Pick Up a Handy Welding Spoon without Forking Over a Lot of Cash!

For any serious welder out there, a Welding Spoon is a must-have accessory for making your work just a little easier.  And if you’re a welding novice who has never heard of a Welding Spoon before then here’s your introduction to a great tool that will help you in filling holes while welding!  If you’re looking to create a smooth, flat surface when filling a hole in metal, you’ll need this reliable welding accessory to ensure professional results.

weldingspoon

Even though it may not be used in every project, the Welding Spoon is a tool that many professional welders consider essential.  By placing the curved copper plate behind the hole you’re trying to fill, the Spoon not only supports the weld but also absorbs the heat, allowing for a cleaner finish.  In fact, with this tool in your arsenal, you’ll be able to fill holes without leaving any evidence at all that there was a hole there in the first place.  And best of all, at just $9.49, this inexpensive item won’t leave too big a hole in your tool budget either.

And what do our customers think?

“Made welding thin sheet metal easier. Just getting back into welding and this really works well.” – by SOCAL SCOUT from Irvine, CA

Thanks, SOCAL, for that review.   Short and sweet, just like your next project will be when you have this great Welding Spoon from Harbor Freight Tools in your Welding Cabinet.  With a dimpled vinyl grip, this welding accessory is both easy and comfortable to use.  And while you may not use it often, when the time comes to fill holes in metal, you’ll be glad you filled your tool box with this simple welding accessory!

It’s a Nice Day for a Wire Welding

Been thinking about getting into welding this year? Maybe you’ve had a run-in  or two with a repair job where you thought a welder would be just the ticket. Or maybe a buddy recently modded a grill or trailer– or made a cool metal rack on the cheap– with his handy-dandy welder, and you thought, ‘Dang… I’d like to do something like that.” Well, join the club. But before you go out and get the coolest, top-of-the-line welder, you first need to understand a few things.

  • Practice

Welding–like any craft– is a skill . It takes a lot of practice to get even close to being competent. When you first take hold of that welder, for heaven’s sake, don’t use it on something you don’t want ruined. Practice on LOTS of scrap metal– preferably around the same thickness as what your first project is going to be. You should be able to find some good stuff at your local metal or welding shop. Get used to the action and the way the metal reacts. Work on avoiding “bird poops” (the unsightly metal globs you sometimes see on rough welding jobs), and start feeling comfortable with your developing “technique.” Then, use some scrap to make something you don’t care about, like a homemade grill for a fire pit, or bookends out of 350 engine pistons. Only after you’ve gotten a handle on that kind of stuff should you attempt a project that does matter.

  • Start Small

You wouldn’t learn how to ride a motorcycle on a Harley Fat Boy or start target shooting with a Desert Eagle .50. The same goes with your first welder. Welding is not a low-cost activity, so before you know you it’s something you want to get into, start smaller and cheaper. An ideal model with which to “get your feet wet” is the popular Chicago Electric 90 Amp Flux Wire Welder. It’s easy to set up, can weld metal up to 3/16″ thick and is perfect for small projects around the house and garage. A quick browse through the 90 amp’s customer reviews will give you an idea of what it’s capable of. Here are a few comments:

“I’m a former auto technician and have welded hundreds of times over the years using various machines. I was hesitant to purchase this item… but after doing so I am thoroughly pleased. It’s was very easy to set up. Made numerous repairs to an existing metal decorative fence. It handled the 12 ga metal without hesitation and I decided to attempt it on another project that was heavier metal. It worked flawlessly producing strong welds on 3/16 metal… Overall a great machine at a great price. I’m completely pleased!”  DennisF – Temple, TX

“Very easy and fun to use. Fabricate anything I need to my (on) trucks and machinery. Very happy!”  Landscape Designer – NJ

“Wow, this is nice. How could you go wrong with the price, well worth the money. I’m going to buy one for my boy who has never welded before. Thanks for a great product.”  Boonie – Mt. Vernon, IL

“I needed to do some light welding on my car. I figured it was either hire someone or get my own welder and teach myself. I bought this with a 25′ #12 gauge extension cord and an auto dark helmet. I had never used a welder before, I don’t even have a book except the book that came with this welder.”  Mike – Hollywood, FL

