Get a Load of These Steel Loading Ramps!

Getting large equipment, ATVs, or anything heavy into the bed of your pick-up truck is now easier than ever! The days of straining your back and begging unwilling neighbors for help are gone thanks to the easy-to-use Steel Loading Ramps from Harbor Freight Tools.  With these simple ramps on hand, you’ll have no trouble loading recreational vehicles, appliances, motorbikes, and anything up to 1,000 pounds into your truck, van, or trailer.  And they’re more reliable and safer than wooden planks or self-made ramps.  Because, let’s face it, when you’re working with heavy items, safety should be priority number one.

Whether you’re taking the big air compressor out to the job site, loading your riding mower for repairs, or taking an old refrigerator off to the junk yard, there’s no telling when you might need to load up or unload some heavy stuff.  The loading ramps take a split second to set up and, when you’re done, they store easily in your truck or workshop.  And if that info doesn’t get you ramped up for these helpful items, maybe these actual customer reviews will:

“Have had these for 20 years or more. Mainly use them to load a 500 lb. electric wheelchair in my minivan (use them to load everything and anything that has wheels too… rider mower, go-cart, steam cleaner and even some things that don’t).  Well worth it.” – by stonekeeper from Pennsylvania

“These are great. Yes they are a bit heavy and don’t fold but these will get the job done. No issues and I have not flexed one yet. Use them all the time too. Abuse them also with no issues.” – by GiXeR from Midlothian, Va

“I use these all the time for loading stuff into my enclosed trailer, to load heavy boxes, etc… They are very safe and have stood up to my everyday use for the last year and half. I even ran over them once with my farm tractor, 100 HP tractor. Didn’t hurt them. So don’t be afraid to buy.” – by Dishtech43 Dave from Parts Unknown

Even if you use these ramps frequently, they hold up and make your life a little bit easier.  I certainly wouldn’t recommend running them over with your tractor but it’s nice to know that Dishtech Dave has done the research for us.  So if you’re looking for an easy way to load stuff onto your vehicle, don’t be afraid to buy these tough Steel Loading Ramps at your local Harbor Freight store!

Fly High with Your Own RC Airplane

In the more than 100 years since man has been able to fly, we’ve made several significant advancements.  From the early days of the Wright Brothers making history on Kill Devil Hill in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to the modern international airports that now cover the world, the fascination we have with flight has only grown stronger with time.  Now, we not only use airplanes as modes of transportation, but we also fly remote controlled aircraft and become captains ourselves.  With the holidays fast approaching and the great selection at Harbor Freight Tools, there’s no better time to see what special gifts you can find for your favorite aviation enthusiast.

Harbor Freight offers two radio controlled airplanes that provide tons of fun in the park or backyard.  With the basic version for $39.99, you get an RC airplane that takes flight for up to 20 minutes on a full charge.  Made to withstand rough landings, this sturdy Rechargeable Radio Controlled Airplane comes with replacement propellers so you can make repairs and keep right on flying.  If you want to take your flying fun to the next level, then perhaps the Radio Controlled P51 Mustang Airplane for $99.99 is the better choice for you.  This top-notch RC plane comes pre-built and flies for up to 10 minutes on a full charge.  While you don’t get the flight time of the basic version, you can fly in style with the same design as the famous P51 Mustang!  And don’t forget, no matter which RC airplane you choose, you’ll need to pick up 6 to 8 AA batteries to power the remote control.

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Here’s what customers had to say about the basic version:

“I bought one of these to try my hand at RC airplanes. When flying one time I crashed it many feet up in a tree. That was the end of that, I thought. However, I saw the plane slowly bouncing down to the ground.  I found it a few minutes later drenched in water and up against a grate in the irrigation ditch. I fished it out, took it home and let it dry out overnight. The next morning I powered it up and was amazed that it sprang to life! The engines fired up and it was good to go for many more flights. Practically indestructible.” –Blaine from Utah

“I have enjoyed my plane for a few years now. I just took it out last night after it had been sitting for a COUPLE OF YEARS. Charged the battery, took it out in CALM evening twilight conditions. Had a 10 minute flight. I have flown radio controlled planes for 25 years and this is a hoot. I was surprised it flew after sitting for so long, unused. Great deal for the money.” – Randy from Parts Unknown

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And the P51 Mustang:

“This Mustang flies as good as some of my 4 or 500 buck planes, I would recommend some extra battery packs because you will want to fly it all day!” – Nickthestick from Northville, SD

“Very good plane. Got it and flew it out the box. Amazing speeds and handling. Would recommend to anyone. Nice beginner plane. Medium to slow speeds, and looks beautiful in the air. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” – Bry from Mansfield, Tx

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Now, maybe you love airplanes but don’t plan on taking a toy plane outside to fly anytime soon.  Well, that’s okay.  You can still show off your love of aviation with the Balsa Wood Airplane Puzzle!  At just $1.99, this inexpensive puzzle is fun to build and looks great on any desk, shelf, or table once complete.  Also, you can build the airplane as it comes or you can paint the individual pieces for a truly unique work of art.  But whether you choose the puzzle or one of the awesome (exclamation points optional) radio controlled planes, you’ll find them right here at Harbor Freight Tools!

