Here's a project I have been anticipating for a long time and finally got around to tackling. I ordered two slabs of Kaizen foam made by Fastway. I don't have an extensive collection of exotic tools, but the tools I have are now super organized. Here's a breakdown of the three drawers I customized using this innovative and easy-to-work-with layered foam.
This is the big drawer in my 56" Craftsman rolling chest. There is an awkward channel that runs along the middle of the base to strengthens the structure, so I was able to carve out a niche so the slab of foam sits flush on the base of the shelf. I burrowed out cavities for all my main tools. Because Kaizen comes in 48" lengths, I had to add a portion on the left side to fill the entire space. It came out great.
This drawer houses my collection of drivers. The most fun part of this project is laying out your tools in a pattern prior to tracing. I am looking forward to having much more organized tool drawers now.
This drawer houses a variety of useful tools including my sockets. This gallery illustrates the process you use to trace, cut, and burrow out the cavities for each of the tools. I found the entire process very satisfying and the results are highly pleasing.
After an extremely cold and busy two weeks, I was able to spend some quality time in the garage. My car was absolutely caked in dirt and grime so it was cathartic to finally perform a proper wash. When temperatures are below zero, I cannot perform a 2-bucket wash because the water freezes on my driveway creating a dangerous situation, but the weather has been much more cooperative lately. So, a number of hours was spent removing the last two weeks of winter build up. This wash took longer than I anticipated, so I ended up finishing with a quick and easy application of detail spray. Had I had a bit more time, I would have applied a coating of "Ceramic Boost" by Adam's, but I needed to go get coffee.
At this point, the car is already dirty again, but with continued cooperation on Mother Nature's part, hopefully I will be able to perform more routine washes so it doesn't get as bad as it was.
I gave my new "Foam Gun" by Adam's a try. It was quick and convenient, but in no way does it rival a foam gun that attaches to an actual pressure washer. But, since my family was asleep, using a hose attached foam system was great since it didn't make any noise. I did not use nearly enough soap, though. I had to shake it as I was spraying it to get the suds going. For what it is, it works.
I had my first opportunity to apply Adam's Tire Armor and I loved it. I sprayed the product onto the tire and then an applicator to spread evenly. It was incredibly easy to apply and the tires looked great. Because we are in the midst of a major "melt", I don't anticipate the tires looking good for very long, but I am thinking Tire Armor is going to be my new "go to" tire dressing.
I'm excited to be featured on the second in a series of videos produced by YouTube sensation, Pan the Organizer! His "Pan & the Organizers" series features viewers touring people through their detailing themed garage spaces. I am enjoying reading through the comments left by Pan's viewers and feel very proud that people seem to dig what I have created.
The best part of being featured on Pan's channel is the amount of feedback from his viewers. I will admit to reading each and every comment and I am so impressed with the amount of positive feedback my garage has received. Here's a sampling. Click image to enlarge.
Let me explain to you how cold and miserable February has been in these parts. The average daily temperature for last month was minus-19 and we had snow on 25 of 28 days. The mercury dipped below minus-30 on 14 occasions. This has made keeping the garage clean very challenging. I spent a few hours in there today cleaning up the mud and rocks that have accumulated over the past week or two. I am really hoping March will bring milder weather, because I don't know how much more of this I can take. At any rate, here's a video demonstrating the process I went through to bring things back to a tidy state.
Brandon Burrell is a remarkable dude. He says he enjoys "tinkering" in his garage, but what he does is so much more than tinkering. He has created a number of amazing custom vehicles over the years and maintains a strong social media presence that allows him to showcase his passion for everything custom with thousands, perhaps millions of followers. I was humbled when Brandon mentioned my garage was part of the inspiration behind his own garage. As you will see, he has created a space that is truly special and unique, and is the perfect environment to create and play with his toys. It has been cool getting to know Brandon and I am really enjoying following along with all his amazing projects, especially his current "cRAMbury" build featuring a 2019 Ram. I am confident you will enjoy his story as much as I have.
