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Why I HATE Shop Tours
Like most everyone here, I had several posts in the works, things planned which were going to take a while to get to a point at which they could be shared. But, with the Pond drying up, I'm having to post this a little early.
Now, let me first say that I love seeing everyone else's shops. Always have. But they always make me feel some amount of guilt, or jealousy, or inadequacy - whatever. I'm not a neat freak, but I am big into organization. However, I'm also a stay-at-home dad and was, until September, 2002, a 45-minute woodworker, doing my thing in the garage during my son's naptime. When his sister was born, though, I became (seriously) a 15-minute woodworker. Had deadlines on Christmas projects coming up, kids to care for, and almost no naptime left in which to work. What suffered? Organization. And it suffered big.
With that explanation, I'll share (with a great amount of trepidation) what my shop had become:
Now, you may look at this and think, "No way - must've just been throwing things out there. Couldn't be working in that mess." But I was.
The table saw was covered with a blanket for some finishing I was doing (note: oil and poly cure real slow when it's 22°F in the shop...), but I would and did uncover the saw and work in the space, just as you see it there.
One thing kept me sane, though - the promise I made to myself to set up a somewaht real shop after the holidays.
Well, New Year's came and went, and I actually made good on my resolution.
I Insultated the bare exterior walls...
pegboarded the whole place, and started organizing.
I Hung a bunch of ventilated shelving, threw out an unreal amount of scrap, dust, and garbage that had accumulated, and have started working on a workbench to provide decent workspace and storage. There's still a lot of lumber leaning up against a wall (lumber storage is coming soon), but the first thing getting worked on after the bench is going to chew all that wood up.
I'm working on a dust collector to actually keep the area clean. There was still some miscellany piled on the saw when I took the 'after' shots, but for the most part, that's all stuff being used that day. I'm really pleased, because now, not only can I traverse the garage and not step on anything but concrete, but also because, with the new insulation, the temperature never drops below 28°. With a little 1500 watt space heater, it's a comfortable 47° in about 30 minutes.
There's still a lot to do, but like I said, this is a work in progress, and I wanted to get it posted before the 28th.
Anyway, thanks for looking. Please keep the guffaws and disgusted harrumphs to a minimum - I've learned my lesson. I knew for a long time that the majority of my woodworking time was being wasted looking for a tool that had no real home; now I giggle to myself every time I need a square, and can pluck it off the wall.
Oh, one other thing: Learn from my mistakes. Don't let this happen to you...
Scott, burying his head in the sand in Douglassville, PA
Originally posted 15 February 2003
wb 15 February 2003