It seems that my ISP does not allow posting to groups only downloading
so I am using google post! (sorry if this becomes a duplicate posting)
After becoming totally frustruated at my workshop I have decided to
down and get the place organized. OK how about sharing your tips and
methods for keeping such things as your hand power tools, their
organized. How do you keep such items as nails, screws and other
sorted and redably available. Also how do you keep small items shuch
screw bits and such orderly.
I would like to have input on what has worked and what has failed.
Right now I have two locations for my tools one is in the upper
my barn where my big power tools are located, tablesaw, Joiner, RAS
located. the other tools tend to "float" between my bacement the barn.
barn is unheated so this time of year I don't use it as much as the
bacement. One of the ways I have tried (unscucessfully) was to put the
in toolboxes labled with the function of tools (general, electrical,
plumbing ...) So what has worked for you and what hasn't?
I have one of those roll around tool boxes with 7 drawers that I keep all of
my handtools in.
I have a solution for drill bits and screw bits ect. I bought one of those
fishing tackle boxes that are clear plastic. You know, they are about
2"deep and 12"x18" approx. with a lid that flips open It has several
compartments for different types of bits and drivers. I have another one of
these for misc. screws, bolts, washers etc.
I've tried any number of ways to accomplish the task till I finally found
one that took the worry out and works for me. It was quite simple actually.
All I did was admit that at no time during the life of a project could I
keep the shop from looking like a localized tornado ran through it. From
there the solution was obvious, I organized the chaos. I mentally divided
the shop into areas for types of clutter. Scrap wood gets tossed to the
right of the table saw, the odd screw, nail, and other hardware gets kicked
under the table saw, Misc. tools go in a rolling cart I keep around, usually
piled high with everything from chisels to hand power tools, etc.
Now, while the shop still looks like a war zone, I at least have a general
area to go too and sift through for what ever I need.
Good luck in the quest but I fear that you will eventually have to face up
to your addiction. Oh sure, like the majority of the rest of us you will
start out with good intentions. You'll enter your pristine shop with a pure
heart and the gleam of a convert in your eyes. But it will just be a matter
of time before that first cut off falls off behind the table saw and you let
it go because you are too preoccupied with the task at hand, or the open box
of brads falls to the floor, or you pull the drained battery on you cordless
drill, put in the new one, then put the drained one down in some convenient
spot you'll immediately forget about, or, ,,,,, well, you get the picture.
You'll always be on the verge of that slippery slope and it will be only a
short time before you fall back to the level of us lesser mortals.
Universal phenomenon? Works the same around here, except that I think I may be
a bit mreo stubborn than you, so I look at least 10 minutes.
"There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in
America." William J. Clinton
how to keep little stuff sorted?? I don't. <g> I buy more after spending
a few moments looking in vain for the right [fill in the blank]. Home
Depot is only 4 blocks away and I can be in and out of there quicker
than I can find stuff that I know I have but can't seem to locate until
AFTER I come home with duplicates. As long as screws came in a box, I
do ok by just keeping the boxes in a couple of drawers under the bench,
and loose screws end up hardly getting used; those are the ones that I
end up buying more of, as often as not.
screw bits? some are located at the back of my bench, stuck in their
respective holes drilled into a piece of 1 1/2 ply. the rest are placed
in a shallow drawer, laid out on a piece of duct tape that is secured to
the bottom, near the front of the drawer. keeps 'em spread out for easy
identification. beats throwing them all together in a container.
I remember where each tool is MOST of the time so I don't use labels.
Having two work areas like yourself would frustrate me because there is
a cosmic law that states something along the lines that, "the tool you
need NOW is located in the other work area".
I like drawers, so I made a 2 drawer cabinet for under my table saw.
Six big drawers in my bench. I have 2 roll cabs, one tool chest, 2
metal tool cabinets are tucked under my bench, each have 4 shallow
drawers and one DEEP drawer. Then I made 5 wall cabinets with doors to
keep stuff out of sight, but close by. There are drawers in my router
table, a big compartment under my planer stand. Every tool has it's
If you aren't organized, think about adding more storage such as drawers
and cabinets. When I started out about 2 years ago, I started with only
the 2 rolls cabs, tool chest, and 2 metal cabinets. Each day in the
shop elicited a pledge to build LOTS of storage and I did. Now I can
concentrate on building furniture and other odds and ends.
On 3 Mar 2004 13:37:23 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (dhmeiser) wrote:
The tablesaw is the center of the shop. All of the blades and jigs
pertaining to its use are stored in a roll around base cabinet that
butts up to the tablesaw and doubles as an outfeed surface.
The rest of the shop has workstation wall cabinets. There's a shaper
wall unit for cutters that also holds the routers and their bits.
There's a sanding wall unit that holds the sanders and the paper and
belts that they need.
There's a drilling wall cabinet that holds the drills and bits and
fixtures pertinent to drilling.
There's a hand tool cabinet that holds planes and scrapers and such.
There's a base unit that's divided into sections that holds electrical
tools, plumbing tools, drywall and masonry tools, etc. In another
section of this base unit I store the bench top drill press, lunch box
planer, bench top mortising machine, and their appurtences.
I've a Kennedy roll around that holds chisels, wrenches, screwdrivers,
measuring tools, etc.
