Tales of the unkept shop...

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I was doing something in the shop yesterday and I needed some bench room. I ended up cranking the blade on my table saw all the way down into the table in order to find some place free of stuff.
Sometimes I wonder why I have a workbench. It stays piled up with tools, scraps, rags, bits of steel wool. I clean and organize my shop at least once every couple of years, but then everything gradually returns to my usual state of disarray. I use things, then throw them on the workbench. Tools that leave the shop don't always make it back, and I have another pile of stuff in a box in the den that I've been meaning to take out and put up for six months or more.
I learned this from Dad I guess. At least I can eventaully *find* my tools. His just disappear forever. I've bought him several sets of wrenches and screwdrivers over the years, and when I go to find one of them, all his toolboxes are empty except for the odd sized stuff, and there's nothing hanging on his pegboard except an ancient, rusty handsaw and a baby food jar with a few odd screws in it.
I guess I'm looking for someone else to say "me too" so I don't have to feel like I'm all alone in the world.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net says...

Feh. When your shop is so dark and cluttered and filthy that everybody, including yourself, is actually afraid to go in there (especially at night) then you know you've hit rock bottom.
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Sounds like mine. I have to dig for tools. I'm building new kitchen cabinets so I took one of the old ones and stuck it on the wall above my workbench. Now I can reach up and verify a measurement and toss blades and clamps and pencils and stuff up there and close the door real fast before stuff falls out :)

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Me wrote:

I'd probably do the same but it's one of those custom-built shops where anybody who's taller than I am smacks his head on my lights. No room for cabinets.
I'll have to figure out what to do with some cabinets eventually though. One of these days I need to do what you're doing. Don't know what I'll do with the old ones, but I won't throw them away. I have a real problem throwing things away that could conceivably be useful some day.
I've already decided that when my kids leave home, we're taking the largest of the two bedrooms and making a closet out of it. :)
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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tools.
feel
It depends on what I'm working on. Lately I've been refinishing a bedroom set, so the bench is cluttered with every scraper, brush, sander and related tool in the house. If I'm building something I keep it pretty clean. A place for everything and everything in its place, etc., etc. -- Ernie
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LOL! And why do we hang on to every piece, no matter how small? I miss my workshop wood stove, which ate them for me and kept the place warm. -- Ernie
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a
My local council (what is the Merkin term for them? City Hall?) is about to bring in a ban on new wood stoves - still, I can just do something else over the two weeks of winter.
Mekon
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"Don't put it down, put it away" It works all the time......
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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net says...

Hah. Around here, it's...
Don't put it down, throw it toward the far corner.
...and that goes for EVERYTHING. Tools, half-full cans of paint, dead animals, you name it. The place is a total shit hole. Few go there during the day, and nobody, not even the dog, goes in there at night. You open the door at night and peer inside, and you can sometimes see eyes glowing in a distant corner or under the workbench. Seriously. It's pretty goddamn creepy.
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tiny
cuts
I don't buy lumber- I get it all "pre-used", or as scrap from a cabinet shop. I always have lots of ply and mdf scraps for building jigs or prototypes, and more oak and maple than I can find to time to work, with a smattering of other wood types. Almost all of the pine I use is discarded waterbed sides (often surprisingly good lumber). In fact, today I'm on vacation and planning to begin work on a new deck-style porch built almost entirely from old waterbeds. Oughtta be fun :)
Steve
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My problem is that I keep buying additional tools at sales. I use pegboad, but I use shipping tags covered with clear plastic with the names of the tools on them. That way I know what is missing, and if I need someone to get something, they will instantly know if they got the right tool.
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cuz you just *know* you're gonna need them sooner or later! LOL!
Jim
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Sometimes keep a tool on the workbench all day, but everything goes back to its place at the end of the day. The schedule goes something like this: tools away, scraps to the trash, vacuum sawdust and shavings, blow off dust and myself, and usable lumber to the rack. Therein lies my problem -- nearly every piece of lumber is potentially useable. It gets out of hand at times. High school art students get scraps of exotics for jewelry projects. Knife builder neighbor gets larger pieces. Pen/pencil maker stops by from time to time. In between, they overflow my shelf of little pieces of rosewood, wenge, padauk, zebrano, bubinga, etc. But I'm a compulsive cleaner. Sometimes clean the shop several times during the day. "Cup of coffee? Sure. Wait a second while I clean up." harrym

