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Tag Archives: tools

  • Proper Garage Door Lubrication

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    Keeping your garage door in good working order is one of those things that can be easily overlooked.  While it may not see like an important task taking a few minutes every couple months to make sure all of the moving parts are functioning the way they should.  It'll save you from a large bill down the road if the entire door needs to be replaced.

     

    Lubricating the door rollers is by far the most important part of proper garage door maintenance but its not just simply spraying them down with WD-40.  Using that product will help in the short run but actually make the door worse over time.  Garage door rollers usually come packed with some sort of petroleum based grease.  Over time that grease will wear away and the door will start to make metal to metal noises.  If you spray the door with WD-40 it will lubricate the rollers for a little while but it will soon evaporate, additionally the WD-40 will act as a degrease and effectively remove any old grease that was originally there.  Any metal parts now exposed to the elements now have the potential to rust and possibly get stuck in place.

     

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    To properly lubricate your door rollers you must replace the grease with a similar product that wont evaporate over time.  CRC White Lithium Grease is a great lubricant for any moving parts with metal to metal contact.  White lithium grease will not wash off, melt or freeze so it is perfect for any door or garage that is exposed to the elements.  All it takes is a quick spray into each of the rollers and hinges and your door is good to go.

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    Check out the Eastwood Blog and Tech Archive for more How-To's, Tips and Tricks to help you with all your automotive projects.  If you have a recommendation for future articles or have a project you want explained don't hesitate to leave a comment.

    - James R/EW

  • 5 Essential Items You May Be Missing in your Shop

    I've learned over the years that the better equipped and the more organized you are in your garage or workshop will reflect in your work. We decided to put together 5 items that are key in keeping your productivity and quality of work up.
  • Cleaning Drill Chuck Will Stop Bits From Slipping - Quick Tip

     

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    Any of your drill bits look like this?  If so, you'll want to keep reading.

     

    Circular wear marks on the bottom of drill bits are a key indication of the drill bit slipping inside the drill chuck.  The main reason for this problem is cutting fluid or lubricants used come in contact with the chuck,  when this happens tightening the chuck will only go so far.  When this happens the bit stops cutting the metal and starts spinning within the drill itself.  if this happens often the drill bits strength is reduced and could cause it to prematurely break.  In some cases this can be very dangerous because the bit may become lodged in the metal, if this happens and the chuck regains grip on the bit the metal you are drilling could be sent spinning or the drill could be ripped from your hands.

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    Keeping your drill chuck clean is the best way to ensure you will never have problems with your bits slipping.  This is a very simple process and will only take a couple minutes.

     

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    First adjust your chuck so it is about half way open so the jaws are exposed but there still some room between them.

     

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    Spray the edge of a rag with PRE Painting Prep and go over each of the jaws to remove any dirt, grease or lubricants that may be on them.  If you have cotton swabs they also work great.  Spray pre on the end of a swab to clean each of the jaws.

    Do not spray the chuck directly because it may remove the bearing grease further inside the chuck, causing it to lock up.

    Routinely cleaning your drill chuck will help prevent bit slippage and increase the life of your drill bits.

     

    Check out the Eastwood Blog and Tech Archive for more How-To's, Tips and Tricks to help you with all your automotive projects.  If you have a recommendation for future articles or have a project you want explained don't hesitate to leave a comment.

    - James R/EW

     

  • Cracked Grill Repair - Eastwood Hot Stapler

    Many late model cars are made with plastic grills, bumpers, and interior trim.  I'm not saying there is anything wrong with this but the one area they lack is in their strength, even the slighest fender bender can cause them to crack or break off.  Not to mention that as plastic ages it can become weaker.  If you've ever tried, super glue will never hold the pieces together so repairing with that is out of the question.  Eastwood has a permanent way to repair your plastic interior and exterior parts and save you from having to buy new.  The Eastwood Hot Stapler allows you to re-attach the broken pieces by bridging the crack with a metal staple.  It doesn't just hold the two pieces together it fuses into the plastic by melting into both sides.

     

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    The grill of this 2000 Silverado was damaged when a piece of mud was thrown off of another cars tire.  A new chrome grill for this truck costs around $100, this might not seem like much but depending on your car it may not be easy to locate replacement parts.

     

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    After removing the clips that hold the grill to the radiator support, I was able to take the grill off and bring it into the shop.  The damage was actually a little worse than I had originally thought because the lower black plastic was completely gone.

