I just finished a project and was cleaning up the shop, moving stuff around to
get at all the sawdust, putting tools back, etc. I was musing about changes
I've made to my workshop over the years, thinking about the successes and the
failures. Here's what I came up with for my best three:
1) Compressed air from an overhead, retractable reel. How the heck did I get
through the early years without this? I leave my portable compressor hooked up
via quick disconnect to a feed line for the overhead reel. I can disconnect
and roll out quickly if I need the compressor in the yard, garage, or at a
neighbor's. The reel also has a quick disconnect, stuffed with a blowgun when
not using any other air tools. This setup is great for woodworking, but the
air gets used for all kinds of other tasks, too.
2) Stopped overcrowding the shop with machines. For years, my semi-portable
power tools were set up and ready to work. Visions of moving from station to
station with effortless efficiency. I thought it made projects go faster. The
opposite is true. As I run low on space, the shop gets messy and projects
begin to crawl. Now I take out the miter saw, belt/disk sander, scroll saw,
etc. only when needed. The rest of the time, I enjoy the free space around the
bigger machines. The shop stays much cleaner.
3) Rolling tool chest. You know, the mechanic's type. Just a low end,
stacking unit from Lowes. Measuring tools, wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers,
drill bits, etc, stay organized and dust free, and I can wheel the thing around
if needed. My pegboarding of all this stuff never stayed organized. Somehow,
I manage to keep it neat in the rolling cabinet.
What are your best three easy imrpovements?
I installed a retractable reel about a week ago but will be relocating
it from near the compressor to nearly the center of the shop, because
there is only about 21' feet of hose which gets caught up on the TS and
other equipment when I drag it over to the workbench on the wall
opposite the reel.
Five wall cabinets to hold and hide lots of stuff! Plus keep most of
the dust off those items.
An overhead retractable 110V cord with a 3-outlet molded plug.
Can I give more than three? Here goes:
painted the walls semi-gloss white.
Lot's of light: 11 4 foot fluorescents in a two car "studio" <g>
Weather striped the door to stop drafts; the shop is much warmer in the
winter because of that one improvement.
Just added a TV last week to supplement the CD player, cassette
What I'd like to have but won't (do to one thing or another)
1. Utility basin
2. A John
3. more R-O-O-M
4. higher ceiling
5. wood floor
Rich Stern wrote:
sears, for $29.95 on sale. same exact model that a favorite mail order
company of the Wreckers sells for $54.50.
Hint: it's a Canadian company
Hint number 2: The item is on page 222 of the 2003-2004 catalog.
Wood floors are easier on the feet and legs. It does not seem like much,
but there is a big difference. New floors are not always practilal, but
rubber mats whee yo stand the ost are a big help. Two or thee are a "must"
in a good shop. In front of the bench, in front of the sander, the band
saw, the table saw. --
You are asking this is a wood news group?
Seriously, concrete is hard on the bones & cold. Got mats from CostCo.
Really like them but hard to sweep up; so's I don't. Except
If you afford it, go with wood floors.
I'd really, really, like to reorganize my shop for better efficency. Its
the basement, divided into 3 areas currently. One corner was a
darkroom/laundry area. No darkroom now, and I plan to make the laundry
area smaller to enclosed the washer/dryer/tub acessible by bifold doors.
There is a dividing wall along the middle of the basement, running
alongside furnace and hot water heater. On my "shop" side (dirty side),
I cram a workbench, a tool cabinet, table saw, band saw, drill press,
and soon, a jointer. The table saw is on wheels. The Band saw and drill
press will soon be. The jointer will be too. On the floor under
shelving, I have my planer, drill doctor case, plate joiner case, a
small electric heater, shop vac, a model plane in progress, and a couple
of small rubbermaid tubs. On the other side of the shop around the
furnace, I have 3 rubber maid "wrap and store" containers for my model
airplane cover, a 6' high wheeled rack for model airplane wood sheets, a
roll around upright rack for model airplane wood sticks, a couple of
boxes of stuff, some rolls a of naughahyde, and lots of wood leaning
against the water heater. Plus a rolling toobox and air compressor.
The other half of the basement (which has the laundry corner), I have a
4x8 table intended for building parts of my full size plane when I get
to it. One wall holds model airplanes. Another wall is taken up by steel
shelving, the 3rd wall has shelving, my reloading bench, a gun safe, and
a plastic desk holding my miscellanous hunting stuff (clothes, cases,
etc). Next to the laundry corner are 2 plastic shelving units, a half
size metal shelf, basement dehumidifier, and miscellanous stuff.
So yeah, things are tight.
And no, I don't have a garage!
I need storage! agh!
wood is the preferred floor for several reasons:
1. drop a chisel, tip down, onto a concrete floor. what do you get? a
damaged tool. drop it on wood instead. what do you get? satisfaction!
2. easier on the feet and legs.
3. a bit warmer than a concrete slab.
That's all that comes to mind at the moment. I'm sure others will chime in.
Puff Griffis wrote:
I have been following this thread with some interest and note that no one
has listed a dust collector or dust collection system among the top 3. I
have been considering adding one to my shop and now I wonder if it is really
a significant improvement.
It's a big improvement, but for many of us it wasn't easy. Doing my
DC installl was a long slog for me. So I didn't think installing a
DC really fit the question posed by the OP.
YES. If you have or plan to get a planer you NEED one. They make a lot of
chips. Saves me a lot of cleanup at the saw also as it get 90%+ of the
dust. It is not very efficent for the bandsaw and I still have to hook it
in to the sander.
I did not post to this thread so now that I did, insulation and white walls
is a big help also.
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