What a Mess! (Part 1)

I’ve finally caught up on most of household and garden chores that went by the wayside while planning our wedding, leaving me some time the past few weekends to finally get back into the workshop.

The whole thing was in a pretty neglected state so I’ve had to do some cleanup work to get it usable again. The bench was covered in bits and pieces from unfinished projects and things I’d taken out of my car boot and dumped there, the drill press stand was a catch-all for any tools I’d been using in my infrequent pre-wedding workshop visits and hadn’t had the time or patience to put away, and a thick layer of dust that had blown in from the open garage door covered everything. Every other corner of the workshop was just as bad if not worse.

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I decided to start small, and tackle one thing at a time. I started by taking everything off of the workbench, throwing away any discarded packaging and putting loose tools where they belonged. Then I gave it a good sweep. I took the same approach to the drill press table and before long it was looking much better. I gave it a final cleanup with a small air-mattress pump I use for cleaning the garage and you can see the results below. The only things on it now is my mitre saw, sawbenches, a few breadboards and a stool for a friend that I’m building.

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Next up was the woodpile in the other back corner. It had all fallen over and tangled in the sawhorse legs, and looked more like one of the three little pigs cottages after tha wolf got to them than a self-respecting workshop’s sheet goods pile.

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Again I pulled everything out, worked out what needed to be kept and got rid of anything that didn’t, and put the rest back neatly. I’m gradually working my way through it as well so after time there shouldn’t be any spare on had and I can just buy what I need for each project as I go along. The air pump did another good job on this corner while everything was pulled out as well.

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The day was getting late so I finished off by given the rest of the workshop a clean with the air compressor and then a good sweep, but that couple of hours work was enough to make it start to look good again. My workshop is a single car garage that does actually house a car most of the time, so I’ve got to keep it tidy or it’s totally unmanageable.  An elderly friend once told me “A place for everything and everything in its place” and it makes perfect sense in a workshop. If everything has a proper home and you make sure it goes back there as soon as you’ve finished using it, you don’t end up writing blog posts like the one you’ve just read.

The rest of the story is yet to come, as the next two corners will need more than a quick tidy…

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