Shop upgrade: will it ever end?

In August I finally got a proper shop. After nine years since we moved to our new house, I now have a decent workplace. And as expected, it wasn’t 100% done (will it ever be?). Courtesy of my dad, I now have a bench vise, something that I consider fundamental in any shop.

I also installed a curtain beneath the work bench. I would rather have the shelf below exposed, however I quickly realized that was not good. Every time I drilled, sanded or worked on wood, it was a pain to clean the wood chips and dust below the workbench. So I installed one of those plastic bathroom curtains on a rail below the bench. Not exactly handsome but saves me a lot of work during cleanups.

And as you can see, there are new tools 😊. Oh come on, don’t give me the same look my wife gives me… Of course I had to get more tools. Of special note are two Japanese saws (a Ryoba and a Kataba), which made me think about why I ever used Occidental saws before. And a new (and better) jigsaw and a nail gun, both battery-powered. Unless it’s some sort of bench-top tool, I’m going cordless 100%. Next on the list is a random orbit sander and a (plunge?) router, cordless of course.

And this is the first diorama project I made in my new shop. A couple of years ago I bought a guardrail like this, though it was shorter and frankly poorly made. So using chopsticks, a strip of MDF as base, water-based paint, wood glue and LOTS of sanding and cutting, I made another one. I already made some photos using it, and it turned out pretty good. I think.

Shop upgrade

All the dioramas I have so far I built there. Yes, it was really sad as far as a workshop goes.

When we built our new house almost 9 years ago, one thing that I wanted was a dedicated workspace for tools and crafts. A room to work on my hobbies, bikes and store my tools. And I got the space. However, as you can see in the shot above, it was kind of shabby in terms of a workspace. All right, let’s be honest: it was an utterly pathetic excuse for a tool shop 😣.

All manual tools are now at easy reach.

So in the last month, I started to work on it, transforming it into a proper workshop. And by “working on it” I mean buying what was needed. Of the highest priority was to have a work bench, and that was the first thing I bought. I also bought those wall panels to hang all my manual tools in the open, at easy reach.

Previously, I had to use the drill press over on my daughter’s drawer 🙄.

The yellow drawer was from my daughter’s old bedroom, which works perfectly as a space to store supplies and small stuff. The yellow chair (and yellow table under the workbench) were also from her bedroom. If you care to know, that small chair is perfect to wash my car’s wheels 😁. I also installed more power sockets, both in 110 and 220 v.

The small desk, in front of a window, is great for delicate jobs.

I had an old office desk that I didn’t use any more, and it fitted perfectly in that niche in the back wall. It’s a fantastic station for the delicate stuff, like working on models or making dioramas. The whole space came out as a true carnival of styles, furniture and parts. Yet, I for one dig the “repurposed look”. Can’t say why, though I think that mishmash style makes the tool shop look homely.

My battery drills and Dremel. I’m a confess Bosch and Makita fanboy.

Of course I’m not 100% done yet, with some things still missing. For instance, I desperately need a Nº 5 bench vise, as I need a bench grinder. And I would love to have a small belt sander… Nonetheless, I’ll eventually get there. Most important of all though, now I finally have a decent work space.

Mercedes-Benz Classic workshop

Mercedes has a HUGE (and fantastic!) museum at Stuttgart. The museum counts with around 1100 cars, and for a gearhead it’s basically paradise. And to maintain all those cars, they have a team of highly specialized technicians and mechanics exclusively dedicated to the museum’s cars. Last Tuesday Petrolicious aired a very nice article about the museum’s workshop.

Interestingly though, the director of Mercedes-Benz Classic recounted the story about why the paint was scraped off the W25 to get the car at the maximum 750 kg limit. However, that’s a confirmed fairy tale made up by Alfred Neubauer in his autobiography. Nothing against a little embellishing of an historical event, but I would expect that the head of such an endeavor as the Mercedes-Benz Classic department would be more factual.

Fairy tales aside, Petrolicious’ article (full of photos!!) is a treat.

How to be blown away, in scale

Amalgam models. A little big for my tastes (or better, for my house), but oh well, go big or go home, right? These are 1:12, but they offer models in smaller scales, even in 1:43 (but with less opening features, obviously). Still, the big ones are absolutely out of this world, with working features that are borderline unbelievable. But since the price tag on these gems is also in the big leagues (making the price of an 1:18 CMC sound as peanuts), the models are as rare as the 1:1.

Porsche takes back the Nürburgring crown

In September last year, a factory stock Porsche GT2 RS established a new lap record at the Ring, doing the Nordschleif in 6:47,25.  But in July this year, a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ did the lap in 6:44,97. So Porsche lost the crown…

However, the Aventador SVJ that did the lap had a full roll cage. The car does NOT have a full cage when it comes out of the factory and it’s NOT an optional .  So maybe (once again!), Lamborghini didn’t use a stock car.

Instead of criticizing Lamborghini for their faux pas, this week Porsche went back to Nürburgring. This time however with a special GT2. They used the GT2 RS MR, that was prepared by Manthey Racing, a racing team/company owned (51%) by Porsche. Manthey didn’t change much in the stock car, basically added a water tank to better cool down the fuel injection system, upgraded the breaks and added a few aerodynamic aids. The engine and suspension weren’t touched.

The result was a lap done in 6:40,33:

I’m not 100% sure if the GT2 RS MR can be considered a “stock” car, though I bet the Sant’Agata crowd would swear by it, if it was a Lambo . Independent of my opinion, it’s now the new Ring King.