Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 34
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    workshop efficiency

    I'm interested in efficiency, sometimes a little obsessive about it, and am always trying to make thing more efficient even if it is only for small gains. I imagine a lot of people on this forum are mechanics in bike shops, and I would like to begin a discussion on ways to make a a bike repair workshop more efficient.

    To get the ball rolling, here are some ways I have identified to save time and energy in the workshop:

    (1) Keep the bin within easy reach. For that matter, keep anything used frequently close to hand, and things rarely used out the way.

    (2) Return things to the same spot every time to avoid hunting about.

    (3) Over-organising tools can create more work rather than make life easy. Sometimes a system such as chucking small stuff in one drawer and large in another can be quite intuitive.

    (4) Hide away tools that you have unnecessary duplicates of. They just create clutter.

    That should be enough to get you guys thinking and generate some ideas....

  2. #2
    nice idea, poor execution
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    West Newton, MA
    Posts
    397
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Something important to consider, is not being too rigid in your initial setup. As time goes on and you gain experience, it makes sense to reevaluate where you keep your tools and supplies. Especially if you're a home mechanic, you'll likely be buying tools as you need them for projects, and your organization will have to be fluid.

    A simple thing I've seen overlooked in a few shops, is that mechanics shouldn't have to walk for replacement cables and housing.

    I could go on about this, since one of my current projects is organizing a new basement work area. Later maybe.
    Kevin Duffy, Harris Cyclery, West Newton, MA.
    blog.harriscyclery.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    25 miles northwest of Boston
    My Bikes
    Bottecchia Sprint
    Posts
    12,138
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    great thread even for home/novice mechanics! what does your shop look like? these are pics of my work area in my basement. when you come back from throwing up post some pics of your organization. PLEASE
    Attached Images Attached Images
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  4. #4
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    6,957
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Good lighting always helps.

    Only having to handle the bike once is the ideal, i.e. get the repair ticket, get the bike out once, work on it until completed, and put it away. As opposed to: getting it out, finding that it was not assessed correctly at check-in, reassessing it, making a viable plan, leaving the customer a voicemail, creating a paper trail so other mechanics can pick up the ball if you're not there when the customer calls back, putting the bike away, re-filing the repair ticket, getting out the next repair, then the customer calls back, and you have to pick up where you left off. This is unfortunately a bit too common where I work, and has dire effects on mechanics' productivity, not to mention their morale and the overall team ethic.

    For some bike-assembly steps, a carefully-used cordless driver may help speed you up on tasks such as removing all the bottle-cage screws for greasing, and stem bolts so you can grease them and install the handlebar. I use a 1/4"-drive adapter in the cordless driver so the driver can drive hex-bit sockets, and have two rows of hex-bit sockets in angled holes in a piece of wood with a strip of wood strategically laid across the face. I can plug the driver into any of the sockets, or use the edge of the wood strip to strip the sockets off the driver one-handed. One row is ball-ended bits, the other's straight-wall. You can see it bolted to the front face of this workbench:




    I'm also a fan of flex-head ratchets because in the 90° position they can be used as a speeder for tasks like spinning out the crank bolts on a square-taper or Isis crank. I have three copies of my favorite 3/8"-drive one so I can have three of the most commonly-used sockets on hand (14mm, 15mm deep for driving crank pullers, 8mm hex)without having to switch sockets.

    Maybe some more contributions later, I have to get my day going I'll leave you with this one if you use a TS-2 and know a machinist:



    Oh, and here's a design for a housing & cable spool holder I designed in trueSpace and built. All the pieces are either 15" or 32" (I used furring strip) and it can hold six "file boxes" of cables & housing of your choice. They'll dispense one-handed, or the file boxes can be lifted out if you need to do at-the-bike work:


  5. #5
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    6,266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Very nice setup, Mechbgon. Compact, yet it looks highly organized -- I'm impressed. I like seeing people modify their tools, as machining is a pretty serious hobby of mine. It's hard to tell from that video, but it looks like you're making use of an 8" acme screw with shaft collars. Is a thrust bearing between the surface of the shaft collar and the steel surface of the TS2?
    C://dos
    C://dos.run
    run.dos.run

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Montreal
    My Bikes
    Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid
    Posts
    6,521
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Colour code wrenches and hex keys - 5 red, 6 orange, 7 yellow, 6 green, 9 blue, 10 red etc (thanks Sheldon)

  7. #7
    my brain hurts! fosmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Oak Knoll
    My Bikes
    Numerous bicycles.
    Posts
    679
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    this is where some 5S comes in handy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5S_(methodology)

  8. #8
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    My Bikes
    Specialized Allez, K2 Razorback
    Posts
    22,457
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mechinator View Post
    (2) Return things to the same spot every time to avoid hunting about.
    To help this, hang your common tools on pegboard and outline where they go. It speeds up finding the tool, putting the tool away, and knowing if a tool is missing.

