Hand tools

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On 10/20/2015 10:36 AM, Don Y wrote:

That's about it but I did buy a small bench vise that I took back the next day. All I was asking of it was to hold a sear I was stoning but the jaws were too sloppy and out of parallel to even do that. I went down the road to the ranch supply and got another cheap Chinese version that was usable.
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On 10/20/2015 8:01 PM, rbowman wrote:

For years, I've been telling myself I should get a decent bench vise. But, each time I *think* I *really* need one, I manage to come up with a way to NOT need it. This is A Good Thing because finding a place to *mount* one would be a real chore! :-/
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On Tue, 20 Oct 2015 09:36:00 -0700, Don Y

20 yeas ago I bought jack stands from Western Auto. 4 or 5 years later, a friend was using them to work on his car and one of them partially collapsed. He wasn't under it though. Just the Plymouth ewquivalent of a LeBaron, nothing heavy.
when I took it back, I didnt' want to spring for the next higher price, so I took another pair just like the ones I had. So far they haven't broken but when I worked on my car the last time, I used 4 jack stands and two jacks at the same time. I was still scared.
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On 10/21/2015 1:08 AM, Micky wrote:

The problem with things like jack stands is they *seem* to fit the criteria of "simple, no moving parts" -- sort of like autobody tools, anvils, etc.: "Can't *possibly* be anything 'wrong' with something as simple as this!"
But, few folks can look at a casting and determine if the metal is brittle, porous, etc. I.e., will it actually support the expected load or will it fail. How thick does that thing REALLY need to be to meet it's stated characteristics?
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On Wed, 21 Oct 2015 05:30:53 -0700, Don Y

Come to think of it, one of the replacements is bent too, but in a way I can't understand. The jack stand is like a teepee with only 4 vertical posts, made of angle iron. Then near the bottom are flat pieces of iron connecting each pair of adjacent posts (legs). One of these horizontal pieces is bent, and I don't see how that could have happened in use. It seems like it would have to be lying on its side and have some weight put on it, but I don't think I ever did that.
Oh yeah, I still have one other jackstand from a previous set. Looks weaker, no fancy lever to release height, just a metal pin to hold the center part up, and I used that too. That had thinner metal and it would sink into the blacktop a little bit**, leaving dents where the legs were, but I think the dents went away. The local middle-aged busy-body wanted to know why I was using so much.
**Don't do this when it's above 90 iirc. That, or 85 was the temp at which the weight of the car left jackstand imprints in the blacktop.
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On Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 1:24:35 PM UTC-4, Micky wrote:

I have a few 12" x 12" x 1/4" steel plates left over from a project. I put one under each jack stand before setting the vehicle down on them. This prevents the driveway dents and provides a nice solid base. I'll bet I could use the jack stands on grass/gravel/dirt with the steel plates underneath them. I use the plates regardless of the weather. It can't hurt.
When I used the PT wood cribbing to hold up the rear end during my recent brake job, I put a plate on top of the cribbing so that the jack point flange on my Ody didn't sink into the wood.
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wrote:

I've never trusted jack stands. I have some pieces of railroad ties about 3' long that I put under the tires, and if needed, a few blocks of 2x10 if I want it a little higher. That's in addition to leaving my (quality) floor jack in place, after lowering it enough so the tires are tight against the wooden blocks. The other two tires still on the ground are well blocked too. I dont raise all 4 tires. That's just not safe. I'd rather take it to a garage with a hoist and pay the bill if needed.
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On Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 2:09:10 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

What do you do if the wheels have to come off?
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On Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 4:08:52 AM UTC-4, Micky wrote:

I was replacing all 4 rotors this weekend and wanted to take the old rotors off while waiting for the FedEx truck to deliver the new parts. I only have 2 jack stands, so I used those for the front and then built "cribbing" with some PT 4x4's for the rear. Once I had all 4 wheels off the vehicle, I realized that the cribbing was way safer than the jack stands, so I probably should have used the cribbing under the front. Oh well. I used my floor jack to take a little pressure off of the jack stands, just in case.
(I was actually hoping the parts would be there in time to finish the fronts before jacking up the rear, but that didn't happen, so I kept going with the take off.)
Anyway, I got the fronts done first and then put the wheels back on as a 3rd layer of protection.
The FedEx driver laughed when he pulled up to the house. As soon as he saw the van up in the air with the wheels off, he said "Well, that explains why these boxes are so heavy!"
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On 10/21/2015 9:50 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Nice sense of humor, the driver has. Thanks, gave me a smile.
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40 yrs ago, I bought a pair of Wizard brand multiple slip-joint pliers at Grand Auto. Best pair o' plier I ever owned. Better even than Channellock pliers and at half the price.
This is why most tools must be judged individually and not by brand.
nb
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On 10/20/2015 12:45 AM, Don Y wrote:

