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Skier
Apr 24, 2003

Fuck yeah.

Fan of Britches

I just picked up a set of CV boot clamp pliers. Then promptly broke them because the metal on 19 year old Japanese cars beat the poo poo out of that made in China crap.

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Skier
Apr 24, 2003

Fuck yeah.

Fan of Britches

B-Nasty posted:

If you own a motorcycle, this http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00950190000P is not optional. You can usually pick these up on sale for around $65, and they are worth every penny. I actually keep mine in the basement (no garage) and use it on the sidewalk outside of my house. Beware, they are pretty drat heavy to carry around. I'm a big guy, and lugging this thing around will make me breath heavy.

My bike's exhaust hangs below the oil pan. No way to lift it with that.

I use ratcheting tie-downs and some heavy-duty roofing braces. OSHA-approved.

Skier
Apr 24, 2003

Fuck yeah.

Fan of Britches

Endor posted:

Any suggestions for a good way to light up a dim garage? I've got one of those 1-car condo garages, which is barely wide enough to fit one car with some storage space against the back wall. Currently the only thing lighting it up is one sad 40 watt bulb, and the natural light that comes in when the door's open. I know I can get a much higher wattage main bulb, but since I only have the one light socket should I also look for some fluorescent lamps or something similar that I could hang from the rafters?

You can get inexpensive shop lamps from hardware stores. Most are ready to plug into standard wall outlets, so you could add a few outlets on the ceiling and use the fluorescent shop lamps. Get an electrician to do the work if you're not comfortable doing it.

You can't have too much light for working on your car, make sure there are plenty of outlets for future expansion.

Skier
Apr 24, 2003

Fuck yeah.

Fan of Britches

rhombus posted:

Do I need to buy impact sockets to use with it? I do have a set of Craftsman sockets that would be replaced for free should anything happen to them.

Craftsman warranty doesn't cover obvious abuse such as using an impact wrench on standard sockets. However, if the store is a high-volume, high-turnover one you can probably get away with it.

I think it's a recent change, it used to be a lifetime warranty was a lifetime warranty.

Skier
Apr 24, 2003

Fuck yeah.

Fan of Britches

sideshowalan posted:

The HF $12 "screw it they're good enough" compressors have already been ruled out, they just look too flimsy.


Of course there's also the option to just take all 4 of them out, run them over to a local shop and have them switch the struts out using their big hydraulic compressor. But I'd rather just spend the same money on my own comprssor and be able to do it again anytime in the future

I bought the expensive NAPA spring compressors and to my dismay they look identical to the Harbor Freight ones.

Replacing struts was one of the scarier things I've done on a car, next time I'll price out what a local shop will charge if I bring in the strut assemblies off the car.

Skier
Apr 24, 2003

Fuck yeah.

Fan of Britches

CatBus posted:

I bought the manual tire changer, and motorcycle adapter. They were on sale for $49 each, plus my 25% coupons, so it ended up like $80 total. Hopefully it doesn't suck too badly for motorcycle tires, and maybe it will even work for car/truck tires...

Buy a Mojolever and Mojoblocks to prevent rim mangling.

Skier
Apr 24, 2003

Fuck yeah.

Fan of Britches

Ripoff posted:

So, uh, do any of you fabricating guys want to talk welders?

Long story short I'm looking to *learn* how to weld, learning being key. I've been reading books and the first thing they said to get is an oxy-acetylene kit and learn how to burn it, then worry about MIG/TIG/Arc and all that wonderful electricity stuff. I went down to the LWS today and talked to them about buying or leasing tanks. They told me that I should buy as a private user due to security deposits being the price of a tank, so I asked them how much for small oxygen and acetylene tanks.

$200 loving dollars a piece.

When I sat down and did the numbers I realized that I would have to buy 2 tanks ($400 not including the state's tax) then a torch kit on top of that (another $200 for a kit that isn't a horrid piece of poo poo). So I'm up to about $600, which puts me right in the territory to get one of these:

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...28799_200328799 A Hobart Handler 187 that can weld drat near anything I could ever want welded.

I had a conversation with an old timer at the LWS who basically told me that nobody uses oxy-acetylene anymore and that I should "get a MIG and never look back". However, I'm reminded of the lessons in the books and the other uses for oxy-fuel kits such as cutting and brazing.

So long story short I'm kind of stuck on what I should pursue as a first tool to learn how to weld. I'm told that MIG is the easiest (hot glue gun for metal as it was explained to me) and will get me up and running in no time. However, I was also told that oxy-fuel kits are harder to learn on but 1) give you the skills necessary for TIG which is the ~gentleman's way to weld~ and 2) teach you how to properly control puddles and know what a good weld looks like so you know when your MIG's loving up. Then again, oxy-fuel apparently isn't good for welding on actual car/truck frames, and I should own a MIG for this.

So for a guy who wants to gently caress around and build bumpers and poo poo for his brother's Jeep and just learn the mystery of metal shaping in general, what do you guys suggest as a first step?

I'm in the same boat, looking at welding for motorcycle stuff more than car stuff, but eventually I'll be doing automotive welding, too.

Projects I would be welding: sidecar frames, sidecar mounts, motorcycle luggage racks, rust repairs on a 70s Mopar.

Thoughts on the Millermatic 211? Spendier than the Handler 187 but I have 220v and like the option of being able to use 110 if I gotta bring it somewhere else.

Skier
Apr 24, 2003

Fuck yeah.

Fan of Britches

The only aluminum bits that I might weld are the luggage racks and I can always make those out of different materials.

If I ever really really needed to weld aluminum, I would try the spool gun for the 211. I just don't see myself welding enough to justify a TIG welder's higher price and longer learning curve. They appear to be much harder to correctly use than a MIG, especially for a newbie.

My goal is to buy once and buy right. If I had easier access to welding classes I would be leaning towards a TIG, but that's not in the cards at the moment.

Skier
Apr 24, 2003

Fuck yeah.

Fan of Britches

dv6speed posted:

Speaking of welding machines, I just wanted to say something:

Welding machines are like potato chips... you can't have just ONE.

The fact of the matter is you need more then one, it's just a matter of one which do you want to buy first. There are two types of welding power supplies, Constant Current, and Constant Voltage. MIG and Flux core need CV. TIG and Stick use CC.

For most auto guys MIG is the best choice to start with, and then add TIG as your needs require. If you get the itch to burn some 6011 or 7018, your TIG machine will do that too.

Just plan to budget in the future for all 4 setups: MIG, TIG/stick, torch, and plasma cutter, because I can garuntee once you buy one, it's only a matter of time till the rest sit in your shop.

Once you spend some money on something, you've just commited 5+ figures in future expenses. Think of it like getting married, only you actually get to play with the toys afterwards.


As long as I know this and the wife doesn't, it's fine.

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Skier
Apr 24, 2003

Fuck yeah.

Fan of Britches

Cat Hatter posted:

I usually get things started with a 6-point socket just to crack it loose before I switch to my box wrench.

I find this also reduces the "god dammit why is this fucker so stuck" when you're cranking the wrong direction on the box wrench.

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