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Sloppy shop with more experience?

by Craftsman on the lake
posted 02-03-2017 10:19 PM


24 replies so far

View JRsgarage's profile

JRsgarage

358 posts in 807 days


#1 posted 02-03-2017 10:34 PM

definitely. i think alot of us started out in similar manner. i know i made my share of jigs…

-- “Facts don't care about your feelings.” ..., Ben Shapiro

View mrbob's profile

mrbob

182 posts in 867 days


#2 posted 02-03-2017 10:41 PM

Yup, me too.

View Bobsboxes's profile

Bobsboxes

1369 posts in 2962 days


#3 posted 02-03-2017 10:54 PM

I also have rearranged, rebuilt, reused, a lot of my shop. Really like the work flow now.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View EngineerChic's profile

EngineerChic

34 posts in 802 days


#4 posted 02-04-2017 12:17 AM

Yes. I like the look of cabinets and closed storage but more often than not, I need to have stuff on open shelves. I put tools back in their cases, but I no longer try to put things behind closed doors. I need to see stuff. It looks like a shop, and I also decided there is no shame in keeping scraps in bins as opposed to neat stacks. Stacks mean I have to be careful when rummaging thru to find something about yay big, but bins are quicker to scan and put back.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5935 posts in 2707 days


#5 posted 02-04-2017 05:02 AM

I consider my shop as a open ended project, always something to tweak in between projects, or during projects. LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Andre's profile

Andre

2499 posts in 2104 days


#6 posted 02-04-2017 05:38 AM

Funny this topic came up, for about 2 weeks have been thinking about rearranging the shop but really want to get a Jointer planer combo to free up some floor space. Then there is the problem with an ever growing collection of Hand planes, Chisels and saws that out number the spaces made for them! Then its a case of new woods appearing with no room on the racks and cut offs just to nice for the burn box! One of these days it will be perfect? LOL!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Tabletop's profile

Tabletop

138 posts in 1045 days


#7 posted 02-04-2017 11:20 AM

I just moved into a bigger shop and have found myself exactly at the same point. I started off with good intentions but somewhere I lost that focus. I started doing projects for customers before I was actually ready and my shop is now a disaster area. I have decided after this current cabinet job is finished I’m going to spend two whole days getting it right. I’ve already scheduled the help, so now I’m committed. Lol. We will see what happens.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2889 posts in 3736 days


#8 posted 02-04-2017 12:07 PM



Funny this topic came up, for about 2 weeks have been thinking about rearranging the shop but really want to get a Jointer planer combo to free up some floor space. Then there is the problem with an ever growing collection of Hand planes, Chisels and saws that out number the spaces made for them! Then its a case of new woods appearing with no room on the racks and cut offs just to nice for the burn box! One of these days it will be perfect? LOL!

- Andre

Exactly. For me, as the stuff I make has become better and better, the shop has become an afterthought. More utilitarian. ‘Just make it what I need to get the job done’ sort of thing.

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

View EricTwice's profile

EricTwice

248 posts in 831 days


#9 posted 02-04-2017 12:47 PM

I think it has to do with goals. What is more important?

is it having a neat clean shop and all the tools put away, or is it working the wood down to the scribe line while listening to the hand plane go “snick” and the shavings pile up around our feet?

I do try to keep a clean shop. It gets a good sweep down about every week, whether it needs it or not, and the trash bins are emptied.

Don’t get me wrong. I do sweep under my bench occasionally, and SURPRISE, I find the tools that I have been missing. Funny, I don’t recall putting them under there. Sometimes I think they are migratory and they go to the shavings under my bench to propagate.

I used to build fancier jigs for more than one use, but I have learned they only rarely get a second use so why bother.

I have a loose organization system that works for me. Basically I know which drawer it belongs in, and I put it back when the job is done. Some times more than that if I have too many things on my bench. There are piles of scrap near my bench. If I am working on a project and I have an “extra” piece or two I lean them there. I go through them every couple of years. (I should do it now. the pile is about 3 feet deep, I will when I find time, and we all know when that will be.)

There are also a couple of boxes under my bench that contain wonderful stuff. Pieces of rosewood, ebony, zebra wood, pink ivory… I give them a look sometimes, but they will live there forever. I may even use some of them.

If I find something in my organizational system that isn’t working, I will change it. But I find that I am used to things the way they are. So this only happens rarely. It does happen though. When I finish my new shop enough to get moved in, I will go through the things I have in my house, and the thing ones at work and it will happen.

