My Small Shop Tips, Tricks and Jigs #2: Workshop/Time-Efficiency: Where is it?

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Ryan Bruzan posted 02-12-2011 03:50 AM 2555 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Make a Crosscut Jig (for circular saw) Part 2 of My Small Shop Tips, Tricks and Jigs series Part 3: Home-Based Shop Realities and Considerations »

This is a really quick primer: NOT. Time efficiency is an important part of anything we do. Your success WILL BE determined by the time you have to spend looking for sh—, I mean, stuff. This is true not only for your own progress, but even more importantly when working with another person, or team or crew or group or whatever. Everything must have a place. Where is your time spent? Let me share some of my success in the workshop with you.

When I have a place for everything it is easier to stay focused on the tasks. Ease of consistent access to common tools and supplies, such as drills, bits, screws, sandpaper, pencils and notebooks, etc. is primary; those are items used on a regular basis: ALWAYS .

Second, not so common but often used items like jigs, extension supports or routers should also be easily accessible yet have a home away from the working area, not on the table, in the walkways, etc. When using vertical space, small custom-made racks, shelves or cabinets need not be enormous in size, but must be able to bear the size and the weight of the items to be placed upon them. You will, in time, upgrade your working environment. There is nothing like that personal touch!

Everyone, including me, gets the best my team and I can deliver. Being organized allows us to perform at such high standards and being able to perform like that is awesome.

Utilizing your space for more than one process at a time is also to be of focus. Constructing large cabinets hogs up an exorbitant amount of useable cubic feet. It is imperative that we keep our “Finished Worx Department” away from our unfinished processes…

Short and sweet, those are just a couple of the working characteristics of our workshop. I was going to include a few photos with this report, but I decided to just let you use your own imagination for your own operation. Yours will be yours, not mine. We don’t try to work with what we need; it’s not there. We work with what we have; it is all ready for adaptation and active use.

My goal is to assure that any project will flow more easily than what it would have if just initiated with wing it with everything scattered about.

Ryan Bruzan

Original Post

-- No matter how many factors go into thinking about a project, there is always one important new discovery to be made.

6 comments so far

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 2791 days

#1 posted 02-12-2011 05:06 AM

My Dad always said” A place for everything and everything needs in its place”. Unfortunately for me only about 1/2 of my tools have a place where they belong. I know I’ve spent five minutes looking for something that I knew I had just seen, piled somewhere, a few minutes before that. Getting organized is time and/or money that is well spent.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View Ryan Bruzan's profile

Ryan Bruzan

153 posts in 2918 days

#2 posted 02-12-2011 05:44 AM


-- No matter how many factors go into thinking about a project, there is always one important new discovery to be made.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3138 days

#3 posted 02-12-2011 02:52 PM

talk about wasting time when the tools donĀ“t have a place
the last two and half years my tools have been in movingboxes
do to we have our house on the market to be sold
and the tools never seems to come back in the right box either
so now I can spent several hours to find the right tool…
talk about frustration when it takes days just to start a little DIY project

take care

View Bob42's profile


456 posts in 3813 days

#4 posted 02-13-2011 03:15 AM

I couldn’t agree more. Working in my one car garage is very tight. I am in or was in the process of remodeling it and had just installed a sub panel and wired half of the shop when the ice storm hit. Now i am gutting my living room because we had a severe leak (flood). So the shop has to wait again. It makes time in the shop more enjoyable and things get made quicker when it’s orderly and I might add clean. Good post!! Thanks.

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3231 days

#5 posted 02-13-2011 04:07 AM

Great advice! I imagine your organization system also goes a long way toward reducing stress—another very important ingredient to a successful business. My little shop is currently a disorganized disaster area with more stuff than places for it to belong. I am building drawers and cabinets to try to contain it all, but I wonder sometimes if I will ever get it under control. Still, as a hobbyist, I spend my most relaxing hours in my shop, even if it is just cleaning up the latest mess I’ve created.

P.S. I watched your Arts & Crafts door video and picked up a neat tip… using spray adhesive as a temporary hold small parts. Thanks!! :)

View Ryan Bruzan's profile

Ryan Bruzan

153 posts in 2918 days

#6 posted 04-24-2011 04:56 AM

Just passing by to reread this post. I’ve come a long way since sharing this. My shop revolves around constant evolution. You know what I mean, don’t you? Before, during or after a project, we always think of news ideas for the shop. Less cords, more plugs, add a light, build a new cabinet, add vertical storage space, etc… But of all the ideas that pass through our cranial cavities, which shop improvement projects have we done recently?

-- No matter how many factors go into thinking about a project, there is always one important new discovery to be made.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics