Garage Sort Continues

Two weeks later we’re making good progress. The kayaks are up, a fair amount of junk is disposed-of and some things are being moved about and put away. I’m pretty sure that when I’m done we’ll be able to fit all three cars in here and take each out as desired without moving any of the others. Not bad for a garage that the last guy who appraised the house wrote down as a “1-car garage with workshop.”

I drafted a detailed and precise plan to guide the work.

garage plan1

First we got the kayaks up on the ceiling.

Kayak hang2 Kayak hang3

Those are eye screws with four inches on threads. They are in pilot holes and sunk into the roof trusses, which are 2×4 frame assemblies. The word is to use through bolts but I’m betting these will hold our 50-lb boats OK without weakening the structure.

The ribbony looking things are camlock tie downs. I made the mistake initially of getting the ratcheting kind. Those had the right length of material too. The cam locks are the ones we want because we want to operate them remotely, like this guy. I copied him almost exactly, except I had to space my eye screws four feet apart because of the 2-foot spacing of the roof trusses. That means my rig pulls the bolts at just slightly more than a 45-degree angle when they’re snug near the ceiling. But it’s just barely. I used a handy guide to figure the spacing on the boats to keep them happy. Turns out it’s a bad idea to hang them up from the carry handles like almost everyone (including the previous owner of these boats) does. You want to cradle them in the fat part of the hull, like this, to keep them from warping over time.

The only thing I did differently from the guy in the video was out of necessity. For some reason, my camlock tie downs are made so that the L brackets we use to actuate them remotely won’t do so if they’re just resting under a bolt you put through the holes. So I ended up having to weld little bits of pipe to my L brackets so they would sit higher and get the angle they needed to press the little thumb button. Total PIA but it did give me a little practice welding not-thick metal with the stick welder, and that’s a good thing since, when I’m done with this clean-out I’ll be needing to do some welding on Bridget’s undercarriage.

With the boats out of the way I moved the ladders to where they’ll be most accessible. I had to buy a couple new hooks for the big one but no matter. Then I moved the bikes back into the boat house, hanging them on shelf bracket and a J hook (made for a kayak). The J hook ended up taking a lot of stuff. I have an old trolling motor I probably ought to sell, for instance. I also put Bridget’s tow bar and lights on it.


Next up was the engine hoist and engine stand. I have needed both way too much the past year but I hope–fingers crossed–they’ll not be needed again soon. I decided to “flat-pack” them in the northwest corner of the boathouse, up on the wall, to keep them out of the way but accessible in case I need them. No way I could put them up in the attic like the last guy who lived here did.

IMG_5070I still need to move a huge pile of big wood from this bay. I just can’t throw away long 2x 10 and 2 x 12 treated lumber, which is why it’s been stacked here for five years. There will be a project that needs this stuff. Some day. But for now I’m going to have to find a more efficient and out-of-the-way storage spot for it.

Now that the main junk in the front of the garage has been dealt with, there’s room to move stuff around and attack the other piles. I rolled Bridget’s old engine to the back of the bay. It’s for sale; I hope it goes to a good home soon. But meanwhile it can’t live in the main bay.

engine new homeWhile doing this stuff I got a care package from Cip1: a new underpan for the frame head, plus a bigger front swaybar, a rear sway bar and assorted bushings, and new front shocks. I also ordered a set of “lower beam stiffeners” but they are back-ordered. After the garage is squared-away I hope to find a couple weekends to install all these goodies, plus the front disc brakes I bought a couple years back. They’ve been sitting here in the box ever since.

IMG_5071When I started this a couple weeks back I thought I’d need a dumpster for sure. The only question in my mind was “5 yard or 10 yard.” Turns out that, so far at least, I could not be more wrong. Most of the stuff that looked big was just cardboard boxes. Most of them were still dry and clean enough to recycle, so I took an hour before we went for Thanksgiving dinner to fold and bundle them for the trash guys.

IMG_5073I put the windows on Freecycle and a guy says he wants them, but he’s not yet shown up to get.

Having got this far into the project I’ve begun dreaming. I told the Porsche Replica guys what I was doing and immediately heard much advice. Paint the walls! Cover the floors! You need heat in there! And an air compressor–they only cost $1,000 or so.

I shucked all that off for now. First thing is to get it all straight, and second is to come in and sheet-rock over everything on three walls and the ceiling with 3/8 to bring it fire-code compliant.

But I could not help dreaming. Turns out a good 50,000 BTU gas heater can be had for under $500. After working for years in here with those primitive can heaters and propane, that looks like a deal. I hereby resolve to get the neighbor-who-is-a-plumber over here to tell me what it might cost to extend a gas line in here and then hoist that 70-lb unit up to the ceiling and hook it up. Guessing he’ll say $1,000 but hoping maybe to get it a little less.

Obviously it waits until the sheetrock goes in though.

Dreaming on I found this Campbell Hausfeld 5-HP 80-Gallon 4-Cylinder Dual-Voltage Single-Stage Air Compressor. $900 plus delivery. Looks like I’d need to run a 240 volt line to it on the far east side of the shop. But looking closer I see I have a 40-amp, 240 right where a round cutout is on an existing bench. Looks like that’s where the PO had his–right where I planned my welding station. Hmm.

While we’re dreaming, why not a full-sized two-post lift in the boat bay? I looked around. They all seem to need a couple feet more than my 9-foot ceilings. But then there was this one. 7,000 pounds lift, 9 foot, 4 inches tall. With Bridget’s windshield folded I could lift her high enough to stand under her. And for only $1,800! Plus delivery of 1500 lbs. Some assembly required.

Obviously, just procrastinating here. But it’s not out of the question that I might come into $5,000 or so . . . .

Looking at my cabinets I decided to take them down and rearrange as well to let some light through the windows. That’s free. Just work. Will do it; more on that later.

Getting back to work, I attacked the stainless steel base cabinet and the pile in front of it, then the south table and the pile under it.


Took apart the potter’s wheel I almost made from a salvaged treadmill. Yeah, saving the big electric motor from that.


Took the big table down.


The base cabinet goes where the table goes. And the big 4 x 8-foot table goes…somewhere. I discovered the top is nice furniture plywood. I’m not throwing that away. For now it’s leaning against the wall.


It will probably be cut to make a small rolling bench, 2 x 4 feet, say, for Karen. The rest of it will become something else eventually. 

But let’s just pause here a moment and see where we are, and where we’ve been. The photo above is almost the exact shot I took the day I started. Two weeks ago it looked like this:garagemess4

Ok, now to move that big cabinet. Turns out it weighs about as much as an upright piano. Don’t ask me why.

IMG_5080I used the garden cart as a temporary hauler.IMG_5081

IMG_5083Now the big red toolbox can roll into its new home.

IMG_5084And we’re still nowhere near done. Giant piles remain. But: progress.






About stuntmidget

I'm a poor mechanic and general wisenheimer. I love old cars and the stories behind them, true or not.
This entry was posted in Fixes, Improvements and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Garage Sort Continues

  1. Steve Struchen says:

    In the 10th photo down I see what appears to be a railroad gun style of Potato Cannon. Where do you store that long monster?

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