“I run this welder for tons of different jobs. Its best for minor projects, although I have put mine to the test. I was on a budget so I bought this welder to get me from town to town for on-the-move jobs. I worked 12-hour days for about a month-and-a-half, the welder was in use for 6-8 hours most of the time. It ran great, ran beautiful beads with lincoln wire and never quit on me. I use it strictly on tubing as I build fences and doors, but with a little practice you can get good heat control on thin metals, and good penetration on thicker materials. Those that say u cant run nice beads with flux core are liars. I can run beads just as nice as my lincoln mig welders. Get some good wire and practice, practice, practice. Great little shop welder, perfect little learners welder!  Garcia Welding – New Mexico

Once you’ve mastered your 90 Amp Flux Wire Welder, you can expand to bigger projects and maybe move up to a Chicago Electric 170 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Welder or 180 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Feed Welder for more power and thicker metal.

  • Safety

Obviously, the foremost thing to keep in mind about welding is safety first. Most of it is common sense, but for the sake of health and property, keep in mind that welding can be dangerous. Welders throw sparks, they can cause fire. Be sure to remove anything flammable from the area you’re working in, and if you’re welding on the grass or near bushes, it’s probably a good idea to wet down the ground. Also, wear a long-sleeve shirt, pants without cuffs, and long Welders Gloves. Of course, also get yourself face and eye protection. I particularly like the Chicago Electric Auto-Darkening Helmet with Blue Flame Design.

Once you get the hang of it, working on welding projects can be a blast– for the home, the car and all kinds of hobby projects. And Harbor Freight’s got the perfect, low-cost way to start!

Auto Darkening Helmet, World Kindness Day and the Chupacabra from Space!

Welding HelmetThe Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Blue Flame Design from Harbor Freight Tools is a must-have for any serious welding job.

The solar powered welding helmet gives you a full view of your welding area with an ample 3-7/8″ x 1-5/8″ viewing lens as well as complete UV/IR protection. Plus, the auto darkening lens on this solar powered helmet darkens in 1/25,000 of a second—as soon as you begin welding.

Other features include variable shade control adjusting from #9 to #13 with a resting shade of #14, high/low light sensitivity adjustment, grind mode which transforms the helmet into a grind shield without shade flickering, and a customizable fit made possible by a ratcheting headband and padded interior.

And in light of World Kindness Day, you can use the Auto Darkening Helmet to do something nice for someone special, like your sweet, adorable yet frail grandmother. Simply wait until she’s in the middle of her afternoon nap and then don the Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Blue Flame Design. Bust into her room and scream at the top of your lungs “I’M THE CHUPACABRA FROM SPACE! GIVE ME YOUR LIVESTOCK, PREFERABLY A GOAT, SO I MAY FEED!

Just think how delighted Grandma will be thanks to your creativity and caring! Just make sure her nitroglycerin pills are close by in case she’s overcome by your kindness…

When Welders Bond

April is National Welding Month. This is a really special time. It’s when grown men convene to talk openly about “bird poop,” “fish eyes” and “wetting out”– and arguing about who’s more “golden from the shoulder to the holder.” One cannot help but be drawn to such stout-hearted bonding… which is why it’s a great time to take advantage of the welding supply deals currently running at Harbor Freight Tools.

Like, for example, the Chicago Electric 90 Amp Flux Wire Welder. A sweet acquisition for those looking to get into welding without dropping a big chunk o’ change– now, for a limited time, only $99.99 with coupon! Build or repair a boat trailer, create an anchor, a 55-gal drum BBQ, a bullet catcher box for a .22… fix an ATV snow plow skid plate or broken exhaust pipe… do some light body work or make a trellis for the garden– this baby won’t quit! And it will pay for itself in no time!

This 90-amp flux core arc welder’s got the functionality of a MIG welder without the hassle of using gas. Rather, it’s designed to use self-shielding flux-cored welding wire, which means set-up and use are easy. It comes with variable speed wire control, thermal overload protection and works on a myriad of metals (excluding aluminum and stainless steel).

