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What do you do to keep your shop clean?


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21 replies to this topic

#1 Nug

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 03:50 PM

I'm notoriously pat-racky and I have a lot of stuff, and I'm always working on 3-4 things at a time. Tools are constantly spread about, to the point where A table will be covered with crap, i can't find a single phillips head screwdriver, so i'll go out and buy another.

Also, there are things that need to stay inside, like three motorcycles, and a gravely tractor. I have to move all of this out to work on any car.

I'm in the process of making some shelving, but I can't afford to go out and buy modular shelving, so I'm making stuff out of 2x4's and decking board, which looks good and is strong as hell, but it takes me forever because I suck at woodworking.

I know I should put tools away when I'm done with them, but the constant flow of projects coming in and out makes it seem like a waste of time.

What are some tricks i can do to stay tidy? It's starting to make stuff take a lot longer than it should. I'm also in the process of building a shed to put the bikes and tractor in, but I've barely broken ground.

#2 monstaru

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 03:58 PM

i have this same problem.

but , recently i have been cleaning house.i have taken over a full bed of ea81 parts down to the beast i drives place,a full bedload of scrap to recyclers,and countless garbage cans full of stuff so far...


my grandmother has had a huge influence in my pack-rattednesss.....she was one:lol:and so, in her footsteps, i have been packing and hoarding car parts for the last 7 yrs.......NO MORE!!!

i will only hoard what i KNOW i will need from now on.......like axles,m stubs, diffs, etc....

it has been a freeing experience.
sell sell sell, trade, trade, trade whatever you have to do to get it done.

some cheapo little bins from lowes got me going on track.

but the tops of my workbenches, even my new welding table , are still chock full of stuff.

good luck, it was ************in hard for me to get rid of that much stuff.......damn, it was hard.cheers, brian

#3 Nug

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 04:11 PM

Yes, i too have started throwing out stuff that I know I will never use. But there is so much of it that It's hard to know where to start. However, today I cleaned up a folding table and put it away. Of course, this just uncovered all of the stuff that I dumped under the table. :-\

#4 WRX2FFU

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 04:52 PM

I make it a habbit of putting stuff away and getting rid of junk. Be it scrap or just garbage. I also have a big storage area that is not so organized but I can find a part if I need it. My workspace I keep clean.

I hate to trip over ************ and thats what it stems from. I have very little time to work on stuff sometimes and If i have to clean up a project to do another I get pissed. Plus If I lose something that I needed because I pushed it off to the side for room for something else I get super mad.

It just takes a lot of practice and patience. I am now a stickler and if my shop is not pretty neat I am upset.


Yes, there are occasions where I think "damn, I wish I would not have gotten rid of blah, blah, blah". That goes away quickley though.

#5 markjw

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 05:33 PM

I make sure I have a place for everything. So,when clean up time comes,you can stay focused on clean up rather than walking around looking for places to stash stuff. Also,with having a specific place for every little thing,I can find exactly what I need really quick. Thats the best advice I can give for stay organized.

On a job like a HG or something really involved,I'll stop and clean up/put everything away,then start fresh. I'll do that in the middle of the job,usually.
That simple thing,I feel,helps me do quality work.

#6 Nug

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 08:38 AM

My buddy is coming over today to help me clean up (he uses the place too sometimes), and I'm gonna try and get him to help me make a lumber rack to get a ridiculous pile of boards off of my parts washer.

#7 The Dude Abides

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 09:11 AM

When i had a shop.:mad:

I tried to keep it to one project at a time. But if i had to shove something a side i woudl put all of it in a huge rubbermade container and mark it. As far as tools you can let that get out of hand. I finally took the time after a few years reoganizing and cleaning all my tools. It helps when your working on something to know where your tools are. I have major ocd but im also a procrastinator and i get overwhelmed easy. I had places for everything. Scrap wood, car parts, things like that. Usually if im not going to use it anytime soon ill get rid of it. Get yourself a good workbench if you dont have one already. Old kitchen cabnets work nice. Organization is key and you will thank yourself when you say, where did i put my jumper cables then ohh there they are.

#8 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 11:48 AM

Shelving and plastic tote containers. Any big stuff goes out to the shed out back. That's my system for parts. I try to organize the parts along generational lines - EA81/EA82/EJ22/etc.

Tools are hung on the wall or are in rolling chests. I keep a seperate tool set for the junk yard and mobile work.

Still - I don't get enough time to organize and clean. Every day I have a list of things that need to be done that's longer than the day before.

