Why OilySmudges.com?

Anyone who’s ever undertaken a little home maintenance of their car or bike whilst referring to a workshop manual will be familiar with “oily smudges”, the indelible marks that reveal the history of the work you carried out on your pride and joy. After all, a clean workshop manual will never have been used in anger (often literally) and, we hope, these pages will inspire you to make more oily smudges on your own pages.

OilySmudges.com is a celebration of the by-products of those oily smudges, the magnificent, inspired creations that are the manifestation of the vision of its creators. Sometimes, these will be the work of whole teams working to a client’s brief but (hopefully) often, these will be the results of an individual, hand-crafting or assembling a collection of disparate parts that, somehow, combine to create something unexpected and remarkable.

So, grab your beverage of choice, kick back and enjoy. It’s always great to hear what you think, so get involved through social media and in the comments section of every article.

About me

I made my first oily smudges on the pages of my father’s collection of Haynes workshop manuals in the early 1980s. With OilySmudges.com I aim to showcase what can be done when you get your hands (or, these days, workshop mechanic gloves) oily and transfer some of that oil on to workshop manuals, blueprints, even your own hand-drawn sketches and notes.

There are three projects in my, hopefully, not too distant future: a 1977 Yamaha RD200DX, a 1982 Yamaha RD350LC and a pre-war Velocette MOV. All of these will feature significantly on OilySmudges.com and will have their own dedicated areas within the site.


As you will have noticed, this site sometimes carries advertising delivered by Google for which I receive a very small payment if someone clicks on an advertising link.

I have partnered with Haynes, the publishers of a wide range of workshop manuals that readers from the UK will be very familiar with. If you buy from the Haynes website within a month of following the link from OilySmudges, a commission will be paid to me.

The hope is that this will help to pay for the hosting and domain name costs associated with running this site. Looking to the future, they might also allow me to run competitions with prizes from time to time. I have tried very hard not to let this ruin your experience when visiting the site and hopefully they’ll connect you with a service or product you were looking for. In none of these situations (advertisements, Amazon purchases or Haynes purchases) are any additional charges incurred by you.


Improvements to this site rely on you letting us know what you think of it. All of your feedback really is appreciated, so do please get in touch by sending an e-mail to editor@oilysmudges.com.