The BIG Shed



Previously a cattle shed, this building is becoming the ultimate in home workshops. Having re-located (almost) everything to the BIG shed, it then became a case of sorting the junk out and allowing everything to find it's place. There were a few bonfires, as I had to dispose of mountains of old straw, also several tip runs in the series 3 pick-up. With all the crap which the previous owners had left removed, I thought that it would be a simple matter of arranging vehicles and equipment into a nice orderly workshop. However, not wanting to waste this precious opportunity, I wanted to get stuck into the serious projects which had been waiting, mainly the Yeti Monster.

I have made use of some old "G-plan" furniture units which make good storage cabinets for oils and fluids. A tool storage area, where the tool chests and old filing cabinets keep everything sorted and tidy (I wish). A rigging loft, for hoists, chains and slings.

I have constructed two work benches, one that is to be a dedicated electrical department, and one which will be for working on mechanical parts. My work bench from the old shed, is now a drilling and grinding bench, and I have also been able to find an old garage sized parts washer, which is excellent. It is large enough to accommodate gearboxes, and the pump will outlast anything that Machine Mart have to offer. There is an electrical supply which terminates just inside the small door, from this I have rigged up a temporary electric power circuit to supply things until a permenant system is installed.

bike bay 02All the bikes were stowed in separate bays, but as things settled down, I realised that the bikes don't need that much space each, so they are now packed in to allow more practical and efficient use of the available space. The Triumph is awaiting a major stripdown, when I shall fit a set of E3134 half race camshafts, as well as get the frame recoated.

The "Yeti-Monster " (series IIA Land Rover) is positioned at the rear of the central section, it has had both axles rebuilt and is a rolling chassis once again. This allows it to be moved into the working area when necessary. Well lit and with good access all round, the "working area" is a godsend to any shedologist, this area provides secure working space where tools and parts can be left undisturbed for hours, weeks or even months, while other projects can be attended to else where.  

It would be nice to build a motorcycle rolling road, I think a dyno is a bit much, for now anyway, but a simple set up to allow for “on load” setting up and tweeking would be useful, save getting all the gear on and then finding it’s raining again. Also a "bike wash", where road grime, oils and grease can be washed of large items and bikes, similar to a parts washer.


So far, things are still somewhat chaotic in the BIG shed. Projects tend to spread around and merge into one huge, monstrous mess. The available space does allow a project to remain ilde whilst awaiting parts or tools, whilst other projects may continue without interfering with the others. One major drawback appears to be the way tools just vanish, it often feels as though I am spending as much time hunting for the tool I had in my hand 3 minutes ago, as I do working on a project. But things are progressing none the less. The Triumph has been back on the road, although a problem with an exhaust valve sticking has seen it come back off until opportunity arises to rebuild the engine. The Harley has received new rear wheel bearings, clutch bearing and new rear disc. Along with freeing off the rear caliper which caused a warped disc. The Zephyr has been MOT'd, and is now insured in my name, which will allow me to utilise it as a winter hack. I've even managed to totally strip the old Yeti Monster chassis and make good progress on the rebuild on the galvanised chassis. The poor weather that we had over last 2 summers has helped, as it meant that I was in the shed rather than riding bikes.

Once more, summer is upon us. There are fences to repair and equipment to maintain. I have bought a whole heap of shelving, in a bid to get on top of the chaos that exists in the BIG shed, and these are almost filled, yet the chaos seems to be the same. The addition of yet another two projects, namely the MF 50B and a hot tub (to be installed in the "secret garden", behind the BIG shed) hasn't helped, and these have increased the workload substantially. I fear some trimming down will have to be done soon.

As with most things in life, the BIG shed remains in a state of flux. Whilst it has proven to be the best workshop I have ever had the honour of owning, the whole property has proved to be a bit of a handful for us physically. So we are now looking at downsizing. We do have a plan, which does include another BIG shed, only this time it will most likely be a purpose built unit, with better flooring, and more accessable space within. I plan to kit the new BIG shed with plenty of shelving, and of course, work benches. We hope to be lucky during this economic climate, and sell quickly, whilst still making a worthwhile profit on our investment. Watch this space.

The BIG Shed


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