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Old 11-06-2011, 05:35 PM   #1
Dimman
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Vancouver Garage co-op.

Anyone interested in starting something like this?

I've been having fits lately, trying to find a fabricating/garage workspace to rent. My budget is low, so I've been looking for private garages in the $400-$600 range, close to where I live or work (New West and Richmond respectively).

Then the protesters down at the VAG gave me an idea. Instead of whining about inequality and un-fairness (like they are) of not having a garage, maybe I could find a bunch of like-minded people in similar situations, and we could all go in together on a real shop. You know, co-operative action, instead of protest at the VAG.

Plus with a group of people we could pool some talent, and funds, and end up with pro-level facilities at a fraction of the cost. So far I've got myself (a machinist) and one of my co-workers (an excellent TIG welder/fabricator) interested. Ideally we would like some people with better mechanical skills, electrical, fiberglass/CF skills, or even an engineering student or two (I know UBC has a sportscar club...).

Draw-backs would be sharing/scheduling and rules and such, but we could hammer those details out.

As a cost example, I've seen shops in the 1500-1700 square foot range for lease for about ~$2000/mo. Including utilities and insurance we could be in the $2400ish range. But split between 6-8 people, that's only $300-$400 each. And then chipping in together for a lift, compressor, welders, fab equipment (benders, bandsaws, sanders, etc...). Fully equipped shop for $300/mo! Plus people could work part-time out of it, if inclined.

This is something I've been thinking about, due to frustration. I've got ideas of what I want to make for my current car, and the FT86, plus the skills, but no damn place to do it.

Anyone interested? Or just want to throw some ideas on practical issues that may need to be resolved?
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:01 PM   #2
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I've always wanted to do something like this. I don't have a garage so the amount of work I can do on my car is limited. I haven't heard of anything like this in my area but I would be so in. I probably would never be at home if that was the case.
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:03 AM   #3
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I am a bcit first term student who is very enthusiastic about cars, I am actually very interested in this I can perform some basic maintainance on cars, and i've been playing around with fiberglass myself too
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:59 PM   #4
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Wow, people finally answered!

Details on getting something like this going will be complex. I've heard there is a similar shared-space concept called a 'hackerspace' for electronics and computer type things. http://vancouver.hackspace.ca/wp/ Apparently this is a somewhat common model.

My idea would follow some of theirs but the problem is, with cars, that the space and financial requirements are much bigger. And worrying about 'friends of friends' has been the number one concern of people that I've talked to.

It could be operated somewhat like a school's shop. I don't know about BCIT, but in my trade school College of New Caledonia we had a combination of 'tokens' for a tool crib operator as well as electronic access to lockers for tools. Plus we all paid a tool deposit. So this is something that would need to be addressed.

Then the issue of funding it and sharing the time.

In Greater Vancouver I would be looking at a lease in the ~$10/sqft with no more than ~$5/sqft tax on top of that. As an example in Richmond: http://www.dtzvancouver.com/Property...t-110-667.html Just under 2000 sqft this one would work out to $2118.40/mo, no utilities or insurance.

A larger one at almost 3500 sqft, http://www.dtzvancouver.com/Property...t-106-308.html would come in at $3225.75/mo, no utilities or insurance.

Theory-wise if 10 people went in on a co-op together and all got along, the individual cost/mo wouldn't be that high. And if we have a $XXXX buy-in/deposit for tooling and equipment it would give everyone access to a fully-equipped professional level shop.

In practice it will be hard to please everyone with scheduling, etc... especially with project cars that may not be mobile 100% of the time.

So me and my buddy are trying to figure out some more details and may talk to the guys at the hack space about issues they had.

Another thing that the co-op could be used for is like what the farmers did with theirs. Start a retail business but with the primary intent of giving the co-op members access to wholesale prices, with selling at retail to non-members secondary. Cheap parts, tools and materials!

Anyone want to throw out some more ideas of problems and possible solutions, feel free.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:34 PM   #5
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I live in Ontario, do you mind if I buy a time-share and live in it, while constantly working on my car and buffering the floors?
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:39 AM   #6
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You guys must be rolling in the cash if you'd really be looking into a 2000+ sq ft garage to perform maintenance on your car.

I need to make sure the next house I buy has a garage. :P I sure as shit ain't a fan of wiping snow off my car even though I only had to do it twice this winter so far.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D4ng3r View Post
I live in Ontario, do you mind if I buy a time-share and live in it, while constantly working on my car and buffering the floors?
lol for real?
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