Rate your Harbor Freight Tool Experiences!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by JimVonBaden, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails

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    A lot of people build similar things for using generators at races. They have a cover that deadens the sound. You may be able to build something like that for inside of the garage. Or put the compressor in a closet somewhere else. Like the room where your HVAC is located.
    Mambo Dave likes this.
  2. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer

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    I believe (could be wrong) that the bulk of the noise from compressors is the intake. Instead of putting the whole compressor outside I wonder how much it would help to run a pipe outside from the intake.
    local1 likes this.
  3. MotoChris521

    MotoChris521 Long timer

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    I bought one of these because of the noise issues friends had with their Craftsman small compressors . It really is noticeably less noisy .Can't run any high volume stuff , but for a home workshop I wish I would have bought one years ago .
    Makita-MAC700-air-compressor-01-1.jpg
    About $200
  4. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    You guys keep reminding me about other HF tools I have. I have a Central Pneumatic 21 gallon 2.5hp upright compressor, oil type, that has been chugging along for more than 15 years now. First thing to do with these compressors is to remove the regulator. It's a massive flow restricter on these. Even adjusted to the full 125 psi, it wasn't pushing enough air to run my impact wrench. Removed the regulator and the impact worked fine (so long as tank was full).

    Second thing I did was remove the air filter housing and find a pipe fitting that more or less screwed into the intake opening. Then I put on a better air filter housing from a lawn mower. That quieted it some.

    I haven't done it yet, but apparently these compressors have a lot of flash in the intake, and greatly benefit from a porting job. 20 minutes with a dremel supposedly makes them a lot quieter and quicker to fill. Of course, there are gaskets to find as well, so I haven't messed with that yet.


    That said, after owning the HF for more than a decade, I rebuilt my dad's old Craftsman 20 gallon compressor from the 70s. I replaced the broken reed valves, put a new belt on, cleaned and lubed it, and found air filters for it. This thing is a 240v model, and it's SO quiet compared to the harbor freight. It goes "chug-chug-chug-chug" in a subdued, rythmic fashion. Like a TW200 going up a hill with stock exhaust. The Harbor freight goes BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! like a 500cc bike with open headers at 8000rpm.

    The Craftsman fills both its tank and the 21 gallon harbor freight tank faster than the HF can fill its own tank. But then, it's not a fair comparison, as the Craftsman is a twin-cylinder remote pump driven by a belt off a big honkin 4hp motor.


    I've also had some Craftsman air tools. The two air ratchets and the air drill I have are awesome. I've gotten decades of reliable service out of them. The mini air-powered dremel works, but the housing keeps coming unscrewed from itself. Probably need to locktite it again. I like this over a real dremel, because the air cools it as it works... where a dremel will get hot enough to be uncomfortable in the hand, and then needs downtime or the motor will fry. (I've fried like 4 real brand-name dremels over the years). This thing occasionally comes apart a little bit, but that's recent. It's worked fine for about 5 years prior, a lot of heavy duty work as well. The one HF air tool I can't keep for more than a couple months is the big die grinder. I've gone through two or three of them.

    Charles.
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  5. bete

    bete misguided adventurer

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    For those of us who have no idea what or how to do this can you explain or better yet maybe pictures, would love to do this to mine. Thanks
    local1 likes this.
  6. kenstone

    kenstone worn out

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    Thanks for reading my post...
    Follow the links to buy the parts, and watch the vids of the how to.
    I loosely followed this guy's vid series, although somewhat drawn out, there is good info in the vids, but I just skipped ahead to get the what I needed.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoYN4vx1WU8
    I bought/used this 150 amp rectifier with a heat sink, he used a 100 amp that got hot when welding:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Black-MDQ-150A-Single-Phase-Diode-Bridge-Rectifier-150A-Amp-Power-1600V/282803867361?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

    I bought/used this capacitor:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/MALLORY-CGS103U050U2C3PL-CGS-CAPACITOR-CAP-10-000-UF-MFD-50VDC-NEW-NOS/391987728857?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

    The only difference for me was the wires out of my transformer are solid (aluminum?), so I had to fab butt splices for it out of copper tube, make sure you anneal the tubing before and after you form the butt splices(s), you'll need two.
    And for the crimp-on wire eyes, I stripped the plastic off and pushed them onto an awl to open up the crimp part to accept the bigger wire rather than cutting strands off the wire like the video, covered them with heat shrink.
    I added a heat sink to the rectifier too, an aluminum cookie sheet from the Goodwill store :dunno
    It's not complicated,
    :D
    Edit: I have some pics but they don't show much
    Here's an "after mod" weld, high setting, 0.35" wire, wire brushed the slag no chipping of spatter:
    HighSettingS.jpg
    bete, HapHazard and Mambo Dave like this.
  7. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

