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Forum topic by Craftsman on the lake posted 12-02-2016 12:26 AM 1824 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Craftsman on the lake

3383 posts in 4238 days


12-02-2016 12:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource question clean shop

So, for those of you who have clean shops, I mean really clean, how do you do it?

Okay, I’ve been working in my shop for years now. I’ve reorganized and rebuilt parts of it a few times. It is fairly full of tools, hand and power tools. It’s 24’x24’, heated and with a dust collector for the tools that pretty much make chips and a shop vac connected to tools that make dust, like sanders and the band saw. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, dust still happens and I end up doing a lot of sweeping between projects.

I’m not talking about commercial woodworking videos where the shop is often a stage set. I’m talking about people like us who use a shop.

Now, I wouldn’t think much of this except when I see some pictures of people in their shops they look clean to spotless. I understand when people make shop cabinets like living room furniture. I’m not one of those. I build it for functionality and to cut down on cost. But, either way, how come some people’s shops look like they were just built and not used.

The workshop posted on “my workshop” page looks that way because I had hardly used at that time as it was fairly new. It’s actually changed considerably since then and has a coating of dust all over that I’ve washed a couple of time when I did ‘spring cleaning’.

I figure one of a few things;

1. Some people actually clean their shops regularly right down to the dust and spend as much time cleaning as working in them.

2. Some might have dust collection systems that actually keep things clean. I’d imagine it would be an expense though.

3. Maybe the pictures are like mine, taken during early days before the shop had seen much use.

4. Some might use the shop infrequently or for small projects that don’t create much mess.

So, for those of you who have clean shops, I mean really clean, how do you do it?

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


31 replies so far

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

4291 posts in 2568 days


#1 posted 12-02-2016 12:46 AM

Nice job there. I used to work with an older woodworker when I was young and he dedicated an hour or so at the end of each day to clean the shop. Every tool was put away, counters where brushed clean an floors swept. It rarely took more than 20 minutes each day. I really need to adopt that mindset. Thanks for the post.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7874 posts in 3714 days


#2 posted 12-02-2016 12:59 AM

Craftsman on the lake ”...The workshop posted on “my workshop” page looks that way because I had hardly used at that time as it was fairly new. ...”

Well BINGO! I think you just earned the gold star! New shops always look great, and we always take images of our ‘NEW” shops…

That said, I now have issues with just publishing different current projects due to laziness… ;-)

BTW, I STILL clean the shop because loose sawdust is TOO SLICK when trying to park my Harley in the shop (owns 25% of shop space). Sawdust on smooth concrete is a problem… {8-O

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

2025 posts in 3813 days


#3 posted 12-02-2016 01:16 AM

Yes … your shop picture is TOO CLEAN. How about a “current state” shop picture …. just kidding.

If you looked at my workshop pictures, they were taken after I cleaned up for the photo shoot. If you were to look at it now with a project underway … it’s a mess …. but I know where everything is … lol.

However, I try to put away the tools and clamps at the end of the day. That keeps things sort of cleaned up.

Once a project is completed, I try to clean up before I start a new project.

My workbench top is another story. Being horizontal, it seems to collect all the things I avoid putting away (or throwing away). I really need to keep it cleaner.

Once or twice a year I may get on a cleaning binge and try to vacuum stuff. Then I may get my compressor cranked up and blow all the dust off the light fixtures and stuff. Then I turn on the ceiling hung air cleaner and leave for a couple of hours.

So there … it just goes to prove that YOU ARE NORMAL … don’t try to change it. A clean shop is a sign that nothings is being done in it or you have an OCD problem.

Have a good Christmas.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View John's profile

John

246 posts in 2382 days


#4 posted 12-02-2016 02:00 AM

My shop gets a deep clean once a year. It is my detached extra big two car garage. We have a big fourth of July party every year, and I clean the heck out of it so I’m not too embarrassed by the mess. Most people don’t understand how a wood shop is in n perpetual states of filthy just by using it. Clean shops are for TV shows.

