. I place it on the shady side of the house about 8' from the door and blow the cool night air through the house. I run it for about 6 hours at a time, and it stays outside all year long. I have been using it for about 4 years now with no problems. Saves using the A/C for about 4 months out of the year." Unclebob9 - Bullhead City, AZ
"Well it's very hot in Tampa , the summer heat is no joke! You need a shop fan that will do the job, move air! Well this fan moves air in all three speeds. This is a must-have item in the shop for the long summer days. The product is well built and only takes 20. min. to build. I added 4 locking casters to the four pre-drilled holes in the base. This allows this beast to move around the floor just where you need it. 5 stars!" Harley Pete - Tampa, FL
"After reading all of the other reviews, I was skeptical about buying this fan, but have been dying in this SoCal heat. I unpacked all of the parts and realized assembly is pretty self-explanatory. I did not need the directions and only used 3 tools (a Phillips head screwdriver, an 8 mm wrench, and a 10 mm wrench). I had it together in about 10 minutes, plugged it in, turned it on, and wow! I am a mechanic and it has been getting up to 99 degrees in the shop these past few weeks, but this fan makes it bearable, easily dropping the temp 10 to 15 degrees (in front of the fan of course). I have the fan placed about 15 feet away and turned on high and it has enough power to keep my shirt flapping in the wind. We have 3 fans in my shop; a 36" floor barrel-type, a 24" pedestal-type, and mine. Mine is the second loudest, but blows the most air. All in all, I'm EXTREMELY glad I bought this fan." VW Mechanic - Paramount, CA
So, it only goes to show, at the BLOWout price of $139.99, the 30" pedestal shop fan at Harbor Freight BLOWS the competition in value. Don't BLOW the opportunity to get one-- or more-- for your shop or garage, or you will WIND up regretting it (much as I will these pathetic stabs at humor).
If you're not in the market for a pedestal fan, Harbor Freight also has the gusty Chicago Electric 24" Shop Floor Fan. This high-power work horse provides massive air flow for ventilating large areas, drying carpets, flooded basements or paint jobs, or removing chemical fumes quickly. It's also perfect for outdoor parties or gatherings around the patio. This industrial-grade unit comes with low and high settings, thermal-overload protection and two carry handles for easy portability. At the low price of $129.99, it's a great addition to any work area.
And, as with the pedestal fan, the comments say it all:
"I have a 24-inch Global Industrial blower fan. When I found out Harbor Freight was selling this fan, I went to check it out. Wow! This fan is same in every detail except for the stand.You can pay more, but you can not buy a better fan anywhere, I know this. They low-ball this fan in output, too. It's lot higher, folks. Commercial grade? More like industrial grade." Cold Breeze - San Diego, CA
"This is a great little item for a party or even for your work. For this size, it delivers a great amount of air. I love it. Compact and light, great to take to your workplace." TNSHP - US
"Used in a flooded basement-- worked real good moving the air." Kenny, Wichita, KS
On your next trip to Harbor Freight, check out the shop fans-- as well as their other terrific deals-- and don't forget to bring along your 20% Off Coupon!
When it comes to riding your motorcycle, it's not enough that it just runs good-- you gotta look good. So make sure you check out Super Streetbike's April 2013 issue (no, not the cover, lug nut-- I'm talking about YOU looking good).
On page 58 there's a nifty article on "Helmet Painting"-- a cool, inexpensive way to self-express on the road. But, as writer Brian Hatano points out, you need more than a creative idea to get your point across; it takes technique. So, he takes you through every step you probably don't think about when imagining that wicked skull with flames and roses... namely, preparation, detail, method and materials. To get the hang of the spray gun skills, though, Brian suggests we first get the feel of it with a practice helmet:
"For practice jobs, any helmet will work, but starting with a lid in good condition will require less initial prep and give you more time to think about designs and color combinations."
He then breaks down the process of executing a successful paint job-- from disassembling the helmet to applying the clear coat-- in crystal, concise detail. Great intel to have for when you're ready to go for it.
