This is my new garage. Today we’re going to build a bike shop here. Not a public bike shop, just my bike shop. Our bike shop. For those of you just dropping in, here’s some context for why this garage is such a big deal. For the last two years I’ve been filming my videos on this deck, behind a very small townhome in South Florida. With no garage and no work bench, things started to get really cramped back there, and the mosquitos didn’t make it any easier. Most of my bikes and all my tools were stored in this closet, which was not nearly secure enough. It was time for a change. So here we are at my new house in Asheville, NC. Instead of a closet… I now have a bike dungeon. By storing bikes here, my garage can be a dedicated workspace. That’s where we are today, getting ready to build that workspace from scratch. They say a poor carpenter blames his tools, but I barely have enough tools to blame. This Makita impact gun and drill are hopelessly underpowered, and this Ryobi circular saw is all I have to cut stuff with.
But it’s not like we’ll be doing fine cabinetry today. First up is the pegboard, which will hold all my bike tools. The pegboard needs to be mounted on a frame so that it sits a few inches from the wall. I’m making the frame from 2×3’s, and yeah I need better safety glasses. Some glue and some screws, and this thing weighs a ton. In hindsight it would have been better to mount the frame to the wall before securing the pegboard.
I’m not sure what a real carpenter would have done, but I got it up on the wall any way I could, fastened it, and then adjusted it afterwards. Hey, it worked. On to the good stuff, the work bench. First I’ll make the legs from 2×4’s. Next I’ll frame out the top with 2×6’s. The bench top will be made from 1/2” plywood and sit flush with the frame. Assembling everything upside down makes this a lot easier.
I wanted to secure the legs with lag bolts, but my impact gun didn’t have enough balls. There’s nothing wrong with doing things the old fashioned way. After all that the bench didn’t sit level at all. The culprit? The garage floor. It’s graded, I guess to keep water from flowing in. For now, a shim will solve the problem. On to the really fun stuff. No shop is complete without a bench vice, and this is the cheapest bench vice you can get. It gets the job done though. The same goes for this seriously unrefined bench grinder. I needed to take the whole thing apart to get to the mounting holes, which is ridiculous. Why not put the holes on the corners? That’s what I get for going to Harbor Freight.
Now for the bike rack. This rack will be sort of a bull pen for bikes that I’m either working on or riding often. Remember that most of the fleet stays in the bike dungeon. Anyway this rack is built with 2×4’s with 1 1/2 inch dowels. Yeah, that’s not my Makita drill, it’s a plug in pecker wrecker I bought for tougher jobs. A little glue and this rack is ready to be mounted. A few people mentioned that it’s not good to hang bikes from the dropper post, but I’ve done worse. This rack looks sweet and keeps the bikes up and out of the way. Now for the flooring. This foam stuff is what they use in gyms. It’ll be comfortable to walk on and reduce the echo in the shop. If a tile gets damaged it can easily be replaced. This bike shop seems to be missing something. Oh yeah, bike tools. Luckily, Park Tool Company is a pretty big fan, so they sent over a PK2. It’s a tool kit with everything from spoke wrenches to cleaning brushes.
Tonight I’m lighting up the shop blue to say thanks. I must have re-arranged the pegboard 10 times and I’ll probably do it again. The right side is for bike stools, the left is for other tools, and the top is for signage. I eventually decided to keep the tools real low, because I’m short. The face of the bench holds the tools I use most frequently, like allen keys and screwdrivers. This can be done on just about any wooden work bench just by drilling holes. Park really did think of everything. The kit they sent even came with a mallet, scissors, a master link removal tool, and a set of wires and magnets for routing internal cables. This little torque wrench is something I should have gotten a long time ago. The best part about building your own shop is that you can keep tweaking it to suit your needs.
I needed easy-to-access power for tools and phone charging so I mounted this outlet in the top of the bench. It’s actually wired to a GFI in case sealant or coffee gets spilled in it. For power in other parts of the shop I installed a retractable extension cord on the ceiling. It looked like a hot dog stand when I first got it so white spray paint solved that problem. At the bottom of the bench I even mounted a ring to keep Drama from wandering into the mountains. This is the new set of Seth’s Bike Hacks. I know a lot of you will miss the porch, and the bike closet, and watching me struggle with using a patio table as a work bench, but give this a chance. I have more room now for tools, and projects, and hacks. This is only the beginning. So what else does the new shop need? Let me know in the comments, and if it gets enough upvotes I’ll buy or build it.
With this move and new shop complete, the next chapter of Seth’s Bike Hacks is about to begin. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll see you next time. .
As found on Youtube