I was having a heck of a time coming up with something for hubby for
Christmas. He has about enough tools to rebuild Atlantis someday, along
with all the required hardware and most of the lumber. Hmmm, maybe it does
pay to listen. Listen to him complain ... where the *#@ is that _____ (fill
in any tool, nail, cord, etc). #@% , I never can find the right hammer when
I need it. Or, even, "I have to run to town to get some _____ nails (or
screws)" Now, this man is the front-runner in the "Whoever dies with
heaviest pile of unusable nails, screws, bolts, nuts... is the winner"
contest. I bite my lip often to avoid the urge to admonish and point out
that he already has at least 5 pounds of that particular nail or screw, if
he just knew where they were.
For background, I am one of those people that can pretty much find anything
that is in our living areas. I pretty much can remember where stuff is.
But only if I was the last one to touch it. Dave, on the other hand, has
trouble finding anything. He is always amazed that I can remember and find
something that we haven't used or needed for 4 years, and usually within
minutes, not days.
Our farm is pretty much the side of a hill. The addition we built was cut
into the hill and the garage is the ground level and the first floor is same
level as the rest of the living area. We did the addition totally by
ourselves. We couldn't do poured walls, so we did the concrete block walls
in the garage/basement. We used horizontal wire between every 3 row of
blocks. We also used additional blocks to form piers in the rear wall, this
wall is the one 'against' and 'holding' the hillside. This is the end for
Dave's workshop. 24' x 12'. We extended the concrete block by 8" (1/2) of
a block by 16" of block as 3 piers built into but extending out from the
wall for additional strength. Dave built small shelves, only 12" wide by 4"
deep onto the one section of wall. Then he hung shelf hangers on the other
end between the pier and the other sidewall. I put the shelves on. And
shelves above his radial arm saw and above his workbench. Then I had him
put in 2 shelves under the workbench.
I bought a bunch of plastic storage tubs. Not large, 9x12 and about 8"
deep. I labeled the tubs. Hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, files,
socket stuff, "plane, shave, scrape", cut, putty, measure, angles and
straights, etc. (can't remember any others). Then I labeled some of the
tubs for specific things, sandpaper, sandpaper rolls, saw guides, paper and
pamphlets, writing, fire lighting, lights, pneumatics, clean, oil, etc.
Then I emptied every darn thing that had tools and parts in it. And I put
them where they belong. Then I dumped out every coffee can, jar, tub,
bucket, etc. that had nails or stuff in it. And I separated that stuff.
Put all the lug type bolts, nuts, screws in one section of the small shelves
using jars, small plastic containers, baby food jars, etc. Did the same
with drywall/deck type screws. And with treated nails, screws and stuff.
And small bolts. small screws. nuts. washers. Then I gathered up every
hand tool I could find. All of these gatherings included both sheds, the
honey house, the outhouse, and both barns. There wasn't too much stuff in
the barns that belonged in the work area, but there were some. And I put
the tools into their cases and labeled the outside of the case with what was
in it. Then I labeled some larger tubs to hold some of the power tools that
had accessories. I put these cases and tubs on the larger shelves. I hung
hand saws and larger things on nails on the main beam down the center of the
workshop. I hung a pipe on the wall above the cabinet that I put the bench
sander and grinder on. I hung all of the telescoping and larger clamps on
I separated garden stuff, auto stuff, etc. Labeled tubs and separated them.
Like fuses, weedwhacker cord and parts, protection (ear, eye, hands), rags,
This christmas present took me about 3 weeks, full time, to do. But, honest
to heaven, the man hasn't had to ask me where something is since I finished
it. That was the week after Thanksgiving. And he actually puts stuff back
when he is done. Because everything has someplace to be.
I really think that that is the problem with messed up houses, garages,
sheds, desks, drawers, etc. We always put 'stuff' somewhere. We have to.
And if it doesn't have a homeplace, well, it becomes one of those 'where is
Dave loves his workshop. He actually can work at the bench or drill press
or table saw or etc. without having to rearrange the whole space.
And when we were doing the Christmas lights we didn't have to use 1/2 day
running around trying to find extension cords.
What did anyone else receive? Anything interesting that the rest of us can
think about for next year?
Thanks to all for all the help and info we have received here over the years
and wishes for all that your next year be nothing but better.