And while you’re pulling together your welding equipment, make sure you pick up a Chicago Electric MIG – Flux Welding Cart. This is a favorite among HFT customers, and it’ll take no time for you to become a member of the fan club. First of all, Harbor Freight’s welding cart is nearly identical to others on the market that sell for a whole lot more. Conservatively rated at 100 lbs., this cart will handle your welder and gear with agility and smooth maneuverability on your shop floor. A tilted top shelf provides easy access to the controls, and the bottom shelf gives you a lot of storage space. This welding cart features a heavy-duty steel construction, and a powder coat finish for ultra durability, making it perfect for novice and pro welder alike– and this month it’s on sale for only $39.99 with coupon!

Meanwhile, get maximum protection from the Chicago Electric Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet with Blue Flame Design (not that the blue flame offers any additional protection, but it looks wicked cool to envious friends and passers-by).

This lightweight and sturdy welder’s helmet features a superior auto-darkening mask lens that makes operating your arc, MIG or TIG welding safe and clear. Plus, that auto-darkening lens measures a generous 3-7/8″ x 1-5/8″ wide to give you a full view of your work. It comes with a ratcheting helmet headband and padded interior for a comfortable fit, and as I said, the cool design will make you want to hum the Mission:Impossible theme every time you stoke up the welder.

You’ll be amazed at how fast it darkens and lightens. You can weld, chip slag and grind without ever touching your helmet, or take it off and put goggles on. And now, for a limited time, you can pick up one of these most excellent welding helmets for only $39.99 with coupon! That’s a deal at twice the price!

Harbor Freight Oxygen and Acetylene Welding Kit

Finally, if you’re an armchair hobbyist, or only anticipate the occasional cutting or welding jobs, I submit to you one of the welder’s favorite tools– the Chicago Electric Oxygen And Acetylene Welding Kit. Here’s a complete welding kit that handles a broad range of cutting, welding and heating applications. The kit comes complete with oxygen and acetylene hoses, welding nozzle, cutting tip, cutting attachment, goggles, torch handle with built-in flashback arrestors and check valves, tip cleaners and striker– all packed in a heavy-duty storage case! With this kit you can be nearly prepared for everything. This is a PERFECT GIFT for that welder in your circle– versatile, portable AND affordable at only $129.99!

Celebrate National Welding Month with these and other great welding supply buys at Harbor Freight Tools!

The Legend of the Double Cut Saw… and How to Build a Grill Out of a 55-Gallon Drum

Billy Kulakowski was a mean griller, everybody in the cul-de-sac agreed. Every block party weekend, Billy was given a wide berth as he worked his magic on his meats and wood chips and butt rubs. When he was in the zone, Billy was like a wild-eyed chainsaw juggler jacked up on Pepsi Max. Head down in the smoke and sizzle, flipping tongs, spatulas, sauces, spices… his little water spray bottle keeping the furious flames at bay… no one dared approach him, not even to offer him a cold one. Story’s told, one time somebody did, and there was an incident. Something about a misheard word, a scuffle and– things getting out of hand like they oft times do– an airborne super-duty wiener fork took out a bounce house. Three kids were never found. It took a while (a couple of months, I suspect), but the cul-de-sac moved on, and so did Billy’s grilling.

Yeah, Billy Kulakowski was a mean griller. A man’s man. Word had it, Kenny Rogers was even writing a song about him.

Then one day, a family of five bought the old Johnson split-level– the Kleeburgs from Huntsville, Alabama. When the father, Joe Kleeburg, heard about the block party coming up, he peeled out of his driveway and some time later returned with three 55-gallon drums, some angle iron, mesh metal and a Chicago Electric 5″ Double Cut Saw from Harbor Freight Tools. Ducking into his garage, he wasn’t seen again for the rest of the week.

Nine o’clock the morning of the block party, everybody was setting up their usual station. Billy took his designated double-wide spot; 10 aluminum charcoal starters filled to the brim with cooking coals lined up on the sidewalk in front of him. No sign of the new neighbors. But then at 9:22, the Kleeburgs’ 3-car garage came to life and the doors slowly rose…

Billy didn’t have a chance. And, after considerable effort, Kenny Rogers managed to fit “Joe Kleeburg” into “Billy Kulakowski”… but, that’s another story.

