Stovebolt.com
Posted By: DADS50 Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Tue Aug 09 2011 06:13 PM
There have been several posts recently on tools that worked well from H.F.
and some to stay away from. (I remember a floor jack warning)



If you have a recommendation or warning post here.

Maybe some of us can benefit from your experience.

No Shame, your Snap-on guy need not know.

When I was starting my weld repair on lower cowl and kick panel I needed a spot-weld cutter.

Went to my local H.F.Sales person said we dont have anything like that. She was wrong
Found this cutter on the shelf for $5.00. Item #95343

I purchaes 2ea and crossed my fingers. Surprised to say one side of one cutter cut all the spot welds I needed.

The little $5.00 cutter worked well on 50 year old sheet metal.
..pic...

This was back in 2008
Originally Posted by DADS50

Found this cutter on the shelf for $5.00. Item #95343



That picture has me baffled. Is that a rusty model of an old truck or a hole in your workbench to some real project?

BTW I have bought a lot of tools and supplies at HF and have very few complaints.
Blow it up Vern and youll see it's an old rusted out AD barn find with the hood in the bed with a spare tire. Looks like its complete though, right down to the broken down barn full of cobwebs where its been stored.

Cept it's in 1/25th scale!

Cool Gus, you must have a whole museum full of those things. You gotta put them all in an album one of these days.

I to spotted one of those spot cutters at HF and dropped it into my basket, couldn't beat the price compared to Eastwood. Taint needed it yet, but good to know it's gonna do the job when the time comes. Every once in a while you find something that does work as advertised in their stores.
I do have a 3 1/2 ton floor jack that I bought when you first started seeing Chinese tools imported, about thirty plus years ago. It is built heavy and has worked flawlessly all these years.

Denny Graham
Sandwich, IL
Posted By: Tiny Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Aug 10 2011 12:15 AM
HF sawsall blades. I bought a package of bimetal blades for general cutting and they won't even cut aluminum without losing all of the teeth. HF angle die grinder. Got about 10 minutes of run time before it went to crap. HF pin nailer, I gave it away because it wasn't worth burning the gas to haul it to the dump (love the US made Senco I replaced it with). HF plate joiner. So far hasn't broken but all of the guide structure is flimsy plastic to a precise cut is difficult. HF drill bit sharpener, drawing dust on the shelf. It's more accurate and easier to use my bench grinder.
Posted By: DADS50 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Aug 10 2011 01:59 AM
Originally Posted by FriedGreenTmater
That picture has me baffled.
FGT. its a 1/24 diorama, Ive been collecting them for some years now. ...pic...
Also other 1/24 trucks for my son
...pic...


Good Luck

Really enjoyed the video Gus, the high light of my evening, thanks for posting that.

Denny Graham
Sandwich, IL
Posted By: Donsz Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Aug 10 2011 01:51 PM
Also enjoyed the video. You did a great job on the truck and an even better job on life. Thanks.
The only thing I have purchased at HF that was junk was a tap and die set. A couple of usefull things were a set of panel clamps for welding panels together. They look cheap, but work well. The other item was a mini touch up paint gun.
Posted By: DADS50 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Fri Aug 19 2011 02:30 AM
Originally Posted by Jimmie D
The other item was a mini touch up paint gun.
I tried the HF touch up gun also ...pic...

I was very pleased with the results.
the cfm requirements are low so I was able to run it off my pancake compressor.
Good for me because I dont have a big shop compressor....yet

Not show quality results, but good for side of house, garage, paint jobs
..pic...
...pic...

Option for the budget build

I Might try a DEVILBISS Startingline once I get a compressor to run it.
On welding web they have a forum specifically devoted to HF tools. It is the best resource I have found for honest opinions.
http://weldingweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=28
I picked up an engine stand from HF that works pretty well. In the past I have avoided them (HF) but will buy more from them and see how it goes.
Small air tools, grinders, etc have served me well --- they were cheap and cut some stuff for me and I still have them and use them occasionally. I have a 1/2" HF air wrench I use for just lug nuts, and it works just fine every time. I dont use my stuff heavy so I'm ok with a cheap tool now and then.
On another note - I really enjoyed your video. Your Dad must have been a really good man- especially so when I see how good a Dad you are with that wonderful little boy of yours. Thanks for sharing your family story ----
I have one of their auto darkening welding helmets, got it on sale for $39 and it works like a champ, pretty happy with it.

Its not for trucks, but I also bought their bead breaker for motorcycle tires and it works really well.

Tire irons were a bad call, had several break due to bad casting.

Their cheap blue tarps are pretty good for light duty.

Welding cart was ok, castors failed pretty quickly. I would just buy one from Sears or the welding store instead next time.

Little stuff like cutting discs and zip ties are pretty hard to mess up, they tend to be pretty good.

I don't have one, but a freind that owns a motorcyle repair shops says their angle grinders are decent.

Finally, I bought a set of aluminum motorcycle ramps, they were cheap and work great.
Had bad luck with most of their power tools
their uni-bits have worked well for me
their drill bits have been hit and miss, had one twist like a pretzel, guess it was never hardened?
have one of their plasma cutters has been working very well
My favorite harbor freight tool is their pneumatic high speed cut off tool
http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/specialty-air-tools/3-inch-high-speed-air-cutter-47077.html

I have had it for 4 years and I use it a lot.
I have had bad luck with their electric tools and will buy no more.
Chris
I bought a cut off saw and drill press that I have had for several years now with no issues. Bought a transmission jack today from them that I tried out tonight. It worked well.
Posted By: J Lucas Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Sat Sep 24 2011 05:07 AM
Originally Posted by Gmans 46
I bought a cut off saw and drill press that I have had for several years now with no issues. Bought a transmission jack today from them that I tried out tonight. It worked well.


Which transmission jack did you buy? Was it the hydraulic one or the mechanical scissor jack model?

John

My Bottom Line on the value of Harbor Freight Tools:

Over the past 13 years, I have spent several $Ks on Harbor Freight tools. I have broken less than $100 worth of HF tools over this time. Since most of the HF tools cost less than 1/2 the cost of an equivalent name-brand tool, I am more than a few $Ks ahead.

There is a lifetime warranty on hand tools and a 30-90 day (or a year) on the other tools. I buy the non-lifetime warranty tools when I need them and I work them hard during the warranty period (in case they might break from being cheaply made). No problems.
I bought the hydraulic one 800 lbs for $138. Funny thing she asked if I wanted the 2yr warranty for 19.95 I said no just the jack. She marked the jack down to $119.00 added the 2 yr warranty at 19.95. A bargain in my book.
They've done that with quite a few things that I've bought from HF, don't understand it but I'm not complaining cuz I would never buy an insurance policy on a tool.

