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Shop Is your shop messy or spotless?

Shop

What does your shop look like?

  • A total junk yard

    Votes: 7 8.9%
  • Organized Chaos

    Votes: 38 48.1%
  • Well used but messy

    Votes: 27 34.2%
  • Jam packed but room to move

    Votes: 23 29.1%
  • Not enough tools to be really messy yet

    Votes: 6 7.6%
  • Everything has a place & is in it

    Votes: 16 20.3%
  • No clutter anywhere - nothing on surfaces

    Votes: 3 3.8%
  • Spotless - you can eat off the floor

    Votes: 2 2.5%
  • Showroom Shop

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    79

SomeGuy

Hobbyist
I don't think my crew cab pickup would fit in there.....:(

Btw, you have so much stuff in your Toolbox top tray that you cant even close the lid. Better get on that! ;)

Here is a tip for you and others. Those jugs of washer fluid and oil up top are a disaster waiting to happen. I keep most of my fluid jugs on boot trays. The plastic those jugs are made from is the cheapest crappiest stuff possible. Sooner or later you will get one that will crack and leak all over the place. Ask me how I know. It's not if, it's only when. A boot tray provides some insurance against that by containing the disaster and providing a warning that its happening before its too late.

Mine are about 2" deep. I tested them to insure they would contain a large jug nestled among others. But usually the leaks are slow.


Each to his own, but I don't like jugs up high like that either. More opportunity to do damage and also a real pain to rescue one that is leaking.

I know it goes against your grain to fill up valuable lower space with jugs because that means other frequent used tools have to go up top. But one jug of windshield washer fluid leaked all over your tools and etching up your floor will change your priorities real quick.

You might say, "it won't happen to me". But that's a false hope. It has happened to me about 6 times now. Only the first time was a disaster cuz I got boot trays after that. Ya, it's still a mess but it's a mess that is WAAAAY easier to deal with.

Not with anything else, but it could up between the tool box and mill...there's around ~24 feet of depth there and a good 10 feet of width.

And ya, that box lid hasn't been closed in at least 5 years. It wouldn't take much, but I just don't bother...locking it seems pointless when there's a 3 foot wrecking bar and cordless angle grinders sitting right beside it lol my wife wouldn't touch anything in it, and even if she did, she'd put it back where she found it.

As for the tips on jugs, good to know...I've been lucky so far, but using boot trays seems like a simple no fuss solution to that. Will keep an eye out for a good deal on some I can use up there :)
 

BMW Rider

Super User
My shop is not messy, but not super tidy either. Mostly things have a place and mostly they go there, but the work benches do gather some clutter until I get after it and get it sorted away again. I am probably the only person that could find things easily in the shop though, the organization is somewhat organic and although tools are located mostly in areas of the type of work they are used for, a lot of stuff ends up where it fits. The fact that I have woodworking, metal working and welding as well as mechanical working tools and stuff for some other odd assorted hobbies makes it rather full. And there's still two cars, my truck and four motorcycles in the mix.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
Not with anything else, but it could up between the tool box and mill...there's around ~24 feet of depth there and a good 10 feet of width.

At 22ft long, my truck would fit lengthwise but with the doors open to 10ft, that only leaves 8 inches for a Susquatch to wiggle through the door.

But no worries. I live in the rust belt. I would NEVER put my truck in a garage. It is 17 years old and it has never been inside. It would be a pile of rust on the garage floor by now if I did.
 

TorontoBuilder

Ultra Member
I don't think my crew cab pickup would fit in there.....:(

Btw, you have so much stuff in your Toolbox top tray that you cant even close the lid. Better get on that! ;)

Here is a tip for you and others. Those jugs of washer fluid and oil up top are a disaster waiting to happen. I keep most of my fluid jugs on boot trays. The plastic those jugs are made from is the cheapest crappiest stuff possible. Sooner or later you will get one that will crack and leak all over the place. Ask me how I know. It's not if, it's only when. A boot tray provides some insurance against that by containing the disaster and providing a warning that its happening before its too late.

Mine are about 2" deep. I tested them to insure they would contain a large jug nestled among others. But usually the leaks are slow.

View attachment 28584

Each to his own, but I don't like jugs up high like that either. More opportunity to do damage and also a real pain to rescue one that is leaking.

I know it goes against your grain to fill up valuable lower space with jugs because that means other frequent used tools have to go up top. But one jug of windshield washer fluid leaked all over your tools and etching up your floor will change your priorities real quick.

You might say, "it won't happen to me". But that's a false hope. It has happened to me about 6 times now. Only the first time was a disaster cuz I got boot trays after that. Ya, it's still a mess but it's a mess that is WAAAAY easier to deal with.
Deep boot trays make excellent storage trays... you make an open from wall cabinet with cleats on the inside to slide the trays into... you can work on small parts assemblies, cleaning small parts, storing wrenches, whatever, and at the end of the day slide all the trays into the cabinet so the mess is out of sight of brother's OCD girl friend and bob's your uncle, everyone's happy-ish
 
I confess that I am a bit surprised by the results so far. I expected a 50/50 split between the two groups that I will call organized chaos and neat and tidy (Pilers & Filers). The Steelcase Research was 50/50 for office workers. But so far the results of this machinist shop survey suggest it is more than double in favour of Organized Chaos.

