I haven’t been out in the shop for anything woodworking-related in a while, certainly not since before Halloween and it’s a mess. A lot of it was because, over Halloween, I was building props so fast that I just left things all over the place and it piled up. Add in the projects that I had going over the summer that got abandoned in place and the whole thing was a disaster. Time to clean up!Now this all started when I ordered a new belt for my band saw and I couldn’t get it going. It’s just sat there for a long time and apparently the bearings corroded or rusted or otherwise got clogged up, I don’t know. So not only did I have to replace the belt, I had to disassemble half of the saw so I could clean out the bearings. I was planning on just replacing them all but after a good soak, they all loosened up and it wasn’t necessary. But to do that, I had to clear off a work surface and that was easier said than done.
See, I have never fully unpacked my shop from the move. There were still 5 big boxes under the workbench, filled with miscellaneous junk that I had no idea what to do with, plus one box of random tools and parts that I had brought up to the house before we moved in to do some maintenance. And while I had gotten a lot of tools put away on my tool wall, there were things that I really had no idea what I wanted to do with so they just sat on my workbench for over a year. That includes all of my various and sundry sockets, all of my bit and driver sets, all of my hand planes and more. So I had over 100 bits just sitting in a bin that I had no clue what to do with, they weren’t even getting used because I had other self-contained bit sets that I grabbed when I needed one, I even considered just throwing them away. Ultimately, I built a bit holder for the tool wall that holds not only all of the loose bits but all of the magnetic bit holders I had littered all over the place, all of the self-centering drill bits and other assorted bit-based drill bits that were just sitting in a box.
Now I have to make something for all of the sockets. I used to keep them on socket rails and I hated it. They were hard to get off and put back, therefore I usually had a bunch just laying around on the bench and it was a pain to sort them by size and force them back onto the rail over and over again. So this time, I’m going to make a specialized rack, with specific holes for each socket so that they’re easy to take out and put back.
I also have to make a plane till and I have a couple of designs in mind but nothing definitive yet. The problem here is that I disassembled a bunch of planes over the summer to resharpen and they’re still scattered all over the bench. Some of the irons are sharp, some are not. I’ve got to figure out which is which and reassemble the planes that are good to go and finish up the others. So that’s a project that will be ongoing, especially because I know there are planes I want to get that I just don’t have yet. Maybe I’ll make something that’s expandable when I add to the collection.
Finally, a couple of those boxes are filled with… junk. Screws and bolts and hinges and miscellaneous hardware that I threw in there at the last minute because I had no idea what to do with it. In the old shop, I had them in sorting bins on the wall, but this time, I’ve avoided doing that because the bins just got clogged with crap and dirt and things I didn’t know what to do with. I already went through all of my nuts and screws and washers and sorted them into enclosed trays but these are things that I might have bought for a project and only have one or two left. I hate to throw them away because they can be useful, but I don’t want to just dump them in a bin again. Ultimately, I plan on building a bank of drawers under the workbench where I can put a bunch of hardware, but these boxes were in the way. So at the moment, I have 2 boxes of crap that I might have to push to the side until I have storage for them. I also have a box of paint and stain and cleaners that I don’t have a place for. I know I want to make a cabinet for them, I just don’t know where yet. In the old shop, one wall had exposed studs and I build storage into those cavities for all of the rattle cans, etc. That’s not the case here. So deciding what to build and where I should put it, I admit I’ve had more than a little analysis paralysis over some of this, especially since I’m honestly thinking of repainting part of the shop where the last owner’s kid apparently drew flowers all over the wall. That’s behind the bench, but if you’re going to do it, you might as well do all of it, so sticking more on the walls than I already have is probably a bad idea.
And I’ve been having a serious itch to accomplish something recently but haven’t had the space to get anything done. Right now, the top of my table saw is covered in spray guns and HVLP systems. Those will probably wind up on the tool wall, but that requires building racks and I can’t build racks while the top of the saw is full. So it’s a big game of move things somewhere else so you can do something to move things somewhere else. That’s no fun but it is my life at the moment. Happy happy, joy joy.