DG
Posted By: Super55 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Mon Oct 03 2011 05:25 AM
Some of the tools I have bought that were working well are a throatless metal shear. It looks just like the one from Eastwood, and works well. I also bought a 5,000 pound rated tow bar for moving my 2 ton on my property and it worked like a charm. I also bought two different brake line bending tools because I needed to make a very tight bend near a connector. They were the only ones to have them small enough. One was the regular two handled http://www.harborfreight.com/1-8-eighth-inch-to-1-4-quarter-inch-tube-bender-94571.html and the other was the pliers type, http://www.harborfreight.com/tube-bending-pliers-95782.html. I bought a pneumatic high speed saw that works well, http://www.harborfreight.com/high-speed-metal-saw-91753.html. I also like the hardware boxes with things like o-rings, shims, shrink tubing, c-clips etc.... The best was the copper washer assortment. I had a heck of a time even finding one copper washer around my area. One thing I did not find to be any good were some brass air line couplers. They leak like a sieve. I went to get the spot weld cutter the other day when I bought the tow bar, but they were sold out. Must be all the stovebolters buying them up.
Just got a heat gun and some shrink tubing from them, both work great. Gun was $9.99 on sale, cheapest I found elsewhere was $28 and neiother one is made in the USA anyway...
I buy pretty much all my tools from my local HF store.
I know some of their stuff is cheap made, but for the basics, it's hard to beat their prices.
I like that my recent purchase of a 1/2" drive socket set with ratchet and break-over bar is lifetime guaranteed.

Jerry
HF...i have mostly snap-on with some proto in the mix but ive had a 3/4"half inch drive impact wobble socket for 4 years and it still works great (but mabe is. A 13/16 now)and this is used everyday on heavy equipment it has out lasted my snap-on,matco and SK . I love it oh dont buy HF rachet binders not even worth weight in scrap
Posted By: Lugnutz Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Thu Dec 01 2011 04:56 PM
I shop HF first, and usually get decent quality stuff.
Burned up a 4.5" angle grinder in 1 hour, so they replaced it no questions asked and the new one has been working fine.

Spot Weld Cutter bit is worth the $5. I should get about 40 - 50 cuts from it. It works well.

Their Poly Carbide 4.5" Abrasive Wheel works as well as the 3M Abrasive Wheel and is only $5. It erases paint with hardly any metal removal.

Has anyone tried their small hand sandblaster for small spot blasting small jobs?
Posted By: timmc Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Mon Dec 12 2011 04:28 AM
I paid $199 for the HF 2.5 ton folding cherry picker. It assembles quickly and did a great job removing the cab from the chassis. I like it!!!
x2! It doesn't hog space in my garage, either.
I'd like to see how you used it to lift the cab, Timmc.
I will be doing that same thing in the near future.

I also bought the engine stand. Had a little trouble making it fit the L6 but it did what it was supposed to do.

Jerry
Posted By: timmc Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Tue Dec 13 2011 12:11 AM
I will link some pics in the next couple of days. wave

http://www.stovebolt.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=610755#Post610755

If pictures are not posted soon, I'll post some.
Kewl! I'm always interested in seeing different approaches of achieving a task.
Jerry

http://www.stovebolt.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=683077#Post683077
Posted By: timmc Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Dec 14 2011 02:27 AM
I recreated my lift tonight to demonstrate the HF picker and the method I used. This method I've seen before so it is not original but the support is my own design....LOL

Move beem out to max length at 1/2 ton and flip it so that the chain bolt hole is on top.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jMGiW_SyORM/Tuf3QtZBvDI/AAAAAAAAANU/49MVxvYG2ak/s320/IMG_0167.JPG
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4B6JRtZg-P0/Tuf3Tx90JCI/AAAAAAAAANc/pYZhrSSJwMc/s320/IMG_0168.JPG
6ft 2x4 fastened as a channel for strength
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-suNJ9HG_jGc/Tuf3XDMORuI/AAAAAAAAANk/dg3QD22if1U/s320/IMG_0169.JPG
1/2 inch anchor hole drilled 1-1/2 from bottom of 2x4 and centered at 3ft fron ends
Anchored together
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_69fYdywPDw/Tuf3rTQxyPI/AAAAAAAAAOM/pOVOjH43YUw/s320/IMG_0176.JPG
Jacking to meet the front of door jambs with extra 2x4's fastened at the end for extra support and scotching
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O7b5a7szbyo/Tuf3-gNkFXI/AAAAAAAAAO0/eZc3swrIMF0/s320/IMG_0186.JPG
And the lift...
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3O5cDBrm79Q/Tuf4DVppXeI/AAAAAAAAAO8/jP_RI__X8Wo/s320/IMG_0189.JPG
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PBs_ziyz91I/Tuf4O3YkNuI/AAAAAAAAAPM/Ss7ztVZL7fw/s320/IMG_0187.JPG
Good job, timmc!
I like it, especially that the end of the lift has a pivoting action to distribute weight equally at the door openings.
Finding the center of gravity in the other direction might be a hit and miss a couple of times but that's easy enough to work out.
Thanks for posting the pictures!
Jerry
Posted By: Super55 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Dec 14 2011 06:29 PM
Update to what I have posted earlier. I purchased a solar powered outdoor light. It worked fine for about 6 months. So I bought one for my brother in law and two more for my property. Well the one I bought for my brother in law, never worked. Instead of turning on when picked up the motion detector it just makes an annoying clicking noise. Of the three on my property now only one is working. The others are doing the same thing as my brother in laws. I would hold onto my receipt better than I did if you plan on buying one. So that you can return it easily.
I buy a good bit of HF tools in my Fiberglass shop,, the dust kills stuff fast,, there stuff is cheap so when it croaks I am not out a fist full,, I do have the vibration multi tool and have had great success cutting cured glass ! for many months
Posted By: Super55 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Thu Dec 29 2011 11:56 PM
This high speed saw is great and is on sale right now for $9.99

Posted By: Lugnutz Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Sun Jan 01 2012 04:21 AM
Anyone ever use the HF 16 gauge air nibbler tool? Looks like a useful addition to my air tools.
Posted By: mo Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Jan 11 2012 04:00 AM
bought an air saw and blades. the saw never worked and the blades couldnt even cut aluminum with the new cp i bought. i did get a little 1/4 inch air angle die grinder that has been working very well. might try some more tools from here but will be very wary. i would buy any tool that isn't air or electric though if i needed it.
Posted By: Chev4t6 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Thu Jan 19 2012 01:21 AM
Lug,
I have that nibbler and it has worked OK for me. It eats out about an 1/8th inch when it cuts/nibbles. The remains are small quarter moon shapes that will stick to shoes,clothing and most importantly to skin. And hard to remove. Other than that works fine for me. Have fun and good luck
Dan
Posted By: Builder Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Thu Jan 19 2012 05:19 PM
I use the 1/4" die grinders, parts washers, 3/8" air drills, 20 ton press, and a 2 ton chain hoist. I don't use their wrenches or sockets. I have a bead blaster cabinet, but I had to put in better lighting. I bought a PTO driven 60" finish mower for my tractor for less than $500 delivered. That is pretty cheap but seems to work OK. I also have the foldup engine stand that works great for around $100.
Posted By: mo Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Mon Jan 23 2012 03:17 AM
builder, what kind of light did you put in your blast cabinet? my light worked for about a day and would like to replace it. not a HF unit but some other cheap brand from TSC. right now i just throw my cheap led trouble light in.
Posted By: KevinW Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Mon Jan 23 2012 01:36 PM
I put two small exterior halogens in my cheap glass bead cabinet. Then there was light! Wired them up with a switch, so the lights and vacuum come on together. Also the $5 double ended spot weld cutter works great!
Posted By: Lugnutz Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Mon Jan 23 2012 06:30 PM
I agree the spot weld cutter works great. You can see my results on my BLOG. It will probably cut 40 to 60 spot welds depending on how thick the steel is and how carefully you use it.
Posted By: mo Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Tue Jan 24 2012 03:46 AM
i agree with the vacuum i hooked one up to mine right away. also drilled a few holes on the back side up on top. that allows me to open and close the door without turning the vacuum off. also prevents the vacuum from sucking up to much of the media. i will look for some kind of halogen to see if it will work in mine. thanks for the info
Posted By: DADS50 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Mon Mar 19 2012 05:10 PM
http://www.stovebolt.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=769585#Post769585

I picked up a set of stubbys after reading the post above.

