Spooky Halloween Costume Ideas

The Halloween season is upon us and if you’re like me, you still haven’t picked out a costume.  These days, it can be difficult to come up with something that’s both simple and unique, but we at Harbor Freight Tools are here to help!  And the best thing about picking up a “costume” at Harbor Freight, is that you can get use out of it year round.  What do I mean?  Well, let’s look at some options…

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Everyone likes a good mask.  Especially if you’re on the doorstep handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.  Luckily, Harbor Freight has a few pretty cool helmets and masks that provide a suitable creepy atmosphere for your Halloween evening.  Like the Abrasive Blasting Hood, for example.  I mean, look at this thing!  Not only is it kinda creepy, but the bright red and yellow markings make it visible and safe for nighttime wear.  And you can combine it with the Rubber Coated Blasting Gloves to enhance the look.

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Or maybe you’d opt for the Dual Cartridge Respirator.  For use in the shop, this handy mask filters out 95% of airborne particles.  But on Halloween night, it will provide 100% of nightmares after the neighborhood kids see you wearing it!  Comfortable and disposable, this is a great little mask that you can “bloody” up for All Hallow’s Eve and toss away or keep clean and use again in the future.  Either way, it’s a great addition to pretty much any costume for added spook factor.

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Going for the Leatherface look?  Well, you can terrify the town children with a simple Split Leather Welding Apron along with one of our several welding helmets.  For the best effect, I prefer the very traditional and basic auto-darkening welding helmet, but our helmets also come with several cool designs for extra style.  Check out the blue flame, racing stripe, or metal head designs to see which one sticks out for you!

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Another cool item that will enhance many costumes is the 22 ft. long Solar Rope Light.  Wrap this around a ghost or mummy costume for highlighted “creepy chains”, or perhaps around a few outdoor decorations for enhanced creepiness.  The rope light runs for a full 8 hours with a full charge so you can keep it going all Halloween night long!  In fact, the 50 long-life LED lamps automatically turn on at dusk so you can get the party started as soon as the sun goes down.

Pittsburgh 6-in. Quick Release Bar Clamp: Bar None!

6 inch quick release bar clamp

Woodworking is not a cheap hobby. Between the hand tools, power tools, wood, adhesives, fasteners and other hardware, you’re in it for a significant chunk o’ change. And, of course, as with any craft, the quality of tools is important. But does that mean to always go for the most expensive stuff? Of course not! Quality is based on performance, not price.

Consider the Pittsburgh 6″ Quick Release Bar Clamp. For woodworking, metalworking, welding and other projects, this bar clamp holds your pieces together just as well as the big name tradesman clamps that cost three times more. With a 2-1/2” throat depth, it’s constructed with a durable carbon steel bar, malleable steel jaws and a comfort grip handle for easy operation– and for just $3.29 each at Harbor Freight Tools!

But don’t take my word for it. Like I said, these little projects you’re planning are not cheap. So listen to what some of your fellow craftsmen have to say:

“Quite simply, 4 of these are better than one tradesman clamp…no contest. They are strong, quick to adjust, the pads don’t slip easily on the work surface and the pads are firmly attached so they don’t fall off. The handles are also comfortable to turn. Harbor Freight has a winner here.”  GVChiller – Greenville, NC

“This is a great all purpose clamp. I will buy more of these in the near future. It can take a good amount of pressure and the rubberized handle won’t slip in your hands. The powder coating is well done. I can’t find anything wrong and you can’t beat the price. I’ve used similar clamps and none are as good as these.”  Happy Customer – Shawnee Mission, KS

“Love these clamps, I bought 1 to see how it would hold up during construction of a wood strip canoe. Did so well, I got 10 more, plus 10 of the 12″ style. you can never have too many clamps when building a boat.”  Dave – Hyrum, UT

“For small woodworking projects, these are the perfect size, and they work just as well as the name brand big boys. I read the reviews before ordering mine, and was confident in ordering about 20 of them. Glad I did.”  The Slauterhause – PA

You’ll soon find yourself using these bar clamps all the time, for a host of projects. While you’re at it, pick up some of the 12″ Quick Release Bar Clamps for $3.99, and also a couple of the 36″ Quick Release Bar Clamps at an incredible $6.99 each! They’ll be your favorite and most-used clamps!