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

View Hawkeye1434's profile

Hawkeye1434

14 posts in 2249 days


#5 posted 12-02-2016 03:06 AM

I think your shop looks fantastic I have a 850 square-foot shop and some really good dust collection with eight different ports running around my shop right now my shop is a complete mess and there is sawdust everywhere I am just bagging and praying for the day this winter when I can actually just take two or three days in a row to do nothing but clean organize and build shelving and have a place to put all my festool,sustainers. If you think that’s dirty you should come see mine you’ll have a heart attack

Recknerhomeinspections.com

-- Do it Right the First Time recknerhomeinspections.com

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1699 days


#6 posted 12-02-2016 03:44 AM

2 words….Leaf Blower

I clean mine about once a week. I put all the tools back. hold down all the loose ends. Then I have 2 big swamp coolers that I turn on and open the back door. I block the lower portion of the door and blow everything to the door and sweep it up. (Nobody behind me but I don’t like to just blow it out the door.)

View eddie's profile

eddie

8565 posts in 3414 days


#7 posted 12-02-2016 03:47 AM

to be honest Dan my shop is usually a mess and any flat surface is a catch-all , but do clean it up when i have to because of the narrow little paths i have to get around in from stuff out of place ,,last time i cleaned mine i found 23 pencils and 3 tape measures and 3 pocket ruler ,,and some tools i didn’t even know i had , i dont have a answer for a clean shop as mine is only clean when i stop and doit

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3168 posts in 2598 days


#8 posted 12-02-2016 03:56 AM

I use a leaf blowers much the same way as Jbay.I have two big fans I set up.I blow everything out back it’s also the way a natural breeze flows.

Aj

-- Aj

View iminmyshop's profile

iminmyshop

319 posts in 2794 days


#9 posted 12-02-2016 04:11 AM

At the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine, time is allocated at 4 PM every day to completely clean the shop. And because you are part of a group of individuals sharing tools, that only works if you put the tool away immediately when finished with it. Those are habits I tried to maintain after I came home. The result is less time wasted hunting for stray tools and fewer finished parts messed up because they were placed on an overcrowded table and got dinged.

-- http://www.alansfinewoodworking.com/

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

979 posts in 2253 days


#10 posted 12-02-2016 05:13 AM

Keep it spotless by not using it.

The spotless shop owner is OCD.

m

-- Madmark - [email protected] Wiretreefarm.com

View htl's profile

htl

5163 posts in 1960 days


#11 posted 12-02-2016 05:28 AM

My home made cyclone I use to touch things up while taking a brake between tasks, plus ….Leaf Blower in the evening when the breeze is blowing away from the next doors neighbors. lol

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs https://www.lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/130264

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4614 posts in 4543 days


#12 posted 12-02-2016 05:28 AM



Keep it spotless by not using it.

The spotless shop owner is OCD.

m

- MadMark

That would be CDO…. so that the letters are in alphabetical order :-)

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Marcial's profile

Marcial

184 posts in 1346 days


#13 posted 12-02-2016 05:51 AM

When I’m in the thick of a project, the shop just gets messy and that’s part of the process (for me). When the mess gets to a level where it interferes with the work, then it’s time to clean up. In remodeling my shop for the past two years, it was helpful to get stuff off the walls and into drawers- as my dust collection is still suboptimal, less stuff for the dust to cling on to.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1881 posts in 3117 days


#14 posted 12-02-2016 06:20 AM

A commercial cyclone, a 55 gallon drum vac, and lots of garbage cans help keep things pretty clean. Things still get cluttered during the middle of a project but I’m constantly thinking of new ways to organize things so they stay clean. Recently I built 5 rolling carts that hold most of the tools I use. This allows me to keep them close to wherever I am working. This minimizes the chance that tools will get carried around and left on bench tops.

I’m in the process of placing wheels on as much stuff as possible. Once I pull that off, I’ll be able to vacuum the whole shop (over 3,000 square feet) in under an hour.

I’m also planning on adding a Festool router or two next year. Hand-held routers are about the only remaining tools that really mess up my shop during use.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3383 posts in 4238 days


#15 posted 12-02-2016 10:49 AM



When I m in the thick of a project, the shop just gets messy and that s part of the process (for me). When the mess gets to a level where it interferes with the work, then it s time to clean up. In remodeling my shop for the past two years, it was helpful to get stuff off the walls and into drawers- as my dust collection is still suboptimal, less stuff for the dust to cling on to.

- Marcial

Yes, that was one of my redo’s over the years. I at least put all small power tools in a cabinet with doors. Everything left out is just a dust collector.

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

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