The Garage Journal Just another WordPress weblog Fri, 22 Apr 2016 19:16:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A Ferrari Showroom Fri, 22 Apr 2016 19:16:19 +0000

It’s sort of in fashion to say that “showroom” garages are a good example of excess gone wrong. And I get that line of thinking… I mean, what good is a garage that you can’t get dirty – right? But imagine having the kind of cash that allows a collection of Ferraris and needing a space to keep them all? You wanna grind and weld near a multi-million dollar vintage Ferrari?

Point is, the showroom garage is only lame until you actually need one.

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The Atomic Shop: A Working Update Fri, 15 Apr 2016 16:05:24 +0000

Given that it’s been a year since our last update on the Atomic Garage, I thought it might interesting to have an update of sorts. The above video is actually some test footage taken for another project, but in it you can kind of see how the space has progressed. Admittedly, it’s a mess at the moment as we just finished a major thrash for a local show. After our next clean up, I’ll get some footage of the joint in it’s more typical state – operational like an operating room.

In any case, if you are interested you can read the build thread covering the shop here.

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Ryobi Garage Door Opener Fri, 01 Apr 2016 21:15:03 +0000

So this thing just dropped from Ryobi and from the sounds of it, it’s pretty damned cool. Essentially it’s a 2hp garage door opener that becomes a sort of HUB for your garage. Through a host of modular accessories, you can add a fan, more lights, a cord reel, and even a bluetooth speaker. Admittedly, some of this stuff is just silly but I really admire the innovation of thought here from a company that I’ve never really given much thought too. In my opinion, this could grow into a nice little cottage industry.

Anyway, details from Ryobi here. And yeah, Home Depot is already selling them.

Editor’s Note: This isn’t a review… In fact, I’ve never even seen one of these units. I just got a press release for the thing in my inbox and thought I would feature it.

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The Samurai Workbench Wed, 23 Mar 2016 19:13:04 +0000

I don’t do a lot of wood working, so this isn’t a bench I’d use… But I have to admit, I love watching this guy build this thing. It’s gorgeous.

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Your Favorite Hammer Fri, 11 Mar 2016 22:23:14 +0000

I’ve got nothing for ya today… Absolutely nothing… Well, nothing other than my favorite hammer. Hammers are one of those things that you just bond with – you know? They are very tactile and by definition, simply purposeful. I just love hammers…

Anyway, the ball peen job above is my favorite. I’ve had it for probably 20 years and don’t remember where I got it or who made it. It’s marked with a “Made in the USA” stamp, but that’s it for identifying marks. And yeah, I’ve replaced the handle once. The head is still OG…

But this all got me thinking – we need a thread full of hammers and nothing but hammers. So, post your favorite.

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The Mennonite Barn Build Fri, 04 Mar 2016 21:45:47 +0000

A special build is going down in Canada. This is one you are gonna want to watch as it happens. Just subscribe to this thread.

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Velomacchi Fri, 26 Feb 2016 17:15:34 +0000

They work for the privateers… And one of them is actually one of us… The fellas at Velomacchi have come up with a backpack design that is actually pretty relevant to guys that get shit done in their shop and then take it on the road.

This isn’t an advertisement. I wasn’t paid to feature this… I just really like the idea and these guys.

Details here.


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Spotless Rinse… That actually works… Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:53:23 +0000

I’ve always been enamored by the “spot free rinse” offered at my local DIY car wash places. It’s something I ponder every time I wave that rented wand around – water barely flowing as if it was only a half hearted attempt to piss after a single beer. Am I wasting my money and time with this thing? Does spot free rinsing actually work or is this some Jedi mind trick fostered by the marketing department at an evil car wash manufacturing plant located somewhere in Poughkeepsie?

At some places, I swear it’s the former… By the time I’ve driven home, the car is dry from the wash and water spots present themselves everywhere. And yet at other establishments in my area, I’m almost positive it works to a degree and I’m left with a car that is almost spot free. In both cases, I end up going over the car at least one time with something like Ammo Spit or Speed Shine to get perfection.

