First of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS from The American Garage! I can’t believe we are already here! We have just released Episode 2, which focuses on tear-down and project organization. So let me let you in on a secret- folks have taken machines apart and did not stay organized and the project rarely succeeds. At the onset of this project, the garage was not all that organized. Look carefully in the background- the shelves are full of scrap wood, there is a junk car in the other bay, and I am talking about organization! Not to worry, I put my money where my mouth is and got rid of the car, and cleaned up 3 of the shelves. Keep a watchful eye on the surroundings as the episodes are released, you will see the garage become more functional and organized. So, don’t be thinking that because we have this show we are perfect or have sponsors that come in and magically clean things up- no sirree. This is a process for me as well as for you. So the message here is this: it can be done! If you get the shop organized before you take your project apart, you will be better off. Even if you use the bag process, if you are constantly moving parts around the garage and moving and combining boxes, you are not yet organized, and stuff gets lost. For this project, I am going to make a special area where all the parts will be kept, and nothing else. Don’t turn your garage into a giant parts tumbler, moving things and re-stacking things all the time. You will lose more then you gain half the time, even with 110% effort. (How’s that for garage math?!) Tear-down is fun. It is the part of the project that goes the fastest, but also where you will set the course of the project success or failure. Once things start coming apart, you want to just keep going for the fun of it. Don’t forget to document. Another thing- be careful! You may inadvertently tear up a piece that is irreplaceable- then what? Treat every piece as if it were one of a kind, because some of them may be. Email me your questions and comments, or post them at the bottom of the page. I look forward to hearing from all of you and what ideas that have been sparked. Stephen