A long overdue chore

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Blog entry by Tedstor posted 04-26-2011 12:16 PM 4211 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My workspace is a one car garage that contains all of my woodworking and automotive tooling as well all the other stuff commonly found in the average family garage. Its pretty tight in there. Things finally came to a head over the weekend when I tried to de-clutter my workbech, only to realize I had literally no where to move the clutter to. ARRRGGHHH!!!
Something had to be done. As I looked around the garage, the culprit of my delima became apparent. I had 2/3 sheet of 3/4 MDF, a full sheet of standard plywood, and various orphaned boards taking up A LOT of real estate. I had a few project ideas for the MDF and plywood, mostly jigs and shop fixtures that I hadn’t got around to making. With rough measurments in mind for those projects, I grabbed my circ saw and a cutting guide and broke the sheets down into smaller, easier to store pieces. I even got around to making an auxilary table for my bandsaw and partially made a 36” infeed/outfeed table for my lunchbox planer. The rest was nicely tucked out of the way until I get around to the rest of my projects (hopefully this decade).
The boards were another matter. Scraps would probably be a better description for the stuff. Some of the stuff was pulled off from junked ikea furniture. Why do I even keep this stuff around??
I threw about 90% of it away. Felt good.
Once all that was done, my shop seemed 10X more spacious. Amazing how a few odd ball items can knock my entire universe out of whack. And taking an hour to deal with it, put everything back into alignment.
As un-cost effective as it is, I’m going to start buying half sheets of ply/mdf (unless I actually have an immediate need for a full sheet). Way too much trouble keeping surplus sheet goods around until you need it. I’m going to start being a lot more picky about the scraps I keep too. No more hanging on to a 5” long piece of pine 4×4 just on the outside chance I might need it one day. Heck, if the day ever did come that I needed it, I’d probably have forgotten I even had it.

6 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3629 days

#1 posted 04-26-2011 02:19 PM

I feel for you :-)
but have you ever consider a real overhoul of the garage and reorganise it seriously
take a look at steliarts blog about it and you will see how amazing much he has been able
to fill in a garage just by using a plan

here I talk …. thinking of how my shop is …. one big cluttered pile …. LOL

take care

View dusty2's profile


323 posts in 3943 days

#2 posted 04-26-2011 02:25 PM

This might be an affliction that one gets when woodworking.

All that I was able to do was reclassify the scrap wood. I keep no scrap – just cutoffs.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

View SergioC's profile


82 posts in 3181 days

#3 posted 04-26-2011 02:34 PM

Once, about 5 years ago, I threw something away. Once. And then I needed it. Haven’t thrown anything away since.

Seriously though, I have a really hard time throwing wood away of any kind. I’ve got engineered flooring scraps. I’ve got weird shaped offcuts of OSB and beadboard. All kinds of MDF. I do use it, just slowly. And that’s just the junk wood. Obviously, if I have ANY hardwood offcuts, I’m keeping it. It has to be REALLY useless for me to throw it away. Every once in a while I organize my scraps and force myself to throw away about 10% of the worst of the worst. Yes, I have a problem.

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3168 days

#4 posted 04-26-2011 03:11 PM

Constant chore. If it’s not constant it just get’s huge. I have a pretty good system for the storage of wood and offcuts, but even with that, I have to re-organize thedtsvkd about once a year or entropy takes hold.

For softwoods (pine) I have a rule, 12 inches and under its getting tossed. I have yet to regret that as I always still have a backer board on hand.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View GaryD's profile


623 posts in 3883 days

#5 posted 04-26-2011 04:09 PM

Been there , done that. I feel your pain. Does feel good when you can look from one end to the other and see a walkway and not a path to climb over.

-- Gary, Little River,SC I've Learned that the Lord didn't do it all in one day and neither can I

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3709 days

#6 posted 04-26-2011 04:55 PM

I am in the same situation as you. I have 1 wall of a 1 car garage and making room to work is a pain. I must admit that some nights I want to work but the setup required to do 1 hour work is not worth the effort. Therefore lately I have built next to nothing. I wanted to build a new garage but I am having problems with permits as I live near the water. My only solution is to rent space to store seasonal items so I can use more of my garage to work. I am really thinking of selling my house.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

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