Buying nice, fancy tools that you will only need to use once pulls money out of your wallet that would otherwise go toward your primary goal of maximizing your fun at the track. A single purchase might not seem like a big deal, but getting into the habit of buying new tools on a regular basis could end up filling your toolbox and maxing out your credit card before your new creation even gets to the track. Along with making racecar parts, making your own specialty tools is an enjoyable creative outlet that will quickly save you enough money for that next set of tires. There are many more possibilities than we can cover in one article, so the examples here are only meant to start the gears turning in your head and get your creative juices flowing.
When the need to fabricate a custom racecar part arrives, the need for the tools and techniques to do the job also comes along for the ride. If you take a couple of minutes to think about how you might make the tool so that you can make the part, you may realize that all of the elements that you need to make the tool are already in your garage. That will save you time, money and the storage space for an expensive tool that you might never need again.
Like everything else in your racing program, your priorities for making your own tools should be well thought out. My priorities for everything racing-related are: safety, reliability, performance and cost — in that order, only and always. Professionally designed tools are probably going to be safer than your inventions, so be aware of the increased risk to yourself and your race car parts while you are using them.
Neil Roberts is the author of “Think Fast – The Racer’s Why-To Guide to Winning,” a guide book on how to overcome competitors’ bigger budgets and finish ahead of them. It’s available at Amazon.com.