The BugShop: My Garage

A Tour of My Garage

This page last modified- 11/2/01

I have said it before; I put stuff on my site that I would like to see on other people's VW sites. Stuff I am curious about.  When I see pictures of cars in garages, I always like to look in the background and see how the shop is set up.  So to that end, I have added a "Tour My Garage" page.  Many thing have changed since I took these pics, some of them noted in the text below.

Click on any of the pictures for a full size image, then use your browser's "Back" button to return.
This is my garage. Nothing too special, just your standard 25ft by 25ft, 2 car (although I have had 4 in it at one time) "attached" garage. My Cabrio there (sold in 2001, replaced it with a '91 Cab), the wife's "school bus" '95 Mercury Sable (nicknamed "Comfortably Numb", sold in 2001, replaced with a '99 Windstar) and on the right is my little "Sanford and Son" trailer full of VW parts waiting for Sunday's trip to the Litchfield VW show in the summer of '98. 

This garage has a 11.5 foot high ceiling. 

This is my 110 volt flux cored wire welder. My wife bought it for me for Christmas (yeah, it was my idea) a few years back. It was on sale for $149. It won't do sheet metal, it generates too much heat and burns through. The smallest wire it will use is .030". And the weld is not as clean as the gas MIG either. But it is useful for other "projects" like bracket making, tool fabrication etc. It is on a little rolling custom wooden cart.

This the gas MIG that I use on VW sheet metal, 110 volt (the gas bottle is not seen in this picture). The brand is "Cebora" and it is from Daytona MIG. It is a low end unit but works well. I "time share" it with a co-worker who is restoring an '32 Chevy and a Jag. We share the cost and just trade using it. It is very easy to use once you get the "feel" of it..

This was the '57 in its usual state (as of the summer of '98, anyway), surrounded by kids bikes, trash and "recyclable" piles. It is out of the way enough for us park two cars in the garage but is on wheeled dollies so that it is easily rolled away from the wall to work on it. The whole chassis/engine is done and wrapped in blue tarp underneath the body.

To the right along the back wall  you can see the 82,000 BTU Lennox furnace that I worship in the cold New England winters.  I can work in a T shirt when it is in the single digits out side.

This is the front wall of the garage. You can see my compressor mounted way up high there as well as my "tire rack" where I keep my alternate Cabrio wheels. I have a set of steel rims for winter and use my alloys in the summer. Also a spare aircooled 5 lug wheel up there too. I also store my sawhorses up there. The whole idea is to get stuff up off the floor as much as possible. You can see one of those pull down-reel fluorescent drop lights (yellow and white thingy) on the right. These are great. I got tired of blowing bulbs and burning my face and hands with the incandescent one that I used to have.

Look close to the right of the compressor, you can see the outlet it is plugged into. Also in that outlet is a blue light that is on when ever power is switched on. It is there to make it obvious that the compressor power is on . This is so I don't forget and am awakened a 3:30 am 3 weeks later when the thing "leaks down" and kicks on. It is very loud and shakes the whole house. You can also see the "T" to supply air to the workbench. 

This is the left side of my work bench. In the very first implementation of the BugShop, for those of you who remember, I had a .gif of my whole work bench. It is still on my "Misc. Gallery" page with a description of everything on the bench. 

In this picture, you can see a copper 1/2" line that comes down to give me an air outlet at my work bench, as well as one at the front of the garage. Sweating copper pipe is an easy way to supply air from your compressor to various places. You can see it has its own little regulator and pressure gauge. Then there is the thermostat for the furnace (round thing), a plaque from the Terryville show years ago, and an "Oh No- 30!" button that someone gave me on my birthday, uhhh, a few years back. Above the light switches is a power strip and that dark green thing behind the red basket is the Makita drill battery charger, wall mounted. An ATV license plate I found in the woods many years ago (still looking for the ATV that goes with it) a little shelf with battery terminal cleaners, sockets, etc. And you can see the 6 volt battery for the '57 there below.