They are just the right size for working around the carb.
http://www.harborfreight.com/12-piece-stubby-combination-wrench-set-97383.html

Posted By: mo Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Mar 21 2012 03:11 AM
i have a set of stubbys but not hf models very handy little suckers. i also have a set of half moon wrenches that i use for very tight spots. i seem to have a thing for tools like these that you dont use everyday but they have there uses once in awhile.
I have the need for a belt sander, and went and looked at the HF 4 X 24 magnesium sander for 70 bucks. Has anybody had any experience with them? The Crapsman I had finally had the good grace to die, and I need to replace it. I don't use a belt sander all that often, but when I need it I need it. Any and all opinions are welcome.
Posted By: 40casey Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed May 02 2012 02:45 AM
I don't know if someone already mentioned this, but I bought a cable tie puller tool (For getting those plastic ties really tight,) and it worked one time, and was so cheesy, the thin metal mechanism slipped on itself and jammed. Junk. But, was no problem getting a refund (although the store is 25 miles away!)
Originally Posted by KevinW
I put two small exterior halogens in my cheap glass bead cabinet. Then there was light! Wired them up with a switch, so the lights and vacuum come on together. Also the $5 double ended spot weld cutter works great!


Halogen really gives light and added bonus is that the heat keeps the sand dry...
Posted By: Super55 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Sun Jun 10 2012 07:16 AM
I bought the stud welder for $99. There is a tool place here in Canada, that has one for $350. To me it looks like it came out of the same factory in China. It was worth the chance. It works great.
i don't buy much a hf but once and a while i get suckered in. i do get the cut off air wheels, gloves, and some other consumables there with no problems. i did try a air scraper for $10 a while back, wouldn't even move. took it back in exchanged it, same thing. tried one for the 3rd time and still the same- i really need this for a single project. i didn't even care if it worked after that. finally looked on their website and tons of people were having the same problem. one person they took theirs apart and reworked it and it worked after that. they must have had one heck of a bad run on those. i just thought it was funny every comment/review on their own site said this scraper was junk!
Posted By: 5wests Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Thu Jun 28 2012 04:12 AM
I typically only buy HF tools if it's something I know I won't use very often. I've had decent luck with their 3/4" drive socket set, a tubing bender and an NTP tap & die set. Their pressurized sand blaster ended up with a broken shut-off valve after a half day of use. I prefer to buy American but it's hard to justify the cost on some items which will see minimal use. Even Craftsman is selling imported hand tools now....it's not something they advertise but alot of their cheaper tool sets are Chinese.

added: Don't waste your money on their drill bits. They're junk.
Posted By: Builder Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Thu Jun 28 2012 07:26 PM
Originally Posted by mo
builder, what kind of light did you put in your blast cabinet? my light worked for about a day and would like to replace it. not a HF unit but some other cheap brand from TSC. right now i just throw my cheap led trouble light in.


I just bought some cheap outdoor lights with a jar that screws around the lightbulb. I use 100 watt bulbs and I have 2 of them.
Posted By: red1946 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Sun Jul 01 2012 03:17 PM
This Harbor Freight outfit sounds much like Princess Auto here in Canada . Lots of junk ,some that will do in a pinch ,with the odd good product tossed in for s@#t's and giggles . grin
Posted By: Super55 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Sun Jul 01 2012 04:47 PM
Yep... been to both. They are about the same. However, HF has better quality on a lot of the tools, but Princess has a lot of trailer, hydraulic and farm related items. Red1946, do you ever go to the Edmonton KMS? I swear some of the Chinese stuff in there is the same as Harbor. But Harbor is a lot cheaper.
Posted By: red1946 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Tue Jul 03 2012 02:44 PM
Yeah I buy my welding gas from them and some auto body tools and supplies , but I have learned the hard way to buy quality and only purchase once . Bought a lot of junk just to get by when I was younger and couldn't afford better .
Harmnonic balancer puller- DIDN'T Work. In fact it exploded into 2000 pieces. (No exaggeration) I didn't even use the air gun, just a 1/2" wratchet.
Is this the set you used? My old harbor freight set has worked fine on about 8 235/261 engines. It has also worked well on removing many steering wheels.

Maybe they have become poorer in quality - mine is about 14 years old?
Posted By: Builder Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Sat Aug 11 2012 11:48 PM
I bought a bead breaker. I had a stubborn tire and bent it.
I like the cheap air drill. I put a quick chuck on it and am on my second one in 30 years. They aren't real powerful but it works fine.
TC-That's the exact set I bought. I could believe it. Only a 1/4 turn with the wratchet and BLAM! I couldn't believe how poor the casting was.

On the flip side, I've had good luck with their air tools. Die grinder, cut off saw, right angle grinder. I've had a set of uni-bits for about 5 years. Use them all the time, not dull yet.
I believe you, Whitedog

Sorry to hear about this bad experience. How did you finally get the balancer off?

I borrowed someone else's puller. BTW- it was a Snap-on.
I've done a lot of business with HF since my truck project began.
I've purchased items like the cherry-picker, engine stand, jack stands, caliper and OD micrometers, grinders, socket sets, break-over bars, torque wrenches, some pneumatic tools (I seldom use those) and recently a 90 amp flux core welded and auto-darkening helmet. Sorry... I could go on...
In summary... to me, they're just a cheap source for tools. I've found that if there is a problem with a tool I can take it back and get a replacement. Especially if I bow up and look mad! ha
If I were in business I'd have to buy better quality stuff... but for this project, they'll do just fine.
As for my latest, the flux core welder, I can say it did it's job. The wire spatter was as bad as the reviews said it would be but I still got through just fine. I put a patch panel on my passenger door bottom and it looks great. I might add, I've never welded before this.
Jerry Wilson
Posted By: CASO Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Mon Aug 20 2012 01:43 PM
Originally Posted by Hellomrwilson

As for my latest, the flux core welder, I can say it did it's job. The wire spatter was as bad as the reviews said it would be but I still got through just fine. I put a patch panel on my passenger door bottom and it looks great. I might add, I've never welded before this.
Jerry Wilson


