The Benefits of Using a Weed Eater

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If your house has a lawn, one of the most important tools which you should have is a weed eater. A weed eater is a gardening tool which is designed for cutting down grass and weeds in the lawn. There are also other types of weed eaters that could serve multiple purpose. In general, weed eaters come in three different types: gas powered, electric powered and battery powered. Regardless of your choice, you can surely gain several advantages. Here are the following benefits of a weed eater for gardening use.

Benefit using string trimmer

Convenient and easy to use

You can find other trimming and mowing machines such as the lawn mower. However, none of them can compare to the convenience and ease of use that the best weed eaters provide. With the use of this machine, you can surely find the task of trimming and mowing your lawn very easy. You don’t even need to be a professional in order to make use of this machine for gardening purposes.

You can start the machine very easily, regardless if it’s a gas powered, battery powered or electric powered unit. In case of a battery powered weed eater, you simply have to fix the battery to the unit once full, switch on the machine and start trimming. For electric powered units, simply plug it into a nearby power outlet, switch on and start working. Gas powered units are not that difficult to use either, except that you have to refuel the machine with a combination of gas and oil.

Lightweight and flexible

Yet another benefit you can get from using a weed eater is that it is lighter than other types of garden trimming and cutting tools in the market. In fact, there are some weed eaters which are so light in weight that even children won’t have trouble handling them. The weed eater is a good tool which you can teach your child to trim grass in your lawn. You can even hold and lift the tool for longer periods without any hassle. You also can have more information by reading the weed eater reviews.

Environment-friendly

A weed eater doesn’t impact the environment in a negative way. If you are using an electric or battery powered unit, you don’t have to worry about causing disturbance to your neighbors when trimming your lawn. It is actually an ideal option for those who don’t want to cause any sound pollution in residential areas.

Gets the job done quickly and easily

Weed eaters allow you to make your trimming task a lot quicker and easier. As mentioned above, they are light in weight and easy to work with. These features of weed eaters provide advantage by helping you complete your task easily and quickly. With that, you will be able to save time and do some other important things.

Requires less maintenance and repair

Weed eaters only need simple maintenance work. Other than that, they often require less repair as they don’t come with much parts. This would mean that you can be able to save more money in the long run as compared to other gardening tools.

Build a dream shop: intermediate shop

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Ever notice how the most popular person among your hot rod friends is usually the one with the most tools? Or it’s someone who bought a house that coincidentally has a four-bay garage in the backyard. And that person has more friends than the best looking cheerleader in high school. Funny how that happens.

Hot rodding is a constant progression. What was satisfactory yesterday will be wholly inadequate tomorrow. It’s an entire hierarchy of needs; as one level of needs is met, a new level materializes. Once you have an area to work in and a selection of hand-tools, the need for more work space and the desire for air tools becomes inescapable. It’s never ending, but that’s okay. If you read last month’s installment, maybe you’ve found a place to work and now it’s time to fill that toolbox.

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Once you have a car, every hot rodder’s core requirement is tools. You can’t have too many tools. Most tool companies offer a “starter kit,” which includes a wrench set, ratchets, socket set, pliers, and screwdrivers. Start with the largest tool set you can afford and plan on adding to it later. There are other specialty tools you will also want. This includes an air compressor and air tools. Realistically consider what you will be using your compressor for before you buy one. See our “Compressor Power” sidebar for more on this.

Organization will become increasingly important as you add to your tool collection. In our shop sketch, room is provided for two heavy-duty workbenches, one “clean” and one “dirty.” The dirty bench is for disassembly and cleaning, which should be located conveniently close to a parts washer and blast cabinet. The other workbench is located in front of the parking bay to be handy when working under the hood. When organizing your shop, try to isolate “dirty” from “clean” work by keeping tools specific to each in separate areas of the shop.

Keep a set of tools within easy reach, such as hung on a pegboard above the workbench. Air tools and enough hose to reach the other side of the shop can be kept in a cabinet by the air compressor. The compressor itself should be located where it receives fresh air and is convenient to an electrical outlet.

TYPICAL AIR-TOOL REQUIREMENTS
Tool                             cfm          psi
air ratchet                      4.0           90
1/2-inch impact wrench           4.0           90
dual-action sander               6.4           90
conventional spray gun           6.0           50
HVLP spray gun                   11           100

Other tools that could be added include testing equipment to diagnose why your V8 is only firing on six holes and tuning tools such as a timing light to keep things in the best condition possible. Safety is also very important and requires at least one fire extinguisher, safety goggles, welding gloves, and, perhaps, hearing protection.

