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Thread: Moving and finally getting a Shop. Similar experiences?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Moving and finally getting a Shop. Similar experiences?

    Well in around a year and a half the plan is for Donna and me to move to Oklahoma when I retire. She is also on board for me to finally be able to have a shop.....a long time dream of mine.

    Right now I am busy getting rid of a 40 year collection of junk that is now mostly in the garage, an extremely time consuming mess of a job, and also getting back to restoring my vintage planes, saws, and chisels, etc.

    Making shop plans, etc., is still a ways into the future. The first step after clean up, or a stage IN the clean up and tool restoring process, will be to build storage for a bunch of old coffee cans that now contain nails, screws, etc. This will probably be a storage chest of drawers, something like what Steven built.

    I was wondering how many of you have been through this, or similar, situations, and what were your experiences, and what did you learn from it?

    Regards,

    Stew

  2. #2
    I did this 20 years ago. I went from living in an apartment to a house with a garage with a shop. I went from no shop and renting space to have to started a shop with zero tools.

    Even more funny the deal I made with the Mrs. is if spent money on a bunch of tools I would build the furniture we need and do the Reno's needed. So it was not ideal for setting up shop, as the budget was tight and any shop projects needed to 100% functional, fast and cheap so I could spend time and money building for in the house.

    So I did not do anything 'wrong' - I did what was needed with the knowledge and budget I had, but it did mean some tools got bought multiple times as my budget increased and my understanding what tools I needed. I also did not build shop projects for the long term and with any kind of theme or look in mind. I just built in a way and out of materials that was handy.

    On the tool side it meant I spent much more on tools than I would have if I just bought 'lifetime' tools at the start rather than trying to buy bargain tools, realizing they were not really fun to use or worked well and then messing with them, selling them and buying something else.

    As for shop projects I think it is great advice to think about what you really want your shop to be. I did not have the luxury, it had to work and be fast and cheap. Not that time is passed I am going back and eventually rebuilding all the shop to something I love as my shop is where I spend much of my spare time and as retirement gets closer I will spending way more time there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    The first step after clean up, or a stage IN the clean up and tool restoring process, will be to build storage for a bunch of old coffee cans that now contain nails, screws, etc.
    A solution my dad used in the 1950s on into the 80s for storing things in cans was to build an A frame unit, about 6' tall with shelfs to hold cans on a slight incline. He got oil cans from the local gas stations using a can opener to remove the tops. He then riveted them together in three or four honey comb rows.

    Some of the old oil cans are now on top of one of my shop cabinets.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    My solution is to try not to let random screws, nails, etc. accumulate. Then you do not have to store them. Success is mixed.

    My father in law has baby food jars. The lids are nailed or glued or something to a board. The jars then screw into the lids. They hang over his bench. I guess he likes that because he can look and see what is in them without having to open a coffee can to try to remember what is in it. He just unscrews the one he wants, gets his screw or whatever and then puts it back.

  5. #5
    Stew,

    I can't offer much advice on sorting through stuff, you have seen photos of my shop, but I can offer congrats on retirement , the move, and a place to work.

    ken

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    South Coastal Massachusetts
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    Congratulations on the move.

    Any can with unknown contents should hit the dumpster. This is an opportunity to start out right.

    https://www.mcfeelys.com/screw-faste...sortments.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Connecticut Shoreline
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    43
    I'm sort of going in the other direction, at least for the short term. I had a 2-car garage shop for the last 20 years with big wall cabinets, shelves and pegboard storage, and have recently lost custody of all that. I've moved everything into a climate controlled,self-storage unit. I'm now living in a one bedroom apartment that has a small room I can use for a studio and hand tool workspace. It sounds awful, but in fact it is pretty liberating. I have a 40 year-old Sjobergs hobbyist bench with drawers and a small cabinet built into the base that I brought over. But the bench doesn't store all of the tools that I use, so I am building a Dutch tool chest. My goal is to only bring to the apartment the hand-tools I really use. So when I started building the Dutch Chest carcass I brought home only what I needed for surfacing the wood. Now I am laying out and cutting the joints. (dovetails and dadoes) so those tools have made it over. When the chest is finished, I think I will have a pretty complete set of tools for general use.

