Making Do With What Ya Got

There must have been some conditions placed upon my being here this go round, I swear.

Something along the lines of ain’t nothing ever gonna be easy and no matter what you do, there is going to be something fucked up with it.

It never seems to fail.

So I have this little one ton Harbor Freight folding engine puller gizmo.

The thing is just handy as fuck and has saved my ass multiple times.

When the legs are folded up it doesn’t take up much room and it is small enough to get into places a regular sized one won’t.

I even drug it out in the back yard once and pulled a rotten fence post with three feet of concrete stuck to it down in the ground.

A purchase I have never really regretted even though it does have some flaws.

The lifting cylinder is weak and I see it has acquired the bad habit of leaking down. It has an adjuster on it for lifting pressure and I cranked that all the way in because it was bypassing on heavy lifts.

I will be replacing that with one for a full sized engine hoist as they have exactly the same dimensions.

The real disappointment with this thing is the length of the boom on it. At full extension it is short of getting anywhere near the ends of the legs so you have to be able to straddle whatever it is you are lifting to the point whatever it is is jammed all the way in between the legs. The legs extend at an angle and this sweet spot for lifting gets real narrow.

engine hoist


So I decided to get a hunk of 2 1/2 X 2 1/2 square tube and make a longer one.

Cue the ominous music.

The reason for doing this is because I took the band saw off the cheap assed sheet metal stand with it to build another stand and it turned into a fiasco getting the saw picked up and set down on a board sitting on a couple of cheap plastic saw horses.

So I bought a chunk of steel about twice as long.

6 1/2 feet to be exact.

Now, how to drill holes all the way through that 6 and a half foot long, 2 and a half inch square tube, semi straight?

The drill press table is way up off the ground and I don’t have a telescoping jack stand that tall.

Something that has now been added to my never ending list of projects.

So, A guy has to work with what he’s got, right?


All fine and dandy, it’s even level.

Just one problem, notice how far away it is from the chuck.

So I dug in my old roll away and pulled out me secret weapons.


I bought those clear back in the 90’s when I was working at the Lincoln/Mercury dealership and distinctly remember squealing like a stuck pig at what I had to pay for them. I don’t even want to know what they are asking now.

I  had to use them on a project where I used to work at one point and a few of them got dull so I sent them out at their expense and had them professionally resharpened and then rolled them up and stuck them away. Not something you need very often but they will save your ass sometimes.

This was one of those times.

IMG_20190201_204324 (1)

Of course, when I had to turn the thing sideways to drill the holes down the length of the thing, it got REAL interesting trying to balance that thing especially when it started hanging way off the end on one side.

That’s when I managed to miss seeing the bit jump out of the starter hole on one and drilled a hole off center while I was trying to balance it, even with a big C clamp.

Something I will have to deal with before I am done.

Those foot long drill bits can be handy but if you have much run out they flop all over the place in a circle and the smaller diameter ones flex like a motherfucker.

I’m not done yet and still have to drill out the holes to 5/8’s and move that one hole down on both sides a bit. I also have to drill several holes on the bottom of one end and then use a cutting wheel to make a slot out of them for the chain and hook to go through to the bolt that holds them at the picking end.

In other words, I am about half done.

All of this just so I can pick the band saw up easier, I still have that entire stand to build and that is going to be quite the little project all by its self.

No rest for the wicked bitches!


3 thoughts on “Making Do With What Ya Got

  1. Yeah, that boom is short for a reason.

    If you extend it, the lever becomes too long and then the ass end (cylinder end) of the lift will tip up Add weight to that end and then the boom bends.

    Ask me how I know.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Why do I get the feeling something ugly happened?
      You are of course correct.
      I don’t use this thing to pick up things really heavy but it will be something to be aware of. What I have found is that even another eight inches of reach would make a world of difference in the usefulness of this thing though.


  2. Heh… I remember picking one of those, but mine was the 2 ton for 125ish? This was somewhat around 11 to 15 years ago….. it would hold a V-8 plus auto transmission….


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