Also, as you add more tools, they will become more specialized toward the type of work you do regularly or would like to do. If you are constantly building engines, precision engine tools make sense. And if you are handy at paint and body work, a hammer and dolly set along with water traps and a spray gun will inevitably find their way into your shop. Your shop is a reflection of your skills and abilities. You can think of it as an extension of your personality. It should be custom built and outfitted in a way consistent with your needs.

Take a look at the ideas and tools we present this month and decide what you want and can afford. The rest can go on your Christmas list. Then get to work! Next month we’ll dive right into the hardcore items that we all dream about and aspire to obtain someday. Don’t forget that someone out there is going to win many of the tools we are featuring in this “Build a Shop” series, which will make a great start on a shop! Stay tuned for details, and watch next month for our grand finale!

Hand-tools are the foundation for working on a car. There is little point in obtaining any other items for a shop before a good selection of hand-tools. We started with a Truecraft 160-piece set, which includes ratchets, sockets, end wrenches, screwdrivers, two hammers, and an assortment of pliers. We added a few Vice-Grip tools from American Tool Companies, Stanley levels, a rubber mallet set from Harbor Freight, and safety goggles to this starter kit for a well-rounded basic tool set.

As we quickly learned, to build a shop and the fixtures in it, a certain amount of woodworking tools are necessary. Most of these tools can also be used later to work on your car, but break them in now on 2x4s, 4x4s, and plywood to build yourself a heavy-duty workbench. The tools include Stanley levels, planes, and tape measure and Skil saber saw, circular saw, and cordless drill. Add to this a square, a hammer, and wood-boring bits, and you’re set!

Once the workbench is built, the first thing that should be added is a grinder, preferably one fitted with a grinding wheel and a wire wheel. This Chicago Electric grinder from Harbor Freight is very economical and has enough horsepower to handle most jobs. Always wear safety goggles when using the grinder and treat it with respect; it can brutalize fingers if not used properly.

Save one drawer in your toolbox for a quality tap and die set. These are not only required to repair thread damage, but can save you from destroying threads by simply cleaning them before assembly. This is especially true when working with aluminum, which is much softer than the fasteners. There are plenty of affordable, quality sets on the market, such as this basic set from Vermont American.

Often, much of the work we perform on our hot rods is diagnostic. This requires a minimum amount of test equipment. Actron makes the extremely useful digital multi-tester shown at top left as well as the vacuum and compression gauges. Continuity testers help with electrical diagnosis, and when combined with the multi-tester can help find nearly any electrical problem. The Flaming River timing light is self powered and extremely handy, while the Jacobs timing light offers a dial-back-to-zero feature that makes checking total advance extremely easy and accurate.

Some people may never feel comfortable welding, but with a little instruction, anyone can be quite talented in a short time. This Miller 115-volt household current MIG welder is a great starter unit that can handle practically every automotive welding application. This one is set up for flux core wire, which doesn’t require a separate inert gas tank to weld with, making it even simpler for the beginner. The Hornell Speedglas welding helmet darkens automatically when an arc is struck, meaning there is no movement to lower the helmet after the important placement of the welding tip. Finally, the HTP belt sander is perfect for cleaning welds, especially tight spots where a grinder can’t reach.

Don’t overlook good-quality pliers when shopping for handtools. Locking pliers, such as these Vice-Grips from American Tool Companies, are often the third hand needed during repair work, or the extra grip necessary to tighten or loosen an item. If you weld, a couple of extra C-clamp pliers will come in extremely handy. Channellock offers the adjustable pliers shown, which provide the best gripping surface regardless of what you’re working on.

It’s track time and you’re raiding your shop box, throwing all the tools you’ll need in a plastic bucket, and off you go, only to lose a couple of tools each outing. A better idea is a reasonably-sized toolbox that can hold everything you’ll need, including extra small parts that will give you one less thing to worry about at the track. This Snap-On box is filled with Snap-On goodies such as 3/8- and 1/2-inch socket and ratchet sets, a screwdriver set, nut drivers, a torque wrench, and Flank Drive Plus end wrenches. A good tire-pressure gauge should also be thrown in.