On the plus side, I'll never be embarrassed about my shop again. The odds are that my colleagues shops look just like mine. And given the ratio, the odds are pretty high that even the neat and tidy guys are probably used to seeing messes, so they won't be offended. Heck, it might even make them happier about their own shops!

On the other hand, it's a bit hard to accept the results. A sample size of 50 is nothing to cough about. It's probably pretty representative.

Is it possible that the kind of mind that is likely to be a machinist is biased toward organized chaos vs the typical office worker? Or is it more that those who have shops that are organized chaos are more likely to belong to a forum? In other words, it isn't a behaviour related to machining, it's a behaviour related to forum membership. We organized chaos people need more help? LMAO!

Surely, many of us have non-forum buddies who share our hobby. Do you think half of them are neat and tidy? Or are they mostly organized chaos too? My own sense is that they seem to be biased toward organized chaos too. But my sample size is too low to be meaningful. Just looking for thoughts here.

I'm not really surprised at all. How could anyone possibly work on a project and not create a mess or some chaos in the process? How can you not have at least some lengthy projects that will involve a mess for more than a day. How can you just have one project on the go? How can you have projects that don't require waiting for parts to arrive? Seems to me that to have a spotless shop means nothing is happening there!? To me its just the nature of the hobby. If something is happening in your shop there will be some chaos in the shop. The more that tools are used the more chaos ensues. Its a simple equation and an incontravertible law of the universe.
 

BMW Rider

Super User
But no worries. I live in the rust belt. I would NEVER put my truck in a garage. It is 17 years old and it has never been inside. It would be a pile of rust on the garage floor by now if I did.
My truck is 16 years old and has been parked indoors for much of its life. No rust. And yes it's winter driven, most of the kms on it are from winter months when I can't ride a motorcycle.

May as well add some evidence pictures for the shop condition.

The original garage was 24'x32' where the truck lives among the mechanical tools and welding space.
PXL_20221205_192420770.jpg

Woodworking space which overflows into the truck parking for larger projects.
PXL_20221205_192432364.jpg

Motorcycles and related stuff
PXL_20221205_192457215.jpg

12'x 20' addition houses the wife's car and my Mustang up top on the lift.
PXL_20221205_192517157.jpg

And of course the machining space. There's a wash sink hiding around the corner.
PXL_20221205_192533516.jpg


Not shown is the entryway/office space where the riding gear hangs out and the computer desk is.
 
Last edited:

crittermutt

Active Member
Reminds me of an old herman comic.
Picture of two guys talking in front of a garage. Caption read. Show me a guy with a clean garage and I will show you a guy with a sick mind.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
My truck is 16 years old and has been parked indoors for much of its life. No rust. And yes it's winter driven, most of the kms on it are from winter months when I can't ride a motorcycle.

Where are you located? Your profile photo suggests the prairies - no front plate. If so, it doesn't matter where you park it. Corrosion is of almost no concern out there. Try that in the sweat belt of southern Ontario and you would probably be telling a very different story. Around here, undercoating is pretty much mandatory unless you park outside all year round, and even then most people do it. I don't but prolly should!
 

TorontoBuilder

Ultra Member
I'm not really surprised at all. How could anyone possibly work on a project and not create a mess or some chaos in the process? How can you not have at least some lengthy projects that will involve a mess for more than a day. How can you just have one project on the go? How can you have projects that don't require waiting for parts to arrive? Seems to me that to have a spotless shop means nothing is happening there!? To me its just the nature of the hobby. If something is happening in your shop there will be some chaos in the shop. The more that tools are used the more chaos ensues. Its a simple equation and an incontravertible law of the universe.
machinists are not office workers.

The work done by each is vastly different in terms of physical materials and tools required to perform the different tasks, ergo the styles of organization will have to depart between the two groups to some extent... OR you lose efficiency on the machining side of things. You're not tearing down set ups when you stop work just to make tidy.

I am trying to teach brothers GF this...
 

TorontoBuilder

Ultra Member
My truck is 16 years old and has been parked indoors for much of its life. No rust. And yes it's winter driven, most of the kms on it are from winter months when I can't ride a motorcycle.

May as well add some evidence pictures for the shop condition.

The original garage was 24'x32' where the truck lives among the mechanical tools and welding space.
View attachment 28592

Woodworking space which overflows into the truck parking for larger projects.
View attachment 28593

Motorcycles and related stuff
View attachment 28594

12'x 20' addition houses the wife's car and my Mustang up top on the lift.
View attachment 28595

And of course the machining space. There's a wash sink hiding around the corner.
View attachment 28596


Not shown is the entryway/office space where the riding gear hangs out and the computer desk is.
My brother's GF would disapprove of this. I say kudos on how much you are able to put in the space and keep organized.

Spaces cost to much to build and maintain NOT to use to the maximum. If the choice is between clean empty garage that is little used and a packed garage then on the basis of social responsibility empty clean garages ought to be banned.