    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  9. #9
    nice idea, poor execution
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    West Newton, MA
    Posts
    397
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP View Post
    Colour code wrenches and hex keys - 5 red, 6 orange, 7 yellow, 6 green, 9 blue, 10 red etc (thanks Sheldon)
    This is why I always take the Pink QuikStik. Nothing else on the bench is pink.

    I don't color code wrenches though, because I put them back in order on the wall. After a little while you'll know the difference between hex keys at a glance anyway.
    Kevin Duffy, Harris Cyclery, West Newton, MA.
    blog.harriscyclery.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    25 miles northwest of Boston
    My Bikes
    Bottecchia Sprint
    Posts
    12,138
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    just read up on the Japanese 5s methodology. sort, set in order, shine, standardize, sustain the cycle

    I worked my way through high school and college as a short-order-cook and I always got used to my system(s). One time a manager moved where he wanted to store the plates. Well, I was so used to going left and up for those plates that it took a really REALLY long time for me to adapt to the plates new location. I would up, to the left, realize they weren't there, and then go down to the table top below the original place. I was always so engrossed in my food prep and onslaught of high volume orders that the final piece to the puzzle was too insignificant to be burned to my memory right away.

    anyway ... here's to standardization! (and then keeping it that way!) :-)
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  11. #11
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Carlsbad, CA
    My Bikes
    '09 Felt F55, '84 Masi Cran Criterium, (2)'86 Schwinn Pelotons, '86 Look Equippe Hinault, '09 Globe Live 3 (dogtaxi)
    Posts
    5,134
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I once spent seven months and about $7,000 rebuilding a Honda Superhawk. About two of those months were spent looking for some d@mned little dowel pin or f-wording washer. But then motorcycles have a LOT more fasteners and little pieces than bicycles.

    It made me a huge fan of transparent plastic drawers & bins, which can be found cheaply at fabric & sewing stores. The clear drawers make finding parts & tools a snap.


    And for the little-bitty things, I like the little benchtop-jobbies. Some of them are even modular-customizable, so you can create the perfect sized compartment for your shims, cleat washers & screws, and headset spacers.


  12. #12
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,801
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    **From a home workshop point of view with limited space**

    Kitchen drawer organizers for arranging tools by type, etc
    Color code tool sizes used often - I code sockets and wrenches of 8mm and 10mm
    Clear rolling organizers a little deeper than those already shown for storing spare parts; levers, derailleurs, brakes, cables etc
    Clear freezer bags to use within the drawers to keep the spare parts organized. Stops things from tangling and keeps small components together.
    Tool tray on the work stand.
    Plastic dish pan to disassemble smaller parts over: The efficiency is time saved not looking for things that spring, shoot or bounce away.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    6,957
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    Very nice setup, Mechbgon. Compact, yet it looks highly organized -- I'm impressed.
    Thanks, this is the overall layout (I'm crammed under a stairway):



    I like seeing people modify their tools, as machining is a pretty serious hobby of mine. It's hard to tell from that video, but it looks like you're making use of an 8" acme screw with shaft collars. Is a thrust bearing between the surface of the shaft collar and the steel surface of the TS2?
    It's the stock Park Tool cross-shaft, actually. The TS-2 shown there is old enough that it didn't come with roller bearings, but I bought PT's roller-bearing retrofit kit for that one. I've since upgraded to a TS-2.2 for shop use (it's more 29er-friendly) which inherited the flywheels. Still needs some break-in time to run as smooth as the TS-2, but this summer should be sufficient for that

  14. #14
    nice idea, poor execution
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    West Newton, MA
    Posts
    397
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Now I know why you stressed the importance of good lighting.

    I've known a few mechanics who had terrible times working in basements with no windows during the spring and summer. At least if you have windows you can watch everyone else riding while you're in there fixing someone else's bike instead of riding yours...
    Kevin Duffy, Harris Cyclery, West Newton, MA.
    blog.harriscyclery.com

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    boston, ma
    Posts
    2,821
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    Good lighting always helps.

