setting up the new shop #20: The biggest problem I have is the shop is running but was never finished

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Blog entry by thedude50 posted 01-24-2013 08:16 AM 1806 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 19: The Shed is now 99 % done it is water tight Part 20 of setting up the new shop series no next part

I have 5 unfinished projects in the shop today and I will have to finish these before I can get back to the job at hand . Which is setting up shop. I need a tool cabinet in the worst way and a plane till and a planer stand and so many more things I have a radial arm saw that is in the middle of a restoration and still I keep working I have two half finished workbenches in the shop and have not touched either on in over a month. And still the work keeps coming in and I cant pass it up to do work on my own projects so the shop remains in a state of working chaos. I have done all the rewiring for the shop and the last line for the compressor is not hooked up to the new big compressor also I purchased a central air line system from rapid air and it needs to be installed I don’t like climbing in the attic but I will find a small friend to help me some how.I think I need a battle plan and should take one day a week to work on the shop. Tell me what you think.

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5 comments so far

View EEngineer's profile


1116 posts in 3791 days

#1 posted 01-24-2013 10:23 AM

Makes sense to me! Reserve one day a week for cleaning and one day a week for shop work. That sounds like a lot but I’ll bet you waste more time than that a week because the shop is messy and/or disorganized. Cleaning could be spread out by taking the last 1 1/2 hours every day to clean/straighten up. I have seen pro shops do this.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6206 posts in 3531 days

#2 posted 01-24-2013 03:47 PM

I think setting up the shop is the most important. Then you can enjoy doing your work.

I can’t even get started in a project if I don’t’ have some order in in place in the shop. For me chaos just slows me down and I spend too much time looking for things. To keep the work enjoyable Sometimes I stop and clean up right in the middle of my work just to have a fresh start. Hunting for misplaced hand tools and whatever is a big wait of time for me. I seem to just put them down and forget where I left them as I’m working, that’s when Chaos sets in and I lose my train of thought while I’m searching for them. So for me maintaining order is a must. Maybe if I had more room and I was a little younger things would be different. All I have is a (2 car garage) with way too much in it. All my big tools are on wheels and I’m always trying to find the best set up for what I’m building.

I would get the jobs you have started done and then set up your shop before you take on more work. Then you might find yourself getting more jobs done faster!
That’s just my take….

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View GrandpaLen's profile


1651 posts in 2450 days

#3 posted 01-24-2013 06:43 PM


Ha! ...working through organized Chaos will eventually lead to your 64th birthday. (yes, don’t ask how I know this)

If you are seriously struggling with getting a handle on this, it’s as easy as 1 – 2 – 3.

Any Commission work excluded here, as their completion dates will drive their own priorties.

All your personal and other asundery tasks can be listed on paper and a value of 1, 2, or 3 would be placed on each task, 1 being most important and 3 being the least.

Transfer all the #1 tasks to a new list and the same for the #2 and #3 tasks to their own lists.

Now you have three lists, assign values of 1, 2, 3 to these individual lists and hang them on your ‘To Do’ board.

You are now in the position to work your Commission work each day and finish off your day with a task from your priority Lists. You may have a task on the most important list which fits into the time you now have at the end of your day and you then reduce that list by one task, and so on till you have controll of your Chaos.

Revisit your Lists every 3 to 6 months and make any revisions neccessary.

BTW, did I mention that I am a Capricorn? The LOML says that my sign translates roughly to mean that everything must be in neat piles. :-)

Best Regards.
Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2656 days

#4 posted 01-25-2013 11:04 PM

Thanks for the feedback I think I will follow as much of this advise as I can. The only problem with turning away new work is the bills wont stop coming due and the wife insists on my paying the bills I do pay in a timely manner she will not tolerate the tv being off or her cell phone not working or she will not like it if I loose my car to the greedy bank. I am not responsible for many bills at this time but I need to be able to turn my projects out much quicker and the key to doing this is to have order in the shop the 30 minute searches for tools that do not have a place is very time consuming I am almost anal about the parts of the shop that are set up correctly but there are areas that I have barely touched I need to finish so many things Len is right that a list with priority’s is a must this is the first thing on the list SO a list is what is in order. I will keep you all posted on what I do and how it turns out.

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2126 days

#5 posted 01-28-2013 12:28 AM

being self employed you have to set hours. then do shop stuff on your time.
other wise work will take over your life. I understand feast or famine. I spent 13 months working 6-10’s with a 3 hour drive. (no life) now am laid off (3 months). as a carpenter thats life make it while it’s good.

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