The American Craftsman WorkShop #19: Lumber Storage Under Control

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Blog entry by Todd A. Clippinger posted 01-07-2010 08:10 AM 6850 reads 0 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 18: Shop Organization Continues Part 19 of The American Craftsman WorkShop series Part 20: A Little OCD Goes A Long Way »

I Am On Fire!

It was -15° outside but I was burning up in the shop with an intense desire to organize the lumber rack and get rid of extra stock.

This was the last of three projects that I started during the Christmas/New Years week.
1. Sheet the last unfinished wall with plywood.
2. Create a sheet goods organizer
3. Organize lumber rack and get rid of extra lumber

Here is the before picture of the lumber storage area.


But take a look at the lumber and sheet goods area now!


I gave a lot of wood away to a local LJ member and I cut a lot of it to burn. We heat the house with a wood stove.

Storing too much material costs me money in lost time and wasted space. I needed to increase efficiency in the shop, and so organizing the lumber and sheet goods storage was compulsory to accomplish this.

Tomorrow I am milling a stack of timbers and I need the space. Take a look at the material for the project and you will see why I need to be disciplined with my space.


The improvements I have done lately have cost me more in time than money. I encourage everyone to knock out some of those projects in the shop to create a safer and more efficient work environment.

This is a business for me so an efficient shop space is necessary. But even if you are a hobbyist, your time in the shop is valuable because you are limited by work and family obligations.

By organizing the shop you will be able to make the most of your time that you do get.

What Have You Done In Your Shop Lately?

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

33 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18379 posts in 3847 days

#1 posted 01-07-2010 08:17 AM

I’m working on mine too Todd, but you are on a roll!! :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3629 days

#2 posted 01-07-2010 08:17 AM

wow… i wish i had your lumber problems LOL… I can barely afford to buy 1 or 2 boards here and there.

-- San Diego, CA

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4270 days

#3 posted 01-07-2010 08:21 AM

As a business material flows the shop pretty regularly. I used to have a hard time throwing anything away.

Now I have someone that I can share my excess with (local LJ member) or I will collect the heat value out of it.

After all this work I will have no problem separating myself from the material.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 3739 days

#4 posted 01-07-2010 10:04 AM

What have I done in my shop lately? Re-arranged it into a garage so the LOML can park her car in there and not have to scrape frost in the morning before going to work… Not that I can work out there in the winter, it’s unheated and unheatable. (No ceiling, that will be fixed this spring.)

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1568 posts in 3736 days

#5 posted 01-07-2010 12:41 PM

Looks like that cleaning has paid off with a clean shop, I have been cleaning also, concentrating on making more floor space.

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

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3369 days

#6 posted 01-07-2010 12:50 PM

Thanks, just did a bit of this myself.

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

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4110 days

#7 posted 01-07-2010 01:04 PM

Though I’m not very good at it, I’m a big fan of organization. And, I’m impressed by your zeal. However, you used a phrase I’m unfamiliar with, “extra lumber”. I was unaware there was such a thing. ;-)

-- Working at Woodworking

View patron's profile


13635 posts in 3512 days

#8 posted 01-07-2010 01:11 PM

way to go there todd ,
space for work is definitely a good idea !

i’m still working towards a dust system ,
( i’ve got most of the parts ),
will make a down draft sanding table then .
and a sheet goods rack .

thanks for the push !

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

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3993 days

#9 posted 01-07-2010 01:44 PM

Todd, you certainly are an inspiration. I have got to reorganize mine since it is way to inefficient to work in there. If you can find the time to do yours with the schedule that you have there is no excuse, other than simple procrastination, why I, for instance, could not get in there and do something.

Like David said, thanks for the push.

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

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4270 days

#10 posted 01-07-2010 03:25 PM

Scott – I was supposed to start cutting the timbers on Monday but that got pushed back until I could get the organization done. For the delay, the payoff will be huge.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4270 days

#11 posted 01-07-2010 03:27 PM

Extra Lumber – Material that is of a reasonable size that it can be used in a project but I don’t have the time.

My wife is looking at all the wood we are burning and wondering how many boxes I could have made for her.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View MTBrian's profile


27 posts in 3597 days

#12 posted 01-07-2010 03:44 PM

I keep trying to explain to my wife, Todd builds big things, he doesnt have time for small things. I build small things, i dont have time for big things. Does this mean i should be dropping off all of my large stock at your place?

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4270 days

#13 posted 01-07-2010 03:55 PM

MTBrian – The logic is reasonable.

I have some more wood that I hung on to for the moment. But I have an idea that if it doesn’t get used soon you will be getting a call.

I have no doubt that you will be used as my dumping grounds for usable wood. I can’t let this stuff build up anymore.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Karson's profile


35139 posts in 4571 days

#14 posted 01-07-2010 04:01 PM

Todd. A very nice looking improvement in your shop organization.
Work safe my friend.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4270 days

#15 posted 01-07-2010 04:05 PM

Karson – Safely and joyously.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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