f6sk Reader
2/11/18 6:11 p.m.

I was in the driveway working on my car after a rain, and needed something to lay on.  Since I had just installed some laminate flooring I had a roll of underlayment in the garage.  It was the perfect solution.  Wider than a yoga mat, padded, water proof, and disposable.  You could fold one up and keep it in the trunk for AutoX.  If you get oil or coolant on it, just throw it away.  Way more comfy than just a plastic tarp.


2/11/18 6:14 p.m.

I had a couple partial rolls of that type underlayment left over from a job. Been using it as packing material for shipping.

logdog UltraDork
2/11/18 6:51 p.m.

I use the anti fatigue mats.  They work awesome, even in gravel.


pinchvalve MegaDork
2/11/18 7:55 p.m.

minivan_racer UberDork
2/11/18 8:07 p.m.

Harbor Freight moving blankets.  Cheap with coupon and when folded in half they provide adequate insulation to a cold concrete floor and padding for most jobs.

geekinajeep New Reader
2/11/18 8:15 p.m.

Cheap egg crate mattress covers. 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
2/11/18 8:56 p.m.

Is the value of the underlayment that it also keeps you dry?

Used many a sheet of cardboard, myself. Not the best option, but easily obtained and free. 

nutherjrfan SuperDork
2/16/18 12:20 a.m.

Someone on here a year or so ago mentioned the Harbor Freight anti fatigue mats.  Worked great for an oil change on the street.  The Craftsman chore coat worked pretty well by itself for exhaust work recently - threw myself around with abandon in that.  But definitely the HF mats.  smiley

iborg New Reader
2/17/18 12:30 p.m.

Left over carpet from a carpet install works for me. A bit of comfort and takes the chill off of a cool concrete floor.

Woody MegaDork
2/17/18 2:42 p.m.

Cardboard bicycle boxes from the dumpster behind the bike shop.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
2/17/18 9:05 p.m.
Woody said:

Cardboard bicycle boxes from the dumpster behind the bike shop.

Refrigerator cartons. 

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
2/18/18 4:40 a.m.
Woody said:

Aww. Somebody threw out a perfectly good Dork.

Rodan Reader
2/18/18 9:12 a.m.
minivan_racer said:

Harbor Freight moving blankets.  Cheap with coupon and when folded in half they provide adequate insulation to a cold concrete floor and padding for most jobs.


When they get dirty, just toss 'em.  I also keep a couple in the truck for things I throw in the bed, and they've also come in handy a few times for helping folks change flat tires.

For standing in the garage I have some anti-fatigue mats I got at Costco years ago... probably the same as the HF ones.

boxedfox New Reader
2/19/18 8:16 p.m.

Just bought a set of the HF anti-fatigue after reading this thread. They're just as comfortable as anything else I've used, plus they're easy to clean off.

Nugi New Reader
2/20/18 9:36 p.m.

I always just used a cheap silvered bubble style foldable window shade. Lightweight, serves a few purposes, keeps me clean, and warm if laying on it. Inexpensive enough to be disposable if used infrequently for laying on. 

I have even used one in a pinch for a seat liner, for a very dirty passenger. Hosed right off. Also handy for getting more light under the car doing shadetree stuff. Really damned useful, and easily stored in any car.


nutherjrfan SuperDork
3/1/18 12:19 a.m.

In reply to Nugi :

Interesting.  Pics? smiley

JeremyJ New Reader
3/2/18 3:18 p.m.

Oh man. To think that I've been content with cardboard for so long. So many options. 

DejaVue New Reader
3/16/18 2:57 a.m.

Carpet works.  And while the higher the carpet the more comfortable it is, it's also easier to lose little washers and bolts on it, especially while having limited view and movement while under the car.  And it's hard to clean, so you may have to replace it often.  For those reasons, if using carpet, you're often better off flipping it over and laying on the flat side.

Blankets work.  Again, hard to keep clean.  And are too easy to bunch up, so if you're crawling under the car by your shoulder blades and elbows, the blanket is an unstable surface.  With a blanket, even a thick, heavy one, seems like it always winds up moving out of position and the back of my head winds up laying against the cold concrete, in an area of dirt and grime, and then I have to fight with the blanket to yank it up to my head position.  It's an unstable surface and thus annoying.

I picked up a couple big rubber floor mats with a thin bit of carpeting on top.  Like are inside the entrance doors when you walk into most stores.  The bottom is rubber, so it's hard to move unless you want it to, and has a thin carpet layer on top so people don't slip, while also being something that wipes their shoes off after coming in from outside, yet is easy to clean. 

The thin carpet side of mine has little sharp things in it.  I don't know if it's the heads of staples or sharp stitching that holds the carpet side on or what, but some little things here and there jab at me while laying on it.  So I just flip it upside-down and lay on the rubber side.  It has some cushion, keeps the cold of the concrete away, it's easy to see and feel around for little bolts and washers, super easy to clean, super durable, and then rolls up like a yoga mat when you're done.

Jay_W Dork
3/21/18 11:49 p.m.

This is all relevant, having used a tarp to swap out Ujoints on a van and wishing for something better since creepers give away too much clearance and don't roll on gravel...Either that E36M3 is getting too old for me or I am getting too old for it..

ultraclyde PowerDork
3/22/18 6:41 a.m.

I finally discovered the joy of carpet in my concrete floor shop in the months of continuous work on the ZJ. I have an old 6x8 cheap rug that I bought at a local discount place that works great. We were using it as an outdoor rug for our camper before we sold it. I really feel like it's given me a new lease on working under a car. I was getting to the point I hated doing anything where I was laying on cold concrete and banging various joints against the cold floor. It's heavy enough it doesn't slide around as I move around on it, and it's enough padding to make it comfortable. I almost fell asleep laying under the Jeep while staring at the suspension and planning my attack. When I have to replace it I'll buy something just a little smaller so it fits between jack stands better, but it won't be any time soon. 


The foam backing seems like a great portable, waterproof option. I might tuck some into the Jeep somewhere for trail repairs.

volvoclearinghouse UberDork
3/22/18 7:03 a.m.

Cardboard has a life cycle in our house...

First it arrives, surrounding something shiny and new from Amazon, or something old and crappy that we just bought on fleabay.

Next, the kids play with it.  They sit in it and pretend it's a car.  They put it over their heads and walk around.  They color on it.  

Then, it gets flattened and brought out to the garage, where my ass lays on it while underneath some decrepit old piece of pig iron.

Finally, it gets tossed in the trash, too oil-stained to recycle.  During the bonfire months, it might get used as kindling.  

It's the Circle of Life.  

dculberson UltimaDork
3/22/18 10:14 a.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

Sounds pretty much exactly like cardboard's life at our house.

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