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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Tools and workspace



The car is back in the garage. This time it's for an exhaust leak. It should be a quick and easy fix -with the right tools. Put it up on the lift, a bit of cutting with a torch, and then bolt or weld in a new section. That's how the garage will do it.

I could have done the job at home. Put the car up on some ramps, crawl on my back on the wet ground, struggle with a hacksaw to cut out the bad section. Then I'd have to go 20 miles to the parts store to find the parts. Back under the car I'd work at an awkward angle to bolt everything back together.

I've done it both ways.

At one time my dad owned a home garage with a pit. It was great for fixing cars as a person could work standing up. Had that still been available it would have been worth doing the exhaust repair myself.

Most jobs are like that -much easier with the proper tools and workspace. Unfortunately, with the high price of quality tools, it's not in my budget. Who can justify spending big money for a tool that only gets used once in a great while? Heck, even my well equipped mechanic complains about that. The guy has a small fortune tied up in specialized equipment. At least for him it's a business expense.

With that in mind, I'm excited to hear there's a local effort to form a maker's space. For a small fee people would have access to tools and a workspace. There's also the advantage of being to work with other people and share knowledge. For someone who's always tinkering with different projects the idea excites me. Imagine having access to a full machine shop rather than a vice, hacksaw and a file.

Few of us nonprofessionals can afford fully equipped shops, but together we can make it happen. That sounds like my idea of a fun time.

-Sixbears

8 comments:

  1. I suspect that we'll see a resurgance of co-op arrangements with the ecomomy the way it is.

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    1. That would be the logical thing to do.

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  2. A guy would have to run them through a metal detector before they left. Sad as it be, most of the small stuff would walk right out the door quickly me thinks...

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    1. There must be ways to keep that in check. After all, there are maker spaces all over the world.

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    2. Actually , in the military automotive hobby shop. They used to just have a guy which checked the tools out on an individual basis.

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    3. Maybe they run like that. I'm going to find out.

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    4. Electronic fob that fits on your keychain gets your tool signed out of the cabinet. (or "unlocked", if a bigger tool) They know exactly who has what when.

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    5. Thanks Leane. And now we know.

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