How often do you clean your shop

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Blog entry by kosta posted 01-03-2010 02:22 AM 1146 reads 0 times favorited 36 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yo whats up everybody I wanted to do a poll for the next tool life audio podcast and was wondering how often do you clean your shop.

-- kosta Virginia Beach, VA

36 comments so far

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 2356 days

#1 posted 01-03-2010 02:31 AM

Whenever I hear my wife’s footsteps approaching.


View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 2857 days

#2 posted 01-03-2010 02:35 AM

i have boilers in my shop so i clean the dust after every shop use if not right after i make the dust. But cleaning up tools and the like its more of every week or so.

View a1Jim's profile


113823 posts in 2665 days

#3 posted 01-03-2010 02:36 AM

I try after every job.

-- Custom furniture

View john's profile


2343 posts in 3470 days

#4 posted 01-03-2010 02:42 AM

I also try after each big project !

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View johnnymo's profile


309 posts in 2294 days

#5 posted 01-03-2010 03:08 AM

I to do a light clean up at the end of a day in the shop like sweep and wipe tools down. I’ll leave out any tool still in use until I’m done with it. I do a complete clean up after every project like sweep, wipe tools down, empty trash and dust collector bag (if full).

-- John in Arizona (but it's a dry heat!)

View dbhost's profile


5426 posts in 2320 days

#6 posted 01-03-2010 03:12 AM

About the time it starts getting dangerous to walk in my shop… At least this last cleaning. Usually I clean up after the making of sawdust is done. However I kept getting run out of the shop by an anxious wife that wanted quality time with me… While a clean shop is a good thing, I am not turning down that sort of time you know what I mean? (For the gutter minded, that is not what I am talking about!)

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View dustyal's profile


1263 posts in 2563 days

#7 posted 01-03-2010 03:18 AM

I stop and clean between operations. I must keep area clean since shop is small and shares space with gas fired furnace and water heater. Since the shop is also part of a finished basement, the Mrs prefers that I not track sawdust through the basement or upstairs.

I tend to think that constant clean up is easier and it makes for safer air quality since I don’t have central dust collection or air cleaner.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 2154 days

#8 posted 01-03-2010 03:25 AM

I am new to woodworking and my shop only consists of a workbench, which I built, Bosch Router, Drill, Circular saw, small shop vac, and a few chisels. So I find it is easy to clean up frequently. At the very least I do it daily, sometimes I stop what I am doing and give it a clean.

I know almost nothing about woodworking, but I figure that developing the habit of keeping it clean, will serve me well when as I progress.

-- Brian Meeks,

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8810 posts in 3188 days

#9 posted 01-03-2010 03:38 AM

I clean the shop everyday but that is not the end of the story.

There is always a series of steps that take place to construct a project. For instance milling, basic dimensioning, final dimensioning, assembly, staining, and finishing.

In between these steps I often clean or reorganize before the next step. I am not just cleaning the shop, I am focusing on the details of the next step in the construction process. This process allows me to operate more efficiently physically and mentally in the shop.

Cleaning at the end of the day allows me to walk into a shop that is ready to go in the morning. Cleaning between operations or steps allows for smooth workflow throughout the day.

This is critical to success in the small shop. If you can’t manage 100 square feet of shop space, you won’t be able to manage 1,000 square feet.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View russv's profile


262 posts in 2258 days

#10 posted 01-03-2010 03:40 AM

define clean . . .

I put tools away after each project

I sweep the floor once a year (whether it needs it or not) this usually means rolling everything outside

I clean each machine as needed or if I feel like goofing off.

If I rearrange something(s) in the shop, I might do something loosely defined as cleaning (maybe).

if my wife reads this, refer to line one only.


-- where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

View JimDaddyO's profile


334 posts in 2167 days

#11 posted 01-03-2010 03:45 AM

My shop has no walls or ceiling, I just stand up wind of the tool making the dust and it seems to work.

-- my blog: my You Tube channel:

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2397 days

#12 posted 01-03-2010 04:13 AM

I vacuum my shop every day when I am finished using it. I also made it a practice to put my small tools back in their proper place ( on pegboards or in their cabinet etc.) each day before I quit for the night. Makes it much easier to stay organized and find stuff the next day. I feel much better when I work in a clean and organized shop. I cannot stand clutter.

View NoSlivers's profile


210 posts in 2178 days

#13 posted 01-03-2010 04:29 AM

I have a shop/garage and many of my tools get clamped to the bench during use (drill press, bandsaw, grinder). I wipe down and put tools away at the end of the day, or after I’m done with a specific use (if I need to move them to reclaim bench space). Sweeping and vacuuming? Well, usually after each project, sometimes more often. I’ve found that it’s easier to sweep up than it is to vacuum dust and shavings off of the dog.

-- If you don't have time to do it right, do you have time to do it twice?

View sras's profile


4268 posts in 2218 days

#14 posted 01-03-2010 04:44 AM

Tools get put away (mostly) after use. Sawdust and shavings get swept up every week or so. If I am using the router, I clean the area up in case a peice flies off and I need to find it. The hard one for me is if I use a pwer sander (which is rarely). The dust gets everywhere. Then I clean each area as I get ready to use it

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Lenny's profile


1379 posts in 2615 days

#15 posted 01-03-2010 05:58 AM

It’s interesting how folks include tools in the cleaning process. I believe Kosta was referring to dust, shavings, etc. in his question yet many have responded with tools included in the equation. I too tend to put away the tools I use as I finish wth them. If I will use a tool the next day, I might leave it out. Like tonight, I was using my benchtop router table and will pick up with it tomorrow so I left it out.

As for dust, shavings, etc. it depends how much there is. If, like last night, I use a jig saw or a free-hand router (no dust collection), there’s dust/shavings everywhere so I usually take the time to shop vac things right away. I would say that at least monthly I vacuum off the tops of tools, shelves etc.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

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