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

  • Advertise with us
View GaryK's profile

Do you have a dirty cluttered workbench like mine?

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

« prev 1 2
87 replies

87 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

10371 posts in 3397 days

#51 posted 12-14-2009 03:17 PM

I think that my shop will be uncluttered when my heirs have to clean it out for the estate sale.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Billp's profile


804 posts in 4168 days

#52 posted 12-14-2009 03:25 PM

Gary mine looks just like yours when I have a project going. But I always totally clean up when its completed. I keep wondering how did it get like this and why am I working in this mess. I built a large assembly table so I would have a clean work area. When Iam in the middle of a project I swear this is the last time I am going to let it get like a mess when I am doing a project but have yet to attain that goal.

-- Billp

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5809 posts in 3163 days

#53 posted 12-14-2009 05:07 PM

You people are a bunch of slobs…....... lol. I would never let my bench get to looking like that, or the shop either, for that matter. I guess I’m just too much of a neat-nic to go that far….. I push the broom as much as I push buttons on the machines. Sorry—- I just can’t stand a shop that is untidy. Don’t take the “slob” thing to heart—it”s just an expressoin…...... sorta like saying “pig sty”.......... lol lol.
I have to honesly say—- I fit right in…..!!!!!!!!!!!

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View dbhost's profile


5705 posts in 3200 days

#54 posted 12-14-2009 05:32 PM

I’m not too proud. Your shops look frighteningly similar to mine. Maybe different junk cluttering up the spaces, but clutter no less… In scary honesty, I can relate to John…

I spend a scary amount of time simply cleaning up the clutter… Simply put, I need to get my act together, but I have been saying this for years…

I have some vacation time coming up before Christmas… I am planning on doing some major cleanup…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View SteveMI's profile


1092 posts in 3263 days

#55 posted 12-14-2009 05:50 PM

Gary – I would count at least two more projects before having to clean that bench. Of course I also have a 4’ by 4’ sheet of plywood on sawhorses for the annex bench and then there is the top of the planer when not in use and the shelf by the window and…

Lisa – I can really relate to “found 5 pencils, 3 tape measures, 7 drill bits, and 8 stray sanding discs.” Some of my cleaning takes place when the weather is horrible or stores are closed and I need a particular drill bit or can’t find any of the tape measures.


View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

714 posts in 3587 days

#56 posted 12-14-2009 05:51 PM

Gary…what is my workbench doing in your shop?

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 3135 days

#57 posted 12-14-2009 06:02 PM

Too much clutter?
Your brave to take the bashing, I wouldnt post my shop pictures without clean up first.
Ask Santa for a helper.
Merry Chrismas!

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View sharad's profile


1117 posts in 3773 days

#58 posted 12-14-2009 06:31 PM

I thought only my work area is untidy!

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Gary's profile


9326 posts in 3401 days

#59 posted 12-14-2009 07:24 PM

Man, John. Seeing pictures of your shop is like taking a xanax. I feel soooo much better!!

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

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3681 days

#60 posted 12-14-2009 07:25 PM

The obvious problem is that there is no obvious criteria for what is and isn’t messy. Therefore I purpose the following: If you can still see the top of the workbench without moving anything it is not messy.

John I found your beer in picture 2 but the bottle appears to be empty. Personally I never drink beer in the shop I can get into enough trouble by myself.

Mark, I know all about it and in addition I share mine with a horsePhotobucket

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Gary's profile


9326 posts in 3401 days

#61 posted 12-14-2009 07:27 PM

Man, John. Seeing pictures of your shop is like taking a xanax. I feel soooo much better!! I’ve decided to print the pictures of your shop and hang them in my shop….just as a reminder….

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

View LeeinEdmonton's profile


254 posts in 3550 days

#62 posted 12-14-2009 08:12 PM

The only thing I can say is I guess that I’m not the only one that because of the mess I must have at least 6 identical screwdrivers of every type because I couldn’t find the one I needed & went out & bought another. Somehow the concept of clean up & put in order has never taken hold of me !


-- Lee

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3350 days

#63 posted 12-15-2009 07:17 PM

I will SHOW you what messy is, once I’m done cleaning up :)

I’ve taken pictures of the completely unusable state of my garage currently, and am just about to head out right now to begin the massive cleanup effort. Good luck to us both!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3238 days

#64 posted 12-15-2009 08:29 PM

Well it appears that we all need to “clean up our acts” as it were. I bet someone could make a tidy sum doing workshop clean ups….especially at Johns shop….you better watch out my friend…EPA may be monitoring this site??? ...LOL…

I am sure my local hardware store is sabotaging my shop by making it messier than usual…it seems that when I can’t find the fastener or part that I need…I give up looking (after a few expletive filled hours)...and run down to their store to spend more $$$.....

