HELP, my shop is a MESS

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Lloyd-ss

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I love this stream-of-consciousness where somebody's comments inspires the next person. SOOOO many great ideas and experiences.

As a continuation of post #37........., when my parents were both gone I had to prep their house (150 miles away) in a nice lower middle class neighborhood for a decent sale. Cleaning, painting, a couple of new appliances. A perfect starter home. There was actually a bidding war and a young couple won it. I had already taken what I wanted and everything else was stacked neatly in the nice garage. I needed to make one more trip to the place and I called the young couple on the phone. They answered me in their car at the grocery store. I said I was coming down in a couple of days to finish cleaning out the garage and asked the guy if there was anything there that they might want. I immediately heard a woman's voice in the background blurt out "tell him we'll take everything!!!!" They both rode motorcycles, and said the nice garage in an affordable neighborhood was just what they had been looking for.... for a long time. OMG, I loved that! They would be adding to the memories and carrying on the "working in the shop" tradition! It really made me feel good.
Lloyd
P.S. BTW, my dad and brother and I built that garage when I was about 14.
 

GreenTwin

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As I get older, I have started to get rid of things that "I may need one day", and things that have not been used for 20 (+) years.

One problem I have is that I sometimes do demonstration iron pours at local art-iron events.
So that means I have to transport my furnace, and all the equipment and materials (including very heavy gray iron) to some remote location, set it up, operate it, take it down, transport it back, and then get it all back into the shop.

My goal is to make the foundry stuff modular; ie: put it in containers and put things in designated spots, and perhaps mount some things on wheels, where I can roll most of it out, use it, and then roll it back into the shop again (to do iron pours).

My shop is too small of course, and I have added a portable building, which helps a lot with the foundry equipment.

And I purchased a double decker toolbox that is about 30" long, and about 60" tall, so not too big of a footprint, but lots of tool space.

I try to keep everything on wheels, so I can rearrange as necessary, as I get more organized.

I have seen Rich Carlsedt's shop, and while I did not take any photos, I can say that it is an extremely nice shop, and I think an addition to his house.
Rich's shop was clean and organized, and all the machines were clean as I recall.
Very spacious too !

The saying is that a dirty shop is a dangerous shop, and so I have learned to never let any trash hit the floor, ever.
And I don't keep a garbage can full of trash in the shop, since I have seen shop fires start in garbage cans.
If I throw something away, I put it in a trash sack, and then take that sack to the outdoor trash bin when I leave the shop.

I intend to lay out my shop/shed on paper one day, but first I have to figure out what exactly that I want to do.
My problem is that I like to do everything, and so the focus is not just on machining, but on a wide range of activities.

I have started using clear containers, and that helps quite a bit.
Clear plastic containers don't get wet or absorb moisture, and that is also a real plus.
Cardboard boxes will start to sag under weight over time, if the shop is on the damp side.

Keeping the humidity out of the shop is a bit of a challenge, and I generally use a dehumidifier in the summer months.

Trying to keep dirt and sawdust migration to a minimum is another big task.
I keep one lathe covered at all times (my Myford).

Edit:
The other consideration is that I don't really know what the best arrangement for my shop equipment is, and so I am learning as I go.
If something is in an awkward location, I will rearrange things, and so my shop is morphing over time.
I am not sure exactly how my shop will end up, but I hope to have a "build" area, and a "display" area, and use a dust curtain between these areas.
.

Edit02:
Full sized steam engines, even small ones, take up a lot of space in the shop.
It is very hard to find good steam engines for sale, and so when I see a nice one, I tend to grab it.
My wife always asks "Where are you going to put that?".
My response "Somewhere".

.
rImg_1375.jpg
 
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Every time my shop gets full of trash, tree leaves, saw dust, papers, etc. I open both big doors then park my go-kart in 1 door and start the engine. The 30" airplane propeller makes a tornado wind IN one door around the shop then OUT the other door. LOOK OUT all the trash blows out the other door. It only takes 45 seconds to clean my shop. LOL. My shop is organized but dirty.

View attachment 143955
tatally badass!
 

Zeb

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Thanks for the inspiration Lloyd. I got my closet zone done and my indoor raw materials list. Moved items into togetherness as others suggested. Amazing how much brighter the room is with light reflecting off my table.

excel.PNG
 

Richard Hed

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Thanks for the inspiration Lloyd. I got my closet zone done and my indoor raw materials list. Moved items into togetherness as others suggested. Amazing how much brighter the room is with light reflecting off my table.

