Important tips for a great work shop !

How to have useful construction workshops.
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Important tips for a great work shop !

Post by sporty » Tue May 18, 2010 3:21 pm

Getting started early and getting it down on paper.

1-What you will need !

2- How many will becoming !

3- Time and length of the workshops. how many.

4- The goal for the work shop.

This is important.


The workshops I put on, We set it up, so everything can be done.

Different Stations, also means lots of tools, more than one tools, tables / chairs, electric cords and space and room and supplies, extra kids, sand paper, ect ,weight.

I found the lay out is the best, signs when they come into the room, a table right there with info and extra parts and paperwork, templates. Sissors and tape, extra paper.

This station and being closed to the entry is where everyone comes first. We usually have someone there to answer questions and direct them and point them to the next area, depending on there needs.

We set up like 8 tables. Each big/ long table being a work area.

We set up next closest two tables, and chairs for people wanting to trace out there design or template or assemple there car there.

Then we more or less set up the rest is sequence, station 1 example-

This is band saw and scroll saws, usually 2 or 3. We found this area to be the biggest back log of people waiting.

So we first did not have enough cutting equipment.

The next station was sand paper and belt sanders and dremels. Where they could cut more that the saws could not or fine sand the car. Some took also the sand paper to the general table where people were drawing and tracing out there patterns.

The next station in sequence, also required us to have 3 drills ! This kept again the flow of back log, As axle and wheel work are time consuming and 1 parent may have three kids and have to work on 3 sets of wheels and axles.

This also plays into the 2 or three dremels as a back up, but not as good of quality work done.

So also these three drill presses sever for drilling the axle wholes. Each station has a box with info taped to it, tool info ect, I usually am juggling each station helping people who are new get started and give a demo of what to do.

I usually use a label maker to wrap a label around each tool. So they do not get lost or also for people to know what that tool is for. like a mandrell.

I take plastic containers and make deviders fro them and cut strips of sand paper, different sizes, and grits, for each section, then write on the side of each section what it is and what step it is. I try and do axle stuff in sequence, its easier for the dads and kids.

We do not do painting at are workshopsm they are in the winter and to small of a area for paint fumes for the kids.

We set up 2 hours early and this provides time to deal with shortages or items forgotten.

3 hours is typically what each workshop lasts. We have two workshops, but are thinking about adding 1 more.

We offer for those very into and serious can stay 1 extra hour to use the tools and get added help.

The key thing is talking and getting the work out and calling before hand, reminding them and letting them know what they can do and what they will need, weight, lube, ect.

The good thing abotu workshops is after the first year, atleast you have a repeat group who come back the following year, they know what goes on and what is there for them and what is not. But they also by the 3rd year become able to need little help.

We try and set it up the same way each time, people seem to remember a general layout, even if they are only there 1 or 2 times a year later.


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Darin McGrew
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Re: Important tips for a great work shop !

Post by Darin McGrew » Wed May 19, 2010 7:31 am

Sounds familiar...

We do have painting booths at our workshops though, but our winters are mild and our workshops are outdoors. The painting booths are just large cardboard boxes, with cheap plastic turntables inside. Small paper cups serve as work stands when painting the car bodies. We also have trigger handles (which make it a lot easier for younger kids to handle the spray paint) and disposable gloves (which reduce the cleanup required for those who use them).

We have several workshops. Yes, the band saws are the bottleneck early on. Also, in our early workshops, we use the drill presses only for pressing axle holes. Later, after most of the cars have had their axle holes pressed and the basic shape cut, we allow the drill presses to be used for other things.

The weight station isn't open until the second weekend. We use molten metal (recycled tire weights). The kids aren't allowed near the molten metal, and don't get their car back until it is cool to the touch.

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