All Replies on Do you have a dirty cluttered workbench like mine?

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View GaryK's profile

Do you have a dirty cluttered workbench like mine?

by GaryK
posted 12-14-2009 03:28 AM

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87 replies

87 replies so far

View Sean's profile


156 posts in 2706 days

#1 posted 12-14-2009 03:31 AM

um…does a dirty cluttered workshop count? I usually have to spend the first 20 minutes of project clearing out space to make a project.

-- "Democracy is by far the worst system of government. Except all the others that have been tried." ~ Winston Churchill

View naturalism's profile


19 posts in 2234 days

#2 posted 12-14-2009 03:34 AM

It’s a never ending battle.

-- Robert Brou, Atlanta, GA,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


16740 posts in 2767 days

#3 posted 12-14-2009 03:34 AM

All the great masters work from a clutter. Take a look at Harry Pope the barrel maker in his shop or Einstien in his office:-)) I quit worrying about it when I realized whose company I was in:-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View a1Jim's profile


113833 posts in 2668 days

#4 posted 12-14-2009 03:37 AM

Were’s the clutter Gary ? :-)) I’ve been there a lot and had it get pretty deep too.

-- Custom furniture

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile


401 posts in 3005 days

#5 posted 12-14-2009 03:40 AM

I definately fall into this trap as well. Everytime I get a different tool, I use it and then set it down where I’m working. I’m like you I clean up after every job and even sometimes in the middle of the job just to get organized again.

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 2536 days

#6 posted 12-14-2009 03:42 AM

That looks just like mind every time do any kind of project. As hard as I try to put things back as I work it always ends up like that. Sometimes I straighten out some up in the middle of a project when I start getting aggravated looking for something, but most of the time I do the same thing and clean up at the end.

View woodnewbee's profile


76 posts in 2197 days

#7 posted 12-14-2009 03:42 AM

they posted a note above my desk once that said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind then what is an empty desk a sign of?”

View DaleM's profile


952 posts in 2475 days

#8 posted 12-14-2009 03:42 AM

The more time I spend in the shop, the cleaner it is. It’s when I’m only popping in quick and back out quickly and do that for a week or two that it gets really cluttered. I take time to mess it up but not to clean it. When I’m in there a lot working on a big project, I clean it every day, well almost. I notice you have some of the carbide sanding blocks too Gary. Mine have already paid for themselves.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View BlankMan's profile


1488 posts in 2444 days

#9 posted 12-14-2009 03:42 AM

Yep. Pretty much exactly like you said. As I’m working on something it gets to look like your pictures. Then when I want to start a new project I put everything away so I have room to work, in no time flat it’s lookin’ like that again.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View russv's profile


262 posts in 2260 days

#10 posted 12-14-2009 03:44 AM

i’m always neat, it’s just a matter of degree of neat, including negative degree.


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

View printman's profile


72 posts in 3164 days

#11 posted 12-14-2009 03:44 AM

The way I see it, As long as you keep all the stuff out in plain sight you will be able to find it.

-- St. Louis - just a cut away from finishing!

View john's profile


2343 posts in 3473 days

#12 posted 12-14-2009 03:47 AM

That looks pretty clean to me ! :)

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View CharlieM1958's profile


16143 posts in 3309 days

#13 posted 12-14-2009 03:56 AM

I have the same problem. And all my pencils and tape measure don camouflage suits at that point, and I can’t find one no matter how many I have.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 2395 days

#14 posted 12-14-2009 03:56 AM

Yeah, the work table and sometimes the workbench in my shop get like that. Its often that way when I finish a project then I clean up the tools, put them all away and then clean the shop. Then I start a new project and do it all over again. Sometimes though I can’t stand it anymore and clean everything up in the middle of a project and start pulling tools off of shelves and racks a second time. Now and then my wife comes out and throws a complete clean up on my shop and makes it shiny!