Name: Brandon Burrell
Location: Asheville, NC
Type: 2-car attached
Dimensions: 19' x 22'
Date of construction: Late-2014
Brandon refers to his garage as a "two civic" garage because of its modest size, but lack of acreage hasn't stopped him from accomplishing some remarkable custom builds. Located in a suburban area consisting of 600 homes, this garage is currently home to Brandon's #cRAMbury build which promises to snap necks at this year's SEMA show. He enjoys tinkering on his and friends' vehicles, detailing, and displaying various automobile paraphernalia along with his extensive array of Adam's Polishes products. I am pleased that Brandon agreed to this blog feature. I haven't known him for a long time, but in our conversations I have found him to be an incredibly down-to-earth car guy with an incredible eye for detail and his "automotive portfolio" demonstrates a ridiculously high level of vision, creativity and execution.
What projects have you tackled in your garage?
I currently park my #cRAMbury build in it. I use the garage to tinker on mine and friends' custom vehicles, detail my vehicles and some others from time to time. We have built three full custom Honda Groms, a custom motorcycle trailer (with speakers, lighting, etc), a Subaru WRX that was at the 2016 and 2017 SEMA shows, a 2015 Tundra that was at the 2017 SEMA show and a custom lifted golf cart in this garage.
Like most Canadians, I have a love-hate affair with Canadian Tire. On one hand, it is so convenient to drop by the local store and browse the aisles for whatever you may need. On the other hand, they have been known to stock their shelves with products of questionable quality. Whatever the case may be, I cannot help but get nostalgic when I stroll my way past the wall of car cleaning products at my local store. I remember scouring this wall as a young lad in search of the latest, greatest product that was going to help me perfect my car's finish. In fact, it wasn't until about six or seven years ago, when my obsession began to take hold, that I began sourcing products from other stores and sites on the Internet.
That means the Canadian Tire automotive cleaning products aisle has been a part of my life for the better part of 30 years. For that, it still gets my respect.
If you take a close look at these two photos, you will see some pretty decent products for sale. And, you'll see some not-so-good ones as well.
A few weeks back, an order of Adam's products arrived on my doorstep frozen solid. I contacted the team at Adam's and they put together this care package of replacement items along with some other goodies. They do know how to treat their customers. Here's a look at what I came home to last Tuesday.
I still have to follow up with the staff at Adam's to ensure the other items that I received in my frozen order escaped physical and chemical damage. I'm assuming that they are fine since the team at Adam's didn't send replacements for those products but I will double check. At any rate, I am fortunate to have the support of Adam's behind me and I know these products will find a lot of use once I get back to my regular detailing routine.
Cleaning floor mats is something I take pride in. Because winters in my world make it virtually impossible to maintain a clean exterior, I take solace in the tidiness of my car's interior. I heard it once said that the floor mats are the windows to a car's soul, so I spent a couple of hours cleaning up the floors of my SQ5. Here's the process I follow when my mats and carpet need some cleaning.
As you can see, there is a significant amount of salt residue that has hardened to my floor mats. When snow melts on my mats, the salty run-off can leak out on the front corners of the mats. I have some strips of microfiber towels positioned to combat that run-off which prevents the salt from penetrating my carpets. The mats and the microfiber needed a good clean.
Using my long blue bucket as a catch basin, I spray the mats down with warm water. This results in a bucket of very dirty water. Next, I spray the mats with a couple squirts of Adam's Rubber Mat & Liner Cleaner. This is a highly effective spray liquid that, in combination with a green medium-bristle brush, made quick work of the leftover residue and buildup. A final rinse in the blue bucket and the mats are hung to dry on my "mat wall".
This city has been caught in the icy clench of a nasty cold spell for two weeks and counting. There has been no opportunity for me to do any major cleaning of my garage floor. Day after day, I track mud, rocks, salt, and all kinds of debris into the garage where it falls onto the floor, dries out and creates an unsightly mess. Today, I finally found the inspiration to tackle the job.