Interesting, however, is that even though Brian was working in a shop equipped with a large air compressor, he opted instead to go with the Central Pneumatic 1/5 HP, 58 PSI Airbrush Compressor.
"Although we had a full size compressor available, we tried out the Harbor Freight Central Pneumatic 1/5th HP Airbrush Compressor and it performed better than units costing twice as much. Zac noted the quiet motor with no pulsing in the air supply."
Constructed of sturdy anodized aluminum, the airbrush compressor is easy to clean and operate, and changing colors is a cinch. The airbrush kit works with lacquers, oils and latex-based paints to create pro-quality designs only limited by your imagination! It comes with a 22cc glass jar, 5cc metal cop and 5-ft. air hose-- and, at a low $88.99, it'll pay for itself over and over again!
While you're shopping, also be sure to pick up the Central Pneumatic Quick-Change Airbrush Kit for just $11.99. This enables you to switch out paints in a flash with next-to-no downtime.
This awesome setup would also be perfect for custom painting:
- Bike frames
- R/C and other models
- Auto body detail art
- Tool boxes or cabinets
- Metal sculpting
- Signs and murals
- Cosmetic and Halloween makeup
- Spray tanning
- ...and so much more!
Also, of course, if you want to support the team at the big game.
Opinions are like hand tools-- everybody's got them (opinions are like other things, too, but I can't think of what they are right now).
And, like opinions, while it might vary as to which of Harbor Freight's quality, low-priced tools customers take a shining to, the Woodworking Guys seem to share a consensus of their favorites. Like the Chicago Electric 10" Sliding Compound Miter Saw, with its consistently smooth, precise cuts; the industrial-quality Central Machinery 10" 13-amp Industrial Bench Table Saw, so easy to use, accurate, and works like a heavyweight champ; the uncompromising Central Machinery 2.5 HP 12" Planer and the powerful & compact Drill Master Trim Router.
And while I could name a dozen more off the top of my head (momentary power foot switch... ), there's no denying that-- by far-- the most popular Harbor Freight product for woodworkers is the Central Machinery 2 HP Industrial 5 Micron Dust Collector. This dust collector vanquishes the finest sawdust, dirt and debris like a wormhole that suddenly appears and sucks galaxies. It comes complete with a clear bottom bag so you see what's been collected, and four locking swivel casters making it easy to move to wherever its needed. It has a 4" diam. intake and 4" diam. exhaust, and comes with two collecting bags and hex wrenches. You can pick one of these babies up at your local Harbor Freight, or order them online, priced at $199.99-- or with the 20% Off Coupon, make it $160!
Just to get a taste of what the woodworkers ARE saying, though, here are a few comments submitted by experienced, hardcore fans:
"A year ago, when I was building my shop, I was shopping around for a dust collector to be the heart of my system. I looked at General, Jet, Grizzly, etc. But then I read several really postive reviews on the HF 2 HP model. I had a coupon for 169.00 for it so I figured, why not? Let me tell you, this thing is at least the equal of all of those others! I actually got a chance to examine a Jet, and a Grizzly….and they are almost identical. My longest run is 45 feet and I’ve had no trouble running one tool there and another 25 feet in the other direction, at the same time. It gets it all. Now I make a lot of dust here in my shop so this has gotten a workout in the last year, and I’m not disappointed. This is one of those rare Harbor Freight gems."
--njcraftsman on Lumberjocks
"There isn't much this little thingie can't handle. Cabinet saw, no problem. 12 inch Planer, same same. 6-inch jointer, 6 x 48 flat belt, compound miter saw, nada. Moderate-sized drum sander, no problem-o. Don't expect this rig to evacuate a 52-inch double wide belt sander though, but for most small shop cabinet men, chair makers and burl workers this will execute without hesitation. I've got mine in a room adjacent to my shop running through a bulkhead fitting; all you hear is the quiet screaming of the sawdust as it is slurped off to the Great Beyond. A metal trash can will fit nicely under the bag within the frame, which eases the unloading of poor, dead tree powder and other assorted shop waste. Don't think you can run a 100-ft hose from your shop to your neighbor's basement though; any DC system can only handle X amount of hose, especially if it is corrugated or has numerous 180' turns. All in all, very pleased with this item, it can run with the big dogs all day long (going on 6 years) as long as you keep good duct work and hoses in the equation and mind your housekeeping regarding the top bags cleanliness."
