Hello fellow LJs and visitors,
I am a fairly new member here on the Lumberjocks website and have so far only managed to post one project (the one that got me into this woodworking ‘mess’). I have done quite a few other small projects (which I may post in due time), but there has been one thing throughout all of my woodworking ‘life’ (about a year by now) which has been bothering me and constantly hampering my progress on any project: a messy, disorganized workshop!
Want to know what I mean by that? Let me first begin by giving a little bit of background on what I have for shop space. I have a tandem 2-car garage, about 12’x30’ give-or-take. Half of this is taken up by the car and some shelving for general ‘house storage’. That means I get maybe a 12’x15’-ish area for my shop. I’m not complaining, I feel that this could be quite a bit of space if things are set up right, but when it looks like the following photos, it can become very tedious to navigate from one area to another. Let’s take a look:
This is a photo taken from the car’s parking spot. My ‘kingdom’ extends from the storage racks at the back to the near end of the workbench to the right. Some issues right off the bat:
1. It’s a mess!
Does this need an explaination? There are gadgets, doodads, whatzits and thingamabobs strewn over every surface. Here’s a better photo showing the state of my large 2.5’x8’ workbench:
And here’s another of my central 2’x4’ workbench:
This is really frustrating because I end up playing a game of musical benches with them when I want to try and get work done. I have not drawers, cupboards or shelves to store any of it. This is not only frustrating, but has a propensity to lead to unsafe working habits. This needs to be fixed.
2. There are large pieces of lumber in the way.
If you look in the back left area, you will see some big pieces of lumber. These are some scores I got off of a woodworker in my area who is retiring (I got some nice pieces of Wenge, Jatoba, Maple, Imbuia, Lyptus, Cherry and Oak for the curious ;). It doesn’t look so bad from this view, but check out these photos:
As you can see, I also have a multitude of other miscellaneous scraps both on and off camera. These bits and pieces of wood strewn about make it very annoying to go from one place to another in this shop. Thus another necessity: lumber storage. I plan to store the larger pieces on shelves high up on the walls somewhere so it’s out of the way.
3. There’s stuff on the floor!
Here’s an example of what kind of stuff:
These are jigs and sleds that just don’t fit anywhere else. When this kind of stuff is littered about it not only causes a tripping hazard but it makes it so hard to clean up all of the sawdust after a day’s (read: a few hours’, if you’re a hobbyist like me) work. By the way, that clamp rack is now only holding somewhere around 1/2 of my clamps, so that will need to be dealt with as well.
So overall this probably sounds like I’m complaining about what I have for a workshop space, but this is not true, I can assure you. I recognize that I am blessed to have this space and to be in a position that allows me to pursue this awesome hobby! Rather, the purpose of this series, for me anyways, is to get motivated to shape things up so that I can better enjoy woodworking in a cleaner and safer environment. The reason I am writing about this journey is twofold: 1) I recognize that there are hundreds of skilled members with great ideas on this website and 2) I have several friends and family who are always interested in what I am up to. I do also have an external blog on Blogspot (www.cut-glue-sand.blogspot.ca), but I reserve that for my actual woodworking projects. I update it about once a month or so, but may be able to increase that frequency when I get my shop cleaned up (feel free to visit if you’re interested).
As this post has already gotten quite wordy, I think I will end it here for now. In my next post I will talk about how I plan to tackle this huge project and will hopefully have some diagrams (assuming my SketchUp skills allow for it). Hopefully I’ll also be able to get some clever ideas from the audience!
Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your comments,
-- Jeffrey S. Ovens, Canada