5 cool things we've spotted in Richard Hammond's workshop
Take a virtual tour around the lesser spotted items in the home of The Smallest Cog
Now that Richard Hammond's new TV show – aptly called Richard Hammond's Workshop – has hit streaming platform discovery+, we thought it was about time we took a virtual tour of our co-founder's brand-new workspace.
The home of The Smallest Cog is a fully kitted-out restoration workshop, funded in part by Hammond flogging a bunch of his old cars. Join us as we pore over some of the smaller details of the space, helped no end by the huge amount of cool behind-the-scenes videos we've filmed for the DriveTribe YouTube channel. Check them out if you haven't.
A morale-sapping windowless canteen
It's easy to watch Richard Hammond's Workshop and forget that this isn't just a setup for TV – it's actually a fully functioning business. Well, at least that's the aim. It's early days, which is why Richard is so keen to keep his team of expert craftsmen focused on the task in hand. Which seems to be the reason why his staff canteen and break room is a windowless box to encourage everyone to down their Pot Noodles and get back to the shop floor. Who knew Hammond was such a hard-nosed businessman?
A world-class paint booth
Although Hammond has a slightly sad look in his eyes as he walks around his workshop pointing out which car he had to sell to buy each bit of equipment, his face light up as he talks about his spray booth and oven. It's far from a pokey little fenced-off bit of the workshop for rattle-can jobs – this is a full-on, floor-ventilated, pro-grade oven. Hammond has told us it's important the whole thing vents through the entire floor, because the huge surface area for extracting fumes means the fans don't have to run very fast, thus reducing the chance of any wet paint being dragged about by the air. Clever. And not cheap, presumably.
Classic cars get classic restoration skills
Another bit of kit that Hammond is clearly proud of is his English wheel. No, there isn't just a lone of Mini rim in the corner (although we wouldn't be surprised) – English wheels are tools used to shape body panels from sheet metal. They work by compressing and stretching the sheet metal, and they take years to master if you want perfect curves. Luckily Hammond's master builders Neil and Anthony Greenhouse have decades and decades of experiences crafting replacement panels for any classic car. And as we know, no two classic cars are the same shape… even if they originally came out of the same factory at the same time.
I think we all know by now that Richard Hammond runs on a mixture of coffee and gin, which is why many of the larger pipes in the roof of his workshop don't actually bring in or extract air – they provide a direct injection of gin, tea and coffee for the workforce. At least that's what the labels say, and who are we to argue?
The railings look like model kits
You can tell the amount of time, effort and attention to detail that Hammond's spent designing The Smallest Cog's working space – a simple look up at the first-floor walkway shows how what could've been simple guardrails have been turned into works of art. Each railing resembles the sprue you get in a plastic model kit – something like an Airfix or Tamiya kit. It's a nice little touch and a reminder that cars are, when it boils down to it, a collection of parts that can be rebuilt however you want them.