--R. E. Parks on Dakota Heirloom Woodworking
"At the end of the day, is this thing worth it? Heck yeah! I don't think there's anything that's comparable for the price. As I stated, I don't have a lot of personal experience with dust collectors, but I have no idea what a more expensive single stage dust collector could do that this one can't. This product comes with a high recommendation from me, and it's a pretty big improvement over my old shop vac based system."
--haugerm on Woodworking Talk
Whether your passion is wood, metal, welding, engines, the yard-- or a little of everything-- you can count on Harbor Freight Tools to deliver quality, low-priced products that'll get the job done and leave you some cash left over. Check out the deals today and you'll see what I'm talking about.
With warm weather comes reclaiming the garage. It's your Fortress of Solitude. Your "getting-things-done" place. But when you throw your body against the door and, on the third try, finally manage to pry it open, reality comes crashing down-- as well as a stack of boxes and a pair of old Pioneer speakers. Somehow,over the course of the winter the garage has morphed into a disaster zone. Lawn tools and bikes and power tools and half-finished projects and other stuff cluttering up the bench tops and floor space, to the point that you can't go out and fetch your Costco toilet paper without ripping your shirt and tripping over something. And then you swear, and your mother-in-law overhears it and she shoots your wife a look like, "you really screwed up hooking up with this fella"... even 20 years later.
You really need to clear out the garage! So, here are a few tools from Harbor Freight I'd like to suggest that'll make your feng shui the right way:
I think you'll agree, there's nothing in the garage with more "trip potential" than the family bicycles. It's like the damned things have minds of their own, fighting you every step of the way as you try to get passed them. No longer be that victim! Harbor Freight's got a cool Bicycle Lift #95803 with a unique pulley locking mechanism that quickly hoists your bike up, off the ground. Mounting hardware and a 46 ft. nylon rope are included and set-up couldn’t be easier. They're great for kids' bikes, mountain bikes, adult cruiser bikes, etc. And check out the customer reviews-- some even use their bike lifts for other things like kayaks andconvertible tops! Perfect for anyone who needs a little extra space in their garage. The bike lifts sell for $8.99 each, well worth the price for free space, unscratched bikes and unbruised ankles!
When you were clearing the garage, I'm sure you noticed every once in a while kicking little pieces of something or another across the floor; screws, bolts, washers, etc. The next step is to clear the decks with 30" Magnetic Sweeper #93245 from Central Machinery. Riding on 7" wheels and sporting an extra-wide 30" sweeper, this tool will quickly and easily pick up hardware, scrap, nails, wires, metal dust and other metal parts over garage and shop floors, carpet-- and even grass! The magnetic sweeper provides 50 lbs. of magnetic pull plus a one-pull release to quickly clean itself of the debris. Plus, the handle extends from 30" to 44-1/2". Only $39.99! And, if your areas are smaller, Harbor Freight also carries a 22" Magnetic Sweeper #98399 for $34.99 and a mini 17" Magnetic Sweeper #98398 selling for $9.99.
Besides clutter, an unattended garage can become a den of dust and grime. Hardware that uses oil and grease like auto parts, fasteners, hinges, padlocks, etc., quickly accumulate a greasy coat of scuz that can affect their performance. One of Harbor Freight customers' favorite shop accessories is the legendary Chicago Electric 20-Gallon Parts Washer #7340. It comes with a fully enclosed electric pump that circulates 5-1/4 gallons-per-minute to dissolve grease, dirt and grime-- from even the grungiest parts! Made of rugged steel, the parts washer includes a built-in drain and a latching cover to keep spills to a minimum.The 20-gallon tub sits atop a heavy-duty steel stand and includes a small parts basket, work shelf, storage shelf and flexible chrome spigot. This thing's a virtual work horse and will perform righteously for mechanics and machine shop workers, as well as homegrown DIYers. It's the perfect companion during engine, trans and carb rebuilds, not to mention any mechanical repair jobs. At $95.99, this parts washer will give you great service for years!
