Garage Re-Do #1: Stopping The Madness

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Blog entry by MyOldGarage posted 01-26-2009 04:33 PM 1332 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Garage Re-Do series Part 2: The Before Pic (Caution: Graphic images -- LOL!) »

Where did I lay that down at? Oh yea . . . there’s the pencil. No wait . . . I was looking for the drill chuck . . . it was . . . wait . . . is it here? No . . . hmm . . . oh look, there’s that thing I was looking for last week. Now what was I looking for again? Oh yea . . . wow . . . this would be great for something else I was doing . . . it would just take a minute to do. (Four hours later) Now what was I doing again?

Yea . . . that’s my garage experience in a nut shell. I got a Shopsmith from my dad (that was my grandfather’s) and suddenly I joined the rank of “woodworker”. I’ve had a motley mix of projects in my garage from time to time . . . from car things, to bicycles, and now wood things. I have a welder and cut-off saw, but not enough metal working stuff to quite get started on my (newest) project car—a 1974 MGB convertible (chrome bumper). The Shopsmith gave me a plethora of new gizmos and gadgets to keep track of, and I don’t quite have the feel for how the workflow should be. BUT, the biggest problem is my garage is a complete shambles with half started projects, bits and pieces, and things shoved where they can fit.

I made a modest attempt at taming the craziness a year+ ago, when I went to a local office surplus place and purchased some hanging file cabinets. They were replacing my open faced shelving that I had transplanted from my “dream garage” that I had at the lake house. (3 car garage—10+ foot ceilings) The problem now is I have a wide variety of storage devices and things spread all over the place. I also have an “eclectic” (at best) variety of do it yourself type work benches and tool storage places. Add a liberal amount of clutter/junk/accumulation from the past 10 years of home ownership and you can pretty well imagine what I’m dealing with.

The new plan is to get a storage pod of some type and simply empty the garage out entirely and start from scratch. We’ve been thinking on when our schedule would allow this to happen, but sometimes you just have to draw a line in the sand and say “ok, here’s when it’s happening” and go from there. We know March/April/May will just be a blur, and then we’re into the summer months, so right now we’re seeing how quickly we can get a storage pod and start from there. The only thing we probably can’t work around is the MG, as it’s garage bound for now. Someday it will be weather tight again, but in the mean time it’ll have to be a item we plan around. We’re going to question each piece of storage and/or item going back in to see what use it really has and if it’s not necessary, it’s getting the boot.

This will definitely be an adventure. I’m already planning out things that I can see going away. My old cabinet stereo has been one of those “oh, I can’t give that up” type things, but in the interest of space efficiency, I can see ditching it for a better solution. I’m not ruling out anything from the chopping block—well, besides the Shopsmith for example. I’m trying to eliminate frustrations where ever possible. Wish me luck!

-- Bradley Miller, Blue Springs, MO -

7 comments so far

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3887 days

#1 posted 01-26-2009 05:04 PM

your first paragraph is the story of my working life

good luck

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3755 days

#2 posted 01-26-2009 06:02 PM


I now have two Shopsmith workshops. My dream shop, a 24’x28’ modified garage package, is in the middle of the Hiawatha National Forest in the Upper Peninsula. That being said, I had to work in 1/2 of a garage for 25 years in Fort Myers, and am now faced with the same type of garage space here in our Gainesville winter home.

The beauty of the Shopsmith system is that you can have a completely functional workshop in 235 sq ft. There are several ways to store the special purpose tools; for example, Shopsmith’s storage station shown here accomodating the jointer, scroll saw, and extension table;


I placed a 16”x52” shelf underneath. shown here is the crosscut sled and upper and lower saw guards.

I have also made a special purpose tool cabinet from Shopsmith plans:

I mounted this storage cabinet on castors and it can hold up to six tools; shown here is the bandsaw, jointer, and extension table, with the 6”x48” beltsander, and jig saw underneath along with the floating tables bandsaw fence and other small accessories.

I have also made a four door 24”x96” general purpose workbench with two interior shelves;


These pictures are from my U.P. workshop where I have two Shopsmith 520’s. When I finally complete my 1/2 garage workshop here in Gainesville I will be posting more workshop organization pictures.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View HarleySoftailDeuce's profile


320 posts in 3413 days

#3 posted 01-26-2009 08:47 PM

I’m always misplacing stuff; pencils, the tape measure, wooden folding rule, hammer, all kinds of things. I guess
it’s my age. I’m noticing when I’m looking for something, I find I have 2!!


-- Paul, Bristol,Rhode Island

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4071 days

#4 posted 01-27-2009 12:24 AM

Bradley . . . how about a couple of pics? I’m really curious to see what it looks like.

-- BLOG -

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3579 days

#5 posted 01-27-2009 12:39 AM

Nice tidy workshop well designed and thought out I like your way of thinking Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3875 days

#6 posted 01-27-2009 01:36 AM

“The only thing we probably can’t work around is the MG, as it’s garage bound for now. “

Haha. I had an MG Midget a long time ago and believe me, it will be garage bound a lot. :)

As the pictures show. Build some cabinets and throw or give half of your stuff away. Time to move on and get a bit organized.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4240 days

#7 posted 01-27-2009 06:11 PM

I can relate totally. Just look at my shop pics. But it’s not just me. I’ve got my stuff, the wifes stuff, the kids stuff, the grandkids stuff, and I’m trying still to organize a shop in the middle of it all. Granted I have a lot of tools and stuff, but….......oh well, we do our best.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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