A tip though - don't act in a way you wouldn't act at work before you get to know them outside of work first
Fair enough. Good advice.
I like these guys which is why I'm inclined to hang out with them outside of work, obviously. Two of the more level headed and easy going dudes out in the shop. They don't care too much about the politics and gossip, which is why I think it would be fine to hang out outside of work.
I worked restaurant/bar for about 4 years of my life, and even though there tends to be a lot of drama and politics that are involved in that industry, there was never a true line as far as hanging out with fellow employees. Mainly because you work late hours with these people in a setting where alcohol is constantly around, plus no one was shy to smoke pot with each other considering 99% of the employees and managers smoked. I'm still pretty close with several people I worked with at that time.
I tried hanging out with a another fellow employee at my last warehouse job. We got drunk at a couple gatherings, and we told each other a few things about how we truly felt about our job. It came back and bit me in the ass, because I ended up disliking this fellow whom I drank and worked with...but he knew too much about me, and I knew too much about him, so we were constantly ice skating around each other.
Obviously, I won't let anything like that happen again.
Thanks for the input.