Cleaning the shop

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Forum topic by b2rtch posted 12-21-2013 06:32 PM 999 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4821 posts in 2465 days

12-21-2013 06:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

A while ago I realize that when in the shop I always do one of two things:
-make a mess
-clean a mess.

I have Asrperger syndrome and I cannot stand any kind of mess or disorganization, physical, moral , spiritual none.
A mess makes me very uncomfortable, too much noise, too many people, too much talking all make me very uncomfortable and nervous.

I hate to have to look for my stuff.
I know where I live something, 98% of time I can find my stuff blind folded.

I cannot stand my shop not being organized and clean and I suspect that I almost spend more time cleaning it then using it.
This morning I spent almost 3 hours cleaning and organizing my shop.
I guess that I do this at least once a month or more often.

What about you?
How often to do clean/organize your shop?

-- Bert

16 replies so far

View BArnold's profile


175 posts in 1249 days

#1 posted 12-21-2013 06:44 PM

I’m no where near as obsessive as you are, but realize that I should be more diligent than I am about “serious” cleaning. I vacuum or brush stuff off my benches as it builds up, but the floor generally has to wait a while. Fine dust that deposits on machines is not an issue for me, so I vacuum or wipe when I feel like it or when my wife volunteers to help with the deep cleaning. To be honest, my wife is more obsessive about cleaning my shop than I am, but she feels it’s a way to do her part since most of what I build goes into our house.

-- Bill, Thomasville, GA

View Knothead62's profile


2581 posts in 2378 days

#2 posted 12-21-2013 07:15 PM

I find this to be most interesting. I have just finished putting the first coat of paint on a project. The shop looks like Hiroshima after the bomb. I definitely need to clean it before I start another project. I hate having to look for things. I have been looking for my rechargeable screwdriver for two days. Have no idea where it is.
When you get old, you forget real easily. Did I mention that I forget things?

View pintodeluxe's profile


4823 posts in 2230 days

#3 posted 12-21-2013 07:24 PM

I use the same space to woodwork and finish projects. That way I am sure to clean the shop from top to bottom and remove all dust before finishing each project.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View kdc68's profile


2526 posts in 1694 days

#4 posted 12-21-2013 07:32 PM

I try to clean up every time I’m done for the day by sweeping and putting tools away. I have a small workshop, and it doesn’t take long to have things get out of control. I find it much easier to spend a few minutes cleaning up a small mess when I’m done for the day versus spending hours cleaning huge messes by neglecting to do it for a day or two or even several days. An exception would be leaving tools out, set up, and ready to use again when I’m in the middle of something but stop for the day.

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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Bill White

4403 posts in 3377 days

#5 posted 12-21-2013 07:33 PM

Bert, I’m the same way.
My former mentor (now long gone) had me clean the shop at the end of each day. I’m not talkin’ about mopping, but general tidy and put away cleaning.
I always know where my “stuff” is, and it sure makes my next day easier.
Call me obsessive if ya wish, but everything has a place in both the home and the workshop.
Now I’ve gotta dust off the keyboard. :)


View bbc557ci's profile


589 posts in 1491 days

#6 posted 12-21-2013 07:59 PM

Heck when I put everything away, next day I forget where I put half the stuff!! LOL

But I do try and keep things tidy :o)

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

View b2rtch's profile


4821 posts in 2465 days

#7 posted 12-21-2013 09:02 PM

Thank you guys

-- Bert

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2101 days

#8 posted 12-21-2013 09:09 PM

I guess my problem is that in the course of trying to clean/organize, I find something else to work on. When doing finishing work I do keep my 4×8 assembly table clean. And I do keep my table saw clean because that can improve accuracy. Any other tool I happen to be working with stays clean as well. Other than than though I should probably go to confession.

I bought one of those school type dust mops (5 footer I think) but I spend more time shaking it out that using it. And having a multi-purpose shop my solution seems to have been to keep building more benches that only serve as places to move stuff to.

Now in my defense, my shop is constructed as “ladder-framed” (2×6, verts 10’ apart with horizontals every 2 feet from the floor to the ceiling) and clad with bright white ribbed steel. It is a lot of work to hang shelves/cabinets.

I’m finishing a few projects now and just today was thinking I need to spend a week out there to restore it to clean space so I can repeat the process in a few months.

View MalcolmLaurel's profile


269 posts in 1040 days

#9 posted 12-21-2013 09:11 PM

How often do I clean my shop? Not nearly as often as I should…

-- Malcolm Laurel -

View Holbs's profile


1344 posts in 1446 days

#10 posted 12-21-2013 09:45 PM

hay Bert.
I built my wall mounted flip-top stations for this exact reason: easy clean up (by no means finished products to display on LJ’s but they work for now). Ease of keeping a tidy workshop is something I found very desirable in all forum posts here on LJ’s. Is the reason why I bought a dust collector and air cleaner as well. With a simple push of the broom, my work area is 100% clean. I’m in the progress of learning / making wall cabinets for hand tools and such so that there is ease of organization and less dust fuss.

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

View b2rtch's profile


4821 posts in 2465 days

#11 posted 12-21-2013 10:14 PM

Thank you all

-- Bert

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 3509 days

#12 posted 12-21-2013 10:15 PM

I’m with Holbs on this one. I have a wall hung tool cabinet with my most used tools, directly behind my bench. I’ve taught myself to put things away right after use. Other things that always seemed to get in the way are clamps. All of my spring clamps are in a draw near my bench. I have a roll-around clamp rack for bar and c-clamps and no longer leave them around.

My dust collector is on wheels with a 20’ hose. Easy to reach all corners with a minimum movement. I still need to sweep-up but its not an everyday thing.

I hate the clutter as well. Seems that the clutter adds to stress. My shop time is therapeutic.

-- Nicky

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2386 days

#13 posted 12-21-2013 10:20 PM

Bert, you’d freak out if you saw my place.

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1275 posts in 1352 days

#14 posted 12-21-2013 10:29 PM

Like many of y’all, I try to pick up the tools at the end of the day. I bet I sweep and dedust everything around once a month. I finish all of my projects in the same area where I do everything else, so dust can be a problem. For this reason, I have resorted to fast-drying or rub on finishes for now. If I brush on anything and it stays wet for more than 15 minutes or so, I start to get dust nibs in my finish.

One thing I have realized is that when I get to build/design a shop one day, I want to break it into three sections: woodworking, metalworking and finishing. I have found that I do more metalworking than I expected, and the metal can and will stain wood and cause rust problems

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View b2rtch's profile


4821 posts in 2465 days

#15 posted 12-22-2013 01:10 AM

The Lumberjock formerly known as renners, you need a shorter name.
Yes mess is the only thing that really freak me out, especially when it it in the mind of people and this is very common

-- Bert

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