The shame of a tidy workshop

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Orraloon

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I would fall into the untidy group. I do clean up between jobs and start with a clean shed and sharp tools. When the place gets too messy to continue then I stop and clear up enough to keep going. That often means a clean up after stock prep and you do have to have to clear up and get organised before a big glue up. One thing I do try and maintain is keeping the bench top clear for the work and the most used tools close by. I think its a loosing battle if you let the bench become a storage surface. A few years ago I made a small tool box so I could keep the tools for a particular job close to hand and reduce bench clutter. I also made a saw till and mounted that close to the bench so I can just about keep most of what I need within easy reach.
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Dont think I am any tidier over the years but getting better organised. I put french cleats on the outside of the box that takes racks with magnets so I can do a quick roundup of the tools on the bench at any time. Regards
John
 

thetyreman

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I usually tidy everything up after a major job, I'll keep it tidy enough but not too clean because I often just want to get on with it, main thing is keeping the tools organised and often in the same place helps a lot, you will work a lot faster that way, having my bandsaw on wheels has made a big difference.... before it was right pain having to move it around.
 

Yojevol

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I reckon an untidy workshop is the downside of a fertile mind. Always wanting to get on is more attractive than dealing with the past. However, like others here, I do try and have clean/tidy-up at the end of a project. My problem is that this can never be 100% because there is always the next project underway.
I'm sometimes forced into a bench clearance when I've lost something and the only way to find it is to put things away until it appears. It then takes a huge amount of willpower to complete the tidy-up. If I can't find the still hidden object there's always the option of buying a replacement. That usually flushes it out. The other reason to tidy the bench is when I'm down to the last 6sq.ins of clear space.
I've spent the last couple of days trying to resolve a problem with my CNC machine. It's now up and running again but I REALLY MUST deal with all the tools and bits and pieces left out before I actually use it.
Brian
 

B3nder

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Small work space dictates that I need to be tidy and organised.

As it's a hobby I'd rather be able to just get started on the job than spend an age tidying.

A tool chest has helped me organise things and keep everthing neat and tidy.

Very much a clean desk clean mind type of person.

Having worked for a Japanese company and also aerospace may have something to do with it. Japanese job only have the tools required for the job is great. Aerospace foreign object debris is a no no so those two things may have something to do with it.
 

Ollie78

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I struggle with keeping it as tidy as I would like it to be, ideally I would keep it like an F1 garage with every tool in its own perfectly made foam pocket thingy.
Years ago I made a toolbox for my main hand tools with a space for everything so I can see what's missing, it is brilliant. Unfortunately I have yet to get around to doing this for any other stuff, I did put a new cupboard in for spindle tooling the other day.

I get a bunch of work done, look around and it's a disaster zone so I get mad and tidy up, the cycle repeats.
I am always jealous of a really organised van or workshop. I would just need a month off and £20,000 and I think I could achieve it.

Ollie
 

Sporky McGuffin

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I struggle with keeping it as tidy as I would like it to be, ideally I would keep it like an F1 garage with every tool in its own perfectly made foam pocket thingy.

I do like the look of those, but I don't have enough drawer space to do it - it's a lot neater, but a lot less efficient in terms of space needed for a given set of tools.

Similarly I really like those (to me) old-fashioned wooden boards where the owner has drawn the outline of each tool where it goes. It's both a good solution and has the appeal of a put-the-block-in-the-hole toy.
 

johnny

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Today a load of organiser cases arrived because I was getting annoyed with all the little packets and boxes of screws and bolts and so on strewn across the racking units - they'll actually take up less space this way as well as being easier to find.

Am I the weird one? Surely a messy and disorganised workshop is less safe and productive than a clean and tidy workshop?

absolutely....just don't stack and rack all your organiser boxes with the labels facing out or the next thing is people will start saying that you're O.C.D :LOL:
I am exactly the same in this respect and I have two schools of thought on this .
1. a tidy organised workshop/shed/garage/desk makes it much easier to find the things you need without an extensive search and its easier to work in a clean tidy area that isn't full of clutter.
2. I do this because of onset Dementia and am increasingly unable to keep track of things and remember where in the hell I put/abandoned things :unsure:

When you start buying filing cabinets and foam and filing your tools you know you're in trouble :)
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JBaz

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I have a fairly big workshop and these days it gets well used.

I have extraction for the static machines and for sanding I use a shop vac, but inevitably the shop becomes untidy and messy during projects. I do put my tools away at the end of most sessions, just so I can find them the next time I want them.

I have developed the habit of starting each new project by cleaning the workshop, including vacuuming the fitted carpets I use to "soften" the concrete floor (I hasten to add that the carpets were fitted to the rooms they came from, not the workshop!) but my big problem is the dust that doesn't get extracted. It gets everywhere and I had to make a polythene cover for my metal lathe to stop the dust choking the ways, but it still gets a coating under the cover.