     

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    I removed the plastic tabs holding the two pieces of the grill together to reveal that the cracks along the inside were even worse yet.

     

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    In order to make a hidden repair I decided to continue to separate the two grill halves until I had enough room to get the stapler in and repair the front half.  I used a welding magnet wedged in between them to keep the two separated so I had an extra hand to work.

     

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    Using two needle nose locking pliers I was able to hold the two pieces together so they wouldn't move out of place, once I put the first staple in the position of the two pieces it is set in shape.

     

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    I placed three of the wide staples along the flat edge, these will provide the main support.  I've found that once you press the staple into the plastic, push it to the side to completely submerge the metal under the plastic.  Doing this will prevent the staple from pulling straight out of the plastic.

     

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    I removed the two clamps and put two of the narrower staples on each of the edges, placing them here will help prevent any twisting that might occur while driving down the road.

     

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    To remove the staple tails use a pair of heavy duty flush cutters.  Do not use wire cutters, the hardness of the staple will gouge the cutting surface.

     

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    While the two pieces were still separated I had to deal with the rest of the cracked plastic.  Since the majority of the black plastic will not be seen from the outside I was able to put staples on both sides of the cracks for extra support.

     

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    To reconnect the crack that was in the corner, the kit comes with a special staple that is angled to fit directly into a corner.  These are great because corners like this are very prone to cracking and these staples are a very straight forward solution.

     

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    Along the back side I followed the same procedure using both the wide and narrow depending on where each of the cracks were.

     

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    From the factory both pieces of the grill were melted together at each of these tabs.  While disassembling the grill I was forced to cut away the melted plastic to separate them.  To rejoin the two I was able to use one of the narrow staples to melt them back together.

     

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    The grill is now one solid piece again but Its not quite finished yet.  The crack along the plated piece caused the coating to peal off.  Look out for a future article where it will be sanded filled and repainted.

     

    Check out the Eastwood Blog and Tech Archive for more How-To's, Tips and Tricks to help you with all your automotive projects.  If you have a recommendation for future articles or have a project you want explained don't hesitate to leave a comment.

    - James R/EW

  • Sheet Metal Cutting Tips and Tricks

    Working in sheet metal can be fun, and it can be frustrating, but if you like old cars eventually there will come a time when you will need to cut, and eventually even weld sheet metal. At first glance it seems as if it would be like working with paper or cardboard, just a little tougher, but paper products don’t stretch and deform like metal does when you try to bend, shape or cut it. Here are a few simple rules to make metal work easier.

    When working with sheet metal, always wear long, thick, leather gloves because it only takes a small slip to be cut to the bone with the sharp edge of a metal piece you are working on. Long welding sleeves are not a bad idea either, because sheet metal can cut deep, and accidentally slashing your wrists can be a very serious injury. Eye and face protection is a good idea as well.

     

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    Tin snips or Aviation snips, are just like scissors for metal, and are great for smaller cuts or lighter gauge sheet metal.

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    Snips come in left, right and straight versions, color coded in a nautical fashion:

    Left = Red

    Right = Green

    Straight = Yellow

    Cutting with snips can be time consuming and physically taxing on your hands and arms, but great for cutting complicated, small shapes. Snips also leave an edge that is often a bit ragged and curved from the cutting.

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    For longer cuts, or just getting the job done faster and neater, there is the Electric Metal Shear. An electric motor moves a small block up and down, pinching the metal between it and a fixed block on the other side.  The uniformity of the cut is much better with the electric shear, and the quality of the edge it leaves is better too. Plus it takes no effort and a lot less time to use.

     

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    The small cutting blocks, compared to the size of the jaws on the snips, make it easier to use the shear to cut out tighter curved lines in metal parts. Most electrical powered shears have no problem cutting though up to 16 gauge steel, which can be nearly impossible with a pair of manual snips.

     

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    Clamp your sheet metal securely to the table or bench so you have both hands free to maneuver the shears around. This will make things much easier.  Straight lines and even fairly tight curves are much easier to make with the electric shears.  To smooth out the slight curve the shears sometimes leave, if you have an English wheel, you can just use the flattest bottom anvil, and roll the edge through with minimal pressure.

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    Just like any cutting tool, electric shears will eventually become dull over time.  We sell replacement jaw sets for our electric shear but don't worry, you wont need a new set for a long time.

    So these are some basic tips that should help you to cut and shape metal pieces for your next project quicker and easier. With a little practice you’ll be able to cut metal as if you were a school kid making paper snowflakes.

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