Fellow Packrats, Forgive Me For I Have Sinned

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In an attempt to bring some order to the chaos of my home office where I write software for a living, I spent an hour and a half in my one-car garage shop slapping together three MDF & hardboard desktop inclined bookcases. (I had just ordered 7 *more* computer books from Amazon and didn't know where to put them...) To use the tablesaw I had to move stuff piled on it to my router table and downdraft/assembly table. Then I had to move stuff off the router table to use it. Finally I did the glue ups on the router table and put them on the table saw because there was no room whatsoever on the downdraft/assembly table. Plus there was lots of stuff on the floor, including a half-black pumpkin SWMBO put in an out-of-the-way corner last halloween and both of us forgot about.
I like making things in the shop, and I hate throwing away things that might be useful someday, but dagnabbit the shop had become alsmost completely unworkable. Something had to change!
Last night I took a garbage can in the shop, put a tape from Earl Nightengale's "Lead the Field" series in the cassette player for motivation, and ruthlessly started going through stuff.
-- I THREW AWAY the tennis shoes I use when exercising on the stepper. Sure, the heels were worn out and the big toes stick out, but they were fine for use on the stepper. Why get my "good" tennis shoes sweaty? But hey, the shop needs the space, so now there's just the one pair of shoes over by the stepper, by the router table.
-- I went through many of the plastic see-though boxes on shelves in the shop, THROWING AWAY some things to make room for the more important things cluttering the table saw, router table, etc. That PVC plumbing "tee" with part of the lip cut out could have been used on some jig or project someday I'm sure, but out it went. So did some hardware from the sofa I disassembled for the wood. And I'm limiting myself to just ONE box of misc. electrical wire, as I'll probably never need more than 15 or so cords I cut off from dead toasters and the like.
-- I decided to limit myself to just four boxes of scrap wood and (sob!) went through my scrap and THREW AWAY the least desirable pieces.
-- I cut up and THREW AWAY the hardboard and pegboard pieces to make a second copy of a failed invention. That really hurt, but now I can use the disk sander without moving them somewhere.
Sure, my shop is useable again, but somehow I feel guilty....
<G>
-- Mark
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You coulda asked one of us if we wanted that scrap wood...and the pegboard. Oh, probably the hardware from the sofa, too! Good idea getting rid of the sneakers and the pumpkin, as they had a life of their own. Tom
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Mark Jerde wrote:


Mark, you should give stuff like that away on Craigslist. There's probably one covering your area. www.craigslist.com
R
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Come on, guys! You're just making him feel more guilty! I'm sure all of us have plenty of toaster cords and 2x4 cut-offs, and I'm sure he didn't throw away any nice useful figured cherry, or anything like that. Mark, I'm impressed. We all have too much junk, but you actually did something about it. I'm sure you'll find a use for something you threw out as soon as the garbage truck comes, but STAY STRONG! Your shop is usable! Good work. Andy
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Fri, Feb 24, 2006, 8:01am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Andy) doth erroneously clam: <snip>I 'm sure you'll find a use for something you threw out as soon as the garbage truck comes,<snip>
What world do you live on? It's always the day "after" the garbage truck comes.
JOAT If you have something to say, raise your hand. Then shove it in your mouth.
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J T wrote:

Thats why you have to do a dry run.
--
Thank you,



"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
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Andy wrote:

Yup, just MDF & hardboard scraps. All the hardwood scraps stay, even if they're smaller than a toothpick. ;-)
-- Mark
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RicodJour wrote:

Not to mention Freecycle : www.freecycle.org
Jerry
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I know the feeling too well.
My Dad (a woodworker, boatwright, and more) died 15 yrs ago. I went down to the house to gather his tools &tc., and discovered that, in addition to the usual stuff (his tools and his Dad's tools, scrap wood, salvaged hardware, &tc.), the man had saved every piece of automotive heater hose or fuel line (including clamps) he'd ever replaced; every broken appliance motor or heating element or switch from refirgerators, wash machines, vacuums; just about every bolt, nut and screw that was ever left over; every one of my baseball gloves; even a small vial of gold nuggets he'd picked up in his youth.
I think its hereditary.
-Zz
On Fri, 24 Feb 2006 15:38:36 GMT, "Mark Jerde"

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Zz Yzx wrote:

ROTFL! How did you know what's in my "automotive" box??

