Sale ends todayGet 30% off any course (excluding packages)

Ends in --- --- ---

Motorsport Fabrication Fundamentals: Layout Considerations

Watch This Course

$99 USD

Or 8 easy payments of only $12.38 Instant access. Easy checkout. No fees. Learn more
Course Access for Life
60 day money back guarantee

Layout Considerations


00:00 - One of the more difficult things for any fabricator to come to terms with is that you can never have enough tools.
00:06 And that's fine if you've got plenty of money for a big workshop and all of the gear.
00:10 The reality is though, the cost of fabrication equipment can start to add up and when we're working with a limited budget and space, we need to be thoughtful with our workshop fit out so that we have the right tools to get the job done, without blowing the budget out or over crowding the workspace.
00:27 There's a lot of benefits in terms of workflow and efficiency that can come from a well thought out workshop layout.
00:33 If you're anything like me, you've probably lost hours mindlessly wandering from one end of your workshop to the other looking for that pesky 10 mm socket that didn't get put back in its proper home after you used it last.
00:45 Not only is this frustrating but it also wastes precious time that could be spent working on our projects.
00:51 It's also completely avoidable with a little bit of organisation and some more care applied to ensuring tools and equipment are located sensibly near to our workspaces.
01:01 This is going to make it easier to find the tools we need and will mean we're more likely to put them back when we've finished a particular task.
01:09 So let's look at how we can get the most out of our shop and our budget.
01:14 First off it's important to recognise that most of us won't have the opportunity to choose what size our shop is.
01:20 We just have to make the most of the situation we're in and at the end of the day, the smaller your workshop, the better organised you're going to have to be.
01:27 We'll be spending a lot of time looking at the HPA workshop in this module and while it's fairly large, the way it's been organised should still provide helpful inspiration for much smaller home shops.
01:39 Before we jump in, it's a good idea to keep in mind that as we progress through a build, we'll generally need to swap out different tools as we perform different fabrication tasks so keeping everything portable will allow us to swap the workshop around to suit the specific project we're working on.
01:55 The first thing we need to think about is exactly what we're building and what tools and processes we need to make room for through the stages of this build.
02:03 By breaking our project down into stages and then considering what we'll be needing for each of those stages, we can plan out our workshop arrangement from there.
02:12 At HPA, our fabrication space is used for multiple tasks and a lot of time went into understanding the space we had available as well as how best to utilise this space.
02:22 We're fortunate that our fabrication area is separate to the actual workshop and as we'll discuss in the next module, this allows us to keep the mess and dust produced by cutting and grinding all in one place rather than spreading it throughout the workshop.
02:36 The downside of this layout is that when we have a car on the hoist in the workshop then often this involves several trips back and forth from the car to the fabrication shop while making and test fitting parts.
02:48 For this reason, we've built fabrication work benches that are on caster wheels.
02:51 This allows them to be rolled into the main workshop as required when we're working on a project, plus it allows some flexibility in the layout and available floor space in the fabrication room for those larger projects.
03:03 Likewise, our MIG and TIG welders are both portable, making it quick and easy to move the welding machines between the workshop and the fabrication room as required.
03:12 Using our TIG welder on a bench will require a bench with a steel or aluminium top to earth the component we're welding.
03:20 With that in mind, it can be a good idea to make a table specifically for TIG welding and mount your gas bottle, filler rods and welder to it for easy and comfortable bench welding jobs.
03:30 We'll be showing you how to do this in a separate module.
03:34 Around the perimeter of the fabrication room, we've fitted permanently mounted work benches and storage solutions that provide workspace and tools and part storage without affecting the floor area in the middle of the room.
03:46 We've also built a storage rack for both steel tube and sheet.
03:50 This provides a neat way of storing your raw materials so that they're out of the way yet still easy to access.
03:56 If you have the space, then a hoist is always a valuable addition to your workshop.
04:00 Obviously this is going to make fabrication tasks on the underside of a vehicle much quicker and easier to complete but a hoist does involve a significant investment and there's also the space requirement to consider.
04:13 Not only is it going to be a permanent obstacle in your workshop that limits where you can put a vehicle, it also requires sufficient ceiling height to allow the hoist to lift a vehicle to a useful working height.
