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How clean is your shop?

by Mark
posted 12-31-2009 10:27 PM

1 2 next »
80 replies

80 replies so far

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2794 posts in 3459 days

#1 posted 12-31-2009 10:31 PM

I put tools away, blow, sweep and vacuum after every project. That could be a two day project or a two week one. But I do like the look of it clean. And when the work is done I like to bring it back up to snuff.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3376 days

#2 posted 12-31-2009 10:32 PM

I have 53 projects on the go at this moment… so what do you reckon?

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3586 days

#3 posted 12-31-2009 10:38 PM

Cleaned mine up yesterday am…....its dirty again, oh well.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View dbhost's profile


5723 posts in 3253 days

#4 posted 12-31-2009 10:39 PM

I found the floor last night. Does that count?

All the tools are in their proper places, it’s cutoffs, scrap, and hardware I am having storage issues with keeping my shop messy, not to mention yard tools, BBQ pits, and the seemingly ever present fencing material for my back fence. I have been wanting to get out into the yard since early October and get the fence done, but it has been raining so consistently that I step out into the yard and I almost immediately sink in mud…

As messy as it is though, like I said, I found the floor, which is an accomplishment!

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3579 days

#5 posted 12-31-2009 10:40 PM

Hey Lazy Larry…....................... probably 53” of sawdust…..................LOL

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3374 days

#6 posted 12-31-2009 10:40 PM

Depends, during a project, a mess, between projects, pretty clean, I can even see the bench tops. LOL But that doesn’t last long…

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3295 days

#7 posted 12-31-2009 10:41 PM

53!? what the heck are you doin online? get to work before its 54

-- M.K.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4240 days

#8 posted 12-31-2009 10:41 PM

I just finished assembling a box this morning, so I followed my usual routine of cleaning the shop before I started to put the finish on.

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

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3579 days

#9 posted 12-31-2009 10:43 PM

Good for you Charlie….........LOL

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View john's profile


2370 posts in 4403 days

#10 posted 12-31-2009 10:45 PM

My shop will never be clean ! Just like my house :)

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View webwood's profile


626 posts in 3271 days

#11 posted 12-31-2009 10:46 PM

my floor is completely covered in planer chips – kinda like going to the circus – cement floor so it’s easy on the feet!

-- -erik & christy-

View hairy's profile


2717 posts in 3553 days

#12 posted 12-31-2009 10:49 PM

I keep it clean as I go,and never go off and leave a mess. All those years in the Air Force made it a habit.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3295 days

#13 posted 12-31-2009 10:50 PM

i can relate john :P

-- M.K.

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3220 days

#14 posted 12-31-2009 11:01 PM

Super messy and disorganized, currently. I am trying to build a new multifunction tbench in the back of the garage, As I build a section I put the tool there, so far my router table and miter saw now have a home, everything else is in limbo, for a few mor days. As this project moves along I get more and more organized, when I started I had barely enough room to get my mitersaw out, and lay out the 2X4s, I still need to squeeze by the table saw, but it is coming along. In a couple of days I will be finished enough to house most everything, and get rid of a 3’X3’X4’ mobile tool cabinet I built a few years ago. Then it will really start coming together.

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

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3502 days

#15 posted 12-31-2009 11:10 PM

I keep mine very clean. I often stop in the middle of a project or after a procedure and clean up then start in again. I dont like a lot of sawdust on the floor because it gets slippery and dangerous.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View JasonWagner's profile


527 posts in 3201 days

#16 posted 12-31-2009 11:14 PM

I clean up after every project. Sometimes after different stages of the project. If I cut MDF and there’s dust all over I’ll try to get it up more quickly. Shavings from a plane on the floor don’t bother me as much. I just hate having tons of bench space all covered by tools, so I try to put things away often.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3843 days

#17 posted 12-31-2009 11:19 PM

I usually managed to clean mine up each day. But that is according to my standards, of course. My wife’s standards are somewhat higher than mine and she is fond of pointing out what a messy shop I have. :)

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

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3782 days

#18 posted 12-31-2009 11:23 PM


You took the words right out of my mouth. I seldom finish a project without cleaning up several times. I simply like to work in a clean area. I exasperate my son and my son-in-law who have no share in this “quirk” of mine.

When people visit, I often get comments like ” When are you going to start using this shop?” or “Don’t you ever use these tools?”

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3295 days

#19 posted 12-31-2009 11:24 PM

scott… meh my shop my rules…i even got a mens only sign on my door

-- M.K.

View dmorgantx's profile


70 posts in 3104 days

#20 posted 12-31-2009 11:26 PM

Cluttered! I try to clean it nightly… and anytime I start loosing stuff!