Step 1: Vacuum
Step 2: Mop
Step 3: Scrub
Step 4: Mop
I have been an admirer of this garage for years, so I was pumped when the owner agreed to having it featured on my humble blog. This is a true car lover's dream garage that I really hope to one day see in the flesh. Everything you see here was created by the owner with the help of his family. I have followed each evolutionary change that he has made and the level of execution is simply amazing. You can learn a lot more about the history of this garage by checking out the build thread on garagejournal.com or his photo album on Photobucket. It's amazing to see how Chad and his family transformed this regular garage into something truly special and unique.
Location: Nashville, TN
What inspired you to create the garage you created?
I have always loved fixing ugly things up and that applied to garages too. I have enjoyed taking several houses that had the nastiest and ugliest regular old garages and trying to turn them into something that wows you when you open the door. With this house, we usually come in through the garage and my wife and I wanted to make it a beautiful and inspiring path to come into the house. She is a car fanatic too!
I have been going through some old car related photos, and I stumbled upon this beauty. This photo features a red Dodge Viper belonging to Tim Horton's co-founder, Ron Joyce. I was working as a counselor at Tim Horton's Children's Ranch during the summer of '96 when Ron and Bobby Hull came out to visit and drove this sweet Viper. Imagine my delight when Ron threw me the keys and let Steve and I take it for a quick rip up Highway 40 in Kananaskis Country. It is still one of the most insane cars I have ever had the pleasure of driving. The boss of the camp had a fit, but I didn't care then, and I definitely don't care now. When someone lets you drive a Viper, you drive it.
This was a job that I had been putting off for years. I painted the entire garage with a white primer back when I first took possession of our house in 2010. Since then, I have been meaning to put a proper coat of paint up there, but I just never seemed to find the time or desire. When I ripped up the RaceDeck floor to sell, I took advantage and got 'er done. Capturing the results is tricky with my iPhone, but hopefully these pics will give you an idea of how things turned out. I like how the paint added a reflective effect to the ceiling.
Here is a link to the paint I used. It is a "semi-gloss finish" interior acrylic latex paint from Rona.
Our friend came by last weekend to photograph my garage. Heather is super talented and I am very pleased with the final results of her work. Here's a little gallery highlighting her talent and the beauty of my place!
I have met a lot of guys through the garage and Audi worlds and while everyone has their own unique personality and story, everyone I have come to know demonstrates a high degree of attention to detail. This garage story is no exception. Located approximately 40 km southwest of Chicago, this Orland Park triple garage demonstrates how a well organized and executed garage can enhance life in the 'burbs, and support the activities that come with raising three active kids. My thanks to this garage owner for allowing me to share his garage story with my audience and for approaching my questions with such attention to detail.
My wife and I purchased our home in Orland Park, IL, USA in 2006. It was a spec house that was already built, but never occupied, so we got to start from scratch, but that also meant that there were certain things about the garage that I couldn’t build in, like I might have wanted to.
The garage is a 3 bay and is attached to the house. Unfortunately, it did not have a floor drain or a water run, so I’ve had to make do without those things, since I didn’t think to address these needs before I finished it. I’ve outfitted the back wall and one side wall with SlatWall that I purchased from Menard’s in a slate gray color. This has proved to be durable and quite versatile over the last 10+ years. In the time since, various modular wall storage slats from Gladiator and others have become popular, but these were not widely available when I finished mine, so I went with the melamine slatwall. No big regrets here.
Since my house serves my wife and I and our 3 children, as well as various extended family at various points, we knew that having a lot of storage in the garage was key. My dad and I installed 6 Gladiator wall cabinets across the back wall, in conjunction with a workbench, with two tool carts that slot into it. I then got two large cabinets and another tool cart that I’ve fashioned into an island of sorts to block up the space, as we only use 2 of the bays for das autos.
