What would you do if you had a week off of work, a cluttered workshop that is preventing any work, and not enough storage? Well, I didn’t use the full week but I had about 4 full days of shop time :) so I started on a big project to reorganize my garage. When I set up my shop initially 1.5 years ago, I didn’t really know what kind of work I would want to be doing, nor did I know how I would be moving around it. After using it for over a year I have found areas that could use big improvements for work efficiency and cleanliness. I decided to act on it. I still have more to do over the next week but all thats left now is cleanup and reorganization.
So here is what I did this past week using mainly scraps…..
1. Built drawers for my lathe table to help with storage of lathe accessories, although I still need to get full extension drawer slides for it and attach the drawer fronts. Yes, these drawers are 3/4” thick all the way around. Its what I had on hand and didn’t want to plane anything.
2. Built a lathe chisel holder for my lathe table as well. I didn’t want to have to reach down everytime I changed chisels. This accessory was part of the lathe stand plan from plansnow.com
Whats nice about this design is it sits flush against the table when not in use and swings out and locks in place(with an extra hex bolt acting as a pin).
3. Decided to redo my router table. It was basically a masonite shelf on flimsy plastic saw horses. You couldn’t move it easily and it sprayed dust everywhere when using. The router table top was also a mess since I screwed up a few of the grooves so it wasn’t completely flat. Here is the old table….
And here is the new table and top :) The sides are 3/4” baltic birch and the top is 3/4” MDF glued to 3/4” particleboard. I still need to add trim to the top as well. I also purchased a switch to use from the outside. I then realized I could have saved myself $30 by buying a light switch and wiring it myself….oh well, next time…
I also decided I didn’t like taking up an entire shelf on my workbench cabinet with router bits thrown everywhere, so I made bit holders too.
I then moved my laminate router, finish and ROS sanders, and plunge attachment into the bottom. This cleared out a very large shelf right over my workbench :)
4. Finally, as the first step in clearing out all the clutter, I had to build some scrap wood storage. For pieces longer than 16” I can put them on my wall rack, but for all the cutoff scrap it was just laying on the ground all over the place:
So I made this wall storage. I still need to add shelves to it. And I am not at all proud of the workmanship in it though. You know the saying “measure twice, cut once”, well I didn’t make a single measurement or cut lol. I just took scraps of shop plywood that were close in size I had laying around and was trying to find uses for and screwed the whole thing together.
It’s something you would see Homer building on The Simpsons. I didn’t care though, its sole purpose was to hold scraps, but I can’t help but laugh everytime I see it. The sides are 1/2” difference in depth, the top and bottom are not as deep as the middle shelf, the middle shelf actually goes out 1/4” past the top and bottom on the backside and isn’t square on the front, so when I attached the back to it, it didn’t sit flush. I screwed the hell out of it to hold it in place, but the top and bottom screws have a nice gap between the back. It really is shameful, but i was trying to get a lot done. You can’t see all the ugliness probably in this pic. I also still need to add two more shelves to it.
I was very happy I got all these projects finished this week, that was 90% of the goal. The other 10% was to clean up and reorganize most of my workshop/garage to make it easier to use and walk around in. Here is the mess I am dealing with….. I’ll post pics next week and update my workshop photos after the cleanup to compare:
A new garage vertical shelving unit i purchased will replace these two wide crappy short ones
And all this mess will be cleared and a new shop will exist next week :) allowing me to get back to fine woodworking projects and more pens and lathe work.
Happy new years!
-- - Eric Noblesville, IN