Curing the Disorderly Shop #1: Sometimes ya just need an intervention!

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Blog entry by Myron Wooley posted 05-13-2012 03:33 AM 1661 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Curing the Disorderly Shop series no next part

Last year, a friend at work saw a pen that I made, and suggested that we go in together and make a bunch as office Christmas gifts. I agreed, so we set about making plans. We made about 30, and they were big hits. (At least none were thrown back at us! :o) )

However, he was a bit taken aback by the amount of materials, unfinished projects, and general clutter. He commented that his own shop needed to be cleaned out and reorganized, and suggested that we take turns helping each other with our shops.

The first Saturday I went to his place, and realized that I’d been had! His shop was hardly cluttered, and it took us all of 2 hours to tear through the “clutter”, toss the old, unusable stuff, sweep up, and start planning the new layout that he wanted.

The following Saturday was my turn. Tom showed up bright and early, and we worked all morning long. He questioned me every time I thought about keeping something “because I might need it someday”, and we made three piles: Keep it; sort it later; and haul it to the dump. The dump pile completely filled my 15-passenger Chevy Express 3500 van (seats out). The second pile got sorted out over the next couple of weeks, and most of it got tossed, too.

We’ve done this every month or two, and my shop looks a lot better. Together we have installed the eight drawers in my outfeed table that I had made but never hung; made a plan to install another set of lumber racks; cleaned and cleaned and cleaned; and helped me break through my pack-rat mentality. Without his persistence, I would have never made as much progress. I still have way too much stuff, with tool duplication and an excess of supplies, so I’ll probably start listing things on eBay. I buy quality tools; maybe I’ll make enough cash to buy the materials to fix up the kitchen cabinets.

His shop is really shaping up, too. We’ve had long discussions about tools and machinery, and he just bought a new lathe and sliding miter saw. I’ll go over in a couple of weeks and help him set it all up according to the plan that we made, rearrange the layout, and pipe the dust collection system. His shop will be much more efficient when we’re done.

I guess the moral of the story is that we should be neighborly towards one another and gently offer help when we see a need; and also to put our pride aside and accept help when it is offered. Pay it forward, and be thankful for friends.

-- The days are long and the years are short...

9 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


6929 posts in 2596 days

#1 posted 05-13-2012 03:39 AM

Nice post, congrats on both of you guy’s progress

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3165 days

#2 posted 05-13-2012 03:59 AM

I wish I had a friend like you have. When I work with some one on a project I tend to get more done and I also make less mistakes.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View Phildo92027's profile


53 posts in 3797 days

#3 posted 05-13-2012 04:58 AM

Can I get in line for this?

-- Phil, Near San Diego, CA

View Myron Wooley's profile

Myron Wooley

226 posts in 3893 days

#4 posted 05-13-2012 06:22 AM

Hey, Phil! Any excuse to get together with you is fine with me. Heck, I’d muck out a stable if it meant I got a kitchen pass for the morning. Of course, once my kids found out where I was going, I’d have the entire entourage coming along…

-- The days are long and the years are short...

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4061 days

#5 posted 05-13-2012 01:58 PM

Excellent blog. Glad you have such a good friend and that life is good with you!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View jacob34's profile


465 posts in 2261 days

#6 posted 05-13-2012 03:22 PM

Man I am jealous I don’t even have anyone around who will come chill in my work shop with me, well except the children and they make it lots of fun although with a 8 year old and 4 year old girls I don’t let them clean up much to many sharp objects although they love to play in the saw dust. sounds like you have a good friend nice post.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3332 days

#7 posted 05-13-2012 04:46 PM

Well done. I wish I could join you two, but I’m a little way off from your neighborhood. Anyone who loves wood has a hard time throwing it away (wood heads?) so don’t feel bad. it is a problem for most of us.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2882 days

#8 posted 05-13-2012 11:15 PM

Often a freind can be more realistic that you. It is great to have a friend like this.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View PaBull's profile


956 posts in 3662 days

#9 posted 05-19-2012 03:49 AM

Great story. We all need a friend like that to cut through the crap at times.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

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