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OldCarGuy’s Retirement Toy Shop


Apr 25, 2006
When the last of the little ones left the nest I decided it was time to downsize the house and upsize my garages. I purchased a country home in the center of 6 acres of trees in June 2004. It took months of red tape and didn’t start digging until the of November of that year. I pulled all the permits, purchased all the materials, subcontracted out parts of the construction and tackled a good part of it myself with the help of several friends over the past 2 1/2 years.

A 30 x 50 X 14’ high pole barn (top left center) existed. That I insulated, installed a drop ceiling, heated and air conditioned. I store my 40’ motorhome, tractor, wood working tools, OldCarGuy’s Gold (junk), and the heart of my compressed air system. A DevAir 5HP air compressor with 80 Gallon tank with auto drain and coalescing filters, BelAir 55 CFM refrigerated dryer. Dry compressed air is supplied to all five garages 24 hours a day 7 days a week via 1” underground piping and 300’ of 1” black pipe as main runs with abundant amount of ½” drops and auto eight rewind hose reels.




The city zoning wouldn’t allow me put up a single 3500 square foot garage. So I built two 26 X 38’ with 12’ ceilings 4-car garages facing each other. One I have 4 lifts that I store 8 cars in. The other I plan on installing a paint booth along with more cars. Both are heated and air conditioned.

I built a 30x50’ garage machine shop attached to the existing 26x30’ side entrance garage. It has 12’ ceiling height one 18x8 door. All the walls and ceilings have 5/8’ fire rated drywall. The walls have R-19 and the ceiling has R30 insulation. I installed an Amstrong Thru-the-Wall combination ducted forced air gas furnace and electric air conditioner with 64,000 Btu heating and 29,000 Btu cooling.

OldCarGuy fabricating and installed a homemade 27’ bridge crane on 45’ long runway beams. A 4,000 pound 3-phase hoist with electrification using homemade capstans for both bridge and runways.

Overview of machine shop…



Shop Power Distribution center,,, 240 Volt 200 Amp single phase main load center,, along side a 100 Amp 240 Volt three phase load center. Fed by a 5 HP and a 10 HP rotary inverters. They are set up to run one at a time or in tandem. The center top box encloses the switching relays.

Lincoln 250 Amp TIG welder, 24x36” table with ½” steel plate. And storage compartments for filler rod made from left over downspouts.

Boyar Schultz 6x18” hand surface grinder,, Boyar Schultz 8x18” fully automatic hydraulic surface grinder,, with Dayton ½ HP bench grinder sandwiched between.

Sand blasting cabinet

Clausing Colchester quick change gearedhead toolroom Lathe,,, 15" Swing 60" Between Centers

Solid steel work table 28x48” and 6” thick,, note selection of wood blocking stored underneath from 6x6” to 1x6”

For working on the underside of cars a Mohawk 10,000 pound 2-post lift



14” optical comparator with surface illumination,, Kennedy rolling tool box with complete set of wrenching tools, and oxygen acetylene torch.
Wells 9x16 cutoff saw,,, Powermatic 14” metal bandsaw,, ½ HP Baldor buffer,

Graymills parts washer tank,,

Ex-Cell-O 20 Amp plunge EDM machine,,

Smaller imported 14” swing gearhead lathe with 5C collet draw bar

Kearney Trecker model 2D rotary head milling machine,, Rex posted about how this machine was the Cat's Meow in its' day. And I purchased it in memory of my Father. He too always said 2D this and 2D that!

Bridgeport EZ Trak DX CNC Milling machine
A 24 x 36 x 4” granite layout plate,, American Optical Zoom Microscope with vertical illuminator.

Workbench area,,, two 36x72” maple top benches,, tool boxes filled with my life’s machinist tools,, along with laptop computer for quick online references.

A Delta DP220 14” bench model drill press. My 93 year old uncle passed away last year and my Aunt felt it was better that I take it home and use it. Rather than a stranger paying a few bucks for it.

Alright,, it’s all my weak willpower...
Darn that Defective Gene causing my everlasting addiction for tools and machines. But I just couldn’t resist,, and such a bargain at $2,000.00, I just had to buy this Bridgeport for my retirement garage Toy Shop! It’s less than 15 years old and spent the last 7 in storage. Causing a slight cover of rust. And included a LW machine vice (made in Toledo Ohio) and other small tooling including a set of R8 collets. I know, I know I already have Two milling machines including a 1996 CNC EZ-Track Bridgeport. But it would be nice to have a manual Bridgeport... No?

The chrome plated ways and lead screws are original and show little wear. Neither X or Y travels are tight and don’t bind up at the end of their travels. And both screws have less than .020 backlash. The spindle is smooth and whisper quiet (for a BP variable head that is) even at 3,000 RPM’s. This Bridgeport is very close to being new!

If that what retirement is like I can't wait. :D

I think you just give us a glimpse of Heaven. ;)

NICEST shop I've ever seen.

You wouldn't by chance be looking for a new Son??....Son in-law?

Very nice indeed!
That's one of the the nicest workshop setup I've ever seen. It must be a god place to spend time. Do you generally make parts for reconditioning cars? Knocks my garage homeshop into a cocked hat.

I'd guess there are no objections from SWMBO. I would definitely get the 1000 yard quiet stare complete with cat's arse pursed lips from mine if I bought even one of those lovely machines. That must be why I don't tell her!


I only use the garage laptop for quick references and the chair is shared with the workbenches. As I do have a 16x30' office with my main computer, drawing board and lounge area.

The size of my main workshop is 30x50 feet. Including the second floor of my main workshop I have about 7,000 square feet of Toy Shop Area at my home complex. In addition I own a 1600 square foot "garage condominium" with a 14 foot ceiling five miles from my main complex that I store my car hauler, car parts, and more of OldCarGuy‘s Gold.
The equipment is used to bring back life from what others may feel as junk.