Just above the left side of the work bench is the "entertainment center". Cassette deck, tuner, amp and 8 track. That's right an 8 track. For you young 'uns, that was invented right after Edison made that crank operated phonograph. The tape is "Cat Stephens Greatest Hits", one of three 8 Track tapes that I own. I like to listen to it every now and again and wait for the song to fade out halfway through and then hear "ka-CHunk" and it fades back in. (Note, the 8 Track was removed in 2001 in favor of shelf space for a variable AC supply)

Also visible the obligatory chemical insect combatants, and my library of service manuals. You can see a couple Chiltons, a Haynes and a Muir. The other two 8 tracks (Beach Boys Greatest and Bowie "Diamond Dogs") are on top of the cassette deck.

This was the latest "amenity" added to the garage. A sink with hot and cold water. I never realized how useful it would be. Washing greasy hands and arms, paint brushes, washing dirty (not greasy) parts, dumping coolant (town approves), getting water to cool welded stuff, etc. Just to the left of the piping, you can see a thermometer. I was concerned about the pipes freezing in the winter. In New England, in the fall, you have to go through your garage and get out all of the "freezeables" like Latex paints, driveway sealers, etc. It gets damn cold in there. But for some reason the pipes never froze (there are shutoffs just inside the wall in the basement though). All I can think is that the exposed pipe is small, it is up against a heated room wall and maybe the heat from the hot water line keeps it just a bit warm.

You can also the big gallon size, orange "Go-Jo" hand cleaner, air hoses (left) and car ramps stored upright (yellow)

This is the window on the end of the garage. That is an attic fan mounted on the lower window sash. Kind of a funny story about that. One winter I left and went somewhere while my wife and (then only) son and sister-in law and nephew were outside playing in the snow. I unknowingly had locked them out of the house by closing the garage door. It was very cold out. My wife in her resourcefulness tried to get the door open for a few minutes, then went out back to the shed and got a shovel and broke the window to get in. I would have done the same. So rather than replace the glass, I replaced it with a piece of plywood and installed this fan. I use it when I spray paint in the garage.

 Fire extinguisher below (good idea) and behind that step ladder is the ladder up to the loft.

This is the "air station" in the front of the garage, between the two doors. The compressor is directly above. A copper pipe drops down (the "T" to the workbench is above all this) and goes to a ball shut off valve, then to a pressure gauge. Below that, it drops almost all the way to the floor where there is another ball valve. Just above that ball valve is a "T" to allow a return to the regulators in this picture. This is a water trap. Condensation in the pipes will settle at the bottom of the run and can be drained by opening the valve at the bottom. I read about this in the internet somewhere years ago. Except that it said that you should use steel, threaded "gas" pipe (stays cooler, draws off more moisture from the air). I tried that but I had a terrible time keeping the joints from leaking. Eventually I gave up and used 1/2" sweated copper. I can go 2 weeks without using the compressor and it doesn't loose a single pound. That light switch in the middle turns the power on to the compressor, it is run from it's own breaker on the panel in the basement only 20 ft away. 3.5 HP, 33 gallon.

The pipe comes up from the floor on the lower left, there is an outlet there that you can get "full" un regulated air off of. It has some foam pipe insulation around it because my wife kept whacking her head into it and yelled at me for it. Then it goes through a filter and regulator. There is an outlet after that (to the right of the oiler) to provide filtered, regulated air. The last thing is an oiler, for air tools (NOT spray guns) with an outlet after it. This whole setup (minus in-between pipes) is from Harbor Freight, $40.  But after 5 years, every device (reg, filter and oiler) had failed and ahd to be replaced.

This picture shows the height of the ceiling and the ladder up to the loft. There is latching, drop down door at the ceiling. There are LOTS of VW parts up there. The '57s doors, fenders, lids, gas tank, glass were stored up there while I worked on the body shell. Plus a few more doors, seats and a whole lot of other parts. All hoisted up by rope!  It's a bear, but it keeps me from tripping over stuff.

In all of those boxes on the shelf to the right were most of the small parts to the '57, like lights, electric's, seals, etc., etc. All labeled carefully. I keep the seats to the '57 in the basement where the climate is more gentle.  SInce this pic was taken I added about 800 watts of cold weather start fluorescent fixtures.