GD

#9 grossgary

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 12:36 PM

Any kind of closets, cabinets, hangers, etc help. I used some old land scaping timbers from my yard to build a few levels of storage shelving. I have a place for most things - engines, trans, struts, hubs, brake stuff. As it starts getting smaller I use boxes or plastic bins and just keep all stuff together.

When I need something I pull the bin out - get parts everywhere - and they sit there for 4 months until I decide I need the room and put them back in the bin. :lol: So it's still "organized" eventhough my messiness still comes through.

Spend some time organizing then try to move towards middle ground by tossing some stuff to fight the pack-rat attitude. Some stuff just doesn't pay to keep. I'd rather buy one $20 part than try to store two hundred $20 items so I have that "one part" I need every now and again. Just doesn't make sense. But everyone does finances differently.

If you're mechanically inclined it's almost silly to pack-rat stuff. I can make $1,000 (or more) in a days work flipping a car, why bother storing, keeping, organizing, getting stuff lost to try and save $20 here or there? I'd rather flip another car.

As for tools I have the same thing. I like, if not need, portability.

Something that has helped tremendously - two hand bags. I put sockets in one (1/4", 3/8", and 1/2") with a few of those long socket holders. The second bag is for everything else - punches, pliers, wrenches, screw drivers, etc.

Should make for easy clean up and organizing, just toss them back in the bag, but of course you're probably like me and leave it all lying on the floor, in the car, on the work bench, etc. So when the next project calls somewhere else it's still easy clean up tossing them in the bag. :lol::lol:

Good luck!

#10 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 12:57 PM

Something that has helped tremendously - two hand bags. I put sockets in one (1/4", 3/8", and 1/2") with a few of those long socket holders. The second bag is for everything else - punches, pliers, wrenches, screw drivers, etc.


I have a similar system - two bags - one is 3/8" drive plus screwdrivers. The other is 1/2" and 1/4" drive. The big stuff goes in an open shoulder tote - the canvas style with the rigid metal frame and the shoulder strap. Makes it easy to haul around and easy to find things - I can pile it into a wheelbarrow at the junk yard and it's all accesible.

What amazes me is all the people I see at the junk yard carring a single phillips screwdriver - like what they hell are you planning to do with that pal?

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder, 15 February 2010 - 01:07 PM.


#11 Turbone

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 02:56 PM

I dont need to say anything here....my rep and others can attest to that :rolleyes:

#12 Nug

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 07:04 AM

You know how to tell who your friends are? When he comes over on his day off and helps you clean the entirety of your shop. Clutter begone! In other news, project #125347 has been pushed into the shop for major rust/mechanical/accident damage repair. Very similar to this one

#13 TeamCF

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 04:52 AM

What amazes me is all the people I see at the junk yard carring a single phillips screwdriver - like what they hell are you planning to do with that pal?

GD


hehe I've ran across them before.
Had some extra time so I helped him get the parts he needed off an old Volvo. (older guy with his wife and they were both stuggling with a handfull of tools)

As for my organization.... What organization?! :lol:

I tend to have a corner of the garage with the bigger stuff.
Right now there is my old worn out EA81 on a stand. A 5spd D/R and driveline waiting to go in. And some various other parts sitting there.
Small parts go in a few large drawers under the bench.
I try to always keep the tools cleaned and put away unless I know I'll be needing a certain one again right away.
Out in the shop I keep my spare wheels/tires stacked up in the loft. A couple spare diffs under a bench. And a new Y-pipe for DEQ against the wall.
Rest of the shop looks like a hurricane went through due to a major recovering of the walls to make it a bit nicer out there.

My collection of spare Subaru parts has not grown to the normal amount for an old Soob owner. Mainly because I'm always bugged to keep it all trimmed down to only what I really need. :rolleyes:

#14 wrenchturner

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 10:17 PM

I've become a big fan of the old standby, pegboard and various hooks. I am as much pack rat as anyone but I am fighting the sickness, the day I was busily working, tripped over some s@@t and stepped right into a drain pan of warm waste oil was a major turning point! I still have one side of my shop full of toys/parts/etc. but the one clean and organized side gets comments all the time. At a certain point spending an hour to find that $10 part you know you have somewhere just doesn't cut it anymore, and purging the "dead weight" is strangely liberating.

#15 ferox

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 10:37 PM

I have been trying to figure this one out for a long time. I do labeled totes and shelves for storage, but I have accepted the fact that tools and parts are tidal. I clean them up, and in no time they have washed over the shop like a wave on a beach. Such is the heartbeat of an active work space. I still clean, organize, and purge even though I know I will be doing it all over again very soon.


