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Garage Upgrades and Tools

So here is where I will post upgrades to the garage and any shiny new or used tools as well as any tool maintenance I end up doing. Since this seems like it is going to be quite a long page it will be in newest to oldest order.

Here I’m replacing the hose on one of my Mastercraft hose reels part# 058-8395-6

After getting the hose reel up I can now focus on other problems with my compressor setup.

Here’s a vid clip of the hose reel mounted and a quick compressor tour. Unfortunately the audio got a little corrupted half way through.

Well I’m back at it again more tools for the garage. First off the quick things, I got a small LED motion light bar for the new toolbox.

I also finally got all 3 common sizes of impact socket adapters.

I occasionally need to cut something out of sheet metal and I don’t have a good way of doing more complex shapes. Hoping this air nibbler will make things a lot easier.

I also got a trouble light cage from work for my home made trouble light.

Would you be surprised I’ve never owned a set of impact sockets?

Now onto the main attraction. This here is a 50′ auto retracting reel. After my earlier post of the manual hand crank hose reel I’ve decided to return it. The main problem with that one is that it sticks out quite a it and with my narrow garage workspace I believe it would be more of a hinderance than a convenience. I’ll list a few pros and cons below of this one.


  • It’s relatively cheap
  • It has a smaller footprint than most other reels and is automatic allowing for ceiling mounting
  • Can handle 50′ of 3/8″ air hose
  • Has a good amount of adjustability
  • The base can be removed for easier mounting


  • It’s cheap, so I’m not sure how long it will last but it has a 3yr warranty
  • It’s smaller than other reels so if the hose doesn’t wind nicely it can eventually get too large for the reel
  • The air fittings on it are 1/4″ even though it can handle 3/8″ hose(not too much restriction but would still be nice to have 3/8″ fittings)
  • The air hose that comes with it is PVC and smells really bad(chemical smell) like I mean do not mount this in a place that doesn’t get decent air flow
  • The supplied air hose can be quite stiff in the winter months if the space it not heated

With that out of the way I have this really nice 3/8″ air hose I purchased earlier that I will use on this reel.

As you can see below there isn’t much space in the fitting area inside the reel. But bonus it looks serviceable if the rotating part ever leaks.

Here you can see the number of adjustment holes for the guide arm.

I also had to cut the stopper block as the rubber part was going to be too hard to slide onto the hose if I wanted to keep the rubber end protector on it.

Well I got pretty tired and didn’t take any more pictures but you can see the final mounted reel in a video I will post on my youtube.

Well now that I have the space it’s time to get a few more tools. Obviously I only got item on sale any things that I will actually use at some point.

First up is a new grease gun and synthetic grease I got from work.

It’s not really a tool and not even really for the shop but I do feel that it would be good to have a tow strap in the Ranger. Also it was cheap.

I’m not sure what happened to all my hole saws but I can’t find a complete set of them. These aren’t bi-metal but neither are any of the ones I currently have.

So this is a bit more of an impulse buy. Gravity fed paint spray gun for $9? Yes please. It’s not big but will work great for when I need to do touch ups or small items where I can’t use aerosol cans.

I already have 1 or 2 or maybe even 3 test lights but something I ran into a little while ago is that the ones I have don’t have a very long reach if I needed to get into an area on a vehicle with little room around it but it was far to get to.

One thing I don’t have but would like to have and can see myself using is a good set of pin punches.

Last but not least is a hose reel for my 50ft air hose. Been getting a little tired manually looping up the hose. Only thing is this is a lot larger than I thought and I’m not sure where it would be convenient for me to mount.

Well now that I have the new tool box all set up I have too many toolboxes. I originally had 3 so now with the new one I have 4 which is way too many. I guess it’s time to say goodbye to one of them. The one that’s going is my trusty 24″ Mastercraft toolbox. It has served me well for several years when I worked at Canadian Tire.

Update: Sold to a local. Makes me happy that it’s nearby. Is it weird being sentimental about stuff like this?

Been so excited for the new tool box I stayed up a little late filling it up with my tools. Tons of space and takes all the tools from my two smaller tool boxes. I also ended up moving my workbench to make space for this new toolbox.

