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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: January 17, 2011, 9:45 pm 
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Joined: September 25, 2008, 6:13 pm
Posts: 468
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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I've got a HF 93885 I got on discontinued discount with a 20% coupon for $600. I've got about $300 in tooling and I like the little machine. And it's not really that little. It holds .001" pretty decently but that takes some commitment to figuring out the machine. It's not a real plug and play machine below .005", you really have to tune it to get it more accurate but it's a mill for the price of a good drill press.

I would recommend getting the Grizzly version of any HF mill as I think the general support, documentation and QC is better.


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PostPosted: September 21, 2011, 12:28 pm 
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Joined: July 13, 2010, 5:35 pm
Posts: 120
Location: Kansas City
HF english wheels have been discontinued, now on sale for $165.

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PostPosted: January 18, 2013, 9:55 pm 
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Joined: November 13, 2008, 3:28 pm
Posts: 158
Location: Washington and California
If you buy HF you deserver junk. Only way its good is maybe once. Save your money for GOOD tools. Or better make your own.


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PostPosted: January 18, 2013, 10:07 pm 
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Joined: January 13, 2008, 9:07 pm
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Location: Glendale AZ
Alittle HARSH ! but? True the tools are a little off the pace, But use them slow and who knows? :lol:

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PostPosted: January 18, 2013, 10:40 pm 
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Joined: January 31, 2012, 12:49 pm
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Location: Louisville KY
I bought the 10", 12-speed drill Central Machinery drill press. Since I bought it, I notice that the unit has been changed.

Mine has the J3 mark on the chuck, which makes me assume that this is a jacobs taper holder. However, the numerous times that the chuck has fallen out, it sure looks like a Morse taper. Whatever it is, it won't hold very well if you start having some vibrations, which pretty well rules out even light milling.

For some reason, the belts slip when you put it on one of the higher speeds, which is most annoying. Which is okay, the motor doesn't really seem to have 1/2 hp anyway.

The hole below the chuck, isn't below the chuck. IT's like someone put a 1" hole under the chuck figuring that the owner would only need 5/8 of it anyway.

But, hey, it's $130. IT's better than nothing.

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Hayes front, S10 +2 rear, Lalo body.
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PostPosted: January 18, 2013, 11:14 pm 
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Joined: July 29, 2006, 9:10 pm
Posts: 3055
Location: Oregon, usually
Langan wrote:
If you buy HF you deserver junk.
And your point is? :)

Sometimes, junk will do the job. I wear out a $15 (on sale) 4-1/2" angle grinder every year or so and I keep a couple extras around so I can have one each with a flap/grinding/cutoff wheels on hand when I need them--it's amazing how often I'm using those in conjunction with each other. Those tools, plus a $5 three way power pigtail, are more useful than switching wheels twelve times a day on one good quality $50 angle grinder.

And sometimes junk won't do the job. HF has loads of tools that go on sale for a buck that aren't worth the effort of taking them out of their shrink wrap; I got a PVC cutter from them recently where apparently the blade was softer than PVC, because the cutting edge rolled over the first time I used it.

Hence this topic, which allows us to warn folks about the useless crap and give a nod to the tools that are actually worth the money. Lots of their disposables (exam gloves and natural bristle brushes come to mind) go on sale in boxes of a hundred or so, and I use them for fiberglassing as an alternative to cleaning my tools at the end of the day. It's not worth washing a six cent glove or a twenty cent painbrush.

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PostPosted: January 18, 2013, 11:44 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
Posts: 6063
Location: SoCal
Langan wrote:
If you buy HF you deserver junk. Only way its good is maybe once. Save your money for GOOD tools. Or better make your own.

That's one opinion, but I bought the HF horizontal/vertical bandsaw and it worked well enough and lasted long enough to build Kimini. Enough said.

