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Thread: Woodworking shop productivity........does it get to you?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    12,247

    Woodworking shop productivity........does it get to you?

    Dont know about any of you but i will confess that the one thing that is driving me crazy is just how getting older slows one down and affects ones productivity.

    I am finding this element creep into all sorts within my life (not neccessary refering to only the physical aspect here but also to the mental aspect like the memory thing).


    In my shop it caused me to walk out and do something different this past Saturday or i would have likely had an accident. But as i took a breather and went about some errands i promised myself one thing.

    I am gonna get organized in my shop if its the last thing i do. I cannot go through making so little progress and when reviewing why finding i am spending way too much time back and forth looking for something i know i have or scratching and in the process getting distracted etc.

    Its no use having the right tool if you cannot easily get to it or remember you have it. Same goes for hardware storage. How many times have you purchased something only to find you had it already and could not put your hand on it when you needed it.

    Clean up also becomes a chore when there is no dedicated place. Draws if they not organized just become a glorified scratch bin. I have had it.

    So as soon as the generator enclosure is done and i got power...then i am gonna Bradletize my shop and Glenn i will be going back and stealing with glee every trick you got.
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
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    17,470
    when your done rob come on down and we can work together on my troubles then you wont feel so bad.. glenn made his dresser look easy and mine are simple in comparison to his and i am still not done with one of them.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
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    Aug 2007
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    Reno NV
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    I've not yet reached my goal of complete organization, but I'm way ahead of where I used to be. So I can at least work out there.

    My biggest issue is managing all of the other things that require my time and attention.

    I'm getting better at getting things done, but it never goes as fast as I'd like.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    5,992
    Well, I have no problem putting my finger on the exact item I need - as soon as I remember what I'm looking for!

    Seriously, some of my stuff is organized while other areas have a long way to go! My problem right now is that most of 2012 was spent on household and yard projects, so woodworking took a back seat, unless it was a quick cut on a chunk of wood for something else. Now that I'm starting to have more time to get back in the shop, I have this issue with my eyes to get fixed! Gettin' old ain't no fun!!!
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    I get a lot of fun ribbing about being organized and I am possibly more organized than some, not as much as others. This is not a natural thing for me, I work at it. I think that one fuel for my organizing engine is well cited by Rob "I cannot go through making so little progress and when reviewing why finding i am spending way too much time back and forth looking for something i know i have or scratching and in the process getting distracted etc."

    Nothing sets me off faster than having to stop and try to find something that I want at a given moment. It kills my momentum, invites distraction and that can lead to errors that cost me even more time in do-overs. Tell me if it doesn't get your goat when you look for something for 5 minutes and it is setting under something else on the bench right in front of you

    I have a decent handle on most stuff now but, like our shops, organization is a journey, not a destination. There is no end to this part of our work, it just is part of our work. For items that get relegated to the "occasional use" category, I have a file on the computer. Nothing fancy, just a file with the item and where it is. I can open the file and use the "find" function to look for a word like "electrical crimp connectors". Now I don't waste space in my shop on crimp connectors. I use them a couple times a year if that. I certainly don't need them right at hand when that spot can be used for something I do need right at hand, eh? Turns out they were out in the shed in the red tool box; no problem.

    Works well for things I just don't recall what I did with too. I searched for a clamp-on base for a swivel lamp that I have. I adapted the lamp to fit in a dog hole and wanted to give the base to my daughter for her lamp. That base is just the kind of thing I can spend an hour trying to locate. Instead I just open the file and search for lamp. The third lamp entry was for the base, located in the shed, south wall, bin #3. So for a few minutes effort I saved enough time to cut out all the floating panels for one side of my current project; that's direct payback I can relate to.

    I don't have everything this organized but, I try to knock out a few more every time I find myself wasting time looking for something that I thought was "right here".
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-14-2013 at 08:39 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    Ive worked it all out into a mathematics.

    For each week I devote to shop time projects, 2 hours are allowed for shop reorg.

    My week varies, but its what I can handle, so each month I allow myself approx one day for shop reorg.

    I save my time so at the end of 6 months or a year, I can spend a couple of weeks doing shop reorg and any builds or changes I need.

    I allow myself 30 minutes each day for shop cleanup and straightening out.

    I dont want to fall into a trap of spending 6 hours a day in my shop and turning out 3 hours worth of work going off on a reorg tangent trying to rethink a rack or cabinet.

    my main problem with shop reorg, is that after having it set up one way, I forget where I put things after I reorganize.

    I just reorganized all my pen turning supplies, spent 2 days cleaning out and getting everything in one spot.

    Today, being its almost 60 degrees outside, I went into the shop to drill out a bunch of pen blanks, only to discover I cannot find my 7mm bit. I looked for over 45 minutes, then my son helped me look. Never had this problem before I reorganized. I must have tossed it by mistake, or its in another dimension, or it morphed into a 10 mm bit or a 17/64th, just to be mean to me.

    I called all the local guys, and I cant find another one, so I have to order one online now.

    so much for shop reorg.
    Last edited by allen levine; 01-14-2013 at 06:39 PM.
    Human Test Dummy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    That base is just the kind of thing I can spend an hour trying to locate. Instead I just open the file and search for lamp. The third lamp entry was for the base, located in the shed, south wall, bin #3. So for a few minutes effort I saved enough time to cut out all the floating panels for one side of my current project; that's direct payback I can relate to.


    I've tried to do that for a few things.. never managed to keep the docs up to date.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
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    13,357
    True Story.

    Once upon a time I was working on a car project. I was using a wire wheel to clean the crud off of a brake line fitting. A very special, hard to find kind of brake line fitting.

    So somehow, the wire wheel caught this little brass fitting and sent it flying over my shoulder at approximately the speed of light. I never even heard it fall.

    I took EVERYTHING out of the garage over a period of 10 hours looking for it (Can you say OCD?).

    I had this dart board that I had hanging on hinges from the ceiling that I had in the 'up' position, so it was out of the way.

    I finally decided to pull it down as a last resort. Sure enough, this little brass fitting managed to sail right up through the little crack that was just barely bigger than it was.

    Finally learned my less to always look in the last place you would expect something to be in order to find things quicker...
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
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    13,436
    Been in the process of Bradleyizing over the last month, I can actually use my desk in the office and should have the workbench cleared this weekend for the first time in a year. I need to look through the Bradley archives to see what else I need to put on my list, those $1 shoe boxes have been a life saver. I also sat for two hours last night entering tools into the new inventory db, most with just a quick entry and will update each with pictures and details later.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
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    6,097
    Yes it does. Agree with all you have said about the frustration levels and all. I am on my second year of the girls being gone from home and am finding all of those hammers and screwdrivers and crowbars that no one knew anything about! "What are you talking about dad? I didn't use that." Anyway, also once the shop got enclosed, I am encountering that because I started moving in before drawers and shelves were built. This is the year for organization on our farm, it started this fall, Lou and I have been making great strides in a lot of areas of our home. It took us 20 years of living here to get it in this disorder so it isn't going to happen overnight, but we set some goals and are making them or resetting them as needed. Good topic.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

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