It doesn't help that I HVLP spray paint/lacquer in the shop as well, albeit within a tarpaulin suspended from the ceiling to minimise the spread (and give me an area that I can remove the wood dust from).

I think it is fair to say that woodworking and finishing creates a mess and any home workshop will be messy whilst in use. It's just up to the user how often it gets cleaned.
 

clogs

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made a couple of these for extra mobile storage trolly's...and its the only space with a conc floor.....plus I know where everything is pretty much.....
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my nuts n bolts rack....Zinc one side and ST/ST the other...still a bit untidy.....
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I norm have a big workshop...the new one will be around 160m2.....
but for now I work under a temp tin lean-too.....not as romantic as T-N's olive tree....
only on a gravel floor....also drives me nuts....thats the reason for the bolt rack.....
I do have a very large stock of diff stuff for when bits get lost but thats only the metric.....
the Unified and Whit/Bsf does need a seperate rack as well....but no time....hahaha...
like u still have to move the junk tho before work begins....
ps. the forklift holds the roof down when it's windy....
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Lons

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Why do people have a need to pigeonhole others into specific groups, it's rubbish and who cares anyway? I don't give a monkeys personally if other people think I'm OCD or the exact opposite and being retired now so a hobby activity I'm under no pressure to produce and make what I want, when I want and take however much time it takes to produce a satisfactory result.

For the record however as the question has been asked, when I had my business there was always a quick tidy up at the end of every day, the lads knew that and appreciated my reasons and it was always easier to get a clean start first thing rather than a tedious clean before starting. Not many people enjoy cleaning up and for some reason it was always done much quicker before going home than the following morning, I wonder why. :unsure: ;)

My workshop is crammed but well organised, it has to be or I'd never find anything and my practices are similar, it gets messy when I'm working, if too messy then a quick sweep of shavings into a pile and put away tools I don't need any more is safer and frees up space then a quick sweep at the end of the day followed by a more thorough one when the project is finished though I sometimes have several on the go.
If I let it pile up especially using the planer or lathe I'd be swamped in no time and I'm lucky enough to have a hell of a lot more space than many others as I have another single garage and a couple of sheds to store other stuff so I really feel for those in cramped 8x6 sheds or a single garage that doubles up for freezers, bikes et al.

Pics were taken following a quick clean and tidy after finishing a cabinet project so in it's usual state of dust everywhere but work surfaces clear, most tools ready to hand to start the next projects.



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Keith 66

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I have a workshop that is basically an extended double garage, I have a lot of machines & tools in it & am always trying to keep it tidy, I generally fail, so need to have a muck out at least once a month or sooner if im working in there a lot.
If i didnt try i wouldnt be able to move!
 

TheTiddles

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The dust is a really interesting phenomenon, I have fairly decent extraction, but nothing special (fixed unit with fine filter for machines, mobile vacuum for power tools). I cleared some shelves that haven’t been touched in years last week, there are probably more dusty shelves inside our house. The floor, machines etc all get regularly vacuumed off but that’s it.
 

artie

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Just in from tidying up the workshop, ready for starting production tomorrow.
There hasn't been any paying work done in it since 23rd Dec, but I did some quick odd jobs over the holidays.

Dog proofed two gates, fitted a new gate, fitted a latch, freed up a couple of latches, made a couple of dog leads, adjusted a dog collar, made a large wooden frame, cut some wire mesh, all the while leaving tools and scrap at my derriere.
Took me twenty minutes to clear away all the tools and left overs.

Is it just me, but it seems no matter how simple the job, I have 10 electric and cordless tools in action before it's done.
 

Lefley

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Just in from tidying up the workshop, ready for starting production tomorrow.
There hasn't been any paying work done in it since 23rd Dec, but I did some quick odd jobs over the holidays.

Dog proofed two gates, fitted a new gate, fitted a latch, freed up a couple of latches, made a couple of dog leads, adjusted a dog collar, made a large wooden frame, cut some wire mesh, all the while leaving tools and scrap at my derriere.
Took me twenty minutes to clear away all the tools and left overs.

Is it just me, but it seems no matter how simple the job, I have 10 electric and cordless tools in action before it's done.
And you probably put a tool on your wish list you don’t have also!
 

Doug71

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I try to keep mine as tidy as possible but when you are busy it is hard.

Everything has to have it's place, it drives me mad if I have to look for something when it isn't where it should be as it can only be my own fault for not putting it back.

When I see other peoples workshops I'm always amazed how much stuff some have, I keep it quite lean. Why do people need 10 pairs of pliers when they only ever actually use their "favourite" pair?

One thing that drives me mad is when you see people who keep about 50 rusty drill bits in a tin and spend 10 minutes sifting through them looking for one that is the right size (and sharp), life is too short, just get organised 🙄
 

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