I thought that by using a 2 horse barn that I would have plenty of room to grow into….with 3 lathes and other assorted machinery….etc….I am back to looking at what I need to sacrifice to make enough room to work in there…...I keep wondering if I painted my bench in camoflauge paint… sure seems to have a way of disapearing while in plain sight????

To tell the truth though….I do clean up after every project…put things back where they are supposed to go…and such… is one of the things I learned working with my granpa….he was meticulous as to where everything was….so that he could find them when needed….so even though my shop is cluttered…it is “organized clutter”....thats what I try to keep telling myself…

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View dusty2's profile


323 posts in 3398 days

#65 posted 12-16-2009 02:54 PM

But they do communicate, rtb, if one listens.

As for a cluttered work bench; I thought that was what they are for. Someplace to put everything.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

View cbMerlin's profile


100 posts in 3389 days

#66 posted 12-16-2009 03:47 PM

Well, well, well….........
To you neat freaks: it takes you longer to get things done, the rest of us don’t have to take the time to get out the things we need, they’re already out. Then, by not putting stuff away, we can continue working longer by not allowing for clean up time. I’m all about productivity :)

Another plus, we probably have more tapes, pencils, drill bits, etc., than you. We use the time we save not cleaning up to run to the hardware store to get more tapes, pencils, drill bits, etc. that we can’t find and while we’re there, we can buy more cool stuff to lose later.

I’m afraid to clean up, I really don’t want to know how many tapes, pencils, drill bits, ect. I have. If I knew, I might lose a very important stategic arguing point with my wife and her shoes! LOL

-- Sawdust looks better in the garage than cars, explain that to your wife!

View john's profile


2370 posts in 4350 days

#67 posted 12-16-2009 03:52 PM

I have 5 hammers, 5 tape measures and 30 or 40 pencils so it doesn,t take too long to find one :)
The trick is to have 4 or 5 of everything .

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3159 days

#68 posted 12-17-2009 05:01 PM

LJ’s sure take pride in there messy workbenches!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Gary's profile


9326 posts in 3401 days

#69 posted 12-17-2009 05:53 PM

Ever seen the show “Cash in the attic”?.... Someone should do one called – cash in the shop… I opened a drawer yesterday that I haven’t opened in quite some time. I found a pack rat’s nest. I set the trap last night. Headed out there in a few minutes – as soon as my grandson is ready. If I catch him, I think I might send him to Gary Fixler to go along with his raccoon

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

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3302 days

#70 posted 12-17-2009 07:19 PM

Great subject Gary. The whole problem can be solved with a little psychology and a lot of self-discipline. I came by this solution sort of by the back door. It all began with my wife having a skin problem with her hands. Her fingers were constantly cracked and bleeding and really painful when immersed in water. I had been looking for an easy out to satisfy my wife’s desire that I should help out with the housework. The combination of these factors inspired me to take on the task of washing up after every meal. This never takes more than half an hour each day and combined satisfies the weekly requirement. At first, I had to force myself to do this promptly and without fuss. After a couple of months I no longer even thought about it, I just did it. After eating a meal now, I feel a compulsion to do the dishes. I think this compulsive behavior is called a “habit”.

After this startling success I applied the same thinking to keeping my workshop in order. I reasoned that If I forced myself to tidy up as I work and leave the shop in good order when I’m finished, it will soon become a good habit and I will do it without thinking about it. So, how is it going? Well, to be honest I am still in the “forcing myself” stage and eagerly awaiting the “compulsive” stage, but I am enjoying going out to a clean and orderly shop more often and for that reason I am enjoying working out there a lot more. I will admit that I’m still only at 75% working towards 100%, but that is a whole lot better than it has been the last 14 years. Anyone with self-discipline out there?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View GaryBuck's profile


268 posts in 3194 days

#71 posted 12-17-2009 07:33 PM

Self discipline? Compulsive? I’m only compulsive when it comes to sex and beer L.O.L.

View GaryBuck's profile


268 posts in 3194 days

#72 posted 12-17-2009 07:50 PM

John in Belgrave, I’ll admit I’m unorganized and my shop {and house} look pretty messy but DAAAAAMN DUDE, Yours looks like my grandkids came to visit. L.O.L. I think you probably have us all beat hands down, good luck with straightening that out. I wouldn’t want to tackle that job, I’d hire it out and drink a beer and just stup-a-vise that project. L.O.L.

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3350 days

#73 posted 12-17-2009 08:34 PM

Gary (not me, nor GaryK): The raccoon has returned this week! I was in the bathroom and heard him rustling around behind the mirror. Very spooky.

Also, why are there so many of us woodworkers named Gary? I don’t think I’ve ever met another Gary in the video game industry. It’s fairly uncommon in my world, but there are 3 or 4 of us here at least.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3957 days

#74 posted 12-17-2009 08:38 PM

stefang – I don’t think I have anything to “fix”. I look at it as continuing where I left off.

