my shop is a cesspool of clutter.... and evil

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Blog entry by emart posted 12-22-2012 09:37 AM 2049 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

it always seems like whenever I add more organizers the place gets MORE messy. it always seems like I am doing more work maintaining or bandaid-ing my machines than using them and the shop is usually in a constant state of clutter and half finished projects.

Before my job ended i wound up with the desk I used in the maintenance bay. It is an old machinist’s desk from boeing (how it wound up in a former lumber yard turned garden center is anyone’s guess.) So this meant removing my old workbench which was no easy task since i built it to last forever.

here is my shop after i put in my desk and rearranged my machines. the pic is a bit blurry because it was raining that day and i had to take the photo outside my shed so you can see everything

Now with the old bench removed I made an interesting discovery. the building is sagging! apparently my shed doesnt have enough supports and as a result 2 of the walls are warped and started leaking. Guess what i get to do this summer

But i digress after much effort (and a lot of 4-letter words) I managed to put that behemoth desk into my shop and hopefully someday i will get it cleaned and organized again….. maybe

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

14 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28923 posts in 2303 days

#1 posted 12-22-2012 10:32 AM

I don’t see the eveil. It certainly isn’t as cluttered as mine. Better get that roof fixed though :-)

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View emart's profile


445 posts in 2593 days

#2 posted 12-22-2012 10:38 AM

the evil is how my maintenance list never stop growing. and it isnt the roof that is leaking. the walls warped when the frame sagged(not enough concrete footings) which caused all the gape t open up where the walls and floor meet. (there is about a 1inch hump in the floor now)

once summer comes i will carefully jack up the building and add some more supports under the frame to (hopefully) stop the sagging problem

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2155 days

#3 posted 12-22-2012 02:13 PM

i know how you feel.i was just thinking last night while i was in the shop about my tool maintenance.i’ve got a sander that needs some tlc and some others but my shop has been so cluttered that all i do is move junk from one place to another to be able to this weekend i’ll start my cleaning and built a big fire.good luck on the supports for your building.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

3956 posts in 2199 days

#4 posted 12-22-2012 02:43 PM

I had a problem with clutter, 2000 sq ft of “useful” stuff. :) I visited a friend who was cleaning out his office and had everything outside, desks, chairs, filing cabinets, computers, briefcases, piles of papers weighted with other junk. It looked like it was about to rain any minute so I offered to help him at least cover it. His response was quick. “Naw. It’s a lot easier to throw stuff away once it’s been rained on!” I laughed so hard I had to sit down!
Then I went home and wondered why I hadn’t thought of that as I looked into the pile. So, one day, just before a rain, I cleared the “warehouse”. He was right. A LOT easier.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2888 days

#5 posted 12-22-2012 03:28 PM

I’m beginning to see daylight in my shop. I just paid a woman $100.00 to clean it from top to bottom, added cabinets and deleted shelving to help control sawdust went thru my”short” pile and pitched a bunch of pieces that I’m sure to need next week (g).Relocated some of the equipment. All this in preparation of starting a dining room table and eight chairs after the holidays.

-- Life is good.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3274 days

#6 posted 12-22-2012 04:55 PM

I badly need to clean my shop now that I have completed my fall group of shows and promised christmas orders.
That is todays project…so this blog definitely caught my attention when I read it.

I always feel so much better when my shop is clean and all my stuff is uncluttered and put in its proper place.
If only I can keep it that way…I always kept my shop clean and organized and would clean up every night before turning the lights off…but somehow I deviated from this habit earlier this year and I do not like the results.

View emart's profile


445 posts in 2593 days

#7 posted 12-22-2012 09:33 PM

my maintenance list for this spring goes something like this:

make new guide blocks for my bandsaw and replace the tension spring(they quit making parts for it 40 years ago)
buy a new blade for my radial saw and replace ALL of its bearings (it isnt running as good as it should be)
rotate my planer’s knives
replace my jointer’s knives and clean the rust off the table and treat it with wax
replace my doors with some that actually keep the elements out
replace the batteries on my solar array and add more outlets for my lights
give the entire shed another coat of paint and reseal the entire building
add some drawers to my bandsaw so i have somewhere to store my blades
add support to the building so it doesnt pull itself apart
and of course on top of all of that CLEAN and find a new home for everything in my ever growing tool collection

there is more to this list but thats all i know of right now that needs to be done

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4265 days

#8 posted 01-19-2013 05:27 PM

It looks nice from here!
I’ve been retired for over 20 years now, & still trying to organise my shop!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2832 days

#9 posted 01-19-2013 06:16 PM

Ho hum, ain’t woodworking grand? I’m sorry about your building problems but so far as your shop goes it will always be a work in progress. I think that my shop has a life of it’s own. I believe that it has learned how to shrink on me.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View JoeinGa's profile


7735 posts in 1972 days

#10 posted 01-19-2013 09:21 PM

I usually dont clean my shop… I just re-arrange the clutter! :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

3956 posts in 2199 days

#11 posted 01-19-2013 10:23 PM

...just re-arrange the clutter! :-)
I’ve always thought that WAS cleaning…

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

View emart's profile


445 posts in 2593 days

#12 posted 01-20-2013 11:52 PM

typically i usually clean it every 3-6 months…... i try to clean more often but usually i get a new project in the second the old one is finished…or i get some new machine in and everything has to be moved

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View bandit571's profile


19726 posts in 2648 days

#13 posted 01-20-2013 11:57 PM

Clutter? What clutter? Life in a Dungeon?

Welcome to the Dungeon! Still have a workbench to bring down there.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View emart's profile


445 posts in 2593 days

#14 posted 01-21-2013 10:12 PM

yeah that looks like my shop on any given day. When i was working as a welder the shop i was in had “tidy friday” every friday work stopped 1 hour early to get the shop cleaned from top to bottom. I dont miss working there (50-60 hours a week welding and breathing aluminum fumes is a brutal) but i do appreciate their effort to work more efficiently

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

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