 

The Chicago Electric 5″ Double Cut Saw cuts through plywood, sheet metal, galvanized pipe, flooring, plastic, paneling, Formica, and so much more, without burning, chipping or melting. Its portability makes it great for tight spots and on-the-fly work, and it’ll save you hours from having to cut steel with a grinder. Packing a powerful 7.5 amp motor, this saw cuts forward or backward with the same power and precision– with no kickback! And for just $59.99– even less with your 20% off coupon!– it’ll be a lifesaver around the house and garage over and over, again.

 

Bare Bones Method of Building a Grill Out of a 55-Gallon Drum 

Things You Will Need:

  • 55-Gallon Drum
  • Masking Tape
  • Chicago Electric 5″ Double Cut Saw
  • Angle Iron
  • Chicago Electric 170 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Welder
  • Mesh Metal
  • Metal Rod
  • 1/2″ Steel Box Tube
  • Two Heavy-Duty Hinges
  • Steel reinforcement plates
  • 2×1″ steel ro
  1. Find a 55 gallon drum. Sometimes you can avoid buying a new one by checking out Craigslist or other local classifieds, pet shops or weed n’ feeds. Try to avoid one that housed toxic chemicals, but just to be sure, when you cut off the lid, build a large fire inside of it to thoroughly burn out any lingering harmful substances. Then, once cool,  dump the ashes and give it one last thorough hosing.
  2. Next, you’re going to want to divide the drum into quarters. Use the masking tape along the sides and ends of the barrel, make sure all the quarters are even. Lay the drum on its side and, using the double cut saw, carefully cut one of the quarters about 3 to 3/12″ from the barrel’s edges– this is going to be the lid for the grill.
  3. Build a large fire inside of it to thoroughly burn out any lingering harmful substances. Then, once cool,  dump the ashes and give it one last thorough hosing.
  4. Next, take some angle iron and weld a rectangular shape out of it. Then weld it into place in the middle of the drum. This will provide as a rest for the grill.
  5. Find a good mesh that can be used as the grill surface, preferably a heavier gauge metal, and one where the edges are flattened so there are no sharp points sticking up. This will also make it easier to scrub after grilling. Weld metal rod along all the edges, and add cross bars so the mesh will retain its strength and shape. Cut out a piece 1/8″ smaller than the opening of
  6. Take two lengths of 1/2″ box tube and make relief cuts every two inches so you can bend them to the shape of the barrel. Once you’ve got the shape you desire, weld the cuts smooth. This creates a sturdy cradle on which you’ll be attaching the legs. Then weld the half moon shapes to the barrel.
  7. Attach hinges to the barrel and lid, and reinforce it with steel plates on the inside.
  8. Determine how high you want your grill to be (3-ft. is good) and accordingly cut the 2×1 into legs. Cut relief marks throughout the legs, too, to allow the grill to have a little bit of give. This will make the legs bend outward and, ultimately. give it more stability in the long run. Attach the legs and you have your very own, cheap and efficient 55-gal. drum grill.

Of course, you’ll probably want to add handles, a couple of vents, a hole on the bottom for dripping. If you came this far, though, I trust you can take it from here.

Welterweight Welder

Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting into welding. Perhaps you’ve had a run-in  or two with a home or car repair where you thought a welder would be just the thing. Or maybe a buddy recently modded a grill or trailer, or made a cool metal rack on the cheap with his handy-dandy welder, and you thought, ‘Dang… I’d like to do something like that.” Well, join the club. But before you go out and get the coolest, top-of-the-line welder, you need to hang on and know a few things.

  • Practice

Welding–like any craft– is a skill . It takes a lot of practice to get even close to being competent. When you first take hold of that welder, for heaven’s sake, don’t use it on something you don’t want ruined. Practice on LOTS of scrap metal– preferably around the same thickness as what your first project is going to be. You should be able to find some good stuff at your local metal or welding shop. Get used to the action and the way the metal reacts. Work on avoiding “bird poops” (the unsightly metal globs you sometimes see on rough welding jobs), and start feeling comfortable with your developing “technique.” Then, use some scrap to make something you don’t care about, like a homemade grill for a fire pit or bookends out of 350 engine pistons. Only after you’ve gotten a handle on that kind of stuff should you attempt a project that does matter.