I was expecting an Adam's order to arrive on January 24th, but FedEx lost track of the package on the 21st and didn't recover it until the other day. In that time, the weather took a drastic turn for the worse. Had this package arrived on the 24th, everything would have been fine, but the package arrived on my doorstep frozen solid. I put the various items in a warm bath to thaw them out. The All Purpose Cleaner bottle burst, but I was able to salvage 80% of the contents and use an extra bottle I had laying around. The label on the aerosol Window Cleaner was ruined due to the spillage, but it works. The worst part of all involves the Ceramic Spray Coating bottle. I thought everything was fine, but when I awoke this morning, I was shocked to discover that the entire contents of the bottle had leaked through a tiny crack and completely saturated my workbench (no pics - too dramatic!). I have contacted the team at Adam's to see what they can do to help me get my life back on track. I'm afraid that the chemical integrity of some liquids has been compromised by the freeze/thaw cycle. I'll let you know how it goes...
16 oz liquids
Aerosol Window Cleaner 19oz
Which of these products do you think have been compromised by the freeze/thaw cycle?
I uploaded a new tour video to my YouTube channel. It had been a couple of years since I posted the last one and there have been a number of changes and updates in that time. I am hopeful that my garage will be chosen for inclusion in Pan the Organizer's series, "Pan & the Organizers". I sent him a 90-second video and I have my fingers crossed he will choose to feature it in his next video in the series. I'll post a link to the first episode he posted along with a link to my new tour video. Enjoy.
Last weekend, a good friend came by to snap some photographs. She is quite talented so I am very eager to see how they turned out. She sent a few teaser pics and they look great. I even convinced my family to pose for a few. My plan is to use her shots to update my website. Since I had the garage tidied up, I did a new tour video because the last tour video is a couple of years old and things have changed a bit since then.
Because my home has a north-facing front, the driveway gets no sun. Ever. That means the driveway ices up pretty quick if I try to clean my floor with my pressure washer. But, when the weather throws me a bone, like it did today, I feel guilty if I don't take advantage and perform a complete clean of the garage floor and driveway. Here's a little look at how I deal with the floor in the winter.
The first step is to disconnect the middle portion (slate grey colour) of the floor. Since I have one car, and I park in the center of the garage, filth only accumulates in the middle of the garage. I unfasten the connectors with a paint lid removal tool and drag it out to the driveway in two equal sections. I use my pressure washer to wash the debris that has accumulated under the floor to the front of the garage, but not quite onto the driveway. Once I have the bulk of the muck at the apron, I use a squeegee to push it into a pile. The thick mud and rocks then get sucked up in my Shop-Vac. I rinse any leftover dirt and residue into the gap between the slab and the driveway and do a final sweep of the concrete floor with my pressure washer and squeegee it dry.
I am excited to share this charming garage from Reykjavik, Iceland. Brynjar Hartharson is a mechanic who works primarily on GM cars. He has created an impeccable detailing environment he uses to care for his cars and the cars of others. I have been a fan of his space since I first caught wind of it on his Instagram. It was instantly apparent that Brynjar and I have similar tastes in many regards. Like me, he is an avid hobbyist detailer, obsessively pampers his German car, and prides himself in maintaining a very neat and organized workspace. I am thankful he agreed to answer my questions about his garage story and I was extremely flattered he mentioned my garage as one of his design inspirations. I am confident you will be as impressed with his space as I am. So, off we go to Iceland!
I have always been passionate about cars, dreaming of one day buying my own house with a garage. After I stumbled upon The Garage Journal in 2011, I spent a lot of time looking at garage projects and getting inspiration for my own in the future, I had designed the basic layout and look in my mind long before I had a garage.
Patrick Simpkins is a 29-year-old law enforcement professional from Tazewell, Virginia. He contacted me through Instagram because he wanted to share his garage project with others. Tazewell is a small town located in southwest Virginia and Patrick points out it is one of those sleepy country towns with more cows than people! In addition to working as a full-time detention officer at the local jail, Patrick runs a detail business out of his garage and has plans on creating the ultimate home garage/detailing studio. I shot Patrick some questions about his garage and future plans, and I'm happy to share his responses along with some photos of his current setup and screenshots of the various products he plans to upgrade his space with.