Revolutionary Cure for the Summertime Blues

Well, it’s summertime!  And that means no school and too much time spent on Facebook.  Why not beat the boredom (and the heat) with something fun from Harbor Freight Tools?  Yeah, I know, everyone knows they sell tools and all that stuff, but they offer plenty of recreational products as well!  Whether you’re a kid at heart or looking to add something onto your order for the little tyke in your life, then you’ve come to the right place.

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One thing that is a surefire cure for the boredom blues is the Remote Control Stunt Car.  With this awesome little car, you can not only drive it around and speed through self-made obstacles like the A-Team crashing through walls during a daring escape, you can also perform crazy 360 turns, backflips, and spins!  Plus, the colorful blue and pink LEDs in the wheels make the car easily visible at night so you can impress your friends (or just entertain yourself) well into the evening.  And guess what, our customers love it too.  Don’t believe me?

“Bought this because it was only $7.99 and it has been the most used toy the kids have! The flashing tires and awesome tricks are well worth the money!” – Dave from Kokomo, IN

“A student of mine brought this in for Show and Tell. Instantly I knew I had to buy one for my husband. It arrived quickly and we have both enjoyed playing with it. Our dogs and cats love it, too.” – teacher from Sheridan, OR

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Or, if you’re looking for something a little less reliant on solid ground for operation, there’s the equally amazing Venom Ozone Remote Controlled Helicopter.  You can launch this sucker into the sky at home, the park, or pretty much anywhere with enough open space to handle your incredible flying skills.  Whether you’re an expert helicopter pilot or a newbie taking off for the first time, this fun toy is easy to fly for pros and beginners both.  The design is both lightweight and durable so a few awkward landings won’t take it out of commission.  And at just $55, this remote controlled helicopter has helped lots of happy customers fight through boredom.

“I spent 179.99 on a “hobby grade” Blade CX2 model and broke it in two minutes! I spent $45 (with 20% off) on this Harbor Freight heli and have been playing with it all day!! It’s a blast to use!” – Jon Boy from Buffalo, NY

“The store cashier told me about some complaints, about difficult to fly, but I’ve found that with sleight movement of controls and patience, it works good.  Excellent toy for the price. I fly (and crash) in the house and I find it to be extremely durable. My son in law and I are going to buy one more each.” – Rick

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I know what you’re thinking.  No, really, I do.  You’re thinking, “So, to not be bored, I have to go outside??”  Well, not necessarily.  For the more cerebral of you out there, you can pick up a balsa wood 3-D puzzle for just $1.29.  You read that right.  Less than two bucks!!  So they’re easy items to tack on to any order.  Choose from the insect (one of six balsa wood designs are shipped randomly), T-Rex, or airplane puzzle and have tons of fun putting it together.  And on top of that, you can color the wood to fit your own unique style.  Or, if those puzzles are a little too simple for you, check out the 3-D White House Puzzle for just $7.99.  This 102 piece puzzle comes in full color and kids of all ages will delight in the creation of our nation’s capital.

image_3643I’m sensing another issue.  You’re thinking… “But what about my friends??  I’m just one person and all my friends are bored too!”  Well then, does Harbor Freight have the perfect thing for you! How about a complete Bingo Game Set for $7.99?  It’s got everything you need!  75 numbered balls, 18 reusable Bingo cards, and even one of those little metal ball selectors.  I’m telling you, this thing is great.  Play at home or take it to work, school, a family get together or pretty much anywhere!

So, there you have it.  There’s no excuse for boredom this summer with a quick visit to Harbor Freight Tools!  Whether you’re indoors or out, there’s always something to pass the time from remote controlled vehicles to puzzles and games.  So pick out which one appeals to you the most or, if you really want to cover your bases, I suggest picking up one of each!

Cleaning Brass: Tumbler, Ultrasonic, or… Concrete Mixer?

As I mentioned in a previous entry, I like going to the shooting range whenever I have the time. Unfortunately, two of my favorite guns—a .custom 358 Win. rifle and a .327 Ruger single-action revolver—use hard-to-find ammo, and I spend hours online looking for new sources when the others dry up. This usually results in a lot of special ordering, backordering and premium prices. So I’ve recently decided to take up another hobby– reloading.

