My shop #1: The history and the start of cleanup

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Blog entry by Monte Pittman posted 11-09-2013 03:11 PM 1999 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of My shop series Part 2: 3 day burn »

I decided to move this to a blog, partially because this process will take a long time and by talking about it, it is more motivation to get it done.

First the history, I had mentioned a year ago that I had gotten a divorce. After trying every angle in the book, the realization hit a month ago that it is now going to cost me my house and shop. I am not looking for sympathy, all is not lost. It is just another obstacle to overcome. So I am partially cleaning my current shop because it needs it and partially because I am preparing for the move. Now the pain is that it will be 2 moves. First to a temporary location and then to my next permanent location. My intention is to build a new house and shop next year. I also will probably have a new boss lady/partner who has been told to not let me get messy. I think that she will handle the job very well. I have avoided any thought of posting pictures of my shop because of the embarrassing mess. I decided to swallow the embarrassment and show pictures to further motivate myself not only to organize, but keep it that way.

Thursday night I posted the first scrap burn. Really it was ceremonial as it only represented less than 10% of the mess. I mentioned 100 board feet of scrap, I actually think that was a low estimate. It really is amazing how much stuff you can rat hole without thinking about it. Wood hoarding is a nasty addiction. The wind has been much to strong yesterday and this morning to continue, but this afternoon the fire will be lit again. the pile has started.

A couple comments were made that the benefits of a small shop is not letting yourself get messy. I actually agree. My current shop is 36’ x 48’. To easy to stack stuff.

Around the table saw is relatively open, but still a hazard.

Stack of Oak inside the door

I do consider my log yard as an extension of the shop. Oddly it is not cluttered ( forgot to take a picture of it. However there is constant problems holding up progress. This was yesterday,

Stay tuned, this could get ugly.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

17 comments so far

View Handtooler's profile


1575 posts in 2155 days

#1 posted 11-09-2013 03:28 PM

Your oak is surely stickered nicely! Well protected for future use. You’ll certainly make great use of it after your moves. And when the tools are back in their porper places you’ll have made great headway. Press on with PRIDE! Pride is Professional Results In Daily Efforts.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View Brent Golden's profile

Brent Golden

151 posts in 3844 days

#2 posted 11-09-2013 03:42 PM

Monte… saying, when asked if I would remarry was,” I think I’ll just find someone I don’t like, and buy them a house.” Your clean up job is getting pretty interesting. Sure beats anything on TV…...LOL. Think I’ll stay tuned….........

-- Brent Golden

View helluvawreck's profile


31351 posts in 2889 days

#3 posted 11-09-2013 04:38 PM

I’m sorry that you’re having to go through this, Monte, but you’ve certainly have a good positive attitude about it and that means a lot. You are such a productive woodworker that you are bound to make a mess every now and then. You are a hard worker and you’ll figure it all out in no time and I can’t wait to see what your new house and shop will look like.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3357 days

#4 posted 11-09-2013 04:45 PM

Don’t be too hard on yourself Monte. You seem to always be building a lot of furniture, and since you are also selling it I can well understand that you want to keep at it instead of spending your days cleaning the shop. I think that must always be a problem when someone is working alone. Maybe pay a kid from the neighborhood to come and clean up for you on Saturdays.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3326 days

#5 posted 11-09-2013 05:21 PM

keep the good positive attitude monte, there is nothing to be gained in letting any of the divorce or such drag you down, nothing good will come of it, you post your blog and let us help you in any way we can, here is a good start…gee monte, it looks like a rat hole in there….lol….dang it looks worse then a few other jocks workshops, you are the winner monte, see, you took first prize…lol….just park a chipper at one end and just feed all the junk into it and make compost out of it, put it around your plants, this will improve the landscape….i look forward to seeing you build a new house and shop…wish i was close, i would show up with my nail gun and would get to work…keep this blog going…from the pictures i see here, it can only get better…LOL….

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View DocSavage45's profile


8589 posts in 2865 days

#6 posted 11-09-2013 06:18 PM


When I work on a project like a garden shed or adding a widow to my shop I clean the area after for use of tools the next job, but I haphazardly put the tools and waste away…in the shop…LOL! As I get older I am becoming a little more orderly, as I don’t want to have an accident, like tripping on something or hurrying, and maybe it is because the working area of my shop requires castors on too many tools. I am being more conscious of cleaning up after myself. It’s a difficult habit to learn, but the consequences of not doing it scare me.

Greg lost his shop to a hurricane, but not his life, and he built a new one with all the features he wanted. Might work for you?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View bowtie's profile


990 posts in 2369 days

#7 posted 11-09-2013 07:51 PM

hang in there, I’ve been down to sleeping in my car with what tools I had left stashed at friends houses!
you sound rock solid, things will get way better.
to quote joe dirt ” you cant have NO in your heart”.
like griz said wish you were closer but maybe it’s a good thing cause i think i see some boards i might use one day in that pile…................

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

View doubleDD's profile


7432 posts in 2066 days

#8 posted 11-09-2013 08:25 PM

Wow! You were right Monte. Shop is a mess. Looks like other things for you are too. Like others have said, one step at a time. Think of life as your shop. Doing things a little at a time will makes it better. Good luck in your new journey.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2030 days

#9 posted 11-09-2013 09:09 PM

Well, it’s a start…. and we all gotta start SOMEWHERE! :-)

We’ll keep sending good thoughts your way

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

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2431 days

#10 posted 11-09-2013 09:53 PM

“When one door closes, another one opens.” What they forget to tell you in that saying is that usually the “new” door is one that you normally would NOT pick but IS the one you do need. You wil be fine and if a messy divorce/shop is the biggest problem you have today, you got it made.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2535 days

#11 posted 11-09-2013 10:29 PM

I honestly can’t say anything, I’m one of the ones that made it 54 years and never married nor do I have any kids so I don’t know what it’s like to go through what you are going through but I do see some really nice lumber in that pile :) I can say this, time heals, I look forward to reading the chapters as they unfold.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2827 days

#12 posted 11-10-2013 12:14 AM

All I’ll say is, sorry to hear bout that. Hope you and the “used to be better half”, can do it without any bullcrap in the mix. Stay calm. One day at a time Monte.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3331 days

#13 posted 11-10-2013 01:09 AM

That is a lot of crap to go through but all stuff works out for the better down the road… because I feel that any day I wake up and am still above ground…it is a good day…

View BusterB's profile


1961 posts in 2031 days

#14 posted 11-10-2013 02:24 AM

Monte, from what I have seen of your work buddy…you could work out of a phone booth and turn out cool stuff. You seem to be a stand up sorta guy and will make the best of whatever situation you find yourself in during the transition.

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View CFrye's profile


10229 posts in 1863 days

#15 posted 11-10-2013 05:52 AM

Monte, sorry you are going through tough times. As jaykaypur mentioned about the doors I will add that it can be the time in the ‘hallway’ between them that is hardest. Keep the faith. It will get better. Hang in there buddy.

-- God bless, Candy

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