Phil's Blog

I’ve been busy…

by on Jun.14, 2009, under Shop/Bike

As some of you know, I used to be a Harley-Davidson mechanic.  Over 3 years ago now, I finally quit and basically left the business altogether.

Since then, my own bike sat unattended in my garage, as I was basically burnt out on the whole wrenching thing.  Lately, I decided it was time to get back to it, on my own terms.  I decided to at least set up a small home shop for myself.  I bought a compressor and bike lift, and started setting up my other stuff.  Here’s where I’m at right now (click on any image to enlarge):

The shop:

The left side (some of the tools, one bench with my engine currently on it):

Right side (view of the compressor and bookshelf).  The door under the bookshelf is for the front door of the house, and will be gone soon:

Close-up of the bookshelf.  This was a freebie from a neighbour that took up space.  I decided that it was better used bolted to the wall (Mike hounded me to do this for weeks, and I finally have to admit he was right).  Note service manuals, catalogues, etc.  The closed doors hold chemicals:

The far left corner.  Parts washing station, battery charging, hardware compartment, etc:

The back wall.  Grinder, vice, other tools, parts storage, etc:

The far right corner.  The compressor output goes through a shut-off valve, regulator, a small flexible line (you actually want this before the separator so the condensation builds up), water separator, and finally, the long spool of air line.  I would normally want hard lines with outlets all over the place, but considering the cost involved and the relatively small size of the shop, it’s not really necessary. The compressor is anchored to the floor and has rubber isolation pads we recycled from car shock parts so it floats properly:

If you look back at the first picture, you’ll notice the bike lift sits on some 2X6 boards.  This is what’s below those, a 3 1/2 foot deep pit for working on cars (blech):

What’s left:

  • WIRING! This is the big one, as I can’t use the compressor right now. This was supposed to have been done today, but the guy who was supposed to do it never showed up or called.  I’ve been waiting for him for weeks.  Time to call some of my other electrician friends.  Realistically, I could just run some 12g wire from the compressor to the present wiring, but I’d rather run a proper sub panel in the shop.  I already have the panel, the wiring in the house is ready, the conduit is already there and has the current wiring in it, etc.  Also, the shop needs way more outlets.
  • Lighting.  There is presently one take-off set of track lighting on the left side, and one crappy bulb in the back/center.  I have someone who will be donating more track lighting for the right side as well.
  • Safety bars.  I have the material, but some pre-fabbed rebar mesh may be leftover from a buddy’s project, which will save me from having to weld something up myself.
  • Eventually, I’ll most likely isolate the walls and close them up with just plywood (no sense wasting drywall for a shop).  Painting all that white will also increase the level of light in the shop.
  • Will happen at a later date:  Press for sure.  Most likely welder as well.
  • Dreams:  Bead-blast cabinet, expand in width, lathe, mill, boring bar, Sunnen hone, more H-D special tools, etc…


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8 Comments for this entry

  • Viren

    Very impressive. I’ve always wanted an HD, but it’s probably gonna be one of those things I’ll obsess over for a while and then it’ll rust in the garage. Sweet setup though.

  • grokdoc

    Looking good Phil. I like it.

  • Wild Fower

    Mighty impressive for a little ole’ home shop!!!!

  • Jonas Woost

    Very nice. Looking forward to seeing it all! And upload more pictures of the bike!

  • Phil

    Jonas: Will do. I took some last week (after washing the bike for the first time ever), but it was a little too sunny, so you can’t see the black properly.

  • Dean

    Great set up Phil. Tell me about the ‘safety bars’ though? Are we talking burglar bars or something to do with the lift? BTW, them boards over that pit would make me nervous. But then: I love my bike nearly as much as my woman.

  • Phil

    Yes, we are talking about anti-theft bars for the window. Someone has scrounged up some “mesh” made of rather large round stock already, so I just need to get the rust off it, measure it, cut it, paint it, and mount it.

    As far as the boards, they are 2x10s with some fairly large cement lips holding them up. I did not want the lift or bike there at all, but many, many people with more knowledge and experience than me have assured me that this can easily hold several thousand pounds without a problem at all.

  • Mike

    Hi Phil,
    you probably recognize my sidecar you worked on.

    Good to run into you on the web.

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