Reply by JAAune

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Posted on New shop photos! Any suggestions for work flow?

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1798 posts in 2315 days

#1 posted 01-19-2013 05:47 AM

If you’re not doing production work it’s hard to think of workflow in the same manner that industries typically do. In my line of custom work, the workflow situation changes from job to job so keeping the shop flexible important. Except for the cast iron, most tools and fixtures are movable so they can be pushed around if necessary.

A large assembly table would be great to have but judging from the photos, It looks like you might lose the nice open space in the center of the shop if you put one in. Having plenty of clear floor space is essential in my opinion. One idea might be to make a torsion box that can be setup on sawhorses as needed or stowed against a wall.

One thing I really appreciate is having a couple rolling carts with multiple shelves to hold parts as I’m running them through the machines. Usually I take parts from one cart, run them through a saw and deposit them upon the second cart. Scraps get tossed either in nearby scrap bins or stored on the bottom shelf of a cart. This helps keep lumber off the machines and benches.

The rolling carts can be used as assembly tables in a pinch. Clamping a pair together makes for a respectable sized work surface. If the tops are kept waxed, glue will come off easily enough after it’s dried.

Keeping tools off the benches requires a couple things in my experience. First, tool storage has to be very close by. Secondly, self discipline is needed to put tools back in their place rather than dumping them on the bench when the task is finished. Having a rolling toolbox that contains the most frequently used tools is handy. You can roll it to wherever you wish to work so everything is within reach.

It just so happens that I made a post earlier regarding a clamp cart and a parts cart is in the foreground of the picture I used in that thread.

Notice the random cutoffs stuffed underneath. I don’t have to trip over them while working and can easily move them to the wood storage area when I’m done with the machine work.

-- See my work at and

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