Jet JFR-12 1/2″ Air Regulator with Built in Filter Review

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If you’ve just purchased a 60 gallon+ air compressor you’ve no doubt discovered that you will now need an air regulator. Unlike the smaller 20 gallon units, the larger ones do not typically come with an air regulator. This is where the Jet JFR-12 air pressure regulator with filter comes into play. This unit has 1/2″ inlet and outlet ports for use with 1/2″ air hoses. The regulator can be had for around $50 for Amazon though you will need some additional parts for wall mounting (see below). Similarly units are priced higher and aren’t quite the same quality as this unit.

JET JFR-12 1/2-Inch NPT Air Filter/Regulator

Jet JFR-12
JET JFR-12 1/2-Inch NPT Air Filter/Regulator
Customer Reviews

Build Quality

The Jet JFR-12 Air Regulator is an excellent choice because it’s got all of the features some of the comparable units such as the Ingersoll Rand units do not have. For starters, the Jet JFR-12 comes with a wall mount bracket which is a nice feature to have. By the way, the bracket is the right size such that it fits on just a single wall stud.  The Ingersoll Rand units do not come with one so this alone makes the JFR-12 a better choice. Another reason to pick the Jet JFR-12 is because it has an all metal body construction for long life. The air filter is made of polycarbonate with a metal protective cover. Additionally, the filter has an easy to use moisture release valve that you simply pull to let the moisture out. The top mount pressure control valve is easy to adjust and is made of a durable plastic material.  Assembly is quite easy as all you need to do is attach the air gauge. Doing so is quite easy but you will not be able to use a wrench to tighten it since there is not enough clearance between it and the unit body. Be sure to use some teflon tape on the fitting since you will have to simply hand tighten the gauge to the unit body. Overall, this unit has an excellent build quality and will last you for many years.

Required Parts for Wall Mount Installation

If you plan on wall mounting, you will need a couple of items. Namely, you will need two hoses. I went with a 6′ Goodyear unit for the compressor side, other lengths are available if you need them.  You will need a second short hose if you plan on using a hose reel such as the Goodyear 46741 Retractable Reel. This second hose will go from the Air Regulator outlet into the hose reel inlet.  You will not need this second hose if you are attaching a 1/2″ hose directly to the regulator. You also need some lag bolts or screws to attach the wall bracket to the wall because it does not come with any. Finally, you will need some teflon tape of course to avoid any air leaks.

Conclusion

The Jet JFR-12 is an excellent air regulator for you large compressor. The unit is well built with all metal body and comes with a handy wall mount bracket. Assembly is minimal and performance is excellent. For the price, this is possibly the best air regulator with built in filter out there.

Harbor Freight Central Machinery 8″ 5 speed Benchtop Drill Press Review

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Harbor Freight Drill Press

Today, we are talking about the Harbor Freight 8″ Central Machinery Benchtop Drill press. This is actually the least expensive of all the drill presses offered by Harbor Freight. You can find this drill press for 50 to 70 bucks, depending on if Harbor Freight has a Coupon  (check out current Harbor Freight Coupons). This drill press is the perfect tool for drilling cabinet door hardware, European hidden hinge cups or pretty much anything where precision is important.

Check this Drill Press out at Harbor Freight

Now a cheap tool is next to useless if it doesn’t perform. Who needs a 40lb paperweight? Certainly not me.  Fortunately, this little drill press does not disappoint in the performance department as well as build quality.  Starting at the bottom, we find a heavy gauge steel/cast iron base which provides stability to the unit.  There’s no wobbling whatsoever when placed on a flat benchtop. The base has holes for bolting the unit down to your benchtop or a dedicated stand. Next we have a heavy gauge/cast iron drill table.  The drill table has 2 adjustments, up/down with about 8″ of travel and  side to side 45 degree adjustment to either side for jobs requiring an angled hole.  The up/down adjustment is accomplished with a locking lever on the back left side of the table.  The side to side angle adjustment is done with a bolt found under the table.

A tour around the main drill assembly, we find a 3 handle lowering mechanism. The handles are metal and the lowering mechanism is nice and smooth on both the down and up stroke. The front of the press has a simple up/down power switch.  My specimen does not have much by way of a safety mechanism on the switch , interestingly I’ve seen others of the same model that do. If this is important to you, the get the model just above this which is like 10 bucks more. That one also has a keyless chuck by the way. Finally, on the left we have the depth stop. This is a simple mechanism consisting of a threaded rod and a pair of nuts. You get a maximum of 2″ worth of travel so 2″ is the max thickness you can drill with this press. Overall, all the adjustments on the drill press work great.

Check this Drill Press out at Harbor Freight

One of the main features of this drill press is the speed adjustment. This one has a 5 speed adjustment.  Now I’m no drill press expert so I’m not sure if this is common or not but the speed adjustment on this model is of the mechanical sort. It consists of 2 sets of pulleys at the top of the drill press, 1 for the drill and the other for the motor. The pulleys are connected by a small belt and the whole thing is covered by a lid that’s easy to open and close.  Speed adjustment is performed by moving the belt up and down the sets of pulleys. There is a knob that enables you to increase/decrease the tension on the belt by loosening the motor. One nice feature is the diagram right on the lid that depicts the belt settings for a given speed. The drill is capable of 620, 1100, 1720, 2340 or 3100 rpms. You also get another diagram that gives you recommended speed settings for given materials.  These diagrams a nice little feature since you don’t have to go back and forth to the manual. Generally speaking, the speed adjustment mechanism is pretty easy and straight forward to use.

