A journey into the workshop. #108: Shop cleanup. What I didn't show in the video.

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 07-11-2016 02:34 PM 1178 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 107: Another interesting evening... More car stuff, more deck stuff. Part 108 of A journey into the workshop. series Part 109: Shop cleanup progress! It's still a disaster. »

So if you’v watched my video,” “Dave Talks, What no woodworking?””: from my Lumberjocks blog post here there are a few things that need to be noted.

#1. This wasn’t my first take. My first take for this video showed me actually cleaning the miter saw bench, But it wasn’t interesting in the slightest, and the video came out badly, so out it went.

#2. The drill press table was also full of unrelated tools.

The problem is the drill press table is the first flat surface as you come in the roll up door from the driveway, so automotive tools tend to get placed there.

Like I have mentioned before many times, I would be WAY better off if I were able to afford, and get a waiver from my covenants and restrictions to put in a large enough shed for a decent shop in the back yard. It doesn’t have to be huge, 12×24 Gambrel roof barn with 8’ ceiling and a loft for lumber storage would do the trick, Access to deck space to work on larger sheet goods etc…

OR at the very least, a storage shed to move lawn and garden, and Barbecue type stuff OUT of my shop.

But I digress… Back to the subject of the areas cleaned up.

My wife has taken to putting anything she doesn’t think belongs in the house, out in my shop. Sadly, this includes things I want in the house. Case in point? Well off the miter saw table I removed.

#1. Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Heater. Not the current model, but my 12 year old unit from my single days when I was much younger and willing to camp in a tent while deer hunting in 5 degree weather. Ah youth! #2. Stainless Steel chefs knife set. This was a freebie giveaway thing from Sams Club doing a demo sort of thing maybe 10 years ago. You know the drill, let us demo this food processor, give us your email and we’ll give you this knife set. Nice knives. We ended up buying, and since replacing the food processor with better units in the years since. Yes we have gone through food processors. The knives weren’t the Pampered Chef my wife likes, so she figured they could be used for camp ware… To replace the Walmart cheapies in the camp chuck box. I haven’t finished building it yet… #3. Air mattress rechargeable air pump and power supplies.

Are you seeing a theme here? I am!

The solution right now, seems to me to..

#1. Grab the old towels she threw in the shop for me to use as shop rags but they ended up on the floor, and wash them… #2. Carefully wrap up the knife set in a towel used as a knife roll, and bind it with Gorilla Tape to keep everyone safe. #3. Locate an unused tote (yeah right!) in the house somewhere, or go to Home Depot or Walmart and pick up a tote. I need to go to Home Depot before mid week anyway. #4. Organize stuff into appropriate containers. Camping gear / sporting goods to be stowed in attic. Trash to be thrown out, recycles to hit the curb mid week. #5. Work on straightening out the disaster.

Long term, I know there are several things that MUST change if I am to keep the shop organized. A sheet goods / cutoffs cart NEEDS to be done, and soon. My sheet goods are pouring away from the wall and causing me problems. I need to fix this, NOW. I started on one but my priorities were changed for me. I need to set my priorities and stick with htem. Of course all the married guys know how that is likely to go. So wish me luck!

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5 comments so far

View sdfg's profile


1 post in 1286 days

#1 posted 07-11-2016 04:45 PM

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4272 posts in 3766 days

#2 posted 07-12-2016 04:13 PM

Just to make you feel bad, I have all kinds of empty drawers and space in my La Conner garage….......(-:

Of course, that garage does not collect a pile of stuff because it isn’t lived in as much, and doesn’t have to store a lot of accumulated things from past life and activities. And I just got a bunch of drawers and shelves saved from the old cabinets from the kitchen when it was remodeled. It seems strange to have more storage than I have stuff. Here in Anchorage, we have to throw out a lot stuff, just haven’t gotten there. Then we will actually have empty shelves here, because this house has a lot of storage.

I have a couple of boxes full of rags, as well. They have been all washed, mostly because my wife determines that they are rags after a wash finally starts pulling them apart. Once they get dirty, I just throw them out, because we create rags faster than I use them.

In my current inefficient style, developed since retirement, I should complete a lamp today. It will illuminate a workspace in a shelving unit that is ideal for my WorkSharp. Almost all of my major tools have a permanent setup now. Some of them will go mobile soon, but still will always be accessible for immediate use.

As you clean up and organize, consider making permanent space for every item if possible, as you go along. Either purchased shelving, or some standardized modular structure devised for your space that you can build rapidly as needed. I have a standard mobile base that I have used both in La Conner and here in Anchorage. I know what is involved and can build a new one rapidly.

Have a good day….........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 3833 days

#3 posted 07-12-2016 07:56 PM

That was the thought process with the flip top cabinets. I am seriously considering standardizing a couple of drawer sizes, a shallow, and a deep, and making cabinets for them. Mostly re doing the miter saw bench (I am learning to hate it) A sturdy, stationary bench for the lathe, and a roll away bench to straddle the base of the drill press.

My biggest organization challenge really is getting not shop out of the shop. That has been a REAL hassle!

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View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 3833 days

#4 posted 07-12-2016 09:11 PM

I should mention, I spent a little bit of time yesterday packing the camping gear / sporting goods up. There was a fog machine I was fixing in there as well. Not sure why I am willing to spend my time of fixing a $20.00 fogger, but there it is… I took it and put it into my lighting and effects tote. My band doesn’t play the middle of summer, so that stuff needs to be put up until the last week of August, assuming our singer makes it back on time (off shore right now).

Going to Home Depot tonight, and will be getting a tote or two to clean up with… Ugh.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4272 posts in 3766 days

#5 posted 07-13-2016 03:31 PM

Made a lamp shade of sorts for my silly lamp, so that will go together today. Sounds like you are making progress on the shop cleanup. I am slowly revamping my Anchorage shop. I have a stand of sorts for my drill press, but to be honest, the whole set up is way too heavy and unwieldy. It needs to be on a more mobile cart like my router table. When I do that, I will make a new drill press table as well.

I remember saying I would probably replace that drill press, but to be honest, it does just about everything I need a drill press for, and it isn’t too big for the shop. So it stays.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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