Don't even think about messing around the grime, oil and chemicals without wearing protective 5-Mil Nitrile Safety Gloves #68498. Seriously, this one's a no-brainer, guys. At just $5.99 for 100 gloves (50 pair), you get the peace of mind of being protected from harmful agents while maintaining the dexterity and comfort necessary to get the tasks done. These gloves provide better resistance to chemicals and such than lates, and also don't trigger the allergic reaction that latex can. 'Nuf said.
Finally, when the job's done, make sure you've got a jug of 5-star hand cleaner, Orange Goop, nearby. This heavy-duty, citrus-scented hand cleaner is gentle on your hands, but tough on the grime. clean and smelling fresh! It removes grease, mud, plaster, paint, dirt, grime and more. With a convenient hand pump, this 1-gallon Goop-- at just $9.99-- makes it FUN to wash your hands! OK, not really, but it's better than getting the stinkeye for blackening the bar soap and sink in the powder room.
Back in May, a Garage Journal tool forum member, who goes by the handle "Mister Moose," shared with his group his personal odyssey in the pursuit of the perfect tool cabinet. Hell-bent on being thorough, he visited several hardware stores, most of the time coming away disappointed. Here are some of the observations he made along the way:
- Sears - "All the floor models are overpriced, underbuilt disappointments. I’m fine with their hand tools, but the chests and roller cabinets are not worth the price, not by a long shot. The tool chest buyer at Sears should be publicly run out of town."
- Home Depot - "Nothing to see here. Worse than Sears."
- Tractor Supply - "They carry 2 lines, Jobsmart, and Masterhand. Jobsmart is just like the Sears ball bearing series, except it’s black, and the slides are smaller... Masterhand is better... The really odd part is that they are priced the same. That’s right, you can get cheapo drawers and slides or decent ones for the same money at the same store. The 26 inch 8 drawer base is $329, and the 40” 12 drawer base is $499."
- Lowes - "I wouldn’t spend the $610 on the 41” model."
- Matco - "Just to compare to a higher end tool truck box, I measured up a 40” Matco box at a mechanic shop I do business with... It is a very deep breath to pay the extra tool truck price... and you won’t have to peel the name plate off in shame. You will however pay dearly for that name plate. This whole name plate shame thing really should stop if in fact HF has built a high quality box and offers it with no expensive commissioned salesman in a truck to the vast unwashed masses of us garage folk."
Having run the gamut, he finally turned his attention to the US General 44" 13-Drawer Roller Tool Cabinet ("Otherwise known as the favorite child of a large percentage of Garage Journal members") at Harbor Freight Tools. At least he was honest about how he got to Harbor Freight (let's just say, it wasn't the first place that came to mind).
"I hadn’t even considered the place until I started reading good reviews here."
A big thanks to the folks at The Garage Journal! But it didn't take long for him to spot the HFT tool cabinet's quality and value (great pics, BTW!):
"Lower drawer with double slides, riveted to drawer. Look at the left side upper edge, the rolled over reinforcement is visible. Lesser drawers don’t have this. Also, look at the drawer front. Both the top drawer pull and the lower edge of the front form a structural girder that allows more weight before deforming."
"The 14 pair roller bearing cage. Full double wall construction."
"The steel wheel caster with polyurethane tire. You can also see the other style casters on the 56” and the 5 drawer cart. Look at the dual angle iron supports & perimeter angle iron welded to the cabinet, and compare that to the ‘U’ channel visible on the 5 drawer cart."