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PostPosted: January 19, 2013, 1:39 am 
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Joined: July 4, 2006, 5:40 pm
Posts: 1986
Location: Novato, CA
My HF angle grinder gave out earlier this week after a year of hard use. The brushes were held together with duct tape because the plastic cover crumbled the first time I changed the brushes. The fan slipped off its splines early on, but would still engage after a few seconds with a loud bang. Then after another 6 months the fan stopped working altogether, and after that I couldn't grind for more than 10 minutes at a time before the thing got too hot to hold. Then yesterday the second set of brushes started going out and the thing was down to half speed.

For just $20 I think I got my money's worth, but yesterday I went down to Home Depot and bought a $50 brand name model. What a difference. Smoother, quieter, more powerful. I liked by HF grinder, but this is the real deal.


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PostPosted: January 19, 2013, 9:35 am 
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Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
Posts: 5535
Location: West Chicago,IL
I've been thru, I think, 3 or 4 different HF 4-1/2 grinders and I still buy them. Like Jack said, having 2 set up side by side is very convenient. The HF grinding wheels seem to be OK but I find that their 10 pack of cutoff wheels are junk though. Better off getting them somewhere else.

But I also got one of the HF multipurpose variable oscillating tools. It works great as a drywall cutter when you have to cut into a wall down the middle of a 2x4 and still have enough meat left to screw in the patch. It really does dull the cheap blade though. My house was built with 5/8 drywall. Tough to cut that deep with a Stanly knife not to mention tiring. It also works well at sanding into tight corners. I'm pretty happy with it.

Their 12" and smaller ratchet clamp/spreaders work OK if all you are trying to do is to lamp a piece of paper. Any real clamping pressure cannot be obtained without slipping.

OH. I love my 4x8" folding trailer too! (except I never fold it)

Their 1/8" dia TiN drill bits are made of plastic! I bought a pack of them for predrilling all the holes for the pop-riveted body pieces on the Locost. They are not worth the cost of the packaging! But their bulk 500 pcs (?) pop rivets seemed to work just fine.

I guess i have a love/hate relationship with Harbor Freight, sort of like the average marriage! :cheers: :boxing:

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PostPosted: January 19, 2013, 4:40 pm 
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Joined: September 26, 2012, 11:03 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Smiths Grove, Ky
Has anyone used one of their engine stands? (not the hoist)

I'm going to be doing some work to my engine once I pull it and was thinking about slapping it on a HF stand if it won't drop ti on my toe.


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PostPosted: January 19, 2013, 5:14 pm 
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Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
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Location: West Chicago,IL
As for the engine stand, I have the 1000# capacity one with 4 wheels. It has a better balance than the 3-wheeled one IMO. I have used it for rebuilding a few MG engines and my rotary and now my buddy has it while he rebuilt a couple VW aircooled engines. As in any engine stand, if you have an odd engine like my rotary or the VW, an engine-specific adapter is advised, not required though.

Although you didn't ask, I also had the 1 ton cherry picker engine hoist that I can say was good along with the engine leveler too (a must). Those have gone on to a new home now. When I need another, I'll just buy a used one off of Craigslist. That way I don't have to store it. :cheers:

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Visit my ongoing MGB Rustoration log: over HERE

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PostPosted: January 19, 2013, 7:52 pm 
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Joined: January 31, 2012, 12:49 pm
Posts: 1711
Location: Louisville KY
BrikkaBrock wrote:
Has anyone used one of their engine stands? (not the hoist) I'm going to be doing some work to my engine once I pull it and was thinking about slapping it on a HF stand if it won't drop ti on my toe.


http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/engi ... ne_stands/

Long and short, they're okay.

HOWEVER, my HF model has the mounting plate / weld to inner tube grinding on the outer tube, and it makes it tough to turn the motor. I'm thinking of finding some way to shim the thing so it turns easier.

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Tim Wohlford
Louisville, KY
Hayes front, S10 +2 rear, Lalo body.
Girlfriend thinks I'm nuts for building this....