Well here it is. After getting frustrated looking for tools between my 2 tool boxes while fixing the truck I decided to look for a tool box. There was one on sale at TSC(apparently changing to Peavy Mart?) it was a 42″ for some reason I decided to wait and use my next paycheck to pay for the toolbox instead of using any savings. Well it was a good thing I waited because when I was checking online if my local store still had the toolbox in stock I saw a 52″ version on sale for only $100 more. I found a store that was about a 40 min drive away that had one in stock and asked them if they would hold it for me until I got off work early the next day.

I managed to get down there and it just barely fit in the truck but man I was happy I got it because the next day it was no longer on sale.

Some more old pictures I found this will be a lead up to a big upgrade for the garage for me.

I thought I should post my battery bank since I was asked at work about it. Maybe I’ll do a dedicated page for off-grid stuff since I do want to upgrade the system in the future. Currently I only have a 750W modified sinewave inverter which was actually a replacement for a 500W that died on me. The battery bank itself is a mish mash of different batteries that I got from work that were on the skid slated for recycling.

Some older pictures of when I was just doing some general clean up mainly on my work bench.

Found an older video I made of when I started using an old filing cabinet for storage.

Getting a few more things for the garage. I’ve been running low on some hardware also picked up some wire wheels and a new set of ear muffs.

Alright so our “shed” out at the back has electricity going to it from the panel in the garage. With the “shed” being at the edge of the property it was already at the edge of the wifi range. So when add walls to the equation the signal can get pretty spotty and unreliable. So I was tasked with getting reliable internet to the “shed” and to the smart tv that is hardwire only. There are a few ways I could do this and I settled on powerline ethernet.

The first iteration of the setup I had didn’t work so well with speeds and reliability being similar to the current wifi. Normally in a standard house the setup would have worked but mine went from a plug line that went about 25′ to the panel then from the panel about 250′ to a panel in the shed then another 10′ to the adapter. I wasn’t really expecting good performance but it really was sub par. So the only other thing I could do is try and make the connections between the 2 powerline adapters more direct.

The result is that I ended up cutting the main line to the “shed” and splicing in an outlet that was up out of the way so it was less likely to be used and this gives it a much more direct path out to the shed. As an added bonus I should be able to use additional adapters in the garage for hardwired devices without having to run additional ethernet cables.

So it’s a few weeks into the new year and I am finally investing into some items for the garage. I got all sorts of goodies.

Aw man what a haul. I couldn’t get everything into this one pic. Everything I purchased was on sale and are items that I need or know I will use enough to get my money’s worth out of them.

As you may know I purchased a TV a little while ago that I haven’t had the chance to install yet. However, part of that reason is because the computer I am going to connect it to is on the other side of a wall in the office part of the garage. So I purchased this Bluetooth keyboard and touchpad combo.

Another thing you may know is that one of my die grinders has acted up on me which I managed to fix since it was only a pin that came loose. I still decided to get a spare because it was so cheap.

I believe every garage/shop should have one of these and it’s a heat gun especially if you do any heatshrinking or worth with vinyl wrap.

More tools! My old impact gun is really starting to get long in the tooth. It served me well but with several years of use in a garage at 150psi when it’s rated for 90psi I don’t blame it for being tired. Enter my new impact. It’s a stubby impact which some people don’t like. With this impact I’m not overly worried about longevity since I’m not working in a shop anymore. Also it has plenty of power for what I need since I don’t need to worry about over torqued wheel nuts anymore.

Since I was on the stubby impact track I thought why not get a 3/8″ drive one as well.

Last is a mechanic’s creeper. Since I don’t have access to a hoist at home and don’t currently have the ceiling height to accommodate one I will have to be working via floor jack and jack stands.

A couple small updates. I think I’ve mentioned before that I want to put a sink in the garage mainly for washing hands. In order to prevent the pipes from freezing I was planning on using a lamp that was continually on. Luckily I happen to come across a 120V thermostat. Another thing is that one of air powered die grinders has died on me so I will be tearing that apart.

Hope everyone had good holidays! Yesterday was boxing day so and upgrade for the garage is a TV! Now it’s not huge but man was it cheap and that’s what I wanted. Last thing I need is to accidentally have something in the garage hit an expensive TV.