I have used mine for about 10 spools now and it's getting kinda finicky. It stalls on the wire feed a lot so the other day I decided to snip the zip tie inside the handle that held the lines in place. Big difference now. I think the zip was just too tight and as things have worn it started biting when at certain angles or twisted. Other than that it works up to 1/4" sort of and smaller just fine as dirty as advertised but they also advertise die grinders for 10 bucks and they take all of about ten seconds to clean things up. After all its sitting there from prepping the weld any way isn't it??? ohwell
I just thought that as for fixing the doors myself versus buying expensive aftermarket doors made overseas to who knows what quality, the welder was a cheap success story for me.
Finding any used doors after lengthy searches, led me to doors much like my own... with rusted out bottoms. I'm just excited that all but the last bottom inch of my doors are solid and original.
OH! That reminds me, I also bought a nifty HF plier set, designed to pull away the door outer skin where it folds over the inner panel! Also, a couple of the spot weld removal drills. They worked like a champ!
I don't know if I will get through that single spool of wire that came with the rig as I don't have many projects requiring welding. I've read in reviews to throw it away and get some Lincoln wire. I have no experience to base anything from... so I'll continue to use it and also use my 10 dollar grinder for any future small jobs. thumbs_up
Jerry
Posted By: Super55 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Mon Aug 20 2012 02:26 PM
I have bought some hand tools from HF and like most people say, if you're not in the business they'll do for the job. However, I still like all my Mikita power tools. I have had some of them for 30 years, and built my house, outbuildings and working on a shop now. I bought a cheap grinder at Canadian tire, probably came from the same factory as HF just because it was cheap. I thought I would give it a try. After a few months the bearings bit it. I could replace the bearings I guess, but they probably cost more than the grinder. I'll take it apart, just because I love to do things like that. The point is, we buy cheapo stuff because we have become a disposable society. I highly recommend a book, "Shop Class as Soul Craft by Matthew B. Crawford. He mentions how we buy items not meant to last or be fixed. A lot of parts are made not to even give access to be fixed. From what I have read so far, I am really going to try and cut down on buying junk. It gets a lot deeper into loss of craftsmanship, hiring unskilled workers to put junk together. I do find HF does have items that are good quality and also cheap. Just have to be selective. By the way, I'll be passing my quality tools onto my relatives when I can no longer use them. I know they will still be good and not in the landfill.
a quality tool makes the job easier, less frustrating and you can actually enjoy using the tool and smiling at the finish product. Man, what a rush!
Posted By: sps Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Mon Sep 03 2012 09:24 PM
The large floor jack and pipe threaders from HF are junk, I threw them away. I have got some tools that were ok, but mostly I buy quality tools. I fix things for a living. You get what you pay for. I agree Achipmunk!
I bought 4 spotweld drills figuring they'd wear out in a hurry. I still have 1 good used one and three unused!

Les
Posted By: Lugnutz Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Tue Sep 18 2012 09:15 PM
Originally Posted by sps
The large floor jack and pipe threaders from HF are junk, I threw them away. I have got some tools that were ok, but mostly I buy quality tools. I fix things for a living. You get what you pay for. I agree Achipmunk!


Not sure what model floor jack you had but mine works great. I agree that a lot of the stuff is junk. That's why I check the reviews they have online before I get too interested in something. Roadmarks likes the spot weld remover bit and I agree, it works great at a fraction of the price that most sell for.
Stud welder is junk.. studs fall off easily..
Posted By: Super55 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Sep 26 2012 02:01 AM
I have been using the stud welder with more success. Pulled out some dents on my cab. Will post if I find it not holding up on the next area I need to work on.
Posted By: 52_3100 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Sep 26 2012 08:14 AM
You must have gotten a bad stud welder. I've welded hundreds and hundreds with no problem.
Dave Evans
52_3100
More threads on the same topic.

Post159551

and

Post159532

I can add that their 750lb engine stand, 1 ton foldable cherry picker and heat gun have worked well. I used the engine stand for 2.8L V6, not sure how it would do with an inline 6.
I used the stand with my 261.
It did fine but it was tricky connecting the stand to the engine.
If I knew I were going to do more of these L6 rebuilds, I'd have to create an adapter plate.
Jerry
I never welded in my life, but had some patch panels to restore my rusted out door bottoms.
Rather than have it done for who knows what cost, I decided to buy the HF 90 amp flux core welder. It was a TOTAL success! Not bad for less than $100.
I've also used it to restore my vent window frame (the lower threaded stud was broke off).
I plan on also using it to weld in the side rails when I get to the bed part of the project.
Jerry
I have had good luck with some Harbor Freight tools. Keep in mind, these are tools that I do not use often.

This is my first air sprayer. With a little practice, I've found it to lay paint really well.
http://www.harborfreight.com/professional-automotive-hvlp-spray-gun-kit-94572.html

The Pitman arm puller has been used three times so far. Used it today to pull the arm off of a '76 manual steering gear at a pick-a-part. That sucker was on there!
I wouldn't expect it to simply pull an arm, it starts to flex once good and tight. I like to apply penetrating oil, pull it tight, give it ten minutes, pull on it a couple more times, and give it more time. If that fails, wack the heck out of the side of the arm and grab a turn or two more. You get the idea.
http://www.harborfreight.com/tie-rod-and-pitman-arm-puller-1752.html

Ball joint separator. This forged unit is kind of nice. Fits in tight joints well. Used it on four tie rod ends, both ends of an idler arm and the ball joint on the pinion of my '72 GMC 1500. Use the advice from above. Patience, Grasshopper, patience.
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-4-quarter-inch-forged-ball-point-joint-separator-99849.html

Pipe tap and die set. Used mainly for cleaning threads.
http://www.harborfreight.com/6-piece-pipe-tap-die-set-91395.html

Things like the six ton jack stands are nice. Simple item, try to get them on sale.
I have one of their 2 ton engine cranes, felt sturdy pulling the 235 out of my step van. The engine had to come out through the door opening; the crane in the 500 pound position. I don't see them for sale anymore.

However. If you want to mess up some threads, try this tap and die set:
http://www.harborfreight.com/40-piece-sae-carbon-steel-tap-and-die-set-39391.html

I avoid most of the disposables. I learned my lesson with the 4" cut off wheels and some wet/dry sandpaper. But things like throw away brushes and paint screens are cheap and work fine.

I just can't see any value in their power tools. Lowes and Home Depot both have cheap power tools of better quality.

I like the rating system. I have to give them credit for that.

Gary
Originally Posted by Whitedog
Harmnonic balancer puller- DIDN'T Work. In fact it exploded into 2000 pieces. (No exaggeration) I didn't even use the air gun, just a 1/2" wratchet.
Whitedog,

My puller finally gave out after over 15 years of use, pulling steering wheels and many other things. Last week, the threads on the center-screw partially stripped when pulling a stubborn harmonic balancer (a rusted onto the crankshaft balancer). Oh well, maybe that $10 or less was not well spent (15 years ago, no tax and free shipping then)?

Maybe I will check about getting a new screw and "head" - when I bought it, the warranty was life-time.
I have been replacing the lower right half of the cab and floorboard lately. WAY too many patch panels invested in so far.

But, I bought the air flange/punch tool from HF last Friday and used it all weekend. If it only lasts the weekend, it will be worth the $39 I paid for it. It worked great! Punched holes so I could do some "spot" welding, and flanged existing good metal so an amateur like me could match them up while welding.

They offered me the 2-year guarantee (for extra of course). I told the guy that if it lasts through the 90-day standard warranty, I will have gotten my $39 out of it.

Highly recommended. Oh, and I am using it with a portable DeWalt small air compressor. Doesn't do much more than 16 gauge (and that with a few presses of the trigger), but all my patch panels were that thickness.

-Jim
Posted By: MPandC Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Nov 07 2012 11:02 PM
Jim, I would suggest to practice up a bit on panel fitment and use a butt weld.. In the lap vs. butt weld debate, regardless of whether one side of the joint has one, two, three thicknesses or more, the heat from welding will cause shrinking and the resulting distortion from this shrinking of the panel adjacent to the weld. But to clarify, the greater the thickness and mass, the more heat required for the weld. Thus, the lap joint actually takes more heat to perform the weld than a butt joint. What you must consider in your methods is how on earth you will fix these issues to return the panel after welding to the original shape that was there before. The plain and simple of it being, that a single sheet on either side of a butt weld will be easiest to planish to remove this shrinkage distortion. Two thickness will be near impossible to planish without inflicting more damage.