In the end, it came down to either the Kobalt 27" or the Harbor Freight "44, which were (not quite) in the same price ballpark:
"Hmmm. Better construction, and 63% more storage... This is a no brainer. I bought the HF 44” box."
To read the customer's full review-- with tons of pictures, measurements and observations-- click here to go to the Garage Journal thread.
**NOW FOR A LIMITED TIME**-- exclusively for our blog and Facebook readers-- the favorite US General 44" 13-Drawer Roller Tool Cabinet can be had on sale for just $369.99! Click on the image below to redeem and print your coupon now!
Now that the weather's getting nicer, step outside and take inventory of your outdoor toys: lawn mower, ATVs, bikes, motorcycles, dirt bikes... not a pretty picture, is it? The tires are flat, they're dead as doornails and they've got a film of filth accumulated from four months of neglect (and maybe even some left over from last year's use).
Time to get in gear, son. Here are a few tools from Harbor Freight that'll jump start your spring and summer, and get your wheels back on track:
First of all, let's put some air back in those tires. For that-- as well as other light air tool jobs around the garage-- I recommend the Central Pneumatic 3-Gall Oilless Air Compressor #95275. Equipped in a compact 1/3-gallon tank, the compressor puts out a capable 100 PSI, plenty for brad nailing, stapling, inflating or air brushing. It includes a quick connect coupler, and features easy-to-read gauges and thermal overload protection. Easily stored in the trunk of any vehicle, this compressor is a portable and hassle-free light duty air supply. And at $59.99 ($49.99 with coupon 'til the end of March!), it will have paid for itself, saving you from all those trips to the gas station where they charge you a buck a pop!
Next, blast the dirt, dust and grime off your mower, ATVs and bicycles with the Pacific Hydrostar 1650 PSI Electric Pressure Washer #69488. This is a great pressure cleaner for any auto garage or shop. Capable of up to 1,650 PSI, it can be employed to power-clean your walls, yard equipment, RV, boat, and vehicles easily. We like using it on the exterior siding, molding and getting rid of wasp nests. Lightweight and portable, it features a 13' pressure hose that can reach the tougher areas, and 5" diameter wheels for smooth transport. The nozzle is also adjustable for wide spraying or tight, concentrated streams, which is great when you need lighter or harder pressure. Add Harbor Freight's powerful Degreaser Concentrate and use it to power wash your greasy, grimy, cobweb-covered BBQ grill as well. Normally priced at $99.99, but now 'til the end of March, you can pick up one of these babies for just $89.99 with coupon!
Chances are, after being dormant for several months, some of your engines will need defibrillation. This is where the Chicago Electric Battery Charger and Engine Starter #66783 comes in. Imagine the rush of godlike power as you connect the positive and negative clamps to your dead mower, and with a maniacal laugh, yell "Clear!" and hit the ignition, bringing your creature back to life. The 10-amp charger setting on this unit recharges vehicle batteries in just 3-5 hours. The 2-amp trickle function maintains the charge when the battery is not being used, while the 55-amp setting provides a boost of added cranking power for autos in emergency situations. The battery charger includes battery leads and clamps to help you get back on the lawn, water, dirt and road quickly. Priced at $49.99, the battery charger and engine starter will pay for itself over and over again!
Now that you've finished moving all your machines outside and ready for action, it's time to turn your attention to the garage itself. Tune in next time when we address getting the garage/shop cleaned, organized and ready for all your projects in 2013!
I can't believe it's already March. It was warm and sunny this weekend, and all the garages in the cul-de-sac were open, shop tools howling and humming on new projects as kids took to the street with bikes and razors, and wives clustered in yards, catching up on all those mysterious lady-topics. I love this time of year.
A good friend of mine recently moved into the neighborhood and, for one of his initial projects, he wanted to re-tile his three bathrooms. He also talked about renovating the patio. On my advice, he picked up a Chicago Electric 2.5 HP 10" Industrial Tile/Brick Saw #69275 at Harbor Freight-- with a 20% off coupon, the price dropped to $204. The tool would pay for itself, plus some, after just one job!
