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Garage Essentials


  Ian Cushway profile Image

By Ian Cushway, 20th December 2018


Garage Essentials


How to make the most of the 'off season'.


Before retreating to your garages and workshops to sit out the worst of the winter weather, it’s worth spending a bit of time ensuring your workspace is suitably equipped, safe, secure and totally fit for purpose. We have lots of useful tools and equipment but if you need some inspiration, here are 10 tips to help prepare you for the cold months ahead...

1. Tooling up
Perhaps you have some old tools that have been seeing you by over the years. Maybe you can get most things done one way or another, but that missing 10mm is annoying… and maybe jobs would take half as long if you had ratchet spanners A complete set of proper tools shouldn’t be underestimated, it can make the difference between a job being a real pain and it being a total pleasure. Basics include a trolley jack, a set of sturdy axle stands, a comprehensive socket set, spanners and an assortment of screwdrivers. You get what you pay for, so don’t be tempted to scrimp on quality. Browse our full range of garage equipment garage equipment. Other useful kit to make working on your classic more comfortable includes a car creeper. Oh, and you’ll need a heavyweight work bench, preferably with a metal surface and a large mechanic’s vice. Remember, always ensure your car is properly supported before you climb under it.



Credit: Image source - Garage-Mechanic Photo on Pexels


2. Get organised
There’s nothing worse than working in a muddle, so keep your floor space clear to avoid tripping over things and get your tools and equipment properly stored away in this very cool looking retro tool cabinet. Consider investing in some wheel skates, so you can move your car around to create a bit more room when needed. The ones here even have a clever hydraulic lifting device. Keep fragile items and body panels up in the eves of a garage or tied high up on a wall so there's less chance of them being damaged.



Credit: Image source - Photo by AJ Yorio on Unsplash


3. A bit of oil right
Old cars sometimes develop nasty habits, one of which is leaving drops of oil if it's stood unused for a while. If left to form a puddle in your garage over winter, then you’ve got yourself an accident waiting to happen. Put a drip tray underneath to collect the big spills, or buy an oil absorbent mat for the little drips so you don’t end up with a slippery oil slick.



Credit: Image source - Photo-by-Jesse-Bowser-on-Unsplash


4. Shine a light
You'll need to see what you're doing during those dark winter nights, so proper illumination is essential. Get a portable flood light set up to shed lots of light, then grab a cordless inspection lamp when you need a more concentrated beam. The best inspection lamps are cordless and have a magnet, hook and 360-degree swivel head for added convenience and can all be found in our full range of workshop lighting.



Credit: Image source - Photo by Moss Europe



5. Top security
If you’re about to park your classic up for a while, then for goodness sake make sure it's secure. Lock-ups away from home are particularly vulnerable. Fit strong locks, take expensive tools home with you if necessary, and consider installing some type of alarm or online surveillance.



Credit: Image source - Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash


For the ultimate peace of mind, we highly recommend fitting a Classic Tracker to keep tabs on the location of your classic at all times. Should anyone move or tamper with the car, you’ll be alerted immediately.


Credit: Video source - Video owned by Moss Europe Ltd


6. Power to the people
Power tools can save you hours of gruelling manual work, but it is important to ensure that they’re in good working order, of course. Before using power tools in the workshop, check they are properly maintained and that all the plugs, leads and extensions are in good order. Make sure that you have the correct bits, discs and blades and that they are in good useable condition.



Credit: Image source - Photo by Moss Europe Ltd


Never have anything electrical near liquids, the two things don’t mix! Always read the safety manuals that come with any tools you buy and adhere to what they say regarding their safe use. When working on your car's electrics, disconnect the battery.

...and don’t forget the all important protective gear! ...more on that to come.


7. Leave it open
If you’re tuning your car with the engine running, keep a window or door open. Breathing in fumes from paint and other noxious substances can be dangerous too, so take the proper precautions.



Credit: Image source - Photo by Taylor Young on Unsplash


8. Under fire
Even when you’re not working with a direct flame, burner or welding tool, it makes sense to have a good fire extinguisher close at hand. Tools can get hot, sparks can get thrown and if there’s a highly flammable substance around, such as petrol or paint thinners, then you could easily have a blaze on your hands. A dry powder extinguisher to tackle type B and C fires (flammable liquids and electrical fires) will be sufficient for most situations.


9. Protect and survive
Never skimp on safety. Always wear eye protection when using drills/cutters/grinders or hammering. And if things start getting noisy, put on a pair of ear defenders. Disposable gloves to protect your hands from oil contamination are another must; put on a pair as soon as you go into the workshop. The heavy-duty Nitrile ones are best. Oh, and when rubbing stuff down, using paint spray products or working on brakes, be sure to put on some form of dust mask or respirator. Why not check out our range of personal safety equipment. It's also worth investing in a pair of steel capped boots and a decent set of overalls – as well as a first aid kit. Oh, and if you haven’t had a tetanus jab recently and plan on doing a fair bit of metal fabrication, book a doctor's appointment and get it done.



Credit: Image source - Photo by Adam Birkett on Unsplash



Credit: Image source - Photo by Moss Europe Ltd


10. Make it nice
Make your workshop a nice place to be by fitting it out with some fun accessories. We've got some stunning marque specific enamel that are guaranteed to brighten up any workshop wall. And while you're enjoying a well-earned brew, why not sit yourself up on one of our barstools. If you get a few, you can invite friends round to make working on your car more of a social occasion! Most of all, though, over the winter – have fun and make the most of the time available. After all, the 2019 show season is only just around the corner...



Credit: Image source - Photo by Moss Europe Ltd



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