What amazes me is all the people I see at the junk yard carring a single phillips screwdriver - like what they hell are you planning to do with that pal?

:grin: Yep, I carry everything in an old kitchen sink, just kidding. I do, however, bring about 120 lbs of tools in a wheeled toolbox. Ridiculous I know, and I could probably cull some heavy stuff, but I hate not having the right tool when I find the JY score. This has forced me to create a JY policy for when, Mr. Phillips Screwdriver, inevitably asks to borrow a tool...I require three of their tools, that I find acceptable, as collateral . Just today I guy asked me for a tool, he was a little indignant that a complete stranger would require three tools in exchange for one and needed further explaination as to my policy. He did return with three tools however.:lol:

#16 MilesFox

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 10:41 AM

SWEEP, SWEEP, SWEEP! I am pretty anal about sweeping the floors. my rule of thumb it to keep as much off the floor as possible. But then everything is on top of the car and the workbench!

I have a wire bread rack that i use to keep all my tool boxes in. I have a tool box for my drill/bits, another for wrenches, another for 3/ socket, one for 1/2, etc, etc.

I usually use a little caddy tote to keep tools in that i am using for the project at hand. i'll keep another rubbermaid tub to pick things up off the floor to clean up, and anythign i had out laying around will be in the tub for when i go to put it away. I'll keep a milk crate handy to round up all my sprays and lubes if they never get back onto the shelf. I have motorcycles and another car to work around. I have a 4 car garage, but only space for 2 with all my engine crane, stand, other equipment.

Usually i'll take the time to pick up and reset my workspace for the next project. but sometimes i find myself doing that instead of the project i want to do, but have to do it first!

i would hang more on the walls, but its concrete walls, i would have to get anchor screws and wood planks to hang a pegboard or shelves.

I have a ton of plastic bins, i try to shuttle things back and forth between the basement, anything that does not need to be in the garage for the moment, such as spare parts. I'll put tires in the back yard along with other large metal items, and put engine blocks in 5 gal buckets or milk crates so i can move them around

I hate making a mess in the garage, so if i am doing oil and coolant changes, or pulling motors, i try to do that outside so i dont have exxon valdez on my garage floor

I try to keep a bin around whatever project i am working on to not get parts mixed up or lost

#17 ezapar

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 12:06 PM

I implimented a rule about 10 years ago. If I haven't used it in 6 months, it gets sold, given away or thrown away. Barely anything makes it around that rule.

If I'm storing something for someone, I pester them from time to time once they have a place to put their stuff.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.
Put stuff back when I'm done using it.


No clutter, garbage goes in the can, not on the floor.

Therefore, I always have a very organized garage. :brow:

#18 soobmater

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 12:12 PM

ya you gotta stay ahead of the game, as soon as your done using something put it away, that way you don't get over-ran with tools and parts laying around all over the place.. I started layin plywood up on the trusses in my shop, to store crap that i won't be needing for a while. it helps get some clutter out of the way!

#19 T'subaru

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 09:03 PM

wish I had a shop to keep clean, but I manage with a small carport and a couple out bldgs and fully agree with Zap, everything has to earn its keep, including the westy project that is full of ea parts as I attempt to reduce my subaru fleet to 2 vehic's :)

#20 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 10:27 PM

I implimented a rule about 10 years ago. If I haven't used it in 6 months, it gets sold, given away or thrown away. Barely anything makes it around that rule.


I'm glad that works for some people - makes for inexpensive, barely used good for folks like me :lol:.

Seriously though - I would be up a poop creek if I ran by that rule. I do so many different things that certain tools go unused for years at times. But in the end they make possible a varied and interesting shop that can do almost anything - which is personal satisfaction for me. It's an addiction I'm sure - but I would go nuts if I didn't have something to do, and then something entirely different next week...... such is the curse of the active mind I suppose.

Sometimes it takes weeks, months, or years for me to return to a project but it's often because it takes that long to suss out, in my mind, how to do it right.

GD

#21 7point62fmj

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 12:55 AM

I wish your moms could see this thread! they would be so proud of all of you!

My mom on thee other hand lives in my basement and she has not been proud of me since.. but that is another story:rolleyes:

#22 Nug

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 07:28 AM

Well, the shop is destroyed again. The Mini is in there, both front fenders cut off. There is a pile of 4L60E parts in a pile, and another 4L60E on my engine stand totally taken apart, with parts strewn all over a stainless steel table i dragged out of a dumpster. Now, once again, there are paths through all the rubble.

There's also a rototiller in the way. Gotta yank the wheels off of that and put axle seals in it.




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