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Forum topic by a1Jim posted 09-15-2017 07:38 PM 5014 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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118136 posts in 4426 days

09-15-2017 07:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

As I posted on another thread I’m trying to complete two projects that have been sitting around for years that are
90-95% complete, but being someone who likes a place for everything and everything in it’s place it seems I’m always getting ready to get going ,Part of the problem is that I’m a tool nut and keep acquiring tools (I know lots of folks would like that problem)but that means I have to find a place for all that stuff and after awhile it’s in the way until I find a place for those items, but even without that situation I still spend a large amount of time getting set up to do relatively simple operations on my projects that are not that hard to do. Am I alone in this organizing frenzy or are there others out there that take the same approach? Maybe I’m a neat freak but even after organizing it still looks like there are things that are in the way.
I know I will have volunteers to help me by taking tools off my hands, Thanks but no thanks. Remeber I’m a tool hoarder and hoarders never get rid of Stuff.

Not my shop but someday :)


29 replies so far

View DocSavage45's profile


9017 posts in 3692 days

#1 posted 09-15-2017 08:37 PM

Hey Jim,

You usually have great advice for me when I ask a question and it’s appreciated. What would you tell me? I used up wood that has sat around for up to 25 years and materials and built a lawn tractor /wood shed. It’s built and my shop is still full of – - – -!

My wife had a good response when I said”How can you find anything in here (her office) and she said “Go take care of your own office.” Mine is chaotic and partially clean now. Good LUCK!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View a1Jim's profile


118136 posts in 4426 days

#2 posted 09-15-2017 08:44 PM

Hi Tom

I guess I would tell you a quote from the movie “Moonstruck” where Cher says “SNAP OUT OF IT “


Send my bill to Cricket :)


View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4218 days

#3 posted 09-15-2017 08:55 PM

Jim, there is no cure or need for one! Time to knock out the west wall and build on, you can’t get rid of anything or stop collecting more so you just have to grow with the times. If you can’t expand your footprint, then look up to a 2nd floor.

Oh and thank you for unblocking me. LOL

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1497 days

#4 posted 09-15-2017 08:56 PM

Well … being a minimalist helps! I also try to keep things organized and cleaned up as I go. I try to keep no more than four or five tools on the bench at any given time. Major emphasis on try! I like to brush off the bench between operations and even stop to sweep up the shop every two or three operations … gives me time to think about what I’m doing next. If my shop looked like the one in the photo I would be pulling what hair I have left out by the roots!

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4218 days

#5 posted 09-15-2017 08:58 PM

Start pulling Ron, that photo looks just like the top of my tablesaw. ;-)

View Loren's profile


10582 posts in 4497 days

#6 posted 09-15-2017 09:05 PM

I use to look forward to the day when I finally
had all the tools on hand I needed. That day
more or less came, and in fact I went overboard
and bought some fairly exotic machines at
auction. Now I’m out of space and don’t have
much room to put anything together in.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4218 days

#7 posted 09-15-2017 09:08 PM

Loren ^^^ #3

View a1Jim's profile


118136 posts in 4426 days

#8 posted 09-15-2017 09:15 PM

I already built to the maximum they would allow on my shop and we made a guest room over the shop.

Sometimes I really admire folks with minimalist shops and practices but obviously not most the time.

your table saw Dan ha ha

Yep it’s very tight in my shop too Loren but I don’t have the big boy machines you have and yes I’ve belong to the overboard club also.


View doubleDD's profile


9640 posts in 2892 days

#9 posted 09-15-2017 09:41 PM

Hi Jim. You are not alone. I look at it this way. Big shops or small shops, it doesn’t matter. Organization is the key here. I have no room for any more power tools, doesn’t mean I won’t buy another one or upgrade to a bigger and better one. You can always find a way. Even hand tools are a problem sometimes.
Now this is where we get to what you’re talking about. When building things we use many different power and hand tools in different areas of the shop. I go to use the table saw and have to move a couple things from top of it. OK next to the bandsaw. Roll it out, connect the collector hose move the miter gauge and maybe a jig or something to the top of the table saw. On to the workbench to sand or assemble and move a couple things off that to make room, and so on. It takes more time to set things up when things are laying in the way and have to be moved each time. I consider myself very organized but when you keep buying things for the shop it takes time to figure where to put them. So you are not alone but tools are a good thing.
Now if when working on something and not putting anything away, there are names for that (slob, lazy, etc.) LOL.
Good luck, eventually everything gets a place until the next purchase.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View builtinbkyn's profile


3011 posts in 1790 days

#10 posted 09-15-2017 10:01 PM

Jim are you just looking for us to tell you it’s OK? Well it is ;) Must be something about woodworkers and hoarding. I know of at least one other lol I can’t even get myself to toss out scraps and cut-offs because “someday I can use it”.

However one thing you can do for your prized tools if they need to be out and on display is make display storage a priority. Your system may not be as efficient as it can be and maybe there’s room for a lot more or as kids would say moar? (I had to look that up) Then plan for expansion or make it so there’s “room for extra stuff” :) Make the shop a project, unless of course there’s more pressing projects, but then you said this is in the way of project progress.

Hope you figure it out ;)

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

View SignWave's profile


472 posts in 3884 days

#11 posted 09-15-2017 10:14 PM

I’m not naturally organized, but I constantly remind myself that everything needs a place to live, or else it will end up some place it doesn’t belong (usually in the way). Not there yet, but working on it. Before I buy a new tool, I ask myself where it will live when being used, and when not being used. This has kept me from buying tools on more than one occasion.

Visual clutter doesn’t but me, but actually having stuff in the way does. Having tools or materials on the outfeed of my table saw, slows down my table saw cuts, for example.

I also think of tools as solutions to problems, and try to avoid the looking at them from the opposite perspective. If there is an operation that I cannot currently perform, or one that is difficult to do well, then I will think about a new tool to do the job. When you look at tools first, it’s easy to think of all the things you can do with them, but that leads to multiple tools to do the same job. The shop starts getting crowded and reduces rather than increases productivity.

-- Barry,

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118136 posts in 4426 days

#12 posted 09-15-2017 10:40 PM

Thanks for your input guys you make lots of good points.


View Woodknack's profile


13472 posts in 3229 days

#13 posted 09-16-2017 01:39 AM

There is a point where the tools own you. Where you work for the tools, finding places for them, instead of putting them to work.

-- Rick M,

View a1Jim's profile


118136 posts in 4426 days

#14 posted 09-16-2017 01:40 AM

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6155 posts in 3258 days

#15 posted 09-16-2017 01:54 AM

I spent as much time organizing my shop to do work as I actually do work. Then have to remind myself to put things away since I spent time to organize it to begin with. It is a vicious circle. Projects here take time, first I only do projects for me or the wife, second I could care less how long it takes I enjoy the work, lastly I have a project book that is probably 3 lifetimes full of stuff to do I am in no hurry to complete the book.


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

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