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 3105 days

#21 posted 12-31-2009 11:29 PM

I stop to clean often. It’s one of the most important things I feel I do in the shop. Not for the cleanliness or need for order but the contemplative zen moments it affords me. When I get stuck on a problem or need to come up with a new project I’ll start to clean. I don’t clean in any orderly way but follow my hands around the shop. This way of cleaning might be heard to explain, but here goes…

I’ll, for example, move a cup of nails to where they belong. While doing that I’ll see something where it takes me and move or clean that, thus moving back and forth around the shop in a zen like non directional flow. Cleaning the shop as the shop directs me with no thought needed thus allowing my quiet mind to ruminate on my current issues, pondering solutions. I don’t always finish cleaning before some revelation hits me.

My shop is always messy and clean at any given time. When I finish a project I am not quick to clean up since there is aways a reason to revisit my last actions to refine a project. Hence I always leave router bits in the router they’re last used in at their set depth.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View a1Jim's profile


117113 posts in 3598 days

#22 posted 12-31-2009 11:39 PM

My shops in pretty good shape right now, I like it clean and everything in it’s place. Even when it’s clean I can’t keep up with some of the shops that look like operating rooms.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile


402 posts in 3935 days

#23 posted 12-31-2009 11:39 PM

I like to have a clean shop, then I can find what I’m looking for and not wasting time. My wife suggested that if I put as much effort into helping with the housework it would be as clean as my shop :) I just don’t seem to have the same incentive indoors. I spend most of my time out in the shop so I like it clean.

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

View woodcrafter47's profile


352 posts in 3127 days

#24 posted 01-01-2010 01:08 AM

Well I clean after most projects, however a few are not finished so therefor I do not clean until I need to do the finishing, Bench top sometimes get to cluttered and have to stop and put away tools that I will not use again for project . Like other I like making dust therfore means that I am working on something.Don’t get in the conerrs too well though. Keep it tidy and keep it handy is what I do.

-- In His service ,Richard

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3734 days

#25 posted 01-01-2010 01:50 AM

so trashed i cannot even find my lathe,my life is one big organized mess. it seem to work for me.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3295 days

#26 posted 01-01-2010 01:56 AM

my shop can get very messy but as messy as it gets i can still find where everything is. i know where i used everything last

-- M.K.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3306 days

#27 posted 01-01-2010 02:30 AM

Love to keep the shop clean. Very seldom do I leave the shop that it’s not picked up and cleaned. On a heavy work day, I will usually do a partial cleaning sometime during the day and then again before I leave. I have enough trouble tracking down my tape measure and pencil as it is. lol.

-- John @

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3090 days

#28 posted 01-01-2010 02:33 AM

Aren’t the words “clean” and “shop” in the same sentence a contradiction in terms?

My family has been instructed for years that they’re welcome to use anything I have in there as long as they put it back exactly where they found it. Not where they think it should go, but where they picked it up!! – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4121 days

#29 posted 01-01-2010 02:34 AM

I run a pretty tight shop but there is always room for improvement and I am working on it right now.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 3386 days

#30 posted 01-01-2010 02:38 AM

300 days later…. Still waiting for mine to be clean enough for workshop pictures.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View Dudley's profile


742 posts in 3282 days

#31 posted 01-01-2010 02:45 AM

22 yrs in the Navy and my Dad always told me the job is not done until the tools are cleaned and put away and the shop is cleaned. I adhered to that as best I can.

-- Dudley Young USN Retired. Sebastian, Fl.

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3872 days

#32 posted 01-01-2010 02:48 AM

Waiting for you to give mine a clean Mark. LOL

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3295 days

#33 posted 01-01-2010 03:01 AM

O I’m hiding in there under one of the many piles of sawdust grumpy looking for the light of day and a vacuum

-- M.K.

View dbhost's profile


5723 posts in 3253 days

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

Roper, if you can’t find you lathe, you’re making me look GOOD!