  • Start Small

You wouldn’t learn how to ride a motorcycle on a Harley Fat Boy or start target shooting with a Tac-50. The same goes with your first welder. Welding is not a low-cost activity, so before you know you it’s something you want to get into, starting smaller and cheaper is the way to go. An ideal model with which to “get your feet wet” is the popular Chicago Electric 90 Amp Flux Wire Welder. It’s easy to set up, can weld metal up to 3/16″ thick and is perfect for small projects around the house and garage. A quick browse through the 90 amp’s customer reviews will give you an idea of what it’s capable of. Here are a few comments:

“I’m a former auto technician and have welded hundreds of times over the years using various machines. I was hesitant to purchase this item… but after doing so I am thoroughly pleased. It’s was very easy to set up. Made numerous repairs to an existing metal decorative fence. It handled the 12 ga metal without hesitation and I decided to attempt it on another project that was heavier metal. It worked flawlessly producing strong welds on 3/16 metal… Overall a great machine at a great price. I’m completely pleased!”  DennisF – Temple, TX

“Very easy and fun to use. Fabricate anything I need to my (on) trucks and machinery. Very happy!”  Landscape Designer – NJ

“Wow, this is nice. How could you go wrong with the price, well worth the money. I’m going to buy one for my boy who has never welded before. Thanks for a great product.”  Boonie – Mt. Vernon, IL

“I needed to do some light welding on my car. I figured it was either hire someone or get my own welder and teach myself. I bought this with a 25′ #12 gauge extension cord and an auto dark helmet. I had never used a welder before, I don’t even have a book except the book that came with this welder.”  Mike – Hollywood, FL

“It’s a awesome welder and works great, can’t ask for much more. I love it. I made prerunner bumpers and skid plates, also welded up a few exhausts. I even made a welding cart and welding table with welder. Overall, buy this welder and make stuff with it and sell the stuff you make well worth the money!”  T-Man – redneckville

Once you’ve mastered your 90 Amp Flux Wire Welder, you can expand to bigger projects and maybe move up to a Chicago Electric 170 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Welder or 180 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Feed Welder for more power and thicker metal.

  • Safety

Obviously, the foremost thing to keep in mind about welding is safety first. Most of it is common sense, but for the sake of health and property, keep in mind that welding can be dangerous. Welders throw sparks, they can cause fire. Be sure to remove anything flammable from the area you’re working in, and if you’re welding on the grass or near bushes, it’s probably a good idea to wet down the ground. Also, wear a long-sleeve shirt, pants without cuffs, and long Welders Gloves. Of course, also get yourself face and eye protection. I particularly like the Chicago Electric Auto-Darkening Helmet with Blue Flame Design.

Once you get the hang of it, working on welding projects can be a blast– for the home, the car and all kinds of hobby projects. And Harbor Freight’s got the perfect, low-cost way to start!

JP Magazine: Axle Upgrade with Harbor Freight Tools

If you like to play hard in your Jeep, you’ll definitely want to soup up your front axle– not exactly a light-duty job. Nevertheless, JP magazine shows us how to do just that– affordably and professionally– using tools from Harbor Freight! In an article entitled “Straight and Narrow,” in the Sep 2012 issue, JP editor Cole Quinnell takes us through the steps of getting it done in a weekend and be ready for work Monday morning. To do the job, however, Cole advises that you first need to collect a few special tools:

“In addition to the normal selection of hand tools, you’ll also need a Pickle Fork, a Ball Joint Press and a 35mm Socket to fit a spindle nut, all of which we picked up at Harbor Freight.” (capitalization added)

He added that you’ll need a decent MIG welder capable of welding 1/4″ steel. The Chicago Electric 170 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Welder would be a quality, affordable tool for the job. Of course, gearheads across the country already know, when you’re looking to do a  heavy project, Harbor Freight’s your tool headquarters.

This is a great article for prepping your Jeep to “handle all but the most abusive off-roading on 35-inch tires”– and no one knows their stuff like JP.  So get yourself a copy of their September issue and check it out!

That’s the Gift That Keeps on Giving the Whole Year, Clark

Once again, we see how Harbor Freight is a favorite toy store for tool heads.

