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BLUE STUFF - throw away your creeper


Guest Rob McDonald

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Guest Rob McDonald

A friend of mine works at a Ford dealership bodyshop. Some time ago, he gave me a 4 ft. roll of packing material, in which new fenders and hoods and such are delivered. It's plastic, about 1/4 in. thick (although very lightweight), and has a smooth finish on both sides. It's know technically as Blue Stuff and is widely used instead of a creeper, when working under a car.

I finally got to try it out this week during my vacation in the garage. Marvellous stuff. You can slide around the floor with very little effort. Your coveralls - and hair - stay much cleaner. The thickness of the material acts as both a cushion and an insulator. When it gets dirty, just toss it. Body shops send yards of the stuff to the recyclers every day and many are happy to give it to do-it-your-selfers like us.

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I use exercise pads. They are available in different thicknesses, colors, and prices. The best deals can be had from Goodwill and other outlets. They last much longer than the plastic wrap (which is intended as a one time use item) The pads are about 30 inches wide and roughly 6 ft long, wipe clean if oil or grease gets on them.

They also roll up for storage. I have seen similar products for sale at sporting goods stores, used under sleeping bags, but usually more expensive than I am willing to pay.

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I like using a creeper most of the time. Its good for an old guy to get up and down, stretch, and wiggle around. Besides, I had my garage built in 1988, one year before hobby lifts became readily available. So my 7 1/2 foot ceilings limit me.

All that said, I have been really disappointed in creepers over last decade or so. They don't roll well, swivel pins break, and plastic just doesn't look right.

I decided collectible creepers would be better. I have an old Craftsman that delaminated at one end and I plan to "restore" that one. A couple of Ebay searches got me this one:

post-46237-143142267636_thumb.jpg It is heavy, not made of plywood, and has steel wheels that roll real nice. I want to restore this one, but I keep grabbing it and using it.

Bernie

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Creepers are very good on smooth floors. Like most of you older guys, as a youngster our garage had a dirt floor. The first garage I had after getting married had a crushed stone driveway and garage floor..... just felt lucky to have a garage. Now I am fortunate to have a nice workshop with a two post lift.... the only problem is the Corvair that has been apart and on the lift for the last 3 years. Getting that Corvair on the road is #1 on the bucket list, the problem is other things seem to rise to the top and move it down a notch.

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what with spending half my time getting up and down off the garage floor and the other half looking for things I just had these days, I am checking to see if these will be covered by our new insurance plan.

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Guest Rob McDonald

When I had a new garage built six years ago, the concrete guy asked if I wanted a broom finish or a smooth, steel-trowelled finish. I told him I wanted to be able to see my reflection in the floor. He didn't disappoint. Trouble is, the Sears creeper I've had for close to 40 years was no danged good to begin with. Even on this glassy floor, it binds and shudders and generally doesn't roll where I want it to roll. It just gets in the way and I end up crawling around on the floor anyway. I've been tempted to replace it with a swoopy new-style creeper but I've now found happiness in Blue Stuff.

While I'm headed to the bins with my cursed creeper, I'm going to take along my sheet metal wheel ramps, too. Especially on a smooth floor, these things are useless for lifting the front of a car. They just skate along ahead of the tires, making the most ungodly racket. I say pitch 'em and use a quality floor jack and good jack stands for even simple jobs like oil changes.

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LOL... Thats a good one!

You thought I was kidding, didn't you.

Mike in Colorado

PS: Now I see Mr. Earl has started a "show us your creeper" thread of his own. I've chimed in already. Not much creeper time out here when it is 26F degrees outside. Winter's comming.

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Edited by FLYER15015 (see edit history)
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While I'm headed to the bins with my cursed creeper, I'm going to take along my sheet metal wheel ramps, too. Especially on a smooth floor, these things are useless for lifting the front of a car. They just skate along ahead of the tires, making the most ungodly racket. I say pitch 'em and use a quality floor jack and good jack stands for even simple jobs like oil changes.

Rob, you could do like I did after I epoxy'd my garage floor, I located the perfect position for the ramps and drilled a 1/2" hole in the floor, welded a 1/2" x 3" bolt to the front edge of the ramps that stuck down the hole, so they are "pinned" in place by the weight of the car going up the ramps. I keep "plastic kplugs" in the holes to seal them when not in use. This has served me well for over 5 years of changing oil on the "fleet".

Barney, I don't worry about moisture comming up from the floor. I do however worry about spilling beer ON the floor (ref post # 15).

Edited by FLYER15015 (see edit history)
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While I'm headed to the bins with my cursed creeper, I'm going to take along my sheet metal wheel ramps, too. Especially on a smooth floor, these things are useless for lifting the front of a car. They just skate along ahead of the tires, making the most ungodly racket. I say pitch 'em and use a quality floor jack and good jack stands for even simple jobs like oil changes.

x2...those sheet metal ramps belong in a dumpster. There's been more than one set collapse, and if anyone is still using them, make sure you block under the weighted part of the ramp. I know of one guy that died under a car because of those things.

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