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Old 12-28-2009, 01:36 AM   #1
BB767
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Default Restored 1930's Auto Shop

Here are a few before and after pictures of a shop I restored, starting in Nov,2005. It was built in the late 1930's and used by a father as a blacksmith/welding shop and later in the 50's one of his sons did automotive repair there until his death in the mid 1970's. The father carried on until his retirement in the 1980's.The shop was then was slowly under used and finally abandoned.













As you'll see nothing was ever thrown out is seems. So far I've removed 48 tons of steel scrap that was recycled.





This was his welding corner. Note the Lincoln arc welder on the right. It's the same welder in the after picture. Same place where it's been for decades and will be cosmetically restored as it works very well as is.









The project was done mainly with my son and one other friend. Couldn't have done it without their help. Outside took about a year and the inside a second year. I'll post some more pictures if there is any interest.

To see additional pages of the shop and this thread, once you reach the bottom of each page, near the bottom right hand corner are numbers to click on for corresponding additional pages.

An index has been added to this thread due to it's advanced size to make referencing a post(s) easier. This index is not a complete detailed one, rather it is just a list of the major, photo-heavy posts focused on the shop. This index is brought to you courtesy board member wrigh003 with my thanks.

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Thomas

Last edited by BB767; 08-29-2012 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Index added
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

Very cool to see that the outside looks just restored, but interior is very clean and neat! Great work!! I'd like to see more pics.
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

Man that is one awesome setup, Those before pictures really make a person sit back and ponder all the stuff that shop has seen in its day. Im sure it would have been financially beneficial to start from scratch but thanks for bringing it back to life. Im sure More pics and some more history would greatly be apreciated.
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

I am in love with both incarnations of this place.

Post as many pics as you have, and tell the story of how/what you did to the structure and cosmetics of the building.

Old barns are an obsession of mine, as are old buildings of any kind, but especially old shops!
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

nice work...........was the hoist the original one?.........and did you reposition it as it looks like there is more roomin front of it from before..........all in all very impressive............by all means, more pics...........
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

The shop lift had a slow leak.Here is what I had to do to restore the in ground Rotary lift. It had been located outside the original shop for over 30 years. That's why there is clap board siding in the back ground since that was the outside of the original building. The lift was then enclosed in 1962. Three concrete block walls were built around it and it was then " grafted " to the original shop.The family gave me pictures of that enclosure being built by the way.







I unbolted the ramps and rolled them out the door on 4" PVC pipe.





I had to dig down about 9'. Digging was done mostly with a backhoe with very little hand work. Clay subsoil hard as nails. We kept a close eye on it since there was no room to put any bracing.



I found two pin hole leaks in the outer cylinder which were repaired. Then I had 1/4 inch steel, 8' long, rolled to match the outer diameter of the post and this was welded around the post completely surrounding it so if it leaks in the future it will all be contained in new metal. Also put undercoating material on the outside of it to slow rust and reinstalled it.



The sign on the wall was restored from the one outside the original shop. It can be seen if you go back to the first picture of this post showing the front of the shop above the two overhead doors to the left side of the picture showing the front of the shop.



The control cabinet was restored as well. The motor sits above the hydraulic pump which I had rebuilt and everything was rewired. The back half of the cabinet holds a 30 gallon fluid reservoir. The lift is strictly hydraulic, no air.



Rotary lift is still in business and their records show this lift was made before 1935. That's as far back as their records go. I had Rotary install one of their new modern 2 post lifts in my new " barn" I built this fall. They make great equipment!


Thomas

Last edited by BB767; 10-29-2011 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

WOW! Nice work! Where abouts you located? I see "Near Chamapign, IL". I am actually Near Champaign as well.
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:23 AM   #8
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

Here are a few more. I grew up less than a mile from this shop. It was out in the country back then. One of the owners kids was my age and we always hug around together. My first go kart was made here and this is where I learned power mechanics. The family gave me this picture from the late 1960's. The owner was a little organizationally challenged to say the least but he knew where everything was. He raised his family of 6 with the money earned here so I would call that successful. Note the sign over the doors. That's the sign I restored and relocated inside by the lift.



The shop was concrete block on all walls except the front and part of the west side. When the lift area was enclosed that too was done with concrete block. I removed the two walls that were wood frame and replaced them with concrete block so now the whole exterior is block.



Here you can see through the overhead door opening how the roof line of the original shop extends to inside the area where the lift is located. Also can be seen the clapboard siding and window of the original building.











The shop is located on 5 acres and is heavily wooded.





This might be one of those " where's Waldo?" pictures! The more you look the more you see. There's a go kart on the left with the front wheels pointing up. Just like my first one! I saved the 30 ton floor press seen behind the go kart. In fact I saved an awful lot of material. The roof had holes in it so much was lost due to water damage. There were many NOS auto parts from the 40's, 50's and 60's. A few flat head engines, with parts galore as well as modern engines. Saved them all and slowly evaluating what I need and selling the rest.



This is the same space as the above picture. I made the benches in the shop (3 of them ) using 12 gauge stainless steel 10' long for the tops. I do have more photos and will post them.

Thomas
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by car99r View Post
WOW! Nice work! Where abouts you located? I see "Near Chamapign, IL". I am actually Near Champaign as well.
Philo, Illinois..........the "Center Of The Universe" as proudly stated on our water tower!!

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Old 12-28-2009, 04:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

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Originally Posted by tatra View Post
nice work...........was the hoist the original one?.........and did you reposition it as it looks like there is more roomin front of it from before..........all in all very impressive............by all means, more pics...........
tatra, the lift was replaced back where it had always been. I'm sure it's just the picture that makes it look like that. Look at the lift in the center where it lines up with the doorway in both photos to get a better idea. Truly a labor of love!!

Thomas
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

Nice rebuild !! The before and after pic are great.
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:20 AM   #12
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

Absolutely, totally awesome...one of the coolest garages on GJ. Nice job on the restoration!
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:38 AM   #13
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

ummmmmmm what to say Holy crap. Great work
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

This is the coolest shop on the site. Is the metal lathe in the new shop original to the old shop?
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:00 AM   #15
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

Great job! Are those 4x8 sheets of melamine on the wall?
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:11 AM   #16
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

nice shop. i enjoyed the before pics since that how the last shop i worked at looked.
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:11 AM   #17
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

Amazing. Just looking at the first pic, I would have never imagined being able to restore that.

Makes a lot of other garage restorations look like a joke.
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:26 AM   #18
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

That hole is exactly deep enough to be a grave. Stay out of deep excavations!
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:39 AM   #19
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

What a great job! I hope your Town recognizes your efforts in some way.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:13 AM   #20
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Default Re: Restored 1930's Auto Shop

You were busy! It looks great!
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