ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
6/15/22 2:58 p.m.

Earlier this year my wife and I purchased our first home and with it I got my first garage. It is an attached two car with enough room for some storage and workspaces. Now that we have settled in it’s finally time to start getting the garage organized and ready to continue the restoration of my 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle because seeing it sitting out there covered in dust is making me sad.  I have been collecting stuff ever since we started house shopping, so I already had a good start on tools, building supplies and storage containers.

First on the list of upgrades was lighting. Unfortunately, the garage has only two lights in it and the walls are period correct to 1979 when the house was built with cheap dark brown wood paneling, so even during the day it is dark inside. Luckily Tom Suddard had some 8’ fixtures and LED bulbs that he kindly gave me and volunteered to help hang them up. After our first trip to the hardware store, we were ready to climb in the attic and start wiring. We picked a spot where they would be evenly spaced and get the light where I needed it. Luckily were able to wire into the existing switch which saved some time and money on materials, and it made a huge difference.

 

Next up on the list was to make some bench space to be able to work on projects and have some storage for parts, tools and inevitably a place to hoard all that random stuff that “I’ll use one day”. Again, the Suddard’s helped me out with Tim donating some wood from another project that was going to be thrown away that was perfect for bench building.

After looking at the space and what Tom has built in the past we decided to build a 14’ bench along the right side of the garage that my top toolbox could sit on and have room underneath for my bottom box with spare room for a second bottom box when I need to expand. The other side we built to fit 3 storage bins top and bottom for a total of 6 bins of storage space.

So, after our 3rd trip to Lowes for the day we had everything we needed to start building including a nice 16’ 2x4 for the front stringer of the bench that totally fit in my truck.

With that we set to work and it all came together pretty quickly once we had the final layout decided on.

After working from 11 am to 7 pm in the Florida summer heat we were finished, and I could not be happier with the results. I am excited to start pulling out all my Beetle parts to start organizing and making more progress on the project. If anyone has tips for what they wish they did in building out your 2-car garage I would love to hear them.

Nicole Suddard
Nicole Suddard Marketing Coordinator
6/15/22 5:02 p.m.

Brother, I have some questions about the alligator on the top shelf.

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
6/15/22 5:08 p.m.

In reply to Nicole Suddard :

That is not the alligators final resting place. It is part of the stuff that just got put somewhere out of the way for now. It needs to go in the beach and swimming pool section of the shed but has not gotten there yet.  

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
6/15/22 5:23 p.m.

Wood paneling and Astroturf look so appropriate for a Bug.

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) Dork
6/15/22 5:49 p.m.

I don't know if you have a plan for the walls but I would get the white ASAP. It will really brighten up that awesome space!

jh36
jh36 Dork
6/15/22 6:02 p.m.

Nice space Chris, and I dig the bug. Details on that appreciated!

congrats on the enclosed space. I feel your joy. 

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
6/15/22 9:56 p.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

Yeah when I pushed the car in there for the first time I realized that was the garage it was meant to be in. 

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
6/15/22 9:58 p.m.

In reply to preach (dudeist priest) :

That's the plan. I am keeping an eye out on the discount paint section at the local hardware stores to try and get something at least close to white without paying full price. 

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
6/15/22 9:59 p.m.

In reply to jh36 :

Thanks! It's a 1971 Super Beetle with everything stock right now. The plan is to make it a nice driver for cruising around town. 

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
6/16/22 11:05 a.m.

The search is on for a bench vise. Any tips on brands and jaw sizes? I am looking at used stuff right now but the ones at Harbor Freight are tempting. 

 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) Dork
6/16/22 5:44 p.m.

I'd go old. I have an old rugged one, and a newer one that's not even mounted any longer. The newer one is much smaller and the handle looks like an S.

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
6/16/22 9:18 p.m.

In reply to preach (dudeist priest) :

I was leaning towards finding an older one so I'll keep searching marketplace and garage sales for something good. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
6/16/22 10:11 p.m.

As far as size, I have a 4" that's plenty for general auto repair. I occasionally wish I had a 6" when I'm working on bigger stuff, but never for long enough to actually shop for something bigger. 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) Dork
6/18/22 10:51 a.m.

I need to restore the silver one and not sure what to do with the cheaper one. 
 

want to make aluminum jaws too.
 

 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) Dork
6/18/22 10:54 a.m.

 

Trix
Trix
6/22/22 2:36 p.m.

Probably to late already but the first thing to consider on any new garage build out is what's behind the walls.  The first day of the build is as empty as the space is ever going to be while you own it.  Now is the time to strip that paneling and 1) add insulation if it is not there (add more insulation if it is there), 2) install a grounded 110V circuit with wall plugs at bench height every six feet along each wall, (also consider adding at least a one plug 30A or 50A 220V circuit), and 3) find the water pipes and drains and install a shop sink next to that washer and dryer (this will avoid a lot of future "discussions"  with your significant other).  Other things to consider while the wall is open is adding pipe for a compressed air circuit.  All this is cheap and easy now but very difficult in the future.  The shop will be both a lot less cluttered and safer to use without extension cords and hoses running all over the place.

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/22/22 3:12 p.m.

If you can manage it, the best companion to a garage is a shed. All non car stuff goes there and frees up a ton of working room.

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
6/25/22 8:35 a.m.

I love that workbench, really good idea.

 

Looking at your Ryobi tools and where they are stored in the last pic(s) - maybe consider some sort of 'hanging' storage for them directly above where they are now. Just to reclaim some of the bench-top space.

 

I like this thread a lot. I like, basically, ALL garage threads. Inspires and motivates me to continue mine.

Only other thing I'd say, and sort of goes with an earlier poster - before 'moving in' to the garage - paint those dark walls. Spend the extra on some basic paint, big 5g bucket and it'd make a huge difference

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
6/25/22 8:36 a.m.

PS - second pic you posted is dark...I think that's your point.

Now that youve added light, close the garage door and take a pic of the same area so we can compare the difference made. The pics with the door open and lights off then on dont, likely, do the lights any justice for us

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE SuperDork
7/2/22 3:52 p.m.

Nice start! I'd love to keep the classic 70s look between the turf and the wood paneling, but I too would clear everything off the other walls and paint them a flat white now before you begin to fill the spaces. Because lemme tell ya, you will begin to fill those spaces soon lmao 

Nicole Suddard said:

Brother, I have some questions about the alligator on the top shelf.

As Pratchett once wrote, Wizards all need stuffed alligators hung from the ceiling.

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