I always make a mess like that, until the project is done. Like others have said, everything I am using for the job is already out and at arms reach, ready to use. It’s a lot more efficient for me.

After all there is no one in my shop but me. Me in my own little world! :-)

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

View GaryBuck's profile


268 posts in 3194 days

#75 posted 12-17-2009 08:49 PM

Right on Gary K. And Gary,,, lets see which one was that??? L.O.L. Oh yea Fixler, Great name ain’t it? I’ve always been partial to it.

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3350 days

#76 posted 12-17-2009 09:09 PM

I rather like it, GaryBuck, though I noticed especially through the late 80s and early 90s that every pain in the neck in a TV show, or loser in a film was always named Gary. On an episode of Mystery Science Theater (a comedy show where guys watch old movies and make fun of them as if in a theater – you can see them as silhouettes in seats in the lower right of the screen) one of them remarks during the old film “12 to the Moon”: “I asked myself who was the most likely one of us to die in a quicksand pit. GARY!” Gary was also the jerk at the other bar on Cheers who was always pranking Sam’s bar. Once I told my friends about this phenomenon, they started noticing it everywhere, too. I think it’s a fun name to pick on :)

Of course, everyone was always trashing NJ on shows and in movies as well, and that’s where I grew up. I couldn’t catch a break back then!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View okwoodshop's profile


448 posts in 3143 days

#77 posted 12-18-2009 05:05 AM

i wonder if the inventor of Where’s Waldo had a work bench?

View Broglea's profile


684 posts in 3059 days

#78 posted 12-18-2009 05:33 AM

I make a deal with the kids. You go clean up your rooms and I’ll go clean up my workshop.

View ehegwer's profile


26 posts in 3080 days

#79 posted 12-25-2009 05:47 PM

I know what you mean! This is my first garage/shop, and as I was doing all the little house projects I needed a place to collect all the stuff I was using – so an old Ikea table became my workbench. Right now I’m in the process of building a new one, which you can read about on my blog

My dirty workbench


View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3309 days

#80 posted 12-25-2009 06:20 PM

what work bench ?

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3083 days

#81 posted 12-25-2009 06:26 PM

dam here I had walking araund my self just try to kick my self becourse I alway´s have to use abaut 3-4 aur´s to find my hammer or another tool
this morning I did find my 80 year old workbech that I´m trying to bring back to bee a workingmember in my toolbox and now that Ihave seen this blog I now that there is still hope for mee

thank´s for sharing and merychrismas to all of you

from Dennis in Denmark

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 3772 days

#82 posted 12-25-2009 07:37 PM

I do a “dig out” every couple months so I can find whatever it was that I lost. New technique is that I purchased a pack of 100 pencils and hide them all over the shop. Now when I am looking for a pencil I will usually find the other stuff I have been looking for.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View LesB's profile


1686 posts in 3411 days

#83 posted 12-25-2009 10:39 PM

This seems to be a popular subject.
I have a barn, two out buildings, a shop, and double garage that are usually messy but not as bad as John’s pictues.
Gary said he cleans up after projects but I usually have several projects going at once so I almost never get completely cleaned up.
Next question: Does anyone every wash the windows in their shop?

-- Les B, Oregon

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3083 days

#84 posted 12-25-2009 10:49 PM

LesB no no nobody must see what santa´s shop is making before the right time :-)


View poopiekat's profile


4349 posts in 3703 days

#85 posted 12-25-2009 11:21 PM

I HATE to put tools away, mid-project! And nobody ever said that you need a separate horizontal surface to set your tools on, away from your workbench. But we all do! This is the untold secret…one bench for your project, one bench for tools currently in use. Workshops should be designed this way. I know a small-engine mechanic who always uses his service cart to land his tools, and never places a tool on his workbench. Yup, I got a service cart too, but it gets wheeled out of the shop whenever it gets in the way… Makes me think of my step-father, who did amazing projects with what few tools he owned in a single foot-locker.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View 9FINGERTIM's profile


54 posts in 1909 days

#86 posted 02-18-2013 11:08 PM

siince my work bench is also my outfeed table for my tablesaw i always have to clear a little runway to avoid tipping over paint cans glue bottles or worse with the stock i am ripping, this is aftter clearing off the other workbench, my tablesaw, a fter my wife gets tired of me not taking tools and purchaces out to my workshop she brings it out and sets it on the tablesaw(that is if its not aready covered.)


View SebringDon's profile


95 posts in 1908 days

#87 posted 02-19-2013 03:55 AM

Here’s what my workbench used to look like.
 photo P2060001_zps80f7490d.jpg

Here’s what it looks like now.

 photo P2150003_zpsae77e6fa.jpg

It took me a day or so with SketchUp, some time in the shop, and a bunch of plywood scraps I had laying around. I’m a lot more productive now.

-- Don

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

« prev 1 2
87 replies

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics