Favorite hand tools – a new series

Guys, how many of you have a few hand tools that ALWAYS live up to your expectations?  I have some and they never let me down, not in the rain, snow, hot summer or when I’m in a hurry and don’t use them exactly as intended.

One such tool is my air gauge.  I use it to check pressures in all our tires; from our 3 SUVs to the 4-wheeler to our trailers, bikes and even to thinks like a two-wheel dolly and our portable generator. So many of my things have wheels and with those wheels – TIRES.

Invest in one of these and you won’t be disappointed.  This Accu-Gage has been a steady high performing tool for years for me and I have it in my lifted Land Cruiser at all times.

Click the picture to check it out on Amazon, this thing is selling for under $20 with the protective rubber cover.  This cover wasn’t on my original Accu-Gage, but I think it is a great addition to protect it from the occasional drop on hard concrete or a rock.

I’ll be posting up my favorite tools weekly, so check back often!

Take care guys! Clay

Tracking the weather can be fun

I’ve recently gotten into tracking different weather phenomenon especially since moving to Northern Virginia.  We’ve enjoyed four real seasons here, but sometimes the weather is different just in our little neighborhood than it is about 5 miles away…

I chalk this up to the mountains to our west.  They seem to create a little micro environment where snow and thunderstorms thrive.

Do you enjoy tracking the weather where you live?  This is a small weather station by Oregon Scientific that could be a start into this wonderful hobby for you and the family… check it out.

41% OFF Oregon Secintific Backyard Pro Wireless Weather Station w/ Weather Sensor – $49.99 at Newegg.com, ends 1/26

If you guys are into the new Smart Home controls, NewEgg.com has tons of this stuff at great prices.  I’m considering the wifi camera doorbell button!  Click below to see what they have available…

Working on old springs…

When it comes to restoring a vehicle, there are three phases a person goes through to get it done.  One is the teardown, where all the old parts must be pulled off and apart.  This consist of many hours of taking old things apart that most of the time don’t want to come apart.  Some, it seems, are even melded together after 45-50 years!  Second, you have to clean it all up, restore broken parts, find a few missing parts and paint or chrome or polish everything.  Third you get to put back together all those nicely restored parts.  This is my favorite phase of any restoration.  Today I’ve been working on leaf springs that belong to my 1967 F100 Pickup project.  After removing the spring packs from the truck, and disassembling them, I needed to press out the very worn bushing in the eyelets of the main springs.  The shackles also have a bushing that needs replacing.  I used some sockets that were just the right size and pressed them out with my shop press.








These things were nasty…





I don’t think the bushings in the shackles had ever been replaced in 49 years!  They were very hard to get out.

img_8690 img_8689

Spring laid out to sand blast
Spring laid out to sand blast

I sandblasted them and went through about 200 lbs of blasting media.

All dolled up...
All dolled up…


Once sandblasted, I was ready to thoroughly clean them.  For the use of my paint of choice, POR 15, I have to first degrease them completely


Between each prep phase, they must be dried well… My tool of choice for that… the leaf blower

After degreasing, I then needed to etch them and stop any microscopic rust.  I used Metal Prep by the folks at POR 15.






Once dried and brought up to about 65 deg. in the shop I started the job of painting them.  More on the next post.  Take care guys!