My Humble Work Space.


Introduction: My Humble Work Space.

About: I live on the east coast of Canada, (New Brunswick). I have been tinkering and building things all my life and still manage to learn something new and exciting every day.

I am spoiled, I admit it, I have a winter and summer shop to play with. I still need to get better organized in both places, and perhaps develop better habits, such as putting things away after I use them. But that's an argument my wife and I have frequently.

The Summer shop does have some heat and I still need to go there to do many jobs on the big tools. All rough stock preparation and power sanding goes on in here. I also do any finish work out there that would create nasty air.

The winter shop, located in my basement, is a wonderful place to work. It is quiet, dust free and much bigger. Since I build a lot of stringed instruments, I find myself working with hand tools more often than not. This is the space for that, it is, for some reason, a very contemplative environment for me. And lets face it, after a stressful day at work, what better way to decompress than working quietly with hand tools on a project you enjoy.

Thanks for taking this little tour of my personal nirvana.  

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    8 Discussions

    Messes happen because things never had a place to go to begin with. It looks like you tried then what happened?

    7 replies

    Your assessment of the situation is very astute and I've never actually thought along those lines. What generally happens is after one project gets completed another one begins, or there might be several jobs going on concurrently. Since my available free time is limited I don't pack up a particular tool or supply because I know I'll need it again very shortly. So why waste time putting it away. It is a mind set I have that needs to change, and if what you say is accurate, and I feel it is, then my next project should be creating homes that are easily accessible for stuff.

    Indeed the greatest challenge to tool storage is to put equipment where it is most advantageous. Workshops need top down design approaches which incorporate concepts of work flow and task groupings. I put up an Instructable on this site with my previous account that addresses workshop design and offers a little used solution.

    While details of my shop may have altered in the intervening time the general overall layout has not changed all that much.

    The method helps one to step back and gain a new perspective of the complicated and often times confusing conundrum of workspace design. Strange as it may sound time invested in this task can often pay dividends in the long run. Well OK, it's ALWAYS worth it! I guess the real trick is don't under design it. As in don't do anything but plan until you hit upon something that really excites you to do.

    I know for me I had nothing spectacular for quite some time until things clicked and I had an epiphany moment of sorts. Enough so for me to act on. I was playing with my model and moving the center long work bench back and forth, back and forth, saying I'd like it here, but it has to be here. Then I looked at another scrap of cardboard in the model that represented a heavy duty dolly I had for moving around my milling machine on and it was like I was thunderstruck by a thought!

    But like I said don't rush the process. You'll know when the time to act is, and until then well its not like you're going backwards or anything right? With a model you can toss out crazy ideas, bad ideas, all sorts of ideas. let the process run its course. Don't jump until you KNOW you can change Humble to Bold! I think I'll coin a new phrase now, make it when its easy.

    I have tried the modelling approach, but nothing really excited me, as you put it. I have not given up on the idea, and will return to it as the weather warms. No, I don't feel I've gone backwards, but the forward motion seems to have slowed down. Could be the cold weather. I think I can identify two key areas that need the most attention, wood/materials storage and the ubiquitious small, one of a kind parts storage. "Misc. parts" would comprise all the lables on the storage boxes.

    I do agree that time invested in better organization leads to time saved in the building process. I'm constantly looking for something. But ironically, after I've done a clean up, and put things in what I call "cleaver" spots, I end up forgetting where that spot was. It is a running joke between my wife and I.

    I am truly greatful for your thoughts and insights and will check out the youtube and instructable links you added.

    I have OCD tendencies and usually keep tools of the same function together. It makes sense in that if I am looking for my orbital sander I know that it should be on the shelf with all the other sanders (belt, palm, sandpaper blocks, sandpaper sheets, etc.) it works as a time saver only when looking for tools, however if I put all the most used tools within arms reach I'll have the roofing nailer tucked away by the rafters while the framing nailer is on the second shelf, and the finish nailer is at arms length. This keeps me up at night. Just kidding...actually, I'm not. : (

    Happiness = A ratchet wrench set with no empty spots....even if the 4.5 mm socket will never be used.

    My milling machine has a 14mm socket from one of my sets. I'm in the market for a replacement, but so far I have not come across one as of yet. I'm hopeful this season I'll stumble across one.

    It has it's own ratchet drives too, but I have plenty of those so I do not miss them anywhere. One to raise the column, and one to adjust the belt speed. I don't like having to change sockets.

    This is just some of my mill's hand tools. They belong to it, and don't go anywhere else. Beats walking all over my garage to get the stuff whenever I need it.