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Thread: Shop tidy < = Organization

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Shop tidy < = Organization

    I thought i would share this revelation with you all such that it might hit a nerve with others and you could benefit the way i have.


    The whole credit for this thought goes to Glenn who i have already personally thanked for bringing me to this point.


    I have observed for a few years now how Glenn works and how he has his shop layed out. Others too but Glenn takes the prize in my view.


    Anyhow i choke with guilt each time he mentions a table saw is not a work bench. I think then of what i have on my table saw top at that point in time and choke again.


    But over time he has got through to me.

    I have be fastidious at keeping my shop tidy. Hey i have lived with a watchdog and anticipate the towns arrival any time so made sure to keep it clean and tidy.


    But this has not made it conducive to working in. Thinks got put where they seemed to fit and i adapted to the draws where they were and what was put in them without much thought.


    Whatever draw was chosen when first the tool was stored became its go to place and it has been there ever since. My Dad on the other hand, had a shop where things were a bit more laid out. However you could reach anything with one step.


    But it hit me the other day after i had made a trip around my shop and back again and again and again digging out tools from a set of draws on the far corner to where i have my workbench that although when i close up or go in i keep the place tidy (clean and tools put away) that this was far from any kind of organization which the place gave the appearance of.


    Each trip i make is a distraction from the task and a break in concetration on what you doing. Adds to the frustration factor of how slow you are all because you fundamentally being inefficient.

    So i promised myself now that i am packing to move, that i am going to change the way i arrange my tools.


    Its not just having the draws but putting things in the right place too.


    Has this ever occurred to you?

    Some of my cures are going to be building a mobile hand tool storage unit. I plan on making a hybrid of all sorts of pics i have found for tool chests etc.

    BUying more rulers and making more marking knives to be placed around the shop at the machines. Getting duplicates of things like wrenches or allen keys needed for specific tasks at specific machines.

    One huge thing that began this whole thought was jigs.

    I recognised i dont have a place for jigs. So they end up laying about getting moved from lying on this item to being moved to the next when i need to use what they were lying on. We make place for tools machines raw material but it never occurs to make a dedicated storage space for jigs.


    Any other wise bits anyone can contribute? Have you had the same thoughts ?


    P.S> Dont try this at home. I have sinced noticed their is no logic to our kitchen and how things are stored and dared to mention this .....warning warning warning.....SWMBO did not take kindly to the suggestion we change things. BUt the seed is planted for our next place.
    cheers

  2. #2
    Well Rob here are a few shots of my shop I just went out and took when I read this thread. I did not clean it for the photos. This is how I keep my shop.

    In this view I have one small job finished and ready for install on the cart and the two white frames hanging in the back ground are for a shutter job I'm doing.

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    This is looking back at where I took the first picture and you see the shutters I'm currently working on.
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    The next three shots show the rest of the shop and the condition I keep it in no matter what I'm working on.
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    I'm about to redo all my cabinets. Everything you see in the pictures has remained in the same place since I built my shop in 2007. I used nothing but scraps knowing I might rearrange.

    Well it's 5 years later and I haven't changed much if anything so now I'm going to make the cabinets look a little more professional looking and change under the work bench to all drawers.

    Oh and just a side note the cart in the first picture and my new mobile tool cabinet are the same height as the out feed table on my table saw.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    London, Ontario
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    3,383
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    So i promised myself now that i am packing to move, that i am going to change the way i arrange my tools.
    Moving? Hey, when was that announced? Or am I misunderstanding?

    As for organization... I try, but it isn't always easy. Like Glenn I'm trying to put more drawers in. I've grown to really REALLY dislike any form of open shelf or open storage in the shop. It looks messy, It gathers clutter, and boy does it get dusty. I want drawers!
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Stony Plain, Alberta
    Posts
    356
    My shop is pretty well organized. What I mean by that is every thing has a place to live and I know where it is.
    Over time and with the addition of a lot of drawers and doors most things are hidden. This make things look clean but it does not mean one is organized.
    All of my tools are stored by the task they do. Sanders in one place hand tools in another for example.
    All my stationary machines have the appropriate wrenches to adjust them near by. This means having a few extra wrenches but it is worth the time saving.
    All this makes my shop a little more organized.
    One thing I do is take out what is needed to do a task and once it is done everything goes back to where it lives.
    If I don't do this I spend way too much time looking for things I have put down....
    At the end of every one of my shop sessions I do a shop clean up.
    You can't beat walking into a clean shop.
    Last edited by Gary Zimmel; 05-12-2012 at 03:59 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
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    4,944
    That is all well and good. However, I found that at the age of 86 I am starting to be an old man. Once an object leaves my hand it is LOST!

    Because of Glenn my shop keeps getting neater and more organized. I have real sympathy for those of you who move tools to a new, "more efficient" location. My drill bits were in a cabinet about 11 feet from the drill press. Now they are at the DP location. Theoretically I don't even have to take one step to get a 7/16 bit and put it in the DP chuck.

    Reality Check: It is now 22 feet to walk to get that 7/16 bit to place it in the drill press. I keep doing it however because I realize (hope) that I will adapt some day (year). In the past my shop had stuff wherever. It was sort of like living in Oceanside or Fallbrook California. There are a surprising number of times, when I want to go some place North, that it is shorter if I start by going South. (Also applies to going West when the destination is East) I had a mouse in the garage/shop once. It died of old age trying to find its way out.