A few months ago however, I actually met the owner of a number of car wash joints at my local bar. After a few, I brought up my theory and asked him for the truth of the matter.

“Some spot free rinses,” he said, “are absolutely bullshit. It’s simply low pressure water from the well. Others use some type of a silicon additive that is somewhat effective. More high-end places these days, however, offer de-ionized water and these systems actually work quite well if the filters are up to spec.”

So armed with this education, I hit Google and started searching around for home solutions. That lead me to Spotless Water Systems and John Fernandez. After a few emails back and forth, I talked John into sending me one of his units under the guise of a review for The Garage Journal and here we are…

John sent me the DIC-20 High Output Rolling System. Essentially, this is a roll around unit that places two large de-ionizing filters between your water source and the end of your hose. It costs around $450 and is good for somewhere around 300 gallons of water. The filters, of course, are rechargeable and each recharge runs around $90. So, all in all you are looking at about thirty cents per gallon of water you use.

Pretty expensive, right? But let’s get into this thing.

It’s made like a brick shit house. Seriously. The cart is powdercoated with some hammer-toned variation of powder that would be just as appropriate on a 1940’s era Craftsman power tool. And the filter housings are that super thick plastic you would expect someone like NASA to use – light and strong. There’s also a gauge of sorts – it’s a digital read out that tells you the condition of the filters and how much time left in them. All together it’s a pretty damned stout package.

But, does it work?

Yesterday, I pulled out my model-a coupe that has been stuck behind an uninstalled lift in my shop for about a month. It was covered in dust, grinding flash, and all sorts of other grime. First, I rinsed the car with the filter in place. Then, I used a car wash solution from Griots and lathered the car up nice and thick. Then, I simply rinsed the car from top to bottom. The entire process took about 15 minutes and when I was done, I just went back in the shop and got back to work while the car dried in the shade.

Now, keep in my mind that my coupe isn’t in finish paint yet. In fact, it’s in ten year old DP90 primer. Take it from me, NOTHING in this world spots as badly as DP90. Nothing. But the frame as well as a few other bits on the car are in finish paint – nice and shiny. So, I felt this car was the perfect torture test.

After about an hour, I went outside to judge the results. Frankly, I was shocked… so stoked… The car looked as if it had been hand dried and followed with a spray detailer. There simply were not any water spots to be found – either on the primered surfaces or the shiny. The damn thing looked detailed after a 15 minute car wash.

I have no way of knowing how many gallons I used, but if I’m reading the digital gauge correctly I used around 6% of the filter during the wash (or about 20 gallons or so). Given that, I have about 14 washes left in the filters. So if you do the numbers, the wash itself cost me around $6. I typically spend around $8 at my local joint…

Full disclosure. John sent this unit to me without charge so that I could review it. Even so, I would never sell you guys out and recommend something that I don’t believe in and I would 100% put my name behind this thing. I realize the market for a $450 car wash aid is small fellas, but if you are one of those guys that really enjoys washing your car then this thing is a pretty great value. John’s gonna get his money back from me in filter purchases alone as I plan to use the hell out of this thing.

Editor’s Note: As I mentioned, I used the DIC-20 unit – the largest and most expensive unit John offers. There are smaller and cheaper options available as well. You can see them all here.

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Vintage Jack Stands Fri, 29 Jan 2016 18:11:24 +0000

I’ve decided we don’t have nearly enough images of vintage jack stands on this site… So, post em if you got em. Here’s a quick selection to get us going:

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A Mexican Palace Mon, 11 Jan 2016 16:34:22 +0000

Somewhere in Mexico a man started to built a shop and then decided he needed a house too… Things gat crazy. Things got nuts. You can follow the whole thing in progress here. And trust me, you will be glad ya did.

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