04:24 With many residential garages having a limited ceiling height, a hoist may not be a viable addition.
04:30 If you're limited on space but still want a hoist then I'd also suggest you consider some of the scissor hoist options that are available.
04:37 These take up a lot less space than a conventional two or four post hoist and can even be mounted in ground.
04:43 The downside of the scissor hoist is that they do limit access to the full underside of the vehicle.
04:49 Since we have two separate work spaces with our workshop layout, this does mean that we've doubled up on some of the more common mechanical and fabrication tools that we regularly use.
04:59 This can also be addressed by equipping yourself with a good quality roll cab that can be quickly relocated as required.
05:06 The top of the roll cab doubles as another workspace or just for temporary parts storage.
05:11 On that note, storage is something you need to consider when planning out your workshop.
05:14 It's best to start with the bulkier items and work your way down to the smaller ones.
05:18 One feature that many people overlook is proper wheel and tyre storage.
05:23 The amount of space just 4 wheels and tyres can take up in your workshop could be so much better used for floor space for the project itself.
05:31 So an elevated rack for your rolling stock can be a real game changer.
05:35 For the smaller items, it's a good idea to visit your home DIY or hardware store to get a feel for the storage options they sell and how this can house your smaller parts and be incorporated into your workshop layout.
05:47 A lot of fabricators have great success for example using those big plastic tubs that come with lids to keep spare parts, materials and tools easily accessible, clean and well organised.
05:58 By getting the dimensions of these tubs, we can then even incorporate racking solutions to store them neatly into our workshop design.
06:06 By fabricating our own racking, we can tailor it to our exact needs and incorporate special features and mounts to suit the things that we use the most.
06:14 It's also helpful to keep in mind that bench space and storage space can work together.
06:18 By adding storage space above and below the bench space, you'll be giving yourself room to work comfortably while also squeezing every last bit of storage space out of the area.
06:28 As we learned in the tools section of the course, one thing that's hard to live without is a vice.
06:34 By having even a small 100 mm vice mounted to a benchtop, you'll be able to accurately drill, file, bend, grind or cut parts securely and this should be considered essential in any garage or workshop.
06:46 This means it needs to be incorporated into any bench designs you're looking at putting together.
06:52 Lighting and power supply is another consideration that's often overlooked when setting up a workshop.
06:56 You don't necessarily need to get an electrician in though, there's plenty of freestanding LED light options out there that have rechargeable batteries that'll suit the range of cordless power tools we're using and by using cordless power tools, we can eliminate the need for extension leads and power adaptors.
07:14 With this in mind, it's a smart idea to set up dedicated charging stations to keep all of your batteries on rotation.
07:21 In our shop, we've incorporated LED lights above all of our work benches, meaning that we've always got great lighting, regardless of where we're working.
07:28 You can also never have enough powerpoints for those power tools.
07:32 This starts with sensible locations for the actual powerpoints and this needs some careful consideration around where your tools will be located and what their power requirements are.
07:42 At some point though we're still going to need to resort to some kind of extension cord to reach our tools as we move them around the workshop.
07:49 Extension cords present a potential trip hazard so a little care is required.
07:54 We've opted to fit several retractable extension cords around the perimeter of our workshop that provide power when required but retract out of the way when it's not.
08:03 We've gone through quite a bit in this module so let's do a quick recap.
08:07 When dealing with limited space and budget, it's important to really think about what you're planning to create in your workshop and then carefully plan out the tools you'll need and how they can be most efficiently placed within the space.
08:19 Keeping everything mobile is a great way to swap your equipment in and out near the vehicle as you need it through the different stages of your build.
08:27 When it comes to storage, start out by figuring out the placement of the bulkier gear first and work your way down.
08:33 Remember that you have a lot of vertical space to play with so think about making the most of the unused areas above and below big items like your work benches.
08:42 Lastly, a lot of smaller items can be neatly stored in large plastic bins that can be found at most DIY stores and these bins can then be easily labelled and stored away for when they're needed.

We usually reply within 12hrs (often sooner)

Need Help?

Need help choosing a course?

Experiencing website difficulties?

Or need to contact us for any other reason?