Title: Setting Up a Home Car Workshop
Author: Julian Edgar
160 pages; softback
Price: £19.99 UK; $32.50 USA.
Since my schooldays I have been working in, planning, and hopefully improving my various home garages and workshops, all with the aim of making life easier in my automotive maintenance and restoration endeavours.
So surely I wouldn’t find a new book on this subject of interest, and helpful? Well actually, and perhaps a little to my own surprise, I did; very much so. The title ‘Setting Up a Home Workshop’ is in Veloce’s ‘Workshop Pro’ series, and within its comprehensively-illustrated pages author Julian Edgar (who has long experience with working on vehicles; he has also worked as a teacher and writer) imparts a huge amount of invaluable information.
This book guides the reader through the basic requirements for any workshop, whether large or small, and catering for budgets with a similarly wide range. In a well-written, carefully-considered way, it offers advice on all aspects, including options for the construction of different types of building structures, also optimum internal layouts, as well as covering hand and power tools and equipment, welding types, gear options and techniques, and detailing a wide variety of storage solutions.
It helps the reader consider a wide variety of possible solutions to address particular situations/challenges. Importantly too, in terms of acquiring equipment, it provides information on how to save cash by (for example) at the outset buying only what’s really needed, and adding to your armoury of tools and equipment as time passes.
Using real life examples, and quoting his own experiences, Julian Edgar shows what can be achieved and describes how to custom-build benches, storage units and ramps etc, in cases where commercially available items are not what’s wanted, or don’t quite work for the indiviudal workshop operator/owner. Often a purpose-designed and home-built item/system will be stronger/better/longer-lasting and of course cheaper than a ‘general’ one that is purchased.
The important aspect of safety is also covered, as I feel that it needs to be to help enthusiasts think carefully about what they are doing and how they are doing it, to avoid accidents which can so easily occur in workshop environments.
There’s more… Cars built in recent years are bristling with electronic/computer-managed systems, and I found very useful the dedicated chapter on ‘Tools for Car Electronics’ – this should help others too.
Even if you are an old hand at vehicle maintenance and have long experience in mending/improving vehicles in garages and workshops (in which case there will be some aspects with which you are already familiar, for sure), I feel that this book would be of interest and use to you. On the other hand if you are a beginner, just making an entrance into the wonderful world of car mechanical and bodywork operations, reading this volume could help you work more efficiently, saving time and money and enabling you to better enjoy what you are doing.
Proof of the pudding? Reading this book from cover to cover, I found fascinating and thought-provoking the information contained within its pages. Indeed I have found myself re-visiting some of the design aspects and storage solutions that I have set up/applied in my own current home garage/workshop; Julian Edgar’s words have made me think about how I might be able to do things better for the future, and in fact I have already made a start on re-organisation!
(By the way, don’t be put off by the inclusion of a Porsche on the book’s front cover; the title is aimed at, and suitable for, the owners of all makes and models of motor car, not just Porsches…).