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Thread: A tidy shop is a more productive shop.

  1. #1

    A tidy shop is a more productive shop.

    Last week I posted some photos of my most recent pieces but for about the previous 2 months of free time I was in a battle with getting my shop cleaned up and better organized. I was finding that while I loved turning I loathed having to deal with the mess all the time and I could never get done as I wanted or it was just a chore to try to get anything done at all.

    I share my space with my wife that is a talented silversmith that also does a bit of enamel work along with some glass casting etc. Our laundry equipment at this time is still located in the shop so I have to deal with that storage. And my other addiction as a competitive skeet shooter I have all of my re-loading equipment and supplies to deal with. At times it felt like I was trying to stuff my size 13 foot into a size 9 dress shoe and hoped that it would still be comfortable.

    Other issues as all of you know is just the mess of turning. Sending curls all over the shop so I needed a way to contain as best I could so the cleanup would be less of a hassle. Wood storage also is an issue as I like to collect pieces of wood but rarely have the space for the storage. Well I added a curtained off area of 10'x10' to contain the curls. I built some quick storage shelves with scrap dimensional lumber and plywood I had. I also added 3 new 4' T12 light fixtures over the turning and sharpening area for better lighting. I already had six 8' T12 fixtures in the shop.

    I took some before and after shots just to show myself the improvements that I have made. The changes have made my work much more enjoyable and I look forward to turning when I can get a chance. Still not perfect as I have to tidy up my reloading bench and cover my reloaders to keep dust out of them but still workable at this time. I still want to put in some good central dust collection and overhead air filters but overall I am happy with the results. It is not as neat as many shops I see posted but for me it is very neat.

    The first two photos are of the mess. In the other photos you will see my main turning bench/sharpening station that I put together, It is covered in pegboard to keep all of my hollowing, measuring, cole jaws, and safety items off of the bench, off of the floor, or out of the tool box. One Photo of my Woodcraft slow speed grinder set up for the Tormek jigs. My tool storage cart along with my other workbench and tool storage area. Also the way the a curtained off my turning area.

    Comments always welcomed.

    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Here are the rest of the photos.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Harvey, Michigan
    Well - that sure is a dramatic improvement! Looks very well organized and - more importantly - well lit! Last photo reminds me of an operating room! Have fun in your new shop!

    “You never know what you got til it's gone!”
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Washington's Coast
    Alan-looks like a good job of maximizing your work area. I think I could have a shop the size of Yankee stadium and I would end up cramped for space

  5. #5
    Alan - your shop looks great. Want to come over and do mine?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Trout View Post
    Here are the rest of the photos.
    Alan, Darn nice cleaning and organizational skills you have I really think you need to keep cleaning and organizing though because I still can't see your lathe
    I turn, therefore I am

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Spokane, Washington
    Oh oh, another one of these threads! First one looks like mine did (and a condition it is forever trying to return to). Nice job of straightening up, but you have way too much open space in there. Why, it looks like a fellow could actually walk around relatively unimpeded.

    Eternity is an awfully long time, especially toward the end.

    -Woody Allen-

    Critiques on works posted are always welcome

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Enid, Oklahoma
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Schlumpf View Post
    ...Last photo reminds me of an operating room...
    It kind of reminds me of that cage in one of the Silence of the Lambs movies... You don't turn with a hockey mask on, do you?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Fresno, Ca
    Great looking shop Alan!! Sorry it kept you out of the game for a while, but your gonna be smokin' now!!
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears combat boots

  10. #10
    I do turn with my Hepa mask on. And also been known in the summer to turn in nothing but shorts. (probably to much information but it is amazing how well the curtains controls the dust and flying debris. after roughing out out a large item it takes less than 5 min. of cleanup. It really is so much better. I wish that I had done it sooner. My next step is dust collection and control but turning tools are my first priority.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Great looking shop, Alan. What did you use for curtain material.
    What if the Hokey Pokey REALLY IS what it's all about.

  12. #12
    The curtains are weighted shower curtain liners. Bought them at Big lots for under $3 each so there are 8 total for all four walls.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Blog Entries
    Darn you! My wife saw your post and said I need to get on it. Just kidding. I do need to get more organized. When I built my shop, as soon as the tools could be switched on, I started making stuff. What I should have done is started making a place for everything that goes int it. Thanks for the inspiration. Great job
    Last edited by John Keeton; 04-24-2011 at 6:30 PM.
    What you listen to is your business....what you hear is ours.

  14. #14
    Nice looking shop, hope you won't be hesitant about getting it dirty again........

    I tried the shower curtain liners, mine from the dollar store, $4 each I believe. They sure didn't last too long with me going in and out of them, so I bought a couple of 6' x 8' blue tarps from Lowe's for about $6 each and they are holding up great. As you said, cleanup is quite a bit quicker than without them.

    "The best way to get better is to leave your ego in the parking lot."----Eddie Wood, 1994

    We discovered that he had been educated beyond his intelligence........

    Student of Rigonomics & Gizmology

    Waste Knot Woods
    Rice, VA

  15. #15
    What a change!!! Great improvements, Alan, and I agree - clean is better. I have real difficulty working in a cluttered area.

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