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© 2008 by Kelly Smith all rights reserved
Fall is Here; Clean up the Wood Shop
With the weather cooling off, this is a great time to get geared up for indoor DIY projects. Forget the
siding, forget the landscaping, now is the time for kitchen cabinet renovation and bathroom makeovers.
But these type of projects presume a clean and manageable work shop. I am guilty as charged; I often
fail to put tools, nails, screws etc. back where they belong.
Throw Out What You Wont Use
As DIYers, we are confirmed pack rats. Theres a bin or container for everything, be it a
bolt, screw, or nail. Im guilty of not tossing anything. But if theres a scrap of hardwood that
been gathering dust for a couple of years, the fireplace might be a fitting destination.
Start at the Work Bench
Its a fact; you cant work on something if theres nowhere to do it! My work bench gets
piled up with my stuff as well as the stuff SHMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) and the daughter stack up there.
These are low-hanging fruits just waiting to be picked in the re-organization process.
Shuffle this stuff to storage bins and other storage spaces as much as possible. I like those little
plastic cabinets from Target. They are great for organizing all those weird tools. Ive got one drawer
for screwdrivers, another for chisels, etc. (I need one for Freudian slips!) And after all, how many times
do you get an opportunity to use that Whitney Punch?
And the glass-cutter? And the roller tool for setting the screen splines? And those taps and dies
that gather dust until the one day that theyll save you yet another trip to the hardware
Power Tools Need Their Space
I have one overhead shelf for power tools that come with their hard plastic cases like drills, biscuit
joiners, routers, etc. Unfortunately, I don't always repack when Im done.
All my benchtop tools (drill press, belt sander, and the like, spend active hours on top of the bench
and sleeping hours inside the body of the bench). Quick change-out is the key here.
If you're shopping for tools check out what's On Sale at Rockler!.
Some woodworkers have nice cabinets with drawers to stow different grit sandpapers, and I mean to do
it myself someday. In the meantime, Ive got file folders tacked up (like those hanging file folders)
to hold the different sheets.
It works but the sheets tend to curl so Ill have to do the real thing soon at
Yes, this the most problematic issue of any woodworker on limited real estate. Where to store all
that nice hardwood stock? I didnt used to have that enviable problem but when my master carpenter
Father in Law went to that great work shop in the sky, I found myself with a nice treasure trove of
So Pity me. Right. Anyhow, Im figuring out a method of storing it so that I can free up floor space
for staging larger projects like book shelves. Wish me well.