After setting up my new bandsaw last weekend I realized I need to do some re-organizing in the shop.
I’ve got a couple of problems that are made slightly worse by allocating space for a new stationary tool.
First, I’ve got a pile of handheld poser tools that don’t have a home. This started out innocently enough, a router in a box I’d bought sat here, then a pin nailer perched on top of it, and before I knew it they were breeding, and have spawned baby routers and palm sanders. Lordy…
Next, I’m using my old woodworking bench for doing stained glass. It’s not well suited to the task as it’s too narrow and doesn’t have storage space for sheet glass and supplies — and it’s taking up space. There is a pile of art glass sheets stacked under it, layered between cardboard. There is never enough room on top for all of the tools necessary for the process — of which there are only a few anyway. And because the things that belong here aren’t well organized, other stuff tends to accumulate.
I also don’t have any place to store projects as I’m working on them. I end up stacking parts on the table saw, jointer and anywhere else I can put them. And then moving them when I need to use that tool. Of course, part of the solution is to finish projects before starting another, and then move them into the house. I’ve actually been doing a pretty good job at that though.
Simmilarly, the top of the table saw has become a place where stuff accumulates. The table saw collects pieces of a project and bits and pieces for tools that are nearby. Move the rip fence and router bits get knocked on the floor, not ideal…
So I need some shop furniture to help better utilize the space I have. Quickly, before this becomes unmanageable.
Thinking out loud, there are some simple things I can do today, and some things that will take a bit more work. The old workbench and all of the stained glass supplies and tools are going to get relocated, as is, to the metal shop. Instant win. My ultimate goal for that is to build a roll-around workbench with storage for sheet glass and other supplies, and a built-in light table. But relocating it will relieve the pressure in the wood shop, and let me focus on some other projects.
I have a metal shop cart that I can use to hold my current project, the Thorsen Cabinet, which will free up my tools so I use them to build some new shop furniture. Here are my thoughts on that.
First, I think I need dedicated storage space for a few things: A wall cabinet for hand held power tools. A small wall cabinet for drill bits and maybe router bits. And then one or two roll-around shop carts.
The shop carts need to serve a couple of purposes. They should be able to work as an out feed table for the table saw, and perhaps the planer. They can store materials and sub-assemblies while I’m building a project, and they can serve as finishing stands. I’ve been searching the ‘net to see what other people do, and what would make sense to me. I found a simple shop cart plan from ShopNotes magazine that could work as one option:
And perhaps even better is this one from Woodworker’s Journal. It is probably a little simpler to build, and only uses a single sheet of plywood for materials. I like the size and simplicity of this one.
Going upscale, and looking at carts more suited to assembly and finishing, this one caught my fancy. At 72″ x 40″ would take up a lot more real estate, but could be pretty handy too. This is from the October 1997 issue of American Woodworker — the entire magazine is available on Google books!
So, Joe, what’s the plan you say?
First, move stuff out of the shop. Then I’m probably going to play with inlay for a while — I’m on vacation today. Well, starting now. I’ve been working since about 3:30am. I’ll need to decide which is more fun, building some plywood accessories or starting on the Blacker Serving Table this weekend. Oh – and I’ll probably finish the Spider table today. It just needs to be rubbed out with steel wool and the top re-attached.