Probably is. It wouldn't surprise me if my folks still had my first grade papers c. 1965 in the box somewhere.
-- Mark
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Mark Jerde wrote:

A few months ago my Mom (age 78) handed me a folder. In it were such treasures as some 3rd grade tests, a cub scouts uniform inspection checklist (with a couple of demerits), copies of my first two income tax returns from when I was 15 and 16 (1972 and 1973) and other things that had made it into my dad's desk somewhere along the line. Dad died in 1995 and I think Mom has now made it through two or three drawers of that desk. Of course, I didn't get any of the important stuff like hair clippings or projects made while in cub scouts - these can be mine after she passes.
Some day I will finish cleaning out Dad's shop. We have the basic building cleared out of old milk jugs and coffee cans, etc. (since Mom lets us store our jetskis and boat related stuff in there, but the rafters are still full of important things like the boxes from the Kirby sweeper purchased in the 1960s, steel lettering from a school building that was torn down in the 1970s, foam mattresses he made in the early 1970s when trying to turn the back of a pickup truck with a topper into a "camper" (Mom didn't go for that for some reason), and lots of various pieces of pine trim and plywood scrap.
Dave Hall
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My heart goes out to you and I hope the funeral was grand. That's why you need to make arrangements like I did with the city dump. I take out a load or two to the special spot that I have reserved - in case I need something back. Unfortunately, by the time I get back the whole landscape is changed and the reference stick I left behind to pace out the spot is long buried. Fortunately, I now have only the finest junk left at home.
And yes, we do have the school stuff all the way to kindergarten for both my kids. They're 31 and 27 years old.
And yes, it is hereditary but mostly it's a disease. I caught it from my wife.
Pete
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On 24/02/2006 11:06 AM, Zz Yzx wrote:

Most of the people I know who, like me, are old enough to have parents who lived through the Great Depression, are packrats of some form. Our parents *had* to save junk because new stuff was non-existent for most of them.
My Dad was a used nail and screw collector. He had a special anvil and hammer that he used to straighten out the bent nails. When he died, I gave his entire collection, including the old empty paint cans holding it, and the hammer and anvil, to the local Mennonite salvage place. Those nails are probably holding up local barns now. I like to imagine the screws are part of fine furniture somewhere. Every once in a while I go visit the anvil and it's new owners.
My own collection is somewhat more modest, but my own daughters give me the gears about it from time to time, especially when I tell 'em that's all that's in the will :-)
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Yeah. That fits.
Dad made a compressor to run his air tools out of a refirgerator pump, an old beer keg, and salvaged hardware and fittings. He turned the refrigerator box (the old kind, made of metal with white enamel coating and the old handle that locked) into a smoker. He'd build the fire in the bottom where the pump used to be, load the racks with albacore he'd caught, and smoke away. He made a disk sander out of an old washer machine motor.
And he sharpened his chisels using the free-hand scary-sharp method (progressive wet-dry sandpaper stuck on his table saw table) back when I was just a kid (c. 1965).
-Zz
On Fri, 24 Feb 2006 12:39:59 -0500, Doug Payne

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wrote:

I KNOW it is hereditary! My dad's garage/shop was always stacked to the ceiling with stuff that might be useful some day. My garage/shop is stacked six feet high with stuff (I just haven't been at it as long). My daughters' places are a wreck with stuff places here and there that could be useful someday. John in SC
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Mark - no matter how much room you have you still never have enough. My 2 1/2 car garage is overflowing too. Seems I can get things organized but by the time I complete a project its a mess. I need to spend a few hours before every new project cleaning out the junk that acumulated since the last project. My cut-off bin is overflowing. I know there is a lot of trash in there but who knows when I may want something. Yea, I know, clean up during and after each project. What fun is that?
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Fri, Feb 24, 2006, 3:38pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@newsgroup.nospam (MarkJerde) doth shamefully admit: <snip> I went through many of the plastic see-though boxes on shelves in the shop, THROWING AWAY some things to make room for the more important things cluttering the table saw, router table, etc. That PVC plumbing "tee" with part of the lip cut out could have been used on some jig or project someday I'm sure, but out it went. So did some hardware from the sofa I disassembled for the wood. <snip>
No, no, no. Stuff like that, you don't save like that. What you do is you get one of those 5 gallon plastic buckets, like spackle comes in. Any odd stuff, you toss in the bucket. The "important" stuff ou keep in the clear plastic boxes, stuff you actually use. Then when you think you need something from the bucket, you just dump it out into a tray, or on a flat surface, so you can sift thru, then just sweep the rest back in the bucket, and stick the bucket back out of the way somewhere. Beats the Hell out of trying to find the specific place you put that interesting little whatever. Not only that, you can cut a couple of plywood discs, pad them, and viola, you've made a short seat out of the bucket too.
JOAT If you have something to say, raise your hand. Then shove it in your mouth.
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J T wrote:

Don't know where I'd put (another) bucket. Wait, there might be some space over near the hollow core door I snagged from the neighbor's trash and the folded up drafting table my son didn't want in his room anymore. On second thought, that's where I put the kerosene heater after we got power after the last storm.... ;-)
-- Mark
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If you can fit everything into one 5 gallon bucket you don't have a problem in the first place.
J T wrote:

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Fri, Feb 24, 2006, 11:25am (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@shout.net (MikeBerger) doth claim: If you can fit everything into one 5 gallon bucket you don't have a problem in the first place.
I've got a small, one-bucket size, shop.
JOAT If you have something to say, raise your hand. Then shove it in your mouth.
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