The American Craftsman WorkShop #15: Reorganizing the Shop - Complete (this round)

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Blog entry by Todd A. Clippinger posted 10-12-2009 03:25 PM 6626 reads 2 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Reorganizing the Shop - Finishing Up Part 15 of The American Craftsman WorkShop series Part 16: Sheet Goods Organizer »

Grandkids And The Studio Furniture Movement

The space-time continuum changes when you add the grandkids factor to the intended work progress equation, but that is OK. Rita and I had a couple of the grandsons for the weekend and they spent some time in the shop with me.

I went out to the shop Saturday morning with the 2 boys in tow (ages 3 and 4) and thought that I would finish my organizational efforts in just a few hours – silly me. It took me all morning just to install the ceiling mounted hanger and sort the extension cords.

This turned out to be a great place to store the cords. I did not hang it from the truss because it was not in the right location. I put cross bracing in the attic and hung it exactly where needed.


After installing the hanger and storing the extension cords I decided it was futile to juggle shop work and my duties as a grandpa. So I devoted the rest of my afternoon to the kids and helping them explore their woodworking skills.

I have an idea they may set up tent in the studio furniture camp based on these abstract pieces that they constructed. You could just see the gears turning in their head as they contemplated the construction of their projects. Notice the hard hat that one of them wore for safety.


Clamp Storage

Sunday was quite productive. Rita did some things with the kids and so that freed me up to get the reorganization done.

Figuring out a system to hang various styles of clamps can be a tough one. The various styles and brands of clamps all require a different method for storage. I knew that I wanted to protect my new wall so I started by screwing five 2×6 studs horizontally to the wall.


This turned out to be a good decision. The clamp collection may change over time and the method of hanging them may change but it can all be done on this foundation of 2×6’s.


The 2×6’s are attached with heavy screws to bear the weight of the clamps which is quite substantial. The dimensional lumber not only provides a structural base for clamp storage, but also provides much needed stand-off from the wall.

I really like the clamps that Rockler sells. They sell a pipe clamp kit and and aluminum clamp that have feet which stand the clamp off of the table. This provides clearance for the handle to turn and also provides for a convenient method of hanging the clamps.




I also used 2×6 material as a baseboard trim. This will provide the wall with solid protection from the mobile bases. I screwed the material to the wall for easy replacement in the future. The 2×6 seems to be the perfect height to provide optimum protection from the mobile equipment.


A Bit of Help

I did not do all of the work by myself. When Rita returned with the grandkids, the oldest one came out to the shop to lend a hand with the organization effort.


A Final Look

I did not get the TV mounted on the wall and there is a list of 50 other things that I could do to create better organization and storage but I need to get back to work. This project did not cost very much because I had quite a bit of the material on hand but it cost me a week’s worth of my time. This effort should pay back big dividends in greater efficiency and smoother workflow.

The clamps were originally piled in the corner and a set of doors that were never used now is a solid wall providing much needed storage.



Everybody’s shop setup and needs are different, but I hope that sharing this organization effort helps give you some ideas for your shop.

Get out in the shop and DO something.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

29 comments so far

View lew's profile


12017 posts in 3718 days

#1 posted 10-12-2009 03:55 PM

Now, you know, you will never be able to quickly find what you are looking for because it is not where it used to be!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4062 days

#2 posted 10-12-2009 03:56 PM

That certainly was true while I was making the changes over the last week. I hope to bond with the changes today.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3382 days

#3 posted 10-12-2009 04:08 PM

Grand kids? Seriously? You look about 30 years old!

I really like the system you came up with on the clamps. Do you plan on hanging any of your F-style clamps or quick grips up there, too?

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View Bothus's profile


441 posts in 3139 days

#4 posted 10-12-2009 04:10 PM

Good job Todd. Nice shop.

I love the work the grandkids did. The little woman and I decided want to get some grandkids one day.

Where did you find them?


-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

794 posts in 3795 days

#5 posted 10-12-2009 04:19 PM

The nice thing about grandkids is you can visit with them and then give them back (as my mother would say). Having a 3yr old boy in the house on a regular basis really cuts into the shop time. :)

I’ve seen modern art that didn’t look as good as those scrap wood projects. They may have budding careers as artists ahead of them!

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4062 days

#6 posted 10-12-2009 04:19 PM

Cory – I do not have any F-style clamps at this time. I am going to leave the clamps on the mobile base as-is because I use them the most and I can wheel them next to the assembly table when needed.

Bothus – There is a good selection of grandchildren at the Grandkids-R-Us superstore.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View GaryD's profile


623 posts in 3332 days

#7 posted 10-12-2009 04:21 PM

Todd, like the clamp rack, mine are in a garbage can but have found this does not work well, hey good help is hard to fine, but at least it is cheap help. And fun too. Looks like you had the race on for noise while you were working. Got my first grandchild on the way buyt wont be here until April. I also have some of the abstract work from my 9 year old nephew that comes over often to “make stuff” as he puts it.

-- Gary, Little River,SC I've Learned that the Lord didn't do it all in one day and neither can I

View MedicKen's profile


1612 posts in 3425 days

#8 posted 10-12-2009 04:41 PM

Nice job on the clamp rack. It gave me some ideas for my own space. The shaper seems to have become a pretty expensive TV stand, any plans to change that?

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4062 days

#9 posted 10-12-2009 04:44 PM

Medic Ken-That was on the to-do list but did not get done. I am sure that it will happen soon.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 3129 days

#10 posted 10-12-2009 05:02 PM

Nice clean shop.
Someday I will clean mine.

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3408 days

#11 posted 10-12-2009 05:02 PM

Great clamp rack & fantastic shop. Nothing like sharing time with the grand kids, but I’m with Cory you don’t look old enough to have grand kids.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4262 days

#12 posted 10-12-2009 07:42 PM

Great job Todd.

It looks like you’re all caught up with your organizing now.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3489 days

#13 posted 10-12-2009 07:42 PM

Thanks Todd, your reorg has given me some ideas. Great job and photos!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View a1Jim's profile


117060 posts in 3540 days

#14 posted 10-12-2009 07:50 PM

Great Job Todd. If you plan any trips to southern Oregon I’m sure you would love to do mine too. LOL

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3233 days

#15 posted 10-12-2009 08:01 PM

Great job…truly inspiring….the shop is an ever evolving process….(mine is mostly de-volving these days)....I always begrudge the time I take to make things for organizing…Luckily…my real job has enough folks to take care of that….I just point to a machine and tell them where to station it…and what to do with the wires…etc….I wish I had that at home….

Grandkids….ahhh the fruits of ageing…..keep em engaged though…my fondest memories is helping my oldpa in his shop making furniture….his love of wood and working with it turned out to be very contagious…lets hope it is the same for this new generation.

At least one great thing….its a nice way to spend the time when the snow is falling…

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

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