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Title: Motorcycle shop layout
Post by: Koncretekid on December 24, 2017, 07:52:20 PM
I recently received an image posted on Pinterest that showed somebody's idea of a 12' x 20' motorcycle shop.  My impression was that most requirements were present, but not in the right place.  Because a space of this size is probably all that a lot of home motorcycle mechanics have, I thought I'd show my ideas.

The first problem with the above mentioned post that I saw was that there was no man-door which is against all building codes and is dangerous, as you cannot get out of a garage that only has an overhead door.  I've also added a window because two of my shops do not have one and getting rid of unwanted smoke or paint fog is impossible.

So with the following illustration, I have shown a clean area at the opposite end of the shop from the dirty operations.  Welding, cutting, bead blasting, grinding, and sanding just create a huge amount of grit, unsuitable for motor rebuilding.  Also, it is convenient to have the air compressor close to the equipment that needs it - - the blast cabinet, and maybe painting.  And keep it close to the exterior door so you can take a portable sandblasting pot outside to blast a frame or whatever.

As for the rest of the shop, I am always running out of bench space, so put in as much bench space in as possible.  You can store lots of things below the benches and on shelves above the benches.  I show a small lathe, like a 9-20 Asian one of which I have two and which will do most of what you need for a bike.  I also have a mill-drill which I've not shown, but you can get a lathe with a milling attachment which will allow slotting of holes, etc.  I've also shown a welder, which I could not do without,  close to the outside door so you can do some outdoor work on your tractor or whatever.

In the motor rebuilding area, I show a parts washer, motor stand, and peg boards for special tools, as well as corner cabinets that hole additional special tools for motor work. I've shown two vises in the shop because I find I always I need a vise when the other one is in use.  One of the vises can be a small clamp-on type but handy for cutting a bolt or something.

Another thing that I have used is a temporary partition that allows me to use modern two-part paint without painting the entire contents of the shop.  (If you've ever used these new paints, you know what I'm talking about.) I simply put a 2 x 4 stud up above the OH door channels and staple a plastic sheet to separate the spaces.  I even run an electric heater in the smaller space so I can paint in colder weather. I then put another plank, like a 2 x 6, to support whatever I'm painting (like a frame), with rebar tie wire. You also need lots of lights (never enough).

Any suggestions?


Title: Re: Motorcycle shop layout
Post by: sabat on December 24, 2017, 08:20:48 PM
Love it, but where is the storage for the 9000 spares and crapola you plan to use someday? :)

Merrrry Christmas to all you parts hoarders out there. See you at the track.


Title: Re: Motorcycle shop layout
Post by: RidgeRunner on December 24, 2017, 08:58:10 PM
     If I'm ever able to build a shop piping in the concrete floor for a radiant hot water heating system will be a priority.  Tugging on cold wrenches working on cold equipment in cold and damp environments isn't fun for me now, been there and done that way too often during my working years.  Orient the building and all windows possible to take advantage solar gain from any Southern exposure available, surprising what a difference it makes with a well insulated building.  Figure the roof overhang to shade the interior when the sun is higher during the warmer months.

     Hope to catch up with you at Loring again in July.


Title: Re: Motorcycle shop layout
Post by: WhizzbangK.C. on December 24, 2017, 09:45:14 PM
Beer fridge, (creativity lubricant only, not for use while actual work is going on. :cheers: ) sink with hot and cold running water (amazing how useful that is once you experience it), stereo system (no TV, too distracting, music helps me stay focused).

Title: Re: Motorcycle shop layout
Post by: donpearsall on December 24, 2017, 09:57:33 PM
That is a pretty efficient layout Tom. I had to build all my bikes in a single car garage like that for years, then bought a whole new house just so I could get a 3 car garage!
My only suggestion is that everything possible should be on casters so you can move things around and out of the way.

As for storage, there is always the extra 2 feet above the garage overhead door. That is wasted space that could have hanging shelves for the boxes of parts and supplies.


Title: Re: Motorcycle shop layout
Post by: sofadriver on December 25, 2017, 08:58:15 AM
Tom, you should change the title of this thread to "Dream motorcycle shop layout."  :-D

I would add these things;

1. A retractable hose reel by the front door for air and at least 3 air supply hoses hanging down to about the 6' level. You could use schedule 80 PVC pipe for the hard lines.

2. Same as above but for power.

3. How great would it be to just "fly" your bike to wherever you want? Or load your bike by backing your truck under it?

4. Double swinging doors where the window is.

5. 12' x 14' loft.

Heck, I could spend hours daydreaming about this!

Title: Re: Motorcycle shop layout
Post by: Seldom Seen Slim on December 25, 2017, 09:09:56 AM
Mike said:   "...You can use schedule 80 PVC pipe for the hard lines..."

You can use plain ol' white Sched. 40 PVC for air in your shop.  I know of one racer who did up his shop with Sch 40 after pressure testing a bit.  He found that it took somewhere near 400 psi to damage the pipe.

YMMV :-o

Title: Re: Motorcycle shop layout
Post by: Stainless1 on December 25, 2017, 10:41:58 AM
Just keep your lines out of the sun.... makes them brittle  :cheers:

Title: Re: Motorcycle shop layout
Post by: Ron Gibson on December 25, 2017, 01:19:54 PM
If anyone is putting piping in the floor, run re-bar attached to every pipe or tube ( learned that from Stainless ). 30 years ago I put copper tubing in my concrete floor, BIG mistake. concrete cracked, broke tubing. $300 worth of cooper ('86' prices ) plus all my time worthless.


Title: Re: Motorcycle shop layout
Post by: salt27 on December 25, 2017, 01:53:54 PM
An industrial building I worked on about 15 years ago used Pex instead of copper in the slab, so far no issues.

If Pex is used just make sure rodents can not access it, don't ask how I know.   :x


Title: Re: Motorcycle shop layout
Post by: wobblywalrus on December 25, 2017, 06:46:07 PM
Tom, these are some ideas.  A loft is in the first foto.  That is where I sleep a few times a week when Rose needs a good night of sleep.  It seems I fidget, fart, and snore.  Something like this could be used for parts storage.

The second pix shows how leathers can be hung up.  The high shelf in the background is covered with metal and tools and shop supplies and other stuff are on it.  All of my commonly used tools are lined up on the shelf edge.

One thing I regret is not having a long overhead beam running lengthwise along the ceiling for hanging things from. 

Title: Re: Motorcycle shop layout
Post by: wobblywalrus on December 25, 2017, 06:55:07 PM
Vertical storage is a good thing in a small shop.  The doors are old-fashioned swinging ones used on carriage sheds.  This way bad folks cannot see everything inside when the doors are open.  Usually one door is swung part way open for ventilation and the insides of the shed cannot be seen.  All computer design is done in a hutch under the stairs to the loft.