Recently on The Garage Journal forum, a member wrote how his boss gave him a $200 Harbor Freight gift card for his birthday, and asked what he should get with it. The replies, of course, were all over the place: 44” rolling cabinet, swivel-head ratchet, composite ratchet, and other Pittsburgh PRO ratchets, 1” belt & 5″ disc combination sander, 2-ton engine hoist, 20-ton shop press, 4”x6” horizontal/vertical metal-cutting band saw, blast cabinet3/8″ Central Pneumatic Earthquake air ratchet, cutoff discs, grinding wheels, welding gloves, dead blow hammers, cable ties, sandpaper, rip and claw hammers, magnetic LED palm-sized light, shrink tubing

It reminded me of when my Aunt Anita sent me $5 and the guys were all telling me how to blow it (“Hot Wheels!” “GI Joe!” “Silly Putty!”).

The lucky birthday boy ended up getting the US General 700 Lbs. Capacity Five Drawer Tool Cart–which has a 4.5-star rating with 112 reviews and, by the way, costs exactly $199.99! Then he created a dead-serious custom welder cart with it (and did a damn fine job)!

How would you spend YOUR $200 Harbor Freight gift card?

 

Harbor Freight Gets Prepper Props

In this country’s growing Survivalist Nation there’s a tribe known as the “Urbivalists”– or “urban survivalists”—preppers who live in towns and cities, and have adapted their survivalist skills to more metro environments. One such urbivalist is Dan, a “self-proclaimed tenderfoot and city kid” who runs a survival-themed blog called The Daily Prep. Recently, Dan posted a video of a shopping trip he made to Harbor Freight–

–which included a tour of some of his favorite products.  “It’s a man mall!” he proclaimed.

It’s no wonder HFT is popular with those who take survival preparation seriously. A renowned purveyor of hard-to-find and odd hardware– plus, a huge selection of essential tools and supplies at extremely low prices– it’s a no-brainer. (Brains? Zombies? Apocalypse? Harbor Freight!)

So, what were some of the products Dan thought fellow preppers should look into? The video does a good job showcasing generators, welders, tarps, car battery jump starters, jerry cans, rope, axes & hatchets, duct tape (“of every kind!”), magnesium fire starters, solar panel kits, knives, slingshots, safes, winches, flashlights and batteries– and Harbor Freight’s low prices make preparation a lot more doable.

FYI, for those looking to prep their home for the garden variety emergency, HFT also carries towing supplies, trailer hitches, alarms & security products, jack stands, engines, head lamps, cast iron frying pans, face masks, space saver vacuum bags, air compressors… you get the point. Harbor Freight is the “go-to store” for your doomsday prepper needs.

The Daily Prep isn’t alone when it comes to survivalist forums swapping favorite HFT products that they keep in their arsenals. Surf the ‘net and you’ll find tons of great ideas. And while you’re at it, why don’t you share yours with us?

 

Car Restoration Tools Every Garage Needs

It’s funny how, as you get older, you start doing all the cool stuff you wanted to do when you were a punk teenager. Back in the 70’s we were all car crazy, and many’s the time I envied the guys in the neighborhood who were out on their front lawns, working on their Dodge Challengers or GTO “Goats”—

—not just because they HAD them (which would have been enough), but because they could actually work on them. Somehow, they managed to have the tools and supplies it took to keep their wheels “cherry.” Nowadays, though, when you hear (and feel) a carb-powered 426 Hemi thundering down the road, it’s a geezer you’re more likely to see behind the wheel than a punk. And chances are that geezer is one of us.

Classic car restoration is more popular than ever, and with the help of online parts stores, chat forums and YouTube videos, guys who thought they’d never get to rebuild their favorite classic rides are now living in their garages (and on their lawns), doing just that.

