A mess after every project ... The morning after


Bobby Slack
 Share

Recommended Posts

There is definitely a "morning after" feel to my shop after finishing up a project. In fact, I think I've decided from now on to call my stepping over/around, stumbling through my post-project mess "the walk of shame."

Thankfully this variety of "walk of shame" doesn't require me to wear sunglasses and try to figure out what happened to my underpants.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have found for me the best time to do it is while im waiting on my final glue up to dry, I make sure all the tools are back in place and all the surfaces are clean and scraps picked up etc and then I call it a night, Go back the next morning into a fresh clean shop and do my finishing that way when im done I dont have that feeling of not wanting to go into the shop knowing that I have to clean up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a bit more OCD than even the average woodworker, but I make a point of spending 15-20 minutes at the end of each shop session cleaning up and putting tools away. There is nothing I hate more than going to the shop the next morning to find a mess. So I make sure I've gotten all dust and shavings off the bench and saws, and put away all the tools (unless i quit in the middle of a setup or operation). Then when an entire project is done, I like to do a more thorough job getting behind the stationary tools, and giving the floor a thorough vacuuming. I'll wax any tool surfaces or hand planes that I used, and hone any blades and irons that saw use in the last project. If I get to the point where the shop is messy and hard to navigate, I find that I get less focused and my work actually suffers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a couple of things I do to keep my shop clean. One is from an article, and one is just good old common sense.

I read a great article one time. I think it was if Fine Woodworking about keeping a shop from getting out of hand. Its inevitable that a shop will get a little messy durring a project and this is ok to an extent. The article made a great suggestion that I made myself adhear to every day I worked in the shop. It said when you walk in the shop pick up and put away at least 20 things if possible, this can be anything from a clamp to a router bit. Then at the end of the day when your all done put away 20 things. This was really hard to make myself do at first but after a while it becomes second nature. Now this doesnt always work, I think we have all been called away from the shop at a moments notice for one reason or another, but whenever possible try this, it really does work.

The other thing I do is get really ridiculous about tool orginization. Every single thing in my shop has a home. Do not have miscellaneous junk drawers! You will never find your tools and will be frustrated as hell. Instead have a drawer for layout tools(pencils, squares, tape measures, etc. Its easy to whip open that drawer and through something in it, and if there isnt a bunch of screw drivers, and drill bits in there its easy to find things. I have a place just for "Fastener tools" this is my drill and nail gun shelf. These are just examples but you get the idea, give everything a home. It makes cleaning up way faster. I know you have been cleaning up at one point or another and found yourself staring at something in your hand wondering where in the hell do I put this thing, remember you just wasted valuble shop time doing that so find it a home.

Just some tips that work for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find that one of the things that helps is having a "shared space" for your workshop. If someone else comes along to that space on a regular basis, and can yell at you for leaving things out for them to trip over, it's a good motivation to pick up after yourself.

I have a basement shop, which is a bit of a misnomer, since I share one corner with stacks of storage items. I actually spent some time today doing some spring cleaning, which felt great. (got me motivated enough to cut one of two shelves for my tool table I put off for a while. (three years is a while, right?)

Next step is to tame some of that clutter that needs storage... and figure out how much of it is actually mine.

But since I share this space with not just other people, but also the laundry (which never seems to end), I constantly have to walk through and around things. If I'm tripping over it, I try to put it away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Every single thing in my shop has a home.

This was the key for me as well. Before my last round of organization, I had a few things that I kept on my workbench just because I didn't have any other place to put them. Well, it was way too easy to let those "few things" become "several things", then "lots of things" to the point where I never could completely put everything away. I finally broke down and built a bunch of drawers into my shop furniture and that really helped.

-- Russ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not a little OCD-I am a lot OCD (drives my wife nutts). All my tools have a home in a cabinet or a drawer with dividers and at the end of each day everything is put away. I use my blow gun and spray down all the tools and the shop from one end to the other to get the sawdust. All in all it probably takes about 20-30min. at the end of each day. I tend to get irritated very quickly if I have to work in clutter, just the way I am.

Nate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My name is Rob, and I am a hypocrite. I lost track of time in the shop the other night, and was almost late for meeting some friends for dinner. So I didn't get a chance to clean up a single speck of dust at the end of the day. And guess what, the last thing I did was a circle cutting router job on 3 30" diameter pieces of 1" maple (I don't want to do the math, but that's quite a few linear feet of heavy material removal). Needless to say, my shop floor is absolutely covered with chips, and there is a heavy film of dust all over every surface in the shop. I can't even bring myself to go into the shop now, I might just wall over the door and forget it's even there. On a serious note though, this exercise made me realize its time to invest in a plunge router with better dust and chip control. The Triton 3 1/4 HP model is on sale at WC right now, I might have to take the "plunge".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made a point a few years ago to take time to clean up for a few minutes when wrapping up in the evening. Not a total clean and organize but just 5 minutes of straightening up. It has made a big improvement to my work flow. I recently read somewhere, sorry I don't recall where, the philosophy of every time you leave the shop you have to put 10 things away.

-Gary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I clean up the wood chips/dust when Im done with the operation. Well sort of Just the stuff around the work tables. Im in the middle of a big project now. But When I finish it. Ill go through the shop (garage) and do a major cleaning of my tools. My shop is due for a major reorg. Im going to move things, get rid of old paints and stuff I dont use or are out dated, do away with some cabs and put stuff into org boxes and label them that sort of thing. I got 4 huge stereo speakers Im giving to my boy to give to the school for their locker room. hes a soccer player and wants to play music louder then the football team :>D he should be able to do that with those speakers. Anyway, I hope to get the project done this week. I took a week off work to finish it. Im on schedule so its all good.

I need to get a hair cut too….

Maybe this afternoon waiting for the stain to dry on the doors I made….

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Who's Online   1 Member, 0 Anonymous, 144 Guests (See full list)

  • Forum Statistics

    29.7k
    Total Topics
    402.9k
    Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    22413
    Total Members
    3644
    Most Online
    BrianLit
    Newest Member
    BrianLit
    Joined