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    ^Nice bead!:thumb
    I'm bringing all my stuff that needs welding to you!:D
    kenstone likes this.
  8. local1

    local1 Long timer

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    I have considered this but was afraid of overheating it and shortening the life, any issues?
  9. kenstone

    kenstone worn out

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    You could've when I lived Southington, a long time ago...
    I did some welding with it and it seems to have developed a bad habit of taking 3-5 seconds to smooth out when starting a weld on a cold piece.
    Because it's now DC positive ground, the ground clamp quality is more important so I went to HF and bought a "better" ground clamp.
    Turns out the solid copper looking contact points on this "better/upgraded" clamp are...PLATED steel :baldy.

    I'll give it a try tomorrow, along with trying the 0.030" wire I bought too, always used 0.035" before.
    Tomorrow because my shop is not at my house :doh

    I've had this welder for a while/it doesn't owe me anything, the reason I took the risk/did the mod, and I've been eyeing the newer 125 amp version, as well as this Eastwood Mig/flux core wire welder:
    https://www.eastwood.com/mig-welder-110vac-135a-output.html
    :D
  10. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave I cannot abide.

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    Short answer - "Yes, it is."
  11. codpilot

    codpilot Been here awhile

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    194
    Bought the motorcycle lift at the sidewalk sale. Brought it home. Every major part was either disconnected or broken fresh from
    The box. Took it right back. Sigh


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails

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    None yet, it has been in that shed for close to 10years. Come to think of it, that is a long time, I should change the oil.
  13. Baroquenride

    Baroquenride Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives.

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    Doing a search here it appears the $79 pressure wash is a pass- is that still true? Is it a circular pattern or is the spray pattern a useable flat pattern?
  14. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Your video? Did you own one? It is NOT a professional grade anvil for 1/10th the price FFS! It didn't break in half, what do you want for nearly free?
    Dan Diego likes this.
  15. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    I like mine. The pattern is adjustable.
  16. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave I cannot abide.

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    Negative.

    Negative.

    I'd basically agree.
  17. zoid

    zoid Dirty Old Hippie

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    I've spent a fair amount of money at HF over the years and for the most part I have been satisfied with my purchases. I bought a 1/4 inch drive socket that failed after about a year. I returned it and was given a new replacement. That one also lasted about a year and then failed. They only seem to last about a year and then fail. As long as they will replace them, I will keep on using them. I have have a set of ratcheting wrenches that I have used and abused (and I do mean abused) for a number of years now and they still work admirably.

    For mechanical work, their tools are just fine for what I put them through. For woodworking, my luck has not been near as good. I bought some ratcheting clamps that the jaws would not even come close to meeting squarely and would move the pieces I was trying to glue out of place. An orbital sander that shook itself apart.

    I will be buying a motorcycle lift soon. I have yet to hear of anyone have any real problems with one, but I also have not read the entire thread.
    Dan Diego likes this.
  18. slacker1965

    slacker1965 .....no matter where you go......

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    charlotte
    The deal with compressors is that you have 2 types here......oil less (obnoxious )& oil filled like the pictured Makita....... The oil types are much quieter but generally more expensive, many have separate elec motor & pumphead.....all make a lot of heat & aren't designed to run continousuly. Industrial screw compressors can be run but are real expensive......it takes a pretty big comp to run air grinders etc. it is much cheaper to use elec tools if you are a hobbiest. I make(a poor) living working on cars. When I get side work I just hafta make do unless I am allowed to bring it to a pro shop after hours.....hope this helps
  19. local1

    local1 Long timer

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    I am looking to purchase a gantry crane for the shop from them. Does anyone here have any experience with them?
    trc.rhubarb likes this.
  20. Chubber

    Chubber I am the Brewmaster.

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
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    655
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    Minneola, Central Florida
    For you guys running an oiled compressor, one thing that I did to mine that really increases it's functionality is that I bought two 120v biscuit fans and zip tied one to the side of the belt cage and connected one to the top of the head and wired them both to the load switch. When the compressor comes on, so do both of the little fans, blowing directly on the compressor head, one from the top and one from the side. Waaay more cooling air than the standard flywheel fan blades, better compressor efficiency and longer run times. Important when it's 100 degrees in my garage.

    Then I took the air output 1/2" copper line that was plumbed directly into the tank with 10" of pipe and replaced it with about 6 feet of soft copper line left over from an AC job, coiled around a coffee can and into the tank and directed the fan to blow across that. The top of the pipe routinely runs about 200 degrees where it exits the compressor and that falls to less than 110 where it enters the tank.

    A little album with some pics.
    slacker1965, local1 and Rippin209 like this.