Almost got my shop clean... - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-05-2020, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Almost got my shop clean...

For several days now it has been my goal to make my shop a place where I wouldn't be embarrassed if someone just dropped in. I was almost there...until tonight when I finally made up my mind to remove about 6 feet of the cabinets that I had on my wall and three feet or so of counter space. Now the shop is a royal mess again, but in the long run it's going to be much better organized...if I ever get there that is. I did it because I was not using the cabinets to their fullest and I wanted space along the wall to put another flip cart and my drill press, and maybe my old Sears bandsaw. That will free up some space in the center for a real work bench.
Someday, hopefully soon, I'll be brave and post a picture of my shop, but certainly not tonight.

My wife says I never finish anyth

Ken
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-05-2020, 11:18 PM
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Aw, c'mon Ken - show us the mess! Then we can appreciate the clean shop with you.

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post #3 of 14 Old 02-06-2020, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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Embarrassment is not my favorite emotion... I'm not likely to post any " before" pictures. Not to say it will never happen, but it isn't likely.
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My wife says I never finish anyth

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post #4 of 14 Old 02-13-2020, 07:19 AM
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No need to be embarrassed by some residue of past jobs lingering in your work area.I am always slightly sad when I see a hobby shop that is spotlessly clean,it says to me that the hobbyist is in the hobby of cleaning and the work facilitates the desire to be busy cleaning. its a bit like the classic car enthusiasts who display the car they have transported in a covered trailer in a better than showroom condition.They have even been known to clean the tires with cotton buds to get them perfectly clean.Make stuff and just keep the dirt under some sort of control while having fun.
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-14-2020, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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It isn't, or wasn't, the echos of past jobs that would be embarrassing, it was the total chaos that resulted from 4 years of slobbery. It's much better now, though still not ready for pictures.

My wife says I never finish anyth

Ken
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-14-2020, 09:36 AM
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My shop is a mess after turning a couple of things this week. I do clean just for putting things where I can find them again. Hate having to spend time looking for things!

A clean shop tells me the owner isn't doing anything or has a fetish on cleanliness.

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post #7 of 14 Old 02-14-2020, 10:26 AM
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My shop was always clean. I probably got more done in one day than any messy shop. I never had to search for anything. It doesn't take long to clean up and I always know where everything is.
I did a lot of repair and restoration work in addition to new builds. Customers were always impressed when they came into the work area. They knew their stuff was well taken care of.
If a screw or spring fell on the floor, it didn't take 15 minutes to find it. And if I wanted to spray, I could always find a spot for quick spray job.
I would always stop everything around mid-day, use air compressor jet nozzle, then sweep up and put all tools up. At shut down, took 2 people around 5 minutes with leaf blowers. At shut down time, it took about 10 minutes.
I could come in the morning to a clean shop and start fresh. To say that a messy shop is the sign of a working shop and a clean shop is an idle shop is shear nonsense.

Once when I was traveling, my van made a strange sound. I pulled into one service mechanic shop and it was a mess. I drove away The next shop we pulled into had a lot of relative new cars in the parking lot. The inside of the shop was clean and organized. We felt confident leaving my van with him.

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx

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post #8 of 14 Old 02-14-2020, 04:55 PM
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Well, I don't have a shop - never will. But while wifey is away fro a few weeks I am going to pant much of the garage wall surface, its old and dingy and pockmarked etc.

Retired engineer-bureaucrat in Oakland, CA
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-14-2020, 08:05 PM
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"A clean shop tells me the owner isn't doing anything or has a fetish on cleanliness."
I have to disagree with this statement. I do plenty of work in my shop on a daily basis and I DO NOT have a cleaning fetish. Just ask my wife.
My shop is my attached 2 car garage. If I don't clean after every work day the sawdust follows me into the house and the wife doesn't like that very much.
I dedicate an hour at the end of every day to store tool's and clean up what the dust collector misses.
I keep a small battery powered blower to use as the final step after sweeping.
A Clean Shop Is A Safe Shop.
It was a rule in shop class back in school as well as the motorcycle shop I used to work in.
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post #10 of 14 Old 02-14-2020, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Well, if a messy shop indicates one does a lot of work, I must be one productive son-of-a-gun, which I'm not. I intend to get this shop clean and keep it that way so that I can be a lot safer and perhaps more productive. I'll tell you just how bad my garage had been... I fell in my shop and when I told the guys at work that I had, one of my coworkers (the only one who has actually been inside) said, "well, at least you didn't hit the floor!". That's just not good.... I need to mend my ways.

My wife says I never finish anyth

Ken
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-15-2020, 05:30 AM
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None of the companies I worked for encouraged us to do too much in the way of cleaning,they employed a cleaner to keep things in order.Mostly it worked well but a couple of the cleaners in question weren't exactly energetic after I noticed one of them leaning on a bench gossiping I mentioned that in our shop we could do with a hand to look for something when he had a spare moment.He took the hint and showed up about ten minutes later then asked what we were looking for so I told him we hadn't seen the floor for a while and didn't know if it was still there....


This wasn't quite the sort of thing but if you are trying to earn a living,getting work done becomes more important than sweeping or re-arranging the shelves.Hobbyists are free to do whatever takes their fancy and needing to tidy the shop can often be a way of avoiding a trip to the shopping mall.





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post #12 of 14 Old 02-15-2020, 08:01 AM
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I'm a bit torn by this topic. I'm tidy. I clean up constantly. I have a small shop so a mess can overtake it fast. I just don't find that it takes much time or effort to clean up and organize real quick and productivity always improves. I'm the same way in the kitchen or anywhere really.



But one of my closest friends, a mentor really, that I learned a lot from is far from tidy. It's one of those situations where I could barely find anything in his shop or van, but he could walk right to it blindfolded. He's the hardest worker you could ever hope to meet and gets more done than most dream of. He has the reputation of a quality craftsman with a lifetime of work throughout the area to back it up. We work together like we were cut from the same cloth. His van drives me crazy. His shop is tiny and cluttered. But his work never suffered.

A handful of patience is worth a bushel of brains...
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post #13 of 14 Old 02-15-2020, 09:38 AM
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If I do not put it away now, I can not find it later. My 4 inch square is lost for two weeks and I do not want to buy new one but I need it.
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post #14 of 14 Old 02-15-2020, 09:17 PM
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Currently my shop is a mess, I working on two projects at the same time, so every tool I need is out laying between the two. I know where everything is, and there is no need to clean up every day if I'm going to make a mess again tomorrow, I clean up when I'm done.
At the senior center woodshop where I volunteer there is a really nice person that would be constantly putting my tools away, I go to reach for something and it is gone. I told him you don't know what I am doing or plan to do, so just leave every thing alone until I'm done or ask first if I'm done with it.
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