I avoid McHarborFreight.
mscdirect.com is my go-to (at work and home). They sell quality stuff at reasonable prices.
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wrote:

Same here. I bought a few things from them years ago, and I was not pleased with anything. Most of the stuff went in the garbage in less than a year. I only do one thing when I see a HF store. I keep driving!
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On Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 3:18:39 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

No problem...keeps the line down for the rest of us.
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On 10/20/2015 2:12 AM, Leroy Brown wrote:

When freebies were truly free, I would often stop in and pick up a spare (disposable) flashlight or (disposable) taperule or (disposable) VOM.
I've frequently taken advantage of the screwdrivers, taperules and scissors to supply various nonprofits with which I've been affiliated.
Now that "free with any purchase", there is less incentive to do so (as there's very little that HF sells that I tend to be interested in)
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On 10/20/2015 12:45 AM, Don Y wrote:

Their combination wrenches are okay. As with socket wrenches. Last night I totally needed a 1/4 drive deep socket in 10 MM to change a thermostat on an engine. Ought have had a set from HF. Sigh. well, I did have one in 3/8 drive, ought have tried that one. Got the job done, that's what counts.
About 15 years ago, I did buy a set of Pittsburgh flare nut wrenches, which were very sloppy and rounded off the nuts.
Good luck with a cordless drill from about 15 years ago, still in use. OK results with impact screw driver that runs on 18 volt nicad packs. OK use of a 3/8 VSR drill that plugs in. Light loads only, I ground up one, drilling for lockset holes 2 1/8 hole saw.
Plug in impact 1/2 inch wrench is okay. One switch position quit, now it only does remove. No big worry, I can put lug nuts on by hand.
VOM seem to work okay, and also ammeter.
Flashlight with 3 D cells and 95 LED was also okay. Not super duper bright, but okay.
Flashlight with 3 D cells, and 15 LED was and is fun, switch goes from 1 to 5 to 15 LED. Very short range light, not for spotting racoons in trees.
Free tape measures, screw drivers, scissors, and flash lights actually good enough quality to use. I spray paint the screw driver handles so they don't look like everyone else's.
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We don;t have Harbor Freight where I live. We do have Costco, BJs Whollesale club, Ocean State Job Lot....
My rule of thumb is never buy any tool made of metal from a discounter. :) Low quality metal makes sockets, screwdrivers, pliers and power tools nearly useless. The money saved ends up being money wasted. But if you see a good deal on one of those rubber bottle openers...
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On 10/19/2015 11:45 PM, Don Y wrote: ...

...
The polished Pittsburgh wrench sets are good buy for any but the hardest of uses...I find them easily hard enough jaws don't spread without excessive force like using a cheater on one and they have a nice feel...and, you've not lost a fortune if they're carried to field on farm, say, and manage to lose one or two in the sand...
A professional mechanic in a clean shop may well elect SnapOn or MAC, surely...
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That doesn't mean they are of good quality.
I've been buying and using hand/pwr tools for decades. Despite their rep, MAC and Snap-On make very few of their own tools. Last time I looked, Snap-On's measuring tapes were Lufkin and the Chinese-made plunger oil can I bought from Snap-On broke during the first stroke on the plunger.
I've got a buddy bringing me a HF heat gun. I've had a few tools from HF. I won't buy anything from them if it requires good steel, like HSS drill bits.
nb
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On 10/20/2015 8:59 AM, notbob wrote:

That's been the case for a VERY long time. I worked at a large hand tool manufacturer ~30 years ago "testing" our tools against competitors. So, you got to see lots of tools side by side (and under the microscope) to realize there weren't as many "manufacturers" as their were "name brands". I'm sure that's only worse, nowadays.
[Reminds me of shopping in the garment district as a kid -- buying "name brand", "high end" fashions. When you'd inquire as to the label, they'd calmly ask you which one you'd LIKE it to be (and open a little case of assorted lables that they would gladly sew in for you)]

That was my thinking re: the T&D set. Even a casual inspection suggested it was of poor quality (e.g., the threads weren't even cut clean!).
OTOH, when I've had to drill into the steel lintels here (e.g., to hang window blinds), I have no qualms about buying a cheap bit and sharpening it *repeatedly* to get the required holes in place.
Heat gun I would be leary of the wire gauge in the cord and internals esp given that most tend to be high wattage (save a few pennies on a strand or two of copper wire...)
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