Big things hang on the walls. Every wall of my shop is covered in
pegboard. I hang levels, straightedges, shovels, hammers, pry bars,
There is an entire area devoted to finishing tools and supplies.
There is another area devoted to hardware and this has metal shelving
that holds boxes that separate the hardware into screws, nails, nuts
and bolts, glue, various adhesives, etc.
There is a rolling clamp rack that holds every clamp that I own.
There is another rolling rack that holds sheet goods.
Short stock that is too good to be thrown out is stored in plastic 55
gallon drums (with cut off tops - available for about ten bucks
apiece) that sit on roll arounds.
All of the major tools are on roll arounds so that they can be stored
out of the way but brought into play as needed.
From the ceiling I hang air tool hoses, extension cords, and odd
lengths of wire and rope.
All the long lengths of wood are stored beneath the shop in racks.
If the Unisaw is the center of the shop, the workbench is the heart of
In a cabinet above the workbench I keep things like moisture meters,
humidity meters, delicate measuring devices - and a bottle of
The key to having an organized shop is to have a place for everything
- and put the stuff back where it belongs every morning.
That's a low impact way to start your day and think about the work
And don't get into that Tullamore Dew too early in the day.
The shop will surely be a mess.
Thomas J. Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.)
(Real Email is tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet)
I tend to keep small stuff in those metal parts bins with 40 - 60 plastic
drawers. One drawer will hold 100 #8 2.5 inch screws easily. After that
it goes downhill. I have a number of tool boxes around that hold various
Tom you sound organized I hate people like that :-)
On a lighter note I did manage to pick up $400 worth of oak and walnut
boards at $3 / bd ft. It all was 1" thick except for 2, 10 ft oak boards
which were 2" thick and a foot wide and they were charged as if they were 1"
thick. The total was actually $396 but since those two boards were thicker
he rounded it up to $400. I noticed a couple more like that but was running
low on cash so will pick them up next time. Stuff has all been cut and
stored in a shed for 10 years. Same guy who sold me the wood has a son with
a pig farm and they come and pick up the sawdust and shavings for bedding so
I don't even have to worry about getting rid of that.
My garage is a complete mess and it drives SWMBO crazy but by far the
best thing I ever did was build a work bench with lumber storage.
Definitely got rid of the big spider habitat I had in the corner of
the garage. Looking at the work bench from the side it looks like
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Lumber goes in the 3 slots under the bench area and sheet goods go in
the tall section in the back. I also has lots of peg board space on
both front surfaces. It's also on wheels to make it mobile but it's
way too heavy and I've never actually moved it. I believe the design
came out of some wood working mag a couple of years back but I don't
remember which one. This is the best thing I ever did to my shop!
dhmeiser1ahoo.com (dhmeiser) wrote in message
After having a new to us house with a basement for a year, I had
managed to just about completely have a disaster zone in it for a
workshop. My wife being blessed with orzanizational skills helped get
it straight before my new table saw came (it had to have a nice home
I had 3 sets of shelves which were emptied and all like items placed
together (paint, cleaners, glues, etc.) the stuff I don't use much was
moved to the other side of the room to free up some space. I had a
set of metal wire bottom shelves in the garage that I moved to the
basement to put small power tools on (the wire bottom lets me leave
the blade or bit on the tool and it just sticks through) don't really
worry about dust getting on them since I don't clean them completely
between uses anyway. A set of enclosed shelves holds some of the
nicer and sharper tools and meters, etc. I have shelves since the
walls are block. The little sets of plastic drawers make a good home
for all of the screws and I try to keep the screws/nails that came in
boxes in the boxes so I can see what they are.
One pegboard is up in the middle of the room on the side of the
stairs, and it is full of all sorts of tools, squares, levels, the
stuff I use all the time. All the table saw stuff is around the saw.
I need to make a lumber storage rack, I have drawn a plan but have not
gotten the wood or time yet. It does make for faster projects and
home repairs after all of the organizaion. Good luck with yours.
For appropriate items (nails, deck screws etc) I have coffee cans in 1x5
shelves spaced just higher than a standard cofee can. The next shelf
functions as a lid to keep most dust out. The cans are painted colors and
numbered. All green cans are sheetrock or deck screws, yellow cans are
finish nails etc. The numbers on the cans are nothing more than a sequence
number... they can be a size if you want ... but after a while you just
remember that 2" deck scres are in can number 4 and if the number is higher
the size is bigger.
There is also a mental/discipline aspect to organizing.
I recently reduced clutter by going from one end of the shop to the other
and packing away "someplace" all the piles of supplies or tools that did not
have a "proper home". This tool several hours. Mentally I had to get over
"waiting to build an optimal storage system" for everything. I have found
that a so-so strorage system for all items is way better than none at all.
For the past 2 months I have really tried to be disciplined about putting
things away and sweeping up and it have made working in the shop much more
Oh how I too have fought this problem. There are some things that have
helped. I've always had plenty of pegboard up, but it wasn't till I setup
some "Zones" that made sense did it start working. i.e. I have a
"measuring zone" that has all my rules, squares & levels. My "clamp
zone" has all my clamps regardless of type, "drill zone"... you get the
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