Author Topic: Harbor Freight Tools  (Read 5887 times)

July 16, 2007, 06:37:39 PM
Read 5887 times

FichtenFoo

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Not sure if you guys know about this place. Some of the IPMS guys and Fulcy told me about them. A most awesome discount tool store chain and they have a site too.

http://www.harborfreight.com/

I went to check it out this weekend, but had the fam with me so couldn't lurk and look as much as I wanted. Got some great flat inside needlenose and pliars though for $2 each. Great for PE work. So many great deals though...

This is on my wishlist for xmas:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=95012

July 19, 2007, 06:32:55 AM
Reply #1

Major Blah

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I've always wanted a lathe too, and a milling machine... :lol:

July 19, 2007, 03:58:32 PM
Reply #2

RoboSmurf

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I bought the double action airbrush and compressor set from Harbor Freight. It was only $100. The airbrush is ok, I use it to prime and the compressor is nice to, it hooks up to my Revolution no problem.

August 19, 2007, 05:17:34 PM
Reply #3

spiffitz

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I got their 7x10 lathe about two years ago. It's basically a Seig, the same lathe that you find from Grizzly and Micromark, with each vendor painting and labeling it with their own company's "style". Same goes for the mini-mill and some shear/brake tools. HF sells it cheaper than the rest because they're a huge reseller of tools and can make up for it. I'd think twice about the 4x5 if I were you. That's 5" from chuck to tailstock. Add in your part, plus a live/dead center or drill chuck and you'll end up with a lot less room. You'll also be wishing for an X-axis power feed to get smooth finishes.

If you haven't yet, you should subscribe to their mail catalog. The front and back covers have a 1/2 off "sale" that rotates items every so often, with prices that are not listed online. Wait long enough and the tool you want will be 1/2 price. Don't wait on the lathe or any other machinery to be half price, though! Good place to get discounts on razor blade 100-packs, brushes, tweezers, needle files, etc. and the security Torx bits in case you want to dismantle a bathroom stall (my Lincoln has those screws holding the steering cover on). Once in a while there are so many good deals that I order tons of sub-$5 things. Unpacking is fun, with a lot of "Let's see what else is buried in these peanuts" because of the amount of stuff, I forgot what I ordered.

There's a joke that pretty much any tool from HF eventually becomes a hammer, but you really can't go wrong with the small stuff. Shipping is slow, about 7 to 14 days in the US. They ship out of my state and it takes me 7 days to get it. The price guarantee applies even to their own stock. When my lathe came, it came with a catalog listing the lathe for $40 less! One quick phone call and I was credited the $40.
Ron

August 19, 2007, 08:38:10 PM
Reply #4

godhammer

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Harbor Freight is a great place, I go there if I ever need a tool I'll probably only use once. Don't expect to be buying anything of snapon quality there, but if you need a file or something, they're awesome. Also, they have a fairly lenient return policy if you live near one of their stores (make sure the tool only looks lightly used and they should take it back with the original packaging), but with prices as low as they are, you probably won't have to worry about returning anything.
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September 08, 2007, 04:36:03 PM
Reply #5

CheesyGrin

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There is a Harbor Freight Tool store local to me which I frequent as well. 

Concerning milling and lathes - Some years ago I purchased a German multi-tool called the Unimat 1.  The company has expanded their line to include many very useful tools for scratch building.  Here's the link:

http://www.thecooltool.com/produktgruppe.php?language=d&pg_id=1
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September 08, 2007, 06:32:45 PM
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FichtenFoo

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Tell us more about the tool and its uses please. Including price. Looks interesting.

September 08, 2007, 07:13:45 PM
Reply #7

fulcy

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September 09, 2007, 03:27:38 AM
Reply #8

Csi111

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Don't know if its of interest, but heres the same item on ebay..going cheap too!

6 in 1 tool thing
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September 09, 2007, 05:45:18 AM
Reply #9

CheesyGrin

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Unimat 1 details -

My Likes: I purchased this set about 5 years ago for $280, brand new (unfortunately I do not remember form where).  I learned of it through Fine Scale Modeler mag.  Anyway, it does exactly what it claims.  It's engineered in multiple, common-use pieces which can be fitted together in a variety of ways to make at least 6 different machines, including a 3-axis milling machine.  You can also purchase oodles of add-ons for things like gear milling, extended lathing, circular saw, etc.  Needless to say, it's quite useful and versatile.

My Dislikes:  The entire set is made of extruded aluminum and plastic.  While this is not necessarily bad, it does give the equipment a lighter, cheaper feel.  In comparison to Sherline stuff, for example, one may feel that the Unimat is more toy-like. 

I think that for the model building user, the Unimat equipment is just fine.  The overall price is far cheaper than comparable equipment, takes up far less room, and is very easy to use.  Here's a link that gives some good pics of the various configurations -

http://www.maxmax.com/fMini-mate.htm

I see that you can also buy the Unimat in newer, all metal versions as well as a CNC unit.  My next step would be to have this CNC version!  How cool to design your new scratch built pieces on the PC then have the unit build it for you!!!   8)
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