View attachment 143999
Ahsooo . . . ! you live close enough to Spokane that you visit Alcobra often, I see. I also see that you buy a lot of plate from them. I buy rod and hex from them and a bit of other stuff.
 
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Steamchick- your post #34 finally inspired me to respond to this great thread.
First off, it's really good to hear so many stories of sheds just like mine- everything hung up on the floor, can't find a thing!! Makes me feel I am among friends.
On the led "flouros", good to hear you rescued them- far too many just get chucked away. Did you know they can also be cut into sections and used as smaller lights, under shelves, in cupboards, etc.
If you pull the diffuser off and look carefully you will see the leds are in strips around 280mm or so long, with solder joints between to make up the full 4 foot. If you cut through the whole section carefully exactly in the middle of the solder joint, you finish up with a mini led flouro that can be powered with around 24v dc.
If you know anyone who maintains the large commercial drink fridges, they will usually give you as many "dead" ones as you can carry away- great for that bit of unused space in the shed that this thread has encouraged you to create!!
 

Richard Hed

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As I get older, I have started to get rid of things that "I may need one day", and things that have not been used for 20 (+) years.

One problem I have is that I sometimes do demonstration iron pours at local art-iron events.
So that means I have to transport my furnace, and all the equipment and materials (including very heavy gray iron) to some remote location, set it up, operate it, take it down, transport it back, and then get it all back into the shop.

My goal is to make the foundry stuff modular; ie: put it in containers and put things in designated spots, and perhaps mount some things on wheels, where I can roll most of it out, use it, and then roll it back into the shop again (to do iron pours).

My shop is too small of course, and I have added a portable building, which helps a lot with the foundry equipment.

And I purchased a double decker toolbox that is about 30" long, and about 60" tall, so not too big of a footprint, but lots of tool space.

I try to keep everything on wheels, so I can rearrange as necessary, as I get more organized.

I have seen Rich Carlsedt's shop, and while I did not take any photos, I can say that it is an extremely nice shop, and I think an addition to his house.
Rich's shop was clean and organized, and all the machines were clean as I recall.
Very spacious too !

The saying is that a dirty shop is a dangerous shop, and so I have learned to never let any trash hit the floor, ever.
And I don't keep a garbage can full of trash in the shop, since I have seen shop fires start in garbage cans.
If I throw something away, I put it in a trash sack, and then take that sack to the outdoor trash bin when I leave the shop.

I intend to lay out my shop/shed on paper one day, but first I have to figure out what exactly that I want to do.
My problem is that I like to do everything, and so the focus is not just on machining, but on a wide range of activities.

I have started using clear containers, and that helps quite a bit.
Clear plastic containers don't get wet or absorb moisture, and that is also a real plus.
Cardboard boxes will start to sag under weight over time, if the shop is on the damp side.

Keeping the humidity out of the shop is a bit of a challenge, and I generally use a dehumidifier in the summer months.

Trying to keep dirt and sawdust migration to a minimum is another big task.
I keep one lathe covered at all times (my Myford).

Edit:
The other consideration is that I don't really know what the best arrangement for my shop equipment is, and so I am learning as I go.
If something is in an awkward location, I will rearrange things, and so my shop is morphing over time.
I am not sure exactly how my shop will end up, but I hope to have a "build" area, and a "display" area, and use a dust curtain between these areas.
.

Edit02:
Full sized steam engines, even small ones, take up a lot of space in the shop.
It is very hard to find good steam engines for sale, and so when I see a nice one, I tend to grab it.
My wife always asks "Where are you going to put that?".
My response "Somewhere".

.
View attachment 143982
Lucky you that you can find steam engines occassionally--where I live, I thimpfk I have NEVER seen one EVER for sale.
 

GreenTwin

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Lucky you that you can find steam engines occassionally--where I live, I thimpfk I have NEVER seen one EVER for sale.
Ebay is your friend, if you are looking for antique engines.
You have to watch it about every other day, for years sometimes, like 10 years.

Old engines are rare, but occasionally they pop up on ebay.

I saw a Frisco Standard one time in an auction, but I think it was in a boat, and it went for quite a bit of money, perhaps 12-14K.

I mainly collect steam engines, since they are easier to get running if they still spin.
I have a few hit-and-miss model engines.

