Five years later, Workshop Remodel. Going from pretty to functional #13: What's with the 'leftovers' pile?

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Blog entry by Craftsman on the lake posted 06-12-2014 01:21 PM 1854 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Miter saw dust collection update Part 13 of Five years later, Workshop Remodel. Going from pretty to functional series no next part

So, I could include a picture but I don’t need to. This is an ongoing blog about redoing my shop after having made it 5+ years ago to be more functional and not as ‘pretty looking’.

I have noticed one thing. The left overs pile seems to always be inevitable. Am I the only one who is plagued by this? When I first did the shop I had two or three rubber tubs of leftovers. Stuff that I should pick over, probably won’t throw out, but probably would find little use for. Things like a bunch of hacksaw blades, extra files, An old air hose, a couple of ancient tools. I’d put them in the corner and it would become the ‘corner to put stuff I won’t use’.

I redid the shop and now I’ve got a different corner with different but the same sort of stuff in the same rubber tubs. I’d like to just toss them without looking and be done with it but I can’t.

No questions about what to do with it. I already know. It will just stay there the next five years. But why does this always happen?! I could use that corner for something else.


-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

7 comments so far

View stefang's profile


16739 posts in 3843 days

#1 posted 06-12-2014 01:44 PM

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Cutoffs and odds & ends are my biggest problem when it comes to keeping an orderly shop. Tools are easy to store and fit the motto “a place for everything and everything in it’s place”, but how about all those bits and pieces of this and that? We need a Star Trek type transporter which we could use to send the stuff to some uninhabited planet for ‘temporary’ storage. I wonder how much of it we would actually bring back to use.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View BigYin's profile


421 posts in 2925 days

#2 posted 06-12-2014 02:11 PM

The broken tools yes .. until last week .. metal all went to the scrap yard.
wood went into the “wood scrap box” and was taken to a friends house who has a wood stove for heating
old wooden moulding planes donated to a nearby lumberjock – I would never get round to fettling them.
and finally i swept the oak shavings to line the hens nest boxes

and i still cant get into my workshop for crap

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View sras's profile


5197 posts in 3638 days

#3 posted 06-12-2014 02:25 PM

We participated in a garage sale last weekend. Our rule for what goes ended up like this:

“If we got rid of this, would we go out and buy another?”

That made it easier to let go…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

528 posts in 4025 days

#4 posted 06-12-2014 02:32 PM

Have someone else throw them away. I spent a couple of hours building a cabinet to house all of the drawers I picked up at an estate sale. Used some leftover scraps to build holders for chisels, pliers, etc. and now I have more scraps than I started with. I would not have thought this possible. The first sentence should be prefaced with ” Do as I say…

-- jstegall

View jinkyjock's profile


488 posts in 2083 days

#5 posted 06-12-2014 09:42 PM

When I was in the process of re-furbing my shop, I requested from Jocks some advice/suggestions for
I was advised to use the 3 pile method, the keep pile, the give-away pile, and the throw-away pile.
The advice was invaluable although I perhaps had better not reveal the ratios employed.
The person who gave me that advice was your good self craftsman…...., whatever happened sir.
Seems like we are all guilty of an inability/reluctance to part with SCRAPS/Bits ‘N Bobs that will come in useful sometime/never in the future.
I wish you well with your dilemma.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3012 posts in 3946 days

#6 posted 06-12-2014 10:14 PM

I remember that. And I’ve actually done that. Given away (some to LJ members) thrown away, and kept. This is the stuff that I’ve kept. Now it’s time to redo the kept pile I guess. i.e. My brother was a welder in a sheet metal shop in a shipyard. I have approx. 200 hacksaw blades. I rarely use them and probably only need to keep 10. But I hate to just throw them out.

At least I’m down to a corner of stuff in a couple of tubs.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Johnnyblot's profile


319 posts in 2785 days

#7 posted 06-13-2014 09:14 AM

“Have nothing in your houses (or workshop)
That you do not know to be useful
Or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris

My wife often quotes the above to me when I attempt clear outs! I can only assume that I myself fit into the former category. :-/

I’d also like to thank the above BigYin for the Moulding Planes. Some restoration has begun :-)

-- Gossamer shavings just floating around the back yard….-Bandit

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