Oemy's Projects/Tools/ETC

Heater Cart & Switch

Many of us DIYers like to work on our projects year around and need some form of heat during the cold months and I like most of you do not have AC/Heat in my building. But, I find that a 35,000 BTU Kerosene heater takes the chill off and is not all that expensive to run. A number of years ago I picked up my heater at the end of the season for something like $49. I almost bought the optional cart until I saw the price, it was only $5 or so cheaper than the heater. I figured I really didn't need it. But, moving it around got to be a real pain and it also made a lot of noise just sitting on the cement floor. So, I decided to make my own cart.


  • Frame - scrap 2x4's - $0
  • Handle - scrap 3/4" PVC pipe & left over fittings - $0
  • Wheels - Harbor Freight - $10 for the pair
  • Bolts/Nuts/Washers - Local Hardware Store - $5
  • Paint - Wal Mart - $1

The next problem I discovered was the electrical hook up. It has a very short cord and no switch. So, each time you what to move the heater or turn the heater on/off you had to unplug it either from the wall or at the heater. I decided to modify an extension cord I had to provide an extra set of outlets and a switched outlet. Now if I want to turn the heater on/off I just flip the switch.


  • Metal Outlet Box - Home Depot/Lowes - $1
  • Metal Cover Outlet/Switch - Home Depot/Lowes - $1
  • Metal Box Wire Clamps - Home Depot/Lowes - $1.50 bag
  • Wall Switch - Home Depot/Lowes - 50
  • Wall Outlet - Home Depot/Lowes - 50

Note - I use a Blue line to show the netural line in the wiring diagram.

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Oemy's New Tool Chest

I seem to have the Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor syndrome, "More Power - More Tools". So, I had to get a new tool chest.

I looked at Harbor Freight and Sears Craftsman. The difference was in price and name only. I think the same "Chinese" guy made them both. But, the Sears version was on sale for $220 and you got a "free" 3-drawer chest. I also had some Citi Bank rewards points, so I got me 2-$100 gift cards. As an added bonus there was a $20 mail-in rebate, a 10% associate discount (my son-in-law works at Sears), and another 10% on friends/family night. My final cost was $175 tax/title/license out the door.

But, as most of you know I can't leave anything alone for long. So, I added a handle to push the whole thing around the shop, I added a extension cord hanger on the end of the tool box, I added some small chains to hold the lid from getting bent back and I replaced the carry along box with another drawer.

The bottom line is, I have 15 drawer roll around tool chest for less than $175.



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Car Lift

How many times have you wished you had a car lift just to change your oil? Well I finally figured out that I was getting to old to be lying on the ground, cold cement or in the dirt to be working under a car.

While I was on summer vacation (2010) I decided that I was going to buy a car lift. Looking online I found any number of companies selling basically the same lift, just painted different colors. I ended up getting mine from American Automotive Equipment. They were having a sale on their lifts and I selected the XLT 8,000 lb 4 post lift. This one is a little longer and rises to 82". It came with a wheel kit, jack tray, 3 drip trays and ramps.

Shipping can be an issue, as your looking at 1,700 lbs. Lucky for me the warehouse is Cleburne, TX which is about 85 miles away from my shop. Also, the headquaters is in New York state so no Texas sales tax. You will need a fork lift or a tractor with a loader to get it off the truck. In my case it was FedEx Express Freight. Here is the how it is delivered. Note - I removed the cardboard boxes that contained the hardware that were strapped to the shipment before I took ths photo.

Unpacked Parts

You will need a good set of 3/8" and/or 1/2" sockets/wrenches to assemble this baby. There are a couple of nuts that I used a socket from my 3/4" set. You will also need 3 gals of ISO 32 jack oil. Lastly, you will also need at least a 2nd set of hands. I had my 2 SIL's help and we assembled it in about 3 hours.

There are a few gotcha's:

  1. The instructions SUCK.
  2. You will need room at the end of 1 ramp to insert a 6' portion of a 14' relay rod that releases the saftey latches when you lower it.

First Time Use

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Zero Turn Mower

Mowing 2 acres of grass takes some time.

Back in 1997 when I had 16 acres of land I only had 1/2 acre to mow. So, I figured a 46" cut riding mower should do the trick. I did pretty much what I wanted it to and served me will for 13 years. But, the big drawback was it was not HYDRO STATIC and the turn radius wasn't that good.

So, I decided to upgrade to a Zero Turn mower.  Man what a differnce. I can do almost 2 acres in about 2 hours instead of 3+. I bought a Cub Cadet 50" cut with a 22 HP Kawaski engine. The Cub Cadet has pivioting front axle that the others don't. Also, the front tires are smooth turf tires. The only bad thing is the big rear tires will tear up the turf on really tight turn arounds.

OBTW - I sold the riding mower in 1 day on Graig's List for $450.

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