GENERAL COMPRESSOR RATINGS
hp     cfm       psi   cfm       psi
1.0    4.0
@   40    3.0
@   90                                                                 2.0
5.5
@   40    4.6
@   90                                                                 3.5
7.9
@   40    6.4
@   90                                                                 4.0
8.1
@   40    6.4
@   90                                                                 5.0
11.4
@   40    9.0
@   90

One of the most likely components of your car to be removed on a semi-regular basis is the engine. An engine hoist (commonly called a cherry picker), engine stand, and an engine dolly make engine removal, disassembly/assembly, and storage a breeze. Note the Spectre lift plate attached to the aluminum intake on this iron-headed big-block: these lift plates work well, are easy to install, save you from messing with a chain or strap, and will not pull the threads out of the intake. The dollies are also available from Spectre, while Harbor Freight and Lakewood, as well as others, offer engine stands and hoists. Now that you have a ton of tools, it may become difficult to keep them from sprouting legs or becoming confused with your friends’ tools when working together. A little time spent with a Dremel engraver can save confusion and arguments later. Plastic has come a long way in a short time. These new shelves from Plano are plenty strong to support the relatively heavy Dorman bolt selection drawers and cases of Valvoline oil. Plano also offers heavy-duty toolboxes, work trays, and organizers to help keep your shop as orderly as possible. The three-drawer toolbox is heavy duty enough to throw a good set of tools in and keep in your trunk. Now that you have a shop, keep it clean. Untreated concrete floors will need an oil absorber such as Petro-Free. Painted or epoxied floors will require a broom, mop, and grease-cutting cleaner (Simple Green works great). Our Precision Epoxy floor does show scratches, which could be buffed out, but we’re happy just to have a floor that doesn’t soak up oil spills or chip every time we drop a wrench! A large trash can, available from Rubbermaid, and a good shop vacuum are also prerequisites. This shop vac is from Harbor Freight and packs plenty of pulling power. COMPRESSOR POWER There are a few tools that require planning to avoid regretting a purchase decision a few years down the road. An air compressor is one of those major decisions. Consider how the compressor will be used in five or 10 years and buy for those needs as well as your present needs. Also, take a look at our “Typical Air-Tool Requirements” chart to help determine just how big a compressor you need. The chart is a generalization and may vary according to manufacturer, delivery system, and motor type. Campbell Hausfeld uses a star system that indicates what compressors will operate which tools. A thee-star compressor will operate all Campbell Hausfeld air tools marked with three stars or less. The three horsepower portable compressor shown here is available only through Montgomery Ward and can provide plenty of air for the air accessories shown except the high volume, low pressure (HVLP) spray gun from Eastwood, which requires a high-horsepower compressor and large tank to provide a huge volume of air. To get started with air tools, get a 1/2-inch-drive impact wrench and 3/8-inch-drive ratchet. The ratchet can reach places an impact wrench can’t, but the impact wrench packs the punch necessary to break loose stubborn fasteners. The Ingersoll-Rand air ratchet is a “Knuckle Saver” that absorbs kickback when the fastener tightens. When using an impact wrench, always use impact sockets (usually identified by their black oxide finish) that are much stronger than standard sockets. The sockets shown are Wright products available through Ingersoll-Rand. Later, you can add the air grinder (which will become a favorite tool quickly) and spray guns. Eastwood offer both the inexpensive Eclipse spray gun and the HVLP gun, as well as touch up guns, which are great for shooting details or underhood.