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PostPosted: June 10, 2013, 8:51 pm 
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Joined: October 24, 2008, 2:13 pm
Posts: 4191
Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
I've been as vocal as anyone complaining about HF tools that don't work well. Recently, I've had the experience of using 3 tools that do perform and I thought out of fairness I should share that too. Actually, it's been 4 tools, or a tool chest I should say, I reviewed it on their website and won't do it a second time here.

A little backstory might be informative. Both batteries on my Japanese 18V, cordless drill gave out and wouldn't hold a charge. When I went went to replace them, I found out they were $60 per battery. I paid less than that for the drill and batteries together 5 or 6 year ago. I elected to put off replacing them until I could search the Internet for a better price.

In the mean time, a "super coupon" from Harbor Freight arrived for the 3/8" drill I've been using successfully for about 2 years. It was only $11.99 with the coupon. When I bought the first one, I thought, "this is good for about 6 months" and expected it to fail soon. Boy, have I been delighted and surprised by this little drill. I don't abuse my tools, but this one has had a real workout. It has done everything I wanted. So, I thought, "Why buy another cordless drill when I can get another HF drill plus a 15', 3-wire, heavy duty extension cord for less than half of one 18V battery?" And that's what I planned to do. I really did not need the cordless feature for building the Locost and that' all I'm doing right now anyway, but I like having one drill for cleaning up welds and one for other tasks. (Photo below of my old and additional drill) It is item #3670 in their system.
Attachment:
File comment: Old and new drills.
HFT-#2.jpg
HFT-#2.jpg [ 96.86 KiB | Viewed 12553 times ]


Before I could get down to HF and execute my plan, I got another e-mail with yet another super coupon for the 4-1/2" grinder I've been using for about 18 months without issue. Again, I've seriously used this machine and it has performed very well. It's the "Pro" model with the paddle safety switch. With the coupon, it came down to $24.99 and I've bought a second one. I'm going to keep a flapper disk on the new one and the grinding wheel on the old one. No more changing set-ups! At the price it's worth it. It's item #65519. The handle screws in at three places: on left; on right; and at center of the back of body.
Attachment:
File comment: New and old 4-1/2" grinders
HFT-#1.jpg
HFT-#1.jpg [ 109.5 KiB | Viewed 12553 times ]


Last is the abrasive cup brush, item #91367. It has saved me a lot of time. It's small enough and flexible enough to get into most of the joints on my chassis using the 3/8" drill. On occasion, I put it in my right angle, pneumatic grinder for really tight areas. It does a super job of cleaning up oxidation and booger stuff from tack welds. It will get down into the bevels I put between the RHS members before I weld them. Give your joints a good going-over with this, wipe with acetone, and you're ready to weld.

It works less well removing paint, but will work if you're persistent. Each one lasts about 2-3 weeks being used many times each day. I've pretty much stopped using emery cloth or sandpaper and it does not remove as much material or scratch deeply, like wire cup brushes do.
Attachment:
File comment: Abrasive/nylon cup brush.
HFT-#3.jpg
HFT-#3.jpg [ 48.6 KiB | Viewed 12553 times ]


Happy fabricating,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: June 10, 2013, 10:32 pm 
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Joined: January 31, 2012, 12:49 pm
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Location: Louisville KY
I second the recommendation on the HF 4-1/2" grinder. I made the mistake of having the "non-pro" model and really regret not having the pro-style switch under my fingers. Having said that, 1 or 2 of these and you can get rid of lots of tools. I keep one ready for cutting, and the other for grinding, which means that I rarely use a chop saw, bench grinder, saw, etc. A builder just starting out would be well advised to buy a couple of these as a good start.

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Tim Wohlford
Louisville, KY
Hayes front, S10 +2 rear, Lalo body.
Girlfriend thinks I'm nuts for building this....


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PostPosted: October 3, 2013, 3:56 pm 
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Joined: April 25, 2013, 9:59 am
Posts: 56
just thought id share i found this today,

http://images.harborfreight.com/hftweb/campaigns/localmedia/general_october2013/images/21.jpg

its a 25% off one item coupon... im going to pick up a 10 lb spooll of welding wire. saws and band saw is not excluded :D

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