Guest Article: Workstands and Toolkits
Without the workstand, where would we be? Working on a bike while it leans against the wall is no way to work. Yes, we all put off even buying the first poor excuse for a stand for much too long because those Campagnolo upgrades came first. That would have been another benefit of working in a bike shop as a teenager; the early introduction to the proper tools and stands to do the work. Thanks to @Teocalli for a review and a tale of how to get one.
It all started perfectly innocently.
VMW – Sighs and looks at the Conservatory last Spring. “If only I could get the Conservatory back”.
Like many, I suspect, our conservatory swings between habitability and dumping ground but in this instance had become my bike workroom. Typically, there was at least one bike in the conservatory with tools spread over the table and toolbox gaping on the floor like a man-trap (VMW trap?). Workroom might be a bit of a misnomer as I didn’t have a decent workstand and survived using axle-stands or a frame vice clamped to the table. It was all very ad hoc but a decent workstand always seemed hard to justify. However, my lower back was definitely feeling the need as at my age sitting on a low stool (how many know what a Crackett is?) working near floor level was doing my back no good whatsoever.
Me – “Well if I had a decent workstand I could work in the garage”
WMW – “Why can’t you use your cabin?” (note here that I have a work cabin for woodwork and dirty stuff and the VMW has a garden shed – terminology when it comes to man-sheds is important!).
Me – “We’ll that’s not very secure and my tools would go rusty in the winter as it gets a bit damp in there”.
VMW – “Well, can’t you put them all in the garage?”
Me – “I’d need to clear all the garden stuff out of the top half of the garage to be able to work in there”.
VMW – “OK but I’d need a new Garden Shed to put it all in as the current one is full and not big enough and it leaks”.
Gianni was right, it’s all a matter of negotiation and making sure that the other half gets the bigger slice. Hell’s teeth, a new Garden Shed is way more expensive than a bike workstand!
Me (pressing my luck) – “I could do with a decent tool cabinet too as scrabbling in that toolbox is a real pain and it won’t take all my tools and still close anymore”
VMW – “Ok if I get a new Garden Shed and you put down a base for me THEN you can buy a workstand and tool cabinet”
So that is how I now come to have a great tool cabinet with all my tools neatly spread out in single layers and easy to find and a decent workstand.
So the purpose of writing this was actually to comment on the Feedback Sports Workstand. I went for the Sprint Workstand model as I have never been too keen with clamping lightweight frames ever since my first lightweight Alu frame that came covered in stickers “Do Not Clamp Here” and the Feedback Sports model also has a neat arrangement of spacers on the axle QR clamp that will take variable OLD sizes suitable to my small collection and also can take Through Axle so is very versatile. It is not cheep but I highly recommend it. Sturdy construction with a wide base it is fully height adjustable and swings through 360 deg or can be clamped in a fixed position. Bikes can be clamped by the forks or rear axle depending on what you want to work on. Being Aluminium construction it is also great for cleaning bikes and hosing down as well as folding into a neat package to be easily portable.
Having the tool cabinet is an absolute joy with everything having its own place and (so far) ensures that I put all tools back in their place after using them. No more scrabbling to find that left hand widget that I know is somewhere. In fact, now I’m looking for excuses to find something to fettle on one bike or another as it is so much easier than previously. The right tools for the job do make a huge difference. The slightly funny part of emptying my tool box was that I did find that I had duplicates of a few things that were hidden unseen way down at the bottom and I had bought the second not knowing there was a lurker down in the dark recesses of the toolkit.
All I need now is a proper bike room, the VMW has okayed that as part of the new seafront house – sadly though, our combined plans for that will have to wait for the lottery win.