Car lift and general auto shop training

hi im Karson, looking to get cleared for the auto shop
my days are this Wednesday or thursday 5-8pm
2nd option Monday 3/27- Wednesday 3/30 5-8pm

I take it that you can’t make it to this class?


correct. ill be at work.

I may be there on your Monday evening the 27th.

Other than the lift use - is there something else you are interested in - in automotive?

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well just looking general car repairs. I was told there is a community toolbox of sorts for everyone, can I use that? are any other classes available? I dont know, im kinda new to makerspace and dont know how to look at a list of whats available.

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oh. If I wanna machine some rotors down to a new face, would that be automotive or the machine shop?

The big Lime Green tool boxes are in automotive yes and free access yes. Often if you may find some of the automotive tools have migrated to other areas of the Makerspace as well - the Welding shop or Machine shop are typical areas. There are some more advanced or specialty tools in plastic blow molded plastic cases in the green cabinet as well. Special sockets for removing those unfortunate enough to have “freewheeling” pulleys on alternators, or fuel liquid release line tools, and much more.

There is an enclosed aqueous heated parts washer for cleaning parts.
There is a heavy duty hydraulic H frame press.

Automotive does not have a brake lathe - your best bet is a local auto parts store or buy new rotors or drums.


“Brake lathe”. Is that a special tooling? Or a special fixturing? Versus a regular metal lathe…


Two different machines. technically they are both machine metal yes, but to refer to a brake lathe as a metal lathe is a bit of a stretch. A Piper Cub airplane flies and carries people but it is not a Boeing 747-400 Jetliner.

A brake lathe has a variety of adapters /fixtures to quickly attach a variety or drums or rotors (brake disc) and they also come with a band that wraps around the drum or rotor that keeps the noise to low screech(less annoying to others nearby).

Brake lathes are seldom used anymore (except by DIY). Real Shops never use them. My friend has a MAC brake lathe that came with the shop he bought and it sits collecting dust. He has never used it. Rotors are disposable today. Labor rates have killed any “hope” of being “tree hugging green” in auto repair"

I am not saying it cannot be done at the Makerspace…many members spend countless hours building things they could buy for pennies.


A “typical” brake lathe from ~40 years or so ago, when turning drums & rotors was much more common

Pic is part of this ebay listing.

These days, turning rotors & drums is largely relegated to the dustbin. Those manufactured after ~1974 don’t really spec turning, but replacing, and honestly, they’ve become so cheap replacement just makes good sense. Therefore, turning brake drums/rotors is mostly done for specialty parts that are old enough to maintain spec when turned, and expensive enough to be worth paying someone who knows what they’re doing (e.g. when restoring that old Duesenberg that’s sitting the barn).


Ammco - much more than “40” years ago - I used one at the German car shop way back in the Dinosaur days in the (eek-yes that makes me older than dirt) late 1970s through the 1980s…that machine and table was much bigger, also had vertical spindle sander/grinder in it to cam grind / match the arc of the shoes the drum for a better contact patch.

I remember getting the “look” from the owner after setting it up to cut the steel linings inside aluminum brake drums. Good times.


We’ll be up there this Thursday working on the race car as well and can walk you through it, so you’ve got options. Should start around 6.

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It isn’t just the labor rates. The quest for minor improvements towards CAFE has led to manufacturers producing rotors that often are below minimum turning thickness before the first set of pads have worn out.

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when you say “this thursday”, do you mean 3/23?

While he probably meant 3/16, 3/23 is also an option. Mostly likely. Your mileage may vary.

I can’t speak for @Bizwacky but I think he was going out of town. Keep that in mind if he doesn’t answer.