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Underutilized shop space - a lament

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 12-16-2011 05:05 PM 1222 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I know many LJs here do amazing things in super tight spaces, and that always gets me thinking about my space and ways I can better utilize my dedicated shop area. Then I looked at this big cabinet:

So many things here I simply do not reach for… It’s longer term supplies and misc junk for ‘someday’ and just collects dust. Is there discipline out there that attacks this type of mess, or am I in the majority? And aside from throwing out / selling what I dont need, any ideas on organizing non-essentials like these? Thanks!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive



19 comments so far

View redryder's profile

redryder

2231 posts in 1846 days


#1 posted 12-16-2011 07:04 PM

”aside from throwing out / selling what I dont need, any ideas on organizing non-essentials like these”?

You hit the nail on the head. There is no better thing you can do than getting rid of what you don’t need and use. Do you really need 12 tubes of old caulk laying around that you haven’t touched in years?? When I remodeled my shop I found that if I haven’t used it in three to five years, I probably never would. The Goodwill people are now dealing with most of my old junk.

This is some of what I found when I did an inventory.

Good luck…........

-- mike...............

View oldretiredjim's profile

oldretiredjim

188 posts in 1129 days


#2 posted 12-16-2011 07:21 PM

Agree with redryder. if you haven’t used it for x years get rid of it. We have a Habit for Humanity store in Salt Lake and they will take most of the stuff that can be used for making something. I have given them everything from an old table saw fence to tool stands to lights. If you can’t sell it on CL in 30 days its not worth anything. I also look at walls and ceilings. If I can see space I raise or lower shelves. I do have 3 old wooden boxes including one for blasting powder that I am still storing – but the may become kindling this winter.

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4145 posts in 1695 days


#3 posted 12-16-2011 09:27 PM

Smitty, what on earth are those big leafy things?

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

16033 posts in 1611 days


#4 posted 12-16-2011 09:34 PM

I’m not even going to speak on this subject. If a picture is worth a thousand words then I must be nuts.

helluvawreck

https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10326 posts in 1362 days


#5 posted 12-16-2011 10:17 PM

Brandon- it’s a ‘enclosure’ for a small grill. Behind it is a small, pressed steel router table…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Dave's profile

Dave

11205 posts in 1584 days


#6 posted 12-17-2011 12:53 AM

Every spring I stop and try to take everything out of my small shop. Then I put it back in. You would be amazed at what you will toss to the trash. But alas my sweet wife told me when we make the last few payments on my 12’ by 16’, she is going to let me get a 16’ by 40 and make it into a shop. Wow more space. Sorry guys I cant sell tools.
Smitty your picture to me doesn’t look that bad.
redryder you might have a wire cutter problem;)
Wreck I don’t know where to start or finish. But man do you have some space.
My biggest problem is wood stock. I had to build this just to be able to keep it.

Also one thing I love to do is open the shop and place tables, saws and other large items out on the lawn. The outdoors are great and a wonderful light source.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10326 posts in 1362 days


#7 posted 12-17-2011 01:42 AM

I guess it doesnt look bad, but it’s simply wasted space. I like the list it and if it doesnt sell, donate idea and will do that with alot of it. Then I’ll be able to repurpose the space… Thanks, orjim!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1918 days


#8 posted 12-17-2011 01:47 AM

Helluvawreck: I can’t be sure, but there MIGHT be a body in there !

Smitty: I guess I’d have to draw a line … somewhere … and figure out where it’s at for ME.

Am I tired of looking at it ? Am I running out of space ? Is it making my work less productive or efficient ? Is it just … TIME to clean, purge, and organize ???

In other words, is it broke ? If it ain’t …..

My real junk world—tiny though it still is—is a fairly old IKEA armoire. It’s got doors. It’s NOT organized, but … did I mention that it’s got doors ??? Every time I open the doors, to get something, I gasp a little, get the thing, and then close the doors. Works for me.

But … in my new shop (whenever that comes to be) ... do I want French cleat systems, all the way around, with LOTS of hanging cabinets, to help put things in their place ? Yeah.

-- -- Neil

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10326 posts in 1362 days


#9 posted 12-17-2011 02:02 AM

Helluva- Oh, My… :-) Love It!

Neil- I guess, yeah, right now I feel like this cabinet represents Broke. If I could add doors…. Hmmmmm… :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1797 posts in 1935 days


#10 posted 12-18-2011 06:18 PM

Smitty, I read an article recently that suggested that every time you
go down to your shop put 2 or 3 tools away that you are currently
not using. I was surprised to find out that I was totally incapable of
such a simple act!!!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1918 days


#11 posted 12-18-2011 06:44 PM

Bob:

Let me help you with a personal rationalization, here:

1) I paid good money for these tools, and think they should be out in the open, where I can see them;

2) Going to get tools, from where they “belong” takes WAY too much of my time.

Hope that helps ;-)

-- -- Neil

View ShaneA's profile (online now)

ShaneA

5444 posts in 1342 days


#12 posted 12-18-2011 07:01 PM

Oh Smitty, when in doubt…throw it out. I see a lot of available space there. If you were to throw out/donate a few things, add a few more levels/cubbies to the shelves, you could gain a lot of useable space. You may want to check the exp date on the caulk. Add a few plastic totes, and you may be a new man!

Brandon, I wondered about the green leafs as well?

Wreck, you got stuff man, you got stuff.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1797 posts in 1935 days


#13 posted 12-19-2011 05:29 PM

Thanks NBeener, rationalizations after all are very important.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10326 posts in 1362 days


#14 posted 12-19-2011 06:42 PM

Did some clean-up at this space over the weekend. Shelf raised, stuff put away, scraps cut up, junk thrown out (and when I finally throw something away, it’s really junk…” When done, I’ll post an ‘after’ picture…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10326 posts in 1362 days


#15 posted 12-20-2011 05:58 AM

Okay, here’s progress! Threw away some junk, kept other junk (for now), and decided the space will be dedicated at the bottom for fasteners / misc. hardware. Brought a steel cabinet over from the garage to help. Added a face piece, too. That I’ll blog on ‘cause I played with a number of planes… :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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