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Messy work bench....

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[10] Like what you see?
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Hukshawn

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#1
Mark (markba633csi) and I were having a conversation earlier this afternoon and an excuse to clean a messy workbench came up.
I asked him to repeat himself and speak up as I couldn't hear him over my messy work bench...

IMG_20180311_135546.jpg


So, I call on all... Come on guys, let's see your shame!
 

Dave Smith

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#8
I think you guys cleaned up before you took the pictures-I am still looking for several lost work benches that are underneath somewhere---The first 5 are from my small shop---then I will get some from my larger shop --- small shop (1).JPG small shop (2).JPG small shop (3).JPG small shop (4).JPG small shop (5).JPG Dave
 

Crank

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#10
Dave,
Blue light bulbs??? Seriously, who the heck keeps blue light bulbs! (fifth photo)

Mark
 

Hukshawn

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#11
Oh man. The house I've been working on for several months was like this when the clients father passed away. Had lots of money and liked auctions. The barns were worse than this. The major dissapointment was that all the piles of stuff, it was all just garbage. Nothing had value, nothing worked, everything was broken or half fixed. The auctions he went to and bought were old factories selling off old broken tools and machines. Shame...
 

woodchucker

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#14
Thanks you guys, you make me feel better, when I can't see my bench, I clean it. Because I can't find what I'm looking for. I guess I'm a neat freak compared to you guys. Crank, you win man. All the others, you could get to what you needed with a little work. With yours, your never going to find it.
 

Dave Smith

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#15
Oh man. The house I've been working on for several months was like this when the clients father passed away. The barns were worse than this. The major dissapointment was that all the piles of stuff, it was all just garbage. Nothing had value, nothing worked, everything was broken or half fixed. Shame...
Shawn--I think everything I have works---well---well--there may be a couple items that need fixing--that's why I am a hobby machinist and like old machines---Dave
 

Crank

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#16
woodchucker,
My friends start a pool every time I clean my shop to see how long it will last. I'm like a drunk falling off the wagon. My current excuse is I need to get to a gun show to sell off years of brass, ammo, scopes, parts, ad infinitum that are eating up a lot of space. My model boats are filling all of the other hiding places. I'm tempted to rent a storage unit to get stuff that I plan to sell, out and then whittle the pile down from there (using the cost as a motivator). I'm at a point I want to streamline what I own and eliminate all of the clutter.

Mark
 

Uncle Buck

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#18
No pics, but Crank and Dave Smith are the closest thing to what I have going on out there. However, there is hope. I have been spending a lot of evenings and weekends working on my mess. Hung more and brighter lights, hung shelves, painting wall cabinets, emptying trash from the shop. Organizing as I go. The other night I finally got my stainless steel bench top slid under my metal lathe. Today I repainted a wall white, installed a new LED light over the lathe and hung a couple of shelves on the wall for tooling behind the lathe.

I plan on having it cleared out in a few months. I am doing more than simple cleaning, I am painting and improving things as well which adds more time to a shop cleanup. When I started you could barely get from the man door to the bench. Now at least that much is a clear path.
 

682bear

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#21
And... Speaking of colored bulbs... I have a few pink bulbs on my workbench that my wife bought for a lamp in her classroom... she is a 6th grade teacher...

Should I have admitted that? Oh, well...

-Bear
 

RandyM

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#23
A cluttered workbench is not a workbench, it is a storage shelf. There is nothing more frustrating to me to need to work on a workbench with clutter. Sorry guys, this is not my style, but hey, you need to do what works for ya. :encourage:

In fact, this is the style of my late stepfather and as I was growing up vowed to never adapt it.
 

Hukshawn

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#24
I don't care for it either. I'm often sitting at the bench working on something with small parts or screws with little legs that run away, or fall down drill holes. Its always projects that are healing or waiting that overflow the bench.
After working at that farmhouse this past year, I did a major purge of crap in the garage. If I hadn't used it in the past year, no matter if I thought it was useful or valuable, it went, curb or garbage bin. Felt good...
Built a bunch of cabinets and storage. I even had room to add another machine when I was done... Maybe it was foresight... Lol
 

Uncle Buck

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#25
A cluttered workbench is not a workbench, it is a storage shelf. There is nothing more frustrating to me to need to work on a workbench with clutter. Sorry guys, this is not my style, but hey, you need to do what works for ya. :encourage:

In fact, this is the style of my late stepfather and as I was growing up vowed to never adapt it.
My first question for you is how big is your shop? If you have a machine shed or Morton building, or a 4-5 car garage then keeping things clean and benches uncluttered is not exactly a tough assignment since you have plenty of real estate to address the issue. If you are on a playing field that is level with mine you have a detached 22' X 22' foot garage. It does not take much effort to fill that space to overflowing.

I have a cardinal rule regarding machines, tooling and anything related to the shop. If an opportunity arises to get something shop related (most of my stuff is used, cheap, sale, free, or found at the curb) Then I drag it home. I always work from the perspective of get it home first, then figure out the storage and other issues second. You can always get rid of it after the fact if it is not going to work for your needs. Never say no without first seeing if you can make it work. That thinking has gotten me all of my wall cabinets in the shop free and a whole of other things like bench tops and the wood to make those benches.

