The following are suggestions for working inside in an environment that you share with your family:
1. Do not use the clothes washer/dryer as a work bench
• Talk about warpage when welding, try porcelain coated steel.
• While extra holes help clothes dry more quickly, auto parts and black spots are hard to explain to the fire department.
FYI: Appliance White Rustoleum does not match Kenmore White.
2. Separate shop towels and grease covered clothes from the rest of the laundry. It is a molecular property of grease to never leave the washer except on other family members’ clothes.
3. If you have a whole car as a project in the basement, have a clearly observable way to get it in and out. This makes it appear less permanent.
4. Never use the columns in the basement as supports for frame straightening. Columns are strong only when in compression. They are highly unsuited for side loads.
FYI: It is surprising how light your house is. With a floor jack and a 4X4, one can replace the column and rebend the top tabs almost as fast as changing tires. Faster with practice.
5. Words of caution about welding in the basement:
• Everything that will burn will cost you more than what you are welding is worth.
• After finishing welding, wait 30 minutes before rejoining the family. Two reason: Fire safety and short attention spans help ensure your survival.
6. Suggestions for when to work:
• When there are no witnesses.
• When you can pass the joys of automotive work to your spawn without correction from their mother.
• When you won’t disturb the neighbors. As if they haven’t noticed the fire truck and police car. Not to mention the yard from Hell.
By Bob Horzmann