Well it’s winter here in Canada and since we we now have two 4wd vehicles I no longer need to drive my Civic in the winter which literally takes forever to warm up since it burns so little fuel. The nice thing that the Ranger has is a block heater so I can make sure the engine will get up to operating temperature by the time I get to work on my 10 min commute. So I ended up getting myself a pair of locking block heater extension cords.

I decided to take a few quick in progress pics a few of them are a little blurry. The garage is somewhat clean but still needs a lot of work.

It’s been a little bit since I got my compressor up and running and I have started shopping around for air tools. First one I’m investing in is a 90 degree die grinder. I’ve been wanting one of these for quite a while now so I purchased one through work made by Chicago Pneumatic. I also got a larger 3″ twist lock adapter for sanding discs since my uncle has recently purchased a new trailer and wants me to clean up some of the rust on it.

So since I got the compressor setup completed I decided to work on adding a door onto the small room built into the garage. I plan on using this as an office area in the future as well as being able to store items where they are sensitive to freezing such as paints and cleaning chemicals. I simply made a video this time around so I’ll post it below.

Well I got it all finished with the final 3/4″ flex line down to my main feed. I don’t see myself changing it all that much for the foreseeable future. It was a lot of work and I even did a video tour of it. I also have a short clip of me breaking in the compressor pump. You can kind of tell what the noise level will be while it’s in operation.

So I was kind of stuck trying to find a dual pole 220v 20A switch with a built in pilot light. So I happened to come across a very low wattage(0.6w) night light LED bulb which I can use as a pilot light. So I got the electrical all set up and I even made a wood mount for the light. Is it to code? Probably not but most of the house isn’t to code either because of its age.

After getting the tank up into place I then had to mount the compressor/pump assembly. I plan to also suspend it from the trusses in the garage similarly to how I have the tank mounted. However, I plan on using some tire tread to suspend it. I figure it will give some vibration isolation and it has steel ply in the rubber to help with strength. I had originally planned on hanging it with heavy duty springs but decided against it because the stability of the unit was extremely lacking. I built some brackets out of some angle iron and welded grippers onto them so that they have some bite into the rubber. I also put up some heavy duty truck mud flaps to help isolate some noise since where I am putting it is the wall up against the house. I also finalized the mounting of the tank.

I got pretty much everything set up and ready to mount to the ceiling trusses. Did I ever mention that this stuff is heavy? It was a struggle to get the pump/motor assembly up onto the top of the office room. I also had to find a way to get the tank up to where I wanted it. I decided to use my engine hoist to get it as high as possible then use ratchet straps for the rest of the way. Not the safest way of doing this but it’s the only way I have access to at the moment.

Since I got the compressor and pump all set up it was time for me to work on the tank. I had to buy some fittings since the tank only came with an overpressure valve and the drain valve. I probably went overboard going with all brass fittings for the inlet. I also went with a 3/4″ check valve to try and get as much flow as possible into the tank. I also painted the tank black so that is more easily blends into where I am putting it.

So after getting a coat of paint onto my bracket I started mounting the motor and pump. One little trick I like to use is taking a trigger clamp and using it in the spreader configuration to tension the belt properly.

I got to say it looks pretty great even when it isn’t mounted in its final place yet. I also took a picture of information sticker on the side of the pump for future reference since I know someday I will need it and it will be worn off or damaged.

Well floor space in just about any garage is at a premium and while my garage isn’t exactly small I would also prefer to not have the 80gal horizontal tank on the floor. So my plan is to suspend the tank and compressor pump to the ceiling of the garage. First thing I will have to do is construct a base that the pump and motor can be mounted to. First I needed to plan out what distancing and size I would need for the motor and pump.

After sizing and cutting the angle iron it was time for me to practice my welding skills which I would classify as average. As you may also see is that I also included some welded nuts for the mounting positions.

It’s like things just keep falling into place. Originally I was just going to use my dinky little 20gal tank with the new compressor but I decided to browse kijiji(a website people can post to buy and sell things) to see how much a bigger used tank would cost me. I know a new one would be around $400-$500 alone so when I happened to see an 80gal tank for $100 I jumped on it. I had a look at it and the interior seemed to only have minor surface rust from mainly just age. The tank also had an extended easy access drain so I know it was more than likely drained quite frequently. I was so excited that I only remembered to take a picture of the tank plate.

