A journey into the workshop. #109: Shop cleanup progress! It's still a disaster.

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 07-13-2016 01:44 PM 1001 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 108: Shop cleanup. What I didn't show in the video. Part 109 of A journey into the workshop. series Part 110: Rethinking the sharpening station design. »

So I must admit to being somewhat lazy about it but I did at least get a couple of things done toward the shop cleanup.

#1. The camping gear / sporting goods, aside from the fishing net that is, that I am aware of, have been contained in one box. Ready to be transferred to a tote. #2. Speaking of totes, I went to Home Depot yesterday to pay the bill, and lo and behold, they had 20 gallon totes for $5.88. So I picked up two of them. #3. The recycling bin including those death trap jack stands hit the curb this morning. Bye Bye suicidal jack stands. FWIW. I tossed the water pump in there as well. I have video of the thing to remember it by, and that takes up less space in my cramped shop!

My plan now is to… #!. Round up all my automotive electrical components from the box that is falling apart, and strewn throughout the floor etc… And organize it all into one tote. There is a project that was left in limbo when the cam phasers on the truck decided to go toes up, and that was installing a 9 pin trailer plug on the truck, and tie in an auxiliary reverse light. Basically I am tying in a pair of LED Off Road lights, small low profile ones, that will tuck just under the rear bumper next to the trailer hitch, to provide me more light while backing up. These aren’t “tailgater lights” but just a means to put a LOT more light onto what is behind me at night. I have no clue why manufacturers even bother with the puny ones from the factory, but I digress… #2. Round up metal cut off stock. Including a butchered HF winch mount plate, find a storage space for any that I am keeping, and probably box up the rest to run to my BIL, he’s always got some sort of welding project going on. #3. Transfer the camping gear / sporting goods into the second tote. #4. Take a large lawn and leaf trash bag out there, and collect all rags, and any fabric stuff my in laws have dumped on me, and bag it all up. Wash it thoroughly, and then figure out what to do with it. #5. Fold up the drop cloth. Why can I never seem to get this one task done?! I know, I need help with it, and it is HUGE. Best way to do it would be to take it to the yard, lay it out, and then fold it up. I guess that would work for the weekend.

-- My workshop blog can be found at

3 comments so far

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3945 posts in 2583 days

#1 posted 07-13-2016 02:51 PM

I haven’t tried the backup lights on my new car, meaning at night. But it has the advantage of a camera, so I suspect the light is good as well. But all other cars and trucks I owned had pretty useless lights.

My take on rags, after being totally disorganized for awhile, I got organized:

Rags take up much less room when folded. So I fold a reasonable number of towels and put them in a box on its side so I can see them. I take sheets and such and tear them up to a reasonable size, and put them in another box on its side and put the boxes up high, into relatively less usable space. The main bulk of rags sits in a wire bin of sorts waiting to be sorted, sized if necessary, and folded.

Once a rag is dirty, it is thrown away. Like I said before, they multiply faster than I can use them.

Now I use fewer paper towels, and the rags work better than paper for a lot of things.

Whoever washes sheets for king sized beds, knows something about folding. If that is your wife, get her to advise you about the drop sheet….......and four hands are better than two, if that works.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2650 days

#2 posted 07-13-2016 03:19 PM

It should be noted my truck is a mildly lifted, but lifted 4×4. (2.5” Rancho lift, 35” tires). The stock reverse lights on these trucks are pretty high off the ground to begin with, and they are tiny.

(not mine, but a stock version of the same truck).

Combine this with where i tend to use the truck. Off road, at the deer lease, typically in winter. The only light sources are typically the moon, and any lighting the truck can produce. The deer lease is in central / west Texas that is in the transition from coastal plain to desert, there are a LOT of rocks, short cacti things like that to easily run over going backwards…

FWIW, one of the guys I hunt with ran his Jeep into a pretty large rock on the lease due to not seeing it at night. And yes, a camera system is on the wish list. Newer rigs have them, but at this point, the truck is getting up there in age…

The drop cloth is FAR larger than a king size sheet (we fold those together), I think it is something like 20’x30’ at 3mil thick. It’s HUGE. Laying it out in the yard, I can fold it like folding / rolling up a tent and get it back into its place…

The rags, oh the rags. Most of them are just messed up with sawdust. Get them clean, cut them into actual rags instead of torn towels, and box them up for use. Once used, throw out. problem solved. I typically use Shop Rags In A Box. They are affordable, work better than anything else I have used, and are easily disposed of.

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3945 posts in 2583 days

#3 posted 07-13-2016 03:46 PM

Your old truck still looks good. People like you that can repair the things tend to put some work into their appearance as well.

20×30, yup, bigger than the average sheet. I don’t know where I would use something of that size…....gad zooks!!

In La Conner I just bought some rags similar to what you describe. But now, even there, we are beginning to wear things out and the rags are starting to build up.

My wife, looking at the security camera footage for La Conner, says the house is calling us. We will be going there on July 31. Installing those cameras while the kitchen remodel was done turns out to be a smart thing. We had a couple of simple little cameras, indoors, that we got with the security system. The new system is commercial quality and is not connected to the main security system. So now we have 6 cameras there. We have noted a bunch of interesting goings on, fortunately, nothing bad. One of its main attractions is simplicity. Meaning life there is simple, just like it should be…......what a vacation home is supposed to be about. The house itself is attractive, and so is the town. It is a change of pace and a change of scene. And a lot warmer in the winter.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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