 

Super Streetbike Review: 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor

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
  • Furniture
  • Pottery
  • Metal sculpting
  • Signs and murals
  • Crafts
  • Toys
  • Cosmetic and Halloween makeup
  • Spray tanning
  • …and so much more!

Also, of course, if you want to support the team at the big game.

 

HellDorado! Lowrider Covers a Custom Job Using the HFT English Wheel

In their upcoming May, 2013 issue, Lowrider magazine will feature a Project HellDorado installment, covering the creation of a custom dashboard and console for a ’68 Cadillac El Dorado (say that three times real fast). After the factory dash was removed, the top of the new dash was made in sections and then, using a Central Machinery English Wheel Kit With Stand from Harbor Freight Tools, the auto artisan sculpted the contours to precision.

Great choice! The 28″ throat capacity on Harbor Freight’s English wheel kit offers plenty of room to fabricate compound curves on large pieces with ease and efficiency. It’s also great for shaping, fabrication, and smoothing dents and welding seams in fenders, hoods and trunk panels. The 4” all-steel frame is more than capable for handling sheet steel to 16 gauge as well as copper and aluminum to 14 gauge. It’s easy to level and easy to use. And at $299.99– $239.99 with a 20% Off Coupon!–  it’ll do what the expensive units will do at half the price!

Whether your fashioning your ride to be a lowrider, a hot rod or just a customized thing of beauty, the Central Machinery English Wheel Kit is the perfect companion in your shop.

Gnarlatious Tips on Building Your First Bitchin’ Surfboard

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.”

 

Chicago Electric 7″ Polisher/Sander with Digital RPM Display (#66615)

“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.”

 

Drill Master 1/4″ Trim Router (#44914)

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
Tape measure
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)
Pocket Plane
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.

Kowabunga, baby.

 

Dirt Biker’s Review: The 2.5 Liter Ultrasonic Cleaner

Recently, a forum member on the Honda dirt bike site XR650RForum.com, calling himself Master_E, shared with his buddies his experience with the Chicago Electric 2.5 Liter Ultrasonic Cleaner.

“So I bought this thing because I took my carb to a buddies house the first time I was taking it apart and we used his. My carb had gunk all over and was generally dirty from being used. This ultrasonic gizzmo cleaned my carb to the point where it looked fresh out of a hot tank, inside and out. I was very impressed.”

When he took it home, he tried different cleaners with it. One different work. Another was so sotrong, it would tarnish. Finally, he found the perfect “solution”:

“I went back to Harbor Freight and bought a gallon of this business they use in their regular parts washers for only $9.99. I run a 50/50 mix with water and it cleans fantastically. Straight out of the jug is pretty concentrated stuff. I really recommend diluting it some.”

And once he figured out the formula, he threw everything he could find into the cleaner.

“Since, I’ve used it on all kinds of things. Most useful to me has been on fasteners but greasy nuts, bolts, washers, brackets, spacers, sprockets, clutch and brake perches, cleaning up my tools, my carburetor components, suspension components and even a whole chain. Yes, the whole chain.”

Besides motorcycle and automotive parts, the 2.5 Ultrasonic Cleaner is great for cleaning gun parts and brass, jewelry, coins, brasswind parts, pinball machine parts, e-cigarette tanks, medals, eyeglasses, tattoo tubes, grips and tips, bionic parts, coffee ground cups, and so much more! It works with our without heat, and is programmed for five cleaning cycles. At only $74.99, it’s a great machine at a great price.

Now, back to Master_E:

“So I thought I’d share a couple before and afters. I actually struggled to find things that needed cleaning, but I did find a couple things. These parts were never prep’d or polished after coming out of the cleaner. They went straight in, ran a cycle then brought out and dried off. Thats it. No scrubbing, no brushing, no scraping, no wiping down with a rag at all.”