Something I've emphasized many times is the importance of consistency. This starts from the fitment of the panel, to the methods used in welding, to the methods used in planishing and grinding welds. If you have consistency in all of your processes, the end result will save you work in the long run. I'll discuss the various welding methods, as discussing the differences will help to better understand consistency:

Gas (O/A) or Tig would be a cleaner choice in welding in that they leave no splatter or slag all over the place. The amount of warpage is relative to the amount of heat you put into the panel via how long you sit there, so typically, MIG vs. TIG (when applying filler rod with the TIG), the MIG would have less of a HAZ. However, if you can trim your joints to zero gaps such that a no-filler weld can be performed (fusion welding) in using the TIG or O/A, then you should have about as small a HAZ as possible, and as consistent in width as possible, for less distortion. To explain this further, various starting and stopping in your weld will cause inconsistent width of the HAZ, along with the shrinking effects that come with it. This may lead to a "wavy" distortion. The process with the most consistent heat and consistent speed, would be the fusion weld (no filler), using TIG or Gas, and running from one end to the other without stopping. Performing the weld in this fashion will help to keep the HAZ, and all the other conditional reactions consistent, for less distortion.


Here is a excerpt from David Gardiner's instructional video, He is a coachbuilder in England that primarily uses gas welding. He says that his method uses little to no filler, uses a faster process, for a narrower more consistent width HAZ, less distortion, and little if any cleanup as far as grinding welds. I'd also recommend the purchase of his video, he does a nice job of demonstrating fabrication techniques using little more than hand tools.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGElSHzm0q8&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL


Having said all that, most hobbyists have nothing more than a small MIG in their home shop, and those conditions are hard to duplicate with the MIG when welding sheet metal. Even though it is not compatible with a full pass weld when dealing with sheetmetal, you can still apply the same principles of consistency in using a MIG and "dot" welding. Single dots, skip around, use same overlap, same size dots (elapsed time of trigger pull) etc. This won't make the weld as nice as the fusion weld described above, but it will help with consistency if the MIG is what you're using. The biggest thing on consistency with the MIG is to practice on some scrap pieces the same guage as you'll be working with to insure your welder is set up correctly for a full penetration weld. It's hard to be consistent if you're putting in the patches and still fiddling with welder settings, (practicing on the good stuff).

Next, if you aren't very good at trimming the panels to fit tightly together, the O/A or TIG is going to be more likely to blow holes (depending on your proficiency to keep up in adding filler rod where needed); this is an area where the MIG is more forgiving as it is automatically feeding filler. But again, more filler is creating more heat, more shrinking. So any inconsistent panel fitment, i.e.: tight joint in some spots and wide gaps in others in the same panel, will result in more filler, more heat, and more shrinkage in those wider gaps, for inconsistent shrinking results and likely a wavy panel will result. The O/A and TIG processes prefer a tight joint for less chance of blowout. Lastly, TIG can sometimes be awkward to use in some remote locations (i.e.: under a car, any hard to reach location where using a foot pedal is cumbersome) O/A will be a bit easier as no foot pedal, and the MIG is more of a point and shoot type deal. All things to consider when chosing your methods.


Now, back to the panel flanger. I don't personally use panel adhesive, but this is actually one of the few areas where the flanger should be used. But the downside, regardless of attachment method in using a flanger, is you'll have two panels on one side of the "joint", one on the other, and despite a skim of filler over top to finish it off, you will more than likely see a ghost reference line in the finished paint as one side has a differing expansion rate due to the increased thickness. Panel adhesive application will also require plenty of clamps to keep everything snug while the adhesive sets. Mainly used on newer repairs in the collision industry, much of their driving factor is getting something in and out the door to keep costs down to appease the insurance companies. I can't say if it would be a viable option for you as I haven't used it. But on the other hand, I'm sure if you asked the local body shop's opinion, they would rave about it, as less time = more money in their case. This may bias their opinion for that reason.

In the end, you need to pick the method that works best for you, and produces results you will be happy with. I'm sure I may have created as many questions as answers, but hopefully it will help expand your research for a more informed decision.
Posted By: MNSmith Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Thu Nov 08 2012 12:30 AM
Most hobbyist have a small flux core MIG at home.
...what you you consider a "small" flux core mig? Just wondering.

Robert, thanks for the insight.
I had a new 6 ton HF jack stand come apart under the partial weight of one corner of a 1/2 ton 4x4 Dodge. First time it was ever used. Welds broke and the metal folded.
I'll post a picture of the stand asap.


My HF engine stand and 2 ton crane have done just fine and have been used many times.

Now that's SCARY !!!!!!!



[quote=BLUEMEANIE]I had a new 6 ton HF jack stand come apart under the partial weight of one corner of a 1/2 ton 4x4 Dodge. First time it was ever used. Welds broke and the metal folded.
I'll post a picture of the stand asap.

Posted By: Super55 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Thu Nov 08 2012 09:19 PM
I kind of jokingly told someone I don't buy any Harbor "Fright" tools or equipment that my life or sight depends on.
Posted By: MNSmith Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Fri Nov 09 2012 12:48 AM
Originally Posted by Achipmunk
...what you you consider a "small" flux core mig? Just wondering.



http://www.homedepot.com/Tools-Hard...Id=10053&langId=-1&storeId=10051
Thanks Robert...great write-up and helpful to a new welder like me.

I know there are issues with lapping joints (someone here called them 'rust generators?'), but I am so low on the learning curve right now that my panel fitment skills required at least part of the new metal done that way to help me align things.

When I start developing more skills at this, I want to understand what's going on with the welds and metal and gaps and methodology. Then I can go back and repair all the ugly I am currently putting my truck through.

I have a small Lincoln MIG welder that I had been using flux core wire with up until recently. Then I tried gas and solid wire and LOVED the difference it made. So, I am making some progress, but it is slow going. I wish I could retire for a while and come apprentice with you in your shop!

Thanks for taking to time to explain all this. I very much appreciate it.

Jim
Whenever I am in a situation where the integrity of a tool will have a direct impact on my quality of life, I do not skimp. I figure I put enough money down on a truck that barely runs, I can put down some money on quality jack, jack stands, etc.

Most of my HF tools are pneumatic: die grinder, cut off tool, air hose/fittings, impact wrench, and some more that I forget.

Impact wrench was a total bust, and I had one fitting break off. The broken fitting was a mess because there was nothing left to grip onto. Ended up buying a HF extractor set and it worked perfectly.
All my pneumatic HF tools leak pretty bad.
Where do they leak?