SOURCES

Actron Mfg. Co. Dept. HR11 9999 Walford Ave. Cleveland, OH 44102 216/651-9200 American Tool Companies Dept. HR11 301 S. 13th. St. #600 Lincoln, NE 68508 402/435-3300 Campbell Hausfeld Dept. HR11 100 Production Dr. Harrison, OH 45030 513/367-4811 Channellock Dept. HR11 1306 S. Main St. Meadville, PA 16335 814/724-8700 Craftsman contact your local Sears store DeWalt Industrial Tool Co. Dept. HR11 626 Hanover Pike P.O. Box 158 Hampstead, MD 21074 800/4DEWALT (433-9258) Dorman Products Dept. HR11 1 Dorman Dr. Warsaw, KY 41095 606/567-7000 Dremel Dept. HR11 4915 21st St. Racine, WI 53406 414/554-1390 The Eastwood Co. Dept. HR11 580 Lancaster Ave. P.O. Box 296 Malvern, PA 19355 215/640-1450 Flaming River Industries Dept. HR11 6482 Ridge Rd. Cleveland, OH 44129 800/648-8022 HTP America Dept. HR11 261 Woodwork Lane Palatine, IL 60067 800/648-8022 HTP America Dept. HR11 261 Woodwork Lane Palatine, IL 60067 800/USA-WELD Harbor Freight Dept. HR11 3491 Mission Oaks Blvd. Camarillo, CA 93011-6010 800/423-2567 Hornell Speedglas Dept. HR11 2374 Edison Blvd. Twinsburg, OH 44087-2340 800/628-9218 Jacobs Electronics Dept. HR11 500 N. Baird St. Midland, TX 79701 800/627-8800 Lakewood Industries Dept. HR11 8700 Brookpark Rd. Brooklyn, OH 44129 216/398-8300 Miller Electric Mfg. Co. Dept. HR11 P.O. Box 1079 Appleton, WI 54912 414/734-9821 Petro-Free Dept. HR11 500 N. Michigan Ave. #1920 Chicago, IL 60611 312/828-0404 Plano Molding Co. Dept. HR11 431 E. South St. Plano, IL 60545-1601 708/949-5758 Rubbermaid Dept. HR11 1147 Akron Rd. Wooster, OH 44691 216/264-6464 Skil Corp. Dept. HR11 4300 W. Peterson Ave. Chicago, IL 60646 312/286-7330 Snap-On Tools Corp. Dept. HR11 2801 80th St. Kenosha, WI 53141-1410 414/656-5200 Spectre Industries Dept. HR11 922 N. Ninth St. San Jose, CA 95112 800/821-4868 Stanley Dept. HR11 1000 Stanley Dr. New Britain, CT 06053 203/225-5111 Truecraft Tools Dept. HR11 615 Pierce St. Somerset, NJ 08875 908/805-1800 Vermont American Dept. HR11 P.O. Box 340 Lincolnton, NC 28093 704/735-7464 Wright Tools Dept. HR11 1 Wright Pl. P.O. Box 512 Barberton, OH 44203 800/321-2902

Budget beater

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Building a street rod from the ground up like the one you see here requires mechanical knowledge, tools, money and, above all, tenacity. Unlike street machines, which use much of the original manufacturer’s engineering along with a few creative modifications to improve performance, street rods are modified to such a degree that the entire car needs to be re-engineered as it is built. This puts the enthusiast street rod builder “in his head” as he tries to solve engineering problems encountered during the buildup. Unfortunately, if you lack engineering and fabricating experience, these problems can take all the fun out of building the car.

That’s where this story comes in. HOT ROD is following along as a ’31 Ford Model A roadster street rod is built on a $10,000 budget by an enthusiast with no prior street rod building experience. If you note the solutions found while building this roadster, you can get some ideas for your own project, no matter what kind of street rod it is.

Since there isn’t enough room here to show every step of the construction, we won’t focus on the tasks that are clearly explained in aftermarket-component manufacturers’ directions. Instead, we’ll concentrate on the tips and tricks that are needed to assemble a street rod but aren’t common knowledge. For example, the brake-line-kit installation was a monster to bend up and install because there were a bunch of tricks the builder had to learn through the school of hard knocks. Those knocks were eased a little when the builder could ask questions of his fellow car club members in the Southern California Timing Association (car clubs are a great way to meet enthusiasts and learn). And since this technical information was going into a magazine story, many pros spent time on the phone providing solutions, something they can’t do for everyone. After reading the tips in this story, you should be that much further ahead when it’s your turn to install the brake lines or perform some other task for which there is little information.

WHERE TO START?

Once the frame and all the chassis components were delivered, it was time to get to work. TCI includes good instructions with its chassis components, so installing them on the frame is simple. To integrate all the components on these cars, including the suspension, drivetrain, brakes, steering, fuel and electrical systems and more, expect to assemble and disassemble these components many times. This car was completely put together and disassembled five times before it was on the road! Since this was the case, the chassis was put together without greasing any of the joints until after the final assembly and the paint and polishing had been done.