While you may be thinking the price is so low, you'll be happy it lasts long enough to finish the one job, think again-- this beast is a keeper! Built in an over-sized steel frame, it comes with a precision linear bar system for smooth operation. The two-position cutting head lets you easily adjust the blade to handle tiles or bricks of various sizes. A built-in 3-gallon-per-minute water pump and a removable, high-impact ABS water tub are also included. Designed with a heavy-duty cast alloy column and cutting head for reduced vibration, this professional grade tile saw cuts tile up to 24”. The head pivots to allow for 22.5 and 45-degree bevel cuts, and the blade is adjustable for standard tiles or bricks up to 3-1/2" thick.
I came across this video on YouTube this morning, submitted by a customer in 2010 who bought his tile saw back in 2006, and I thought it'd be a good way to show the machine in action. (The guy who shot it uses the handle, "jojuma91". Out of gratitude, I included a link to his YouTube page)
Strange music compilation aside, this is an excellent illustration of the saw's consistent, stellar performance.
In the DIY forum GarageJournal.com, the topic of "wet saws" comes up from time to time. Naturally, Harbor Freight is talked about-- sometimes not flatteringly, but notice how those comments are from guys who didn't actually own them. Here are a few I thought were worth mentioning:
"I have no complaints with my HF 10 inch wet saw. I cut all the bricks at crazy odd angles for my wood fired pizza oven and then cut a ton of bricks for my patio. It's still going strong - and was quite accurate. I then got a new blade and used it to cut my granite counter tops. I bought it on a 20% off coupon when it had already been reduced in price. It looks bad but still runs great. I normally expect HF stuff to last me a single job. The saw has exceeded that expectation." Chris
This next comment is so full of praise, I think the guy deserves a kickback (but you didn't hear that from me):
"Another vote here for the Harbor Freight 10" wet saw. A buddy of mine purchased one in 2003, for $279 I think it was. We have used this saw more than we ever thought we would. He tiled about 1400 square feet of porcelain floor tile with it, and a set of marble steps, lots of diagonal cuts, border, etc. The thought was, "Hey, if it lasts through this job, it will have paid for itself, vs. renting a saw". Saw worked great.
He then did his whole brick driveway (curved borders) with it. Came through like a champ. I then borrowed it from him, and tiled the entire main "public" area of my house, around 2,000 square feet, in porcelain, with a border stripe, all tile set on the diagonal. It took me about 2 months of evenings and weekends. The saw kept on working like a champ. When I was done with that job, I gave it back to my buddy with $100 and a case of beer.
I just borrowed it from him again last month, to tile the shop bathroom (porcelain, pics at link below). Friggin' thing is still working great. Keep a good diamond blade in it (as with all wet saws) and it won't let you down.
My buddy (co-worker) and I were in HF the other day, and noticed that they sell the same saw now, 8 years later, for the same money, and now, it comes with a folding stand, which his did not. We had a good laugh. This saw certainly doesn't owe us anything, at this point. When it finally dies someday, it will receive an appropriate viking funeral." Rob
"Another vote for the Harbor Freight 10". I can't even add up how much tile, brick and concrete it has cut in the last 5 or 6 years since I've had it. Just a belt and blade had to be replaced after I made the mistake of loaning it to a friend." incubus2432
For more insight into the Chicago Electric 2.5 hp tile-brick saw, check out the customer reviews on our site!
Summer's almost upon us-- in about a hundred days-- and if you're like me, you're probably asking yourself, is this the year I finally realize the dream of building my own surfboard? It may seem like a daunting task, especially for those of us who aren't exactly Bob Vila, let alone the Big Kahuna. But, with a few swipes of the keyboard, help manifests itself once again:
Not too long ago, Stephen Pirsch, a visionary in board construction, released a book entitled,"How to Build Your First Surfboard," an easy-to-follow, detail-rich DIY paper on the subject. Written for first-time builders, this guide was created to lessen problems and save money-- especially to prevent the typical board-ruining mistakes.