I have many HF pneumatic tools with no leaks. I get leaks at the quick-release fittings after much use/abuse. A change to a new fitting always has solved that problem.
Posted By: Super55 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Nov 14 2012 02:19 AM
I bought some Harbor Freight air line connectors and they leaked badly right out of the package. They were the brass type. The only air tool I bought was a pneumatic saw and it worked pretty well for about a year. It was only $10. I took it apart and cleaned it up and cut a new gasket, it worked a bit longer then died. Just leaked too much to give the saw any power. Ended up using a hand jig saw with a metal blade. Actually worked well. I was just cutting out rusted body panels.
Posted By: Al_Lake Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Sun Dec 02 2012 07:09 PM
Awesome video my 28 Chev was dedicated to my Dad. We were always going to do a project together but never did before his health failed. Thanks for sharing.
Posted By: DADS50 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Sun Mar 31 2013 12:10 PM
Thank you, I appreciate your comments



For those who don't get the HF junk mail
25% discount code for single purchase on line today only 3/31/13
77512189
Posted By: Nifty53 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Sun Jun 02 2013 11:05 AM
I've purchased my fair share of their stuff...pretty much when it's on sale. You have to watch their pricing and I just wait until it goes on sale. As a frequent buyer club member I've saved a TON of money on their sales and they pretty much take care of me when I do get a junk piece. I have four 4.5 in. grinders from 4 different sources and they all work about the same, including one Milwaukee. I have a wire wheel, cut-off, grinder disc and flap wheel for finishing. That way I don't have to switch stuff out constantly! I just end up winding up a BUNCH of cords after a project! IF I had more wall space in my shop I'd just make a hanger for the 4 of them on the wall by my welders and leave them out.
Anybody tried their 120 and 240 volt spot welders? They get decent reviews and one guy said it was the same as the $600 Miller? The Chinese are VERY good at knocking stuff of...so I reckon they could've copied a better product for less?
Picked up a service cart for work, the 5 drawer red ones. They've got a decent amount of room. Overall it's not terrible, and the drawers are handling the weight well so far, but the bottom tray where the wheels are mounted has been gradually caving in at the wheels making it fun to move around the hangar as it tries to spin off in odd directions. If it's sitting in one place or not holding a lot of weight it should be fine, if you have to move it around with a load of tools a lot (service cart, duh) the bottom should be renforced on assembly.
Posted By: Deve Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Jul 17 2013 09:38 PM
I just purchased their pneumatic paint shaker. Was getting tired of taking my paint to the jobber everytime I needed to use it. It is mis-labeled. It should be called an earth shaker. It seems to be as well made as anything else they sell. I was impressed that it came with a separate oiler and grease zerks.

Thing is, you don't set this thing on a table and just do it. Oh no.. you mount it to your 1000 pound welding table that happens to have 6 legs that are bolted to the concrete floor. You then make sure that nothing that's on the table is movable otherwise it will be on the floor. Then, when you think you are ready, make sure the gallon or quart can is VERY well cranked down.. HARD, otherwise, you might end up cleaning up paint from a 20 yard radius. In my case, I thought it was tight, it wasn't as tight as I thought it was, and the can was mangled pretty well when it came flying out, but it didn't open. Was my lucky day.

It says to let is shake for 5 minutes. Its a very exciting and fun filled (NERVE RACKING) 5 minutes, but it works really nice. I even have a receiver system, much like a trailer hitch receiver system for my welding table, and made the requisite system to attach the unit to the table and bolted it down. All in all, im happy with it. I am NOT exaggerating.
Just remember one thing. You can buy it a bit cheaper at harbor freight or go some place and get the same exact thing. For way more. Air couplers I read above, never ever had one leak. Go some place else and get some, they will also be made in china, sorry you can't escape it.
Deve, whenever I have used a paint shaker it has been mounted to an old tire. The tire moves around a little, but it isolates the vibration pretty well.

Bought a Harbor Freight stud welder. It DIED after only doing 12 studs. I couldn't find my receipt so in order to swap it out with them I had to buy a $20 extended warranty for the new one. Most ANY store is able to scan the bar code and use your credit card to show that you bought the item, but not HF. Very UNHAPPY with HF
My replacement HF stud welder didn't work right out of the box! I'll not buy another HF tool after I get this straightened out!
I've bought some concrete tools there in a pinch once. $50.00 Chicago rotor hammer. Lasted 5 years lol. Used it in the rain and it fried. It was the little engine that could. Must've done 10,000 dowel holes with it. Other than that experience they suck!
I bought one of the stud welders recently. Welded over 200 studs in 3 days without a problem and on the end of an extension cord that was just above the minimum size required.

The only problem was the replacement studs. The ones that came with the unit were great, soft material for easy bending and perfectly formed heads welded great. The ones HF sells are crap. Hard as rocks and heads like blobs. Had to order studs from a name brand company.
Posted By: DADS50 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Tue Dec 31 2013 11:59 PM
HF
Giving a little LED work light on Friday with any purchase.

Posted By: Deve Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Jan 01 2014 03:27 AM
The weldingweb forum is really a great source for anything for a great shop. I have done a lot of welding since I learned about that site. Many new tables, fixtures and inventions that I never knew possible.

Devilbiss guns are really nice and they do a better job than the HF guns. I hate to say that because I was stuck on HF guns for a long time. I have the Finishline 4 kit with 4 different size nozzles and a Tekna Copper for base/clear. I still have my HF gun but no reason to use it now. As with everything else, you do with what you can afford and I have seen many decent paint jobs with HF guns. I just wonder how much better they would have looked if the guy had a Devilbiss or something better.
Have had great success with their 4 1/2" electric angle grinders. I've got about 8 of 'em. Catch them on sale for $10. I do a fair amount of fab work and they are great. Just like nifty53, got a cutoff disk in one, flap disk in one, grinder disk in another and keep 'em handy so don't have to change attachments. The first one I bought is still going after 3 years, so probably better stop stocking up. Also had good success with a drill press vise that has held up well. Can't beat their deal on the cheap chip paint brushes, that you use once and throw away for things like ospho or getting primer in tight spaces when not setup to spray.
Great video of your dad's truck. I bet he was a great guy!
__________________
Dudley1030
53 3100
Don't get the "Digital Inspection Camera". It's kind of like a bronchoscope we use in the medical field. Long tube with a camera at the end. THey advertise it as "This handy inspection camera allows you to get a clear view inside cylinder heads, behind wallboards and other hard to reach areas normally hidden from sight. With an oil and scratch resistant tempered glass lens and 2.4 in. color LCD display with crystal clear 480 x 234 resolution, you'll be able to easily view objects as close as 1" for instant diagnostics." PROBLEM: doesn't flex enough to get around hardly any smaller corners. Too large of diameter to fit in most spark plug holes. Save your cash. I returned mine.
Posted By: DADS50 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Tue Apr 01 2014 01:54 PM
Originally Posted by Dudley1030
Great video of your dad's truck. I bet he was a great guy!
__________________
Dudley1030
53 3100

Thank you.



For an inspection camera I ended up getting one of these

..link..
Pretty expensive but it works .


I saw this one linked by another member
...link...
Posted By: Super55 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Thu Apr 03 2014 02:43 AM
Bought a 870lb utility trailer for a mobile mini chicken coop. With my 25% off coupon it came to less than $150. Perfect for what I wanted to do. I won't be taking it on the road, but it comes ready to register. Pretty good deal and went together without any hassle. Item link is: http://www.harborfreight.com/automo...-with-8-inch-wheels-and-tires-42708.html
Posted By: R-Bo Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Sun Apr 20 2014 06:11 PM
Thier "Predator" 4-cycle engines are cloned Hondas. I bought a 79cc to make a mini bike for my grandson for $99 and bought a 212cc 6.5 horse for myself. At the same price!

Took one out of the box and it looks real nice. Had to go look to confirm it was actually Chinese. Googled around and found folks hot rod the heck out of them. Take the governors off and run them at twice the RPMs. You can buy headers, high-ratio rocker arms, big carbs...seem to be good motors.

I bought the Mini Needle Scaler from HF. This works great for removing undercoating. Keep it down at a shallow angle. It breaks off the thick coating in big chunks and pulverizes the thinner stuff.
Posted By: DADS50 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Mon Feb 16 2015 05:48 PM
Picked up one of these hand pumps for about 6 bucks a while back.

