Increased Efficiency Through Better Organization
My shop environment is always shifting and evolving. The goal is to create an efficient space to work in.
My shop is not large by business or commercial standards and many hobbyists enjoy a work space as large as mine. But large shop or small, as a business I have to focus on efficiency to make money.
A Couple of Problems
One of the biggest offenders for this disorderly disaster was storage for sheet goods.
The goal is not to become a warehouse for materials but there will always be a certain amount of material left over from jobs. I have to admit it is nice having scrap material to create a template or throw together a small project without making a purchase.
Another problem is the pile of material that I consider active. It is that leaning pile of stock that I am working from for current projects. I notice that over time many of the pieces are no longer in active status but become stagnant and they should be put on the shelf or culled out.
My most recent effort addressed the storage problem for sheet goods. This was also next to the last wall that stood as bare studs and insulation so that needed to be addressed as well.
Here are a couple shots of my corner of shame. The clamps on the floor are already in their new home from a previous improvement project seen here.
Maximizing Efficient Use of Available Space
The problem with this storage area is that there is a lot of unused space vertically. I decided that an organizer system would be a good way to contain the usable left over sheet stock.
First I installed 1/2” plywood on the wall. This wall gets a lot of material and equipment like ladders stacked against it so I did not want to use sheetrock because it will be abused.
I was left with a space between the wall and lumber storage rack that was 45” wide. My ceiling is a little over 10’ high (10’ studs with bottom plate and double top plate.)
I divided the space into thirds left to right and this gives 15” for each section. The outside wall is left for full sheets and long stock. The organizer is placed to the left.
The organizer is 32” deep on the inside. The top two sections are for pieces up to 50” and 62” tall. The smaller cubbies on the bottom are of various sizes at 44”, 32”, 27” (approx.) If material sticks out some that is OK. I determined the best dimensions to minimize waste and material purchase.
I find that the 50” and 62” cubbies are good for storing my shop help.
Placing the small cubbies on the bottom works out well because I can easily place large left over pieces in the top cubbies without a ladder and the smallest pieces are easy to deal with on the bottom. I have seen storage with the smallest cubbies on top and it requires a step ladder to store or retrieve the pieces.
Now my left overs are well organized and the walls covered in plywood. (I did not bury my grandson in the cubby with material.)
Everybody’s storage needs and situation are different, but I hope this helps give some ideas.
Back to the shop, I am going to clean up that leaning “active” pile of stock. I wonder if I can get my helper out of preschool?
Share the Love~Share the Knowledge
-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com