Personally I am not really looking forward to it, but it will happen.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1276 posts in 2408 days


#10 posted 02-04-2017 12:57 PM

I think I’m right up the middle going on 25 years…

I’ve rearranged a few times, but I’ve almost always split the difference on jigs and shop furniture.

I’ve always built jigs and sleds on the fly, when the need arose, but I also had some early formal training in other worlds outside of woodworking that kind of beat it into me. It’s function over form, I only bother with paint and finish on shop projects if it improves function.

I’m far more apt to buy plastic cabinets or steel shelving from home centers than to build out shop storage. I find them “good enough”, requiring little time to build and cheaper than building.

I’ve built a few shop carts and tool bases, but also have purchased resin carts and roll-away bottom cabinets. Nowadays, and hopefully it won’t change too much, I can buy a bottom tool roll-away with 5-7 drawers for less than the plywood to build one. For example, I have a 12” disc and a combo spindle / belt sander sitting on a $150 Husky tool cabinet that rolls around nicely and holds all the consumables underneath.

The big thing for me over time was reorganization. Once I ended up set up in two main areas, a machine / stock prep / “dirty” area, and an assembly / hand fitting / finishing area, and got only those things that belonged in each in place, things really began to be enjoyable. Occasional use stuff, like my vacuum press, HVLP rig, and similar things, got “dead stored” so it’s accessible, but out of the way when not in use.

All in all, I’m not super neat, just neat enough. My place doesn’t look like a magazine cover, but the clutter and dust are under control and don’t detract from the experience. Kind of the difference between a Sprint Cup shop where they interview people on directors chairs and your typical auto repair shop… ;^)

View DsRMR's profile

DsRMR

40 posts in 789 days


#11 posted 02-04-2017 01:26 PM

LOL OMG i sit here saying oh i’m not that way… Bull S#[email protected] I blame it all on my adult ADHD and end up with just a little done here and a little done there as far as for me goes.
Now when it comes to a project for a client i’m disciplined enough to stay on task. Again i am starting over completely here and the old shop was just neat enough but i always gave any jig special attention. Sad that i only have a few left but when you make them tool specific… thats what they are. I cant wait till i can at least walk thru the new shop without putting on my climbing gear.

-- say not I can not but I Can

View TravisH's profile

TravisH

651 posts in 2233 days


#12 posted 02-04-2017 09:00 PM

My shop has always been utilitarian but more so because it is not climate controlled and currently fun money goes towards the kids. I try and keep my shop as clean and organized as possible. My time is to limited to mess with having to search for something or organize every time I need to use a different tool.

Once the kids (well at least the first two leave) I figure we will move to a different house and I have big plans in regards to a shop. I look forward to having a new shop upgrading most of the tools, etc…

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2914 posts in 1238 days


#13 posted 02-04-2017 09:32 PM

I spent a few hours over the last few days sorting and rearranging things. I get lazy and end up with a fist full or two of screws, washers, nuts, bolts and miscellaneous small parts piled in a drawer or on the miter saw station. Drives me nuts, but I just look at it. Sorted, stashed and done.

I purchased a few items months ago – Magswitch feather board and resaw fence. That was months ago. They sat in their packaging on the miter saw station just looking at me with derision. “Put me together and get me off of the work surface!” Done.

Had a cardboard box coming apart at the seams that was crammed full of various types of clamps. Also have this nice reclaimed rolling file made of steel and mesh weave baskets that was overflowing with one off jigs that I’m not sure why I saved. They got tossed and now I have a really nice rolling cart for small/medium clamps. :)

Over these same few days I made a stand for my alien drill press that’s been sitting on the floor and getting used that way because, well it’s all cast iron, heavier than my first car and had no where to put it. Done. Oh took it apart to get it up on the casework and cleaned and oiled it in the process. Also snapped a nut that’s used to adjust the tension on the motor/belt. Another job for another day :(

Removed the Ridgid belt/spindle sander from the rolling stand it was on when I got it from the CL guy I bought it from and placed it under my bench. In the process I had to clean all the crap off of that shelf where I had a bad habit of tossing cut-offs and pieces used for wedging/blocking, so it would fit alongside the mortising machine that never gets used but does add ballast to my bench :0 The sander doesn’t get used often enough to warrant floor space and when I need it, it’s light enough to pull out and place on the bench. Done.

With those two machines in better spots, I now have room for my new router table which I need to build to replace the one I have now – Craftsman Workmate 425 converted to router table. Good for job site. Not so good for a shop. The new table will have storage for bits and accessories and much better dust collection. Not done.