Well my birthday came and passed and I got a used motor as a present. It’s pretty much exactly what I needed for a motor. I tested it and it seems to work fine.

Well I had to go to TSC and pick up a chimney thermometer for a wood stove. I figured while I was there I would walk around and browse what they had. I just happened to walk past something that caught my eye. It was something that I was contemplating purchasing for a while because my current one was quite inadequate.

Yes! It is a compressor pump. My current compressor is a hodge podge of a couple compressors and well it isn’t enough to even do 5 lug nuts on a tire without having to wait for it to build pressure. I’ve been holding off on purchasing one until this one. Can you see that price tag? Yeah, $54.97+tax is what I see too. I thought that the price was incorrect and was just going to leave it but I decided to ask the customer service desk anyways and they confirmed that yes the price is correct. Since it was going to be by birthday in a couple days I decided to buy it for myself.

Obviously I want to turn this into my ultimate garage. So here’s some in progress pictures of it. Also before too many of you go ballistic about the gas containers, let me just tell you this is the best place for them. It is the furthest away from any possible sparks and right beside the garage doors where it is best ventilated to eliminate standing fumes. I will eventually either build a steel storage container or get a larger singe portable container with a pump.

Picked up a fancy new jerry can for the chain saw so I can keep the bar oil and gas mix all in one container. It’s nice that I can just grab one container and go without having to think about it. I also took some shots of it beside the two containers it is replacing.

Someone the other day was asking me how I manage to fit all my wrenches into my toolbox well this is how. A piece of wainscoting with nails driven into it. Simple but effective.

Picked up some more tools in the past few days so I’ll post ’em here with a small blurb. If you want a review of any of these tools let me know on my social media or through my contact page.

Doing enough welding that I should have a few welding magnets on hand.

New digital tire inflator didn’t need it but it was a good deal and comes with a valve core tool.

Precision screw driver set which might actually live in the office instead of in the garage.

Been needing a new pickup tool and got an inspection mirror while I was at it.

Another good deal. Can never hurt to have more sockets.

Picked up a metal covered type-C cable hope it’s durable enough for use in the garage.

And finally I picked up a 750W inverter to run a few things in the garage off the battery bank I have.

So I went to use the jack today and well it didn’t lift as high as I needed. Now this is an old floor jack that my dad picked up used in a yard sale so naturally it’s history is questionable. It actually always had a slight leak and I have never topped it up because it always worked for what I needed. Today I topped it up with some Rislone jack oil with stop leak. It was pretty simple, just pull the rubber plug out of the side of the jack cylinder fill it and then bleed any air by operating the jack without a load.

So I picked up a gas pressure washer from work. It was an old display model and being a display model all the accessories were either stolen or just plain lost. I agreed to purchase the pressure washer minus the cost of the missing accesories. So I nabbed myself a 2600psi Simonize pressure washer for $60+tax not a bad deal. Naturally I didn’t buy the accessories at work ‘cus they are way overpriced. I also replaced the line in on the thing because the stiff plastic is known to snap when being hit during normal transportation.

Just a little snapshot of the shop.

Time for hardware organizing.

Looks like there’s enough room for 2 organizers in a drawer.

So I made a separator to prevent the top organizer from slipping into the bottom one. Just a simple piece of hardboard with some finger holes drilled into it.

Talk about close tolerances. Didn’t have much room after fitting 2 organizer trays in a drawer.

After making sure the trays fit I started filling the top one with 1/4″ and 5/16″ hardware. I also made some dividers out of leftover hardboard.

Sorting and adding the electrical connectors to the filing cabinet.

The Lid on this organizer is a little hard to open when in the drawer so I added a handle.

Here it is pretty much all full. Also picked up a heat-shrink kit from Princess Auto.

So I have this old filing cabinet that I will be using to store things such as small engine parts, nuts and bolts, tapes and glues, etc.

Also added some wheels to it to makes it mobile if I ever need to move it. To be within the caster’s rated capacity I had to use 8 of them. You’ll see I had to shim the wheels due to the floor slope.

Here are some of the oldest pictures I could find of the garage. Now that I look at it there seemed to be a lot of space but there also wasn’t space to work on a vehicle.

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