    Only having to handle the bike once is the ideal, i.e. get the repair ticket, get the bike out once, work on it until completed, and put it away. As opposed to: getting it out, finding that it was not assessed correctly at check-in, reassessing it, making a viable plan, leaving the customer a voicemail, creating a paper trail so other mechanics can pick up the ball if you're not there when the customer calls back, putting the bike away, re-filing the repair ticket, getting out the next repair, then the customer calls back, and you have to pick up where you left off. This is unfortunately a bit too common where I work, and has dire effects on mechanics' productivity, not to mention their morale and the overall team ethic.

    For some bike-assembly steps, a carefully-used cordless driver may help speed you up on tasks such as removing all the bottle-cage screws for greasing, and stem bolts so you can grease them and install the handlebar. I use a 1/4"-drive adapter in the cordless driver so the driver can drive hex-bit sockets, and have two rows of hex-bit sockets in angled holes in a piece of wood with a strip of wood strategically laid across the face. I can plug the driver into any of the sockets, or use the edge of the wood strip to strip the sockets off the driver one-handed. One row is ball-ended bits, the other's straight-wall. You can see it bolted to the front face of this workbench:




    I'm also a fan of flex-head ratchets because in the 90° position they can be used as a speeder for tasks like spinning out the crank bolts on a square-taper or Isis crank. I have three copies of my favorite 3/8"-drive one so I can have three of the most commonly-used sockets on hand (14mm, 15mm deep for driving crank pullers, 8mm hex)without having to switch sockets.

    Maybe some more contributions later, I have to get my day going I'll leave you with this one if you use a TS-2 and know a machinist:



    Oh, and here's a design for a housing & cable spool holder I designed in trueSpace and built. All the pieces are either 15" or 32" (I used furring strip) and it can hold six "file boxes" of cables & housing of your choice. They'll dispense one-handed, or the file boxes can be lifted out if you need to do at-the-bike work:

    very nice spinner knobs. should be stock on the park truing stands. i tried hose clamping a screw to the stock knob but it doesnt work very well.

  16. #16
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Corbyville Ontario
    My Bikes
    2004 Litespeed Siena, 1996 Litespeed Obed, 1992 Miele (unknown model), 1982 Meile Uno LS.
    Posts
    3,699
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    I'm sure this was just for showing off's sake, but that looks like a great way to lose ALL the bits to everyting on your bike in one go! Surely you'd complete one rebuild before beginning the next?

    I like your cable and housing holder! I think I'm going to measure the spaces I have and perhaps make a couple. Well, at this point probably next season!

  17. #17
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    6,957
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by I_bRAD View Post
    I'm sure this was just for showing off's sake, but that looks like a great way to lose ALL the bits to everyting on your bike in one go! Surely you'd complete one rebuild before beginning the next?
    That was a full overhaul plus a wheel rebuild, so what you see is post-solvent-tank, prior to reassembly. It's an all-day project, so I had no competing work to mix in there. It came out to around a US$600 repair, if I recall correctly.

    Now I know why you stressed the importance of good lighting.
    I turned off almost all the lights for that shot, normally it's pretty bright

  18. #18
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Corbyville Ontario
    My Bikes
    2004 Litespeed Siena, 1996 Litespeed Obed, 1992 Miele (unknown model), 1982 Meile Uno LS.
    Posts
    3,699
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    That was a full overhaul plus a wheel rebuild, so what you see is post-solvent-tank, prior to reassembly. It's an all-day project, so I had no competing work to mix in there. It came out to around a US$600 repair, if I recall correctly.
    ah. a fancy parts cleaner. I'd use a rag and do each one individually. Of course, I can't imagine anyone paying me to do that much work, I thought that kind of thing only got done on personal bikes! Of course, at my shop I'm more likely explaining the advantages of the $30 tire over the $15 one!

  19. #19
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    The 'Wack, BC, Canada
    My Bikes
    Norco (2), Miyata, Canondale, Soma, Redline
    Posts
    5,432
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some fine ideas here but in my case most of them aren't that useful to me because my shop has to support 4 to 6 different hobbies rather than just one. My various solutions to this multi role issue is to set up some limited number of duplicate tools. Common things like the wrenches and allen keys that are used for bicycles are installed on the tool/parts tray of my workstand. Plus I have a separate plastic toolbox that holds all the less frequently used bicycle tools So I can easily pluck it off the shelf and sit it open on one of my foot stools that is used as temporary staging spots and occasionally to sit on. Thus my tools are sort of stored in a modular fashion.

    The work bench itself has it's own set of screwdrivers and allen keys along with other bench type tools. And yes, sometimes the duplication does get in the way but on the whole it save far more time than it costs.

