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...long time reader, not a huge contributor-yet…

My shop lives, unlike most, in my garage. And, also unlike most, I have to share the space with a freezer, bicycles, shelving and storage, thing lik… er, wait-you mean you all DO have to do that?

And here I thought I was deprived.

To put it mildly, my shop is a mess. In it (for tools) I have:

- Robland X31 (soon to be replaced/upgraded)
- Jet 17 drill press
- Laguna LT18SE band saw
- Dust collector
- Numerous small power tools and the like.

Then I have the numerous sheets of plywood (leaned against a set of shelves that I can't access due to said plywood), 100 b.f. of curly maple, 30 bf of cherry. You get the idea.

But there is just no organization or workflow…

Ug… Someone come shoot me.

- Michael Dow
Seabrook, TX

I've built a few small projects and have managed not to injure myself too badly, but I keep getting in my own way.
 

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Micheal, sounds like a challenge but one you can overcome.

Lots of ways to go about organizing the space. When I'm overwhelmed by a situation, I go for the 'low hanging fruit.' Pick small clean-up tasks that are easy, with quick payoff, as much as possible. It'll help you find the first 'big thing' needed to make an impact over the long haul. Maybe it's high shelving, or a couple of garage cabinets you build, or a bench with under-top storage, etc. etc. You'll find it.

Oh, and pictures of the journey (posted here, of course) help you see how much progress is being made over time.

Good luck!
 

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Why would you need to upgrade the X31? You are on the high end of tools already-just organize and build some stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Why would you need to upgrade the X31? You are on the high end of tools already-just organize and build some stuff.

- CharlesA
The fence… Oh my god, the fence. I can't do a darned thing that aligns that fence and KEEPS it aligned!

If you have some ideas on what I can do, I'm all ears…

-M
 

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No-if there's a problem with it, then replace it, I guess. A bad fence is a real pain.

I just was looking at your tool collection thinking you were pretty well stocked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No-if there s a problem with it, then replace it, I guess. A bad fence is a real pain.

I just was looking at your tool collection thinking you were pretty well stocked.

- CharlesA
The X31's major weakness is its fence. Some people have replaced it with an aftermarket fence (which, I guess, would be cheaper than selling it and buying new tools to replace the multiple functions (Joiner, Planer, Saw). The mounting of an aftermarket is kinda kludgy as it would have to attach to the end of the swing-away joiner out feed table. I suppose everyone out there has the ultimate SawStop combo, and I'm just trying to have the bare minimum required to make a pointy stick.

-M
 

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I've(We've) been there M. I finally added on to the back of my detached garage with a 12×24 shop room, but sometimes for larger projects my truck has to live outside. Sometimes larger pieces have to sit in the garage. When I just had the garage to work in, I had a workbench that rolled out to be outfeed for the saw. The saw rolled up against the wall between the car and the truck. The router table rolled into the corner and my truck missed hitting it by a few inches.
When I only have a little time to spend in the shop, I usually use that time to improve conditions somehow. Build another shelf, hang things like bikes from the rafters, get rid of crap I dont need, etc.
 

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I work in a 12' X 20' shop. It is supposed to be a garage, but there has never been a car it in. I am fortunate that I built a shed out back that I don't have to share the space with anything, except a few items the wife uses to wash the cars.

Click here to take a look around my shop. Maybe you can get some ideas from it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
When I only have a little time to spend in the shop, I usually use that time to improve conditions somehow. Build another shelf, hang things like bikes from the rafters, get rid of crap I dont need, etc.

- firefighterontheside
Of course, right now all I can do is admire the garage from the back window of the house. The heat here in Houston causes that thing to turn into an oven. Next summer I hope to have the funds available to put in a 21k BTU A/C…

-M
 

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BinghamtonEd:

Are you the one making it messier when I m not there? cuz I could SWEAR all those empty boxes with packing styrofoam weren t there when I left…

- Michael Dow
I don't know anything about the packing supplies. The boxes full of infant toys, old clothes, and motorcycle parts, well, those I know about.
 

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Yeah, I hear ya. I put a window unit thru my wall last year. Ive gotten a lot more woodworking done this summer than past summers. After the summer of 3 years ago when it was 107, i decided that i needed to do it. First I insulated walls and ceiling. Right now I heat with a few electric heaters, but that sometimes causes issues with electric. I may have to get some kind of gas heater or upgrade my electric service to the garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah, I hear ya. I put a window unit thru my wall last year. Ive gotten a lot more woodworking done this summer than past summers. After the summer of 3 years ago when it was 107, i decided that i needed to do it. First I insulated walls and ceiling. Right now I heat with a few electric heaters, but that sometimes causes issues with electric. I may have to get some kind of gas heater or upgrade my electric service to the garage.

- firefighterontheside
I bought a as heater for my shop last winter - works on a 20lb propane tank. It'll bring my garage up from about 40 degrees (which is considered COLD in Houston) to pretty toasty in about 20 minutes. Of course then you have to worry about combustibles, dust, etc.. sigh
 

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Dang. Sounds like my shop. Only I'm not in a garage or a basement. It's solely dedicated to… piles of junk. Or projects. Or wood that I'm going to do something with… ....someday.

Are you sure you guys aren't ALL using my shop while I'm not there?

Projects I NEED to get to:
Flip Top stands that can get the planer, jigsaw, and sanders off the floor. Battery and drill charging station. Clamp racks. Placing the router table top on the cabinet it belongs to. Putting the radial arm and sliding miters saw actually ON the cabinets they belong to.

Using, or giving away, or burning the wood that hampers EVERY move…

I feel your pain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Dang. Sounds like my shop. Only I m not in a garage or a basement. It s solely dedicated to… piles of junk. Or projects. Or wood that I m going to do something with… ....someday.

<snip>

Using, or giving away, or burning the wood that hampers EVERY move…

I feel your pain.

- Underdog
I managed to pick up 100 b.f. of gorgeous curly maple for $2/bf a while back… Its currently blocking access to my bandsaw.

Once I finish the nightstands (which I started when it was a LOT cooler) I'll be able to move onto next projects, which my 14 year old daughter is screaming at me to get started on: Built in dressers.

I also want to start gearing up to do a Maloof-type rocker for my 28 year old.. She's gonna be having my first grandchild one of these years, and it'll probably take me a LONG while to finish… Which of course means that I have to START it first…

I guess I'm the only one who has these problems.. :)
 

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I managed to pick up 100 b.f. of gorgeous curly maple for $2/bf a while back… Its currently blocking access to my bandsaw.

- Michael Dow
I would be happy to get the curly maple out of the way for you. I can send you my address. :) Then you have free access to your bandsaw and we would both be happy.
 

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Dang I used to live in Houston. I would have gladly come and shot you for a small fee and all of your tools. Too bad I moved.

Since I don't live there, I would suggest a full on clean out. Throw away as much as is feasible and then organize.

P.S. I do have some gun-owning friends that still live there if you need someone. ;>)
 
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