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Gary's profile


8388 posts in 2524 days

#15 posted 12-14-2009 03:57 AM

I agree with John. No clutter there. In my book, clutter has to be at least 6” deep. Anything less is just a little messy

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 2386 days

#16 posted 12-14-2009 03:58 AM

Cleaned my clutter yesterday…
found 5 pencils, 3 tape measures, 7 drill bits, and 8 stray sanding discs.
I was wondering were everything had gone (I always accuse my husband of borrowing).
I think most of us share your clutter problem. Hehe


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 2580 days

#17 posted 12-14-2009 04:09 AM

Yup, yup, yup! Mine is cluttered. Really cluttered.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3338 days

#18 posted 12-14-2009 04:11 AM

Gary, that looks spic and span to me too! You know my shop.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View bigike's profile


4047 posts in 2379 days

#19 posted 12-14-2009 04:18 AM

i dont know your bench still looks clean to me. i can atleast start to clean it mine i dont even want to do nothing the only part i keep clean is the part next to the vise thats it. hopefully when i move it i can keep it clean we’ll see.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Karson's profile


34994 posts in 3491 days

#20 posted 12-14-2009 04:21 AM

That doesn’t look bad Gary. I would feel I was blessed if mine was that clean.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 2821 days

#21 posted 12-14-2009 04:28 AM

Are you kidding? I would kill for that much space.

-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

View steveosshop's profile


230 posts in 2717 days

#22 posted 12-14-2009 04:39 AM

Yep, minus the power tools and you have my workbench. I dont believe it has been cleaned off since I built it.

-- Steve-o

View cajunpen's profile


14538 posts in 3157 days

#23 posted 12-14-2009 04:51 AM

Soooo, I’m really not the only messy woodworker.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2913 days

#24 posted 12-14-2009 04:54 AM

This happens every time I get into a build. I have a 4×8 assembly table and it gets covered with tools, finishes, etc. And, as your bench shows, there is no room to assemble the project.

I am glad to see I am not alone in this habit.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View degoose's profile


7143 posts in 2446 days

#25 posted 12-14-2009 04:54 AM


-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View jussdandy's profile


157 posts in 2298 days

#26 posted 12-14-2009 04:58 AM

yuppers, just visit my work shop. always looks like that, even when clean

-- Randy I have the right to remain silent, just not the ability ; )

View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2571 days

#27 posted 12-14-2009 05:04 AM

This happens to me too.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Stewy's profile


33 posts in 2182 days

#28 posted 12-14-2009 05:06 AM

Been trying to get organized for 30 + years still not there. I think it would be fun to have a place for everything and everything in its place!

-- Dennis in Iowa "You can have 30 years experiance or 1 year 30 times!!!!"

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3113 days

#29 posted 12-14-2009 05:11 AM

I mucked mine off this morning to make a jig. I have , as usual ,4 projects on the go that each need about 10 items.
What a hobby!


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View john's profile


2343 posts in 3473 days

#30 posted 12-14-2009 05:12 AM

This is what my mess looked like a few months ago . I could barely find my beer :)
I have cleaned it up some since i took these pics .

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View Quixote's profile


206 posts in 2729 days

#31 posted 12-14-2009 05:18 AM


I looked at your pics.

I can’t find your beer either.

But there’s some other really neat stuff that I’d like to play with. ;)


Wait, Edit…I see it on the Jointer…

That’s probably another story waiting to happen…

-- I don't make sawdust...I produce vast quantities of "Micro Mulch."

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3768 posts in 2255 days

#32 posted 12-14-2009 05:20 AM

Gary, you are OCD too! I am OCD, but not too OCD, so during a project…...YUP… looks just like that. But I put away the tools at the end also. That proves I am OCD….....I will not relinquish the title…....(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3079 days

#33 posted 12-14-2009 05:24 AM

John – Damn!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3768 posts in 2255 days

#34 posted 12-14-2009 05:27 AM

If you can’t find your beer, then that is the end of the mess! That is over the top, not tolerable…....
Check out my blog, the first picture….....Workshop Pictures

I can always find my beer….........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Llarian's profile


128 posts in 2698 days

#35 posted 12-14-2009 05:31 AM

My RAS is permanently a table these days, I have to unearth my tablesaw whenever I want to use it, my workbench is full of stuff, and my lathe is buried in shavings.

None of these is a bad thing! Sign of a used shop. =)

-- Dylan Vanderhoof - General hobbiest and reluctant penmaker.

View NoSlivers's profile


210 posts in 2181 days

#36 posted 12-14-2009 05:33 AM

well, you are able to still SEE your workbench….that’s a plus.

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

View wchips's profile


314 posts in 2179 days

#37 posted 12-14-2009 05:40 AM

Hi John that is what my shop looks like. I can always find my beer though, to darn cold to drink beer the last few days though. Have a nice day Lee

-- wchips

View Woodwrecker's profile


3769 posts in 2667 days

#38 posted 12-14-2009 05:55 AM

Mine gets cluttered, but John has me beat hands down !!!
(Jimmy Hoffa might be in there!!!)

