Upgraded Harbor Freight Parts Washer

There have been plenty of times I could have used a parts washer in the past, but I always got by with spray bottles and rolls of shop towels. I was inspired by a video by Jay Dighsx. His improvements on the Harbor Freight 20 gallon parts washer went a long ways toward what I wanted. The only thing his build didn’t have that I needed was the ability to move it to my backyard over packed quarter-minus – a moving dolly wasn’t going to cut it.

Completed Project

I started by welding up a new base using 1″ 16 gauge square tubing. I cut gussets for each corner from some 16 gauge mild steel, and used some scrap expanded mesh for the bottom shelf. The wheels are basic 6″ lawn mower wheels from Harbor Freight. I made the base high enough that the solvent barrel below it would have about 4″ of clearance. The base is quite sturdy and doesn’t have any flex during movement.

Front View
Handles extended for movement

I wanted to be able to easily move it, so I found some steel tube that was a slip fit for a piece of 1/2″ schedule 40 galvanized pipe and welded it to the top of the base. This allows me to collapse the handles in so it takes less space when not in use. To move it around, I simply pull the handles out, drop a pin in a hole drilled in the handle to prevent it from sliding back in, and maneuver it around like a wheelbarrow.

I went a little overboard on the connections side. I used brass bulkhead fittings from Amazon for each hole through the side of tub. I used the same pump, power supply, and filter setup Jay used on his build, but I added a switch to the pump that fills the wash from the reservoir. Inside the reservoir, I have a filter and a piece of PEX tubing that extends down to about 1″ – 2″ off the bottom. This allows for the gunk to settle to the bottom and not be brought back in when I refill.

Overall I am quite pleased with how it all turned out. It was a bit of a pain getting all of the components, and I spent way more than I would have liked on all the brass fittings, but since this will spend a lot of its life outside, I wanted to have quality components.

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