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How To Make a Perfect Man Cave

How To Make a Perfect Man Cave

I once heard a sermon at a wedding that addressed couples needing their own space at times where they can enjoy serenity alone or with good friends. That special place was referred to that day as one’s ‘bethel.’ I had to look up the word to discover it is rich in religious background referring to the word as a spiritual place of sorts. Sure, many car guys might refer to their garages as religious places. Possibly  because when working in one’s shop, it feels like one is in heaven. But that’s all pretty metaphorical, so calling your garage a ‘bethel’ just doesn’t sound right. Clearly, a name was needed for this special hangout place for guys, which women are welcome to visit, but is usually a location preferred by men. 
Along comes the term ‘man cave.’ This is where men can cuss, have a beer, make up stories about horsepower and rear end ratios and ET’s on the quarter mile without hearing a sweet voice say, “Honey, can we gohome now?” Now, let’s not assume a garage is only for men. Having a special place to keep your prized possessions is not unique to one gender or the other. When I walk into her closet, which is very large, there is a section for shoes; she’s got 110 pairs. How come I get by with six pairs including workboots? Next I see about 50 business suits. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t wear them all. I’m not making fun of walk in closets full of clothing that rarely gets worn, honest. I’m simply saying that everybody needs a place to get away; to keep the stuff that’s important to them, whether they use each of the six types of vice grips or wear the 25 different high heels or not.  Sometimes you just need a place where no one asks why you’ve got so many wrenches. For a lot of car guys (and gals) that’s the garage. That garage can also be a modern-day man cave. Here’s how you build one. For me, the following is a breakdown of my perfect mancave.
Let’s start with lots of tools and tool chests, work benches, TV, refrigerator for adult beverages and hopefully a car or two sitting in the middle. These gathering places seem to get more cluttered as the years pass with more old signs hanging on the walls, grill shells, maybe some neon, and theres usually an old gas pump. There is definitely no end to the imagination for these guys. How about cleaning the place up,adding a couple of chairs for your friends and how about a nice epoxy or modular floor. All the floor options cost more or less the same. I found the average cost of all the options I looked at to be in the $3.50/square foot to be about average. After months of ordering samples and talking to friends on what they did with their floors, I decided to use snap together tiles made by Swiss Trax. Granted, I was somewhat influenced by these tiles being the floor of choice by Jay Leno in his garages. The hardest part was not the installation but the colors I wanted to use. Only one tool was needed to complete the job and that was a table saw with a fine tooth blade. Swiss Trax did the design for me and suggested a pattern.
We guys are always proud of the treasures we find at flea markets or swap meets. Collecting these things becomes a life long passion which can be added to as money and luck come your way. When a friend and Istarted to collect automobilia in 1981, one only had to hook up a small trailer in back of your truck and head into the small towns of America. Farmers and bulk oil dealers seemed to always point us in the right direction. No different than the show ‘American Pickers,’ you had to keep your eyes open driving down the back roads and tell-tale signs in the yards or near a barn were usually a dead giveaway. It’s not so easy anymore, most treasures have been picked in the last 30+ years, so collectible shows and auctions became popular only at a price. You can decorate your man cave shop with posters and reproduction signs easily as there is no end to what is being reproduced today including gas pumps. Most man caves revolve around a special type of car that is special to you. Whether a deuce roadster, ‘55 Nomad or a luxury classic, all we are doing is providing a nice place to park and work on our pride and joy. 
I do notthink the ladies gather in walk-in closets and have a glass of chardonnay while admiring shoes (editor’s note: they would if the closet was big enough!), but guys in fact do gather in the garage as a social event. Whether helping each other repair a vehicle or just showing your buds your latest find that you’ve cleaned and restored,the feeling of that special place comes alive. 
If you wouldlike to send photos and a story about your special garage, submit to [email protected]. There is aspecial tab being updated all the time under the NEWS tab called ‘garage shots.’ Have a look and get out your camera.