    I've got a similar setup for specialty tools used for paintball in another similar tool kit and yet another that goes out as a field kit for my model airplanes. Then there's the mechanics 3 drawer that has the metric tools, feeler guages and other stuff for working on my motorcycles and occasionally the truck. Each has some basics such as screwdrivers, allen keys, knives, electrical tape and other useful things in duplicate so that when I pull each out in turn to use it I don't have to ***** through some other kit or wald across the shop to where there's yet another on the wall way over there.

    If my shop was dedicated to just one or two activities I would whole heartedly be setting up something such as I've seen in this thread and taking all the hints to heart.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  20. #20
    Senior Member mkane77g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    675
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The shop I worked at was so slow you didn't need to be organized

  21. #21
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Village, New York City
    My Bikes
    too many
    Posts
    19,371
    Mentioned
    61 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    The ceiling is low in my basement workshop is low. What kind of lights should I look at? I need better lights.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  22. #22
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Corbyville Ontario
    My Bikes
    2004 Litespeed Siena, 1996 Litespeed Obed, 1992 Miele (unknown model), 1982 Meile Uno LS.
    Posts
    3,699
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I had a basement workshop once and I put a 4' double flourescent above the work stand, with a 6' wide white coroplast reflector above it. Screwed it all straight into the joists. Then I had another double 4 footer haning on chains above the workbench. That set up worked pretty well, and cheap too.

  23. #23
    Internal gears FTW! zoodude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
    My Bikes
    1986 Raleigh Reliant, 2010 Schwinn Sporterra NX8
    Posts
    203
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    worked in a shop once with double benches. both had identical setups with color coded tools. never lost tools and could easily move from bench to bench. also, using an apron helps a lot. simple yet effective at keeping your common tools like a 5mm, pen, and Philips right where you need them. at high season we would often aim for 12 tune ups a day for an 8 hour shift. man those were the days!!
    Share the road!

  24. #24
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    6,957
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For those wrenching at a shop where you store bikes on hooks or in fixed racks, here's another possible time-saver for storing and retrieving customers' repair bikes:

    1) number each hook and/or rack slot. I numbered ours 100-133 for the east wall, 200-225 for the west wall, for example. That way, the hook number's first numeral cues you which wall to aim for, just like you expect office 531 to be on the 5th floor of a building.

    2) now that your hooks/slots are numbered, make hang-tags with those numbers on them, so there's one tag for each storage hook/slot. You'll keep these right next to your supply of blank repair forms, or your check-in computer if you do this electronically. Each tag represents a known-vacant hook.

    3) whenever you write up a repair ticket or make a repair form, grab a hook tag and hang that on the bike you're bringing in. Write that hook number on the repair form or add it as a line-item note, and hang the bike on that hook. Now the mechanic doesn't have to look for "BLUE TREK" and consider everything from neon blue to deep-midnight blue, he can just go to Hook 225 and hey, there's the bike This'll save time, especially if your storage area isn't lit super-well.

    4) when you go to retrieve the bike, you can just go to the hook, saving you valuable time during the daily pick-up rush. When handing over the bike, take the hook tag off the bike and put it back into your "pool" of available hooks.


    The main gotcha is that people can't just go hanging bikes willy-nilly on any hook, they'll have to go get the hook tag and put it on the bike. Otherwise, someone will come along and find the hook occupied when it was supposed to be vacant. But that's easily overcome. The number of hook tags in your "vacant" pool will also show you how close you are to full capacity.

    This tweak may be more of a benefit for our shop than average, because our storage is rather out-of-the-way in the building, one floor down and one basement over.

    Of course, I can't imagine anyone paying me to do that much work [the $600 overhaul], I thought that kind of thing only got done on personal bikes!
    We seldom get full-bike overhauls, and actually that's fine with me because they're a "loss leader" for sure, as is custom wheelbuilding. I did the math later on that one, and it worked out to under $30/hour shop rate on the labor, whereas our blanket shop rate is (supposed to be) $60/hour.

    Also, it's really NOT fun to spend a couple hours breathing through a respirator and sweating in heavy nitrile gloves while scrubbing stuff to perfection in a 30-gallon solvent tank. Aching arms, aching back, aching fingers... and just try scratching an itch on your nose with that apparatus on

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    433
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don't make your mechanics answer the phone!

    Dropping the task at hand to talk to customers at the counter or on the phone, then going back and picking up where I left off is the single biggest time sucker in my situation. The shop I work for has a very "open concept" wrench area, and while it's nice for customers to be able to see what's going on (most of the time), I work about three times faster come 6pm when the doors close.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •