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Home Bicycle Repair Shop Part 2 - Space, the Final Frontier

By Captain Dondo at PerformanceBike

I was recently busted by my wife for using her crappy old Dartmouth blanket to cover the fancy cream-colored rug while I did some bike repairs in our apartment. Big mistake. We used to live in a house with a nice basement shop. Now we live in an apartment. If I keep misbehaving, I’ll be living in my car before long. Here’s the poop for setting up shop in each of these situations.

BASEMENT

Floor: Freshly painted concrete. Red is best for locating the small parts you always drop.

Tools: Hang from nails and sheet rock screws on a ½-inch or thicker piece (4x4 feet for starters) of plywood. Forget pegboard -- the spacing is all wrong. Make holders for screwdrivers, allen keys, and pliers by drilling holes through a ½-inch-thick board. Most frequently used tools go dead center on the big board. The rest fan out from there.

Bench: I like a smally right under the tool board for placing parts. Then a bigger one across the room for the bench vise, truing stand, grinder, etc.

Tunes: Run wires for extra speakers and tap into your main home sound system, or go for a good CD boom box. Works out about the same price-wise.

Décor: Old race number bibs, stickers (for stand and tool board), inspirational posters, medals, trophies, rejection letters, college diploma, pix of spouse and kids (so you dont forget what they look like).

APARTMENT

Floor: NOT the Dartmouth blanket. Use a plastic drop cloth. Extra style points for using your old Twister game.

Tools: A small rollaway tool chest is really the way to go. Frequently used items go in the chest on top, the rest go in the bottom. Segregate tools (pliers, screwdrivers, etc.) into their own drawers. Stash the whole thing in a closet when you’re done. The top part can be your traveling tool kit for events.

Bench: I’ve been using a folding camp table that wipes clean.

Tunes: There’s no place in my apartment that I can’t hear the stereo. So thats a plus.

 Décor: Pretty much limited to stickers on your stand and rollaway. Wear a funny hat if you feel deprived.

CAR

Floor: Swipe the Dartmouth blanket when you get booted out. Parts disappear forever when dropped into dirt or grass.

Tools: Get used to working out of a toolbox. Mine is an electrician’s model that has a mini tool board in the lid for small stuff. Big stuff goes in the bottom.

Bench: Grab the folding camp table as well.

Tunes: Walkman for stealth. Car stereo (mucho basso profundo) for annoying the neighbors in your campground.

Décor: Coleman stove with espresso pot on folding table. "My Other Car is a Bicycle" bumper sticker.

_____________________________________________________________________

OK, you got the tools (Part One) and you got the space, now its time to actually start doing something to your bike. What? In the next installment, Captain Dondo lays out a do-it-yourself maintenance schedule.

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