Dave's Workshop #12: It's a 'Project', but not a Project

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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 09-05-2015 08:47 PM 2028 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Puttering Around with Loose Ends Part 12 of Dave's Workshop series Part 13: I'm Getting a Scroll Saw! »

I’ve been neatening up the shop lately because a bunch of little things have built up and it was just time to adjust some stuff. It’s basically a cleaning up, cleaning out and reorganizing on a small scale. Here’s a few of the things I’ve done:

[Below] I keep my narrower plywood scraps above the oil tank. I went through them and weeded out the really narrow ones that I know I’ll never use. The very thin plywood that I usually find as drawer bottoms I keep under my planer which is unseen to the right of the oil tank. Any larger pieces of plywood I usually store vertically in front of the tank. [Note: the wavy plywood you see rests on the last two rails I have from a bedframe and it holds up everything else.]

[Below] This gray shelf is where I keep some miscellaneous items such as parts for home made clamps, my church banks and seldom used tools. I have a box on the bottom shelf with a few things that were my Dad’s, including one of his last pocket notebooks. Nothing earth shaking in it, but I like preserving a sample of his handwriting. The shelving was overloaded with small junk items that I was saving. Much of it went out. Then I was able to get 4 tool boxes off the floor near my table saw and put them off the concrete.

[Below] I went through my ‘stick’ storage area and got rid of the true junk, keeping the longest, cleanest pieces. I usually generate these while ripping boards to width.

[Below] Not sure if I ever showed my ‘lumber rack’ It can hold pieces 8 feet long, though much of it is currently shorter, mostly rescued wood. You can see 3 spots where I store shorter boards end in. These are between the rack supports. I’m not sure where exactly, but I saw this idea as a tip on YouTube. I still have more short boards than I have room to store. I also moved my C-clamps over here at this time.

[Below] So where does all the stuff go that I’m throwing out? I put it in boxes that go in a trash bag and it ends up not far from here in a landfill. It’s basically pine pieces that are too small to do much with, plus there’s plenty more where they came from. Much of what you see in these two boxes lived in a sort of vertical file between my drill press and band saw. I rarely ever went and grabbed anything out of it to use for anything but a stop block. I did however discover a few chunks of walnut and oak (6×6 in. at the most) which I had forgotten about. They are now in a safe place.

Now I’m tackling my catch all workbench so that it won’t look so cluttered and dusty, at least for a while. ;-)

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

6 comments so far

View greg48's profile


635 posts in 4213 days

#1 posted 09-05-2015 11:56 PM

I feel your pain. I’ve a general rule, unless it is exotic, anything less than 1 1/2” wide goes away. Seems to keep the wood scrap clutter manageable.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

View CFrye's profile


11481 posts in 3295 days

#2 posted 09-06-2015 04:48 AM

Dave, I applaud your ability to pare down. A skill I have a really hard time acquiring.

-- God bless, Candy

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2022 posts in 3644 days

#3 posted 09-06-2015 11:20 AM

I can tolerate clutter for a while, but it gets annoying when things start falling over. Since my workshop is also an aisle I have to try and keep things clear (as possible). Even though those scraps were well out of the way, I wasn’t using them at all and occasionally they would tumble out, thus fouling any hope of pulling my bandsaw out to use on larger projects. (The BS is good for small stuff in its little corner.)

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4260 days

#4 posted 09-06-2015 12:35 PM

It is amazing how quickly things get out of control in a woodshop. I’m guilty of being a hording fool. I keep trying to get better at not saving everything. lol

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2022 posts in 3644 days

#5 posted 09-06-2015 04:44 PM

It is amazing how quickly things get out of control in a woodshop. I m guilty of being a hording fool. I keep trying to get better at not saving everything. lol

- Roger

Roger, you at least have the advantage of being a pen turner to use up some small pieces. I haven’t open that door yet.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4322 days

#6 posted 09-06-2015 07:33 PM

Congratulations, Dave. These kinds of things always help the productivity and enjoyment of your shop. They’ll make a lot of difference.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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