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 Post subject: Shop organization tips
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:04 pm 
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Mahogany
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City: London
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I'm looking for some advice or tips on how to best organize my shop/work area.
I'm not a builder, just repairs, some painting and finishing, all done in my basement but holy mama do I have a lot of stuff.

Do you organize your tools by type or by job?
Like would you keep all your sanding gear together and should that include specialty items like fret files and nut files and sanding beams?
So I started thinking maybe have all fret job tools in 1 place like a kit?

At first I put all "liquids" together like glues, paints, oils, polishers etc. But then I started thinking glues and polishers aren't related in terms of applications or jobs so maybe they should be divided in another way.

Any suggestions would be awesome.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:26 pm 
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Think in LAYERS and in 3 dimensions - go up as well as out. I keep stuff organized by where I use it most often - main bench, fretting bench, near the grinder, etc. Don't be afraid to experiment - build to suit, but keep it easy to move and interchangeable.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:20 pm 
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Walnut
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I TEND to keep tools organized by job. Closer to my workbench (I run a very small operation, so I have only one) are those that see everyday use, so we’re talking setup tools in general. Others are grouped together by job type, such as fretting tools, nut files, etc. When at all possible, they live in packs on dedicated magnetic bars and pegboards. ;x)


Pierre


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:34 am 
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First name: Allan
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State: Kansas
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A rolling work bench is a great thing to have. It provides storage for things that are often used on it. It allows you to move the bench near other tools. Magnetic tool holders keep stray tools off the work surface, eliminating spurious gouges and scratches. Plan on a space for guitars in cases. As Chris said, think in 3D. There is a lot of storage to be had in floor joists. You can also maximize storage for lesser used items by using clear plastic storage bins that are held to the floor joists with "L" shaped struts. This keeps the bins overhead, but it's easy to see what is in them and slide them out for access.

I would also consider having the woodworking tools on one side with the assembly and adjustment on the other. Then divide the two with something that will keep the sawdust out of the work area. My 2c.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:11 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
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A consideration when working on the valuable personal property of others (and our own...) is to organize bench space where the guitars will be worked on so that nothing can fall onto it and damage it AND there is nothing for it to hit when we are changing it's position to work on it. This means padded surfaces, tools on walls well away from where if they fall they won't damage anything, etc.

Another consideration is your vice, type, positions that you place guitars in, etc. and restringing access. We use power drills to restring and some folks are comfortable reaching across the instrument for the high e, b and g strings some like me prefer access from both sides of the head stock.

Carpet on the bench is another thing that is often overlooked in terms of what's ideal for the intended function. Long threaded shag carpet though soft also hides things such as nipped fret ends that can scratch instruments making short thread carpet more desirable.

I use a vacuum a lot so I would want one near by and even consider a foot switch to turn it on and off to avoid too much bending when using a vac often.

My chisels are behind me incase they fall and to keep me from hitting them by mistake since chisels are pretty consequential when an accident happens.

Lighting is an entire subject in and of itself. We like several sources of lighting with different temperatures, multiple full spectrum lights work very well for us. Daylight is desirable too but IMO for us humans to feel better and feel comfortable as well as for the work.

Have a plan for a fire extinguisher too in terms of ready access, type that's suitable, and a regimen to be sure that it's always properly charged. We have ours professionally maintained now since it was something that got neglected in the past at times.

Bench height is huge when working at it all day. A bench too short will make you tired quickly and a bench too tall will do the same. Find the right height for you.

When I set-up my home shop I used informally gleaned from working in other shops to determine the bench height and layout that I liked the most. In the future years I will be doing more at home so my home shop is important and currently stands close to ready to go with some additional tweaks. My commercial shop is perfect for me now and I'm always comfortable, safe and productive there because of the layout that works well for me. If you want some pics of some commercial benches let me know, happy to help.

Lastly some kind of access to a crappy little amp is advisable too.