(Click on the pics to enlarge)

Wheel Spacers: Before…

…and After!

 

 

Upper Triple Bearing: Before…

… and After…

… and More After!

 

 

Upper Triple Clamp: Before…

… in the Cleaner (didn’t quite fit)…

… and After…

… and After!

You can’t argue with the evidence. The Chicago Electric 2.5 Liter Ultrasonic Cleaner is a perfect addition to any workshop or home where parts  and pieces get dirty. Go get yours now– and don’t forget to take a 20% Off coupon!

To quote Master_E’s parting remark:

“Cheers! Now go clean some stuff!”

Firebird Restoration Project Part 9 – Finale

Well, it’s been a long road, but we’ve finally come to the end of our journey. Behold the final video installment of the ’67 Firebird Restoration Project, executed exclusively with Harbor Freight Tools.

As I shared last week, the fully-restored ’67 Firebird pulled into our office parking lot, and let me tell you, it was a sight to see. Ever watch the Mecum Car Auctions on the Velocity Channel? (love that show!) This car would have summoned a pretty penny on their auction block. Before it was whisked away to who-knows-where, a handful of us slowly circled around it, transfixed, muttering “wows” and “oh yeahs” under our breaths. The original interior was pristine– black bucket seats and carpet looking like new. Under the hood, the same. In fact, the guy who did the restoration, Jeff Tann, said the ‘bird’s engine was better now than when it was new.

Imagine the same kind of results with your favorite Mopar or Mustang… maybe an old Apache pickup or Landcruiser. Whatever your poison, Harbor Freight Tools has got the power, air and hand tools you need for a lot less moolah than the other guys– and they’ve got the fans to prove it! Get their catalog, shop their deals, clip their coupons… you won’t be able to help grinning with all the cool stuff you’ll be taking home for so little.

So, what’s to become of the Firebird? The rumors abound. A Saudi now sheikh has it. It’s in the next Bourne movie. Elvis was seen in it at a drive-through in Lubbock, Texas. No one can say for sure… I only know I offered to take it off their hands, but haven’t heard back yet.

’67 Firebird Restoration Project: Part 8 – Assembly!

After all the hours, all the painstaking labor, all the fine details– not to mention the social hari kari– it does the heart good to see the fruits of the labor coming together. So, like Beethoven with an impact wrench, one man has labored to produce a pretty bitchin’ set of wheels.

And we’ve finally come to the eighth installment of the Harbor Freight Tools 1967 Firebird Restoration Project: Putting the car back together.

Recapping — HFT invited former Rod & Custom editor, Jeff Tann, to restore a First Generation Firebird using only products from Harbor Freight Tools. The car is all original with a 400/325-hp V8 engine, so he’s approaching the project from scratch.

We now come to the muscle car’s reassembly. For Part 8 we treat you to a slide show of all the parts coming together, until we have a beautifully restored ’67 Pontiac Firebird, better than it was when it came off the assembly line.

Whatever your labor of love, if it has to do with tools, Harbor Freight Tools has got what you need– and sends you home with extra cash in your pocket!

Next time– the final result, inside and out!

Enjoy!

Firebird Restoration Tools: Harbor Freight vs. The Competition – Pt. 3

Stripping & Priming Tools

Yesterday morning the fully-restored ’67 Firebird pulled into our office parking lot, transported by trailer, and let me tell you, it was a sight to see. Ever watch the Mecum Car Auctions on the Velocity Channel? This car would have commanded a pretty penny on that show. Before it was whisked away to who-knows-where, a handful of us slowly circumnavigated around it, transfixed, muttering “wows” and “oh yeahs” under our breaths. The original interior was pristine– black bucket seats and carpet looking like it just rolled off the assembly line. Under the hood, the same. In fact, the guy who did the restoration, Jeff Tann, said the ‘bird was better now than when it was new.  In a future installment, I’ll provide a thorough pictorial of the final results. For now, let’s talk tools:

Earlier this month I started a series illustrating how much could be saved buying products from Harbor Freight Tools– as opposed to the competition– for the ’67 Firebird Restoration project. Breaking it down phase by phase, we’re comparing the prices of tools used in the project with similar (if not exact) products that the competitors advertise. The competitors I chose were Sears, Northern Tool, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Grainger. It should be noted that exact matches weren’t always found, so I substituted the closest comparison available. As I’ve said before, I don’t think this compromises the test because we’re only talking about differences in size and shape, not function.