    Enjoy and DO persevere in your pursuit of organization and neatness. It really does pay off. Now, when anything is lost and I cannot find it, I go look where it belongs---sure enough, that is where it is. AMAZING!!!

    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Catalunya
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    4,632
    What I found is that the tydiness of my shop is deeply related with my mood.

    If I'm going through one of "down" or "valley" periods it tends to be messy, chaotic and obviously difficult to work on. On top of that the fact of not finding a tool that I just used two minutes ago adds stress and frustration to my to WW.

    If I'm in good mood in one of those "peak" periods it is clean, tidy and a joy to work on. Each day, once finished I sweep the floor, put the tools back to their places and that allows me to inmediatly start working the nex day.

    A different (or not so different) issue is when I'm carving, while the rest of the shop may remain tidy my bench is full of gouges, there are times that I can have 50 or 60 of them lying in front of me. Putting them back at the en of the day is not as easy because I have to sort them, which is not difficult but then I loose the place they have in my bench. By that I mena that when I'm deeply involved in a carving I pick up the gouge I need almost without looking because I know by heart where in my bench I left it the last time I used it that may be 1 minute or 1 hour ago.

    While my self discipline, doesn't reach Glenn's level, one thing that I always do is a deep tidy up after each project. That helps me to set mi mind for the next one, and somewhat give the previous for finished, because unlike furniture, a carving is never finished, those of you who carve know what I mean.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    9,076
    First off, thanks for the undeserved praise; I am only organized in self defense . If I go looking for something and can't find it in short order, I tend to get peeved which is not condusive to the wonderfully relaxing process of woodworking in its many forms.

    Alan makes a great point that is the foundation of getting organized in a way that works for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Bienlein View Post
    I used nothing but scraps knowing I might rearrange.

    Well it's 5 years later and I haven't changed much if anything so now I'm going to make the cabinets look a little more professional looking and change under the work bench to all drawers.
    Don't get caught in 'analysis paralysis'. Realize that things will change. You may not do as much of one thing a year from now as you think you will today. Don't let that keep you from cobbling together some fixtures to try out your ideas. They will evolve, and you will pretty much know when you have a working model. At that point, go ahead and make it more permanent or more refined as suits your taste.

    Gary hit a couple more items that I stumbled onto. It is surprising how some small actions can result in such big changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Zimmel View Post
    All of my tools are stored by the task they do. Sanders in one place hand tools in another for example.
    All my stationary machines have the appropriate wrenches to adjust them near by. This means having a few extra wrenches but it is worth the time saving.
    Amen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Zimmel View Post
    One thing I do is take out what is needed to do a task and once it is done everything goes back to where it lives.
    If I don't do this I spend way too much time looking for things I have put down....
    This is a tough one for some but, the time I save by doing this lets me get another project in per year, at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim C Bradley View Post
    I had a mouse in the garage/shop once. It died of old age trying to find its way out.
    Oh great. Now I've got coffee all over the monitor again .
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    S E Washington State
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    3,777
    I have a small shop, which really shouts "you need to be organized". I have to move tools around to use them, i.e., roll the out to the middle of the room. I have to keep my router table and planer in another room and wheel them in when I want them. My problem with drawers and cabinet doors is there is a power tool in front of them that needs to be moved to open them. Cabinet doors especially. Been thinking of removing them and having open cabinets, but hate to do it. Good thing my woodworking is just hobby time and not part of making a living, or I'd be in real trouble.
    Last edited by Paul Douglass; 05-12-2012 at 03:42 PM.
    "We the People ......"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    5,172
    I have had several shops over the years, and different sizes and configurations as well. It was the Arizona shop arrangement of being in several buildings and a trailer that changed my thinking. Running all over creation to find and do things is out of the question, what with gimpy knees, a bad back, and little time for 'working in the shop.' I have been in Glenn's shop twice. Each time I come away with a ton of ideas. Fortunately I think Glenn likes me and will let me visit him again.

    Even though I have more space in this Nevada shop that ever have had in a shop, I an reorganizing things so that related things live together or as neighbors. Yup, a few extra wrenches and duplicates of tools, etc. The greatest time saver and happiness habit was in taking out the tools and supplies for a specific task. Complete the task, put everything away and tidy up the area. Repeat for the next task. I find my time disciplined along with my thinking and planning. I am enjoying what I do out there a great deal more, and my project shows it.

    Gary's shop photos and his plethora of cabinets got me drooling unto my shirt fronts. I am now building storage specific, custom sized, rolling cabinets for the shop. I am finishing up a hardware storage cabinet. I don't have the bins labeled yet and it is already easier to find what I am looking for. A 1,000% improvement of little boxes, plastic containers, and brown paper bags hiding screws, bolts, washers, nuts, etc. Didn't have a common size but had three packages of a not so common size stuff.

    Next up is a cabinet for under the table saw to house blades and table saw accessories. It too will be on wheels. Then the outfeed table now housing the PC 7518 on its Woodpecker lift system will give way to a combo router table/outfeed/router accessory storage cabinet on wheels.

    Soon it will be time to move again, and rolling the cabinets unto the truck/trailer and lashing them down beats the heck out of packing things in boxes and then losing them for months on end while things get unpacked again.

    Did I mention it saves time and makes working out there a much happier event? Just checking....
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

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