Once you have determined the desired ride height (from talking with other rodders, measuring cars and so on), check the suspension travel to make sure the frame allows a full range of movement. If there is interference, this is the time to find a cure, disassemble the suspension, and make the correction. On this frame, the front needed to be C-sectioned, which required disassembly of the suspension, but at least it was found before everything was painted and the suspension hit the frame during regular usage. We have met rodders who made this mistake and were very unhappy with the ride quality of their cars – to the point where they didn’t enjoy driving them – so take your time and get this right.

Once that was taken care of, the front and rear four-bar suspensions were again bolted to the frame with the TCI-provided hardware to set the lengths of the four bars and the Panhard bars. The length of the bars needs to be adjusted to get the front and rear axles perpendicular and centered in relation to the centerline of the frame and parallel to each other, and also to put the wheels in the center of the fender openings. This will ensure that the car will track straight going down the road and look good doing so.

A good tape measure is all you need to determine the frame centerline on the front and rear crossmembers. Measure the length of the crossmembers and the length of the axles, divide those measurements by two to determine the centerpoint of each, then locate the axles on the frame center-point. By measuring and equalizing the [TABULAR DATA OMITTED] left- and right-side wheelbases and then measuring and equalizing the front-to-back wheelbase distances diagonally, you will ensure that the wheelbases are equal and the axles are perpendicular to the frame centerline. An idea we got from CMI Chassis Works in El Monte, California, was to put two small screws in the crossmembers right next to the centerline and run a string down the middle of the frame to measure from. This makes measuring a diagonal distance easy.

Also, five degrees of caster was initially set in the front axle, but that will have to be reset after the car is finished as ride height affects the effective caster. If the bars need to be lengthened or shortened to put the wheels in the center of the fender openings, this will be done after the body has been mounted.

With the centerline determined, the Panhard bars turned out to be too long by 1/2 inch in the front and 1 inch in the rear. Cutting the Panhard bars wasn’t difficult, just unexpected and time consuming.

TIME MANAGEMENT

On a related point, keep in mind that each task we mention required a lot of time to gather the right parts and install them properly. So do as much research as you can before you dig into a task and make a mistake. While the errands for parts and tools and the fact-finding missions may seem pointless before starting a job, they are critical to doing it right. The builder of this car learned that lesson while flaring the brake lines. He had always had trouble double-flaring brake line (who hasn’t?), and after borrowing three different kits, he still couldn’t consistently double-flare the line. After talking with some pro builders who felt the kits were inferior, a trip to the local Grainger supply resulted in the purchase of a $70 kit that was by far the nicest double-flaring setup for the price. Our novice can now double-flare all day and all night with no problems! So instead of getting frustrated at an impasse, take a break and look for a solution. You’ll be surprised how often the right tools or technical advice will make a seemingly impossible job quite possible.

TOOLS USED TO ASSEMBLE BUDGET BEATER

You will need to either borrow, rent or buy these tools to perform the tasks covered in this story. Some people believe the cost of the tools used to build a car should be included in the cost of building the car. But if working on cars is your hobby, you need tools – so they are a lifetime investment, not just money being spent on this one car. The tools are listed here so you know what you’ll need to do the job, but they aren’t bolted to the car, so they aren’t included in the cost of the buildup. If you can’t buy the tools, don’t be afraid to barter for the use of friends’ or club members’ tools. But respect their tools, or you’ll probably have to buy your own the next time you need to use them.

DESCRIPTION                          BRAND USED
                                     HERE
Various handtools                    Sears Craftsman
(wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, files, tap-and-die sets, tin
snips, hack saw an so on)
Electric drill                       Bosch
Grinder                              Bosch
TIG welder                           Miller - local welding supply
Acetylene torch                      Victor - local welding supply
Brake line double-flaring tool       Ridgid from Grainger
Tubing bender                        Grainger

SOURCES

Brookville Roadster, Inc. Dept. HR10 718 Albert Rd. Brookville, OH 45309 513/833-4605

C.W. Moss Dept. HR10 402 W. Chapman Ave. Orange, CA 92666 714/639-3083

The Eastwood Company Dept. HR10 580 Lancaster Ave., Box 296 Malvern, PA 19355 610/640-1450

Super Bell Axle Co. Dept. HR10 2822 E. California Ave. Fresno, CA 93721 209/445-1602

Tanks Dept. HR10 P.O. Box HR10 Clearwater, MN 55320 612/558-6882

Total Cost Involved Engineering (TCI) Dept. HR10 1416 W. Brooks St. Ontario, CA 91762 909/984-1773