If you’ve decided to restore a vehicle yourself, I salute you. Not only will you save thousands of dollars, you’ll be embarking on a long, challenging– even therapeutic– journey that will reap dividends for years to come. But before we start doing that victory lap to “We Are the Champions,” let me suggest some basic tools you’ll want right out of the gate to make the dream a reality (unless, of course, you like repeatedly going back & forth to the store when you’re in the middle of something):

The Must-Have Tool

The Air Compressor will quickly become your best friend over the course of your restoration. It’s the first thing you’ll need to get for your arsenal. Between the Die Grinder, Paint Sprayer and Impact Wrench, you’re going to get a lot of use out of it and, believe me, you’ll thank yourself every time you’ve got a big chore that you don’t have to do manually. It needs to have a decent enough CFM—at least 5-6 CFM per minute at 90 psi– so that the long bursts of sanding, buffing or cutting won’t wear too hard on the compressor. You could get the job done with a 29-Gallon Tank Unit, but if you can swing it, go for a 60-Gallon Compressor, with power to spare. By the way, the Die Grinder is great for polishing the inside of the head ports, cleaning up metal and using with a cut-off wheel to repair panels.

Engine Work

A Compression Tester will help diagnose vital motor issues, such as worn piston rings, burnt valves and bad head gaskets.  This is a great first tool to use when you get your new project car home. You can even take it with you to test a car before you buy it!

While it’s not vital for the project, you may want to consider picking up a “cherry-picker” Engine Hoist, especially if you’re planning to restore more than one vehicle. A good 2-Ton Shop Crane should be sufficient, and will more than pay for itself in the long run.

Most likely, you should have the cylinders re-bored. A cylinder bore gauge is needed to check for taper, out-of-round and oversize on the cylinders if you are rebuilding the motor yourself. Any critical wear on the cylinder can be reached with this gauge. An Engine Cylinder Hone will de-glaze the cylinder walls and give them a nice, smooth finish.

Next, you’ll want a valve spring compressor to remove the valves for a rebuild. Also a cheap valve lapping tool, with grinding compound, helps reseat the valves.

Piston Ring Pliers will help you remove and replace the rings on the pistons without breaking them. A Piston Ring Compressor is needed for the installation of the pistons. Also, a piston groove cleaner will remove the carbon crud from the piston grooves.

A Dial Indicator is used to measure run-out on things like the flywheel, and endplay on the crankshaft. While there are various types of mounts, including magnetic base and screw mounts, I recommend the clamping mount because it’s faster and easier to work with.

Next, a Stud Puller is a must for removing stripped, rusted and otherwise stubborn head studs, as well as exhaust & intake manifold studs.

Another tool you cannot live without is the Torque Wrench—two, actually. Get both a 1/2″ drive and 3/8″ drive for your tool cabinet. These are essential to torque all your bolts to factory specs.

Have a complete Tap and Die Set on hand, preferably with both SAE & metric. You’ll find this invaluable for cleaning up old bolts and restoring rusted holes.

A good Digital Micrometer is needed to precisely measure anything.

Body Work

MIG Welder. You won’t get through a restoration job without it. Why a MIG welder, as opposed to another type? Well, for starters, if you’re new to this kind of project, the MIG is the easiest to learn. Also, they work with the most common types of metals, overhead welding is easier, and the MIG welder works fast.

You’ll also want a Hammer & Dolly Set, otherwise known as a “Body & Fender Set.” These tools go a long way in repairing and straightening steel panels, and all-around custom fab work. This one, made by Pittsburgh, probably has the best price you’re going to find, and one look at the customer reviews should convince you there’s no need to keep looking.

A Step Drill is essential to make quick, clean work out of drilling large diameter holes for auto-body jobs such as installing chrome trim, and for firewall holes.

A Spot Weld Cutter works great in restoration projects and does just what its name implies. Also, a Plumber’s Torch is great for softening and shaping metal.

As you work on your project, you’ll find a Bench Grinder and Drill Press are extremely helpful in the auto restoration process.  Plus, a Wire Wheel on the grinder is a must and makes cleaning up parts quick and simple.

Additional Work

Make sure you include various Brake Tools, a Tubing Bender and brake flare tool.

Finally, get a Creeper, Paint Stripper, Transmission Jack, Dent Repair Kit, and a Comprehensive Mechanics Tool Kit, and you’ll be equipped to tackle most everything involved in your car restoration, as well as many other future projects. Of course, you’ll inevitably be needing cleaners, sealants, lubricants and the odd part along the way, but consider yourself the proud owner of an equipped auto restoration garage.

Now, get out there and make that Vega Funny Car a reality!