{{ Stuff that just works }}

Poppy

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I know it has been mentioned before, but PB Blaster works!

Yesterday, my Dad and I freed up a siezed well pump that had been outdoors for 30 years, and sat indoors for the last five years after it siezed. Some PB Blaster, vibration with a small ball piene hammer, and time, and we got it all apart, and moving.

Today's project is to get the PVC needed to re-connect it so that well water can be used to water the lawn.

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Lynx_Arc

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Tulsa,OK
I agree. I had a stuck plug on a manual ford transmission on my mustang once that was an aluminum plug. I tried to muscle it but I was on the verge of stripping the socket hole (square). I used a cheater bar on a 1/2 inch breakover and it wouldn't budge without way too much pressure. I doused it with PB Blaster once, waited 15-20 mins and doused it again and waited half an hour or so then about an hour later total I got the plug out using a lot less force than I tried on it before. I was looking at taking it to a dealer and possibly having the transmission pulled and the plug drilled out and the transmission taken apart to get the shavings from drilling it out removed and then a new plug installed. Likely several days of work and perhaps $500-$1000 I don't really know how much it would have cost.
 

ironhorse

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Pennsylvania
If you drive any screws into old hard wood, take a tube of chapstick and rub the threads of the screws first. Makes them drive in so much easier.
 

ledbetter

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If you drive any screws into old hard wood, take a tube of chapstick and rub the threads of the screws first. Makes them drive in so much easier.
In the same vein, my dad was a pretty good woodworker, and he always had an open wax toilet bowl ring on the workbench to dip screws in. They’re all beeswax and cheap and effective.
 

Poppy

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Northern New Jersey
Weed and Feed for the lawn.

My wife wouldn't let me use any chemicals on the law, afraid that we would track it into the house and the dog would lick it up off of the floor and get sick.

I used to pull crabgrass, and weeds by hand, and sprinkle in some Kentucky blue seed, for hours at a time. One year I didn't keep at it as much, and the following year, it really got ahead of me. Soooo... I picked up a bag of weed and feed, and one day when she and my daughter were going to be out for the day, I ran down to my friend's house and borrowed his drop spreader.

The unit was frozen with rust, so I freed it up with WD-40 of all things :)

Then I got to business... pushing the feeder in one direction, moving it over one row, and pulling it back, moving it over one width and giving it a push, then over again and pulling it back.

When I covered the front lawn, and returned the unit in better condition than when I borrowed it.

A couple of weeks later there was something wrong with my lawn. There were swaths of 6 inch grass, and swaths of 4 inch grass!

Apparently the drop spreader doesn't work when you pull it, but rather, only when you push it.

There was a significant difference in the fertilized swaths, compared to the unfertilized swaths.

I therefore conclude, that weed and feed works!
 

orbital

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Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
3,304
Location
WI
+

We have something called Milorganite , kiln fired microbes that eat sewage.
I know that sounds really nasty, but in simple terms it's grass food, not grass chemicals.

Milorganite is the most basic recycling, making simple/dried topsoil =

____________________________

I mulch my grass & mulch/compost my leaves in the fall w/ my mower,
I have ALOT of leaves in the fall

grass & yard food makes a happy landscape :)
 
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markr6

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Jul 16, 2012
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+

We have something called Milorganite , kiln fired microbes that eat sewage.
I know that sounds really nasty, but in simple terms it's grass food, not grass chemicals.

Milorganite is the most basic recycling, making simple/dried topsoil =

Love that stuff. It's hard to find sometimes. One Walmart store had bags marked down to $4 last year but my friend took them all. Yard smells like poop for a week but I don't care.
 

jabe1

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Apr 25, 2008
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Location
Cleveland,Oh
+

We have something called Milorganite , kiln fired microbes that eat sewage.
I know that sounds really nasty, but in simple terms it's grass food, not grass chemicals.

Milorganite is the most basic recycling, making simple/dried topsoil =

____________________________

I mulch my grass & mulch/compost my leaves in the fall w/ my mower,
I have ALOT of leaves in the fall

grass & yard food makes a happy landscape :)

I have a bag of it in my garage. I use corn gluten meal twice a year on the lawn; early spring and six weeks later. It’s organic and a low grade pre- emergent.
 

Owen

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Feb 14, 2002
Messages
2,044
Location
AL
Thought of this thread this morning.
I've had these for well over a decade, maybe close to 2.
Irwin Quick-Grip "mini bar clamps".
They still look good, and work like new, in spite of living in a toolbag, having been loaned out to neighbors, and being used for countless little jobs over the years.
Today, they're holding the delaminated soles of my awesomely comfortable, cheaply made, and horribly overpriced Xero sandals(which will certainly not be making this list!) in place while the Shoe Goo cures.
s9FXXmV.jpg

Super handy to have around!
 

markr6

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Jul 16, 2012
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^ I bought a set from Harbor Freight for about $5.99. One broke after the first use as expected.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Oct 1, 2004
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Tulsa,OK
^ I bought a set from Harbor Freight for about $5.99. One broke after the first use as expected.