These users thanked the author Hesh for the post (total 4): DanKirkland (Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:06 pm) • fingerstyle1978 (Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:38 pm) • Mark Mc (Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:55 pm) • Clinchriver (Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:33 am)
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:19 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Shame on me.... I forgot one of the most important things, have an RH solution worked out for your shop. If it's in a place where RH can't be controlled it's not suitable for Lutherie work. Sheesh, how could I forget this one...;)



These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: dpetrzelka (Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:34 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:00 pm 
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City: Lenoir City
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Hesh wrote:
A consideration when working on the valuable personal property of others (and our own...) is to organize bench space where the guitars will be worked on so that nothing can fall onto it and damage it AND there is nothing for it to hit when we are changing it's position to work on it. This means padded surfaces, tools on walls well away from where if they fall they won't damage anything, etc.

Another consideration is your vice, type, positions that you place guitars in, etc. and restringing access. We use power drills to restring and some folks are comfortable reaching across the instrument for the high e, b and g strings some like me prefer access from both sides of the head stock.

Carpet on the bench is another thing that is often overlooked in terms of what's ideal for the intended function. Long threaded shag carpet though soft also hides things such as nipped fret ends that can scratch instruments making short thread carpet more desirable.

I use a vacuum a lot so I would want one near by and even consider a foot switch to turn it on and off to avoid too much bending when using a vac often.

My chisels are behind me incase they fall and to keep me from hitting them by mistake since chisels are pretty consequential when an accident happens.

Lighting is an entire subject in and of itself. We like several sources of lighting with different temperatures, multiple full spectrum lights work very well for us. Daylight is desirable too but IMO for us humans to feel better and feel comfortable as well as for the work.

Have a plan for a fire extinguisher too in terms of ready access, type that's suitable, and a regimen to be sure that it's always properly charged. We have ours professionally maintained now since it was something that got neglected in the past at times.

Bench height is huge when working at it all day. A bench too short will make you tired quickly and a bench too tall will do the same. Find the right height for you.

When I set-up my home shop I used informally gleaned from working in other shops to determine the bench height and layout that I liked the most. In the future years I will be doing more at home so my home shop is important and currently stands close to ready to go with some additional tweaks. My commercial shop is perfect for me now and I'm always comfortable, safe and productive there because of the layout that works well for me. If you want some pics of some commercial benches let me know, happy to help.

Lastly some kind of access to a crappy little amp is advisable too.


I took the easy route and basically just copied Hesh's bench. laughing6-hehe

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These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post: Hesh (Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:43 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:15 pm
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First name: Joey
Last Name: Holliday
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Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Emptying out my toolbox and hanging as many tools on a wall with hooks is helpful. I also hang safety glasses on every wall because I often get tunnel vision and in the past if I couldn't find a pair immediately I'd go ahead with the task. Not smart. Now I have about 10 pairs hanging around the tools that you need them the most with so there's no excuse. The biggest time saver for me though was organizing hardware by size and thread since I build a lot of jigs. I gave my old shelving unit to my brother because it was no longer big enough and I still haven't picked up a new one. I've wasted a lot of valuable time looking for the right size/thread bolts and nuts and running into town to Lowe's multiple times per day!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:44 pm 
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Hesh wrote:
A consideration when working on the valuable personal property of others (and our own...) is to organize bench space where the guitars will be worked on so that nothing can fall onto it and damage it AND there is nothing for it to hit when we are changing it's position to work on it. This means padded surfaces, tools on walls well away from where if they fall they won't damage anything, etc.

Another consideration is your vice, type, positions that you place guitars in, etc. and restringing access. We use power drills to restring and some folks are comfortable reaching across the instrument for the high e, b and g strings some like me prefer access from both sides of the head stock.

Carpet on the bench is another thing that is often overlooked in terms of what's ideal for the intended function. Long threaded shag carpet though soft also hides things such as nipped fret ends that can scratch instruments making short thread carpet more desirable.

I use a vacuum a lot so I would want one near by and even consider a foot switch to turn it on and off to avoid too much bending when using a vac often.

My chisels are behind me incase they fall and to keep me from hitting them by mistake since chisels are pretty consequential when an accident happens.

Lighting is an entire subject in and of itself. We like several sources of lighting with different temperatures, multiple full spectrum lights work very well for us. Daylight is desirable too but IMO for us humans to feel better and feel comfortable as well as for the work.

Have a plan for a fire extinguisher too in terms of ready access, type that's suitable, and a regimen to be sure that it's always properly charged. We have ours professionally maintained now since it was something that got neglected in the past at times.

Bench height is huge when working at it all day. A bench too short will make you tired quickly and a bench too tall will do the same. Find the right height for you.