...pic...

It sure came in handy today when pumping the gas out of my tank today

Posted By: Jim Bow Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Thu Feb 19 2015 09:26 PM
I bought the pocket screw jig after seeing it favorably compared to Kreg in a woodworker magazine. I like it a lot. Heavy and thick casting.
Stud welder is ok as mentioned but slide puller is junk, gripper cam wears out fast. I did the common mod and welded cheap small vice grips on the end of the puller and it works well.
I have 4 or five of these battery float chargers that I use on my lawn equipment, and cars and trucks that I have stored for the winter, with success.
Sometimes you can find them on sale for about $5.00.
http://www.harborfreight.com/automatic-battery-float-charger-69955.html

Brian
Posted By: Lugnutz Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Mon Mar 02 2015 10:51 PM
Originally Posted by 66rollback
I bought the Mini Needle Scaler from HF. This works great for removing undercoating. Keep it down at a shallow angle. It breaks off the thick coating in big chunks and pulverizes the thinner stuff.


I agree. It gets in the corners where other tools can't and makes fast work when removing undercoating. The undercoating will chip off best when it's cold. Also, after a lot of use the needles eventually lose the sharp edge. Use a cutting wheel to nip off 1mm from the end of each "needle" and it's good as new. It's one of the best tools I've ever found at HF.
The last tool I bought from HF was an engine stand when I was doing my '39. Of the choices they had at the time, I went cheap and got the one that was essentially a tricycle. (I know what you're thinking ... I know that NOW wink ) Moving the engine around, one of the castors tripped on a washer and a newly rebuilt (rebabbited and everything -- many $$ in that engine) and freshly painted 216 toppled over onto the floor. I grabbed it as it went to try and save it, but it pulled me over with it. Luckly the engine hit the floor first and I hit the engine. Ended up with a broken flange for the bell housing (where one of the mounting bolts was). Other than that, not too much was damaged on it or me. But I know how fortunate I was. Learned my lesson about going cheap on tools and have never bought another thing from them since.



HFT Hit and Mis list for this guy:

Hits- Underhood LED cordless tube light; Blue mig welder cart; Auto darkening mig welding helmet w/ blue flames; small air angle die grinder; purple gravity feed hvlp spray guns for primer and light painting (I'd rather throw them away after several uses than worry about cleaning them as well as my good guns, I think they get down to $12 sometimes!); wall mount air hose retractor 1/4 x 25'; under wheel car dollies 1500 lb ( under a 3600 3/4 ton!)

Misses- Sandblaters...both the small cabinet and the red freestanding one with the 3 tripod legs; tire pressure guage with dial and hose....Lame.

I really like to hear from the guys who use this stuff, Thanks.
Posted By: Grigg Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Sun Mar 08 2015 04:55 PM
I bought a floor float to out under an old refrigerator. So far it is still under there....

Grigg,

What is a floor float? Is there a part # ?

Thanks,


Hey John, you got a broken flange on your bell housing, wow,
that must have really hurt.
Yet, had a buddy's 235 on that cheap tripod stand that he had
me pick up for him and dang near turned it over every time
we had to move it. Thinkin' Laugh In were ya?
We ended up taking it back and getting the one with the four
wheels, which was a tiny bit better, still could have had
more tread width at the front.

And I got sucked into one of those bench top sandblast
cabinets, which finally ended up out for the garbage man after
fighting with it every time I tried to use it, a real piece
of carp it was.
Bought their stud welder and used it a couple of times, seems
to do the job but I haven't really put it thru the paces.
Also bought their spot welder, 220v version, haven't put a
plug on the end of the cord, big move got in the way, which
I still ain't over yet. Small angle grinders, I've got a
couple of, they work just fine, as are the die grinders. I'd
agree with ya on the cheap gravity spray guns, bought several
full size and touch up and use them more than I do my
DeVilbiss guns, they spray great, I suppose it cuz they
have no moving parts.
I'd have to call ya on the wheel dollies, the four that I have
under my complete '54, 3600 have to be steered with a ballpeen
hammer on each caster every time I want to change directions,
thumbs down on them.
Got a half dozen nailer/staplers and every one of them works
for about a half dozen shots then you have to take them apart
to get them working again, super simple, still can't figure
out why they all lock up the way they do. Maybe they're just
to simple and that's the problem. Thumbs down on them also.
Picked up one of the welding helmets and it's ok as a second,
which I use when I have a second helping me.
Had some real problems with the air ratchets also, and brought
home two of the pneumatic grease guns neither one ever worked
right out of the boxes, gave up on them got my money back.
Got a big and a small super-sonic cleaner from them, they seem
to do nothing more that I could do if I held onto them when I
had the shakes. Thumbs down on them.
Bought a pancake compressor on sale last year for the
basement, takes FOREVER to pump up the tiny tank, not much
good for anything more than blowing off a small part.
Did by a couple of the pneumatic scrapers (needle scaler) with
a blade on it. That came in handy cleaning the grass off the
bottom of the 72" mower deck.
Bought a Chicago Electric 1/2" cordless drill and a couple of
extra battery packs, drills fine, batteries won't hold a 10th
of their original charge now after a couple of years. Bought
the same CE sawsall and 5 1/2" circle saw. Neither one has any
power and will barley make it through a thin sheet of plywood.
I think I could go on but,,,what's the use!!!

dg







Posted By: Grigg Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Mon Mar 09 2015 02:04 PM
Originally Posted by tclederman

Grigg,

What is a floor float?

Furniture moving dolly with 4 swivel castors on it.

Yes, I use these in the shop and in the house (to move kegerators/refrigerators around).
Thumbs up items from the past few months: 5, 7, & 9 mil disposable nitrile gloves; cotter pin assortment pack; 6" PSA sandpaper on rolls; wood-handled wire brushes; tie wire (bailing wire/safety wire/whatever people call it); 4" 40 & 60 grit flap discs work fine; and I like the 2000 lb engine stand after I extended the legs on it.

Thumbs down: 6" wire wheel for bench grinders ; angle grinder wire cup brushes (both of these are dangerous- flechettes fly off everywhere even with light use); the 24" & 36" ratcheting bar clamps are also no good.
Brad
Posted By: DADS50 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Tue Mar 10 2015 06:03 PM
these help

I looked for a similar mat elsewhere but couldn't match the price

not really a tool but help if you have heel problems like I do
Posted By: 52Carl Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Mar 11 2015 12:33 AM
Originally Posted by DADS50
these help

I looked for a similar mat elsewhere but couldn't match the price

not really a tool but help if you have heel problems like I do

Those make great tool box liners. I trace the tools with a magic marker, then heat up a knife with a propane torch, and cut out the dense foam like butter.
Saves me a huge amount of time looking through a drawer full of randomly chucked tools.
Carl
Posted By: Ssrjim Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Mar 11 2015 02:11 AM
These might be the best thing they sell. They have different grits and different shapes but they work great.

http://t.harborfreight.com/pack-of-10-medium-grade-aluminum-oxide-sanding-sponges-46752.html
Posted By: MNSmith Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Wed Mar 11 2015 01:18 PM
Originally Posted by DADS50

not really a tool but help if you have heel problems like I do


That is definitely a tool!
Mats look great for tool box or floor, but I really don't want my tools or shop to smell like the inside of their store big_eek
Posted By: 52Carl Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Thu Mar 12 2015 01:29 AM
Does the store in your area smell of Chinese food too?
Carl
Posted By: Super55 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Thu Mar 12 2015 01:39 AM
I don't know what restaurant you've been going to, but I think it smells like rubber. grin
WTF does Chinese food have to do with it. Smart **** all the time. Grow up.
Posted By: MNSmith Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Thu Mar 12 2015 02:04 PM
Back on topic, fellas.
Posted By: 52Carl Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Fri Mar 13 2015 02:15 AM
Originally Posted by don stocker
WTF does Chinese food have to do with it. Smart **** all the time. Grow up.