In the first segment, we looked at Harbor Freight’s tools used in the vehicle’s disassembly video. In the second we explored price differences on the engine removal phase. In the third installment, we’ll be looking at the tools employed in the stripping and priming process:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This sander’s orbital action allows swirl-free finishes to give your auto body, metalworking or woodworking project a professional appearance! The orbital sander is constructed with sturdy, lightweight aluminum housing and features a cushion-grip vinyl handle to provide comfortable yet firm control. A great orbital sander for edging, feathering and finishing projects for both pros and hobbyists!

  • Sears – Ingersoll Rand (IRT311A) Dual Action Air Sander – $69.76
  • Northern Tool – Northern Industrial 6″ Dual Action Air Sander – $34.99
  • Home Depot – Husky 6″ Pneumatic Dual Action Sander – $59.98
  • Lowe’s – Kobalt 6″ Dual Action Sander – $59.84
  • Grainger – Speedaire 3CRJ3 – $73.80

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This vibration-free air sander– at 9,400 orbits-per-minute– is perfect for auto body work or finish work on furniture (according to one customer, it’s also great on the aluminum wing surfaces of WWII aircraft). The orbital air sander features a compact palm grip that enables you to easily reach tight spots, a paddle trigger and a built-in regulator.

  • Sears – Mechanics Tools M569DB – $49.42
  • Northern Tool – Northern Industrial Orbital Air Sander – $39.99
  • Home Depot – EMAX Jitterbug Sander – $59.97
  • Lowe’s – N/A
  • Grainger – Ingersoll Rand 312A Orbital Air Sander – $179

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The high volume and low pressure on this spray gun reduces over-spray so that more paint goes on your mural, car, motorcycle, fence and whatever else you wish to paint! Restoring furniture? The Central Pneumatic HVLP spray gun sprays wood stain, clear-coat, etc., perfectly. The gravity feed and regulator allows paint to spray evenly on your project. This HVLP spray gun is a great tool for spraying lacquer on the deck, or priming or undercoating your car!

  • Sears – Tooluxe HVLP Spray Gun – $39.99
  • Northern Tool – Ingersoll Rand Performance 210G Spray Gun – $79.99
  • Home Depot – Husky Gravity Freed HVLP Spray Gun – $49.98
  • Lowe’s – Kobalt Large Gravity Spray Gun – $89.96
  • Grainger – Speedaire 4XP65 Spray Gun – $139.75

Check out The Video to see the tools in action during the stripping and priming process!

In the next installment, we’ll take a look at the tools used for undercoating the car, and compare them to the competition’s. Until then!

Harbor Freight for Halloween!

In the “Thinking Outside of the Box” category, Jennifer B. of Wilmington, NC wins for ingenuity and getting into the Halloween spirit. Recently, she purchased a Drill Master 80 Piece Rotary Tool Kit to carve her jack-o-lantern, and while this picture only shows a “pumpkin in progress”, it’s so amazing right now, we can tell it’s going to be epic when it’s done (beware pumpkin-kicking punks, Jen)!

 

It’s not too late to follow Jennifer’s example– run down to your local Harbor Freight and pick up your rotary tool kit today! Imagine the works of art you could make out of squash-genus vegetables. Not just for pumpkins, though, this awesome tool is great for cutting, grinding, polishing, sharpening, engraving and drilling for all kinds of crafts and hobbies. Works on metal, wood, rock, plastic… and your dog’s toenails. Seriously!

And at such a low price, it’s just downright SCARY to pass such a deal up!