Tool Score(s)

Before Father’s Day I had been looking at a couple Yukon (Harbor Freight) toolbox benches to replace the pair of to small US General tool carts I’ve been using as tool carts at the South Bend (Grizzly) knee mill and Precision Mathews (14×40) lathe in the back shop. I added them to the shopping cart on the website since they didn’t have the color I wanted in the local store, and usually shipping to my shop is less than the gas cost to drive to the store with the Inside Track club shipping rate. Not this time. They were truck freight, and it was more than I wanted to spend.

A couple days later I received a couple different promotional emails. One was for the 12K Badlands winch (with steel cable*) at a decent price, and another was a 10% off any item coupon. Yes, I already own one for the front of my Jeep, but after performing a **rescue, loading a couple trucks, and hauling my son’s car back to the shop for some work over the last few months I’ve decided I want a “***portable” mount 12K to use instead of the 8K Warn I’ve been using for that. Also, the wireless remotes for the Badlands are pretty cheap. I added the Badlands to my cart, and applied the coupon for it. Then I logged on to my account and realized the toolboxes were still in the cart, and magically the shipping was now my regular low Inside Track rate including the toolboxes. I almost got friction burns getting my credit card out of my wallet, but then I remembered the 10% off coupon, and yes, it was added to one of the toolboxes. Normal they are excluded. It was definitely cheaper than driving to the store now. Shipping for all three items was less than ten dollars. The winch arrived Wednesday morning and a trucking company delivered the toolboxes Wednesday afternoon. Regular every day (well not rare) frugal score.

In the meantime, over the weekend I saw a set of blue US General (also harbor Freight) toolboxes advertised pretty cheap on Nextdoor. I would have paid the asking price without batting an eyelash, but he didn’t say FIRM, so I made an offer. He accepted it, and I picked them up on Monday. My thought is to use them for my gun cleaning stuff, some of my reloading stuff, and gun parts. There were some tools in the box which I immediately pointed out to the seller before loading the boxes. This included some ratchets. (1/4, 3/8, and 1/2). He said just keep them. I asked twice to make sure. I paid $150 for retail new about $650 worth of boxes. Even with those rare any item coupons wouldn’t have touched what I paid. I have a couple US General tool carts, so I thought I knew what kind of quality to expect. Adequate. I was wrong. These are very solid. I think every bit as solid as my old Craftsman toolboxes, and heavier. I was surprised. They are used, but otherwise in great shape. BETTER than my older US General tool carts. Pretty decent score.

Side Note, But Relevant: One of my old fishing buddies is reaching the age where ****SLJs around the house are a bit of a challenge. He is one of only a handful of people I consider an actual friend, so I pop by to help him out with those from time to time. Clean a carb on a generator, replace a light fixture, fix a broken post. That sort of thing. One day he asked me if I would like a travel set of Craftsman tools that was redundant for him. I don’t believe there is such a thing as redundant tools, and … I am a tool whore. Of course I’ll take tools. It had an issue. An inner door would not stay closed so when you opened the case it would pop open and dump half the tools into the other half. Not a huge issue, but annoying, nonetheless. Nice score, but I think it was just his way of saying thank you since he no longer has the ability to help me out at my shop.

The Craftsman travel set was the core tool kit (plus a bunch of extra stuff) I brought with me when I hauled my dad’s old Dodge truck back across the state. It was the kit I used for the repairs when an axle came loose on my gooseneck trailer.***** I found the reason the reason the door/cover wouldn’t snap closed and stay closed. It had the wrong Craftsman ratchet in the 1/4-inch slot. Tuesday, I decided to see if I could find the right one… maybe on eBay. I had already sat down at the computer and started a search when I thought, “I wonder if one of those ratchets in those blue toolboxes will fit.” I found one that fit. In fact, it was the exact model Craftsman ratchet to match the set. Now that travel set is complete, and it no longer dumps half the tools into the other half when I open it up. A “free” 1/4-inch ratchet is a fairly small score, but it was probably the biggest score of the week for me.


* Yes I know synthetic cloth fiber winch lines are all the rage now. I typically work solo, and I am smart enough to stay out of the “triangle of death.” Steel cables will take more abuse, if not excessively abused will last for more than my lifetime, and they will not sun rot. If I was doing recoveries regularly with a team I would definitely use fiber winch synthetic winch lines. For me I prefer steel. The biggest problem with steel potentially breaking is a spotter who thinks they need to be right in the middle of everything WHEN THEY DO NOT.

** https://www.yumabassman.com/2024/06/02/bods-off-road-recovery-sorry-no-t-shirt/

*** I have an assembly the Warn winch is mounted on now that allows me to pin it into any suitable hitch receiver. I have a setup for it welded onto two of my flat bed trailers, and of course my truck and my dad’s old trucks all have heavy receivers on them. I’ll make or buy one for the 12K Badlands to use it the same way.

****SLJ = Sh!tty Little Job.

***** https://www.yumabassman.com/2024/04/12/destructive-lock-nuts-suck/

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