Monday 21 November 2011

Low-Buck Tools: Outboard Motor Work Stand

         "Season is calling..."

        When it's too cold to float a boat, it's the right time to get your boat ready to float.  The only upside to a long cold winter is that the more work you do when the snow flies, the less work you have to do when the sun shines.  One of my projects this winter is to revive an old outboard, so I need a work stand.   I thought about buying a rolling O/B carrier, but rejected the option for a couple of reasons-
     1.  Lack of stability.  it's a whole lot less frustrating to reef on a seized bolt when you don't have to worry about your work rolling out from under you.
     2.  Lack of work surface.  An O/B cart has no place to lay tools, parts, rags, your beer, etc.
     3.  Lack of spare funds.  The more money I spend on stuff that is not going on a boat, the less money I have to spend on stuff that goes on a boat.  And Christmas is coming.

      So, as usual, I gotta build what I need.  I'm cool with that because it means I have to repurpose a bunch of scrap lumber, so I sort of get to clean up part of my cluttered workshop.


      Because thousands dozens three chronic Chronicles readers have asked me to post step- by- step instructions of the "low-buck" projects, I will do that very thing with this episode, for those who want to play along at home.

     Step 1:   Plan your work, so you can work your plan.  Draw up the dimensions of what you need to accomplish, maybe sketch out a vague idea of what it should look like. Note the high quality drawing utensils


     Step 2:  Get wood. If you're a woodworker/boatbuilder/home handyman type, chances are you have a whole mess of offcuts, or as, they are known at Stately Jones Manor, mistakes.  Gather up a bunch of likely suspects.  Because I was going to be building a stand to hold a 50 lb motor, I wanted something fairly beefy, so I dug up an old pressure treated 4 x4 left over from a fence project, a couple of gnarly 2x4s last used during a painting project, a 2 x6 of unknown origin, a length of 1 x 2, and some leftover melamine shelf board

     Step 3:  Measure twice, cut once.  Swear, remeasure, cut again.  Using your drawing as a guide, cut your wood to measure.


Step 4: Drink a beer.  Now that the power tools stage of the program is over, you realize that this is dusty work, and a cold beer would come in handy.  This also give you a chance to contemplate how you are going to put this all together.

Step 5: Nail 'er, screw 'er, give it to 'er!  Fasten your uprights to the horizontal lowers, fasten feet blocks to the lowers, install some spreaders, and gussets, add on a work top.

Step 6:  Try it out.  Seems to work.

   Total build time:  2 hours.
   Total cost:  $0
     It ain't pretty, it ain't elegant, but it does what it is supposed to do. I suppose a coat of paint would not go amiss, but while it might make it look more polished, it isn't going to make it work any better.  I didn't trim the angle on the melamine gussets because I figured I might add a shelf there later, if it appears it may come in handy.  
     Or a beer holder.

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  1. Very timely Brian. I need to make two motor stands, and there happen to be PILES of scrap wood around. I LOVE the price tag on this project! (The cost of the beer)

  2. nice but i would put my beer holder higher up than the melamine braces things dropped seem to find beers below if theres even a chance of making it in to the beer. i learned that watching bikers work on harleys course some dont mind gas blended budweiser

  3. Very clever - both the project and the prose! Thanks for posting.