Out of the box, there is some assembly required. Luckily, there’s no wiring or anything like that. It’s basically just a matter of attaching the base, table and main drill assembly to the main column. One of the trickiest pieces to install is the chuck because it needs to be pressed onto the drill head. This is done by moving the table all the way up against the chuck and turning the lowering mechanism to press in the chuck. There’s a couple other little knobs to install but the whole thing goes together rather easily in about 20 minutes.

Overall, this is an excellent value. This is a quality little drill press despite the super low price. I would highly recommend it to anyone that’s in the market for a precision drilling instrument.  You may not find this a suitable press if you are a professional woodworker but it’s more than enough for the DIYer or hobbyist and it sure beats paying hundreds of dollars for a floor standing model. If you are getting this drill press, I highly recommend getting the separate table attachment. Especially if you’re getting it to do woodworking. The separate table adds 35 bucks to the cost but is well worth it.

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Harbor Freight Oscilating Multitool Review

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The Harbor  Freight Oscilating multitool is quite a useful little tool. It’s highly effective for add little jobs around the house like plunging into drywall, light duty scraping, grout removal and lots of other things I can’t even think of.  Considering the Harbor Freight multitool is approximately 1/2 the price of similar tools having a more prestigious name, it’s a great little tool considering you know it’s limitations.

The tool itself is as simple as it gets.  Simply turn on the single speed power switch and have at it.  As previously mentioned, this tool works awesome on light duty jobs. Got cut a hole in drywall, no problem. Got a little scrapping to do, again, no problem. Now for what it doesn’t do.  I’ve seen videos of this tool cutting wood, well, let me be the first to tell you that this tool is about as useful as tits on a bull when it comes to cutting wood.  This isn’t necessarily a problem with the tool, rather it’s a problem with the attachments.  I have tried cutting wood myself and ended up with nothing but a puff of smoke. The attachment simply was not up to par.  I have also tried scraping thinset after removing some tile using the serrated scraper.   The tool worked great for about the first 2 minutes when the teeth basically disentegrated. So again, not really the tool but the attachment.

Conclusion, the Harbor Freight multitool has it’s uses however I find it’s rather falsely advertised. This tool will not cut wood, metal or pretty much anything you would normally use a saw. This isn’t a shortcoming with the tool but the attachments.  That being said, if you need a light duty tool for odds and ends then it works great.

 

Inexpensive Floor Nailer for Bamboo Floors

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If you need an inexpensive floor nailer for that new Bamboo flooring project, consider the Harbor Freight Central Pneumatic 2 in 1 floor nailer. This tool performs awesome on bamboo flooring. The best thing about this tool of course, is the price. When compared to other nailers, the Harbor Freight 2 in1 nailer costs just a fraction of the price yet performs like a champ. The nailer takes both crown staples and cleat nails so it’s quite versatile. You won’t need a heavy duty compressor to power it either so this nailer is cost effective on both fronts.

Performance

The 2 in 1 Harbor Freight nailer performs like an absolute champ. After 1000 square feet of flooring, the tool did not misfire a single time. Just remember to oil it with the included oil per specifications.   The trigger fires every time neatly and cleanly.  All nails are driven properly provided you have the right pressure dialed in and give it a consistent whack every time.  Practicing on a few boards will quickly give you the hang of it.

From experience, I highly recommend using cleat nails over the crown staples on bamboo. Using cleat nails will minimize bubbling where you drive the fastener.  Avoid the Harbor Freight crown staples as these will give you a slight bubble on the boards just about every time you drive it.  This is very aggravating so again, avoid the Harbor Freight crown staples. Unfortunately, you will not find the proper gauge cleat nails at Harbor Freight so you will probably need to purchase these at Home Depot or the like.

Ease of Use

The Harbor Freight 2 in 1 floor nailer has a very minimal learning curve. You pretty much load it and start nailing away. The loading mechanism is both intuitive and down right easy. Aside from the occasional oiling, there’s not much else to know.  Once you get the hang of it, you will quickly learn how hard you need to whack it as to not damage the tongue.  Too hard and tongue cracks, to soft and nail does not drive fully. Here’s a tips, it’s better to hit it too hard than it is to hit it too soft especially on cleat nails. Same goes for the pressure, best to have it too high than too low. Half driven cleat nails can be a bear to pull and a little challenging to drive fully with a nail set/hammer. You will ruin more boards trying to correct half driven nails than anything else.

Conclusion

The Harbor Freight 2 in 1 nailer is an excellent buy. It’s way cheaper than all of the big names such as Bostitch and the like. Its probably also about the same price as renting one for a few days and much more convenient as you can take your time doing the nailing. All in all, this 2 in 1 floor nailer is highly recommended. Performs flawlessly and the price is just right for the weekend warrior that will use this tool just a handful of times.

Recommendations

  • 16 gauge Bostitch Cleat Nails
  • Carefully position tool before driving. Improperly positioned tool will mess up board edge.
  • Begin at 60 psi compressor setting, dial up until cleat nail goes in without cracking tongue.
  • Oil every 25 to 50 square feet

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