Earlier in November, we ran a short piece related to how to organize your garage. Since many of your are deeply embedded in Winter, we thought we’d run a second piece detailing the basic considerations of a good working garage shop.
Bikestand — unless you’re the Hulk and can lift the bike off the ground with one hand and work on it with the other, you’re going to need a good a good bikestand. It should be about knee height and be fitted with tie-down hooks or a front wheel chock to keep your bike upright and from falling.
Pegboard — keep you most used tools where you can get them. Including combination wrenches, screwdrivers, hex keys, pliers, and hammers.
Heat – working in the cold is no fun. In fact, it’s a downright bitch. Get some space heaters.
Light – more parts have probably been lost and more time wasted trying to find them because someone didn’t have enough light to see where they went. Put up some big fluorescent lights overhead and get some drop lamps to light up the areas where you’ll need more illumination.
Ventilation – fumes created by solvents and fuel may not kill you right away…but they can do a number over time. Open a door, get some fans. Do something that will make sure you’ve got plenty of ventilation to reduce the smell and effects of those fumes.
Fire extinguisher – hell, no one purposefully starts a fire while working on their bike, but stuff happens. Keep it close.
Parts Tank — no this is not a place where parts magically appear. This is a tank you use to clean parts before you put them back on your bike.
Gloves — latex or blue nitrite gloves are the best for working around grease and oil.
Workbench – the workstand’s brother. Waist high and at least four to five feet wide.
Vise — mount it on the end of your workbench. It’s the tool with a thousand uses.
Trash can – seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised.
Sound system – break the tedium with your favorite tunes.
Fridge — where your favorite beverage lives until you put it down your throat. A snack or sandwich can go here, too.
Remember, fights with significant others or the danger zone created by mothers and daughters at loggerheads with each other is why God made garages in the first place. Treat them with respect.
Thanks again to The Motorcycling Manual for this issue’s Shop Talk.