I knew I’d be going this direction for some time, and have been saving all my spent brass. Now, as I go about assembling my little ammo-making factory, I have to decide how I want to clean it. After initially looking around, I soon realized there are 1,005 different mickey-mouse ways people clean their brass, all of them involving washing and drying (warning: don’t dry your brass in the oven), nasty chemicals, labor-intensive manual putzing, or a combination of these. One approach I found interesting was putting bullet casings in old socks and tossing them in the washer with a little soap. If you and your wife aren’t concerned about getting toxic primer residue in your underwear, then have at it. Also, the idea of feeling “accomplished” by hand-cleaning your own brass gets old real fast. The time, vapors, cleaning up after the chemicals… forget it.

In the end, I narrowed my options down to three of the more endorsed methods: tumbler, ultrasonic washer and cement mixer.

The tumbler actually falls into two categories: rotary & vibrating. Both work well and have strong followings, although there are distinct differences. The rotary tumbler, originally created for polishing rocks, turns a barrel in which the cleaning media (such as walnut shell or corn cob) clean and polish the brass as they tumble together. Because the drum is water-tight, a cleaning solution or polish can also be added. A favorite method of cleaning in a rotary tumbler is throwing the brass in a tumbler with stainless steel media and some dish soap, liquid detergent or a specially-made cleaner. More so than some other methods, with stainless steel the cartridges turn “like-new” bright & shiny, inside and out. Reloaders who have tried this method claim that they’ll never go back to walnut or corn cob media again. The downside is that stainless steel is a lot more expensive, about $50 for 5 lbs. compared to $23 for 25 lbs. It should be noted, though. the stainless steel does last longer, too.

Two examples of rotary tumblers are:

 

 

 

…the Chicago Electric 3 lb. Rotary Rock Tumbler

 

 

 

 

…and the Chicago Electric Dual Drum Rotary Rock Tumbler.

 

Rotary tumblers are generally less expensive and run quieter than the vibrating models. Also, FWIW, they create less dust than the vibrating models. However, they’re vastly slower and there’s also extra time invested in separating the brass from the media.

The vibrating tumbler, as was already mentioned, is a lot faster—even by several hours—so you can get through a lot more brass in the same amount of time Also, it’s a dry-cleaning process, so you don’t have to worry that the brass is thoroughly dry. A downside to consider, though, is the vibratory tumbler doesn’t get the inside of the casings as clean as the rotary. This isn’t really considered a problem; it doesn’t affect the performance of the ammo, or have any adverse affect on the gun, if the inside of the shell isn’t as clean and bright as the outside. Just be aware, that will be the result. Two tumblers you can find at great prices are:

 

 

 

 

the 5 lb. Metal Vibrator/Tumbler and…

 

 

 

 

the 18 lb. Vibratory Bowl with Liquid Drain Hose.

 

The foremost praise given to the ultrasonic cleaner is how fast it works. Plus, it will clean the entire case, inside and out, including the primer pocket, without getting media stuck in the flash holes (as with other methods, when they need to be picked out). You also don’t get the dust all over the casings like with the other methods, and you’re spared having to breathe the lead dust when separating the brass from the cob or walnut media. The downsides are, it cleans but doesn’t polish the brass, you have to dry the cases after you clean them, and the hardware is slightly more expensive. That being said, Harbor Freight has one at a great price.

 

 

 

Chicago Electric 2.5 Liter Ultrasonic Cleaner

 

Which leads me to most out-there, but surprisingly popular method of cleaning brass: the cement mixer. This is the go-to device when you’ve got a lot of brass to clean– like thousands of casings. Indeed, a number of reloaders point to Harbor Freight’s cement mixers as the “ultimate wet or dry tumblers,” not only for their effectiveness, but also their cheap prices and reliability. In order to make their cement mixer work as a “tumbler,” they leave out the paddles when assembling it, leaving the round tub empty. To keep the brass from banging against the steel tub, some spray the interior with a rubber coating, but that’s more for the noise than any concern for the brass getting dinged. All sorts of media can be used in them, but crushed walnut seems to be a favorite, with possibly a brass polish additive. Harbor Freight carries two models made by Central Machinery, both of them used by reloaders:

 

 

 

1-1/4 Cubic Ft. Cement Mixer

 

 

 

 

 

 

3-1/2 Cubic Ft. Cement Mixer

By sharing all these methods, it’s not my intent to try to sway you in any direction. Everyone’s needs and preferences are different. Before you do make a decision, though, google terms like “tumbler vs. ultrasonic cleaner” and “cleaning brass cement mixer,” and see what they’re saying in the blogs and forums– and ask questions! I think you’ll find the methods I’ve listed here are the best.

See you at the range!