Is Your Shop Generally Clean & Organized? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-16-2019, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Is Your Shop Generally Clean & Organized?

Is Your Shop Generally Clean & Organized?-keepshopclean.jpg

Be honest Ė when youíre working on a project, how much time is eaten up, searching for a tool or supply? Even spending five minutes here or there sifting through a cluttered workbench for a nail or searching through a bucket for just the right screw can add up to a lot of lost time. Organizing your shop and keeping it clean cuts down on lost and misplaced items. An uncluttered workshop improves your efficiency and allows you to get projects done quicker and with fewer frustrations. Why Keeping your Shop Clean and Organized Matters
Is your shop generally clean & organized?

How do you keep it that way?

"Show respect even to people who donít deserve it, not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of yours."
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-16-2019, 09:57 AM
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Not a chance, my small shop looks like a bomb went off in there sometimes. As organized as I wish I were, it is only a dream. Maybe one day.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-16-2019, 10:02 AM
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Yes, very clean according to everyone who visits. That's the first comment I've heard a dozen times from visitors.

I use dust collection on about every tool except the drill press and any stray dust that comes off the table saw gets picked up with the shop vac immediately after I turn the saw off. I built a box fan room air cleaner and that is located above the table saw. The box fan gets turned on about 6 every morning and runs until about 9 each night. The air filter on it gets pulled down and vacuumed about once each month, sometimes twice.

Organization is ok, not great. It will be better when I get my 10' long Oliver lathe out and can use that space for storing fixtures, a guitar workbench, and move a few other tools around.

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post #4 of 14 Old 05-16-2019, 10:19 AM
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Yes, itís organized so everything has a place and if anything is missing itís easily spotted so Iíll look around to find the missing item and put it away. I hate looking for tools and tools laying around is a receipt for disaster by knocking something on the floor that shouldnít fall onto the floor because I was too lazy to put it back where it belongs.

Now is it clean? Not necessarily, depends where I am on a project, but I usually clean between each major change in workflow.

In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-16-2019, 03:48 PM
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It is very organized in my mind. It may not look it, but I know exactly where everything is.

Cleanliness of a space that is often open to the outside world is very much a function of time and degree. If the door has been open a lot, the wind is blowing and it is leaf season then the place is a mess.

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post #6 of 14 Old 05-16-2019, 04:53 PM
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It takes about 5-7 minute (at most) at the end of the day to clean-up. That consists of putting the last tools used away as I put tools back where they belong all day long after I'm finished with them. Using compressed air to blow out underneath table saws and band saw cabinets, vacuuming the tray out that's attached underneath my router table and around the drill press.

Then opening the garage doors and using a gas blower starting at the back of the shop to blow off power tools, benches, tables, chairs, and floor.

Check all power tools and DC are unplugged, garage doors locked, turn on alarm, turn off lights.

I hate going to work the next day and seeing a mess. I would hate to apologize to visitors for the condition of my shop.

There's a big difference between the sawdust generated in a day and tools out being used and large piles of sawdust, general disarray, a floor scattered with debris, tools dropped where they were last used, and Burger King wrappers and Copenhagen cans tossed everywhere.

That's just me and I use those same standards when deciding on tradesmen to hire.

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post #7 of 14 Old 05-16-2019, 05:21 PM
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Nope, and itís not likely to ever be. I sweep the floors regularly and pickup tools frequently. My shop is in a state of constant change. Iím always thinking of where equipment, supplies, tools and materials could be better located. I will be moving my lathe next week which will require me to reposition almost every other piece of equipment except the table saw and chop saw that I have. I also have several projects in various stages of their perspective builds. Some may think it is in minor disarray yet I have had people think the shop looks good. Whatever, I will sometimes stand off to the side of my little shop and think how cool it is and how lucky I am to have a place where I can get lost while making things.
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-16-2019, 05:23 PM
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Mine is usually about as organized as New Orleans after Katrina. Have a very small cabinet job to do right now and it took me 10 days to get the shop in enough order to do it. In my defense the building is being remodeled as I can find time so there is a lot of things that can't be put away. Then it's springtime and often a threat of storms with hail so it's not uncommon to have two cars, a van, a jeep, a truck and two tractors in the shop.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-16-2019, 06:04 PM
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I keep my tools in their places usually but I have too many tools and not enough places so it appears more cluttered than it is. Going to enclose the other half of my shed soon and that should help alot. As for the floor theres ALLWAYS saw dust and wood shavings on it. i have absolutely horrid lumber storage so theres cut offs stacked in all kinds of weird spots and I really need to start burning more of them. No my shop isnt clean or organized by any means.

Just went back and read Kerrys post and he said it very well. Especially the part about feeling lucky I have a place to go get lost in thats all mine.

Everything i build comes with a redneck warranty. If it breaks you get to keep both pieces.

Last edited by Mikhail2400; 05-16-2019 at 06:08 PM.
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-16-2019, 07:07 PM
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My work area is always clean. Moreover, tools or materials that I'm not about to use are not in the work area, unlike the photo.

Kerouac, J.
"to the joyful chaos of uncontrolled appetites ..." Claire Armistad, writing on the late Judith Kerr's The Tiger Who Came to Tea
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post #11 of 14 Old 05-16-2019, 07:56 PM
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Mine is usually clean, but not well organized. In the process of cleaning out the garage and getting rid of a lot of old junk and clutter so that I can make a better space.

⚡ Anthony
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-17-2019, 12:18 AM
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oh hell no
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-17-2019, 08:52 AM
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It's a small area, roughly 10' x 4' that's not large enough to hold everything it needs to hold, workbench, three sets of metal shelves, woodworking tools, paint and painting tools, plumbing tools & supplies, basically everything a DIY homeowner needs. I almost always put everything away into it's own jumbled area, but the workbench gets cluttered with scraps and projects-in-progress. And I usually have to weave my way through clotheslines and hanging laundry. Like, I'll sometimes be at the workbench and have sweatpants and team jackets and blue jeans draped across my shoulders. And I mutter, "I bet Norm never had to work under these conditions."

I do know where everything is, however.
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post #14 of 14 Old 05-17-2019, 02:36 PM
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My shop was always very clean and very organized. It was a commercial shop with several employees. My basic nature is to be neat and organized and it has its upside - never looking searching for tools and parts.
Sloppiness was not tolerated. Sometimes I would stop all operations around nontime and everyone had to put their tools up, even though they were still using them at clean-up time. Took about 5 to 10 minutes to sweep up and put tools up. The take them right back down again after clean-up.
There was very little time ever spent looking for tools or parts. Everything was put where it belongs. In the long run, it saves a lot of time not to mention eliminating some safety and fire hazards.

BTW, my customers were always impressed on how neat and orderly everything was, especially those patrons that were having restoration work done.

This rule applied to everyone except one guy. He could work knee deep in sawdust and coffee cups and it never bothered him. But I let him get away with it.

Tony B

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