Training, racing, gear, facial hair styles and thoughts from my push to become an elite cyclist.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekend Projects and Rebuilding the Man Cave

I spent some time this weekend working on getting the shop setup.  In some way I suppose I'm still procrastinating when it comes to doing any sort of exercise on a Saturday or Sunday.  The good news is that the basement is much nicer now than it was before the flood and although the workbench is still covered in a variety of tools and building materials I'm making some progress.

My winter workbench setup usually means that the ski form is clamped down and the work surface is covered by a protective layer of sheet plastic.  It works great for skis, but doing any sort of cycling work means taking it all apart before I can get started.  Sometimes that's fine, but since I do ride and occasionally work on my bikes through the winter I needed a place for my toolbox, and a wax-free work surface to go with it. 

Most bike shops I've worked in use a simple peg board with hooks for tool storage.  It's simple, cost effective and takes up very little space.  In a previous apartment I installed a peg board but I found arranging the hooks so frustrating that I abandoned the idea and just kept everything in my toolbox.

Since then I've mostly liked having tools in the box, but sometimes I need to root around in the bottom for a small wrench, grease fitting or whatever.  George has long been a fan of the standing tool cabinet, so I decided to give it a shot with a modified setup shown below.  It's a combination of a standard mechanic's cart and small cabinet/large toolbox both readily available from Craftsman.  I couldn't find any one solution that offered the right amount of storage and work space so I used some 3/4" sanded plywood to make a work top.  It has three coats of Polycrylic and seems pretty well sealed, but I think I'm going to lightly sand it down and give it another coat so it has more of a consistent shine. 

There's probably some deeply rooted psychological reason why I'm doing things like this instead of riding...or maybe it's just because it's cold enough that riding outside is a miserable, chilly affair that requires a disproportionate amount of prep time.  The shop does need to get setup, and the more usable it becomes the more likely I am to build the YBB.

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