I have several of these in orange and red. When I looked at them in HF I saw the smaller ones had smaller bars in them and it is likely they just aren't made as strong as the longer larger ones with larger bars.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Tulsa,OK
Yeah, this is the "stuff that works" thread, not the Harbor Freight thread.
HF is one of very few places that sell them as a set, other places (if they even have them) you have to buy them in single packs and at times they don't have all sizes and it can run you in excess of $20 for the same amount. I am sure if you could buy a similar set of these in a higher quality brand for about twice the price it would be a good alternative. Maybe someone has seen such a set somewhere recently that doesn't require you to buy a ton of other stuff in a large set that you either already have or don't need for $20 or more. For the price even though the HF ones aren't very robust you can buy 2-3 sets of them and throw away them when they break not a huge deal.
It isn't an elegant solution but it "works".
 

idleprocess

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Feb 29, 2004
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dfw.tx.us
^ I bought a set from Harbor Freight for about $5.99. One broke after the first use as expected.
When I managed general workshop procurement for the local makerspace I quickly learned that the cost savings on HF quick-adjust clamps were not worth their short lifeapan - Irwin or DeWalt were better buys. They seem to work OK for ... lighter ... duty than makerspace members subject them to, although a set I obtained secondhand also failed me in short order.

Yeah, this is the "stuff that works" thread, not the Harbor Freight thread.
While I would be wary of using them for anything like vocational purposes, Harbor Freight has grown from their reputation as a source of tools with a job-and-a-half lifespan to offering some actual values at the lower end of the market.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Dec 13, 2007
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While much of the stuff sold at Harbor Freight is poorly made junk, I’ve found some disposable items useful. When I did electrical work, I found that most drilling jobs into metal can be done with 1/4 inch impact rated pilot drill bit, a 3/4 inch Harbor Freight Unibit/step bit, and a 12 volt Milwaukee Fuel Impact Driver. Saved me from carrying a whole pack of drill bits in my tool bags. The Harbor Freight wire wheels were useful for cleaning concrete off bolt threads. Some tools that you know are going to end up covered in something that doesn’t come off, or are used on a site where tools “walk off””, or get borrowed a lot are better bought cheap. Anything else, go for something that will last and is worth the cost.
 

idleprocess

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dfw.tx.us
While much of the stuff sold at Harbor Freight is poorly made junk, I’ve found some disposable items useful. When I did electrical work, I found that most drilling jobs into metal can be done with 1/4 inch impact rated pilot drill bit, a 3/4 inch Harbor Freight Unibit/step bit, and a 12 volt Milwaukee Fuel Impact Driver. Saved me from carrying a whole pack of drill bits in my tool bags. The Harbor Freight wire wheels were useful for cleaning concrete off bolt threads. Some tools that you know are going to end up covered in something that doesn’t come off, or are used on a site where tools “walk off””, or get borrowed a lot are better bought cheap. Anything else, go for something that will last and is worth the cost.

Makerspace users transform small tools into ... vacant spots on the shelf ... at a depressing rate. Drill bits become pins. Screwdrivers get ground down to make other improvised tools. Pliers get welded onto things to provide one-time leverage or heated with a torch into an unusual shape. Copper-only wire-cutters cut steel wire ... once-ish. While none of this was acceptable, it was also inevitable and simply managed to an acceptable level.

Would better tools survive more abuse? Sure. But not long enough to justify their added cost.

We bought drill small-diameter bits, small hand tools, some shop consumables from HF; we did not buy clamps, bits, sockets, power tools, fasteners, blades. Another calculation was that anything small enough to readily 5-finger shouldn't be as good as what you'd buy for your own usage; the real value of the makerspace was the workshop and capital-intensive stationary tools, not the hand tools which merely need to be minimally satisfactory.

All of this was 5 years ago. Not sure what's changed at HF since then. I know most of their Predator line of engine-powered tools is well-regarded.
 

scout24

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Dec 23, 2008
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Penn's Woods
I own a sheetrock jack (panel lift) from HF that I'm using to do the ceiling in my basement. Might not want it for production work on a daily basis, it's worked as intended for what I need it for. And I'll sell it for half what I paid when I'm done. Want something from there that "just works" in the spirit of the thread? Look at their Apache cases. They're not Pelican, but they're damn good.
 
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