Ever get the feeling that you dont have enough bench space

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Forum topic by newbiewoodworker posted 10-16-2010 03:09 AM 1362 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 2789 days

10-16-2010 03:09 AM

I have a total of 32ft(not including the planer table) of bench space… yet I am already finding myself covering the planer table to use it for staining…. and finding too little room on the bench to work…. although it is chin high in clutter…

Anyone else find themselves constantly out of room?

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

9 replies so far

View kwhit190211's profile


44 posts in 3718 days

#1 posted 10-16-2010 05:52 AM

Heck! I’ve been using my contractor table saw with wings for my workbench for years. That’s in my outside wood shop, which is attached to my house.

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2923 days

#2 posted 10-16-2010 07:46 AM

you can have twice as many space as now, and it still wouldn’t seem like enough.
it’s just that while working you start cluttering every flat surface around you with things you just used and will need to use again on the project. untill there is no space anymore and you are forced to clean.
if you have more space it will take longer to get cluttered, but you will get there anyway anyhow.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3037 days

#3 posted 10-16-2010 04:10 PM

I really try to keep the clutter off of my workbench. It’s a constant struggle.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View randi's profile


43 posts in 2782 days

#4 posted 10-16-2010 04:30 PM

I’m a technician by trade.
Working in customer environments for the last 15 years has taught me to keep my work area organized.
This is not universal and I watch other guys work and just laugh at how much time they waste by being disorganized and messy.

Tools, use it, put it right back. If it will be used multiple times and makes sense to keep it out, have a tool tray, or a rolling tool cart handy to keep it within reach.
Have a place for every tool to store when done, wall storage, rolling tool cabinet, make your own, whatever.

Machinery, if you have tools for changing bits, or making adjustments, have them mounted or stored right on the equipment, within reach, and put them right back after you use them. This makes you more efficient, instead of searching again and again for the same tool. If this means you have 4 of the same wrench in your shop (1 for each machine) then so be it…time is valuable, tools are cheap.

Bench space, look at what you have on your bench, where does it belong? if its doesn’t have a place, make one, use whatever it is, then when done put it away.
The quicker you can access your storage, the easier it is to put things away and pull them back out again when needed.
You know where it is, its not in your way, you’re not wasting time making space to work.

Clean up at the end of the day, make time for this, it makes it much quicker than say working 5 days straight and cleaning up the mess from all of those days.

Have a large bin for drops/scraps, and get good at throwing them in there from a distance.
Have a larger drop? Have storage to organize those so you may find them easily later.

If you have the space have dedicated areas for certain tasks, sanding area, keep all of your sanding equipment and consumables stored neatly in that area…no where else…if its on a bench put it back in the sanding area.

You sort of need to be obsessive/compulsive to keep a shop organized, in the log run it saves you ALOT of time and aggrivation.

-- "A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila." ~Mitch Ratcliffe

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2946 days

#5 posted 10-16-2010 07:54 PM

I find if I don’t put things away after using them, I get that clutter mess and takes me much longer to find what I am looking for. About the only time I find I need more bench space is when I go to finish a lot of projects at the same time. One solution I gleaned from the net was to make a portable table to help when finishing or assembling projects. I took the hardware off of a old folding table at church and attached the hardware to a 3’ x 4’ piece of plywood to make a strong folding table that handles easily and folds up and isn’t difficult to get out or put away. If you look you can find the folding legs on some tables that are adjustable leg height. This is nice for assembling large projects that a regular bench is to high for. It sounds to me like you need storage space over your bench to put the things that get stack chin high on the bench away.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3077 days

#6 posted 10-16-2010 08:09 PM

I second Randi
but damm its hart to do when you live in a moving box
evrytime I try to start a new project it takes me four hours to find the saw….........LOL


View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 2789 days

#7 posted 10-16-2010 11:00 PM

Lol.. good replies, thanks guys…

I’ll admit… I am awful at organization… I try to keep it clean… but well all know that never works… Sawdust is the worst, from the mitre saw, because it has to sit on the bench…. every little crack is filled with it… I finally had to put up some plastic stapled to the underside of the bench, because the shelf below collected dust… and I didnt want that much dust in my tools… I finally gave up on cleaning the dust… unless I am using a torch (soldering… soon to start welding… but that will proably be done on the floor.. before I get grief.. I do put a concrete block down under it…) or finish work.. then I just clean a patch…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View Rick's profile


9413 posts in 2995 days

#8 posted 10-17-2010 02:14 AM

“I try to keep it clean… but well all know that never works… Sawdust is the worst”

Works for me and pretty well all of the Posters above. Sawdust? First of all I don’t spray it all over my Worbench. Secondly, if it does get on there to any great amount my Shop Vac cures that in about 2 Minutes.

“randi” stated it very well!!!

You REALLY try and work like this? “I finally gave up on cleaning the dust” “or finish work.. then I just clean a patch…” UUHHMMMM???

-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View Mogebier's profile


170 posts in 2995 days

#9 posted 10-17-2010 02:34 AM

I wish I had even 1 bench or counter.
I have a 24”x36” table that stays out all the time. I have a 36”x48” board I put on saw horses if I need it, and a 36”x48” top I can put on my tool cart. I can’t have more than 2 of these out at any one time. No space.

-- You can get more with a kind word and a 2 by 4, than you can with just a kind word.

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