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back
this:
dust
at
projects.
Dare we say "anal"?(LOL) Nahmie
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hand
from
times
up."
Oops! Hit send too quick! Right now my tablesaw is serving as a platform for the Skil 12" 3 wheel bandsaw(hey, it was a gift!), because the bench has the resident unfinished project, the "work table" (4' x 4' 3/4" ply on saw horses) seems to have suffered an explosion in a sanding factory(gotta put all that away). Current workspace is the front porch because it's too hot & muggy in the basement, & not enough room for the steps I'm building for SisIL. Now SWMBO tells me we probably have company coming next May, so it's time to forget ww'ing and finish renovation of upstairs bathroom & bedrooms. Let's see now, the last time I saw that big "C-clamp", it was on the shelf under the Shop-Smith, *right*? Nahmie
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wrote:

Sounds like fun to me - I don't have a shop, and there's no chance I'll get one, everything lives on shelving in a cupboard and I have to break down the gear and clean up every day no matter what!
The bit that's really strange is that I save more or less all the bits of offcut wood too - now that's nuts in my position, but it still makes as much sense as when the rest of you do it! ;O)
I spent about 47 years more or less avoiding wood on the grounds that it was pretty tricky stuff to deal with, and always changed size when your back was turned, and this made getting two bits the same size something I'd sometimes dream about. About 6 months back this all changed, I hung up my mouse (3d Model maker) and started enjoying myself with wood - I figure I got abducted by termites or carpenter wasps or something - I don't even understand the lust for more wood to play with; Sure having fun though!
First real "project" was a hole in the wall where the plumber had to have access for repairs, and it seemed to me that it might be better if there were a door there, over a week or two the plan emerged and I have made last week 2 doors and a sort of home brew hinge plate arrangement on either side of them, and I am still amazed that it's my fault.
I made one concession though, I used my 3d model making ability to make them in the virtual world first. This meant I had plans to work from and more important, dimensions! In virtual world they took about 3 minutes, but in real world about 3 days! I hope that will improve as I get used to what everything does and how it does it better!
I'm getting clamps and things as I need them and as budget will allow. I don't want to win the lottery I just want to win a barn full of seasoned timber! ;O)
Having a blast!
Take Care, Gnube
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Gnube writes:

Wish I had decent CAD or modeling skills. I try and it spits in my eye, because I don't have time to keep what I gain...seems like those times I back of for a few weeks, I forget 101% of what I learned. Then, it's start from a little behind scratch.
If you win a barn full of wood, you'll need a second barn full of tools to work it.
I built a 32' long set of base cabinets in my VA shop. It took something under 3 weeks for me to again be unable to find things, and to find space where I could lay out project parts. When I get back, there's another wall with 32' of space--guess what that will get? And guess how long before it's buried, too.
Charlie Self
I think we agree, the past is over. George W. Bush
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On 14 Jul 2003 13:19:04 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.combleah (Charlie Self) wrote:

See I may be green, but my way already sounds way more interesting than winning silly old money don't it?! ;O)
I reckon by the time I've remade it THAT many times I'll need another barn full for project two! ;O)
Take Care, Gnube
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On 14 Jul 2003 13:19:04 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.combleah (Charlie Self) wrote:

Well I'd class myself as little more than a newbie with that, and the first ten years were definitely the worst! ;O)
Sold a few models down the years and had my stuff wind up in one or two fairly famous media type places - I never did quite feel quite right with it all in the end though. It felt like someone else was doing and enjoying the things I made, it felt like I just did the grind and meeting deadlines stuff the whole time - I love it that now I get to hold what I just made in my hands and can turn it round and see it glint or sheen now and again without using a mouse to idly twirl it like that!
I'm really glad that I shelled out for the machines & software over the years, and kept them once I was done with it all, as for an individual's use it is just so wonderfully over the top for designing wooden things, but makes it easier for me to make things by using that part of my toolkit for what is more or less roughing out, I get to see if I'd like it when it's finished and if not change the bits that bug me - like a spread sheet does really!
Just about worth persevering with I'd say. Only just though, as it's a lot of work to get really cozy with it all! Good modeling software is the key element, and there's even some free stuff about the net if you look about. A renderer is of limited use in this role. Using modeling software as opposed to flat out CAD is often way, way easier - I get lost in CAD packs despite being sort of used to them. GMAX is free, but has a pretty horrid interface in my opinion. Some say it's better once you get used to it - but I never got used to it! ;O)
Sorry, I rambled (must be the result of standing on firmer ground!)
Take Care, Gnube I don't want to win the lottery I just want to win a barn full of seasoned timber! ;O)
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Now, there's a nifty tagline!
Steve
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