Two weeks ago I made dividers for drawers and organized. Man that felt good :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

423 posts in 886 days


#14 posted 02-05-2017 12:26 AM

Clean shop is an idle shop. Sloppy is busy. Ain’t got time for pretty, pretty costs time & $.

Saw clutter.

M

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2551 posts in 2646 days


#15 posted 02-05-2017 01:47 AM

Like Forrest Gump said “I think it’s a little bit of both”..... I am a neat freak but I also realize that I need to get things built so I keep the tools put away when I finish with them and I keep the work surfaces clean so I can use them. The floor gets swept/vacuumed at the end of the day or weekend so I can pull the truck into its spot. The dust gets vacuumed up before I start finishing work so I don’t have to sand as much between coats. Aside from that, the scrap bin fills up and I have to part with the little pieces that I want to use but don’t have a project to use them on.

I generally use the clean up and tidy up time to figure out what I want to do next. You can tell how well my creativity is working by how tidy and clean the shop is. The neater and cleaner the more I’m trying to figure out what to do or how to do it. When it is a mess and there are pieces and parts all over I’m in the zone and it all clicks.

Sorry MadMark I would go crazy in your shop.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1276 posts in 2408 days


#16 posted 02-05-2017 01:57 AM


Clean shop is an idle shop. Sloppy is busy. Ain t got time for pretty, pretty costs time & $.

Saw clutter.

M

- Madmark2

Sorry… You may not realize it, but if you’re a pro, that mess is costing you.

View DsRMR's profile

DsRMR

40 posts in 789 days


#17 posted 02-05-2017 02:03 AM

At Least yours is functional…lol

-- say not I can not but I Can

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

388 posts in 1257 days


#18 posted 02-05-2017 02:50 AM

A working shop isn’t going to be a perfect shop. I arranged tools and benches in my home shop according to years of experience working for other woodworking companies. My work area at work is a productive area based off this as well. Recently we payed a company to come in to make us even more productive and found my home shop was setup productive but is over packed with materials,storage boxes,hardware and hoarding too many nuts,screws and just junk.

A flowing shop is much more productive Professional or hobby…

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2914 posts in 1238 days


#19 posted 02-05-2017 04:31 AM

Oh my. Actually looks dangerous. :O


Clean shop is an idle shop. Sloppy is busy. Ain t got time for pretty, pretty costs time & $.

Saw clutter.

M

- Madmark2


-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

423 posts in 886 days


#20 posted 02-05-2017 05:11 AM

The sawtop is my workbench. The area to the left of the fence is cleared for cutting. Most of the crap on the right of the fence is push sticks and other safety items. Although the shop is sloppy it is productive and generates accurate parts due to easy to read digital indicators on everything. I’m disabled and everything is at hand without steps.

M

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8844 posts in 2626 days


#21 posted 02-05-2017 05:33 AM

I’ve been trying to not make stuff for the shop unless I need it for a project. But then when I do need to make a jig or fixture. I try to make it nice enough to be useful for a long time to come. I agree that the entire shop is just one big tool…

But it’s also my refuge, so I do have a few creature comforts.

I’m running out of space and need to make better use of my storage.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

5493 posts in 2019 days


#22 posted 02-05-2017 01:11 PM

My issues relate to reorganizing every time I get a new machine or anything that takes up an appreciable amount of floor space. What I want and what I need aren’t always on the same level but ultimately what I can get a great deal on takes precedence. The shop is for the most part fairly utilitarian but I do want it to look somewhat presentable, keeping things clean and organized make for a safer, more efficient work area too (even if a good cleaning doesn’t happen as often as it should). Keeping hand and power tools organized and easily accessible is a constant struggle for me as most things come in a plastic case and unless everything is from Festool it’s all different sizes so developing a storage solution that will accommodate everything and be easy to expand is a long term goal. Wood storage is also a constant struggle as I’m a confessed wood hoarder and show no hesitation buying something that’s a great deal even if I have no idea what it’ll be used for when I’m getting it.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2914 posts in 1238 days


#23 posted 02-05-2017 02:20 PM

Mark sorry to hear about your disability. How about making a rolling cart as a project, that holds most of you small tools, marking and measuring devices and clamps? It could have a coffee mug holder too ;) Maybe just a cardboard box for cut-offs? That way they won’t impede you.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

423 posts in 886 days


#24 posted 02-05-2017 05:29 PM

My shop is about 100 sq ft.

I have a roll around cart with most of my parts and common tools.

M

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