My garage was built in 2001 with my home as my home is a split foyer style home with my garage located under the master bedroom. It's a standard 2 car garage that measures 23 feet deep and 25 feet wide. The builder did a fine job designing the garage as I would only change a few things, like adding a drain, different location of garage button openers and a couple more outlets. The garage already has water ran to it with a sink and the HVAC system was routed in there so I'm able to work in my garage all year long. One of the previous home owners had installed some custom made shelves, which have been great but aren't ideal.
If you are active in the garage community there is a good chance you are familiar with this garage. "Dubber" is a fellow garage and detailing enthusiast that I have known from the onset of my garage hobby. He agreed to share his garage experience by answering some questions about his garage and sharing some photos of his pristine space. He has created an immaculate environment and openly shares his passion for his Volkswagen vehicles via social media which I faithfully follow. His journey to this point is proof that paying attention to your garage and following through on your vision will pay off in the end. I find his garage story inspiring and seeing him take his love of detailing to the next level is further proof that creating a clean and efficient garage can reward any car lover with new and exciting opportunities.
Take a look at this spectacular North Carolinian estate belonging to my longtime garage buddy, Larry. For years, I have been a fan of Larry's clinically clean and expertly organized garage, but what impresses me even more is Larry's remarkable detailing work that he completes inside it. When I made the decision to feature garage spaces of others on my blog, I immediately sent Larry an invite and he graciously accepted. He furnished me with comprehensive responses to all of my questions along with quality photos that showcase the pristine environment he has created to pursue his passion for detailing.
Name: Larry Bishop
Location: Charlotte, NC
We moved to Charlotte from the DMV area in mid-2016 and built our first single family home. Construction was completed late August and I quickly started on the garage. Fortunately, the builder finished both garages and installed baseboards which gave us a great starting point. In the first month of ownership, we completed the epoxy, lights, and all the gladiator wall tracks/cabinets. Since we built the house, I spent the construction period researching and accumulating products which meant I had the bulk of the items upon move in. I originally met Rick on Garage Journal, where I spent a good amount of my research time. Yes, I went through all 88 pages of Rick's build journal and contributed greatly to his 630k views! I lost steam on my garage journal thread but the following is what I started:
Click here to connect to Larry's informative build thread on garagejournal.com
After I parted ways with my RaceDeck Free Flow floor, there was a period of time when I was living with a bare concrete floor. Thankfully, it was only for a few weeks, but the experience left a mark on me and helped to solidify my belief that a modular flooring is a better option than an epoxy coating. These photos demonstrate the constant battle I face with water accumulating on the floor. After two weeks of having to watch where I stepped so I didn't track the filth all over the garage and into my car, I was relieved when my Swisstrax order finally arrived.
I understand that epoxy is the option some garage owners prefer, but not having to worry about where I step, or what I step in is a massive advantage, in my mind, to having a modular tile floor. My Swisstrax floor is always dry despite the constant snow that gets tracked in on the tires and undercarriage of my car.
While I do think epoxy coatings look nice, I would be constantly dancing around the garage trying to avoid slop and water and that's just not something I have any interest in doing.
After three weeks of suffering with a bare concrete floor, my Swisstrax floor arrived this weekend. Here are some photos of the install process and final result. I am very pleased with how things have come together. I need two Pearl Grey tiles and the edges weren't included with the order, so it's about 98% complete at this point. I am looking forward to putting it to good use and sharing my insights into its performance.
Here's a video I put together:
Who is Rick?
I'm just a suburban dad who loves garages, Audis, and detailing so much he blogs about them.
Custom Decals YYC
Geoff Wilkings Photography
Jay Leno's Garage Advanced Vehicle Care
OBSSSSD Premium Products
RaceDeck Garage Floors
Thompson Graphics Ltd.
In addition to showcasing my own garage, I enjoy sharing other amazing garages. Here are some spaces that I have featured on my blog:
Tyson's Acura Museum
Larry's Charlotte Showroom
Chad's "Next" Makeover
Gully's Dream Garage
Orland Park Audi Oasis
Cory's Industrial Arts Studio
Brynjar's Icelandic Garage
Pat's Controlled Chaos
Greg & Nancy's Place
Brandon Burrell's Toy House