The "Chinese" reference was aimed at the country of origin of nearly all of the tools sold at HF (some good, some bad).
On topic in my humble opinion.
Carl
Ok, white flags are flyin.

The country of origin does seem to be a problem for Harbor Freight. The sad side of it is that they keep getting people to spend hard earned pennies on it so they bring more to sell.
I would like to think all of us here could walk into the Snap On truck and buy stuff but the economics of it just don't make it a reality.
On the flip side, I do buy the throw away gloves and the on sale grinder discs and other supplies and for what I pay am satisfied with what I am getting.
Posted By: 52Carl Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Fri Mar 13 2015 04:08 AM
Apology accepted.
I picked up a 36" brake with stand from Princess Auto that is identical to the HF unit. Tried to buy a decent finger brake locally here second hand but they are like hen's teeth.

After lots of fiddling and adjusting - meh. Works ok on 22 but struggles with 12" wide 20. Bends are not well defined. Can't image it on any metal under 20 except for very narrow pieces.

I will probably take it back.
Snap ring pliers ($3.99) are "Jay-you-in-Kay".... JUNK.

Brad
Posted By: Deve Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Sun Sep 27 2015 09:11 PM
Another item in What Not to Buy category is their Pin Punch set. They are made of mild steel and fold in half the minute you hit them. Never seen anything like it. Not good when you are out in the salvage yard on a 100 degree day trying to get the door hinges off a 1930's vehicle that has been sitting there for 70 years. You look down at your punch, from the brand new set, get the next size, and before you know it, ALL of them are toast and you walk away with a trashed pin punch set and no hinges!
I recently had very good luck with a tubing roller. Took it out of the box,clamped it to the table and rolled four circles out of 1" tubing for my bar area out back. I plan on making a stand for it and beefing it up just the same.
I've gotten a couple of the small 90 degree grinders on sale.. I used three disks before the first one quite ($5.00 well spent). and the other is still on the first disk.

I also have the band saw. It works well, other than the blade coming off occasionally.

I've had a set of large jack stands for a long time.

I stay away from their expendables, most are not worth carrying out of the store... but they are better than the crap they sell at Dollar General!
Oddly enough, the tiny $99 MIG welder I bought from them finally laid down a decent bead! Took quite a bit of tinkering and some good flux cored wire (not from HF), but finally got the wire speed dialed in and figured out that I had the tension set improperly on the wire feeder this whole time. Not surprisingly on my part, but I did get it to lay a bead on some 12 gauge steel (kinda like what's used on the bed of my 52) and will be using it to fill in where the PO decided to half cut the bed side. Still not sure what was going on there, but whatever.

For those interested, here was my welder setup mistake:

The tensioner that feeds the wire through needed to be tightened up to where I could barely get it to flip back over in locked position. The issue was discovered when I was trying to dial in the wire speed for the low voltage setting. I started at the max setting and was working back down. It would feed sporadically at best, so there was a very slight hesitation when the wire would feed through. So slight that the auto darkening helmet I was using (also from HF) wouldn't have time to lighten up. But it was noticeable in both feel and how the bead looked.
I bought A HF 4-1/4" angle grinder with paddle switch. Has been working well so far except that the tapped hole for the side handle stripped out the first day I used it. After heli-coiling all 3 of them, it works OK. The problem is now I have twice as much in it after buying the heli-coil kit. frown

I looked at HF's wire feed welders briefly, but had a flux-core welder that was basically equivalent. So I upgraded that to a Lincoln Handy-MIG (#K2158-1)from Lowes. Been having good performance out of that, but when I tried to weld some heavier stuff for a friend at high power, it kept tripping the breaker. Not the tools fault.

Also have some HF locking pliers for welding that are Vice-Grip knock offs that work OK.
The blue Bigfoot hand truck is good to go. I've had mine for 4 years and have used it a lot. It was about $40 out the door, and I have no idea what combination of coupon or sale was going on when I bought it.

I gets loaned out frequently to some neighbors & that's what made me think to post it. Edit- here's a link. (As for that 700 lb rating... I'd divide by two)

Brad
Posted By: DADS50 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Fri Mar 06 2020 06:35 PM
Looks like HF has introduced a new pro line
Posted By: Tony292 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Fri Mar 06 2020 07:36 PM
Two items I’ve been impressed with are the sawzall and grinder. I’ve had both for 15-18 years and no issues. Also in the same timeframe I’ve had a Milwaukee sawzall and dewalt grinder both go bad while the HF tools just kept working.
We used to use HF air tools for final assembly of projects before painting. They were NEVER oiled and had short life spans but this was the planned procedure to keep any oil or other contaminants out of the painting area. Now use all battery powered tools. The HF pneumatic paint can shaker must be at least five years old and still plugging away. Some HF do the job and some are trash can fodder but don't have a list of each. Caveat Emptor.
Posted By: DADS50 Re: Harbor Freight........What worked?.... What didnt? - Sun Mar 22 2020 06:02 PM
Looks like HF is stepping up












HARBOR FREIGHT
Dear Harbor Freight Community,

As we’ve been following the news over the last few days, we’ve heard about the severe shortage of protective gear for hospitals, healthcare workers and first responders as the impact of COVID-19 is being felt across the country. America depends on these heroes every day and in the days ahead we will depend on them even more. At Harbor Freight, we want them to know that they can depend on us too.

So we’ve decided to donate our entire supply of the personal protective equipment items listed below to front line hospitals with 24 hour emergency rooms in the communities served by our stores.

• N95 Masks
• Face Shields
• 5 and 7 mil Nitrile Gloves
If you work at a hospital with a 24 hour emergency room in need of these items, please ask the office in charge of procurement at your hospital to click here so they can provide us with the information we’ll need to determine if we can make a donation. If you’re not with a hospital, but would like to give us the name of a hospital with a 24 hour emergency room in your community that might need our help, please email us at hospitalhelp@harborfreight.com, identify the hospital’s city and state in the subject line, and our team will follow-up.

PLEASE DO NOT MAKE REQUESTS AT YOUR LOCAL STORE OR OUR CALL CENTER AND PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT HOSPITALS—THEY’RE BUSY HELPING THEIR PATIENTS.

For hospitals we’re able to help, we’ll email them a voucher when the supplies are available for pick up at their local Harbor Freight Tools store.

Although we certainly won’t have enough of these supplies to fill everyone’s needs, we’re going to donate everything we’ve got. We also recognize that there are so many other critically important people responding to this crisis and that there is need everywhere. We’ve chosen to focus our efforts on hospitals with a 24 hour emergency room with the hope that we can help as many people as possible right now.

Thank you and God Bless,

Eric Smidt
Owner and Founder
Harbor Freight Tools
👍🏻
Son in law just texted me the HF thing. I didn't even know they sold N95 masks.
Good on them. thumbs_up
Huh... I just browsed around on HF and you can't even order any type of mask or face shield. Some gloves available, but they must be reserving most of that type of supply for their donation.
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