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Car Shop Tools - Buy And Build Some Cool Shop Tools

If Winter Has Locked You In The Garage, This Is A Great Time To Fire Up The Heater And...

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'They say it never rains in Southern California, so except for a few of our southern friends in Florida and the Gulf Coast, we are the only ones who aren't shop-bound this time of year with musclecars carefully stored away. Lucky us. For the rest of you, this leaves most weekends and winter nights open for garage tech. So we thought we'd offer up some interesting little projects that you can build yourself with the help of a tape measure, a chop saw (or hacksaw if you're really desperate), a 110-volt MIG welder, and a little bit of fabrication experience. But don't let that welding stuff scare you. As our buddy Scott Sullivan once told us, "If you can fog a mirror, you can MIG-weld." 'Nuff said.

How To Build An Engine Perch
If you're like most guys, you probably have more engines than you have cars. That's certainly the case around the Car Craft shop, where we're always knee-deep in engine projects. While the old wood-block-under-the-balancer routine is a quick fix for setting an engine on the floor, we wanted an engine perch that would also allow us to transport engines safely in the back of our pickup when it's time to run out to Westech for a dyno test.

This particular engine perch will accommodate both small- and big-block Chevys, and it also allows us to bolt the perch on the engine while it's on the engine stand. The entire perch is constructed from 1x1-inch-square, 0.072-inch-wall-thickness, mild-steel tubing using one 10-foot length. In addition, we bought a 6x6-inch-square piece of 31/416-inch steel plate for the front mounting tabs. We decided to build two of these perches (mainly because they keep walking away when we're not looking), and the entire process required the better part of a Saturday afternoon. The only tools required were a tape measure, Sawzall, bench grinder, right-angle gauge, and our handy Craftsman 110-volt MIG welder. If you really want to be professional, a chop saw makes much straighter and more accurate cuts than our Sawzall, but we survived. Check it out.

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