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4027 days

#35 posted 01-01-2010 03:32 AM

My shop is like one of those mood rings. Catch me on a bad string of days and it looks like a bomb went off. Still not sure which comes first though, a clean shop or a better mood…:)

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3612 days

#36 posted 01-01-2010 03:51 AM

Heidi just cleaned ours and I updated my workshop pics. Then it went back to messy.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View Brian024's profile


358 posts in 3421 days

#37 posted 01-01-2010 03:59 AM

I usually clean it before I finish something, during the winter. When its warmer, I move the piece outside or to the shed and finish it there. It’s been clean for almost 1 1/2 weeks but after tomorrow, it won’t be for a while as I’ve got a couple things to build.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5908 posts in 3216 days

#38 posted 01-01-2010 04:24 AM

Greetings Mark: I keep my shop cleaner than a Safeway chittlin’..... I detest clutter and filth, and I’m my own worst maid…. I’m the same in the house, and my wife knows it,too. Sure, it gets messy while doing a project, so I keep the door locked so noone will come in and disturb me while cleaning up. Someone once told me they could eat off my floors and cabinets….. that’s a little extreme, I think, but close to true when the shop is top-notch clean. What can I say…..... I’m a neat-nick, not an old beatnic…..... keep on keeping on.

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

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3362 days

#39 posted 01-01-2010 05:53 AM

i cleaned my shop before i moved my tools into it .

and plan on cleaning it as soon as i get the dust collector going ,
i now have all the parts ,
but its been down to -2 outside and under the shop ,
so maybe next year ?

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

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3295 days

#40 posted 01-01-2010 06:09 AM

ya whats the deal with the cold weather down there is that normal? not to sound so canadian lol

-- M.K.

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 3862 days

#41 posted 01-01-2010 07:29 AM

Every Thursday afternoon is a shop clean and tune time. If I miss a week it just gets to be to much work to get it all done, then I don’t want to do it at all. Being a born Procrastinator, it’ I don’t schedule it, it won’t get done.
I clean up at the end of each day by putting stuff away, and a quick sweep.

But Thursdays are for a good clean up and maintainence time.
Organize the scrap and take care of the lumber rack.
Put everything away from the past week. I open everything up and check belts and stuff, vacuum everything from inside the equipment and wax all the iron down.
Take care of saw blades & bits, all cleaned, any thing that needs to be sent out for sharpening gets done. Then if I have the time I try to keep up with plane irons & chissels.

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View Bob Kollman's profile (online now)

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3212 days

#42 posted 01-01-2010 11:48 AM


You are invited for coffe-steak-and a bud, but first you’ll

have to help me clean the shop!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 3435 days

#43 posted 01-01-2010 03:30 PM

I did a little straightening up yesterday before going out to celebrate with friends. Not perfect but it will be once I make a mess again today!

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10518 posts in 3450 days

#44 posted 01-01-2010 03:37 PM

A clean shop?
It’s all relative.
My wife prominently displays a sign that reads “Dull Women Have Immaculate Homes” By that standard, I’m one very exciting guy!

-- 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 Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3295 days

#45 posted 01-01-2010 05:49 PM

Bob I’ll help you clean the shop but you have to let be bbq the steak ;D

I find it amazing how long it takes to clean a shop but how quick it gets messy again.

-- M.K.

View bigfish_95008's profile


250 posts in 3125 days

#46 posted 01-01-2010 06:28 PM

Being in SoCal I am able to work outside much of the year, and the place I am renting right now has a very small garage. Everything gets rolled out at the start of the day and rolled back into it’s home at night. It is generally clean after that. If the wife is helping the shop vac is the first thing that comes out before the tools are rolled back.

-- bigfish "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." Vincent Van Gogh

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3295 days

#47 posted 01-01-2010 06:38 PM

i love working outside which for me is only 4-5 months of the year. I still have my neighbours yellin at me because when they open their garage they got sawdust everywhere which I find funny. They love me lol

-- M.K.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3907 days

#48 posted 01-01-2010 06:48 PM

Since I made adapters to hook up my Delta 1-1/2 Hp Dust Collector SS Model # 50-760 most of my dust problems are controlled. My friend was over the other day and commented on how clean my floor was. I told him I had used the TS, jointer, planer, and bandsaw that day he said “How long since you vacuumed?”. I told him I hadn’t and he was amazed. I’ve signed up for a class involving lathe work for this Summer and I’m sure when I start using my lathe I will have another dust/chip problem to solve.
I try to put away every tool, finishing supply, and fastener that I’m not using on my current projects away every time I’m done using it/them. My shop still looks somewhat of a mess. ;-)

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3709 days

#49 posted 01-01-2010 06:52 PM

Cleaning my shop is at the top of my things to do tomorrow list.
Can you say ….Procrastinator ??
But seriously folks , I wish I could keep it somewhere between spotless and cluttered , but it is always one or the other with no happy medium : ( Maybe some new meds would help ! LOL

Happy New Year to Everyone of you wonderful people out there !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3295 days

#50 posted 01-01-2010 08:41 PM

just like i say to my wife….i’ll help you clean the house tomoro lol

-- M.K.

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