Since I am not retired and have three kids in school shop cleanliness, organization and order are way down low on my list of priorities too. It will get cleaned up when I get the time to clean it up. The most important priority in my shop has always been great organization in my mechanic chest and roll cab. I can always put my hand on any tool I need immediately which is the way it has always been regardless how cluttered the rest of my shop might currently be.
 

Crank

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#26
insurgent U,
You nailed my scenario, I manage everything in the rear 2/3 of a 2 car garage. 6' long 2500lb lathe, Schaublin 102 lathe. 9x42 Bridgeport, 7" shaper, TIG welder, Oxy/Acet tanks, 2 workbenches, 2 safes, 3 Vidmar cabinets, etc...

Mark
 

PHPaul

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#27
I'm not sure if it's a blessing or a curse, but I'm so scatterbrained that I have a bad case of CFS to go with my CRS. Can't Find Stuff.

Sure, the bench gets a little cluttered while actually working, but it gets cleaned up and everything put away when I'm done, or at the very least before I start the next project.

Example: Bought the Grizzly mini-lathe. Set it up in the basement which is at least somewhat climate controlled. Needed to have a selection of tools, calipers, bits, etc handy. Therefore, needed to buy ANOTHER tool box and put up ANOTHER piece of pegboard to have some place to put them.

That's in addition to the BIG Husky box in the garage with the general mechanic's tools, the box for plumbing stuff, the box for household repair stuff, the box for model-building stuff, the box for electrical work, the multiple boxes for Arduino components, etc. etc.

There's going to be an EPIC yard sale the afternoon of my funeral...
 

Uncle Buck

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#28
insurgent U,
You nailed my scenario, I manage everything in the rear 2/3 of a 2 car garage. 6' long 2500lb lathe, Schaublin 102 lathe. 9x42 Bridgeport, 7" shaper, TIG welder, Oxy/Acet tanks, 2 workbenches, 2 safes, 3 Vidmar cabinets, etc...

Mark
Exactly! Forgetting the small stuff I have one 7" and one 8" metal shaper, my 12" Cman lathe, two floor height drill presses, a small horizontal band saw, a per hack saw, a vert Cman wood bandsaw I plan to convert for steel, a 10" Cman table saw (the old type, all cast iron) A Lincoln Idealarc AC/DC welder, Oxy/Acet tanks and several extra bottles as well. An end lift jack for cars, a 40" Cman top box and roller. More top boxes on the bench. A parts wash tank, a storage cabinet like sized to the Vidmar, a 60 gallon air compressor, another roll around 20 gallon air compressor that will be leaving, two disk/belt sanders, a 4" wood jointer, a 6" wood planer, two wood cutting jig saws (the old timers, not the small ones you find today) a large Fastenal bolt bin, floor model. And honestly that is not all of it, there is a machinists roll cab and several 7 drawer Kennedy top boxes. There is a bunch more too.

HA! You have a safe out there too! I brought home a little one that I underestimated the weight of about a year ago. I think it must weigh most of 1000 lbs! Once I got it home I decided no way was I going to try and get it in my house! Now it sets on the floor of the garage against the wall! LOL

I have given up on the wood working machines. I am giving almost all of my dedicated wood working machinery to my nephew since I do not see my situation changing for the better any time soon. So over the next year I am going to do my best to reclaim some of my space without giving up machines or tools used my machining interests, or my auto mechanic interest. While I am doing that I am cleaning, decluttering, painting, improving lighting, adding wall shelves etc. all in an effort to get back to better organization and a shop that I can enjoy using.

For years when the kids were younger it was tough to find shop time. The kids are getting older and it is becoming easier to find time to go to the shop and enjoy myself, even if it is cleaning and decluttering I get to see the improvement and I know what the mission is.

Keep in mind the size of my garage!
 

RandyM

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#30
As I mentioned in my first post, my late step father was of this practice also. I found that no matter how big or how many buildings we had, none of them ended up being work spaces, they were storage spaces. I think one can rationalize anything to their given situation if one is inclined. If you want use the "my space is too small" defense then who am I to argue with you. I just know that my spaces are for working in and not storage, whether it is the workbench or the building that houses it. Again, if that sort of thing really doesn't bother than you, then hey, who am I to tell you are not happy. I just know that is not my still and would not be even thinking of working in that kind of atmosphere.

And you correct, it does come down to priorities and for me I will never fill my work spaces up as storage. As many would not like to admit, it is a mindset and away of doing things. I agree, even for me it is not easy and requires constant vigil not let it get out of hand and that is when a evaluation and an action needs to take place.

I am not a neat freak either. My messes can get really ugly. It is just that they are project messes and depending on the size and duration can go through several pick-ups and re-organization. I also find that sweeping and cleaning are a lot easier to do also when things are organized. I also found that I needed to limit my interests. As much as I would enjoy restoring or building any number of things, trains, tractors, cabinetry, airplanes, ballooning, machine tools, and etc. I had to limit myself and stay focused on a couple of things, cars and gas pumps.

Again, I am not preaching here. I know some of you are very happy with things being this way. I am just saying it is not my style or way of doing things.
 
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