    I'll work this way until i can buy a house with a proper shop and spread my wings again.

    DC

  8. #8
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    Jun 2010
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    Started out on an enclosed front porch.....
    Then moved, and got a 2-1/2 car garage....that never saw the car inside...
    Then, moved again, wound up time-sharing a large Pole Barn...
    Then, moved again...wound up on a back porch....was fine in the summer..
    Moved again...and set up the Dungeon Shop in the basement..
    Paul Sellers plans, hang up the apron.JPG
    Took a bit, but seems to work fine, as a one man shop....

  9. #9
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    Mar 2006
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    I'm a little farther along than you. I'm on the property but, the slab hasn't been poured for the shop yet. Two sheds, a garage and a large trailer hold untold riches brought from the previous locations. I have been trying to throw out at least a 5 gallon bucket's worth of things each trash day that I was always going to do 'something' with 'someday'. I now realize that at this stage of my life I will NEVER do anything with that really cool whatcha-ma-callit and I send it down the road, to a charity or to the trash depending on what it is.

    As to organizing hardware, I find commercial storage items more useful than a drawer full of compartments. I do not need 1000 of anything and most of my fasteners are stored in quantities of 100 or less, in tackle boxes that reside in a cubby unit I built for that purpose. A new version of this cubby system will be built into the new shop.

    I still have a lot of random stuff that seems too 'useful' to ditch. I am winning over time. I have to take an honest and difficult look at things and decide what gets to stay. I do not want my new shop to just be filled up with all that garbage I have been dragging around or storing for years. I almost wish I was starting from scratch with nothing. It would be easier ;-). Be strong, be tough and make the hard decisions. Look at what you are thinking about making or keeping and ask yourself . . . "Is this what I want in my new digs?". If in doubt, throw it out.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-17-2020 at 1:18 PM.
    “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it,”
    -Jonathan Swift

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Waterford, PA
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    I actually store my screws/nails etc in 2 places. First, I have a batch of the clear slide out drawer bins from old, broken organizers. I build a shelf unit that sits on top of some cabinets directly behind me when I'm at my bench. Those bins are on the shelves. I also have old cans/original boxes/tubs of "overflow" fasteners that won't fit into the drawers that are stored in storage bins. The storage bins are up high, and inconvenient. Every so often, when something is getting low, I pull the storage bins down and refill my clear drawers.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Well in around a year and a half the plan is for Donna and me to move to Oklahoma when I retire. She is also on board for me to finally be able to have a shop.....a long time dream of mine.
    Stew, Dittos on the congrats. Retiring at 57-1/2 so far seems to be one of my better decisions. You will soon be wondering how you ever found time to hold down a job.

    Have you already found your new home?

    We never have used our garage for cars unless doing repairs on a rainy day. Then very little of the car actually got inside the open door.

    My solution is to try not to let random screws, nails, etc. accumulate. Then you do not have to store them. Success is mixed.
    Any can with unknown contents should hit the dumpster. This is an opportunity to start out right.
    I do not need 1000 of anything and most of my fasteners are stored in quantities of 100 or less
    This likely works well for Nicholas, Jim and Glenn. My last purchase of 1-1/4" #8 flat head, slotted, brass screws was 1000 pieces. It won't be long before they are ordered again.

    Living in a place where the nearest store that carries a small selection of hardware is ~12 mi each way puts a different perspective on things. If my need is for a half dozen of a particular screw, then a box is purchased. It has kept me from having to buy more later many times.

    One of my solutions for quickly viewing the contents of a container of who knows what was to build a small tray with an opening in one corner. Dump the contents into the tray, forage through the contents then dump it back in the container.

    There are very few things that do not have some value. Somethings may only have the value of someone else being willing to take them away for free.

    A yard sale or garage sale can not only help get rid of the unwanted things it will raise some cash. It might even lead to some trades of something you don't want for something you do.

    Even my bent nails and stripped screws are set aside because they can be sold as scrap. It occasionally happens that some of that accumulation can be repurposed to fill a need.