Edit:
Sometimes people selling on ebay miss-label an engine, and so it does not list in many searches, or does not list correctly.
I picked up a Speedy Twin pretty cheap like that, but it was disassembled, it was not obvious from the photos that the parts were for a Speedy Twin, and the listed name was not "Speedy Twin", and not "Soule" either.
I doubt anyone else realized what it was when it was on ebay.
I have spent a lot of time in the Soule museum in Meridian MS, and so I am very familiar with the engine.

I found an old advertisement for an O&S steam engine that was on an expired ebay page.
I contacted the seller to see if he had any photos he could share, assuming that the engine had sold long ago.
He said "Instead of photos, how about you just buy the engine?".
And so just through blind luck I was able to buy the O&S.
He said nobody bid on it when it was listed on ebay, and I never saw it on ebay.

Edit:
My wife would no doubt kill me if I purchased any more steam or IC engines.
I always tell her that I pretty much have the ones I want to collect, but then I find another "must-have" like the Dake I found the other day.

I would like to buy a Frisco Standard marine engine.
Those are rare as snow in heck, and rather large and heavy too, so I guess I will cast a scale model of one of those.

And I would like a ball hopper monitor, but I don't want a full sized one, and I don't want the kit with the 9" flywheel, so once again I will have to make my own. I would like one with perhaps a 11" or 12" flywheel, and a 2" bore.

.
 
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Mike Ginn

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A bit off topic but not worth a new topic! LEDs have no real wear out mechanism. Before you all jump up and down and spill your tea its not the LEDs which fail but the drivers and or connections. I use many GU10 capsule LED lights and they last from 500 hours to 8000 hours and the box says up to 50,000 hours. In the case of the GU10 it is heat which causes the failure of the electronics.

The lights are usually made cheaply and have many failure modes - take one apart and you will usually find burnt components but the LED elements will test OK.

Mike
 

Lloyd-ss

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I was "doing the right thing" today, straightening up my shop a little (very little) and ran across a small cardboard mystery box. Inside were 3 screwdrivers, a handful of loose Allen wrenches, and my good Starrett mikes in their red case. I had been looking for those for about 2 months. Who the heck put them in that cardboard box? :rolleyes:
Lloyd
 

Mike Ginn

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Lloyd. Thats the problem of packings "things" away". My system is very organised BUT if I incorrectly place an item in the wrong box its lost! I really have to be firm with myself and record everything. To make it easy I write on my printed list the location. Its quicker than firing up the laptop.
I have to admit to the world that on a few occasions I have needed to search through 500 small plastic draws to find that critical item I had not recorded but knew existed - I think the last time it was a box of bifurcated rivets!
Mike
 

Lloyd-ss

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I don’t have to put things away to lose them. I can do it while standing at the lathe and not moving an inch. Where is that mic? It has to be within arms reach, but I don‘t see it!
I am going to try ang give us a get out of jail free card based on a few personal observations. The first is progressive lenses. Before I got progressives several years ago, I could dump the container of mixed stainless steel screws out on the work bench and instantly spot what I needed. With the progressives, I need to scan small areas at a time. It takes much longer and makes me feel like I overlooked what I was hunting for.
The second has to do with the actual visibility of tools. I could spot my old 6" calipers from across the shop. But something about the finish and color on my new calipers makes them blend into the background. I am seriously considering getting some florescent paint to hi-lite and color code the more vital tools.
I think that will help, especially if it is within arms length, LOL.
Lloyd
 

Lloyd-ss

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I lost an inside mike, a 24" caliper and a set of depth mikes. After many years, I found them when I was straightening thingd up. They had slid beside a file cabinet and behind a workbench. Was really glad to find them
It sounds like those were within a nickel's worth of being lost forever.

Re: losing the jam in the kitchen: I am sure it will show up. In our kitchen, I do the clean-up and loading and unloading of the dishwasher. EVERYTHING in the kitchen has a specific place and I make sure of that. I think it is a coping mechanism where I feel like I am totally in control of at least one space in the house. It helps to keep me sane.
Lloyd
 

Mike Ginn

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LLoyd The more expensive varifocal lens can have a much wider field of view for reading but will always be worse than pure reading glasses.

My suggestion is to buy a pair of safety reading glasses from a online traded. Not only will you have excellent vision for the distance you mostly use but you will also have eye protection with side shields. Hot metal chips from a lathe into the eye would really spoil your day and more!
Mike
 

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