OH and YES I do see your import patch sewing machine. I'ved used the singer original that design was copied from. How good a job do you find it does?
 

BMW Rider

Super User
Where are you located? Your profile photo suggests the prairies - no front plate. If so, it doesn't matter where you park it. Corrosion is of almost no concern out there. Try that in the sweat belt of southern Ontario and you would probably be telling a very different story. Around here, undercoating is pretty much mandatory unless you park outside all year round, and even then most people do it. I don't but prolly should!
Alberta is less severe for rust, but it's still a big issue. Probably the deep cold and dryness of the climate help somewhat, but lots of vehicles over ten years are sporting ventilation openings in the bodywork. Keeping it clean is a huge help, I will spend as much time washing up underneath as I do the visible parts.
 

BMW Rider

Super User
My brother's GF would disapprove of this. I say kudos on how much you are able to put in the space and keep organized.

Spaces cost to much to build and maintain NOT to use to the maximum. If the choice is between clean empty garage that is little used and a packed garage then on the basis of social responsibility empty clean garages ought to be banned.

OH and YES I do see your import patch sewing machine. I'ved used the singer original that design was copied from. How good a job do you find it does?
I got it after someone else posted about it. I've only used it a couple times to repair some motorcycle gear but it did what I needed to do quite well. It's nice that it works slow so I can almost keep up.
BMW Rider

Last pic..

Is that a Kenmore sewing machine ca. 1975 in the white case on the shelf above your mill??
It is a Kenmore, probably a bit newer than that from the late 80s I'd guess. It was donated to me by my sister who is far more capable with any sewing machine that I will ever be, but I can do what I need to even if it isn't so pretty.
 

TorontoBuilder

Ultra Member
I got it after someone else posted about it. I've only used it a couple times to repair some motorcycle gear but it did what I needed to do quite well. It's nice that it works slow so I can almost keep up.

It is a Kenmore, probably a bit newer than that from the late 80s I'd guess. It was donated to me by my sister who is far more capable with any sewing machine that I will ever be, but I can do what I need to even if it isn't so pretty.
I keep seeing them come up on occasion on kijiji, and I want to buy one, but then I'd have to find a place to store it.

Long ago I was considering buying a leather goods manufacturing facility, I spend 6 months learning the main parts of the jobs, sewing custom motorcycle bags and other gear as well as high end messenger bags and such. I've always wanted to do more of that, but hand stitching is all I do right now. A patcher is sure handy for jobs that need loads of strength and not the finest stitch quality. Like the tire bags I need to make to put massive jeep tires in so they are manageable enough to carry down the winding basement stairs.

I'll have to use my pfaff 360 and use multiple passes instead..

If you have any hidden techniques to make all this storage possible I'd like to see them

I'm also with Squatch... Ontario is far different than the prairies both in terms of salt use, and the sheltered conditions of our garages. My garage in SK never got to the point I'd have liquid H2O at any point, making rust formation mush more difficult because the oxygen movement within bound ice slows way down... additionally, if you heated the SK or AB garage the air leakage and extremely cold external temps cause indoor RH to plummet to the extent that the RH makes it difficult for even cold iron to reach the dew point before the moisture would all become frozen.

Sadly, I have to park my jetta indoors, and I now have a bit of rust I dont wish to deal with. Anyone want to trade their gasoline smart car for a diesel jetta :p
 

DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Where are you located? Your profile photo suggests the prairies - no front plate. If so, it doesn't matter where you park it. Corrosion is of almost no concern out there.
Sadly mistaken on that one my friend. It may not be as bad as in the east but there are all sorts of rusted out vehicles around here. They use far far more salt/ice melting compounds on the roads than they used to. Plus with the stupid body design (dirt hang up places) of many vehicles it is common to see rust holes on 8-10 year old vehicles.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
I am trying to teach brothers GF this...

You are crazy to get in the middle of that. But perhaps he can show her the survey so she softens her tolerance. On second thought.... Just give up. Happy wife, happy life.
 

TorontoBuilder

Ultra Member
You are crazy to get in the middle of that. But perhaps he can show her the survey so she softens her tolerance. On second thought.... Just give up. Happy wife, happy life.
I have no choice, I share the shop.

I've been trying to temper her expectations and come up with solutions acceptable for all. So I got more basement storage (we already had a lot) and we'll bring the tires into the basement which was previously forbidden. And more materials.... and I sold her on permitting my huge workbench with built in table saw and router table. I may just build in a nice huge shaper if I can find a way to extend controls to the edge of the table for changing bits.
 

phaxtris

(Ryan)
Premium Member
Premium Member
im also with @Susquatch, i live in Calgary currently, moved from Winnipeg at 24, big time car guy, the rust in Alberta is nothing. It does not even compare to Winnipeg. and Ontario is on another level entirely, ive delt with plenty of "great deals" that came from ontario when i lived in winnipeg, yea snapping rusted out bolts on a 5 year old car....

move to calgary....you can buy 1000$ cars with hardly a spot of rust.....1000$ car in winnipeg has no floor, or rockers, or rear fenders, 1000$ car from ontario = parts car
 
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