It's clean enough for me

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Blog entry by muleskinner posted 04-15-2012 06:35 AM 5750 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I joined LJ several months ago I did a little introductory profile and a short shop description. The shop description included promises of pictures as soon as I got it cleaned up (i.e. shove all the crap out of picture range). All winter long I put it off because it really isn’t that pleasant of an environment in the winter, it’s cold and I can get it just warm enough to keep my fingers from frost-freezing to the cast iron surfaces. So any time I spent out there was invested in one minor project or another and only added to the evidence of my slovenliness.

Now winter is over and the danger of frostbite is over. As the sun rises, I can open the garage doors and my crude man cave is illuminated in the bright yellow glow of the warming spring sun. It also illuminates the pile of cutoffs surrounding the table saw and the pile of shavings slowly engulfing the jointer. The work bench glitters like a dragons hoard — except it’s a disparate assortment of handtools, hardware and the flotsam and jetsam that has washed out there from the house.

Thank goodness it is spring and spring is cleaning time. But now one of my chronic maladies interferes. I have chronic PADD (that’s Project Attention Deficit Disorder for those less familiar with messy shops). Sorting through the mess I spot the pruning saw – the apple tree needs attention. There’s that bag of carriage bolts – I need to finish that worktable. It’s lunch time – better check and make sure no one said anything stupid in the NST forum. Oh, the pressure washer was behind that pile of wood – need to wash winter off the driveway. Those deli containers belong in the greenhouse – it’s now or never for getting those seeds started.

So screw it. It’s clean enough for me and besides, I find pressure washing therapeutic.

-- Visualize whirled peas

15 comments so far

View hhhopks's profile


659 posts in 2882 days

#1 posted 04-15-2012 12:05 PM

What was the problem?
Looks great to me.

We all have some stuff laying around and that is because we active with our projecs.
A clean shop is all about looks and perception. Right? Well am sure there will be plenty of arguments.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2992 days

#2 posted 04-15-2012 12:24 PM

It’s my contention that a clean shop is a sure sign of a sick, extremely deranged mind.

I see you are headed down the path to madness! Put the shop back the way it was before you cleaned it up!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View NH_Hermit's profile


394 posts in 3601 days

#3 posted 04-15-2012 12:36 PM

I agree with Dallas. The owner of a clean workshop needs to see a “special” doctor.

-- John from Hampstead

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 2777 days

#4 posted 04-15-2012 12:42 PM

I feel your pain man.

That crazy little voice inside your head, clamoring for attention, and demanding you to prioritize these tasks at hand can take the pleasure out of an otherwise glorious, sunny morn.
Those seeds will not plant themselves and that sawdust is going nowhere. Those seeds will not plant themselves and that driveway has not complained. Those seeds will not plant themselves and the apple tree needs pruning, so I better take care of them, right after I check out the Forum while I eat my lunch… yep, that’ll work.

Then while eating lunch the wife says, “If playin’ on that computer is all you have to do today, my car needs to be washed before the weekend, PLEASE”.

That’s what I like about the decision-making process, it’s so arbitrary.

Work Safe and have Fun. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View DIYaholic's profile


19859 posts in 3180 days

#5 posted 04-15-2012 12:54 PM

I like to leave a little dust & disorganization to the shop. It clearly indicates how busy one is/has been. Besides, if you have time to clean, then you are not busy enough!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3372 days

#6 posted 04-15-2012 01:06 PM

I think that you have a really nice shop. Nobody can keep their shop totally clean. It’s just the nature of the beast.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View bunkie's profile


412 posts in 3652 days

#7 posted 04-15-2012 01:24 PM

Boy, does this ring true. I’m ashamed to say that in my shop, there’s a pile of stuff on the workbench and that this (for the 9th one running) is the weekend when I sort it all out and put everything where it’s supposed to go. But there’s the Harbor Freight trailer I bought yesterday that is 80% assembled out in the driveway and I promised my honey that we’d get a motorcycle ride in today and I could really use a nap and I wanted to install the trailer wiring kit in the car and I wanted to make some ice cream and (this could go on for a very long time)...

But I will get to it because I have a nice little pile of cherry boards that are just waiting to be turned into nightstands. Maybe when I get back from the cruise and having my foot operated on…


-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View Bluepine38's profile


3387 posts in 3590 days

#8 posted 04-15-2012 03:51 PM

I had machine trouble, they seemed to get dejected from no use, so I put a overhead 220 volt electric
heater in as a temporary measure a few years ago, it pulls less amperage than my dust collector and now
I can keep my tools and myself happy. Plus the beautiful lady gets into a warm car in the mornings so
everyone is happy. However, I can not say that my shop is as neat and clean as yours is, but maybe after
the garden is started and they tree and yard work is done. Thank you for sharing, and keep having fun.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View muleskinner's profile


939 posts in 2942 days

#9 posted 04-15-2012 04:25 PM

Bluepine, that you would describe my shop as neat and clean is a testament to the fuzziness of my photos.

Bunkie, I naively pictured my retirement as an endless string of leisurely days spent serenely. I was sure my plate would get smaller instead of bigger. My father warned me but I didn’t listen.

Helluvawreck, I’ve seen shops on this site that you could eat off the floor on. I’m just doing my part to lower the curve.

DIY, well the mess at least fools my visitors into assuming I’ve been busy.

Len, we are on the same page. As for the decision making process, my wife seems to think it’s her responsibility to pick up the slack.

John and Dallas, the word ‘anal’ always pops into my head when I see those shops.

Hopks, agreed. Anyone that does see a problem can grab a broom. I know I have one somewhere.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2992 days

#10 posted 04-15-2012 04:41 PM

My wife started sweeping my shop the other day.

I haven’t been able to find 6 clamps and two up-spiral router bits that I knew were laying on the floor right under the router table. I figured that would be a safe place to put them since there was a nice bed of sawdust and they wouldn’t get beat around, plus I wouldn’t be kicking them.

Now the sawdust is gone and hence, so are the bits and clamps. <sigh>

Another $64 for more bits and clamps.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View patron's profile


13653 posts in 3846 days

#11 posted 04-15-2012 05:09 PM

what a pristine workshop

unlike some
(like mine)

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3523 days

#12 posted 04-15-2012 05:46 PM

Your workshop looks normal to me, mine looks clean every now and then although I do try to sweep up everyday. Tools and clutter invariably without fail tend to gather on any clean surfaces! That’s one of Murphy’s law for woodworkers!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4082 days

#13 posted 04-15-2012 05:55 PM

Good looking shop MS it’s good enough for me too.

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3119 days

#14 posted 04-15-2012 07:49 PM

looks good to me nice shop, i have that PPAD too , we have meeting here and a 12 step program to help you thur it. ive been going for 12 years just cant get thur that 2nd step.

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View muleskinner's profile


939 posts in 2942 days

#15 posted 04-15-2012 08:03 PM

Eddie, I’d be all right until I got to the step where I had to make amends for all the half-assed projects. I’m well over the hill and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life going back and doing things right.

-- Visualize whirled peas

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