How to Organize a Chopper Building Workshop
I Am Ready to Build A Custom Chopper
Now that you are ready to build a custom chopper, it is time to consider some workshop space. I would recommend that you have a dedicated workspace ready when your custom chopper arrives. A dedicated workspace will make it easier to store the tools needed to build a custom chopper and you won't be competing for space with other members of the family.
These workshop recommendations are a culmination of data gathered from hobbyists, professionals and do-it-yourselfers. These are only recommendations, and should be considered basic guidelines.
Your chopper workshop should be approximately 20' x 12'. This should allow sufficient space for the bike to remain in the middle of the floor with adequate room to move around. The workspace should be well lit to make it easier to work, and find those little bits that always hit the floor. A chopper building workshop should have an even floor to reduce tripping hazards. The workshop should be well ventilated. Your motorcycle workshop should also have adequate electrical service for running the necessary tools.
A sturdy workbench, capable of taking a beating, will prove invaluable for assembling the small parts and inventorying your custom chopper kit. I would also recommend a mounted vise for those three-handed jobs and those times when some gentle persuasion is called for.
There should be adequate room for storage and organization of the parts for you custom chopper. As a reference, an entire chopper kit is shipped in a box about the size of a refrigerator. In addition, remember that you will need to organize and store the tools you will require for the project. Tool storage can come in the form of a toolbox, tool chest, pegboard, or shelving whatever keeps the tools organized and out of the way.
Another workshop recommendation is a bike stand, motorcycle jack, or a motorcycle lift. Motorcycle lifts may be a bit more expensive, but it should save your back from all the bending and stooping.
The last workshop recommendation is a first aid kit. It's inevitable a few knuckles will get battered, but you should be prepared for something a bit more serious, should it occur.
The following list of tool recommendations should be considered a good starting point for getting the bulk of the work done. Remember, some specialty tools will only be used once, so they will not appear on this list of tool recommendations.
Your toolbox should include:
- A full set of combination wrenches, sockets and nut drivers
- Some adjustable wrenches
- An assortment of pliers and vice grips
- As set of Allen wrenches and Torx drivers
- An assortment of slot and Phillips screw drivers
- An assortment of hammers including rubber and plastic mallets
- A power drill and metal drill bits
- Taps and Dies
- A torque wrench
- A wire cutter/stripper, soldering iron and solder
- Rolls of masking tape, electrical tape and shrink tubing
Other tools or specialty tools can be rented or borrowed. In some cases your local bike shop may be available to do work-for-hire jobs such as mounting tires or fabrication. This may actually be cheaper than buying a tool for one specific job.
Reference: Chopper Fundamentals 101 © 2009