When I set-up my home shop I used informally gleaned from working in other shops to determine the bench height and layout that I liked the most. In the future years I will be doing more at home so my home shop is important and currently stands close to ready to go with some additional tweaks. My commercial shop is perfect for me now and I'm always comfortable, safe and productive there because of the layout that works well for me. If you want some pics of some commercial benches let me know, happy to help.

Lastly some kind of access to a crappy little amp is advisable too.


To add to the carpet suggestion, it's nice if your main bench can be fitted with a matching top of plywood covered with carpet or apholstory. It's nice to be able to switch from one to the other as needed.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:48 pm 
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I have a very small workshop in the house where I can control humidity pretty well. My main bench in a rolling Husky Tool chest that sits nice and high to avoid bending over too much to work. All of my larger woodwork happens out in the wood shop.

I organize my smaller tools in plastic storage cases, grouped by type of job. Easy to pull out the full set of tools needed for the work at hand -and easy to pack them up and put away in an organized manner.

Fretting Tools
Bridge/Saddle/Endpin Tools
Nut Tools
Inlay
Crack repair
Strings and wider
Whip tips, pipettes, spatulas

Down the right hand side are small drawers with my most reached for tools - small measuring tools, pencils, magnifying visor, chisels, small planes, etc.

All my large measurement and inspection tools are in the second to top drawer for easy access - led inspection light, precision straight edges, saddlematic, longer rulers, mirrors, etc.

Templates, plans, and jigs that only get occasional use are in lower drawers.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:38 pm 
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I keep small plastic containers for fret tools, nut tools, binding stuff, inlay tools, etc.
i keep these on shelves.
i just whip out the appropriate container for the job.
My work desk has drawers organized per tool type: chisels, knives, blades; saws; Dremel, etc.
I have a large tool chest for other tools.
I may be OCD, but I know where every tool is.
I never leave stuff laying around, too easy to lose or misplace.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:04 am 
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I'm going to suggest something that is probably contrary to most people's thinking. Although my shop is mainly for cabinetry, I'm starting to realize that having some of your tools on the other side of your shop from where your work bench is not necessarily a bad thing.
Too often, I end up standing in the same spot for hours on end, with my back, knees, ankles, and feet suffering. Walking across the shop breaks the cycle, and allows your eyes to change their focus.
I'll walk to get a tool, use it, and immediately replace it, even when I know that I'll need it again in a few minutes.
I'll be increasing my walking when I organize a separate guitar shop, where I will be using hand tools only, and the cabinet shop for power tool operations. I realize the time is of the essence for many, but not so much for myself.

Alex

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These users thanked the author Alex Kleon for the post: Bryan Bear (Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:28 am)
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:36 am 
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Alex Kleon wrote:
I'm going to suggest something that is probably contrary to most people's thinking. Although my shop is mainly for cabinetry, I'm starting to realize that having some of your tools on the other side of your shop from where your work bench is not necessarily a bad thing.
Too often, I end up standing in the same spot for hours on end, with my back, knees, ankles, and feet suffering. Walking across the shop breaks the cycle, and allows your eyes to change their focus.
I'll walk to get a tool, use it, and immediately replace it, even when I know that I'll need it again in a few minutes.
I'll be increasing my walking when I organize a separate guitar shop, where I will be using hand tools only, and the cabinet shop for power tool operations. I realize the time is of the essence for many, but not so much for myself.

Alex


That is not contrary to my opinion at all. At work I flow from the treatment room to my desk to the clinic to pharmacy all day long. I find it a real bonus because I am forced to take steps instead of sitting or standing in once place all day. Not moving can be tough. I even incorporate this into the rest of my life. On laundry day, I put the folded/ironed clothes aside away from the ironing board so I have to take a few steps for every article. Standing there ironing an entire load without moving would kill my back. I wish my shop were large enough to require more walking.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:57 am 
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I like drawers. My biggest challenge with shop organization is to keep the bench tops clean. To that end I built lots of drawers, about 30 all told, about 2/3 are pretty large, about 24" wide x 20"deep with heights from 3" to 10" depending on what they contain. Simple construction with plywood, Titebond and a nailgun.Then I found a roll away tool box on sale and that added another 16 drawers.

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These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post: Bryan Bear (Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:57 am)
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