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.
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! :-/
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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.
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!
When freebies were truly free, I would often stop in and pick up
a spare (disposable) flashlight or (disposable) taperule or
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)
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.
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...
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,
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
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.
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...)
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.