-- Eric down in sunny Florida.

View GaryBuck's profile


268 posts in 2317 days

#39 posted 12-14-2009 06:06 AM

I’m a bit confused here. Are all of you saying that I’m suppose to clean up my work bench everyday? I lose my work benches and when I can’t find it anymore I build another one I have three and ran out of space in the basement so now I’m using the dinning room table. I NEVER LOSE MY BEER,, tools yea. material yea, benches of course, my wife well I didn’t lose her I know where she is at she just don’t live with me any more, I swear I can’t understand why she left. You can still find the front and back doors the toilet tub, sink stove fridge freezer T.V. and bed, what more do you need?

View Herbiej's profile


66 posts in 2444 days

#40 posted 12-14-2009 06:12 AM

I really breathed a sigh of relief when I read all these posts. Seems I am in good company. I have been avoiding posting pictures of my shop. Now I can post them in good consciience.

A sigh I had on my shop door: “GENIUS IS SELDOM TIDY”

-- Acts: 2:38

View drfixit's profile


318 posts in 2235 days

#41 posted 12-14-2009 06:21 AM

Hope this makes you feel better…. mine after this weekend.

-- I GIVE UP!!!! I've cut this @!&*!% board 3 times.... its still too short!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8551 posts in 3143 days

#42 posted 12-14-2009 07:30 AM

Gary, you sure are messy!

I’m sure happy that I’m not THAT messy…

My work area is cleaned up after every session NO MATTER how tired I feel or how soon the dinner bell is about to ring… I ALWAYS clean it up!

I NEVER let it go like YOU do!

I’m sure glad you are learning how to keep your work area CLEAN… It’s about time! :) :)

Thank you for the update… and

Merry Christmas!!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 2290 days

#43 posted 12-14-2009 01:36 PM

I think ( don’t tell my wife) I have too many power tools for my space. My bench is against a wall in the garage, built in when I bought the house.I use it for storage of bench tools, is very cluttered. I have a table that I use for sanding and for assembly, but it gets cluttered with project specific stuff ( squares, pencils, sandpaper. As far as dirty goes, I love turning so there is no getting neat with chips being broadcast to the far corners of the earth. I dream of a day when I have a real workshop not in my garage, I will have 2 sides separated by a garage door, oneside for power tools, and oneside for handtools, and a bench, there should also be a finishing room on this side. When I get it, sometime in the next 20 years, I will do a video tour, keep an eye out.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View ellen35's profile


2670 posts in 2523 days

#44 posted 12-14-2009 01:39 PM

I wondered how my workbench got so small… now I know!
Thanks, Gary!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3252 days

#45 posted 12-14-2009 01:53 PM

Rick said the other day, “Our shop space was huge until we put stuff in it”
We fit in the “non-organized chaos” category. Some days I walk in, look around, and walk back out again.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Moron's profile


4929 posts in 2984 days

#46 posted 12-14-2009 02:14 PM

I thought for sure, that you took a photo of my bench !!!

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3252 days

#47 posted 12-14-2009 02:23 PM

somewhere in the forums is a a big discussion about how to keep your pencils handy.. .lots of ideas

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View blackcherry's profile


3251 posts in 2914 days

#48 posted 12-14-2009 02:26 PM

Hey Gary that the reason why I built two benches so I would have one to work on, the problem is now I have twice the mess…LOL

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3030 days

#49 posted 12-14-2009 02:29 PM

You, sir, are not alone. When my first work table got full I built another one. Then another. A few of them are now on wheels so I can get them out of my way when I want to do something. My shop is a puzzle to find the work space. Move a table, do some work, move some wood, do some work, put the table back, do some work … you get the idea. Not to worry, you’re among friends.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Mark's profile


316 posts in 3224 days

#50 posted 12-14-2009 03:00 PM

My shop is almost as bad as John’s. But what is a woodworker to do when the woodworking shop is also a garden shop, recycling shop, and similar shops. I hate it when I have to spend 2 hours getting to my wood supply. By then I’ve usually forgotten what I was looking for or was distracted by something else. Oh well I suppose it is better than not being able to get a vehicle into or out of a garage. We can only blame ourselves.

-- Mark

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