When I worked in a bike shop the newer mechanics never had a permanent bench. They also had the least amount of tools, nothing specialized beyond some of the more common tools. When they started they were assigned to a bench for the day, every bench that was used by new mechanics was equipped with the same tools located in the same spot.
This was to ensure routine and help build muscle memory. In a bike shop it’s about being efficient with your time and getting through the work as quickly as possible. Part of that efficiency besides being technically adept is to be organized.
After I put in a bit of time I asked why the full time benches of the more senior mechanics were not all set up the same. Each mechanic had leaned the skills needed and was now able to optimize their workflows. Someone who’s left handed probably doesn’t want their bench vise on the same side as someone who’s right handed.
In the beginning, finding tools was a challenge, and knowing what tools were missing was also a challenge.
Things got lost or broken, and even stollen all the time. Some benches had multiples because they were natural collecting point for the tools people grabbed while in transit and then deposit it on the next closet bench.
Painting tools allows for a few obvious benefits, it’s easy to colour match the tools to a bench. Green to Green, Blue to Blue. It’s incredibly easy to tell when a tool has walked off and is now residing on another bench.
When your tools are placed back where they belong you can at a glance see what’s missing. This helps you to communicate to theres that something is missing or if something was broken and needs to be replaced.
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