Excavating the Woodshop;
Clearing out the Clutter
This year a number of things have gotten away from us here on the homestead, such as my woodshop. As we worked on projects wood scraps started to pile up. Tools started to disappear as disorganized piles appeared. Then, we went to Sarah’s mother’s house to help her clean out an old shed. When we came back we brought tools and keepsakes that we didn’t have homes for. So, naturally, into the shop they went. The mess got so bad you could barely walk in to get tools out. Something had to be done!
Organizing the scraps and supplies
The problem with building outbuildings and shelters is that you end up with lots of scrap wood. The other problem is storing supplies you have bought/acquired for future projects you do not have time for yet. Basically, you end up with piles of wood that may or may not still be useful. If you don’t have a way to organize that wood then, we have learned from firsthand experience, they just pile up. So our first order of business is to give all our extra wood a home.
The most difficult scrap wood to deal with is of course extra siding and/or plywood. Unless you have a good way to stack them they can take up quite a bit of space. So our first order of business was to build a plywood holder out of some left over 2×2’s. The design was simple, but it got the job done, and was a great start to the project. I designed it so it could hold our scrap siding as well as some sheet metal we are storing for a friend that needed a home.
The rest of the wood fell into one of three categories, too small to likely be of use, small enough to fit on a shelf, and larger wood. The really small stuff all got put into a box to be used as kindling this winter. The scraps that could fit on a shelf were neatly organized and stacked on a convient shelf. Lastly the larger wood was organized and neatly stacked in a corner, one day I will likely build a shelf of some kind for this pile of wood but for now this will suffice.
With the lumber put away the woodshop was already starting to look much better.
A place for everything and everything in its place
Now came the really time consuming part. The thing I should have done when we first moved here and put off because, well, it was slightly daunting. All the tool, equipment, fasteners, hinges,etc. they all needed a place. I knew that if we just unpacked the boxes of newly acquired goodies and threw them someplace willy nilly then in a matter of no time we would be right back where we started. A huge mess instead of a woodshop.
So we uptied every box and every shelf. We took down every tool and cleared every shelf. We heaped like things together and started sorting nails and screws. Most importantly, I had to start making decisions about what goes where. Some things were easy, like where to put the table saw or hammer. Other things were harder like where to store the laith or which tools I wanted to have on the shelf right above the worbench, i.e., what was I going to be using frequently?
That last one might seem silly or trivial but I had to give it some serious thought. Space was limited and I wanted to be sure that the tools I used the most were there and not other tools which would just get in the way or just take up space. Honestly, I may come back to this again later as I evolve, adapt, or find that there is a tool I’m always having to go get. However, for now, I think we found a good starting point.
At last a woodshop again
After two days of organizing, positioning, repositioning and sorting the woodshop was reclaimed. I had only planned on it taking a day, but, that is just how these things go. We would never have gotten it done without help from our angelic helper Angel. The amount of time she spent just sitting and sorting screws and nails astounded me (I was ready to just give up and have a huge miscelaneous screw/nail box).
Walking into the woodshop now feels so empowering, it is like the place is saying “Alright, I’m ready what are we building today?”. We’ve already put it to work building a pig shelter, for our recently acquired pigs, and performing some basic maintenance on structures around the homestead. I look forward to the things we will make in our wonderful woodshop!
Also checkout our latest video (the lighting is less than perfect but the forest sounds are great)!