"This book is for the garage or backyard builder who has few tools and little money. The following information has been tested, and is the result of friends building their first surfboard with me. Also, thousands of interesting people have emailed their questions and results."
Turn to the Equipment chapter, and there you'll find a list of tools and supplies needed to get the project going. As this tutorial is geared towards the O Mighty Ones of Little Cash, however, Surfer Steve is careful in recommending his tools:
"Hundreds of dollars can be saved by using the following tools compared to industry standard tools. The following has been extensively tested (on 6 boards in 2012) by the author, the expense and labor solely for the benefit of you, the reader (The author already owned the industry standard tools). Be aware these tools are not designed for heavy duty, continuous production use, but will work well for the occasional garage built board."
Drill Master 5.5 Amp 3-1/4" Electric Planer (#91062) (or, similar, for a few dollars more, the Chicago Electric 3-1/4" Heavy-Duty Electric Planer with Dust Bag - #95838)
"1. This planer has a 1/16" maximum cutting depth. The depth can be doubled to 1/8" by loosening the cutting blades and extending them 1/16"(the tools for this are included). The depth can be tripled to 3/16" by grinding the front plate (the plate on the bottom which adjusts up and down). Put a 3" abrasive cutting wheel on your drill, or a 6" abrasive cutting blade on your sander/polisher (this tool mentioned below) and slowly grind the plate with the wheel almost parrallel to the plate - this will take one to two hours. If you over grind or grind unevenly, it can be filled with 5 minute epoxy. After modification this planer works very similar to the industry standard Hitachi
2. In contrast to surfboard foam planing shown in youtube videos, a planer is designed to be used parallel to the direction of work (not 45 degrees), Holding at 45 degrees reduces the cutting area by 1/2 which doubles your labor, and increases the possibility of an error."
"1. (Shop for) assorted 6" hook and loop sanding disks... if you buy from industrial suppliers you will have to buy an absurd amount of each grit.
2. Initially run sander at lowest speed, and practice on a scrap piece of foam that has been laminated and hot coated. Very slowly sand into the cloth and through the cloth, so you can see what to avoid.
NOTE 1: This purchase is worth it for the accessories alone.
NOTE 2: Hook and loop sandpaper is the best type because it is the easiest, and fastest to change and can be re - used. Hook and loop usually costs more initially (although not with this purchase), but costs less in the end, especially in cost of time."
"1. You will need a router bit with 1" long cutter for Fins Unlimited Boxes - 1" bits are rare.
2. A 12"x 6"x 3/16" template can be made out of 3/16" panel board (get 4'x 4' piece at Lowe's. To achieve 5 degree lean on twin or tri fins, an additional 1"x 12" piece of 3/16" panel board can be duct taped to the bottom edge of the template. The entire template can be held in place with Gorilla brand duct tape.
NOTE: By the time you adjust the router and bit, and make a template, you could cut out about 5 boxes by hand. After making template (and practicing) it is faster and more precise with a router. The Harbor Freight cutout tool can also be used as a router."
Additional EQUIPMENT LIST:
Respirator with dust and vapor cartridges
Magnetic torpedo level
Drill preferably with two handles, variable speed and, 2000 to 3000 rpm.
Hand saw (wood)
Sharpie fine marker pen
Block plane (smallest)
5" rubber/plastic back-up pad with 1/4" shank (for sanding disks on drill)
Hacksaw blade (coarse)
Optional 1" paddle bit to match optional 1" leash cup
"You might be asking yourself, do I really want to do this? Is saving half the money of a showroom surfboard, buying the tools, pouring sweat, blood and time into this little venture going to be worth it? Surfer Steve has an answer for that:
"Building a board can be very rewarding. Everyone who follows the directions manages to finish somehow, and almost everyone who makes one will make another. Much of the work and expense on the first board (such as racks, blocks, and tools) won't have to be duplicated on following boards.