Two main areas here: garage preparation and tool shopping. Both more interesting and motivating than I initially expected.
Garage prep. has meant clearing out, freshening up in general, and exploring flooring options. While the walls and ceiling were an easy decision (white emulsion), the floor is a bit more complex.
I started out planning to paint it, then discovered paint does not handle hot tyres or repeated heavy use and point loads like motorcycle or axle stands. Epoxy resin paint seemed to be the way to go for a while, but the quality and robustness of the finish seems to be variable. The results seem to be quite sensitive to the application process or particular conditions of the floor. Also there are some good paints and some not-so-good. All in all a bit of a minefield, but better results than just floor paint.
Finally, I’ve settled on tiles. I’m looking at a couple of companies from the UK to supply the tiles: Ecotile and Plasfloor made my shortlist. Both companies were kind enough to send samples, pictures below.
Both companies supply tiles in a number of colours. Ecotile provided dark grey (left), black and light grey (right) samples. Plasfloor, dark grey and red.
Ecotile also supply in a number of thicknesses and recommend 7mm thickness for garage floor use. The alternative Plasfloor tile is 4.7mm thick but claims to be harder wearing. Plasfloor wins the cost race: £15/sqm compared to £25/sqm for the Ecotile.
I’m still deciding.
Tool-wise, I’ve invested in new metric and imperial ratchet spanners, a decent jack, axle stands, a thread tapping set, a multimeter and a battery charger with trickle mode (partly to rescue a discharged battery, unsuccessfully, but also to trickle-charge the Caterham when it’s inactive in the worst of winter). Still to come are a nice tool cabinet and an engine hoist. I’ll either keep the hoist after the build for the inevitable onset of upgrades, or look to sell it on to someone. I don’t fancy hiring one, not really knowing how long I’ll need it for. And, my reasoning goes, by the time I pay for a weekend, I can have one for good for about 2.5 times the price. Much of the other stuff I’ll need like a torque wrench and sockets I already own.
I’m starting to run out of stuff to buy and I still have four months to go. I don’t think I can make the painting and tiling of the garage floor last that long.