Minimizing, De-Cluttering, and Simplifying The Workshop #3: And Now…The Rest Of The Tools…..

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Blog entry by handsawgeek posted 02-08-2018 02:15 PM 1793 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: The Oft-Used-Tool Holder Part 3 of Minimizing, De-Cluttering, and Simplifying The Workshop series Part 4: A Place For Everything, And Everything In Its Place. »

A few days ago, I set out to take care of the handsawgeek stock, cutoff, and scrap wood storage area, but as is my wont, I never made it there, even though it is mere steps from the workbench.

Instead, I remained at the workbench to do a tool inventory and assessment.

Last night, I had a good block of shop time available, so I began pulling out every woodworking hand tool I own and laying the entire collection out in plain view on a table away from the main workbench.

Then, one by one, I selected each tool and transferred it to one of five piles:

Essential Workbench Tools. These are the ones that I am 100% sure will get used regularly for most or all woodworking projects. It includes all of the basic measuring/marking tools, saws, drills/bits, hand planes, chisels, mallets/hammers, files, clamps, screwdrivers, sharpening supplies. Components of this tool assortment get placed in a prominent, easily accessible bench storage area – one where I can quickly grab the tool and get immediately to work. These are the keepers.

Secondary Workbench Tools. These are the tools that do not belong on the ‘essentials’ list, but are good to have on hand for certain projects. Things like the scrub plane, drawknife, specialty files and rasps, etc. These won’t be used for every project, but are still important to have on hand. Their storage place will be in less prominent areas – the back of shelves or in drawers, but still easily accessible. Also keepers.

Tools For Restoration/Repair/Refurbish. This pile is for the tools that I have acquired over the years and that are in need of cleaning, de-rusting, fettling, handle-making, sharpening, etc. Some of these tools will be added to or replace tools in the above two categories once they are completed. Some of them may be fixed up for sale to other woodworker hobbyists. As project pieces, they don’t have to occupy places of prominence in the shop. They can be placed in out-of-the-way drawers or storage bins.

Antique / Sentimental Tools. This is perhaps the category of tools that will likely carry the greatest level of decision whether I should keep them or not, if I am to stay true to this whole Minimalize/De-Clutter/Organize business. They are the ones which will definitely not be used in everyday woodworking, but are attractive as display items. A good number of these tools are ones that belonged to my grandfather.
Tools in this category are ‘curio cabinet fodder’.

Tools To Go. This is the pile of tools that is destined for the yards sales and donation trucks. It includes tools that are un-needed duplicates of ones I already have, tools that I foresee having no regular use on the workbench, and tools that are on the bottom of the ‘restoration’ list, tools that hold no sentimental attachment, i.e, ones I will probably never get around to dealing with in my lifetime.
In short: clutter!

This handsawgeek re-organization project is kinda’ fun…so far, at least!

-- Ed

2 comments so far

View CFrye's profile


11002 posts in 2606 days

#1 posted 02-08-2018 05:37 PM

I do not envy you this task, Ed!

-- God bless, Candy

View CO_Goose's profile


205 posts in 2558 days

#2 posted 02-10-2018 03:44 AM

I like the sorting system. I will need to use this on the tools that I have accumulated. Right now they are all over everywhere, pegboard, tool cabinet, drawers, boxes…

Now I need to get busy cleaning out the shop, but first I have several Christmas presents to complete, then the birthday presents, then the shop updates…

Maybe next year…

-- Just making sawdust

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