    Of course, this doesn't work for everyone. In my former residence there were 4 or 5 hardware stores within 2 miles of my home. Two of them were a healthy walk away.

    One thought for your planning is how you will store things in your new shop. For example, if you like the French cleat method of attaching things to the wall, make tool storage boxes for transport that can then be used with cleats.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 01-17-2020 at 2:23 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    MT
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    This is a thread I will follow with interest.

    I am still trying to get my shop finished and currently unable to work on it but am interested in storage options others have employed.

    I seem to have 3 or 4 of several different types of storage gizmos. I haven't settled on anything that is standardized at all.

    Part of it for me is having 100 of some items and 5-10 of something else. Then there is trying to categorizing items...
    Regards,

    Kris

  13. #13
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    Part of it for me is having 100 of some items and 5-10 of something else. Then there is trying to categorizing items...
    It becomes a game of; Animal, Mineral or Vegetable only with; Machine screws, Wood screws or Bolts then; Flat head, round head or Hex and so on.

    For the few small screws, they can be categorized by putting different lengths of the same size (like #4) together.

    Some of my hardware came from particular machines. These piece are all kept separate from other fasteners in small boxes.

    Like items are kept together as much as possible.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris Cook View Post
    This is a thread I will follow with interest.

    I am still trying to get my shop finished and currently unable to work on it but am interested in storage options others have employed.

    I seem to have 3 or 4 of several different types of storage gizmos. I haven't settled on anything that is standardized at all.

    Part of it for me is having 100 of some items and 5-10 of something else. Then there is trying to categorizing items...
    I use a Plano box that is no longer available. Plano still makes a close cousin to these 2-24 compartment Stowaway 3700 series boxes but, the price seems to have gotten away from them. Back when they were about $5 apiece, they were well worth it. I am glad I bought twice as many as I thought I would ever need . . . I have a half a dozen Harbor Freight versions that I had to add. These hold everything from 5/16 x 18 bolts and nuts to #2 brass hinge screws, hinges, bumpers, latches, dowels, bearings, etc.

    Screw Measure (2).jpgparts-cab-sm.jpg

    You can see in the pic that I stick a little measuring tape . . . er, tape, on the inside of the lid. this makes for quick length identification. I always put them away, hinge-side to the right and there is a label on the end that gets me to the box I want. The second pic is from early on so, no labels showing yet. I don't have a current pic handy. Boxes and screws are stored upwards by size and sub-divided by type. You know; #6 trim head screws, #8 FHWS, #8 PHWS, #8 Washer head, #10's, machine screws, nuts, bolts, hinges, project parts, pulls and pull hardware, blah, blah, blah.
    “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it,”
    -Jonathan Swift

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    South West Ontario
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    954
    Stew, it is exciting setting up a shop, planning the space, running wiring, sub panels, dust collection, lighting etc. When you finish your space will neat, efficient, relaxing. The challenge is keeping it that way!
    Add piles of stickered lumber, bins of offcuts, sheet goods storage and stuff that has no purpose in the shop it gets less efficient.
    Tailor the space to your exact needs, keep your ‘core’ space sacred.
    All those ‘little’ storage jars, mini boxes of Perspex drawers etc hold next to nothing and with increasing years you never remember where you put stuff. I now have one plastic container for ALL those odd few screws, it’s very easy to find what you need oddly enough.
    Want to inspire yourself? Look at the Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking thread on here. Look at the teachers wall tool cabinet, that’s all the hand tools needed to produce work of the highest standard. Yes they have a machine shop for prep work, then they retreat to their Zen space.
    I have a total aversion to peg board, fine to sell toothbrushes but inefficient space for tools. Drawers, chests and shelves work for me.
    The highlights in my shop:
    A long clamp rack for vertical long clamp storage on a French cleat.
    Large lockable tool chest with one internal top sliding drawer, every tool has a place, I can find everything!
    Tool tray on workbench, one shelf under the workbench. Both hold a few tools used often.
    An assembly platform.
    A good vacuum cleaner.
    A rubber mat to stand on.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

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