View Full Version : My shop rules

Forrest Addy
02-07-2005, 11:44 AM
I've posted this several times over the years and it's always attracted interest and comment.


Bitch if you want but these are the rules. It's my shop and I run it.

1 No smoking indoors, no exceptions. If you must smoke, do so out-doors at the end of the driveway. Pick up your butts. Smoking in the doorway is still indoors. It's not out of doors until I can't smell the smoke in the shop.

la No alcohol during working hours. Though people deny it. I've observed a marked decline in safety awareness of experienced craftsmen after only one beer. Feel free to crack one after the work is done.

2 Leave the F word at home.

3 If you're new to my shop, keep your hands in your pockets unless you're invited to handle whatever you're inspecting.

4 If you're going to help, help. I have ways of doing things that make sense to me. I don't have time to bicker over alternatives when the work's in the cut.

5 It's always good manners to grab a broom, catch boards, and keep your eyes open.

6 Bring only friends you'd trust to house-sit for you. I have many expensive tools and no time to monitor light fingered visitors. I don't even bring clients in my shop until I decide they can be trusted.

7 I don't divide my attention well. Don't distract me when my fingers are in range of cutting edges. When I hold my finger up for silence, I'm not being rude. I just don't want to be distracted for a moment. Just remember your place and start where you left off when it's safe from me to listen.

8 Make full use of the rocking chair and the whittling wood. Soft drinks, if any, are in the refrigerator. I love a good story. If you want coffee, you better fetch it. I don't drink it and any coffee makin's I have may be ten years old.

9 The cat thinks she owns the place. She does. You don't. Any conflict with the cat will be ruled in favor of the cat. Don't bring any vehicle you want cat foot prints or hair - on or in.

10 Park efficiently. I have room for 3 cars in my driveway unless its being used for construction. Otherwise, park up on 26th street where there is plenty of room. It's only 200 feet to walk and if the weather's nice, the neighbor girls may be sunbathing - by the way don't say anything to them you wouldn't want me to say to your sister, wife, or daughter.

11 Come set construction hell week (the week or two before move-in) hours are long.
Tempers may flare and energy flag. Bring extra patience and forbearance. Food and drinks (non-alcoholic) are on me if you're working.

12 I like kids. Your kids are welcome so long as they don't constitute a hazard to themselves or others. I love to teach responsive kids what I know. I can keep them busy sorting screws, driving nails in scrap lumber, showing them how to make stuff on the scroll saw so long as I have time. If I'm working to a deadline and your kids have never been in a workshop, maybe another time is better. If your kid is hyper and won't listen, well... don't feel bad I if order your kid out of my shop in the interests of general safety.

13 Dogs are not welcome. I don't like dogs. Leave them at home or in your car. The birds, the squirrels, and other critters in my neighborhood live here in peace and I won't have them stirred up by a rampaging dog that "wouldn't hurt a fly".

14 I have a simple policy for loaning tools. No. Don't even ask. Any exception I make in this rule does not constitute a precident applicable to you.

If there are any more rules, I'Il let you know.

02-07-2005, 11:48 AM
When I saw the topic title I thought at first you were bragging about your shop...

Forrest Addy
02-07-2005, 11:57 AM
N-n-nope. Call me old fashioned. "Rules" in my vocabulary is not a declaration of supremacy. In this case its a list of required behaviors

02-07-2005, 12:02 PM
Good rules, Forrest. All of them darned appropriate if you ask me. Would you mind if I printed a copy and laminated it to hang in my shop? Maybe, I'll just engrave it on some plastic engraving stock at work.

02-07-2005, 02:35 PM
Love it , Forrest!

(BTW, bought a wiggler because of one of your articles. Paid 99 cents for a Starrett on eBay last night!)

Barry Milton

02-07-2005, 02:47 PM
Good set of rules, should be adapted by many shops.

One addition rule you should add: This is my shop and I have the right of way. If you get in the way while I am working you cost me time and therefore money. I might ask if you remember how you came in.


02-07-2005, 03:00 PM
Forrest..Great rules! The hands in the pockets..good one!(read that dumma$$ picks up my Donovan cam drive..drops a gear on the cement...you can guess the rest) And the dog rule! Another good one(we've seen that show too many times)

02-07-2005, 04:01 PM

That's a darn fine set of rules you got there. The only one I somewhat take exception to is the comment about the rampaging dog. I have seen quite a few more birds, squirrels, and other small critters killed by the neighborhood cat than the dog. Your rules, all the same...and they should be respected.

Alistair Hosie
02-07-2005, 05:52 PM
Like your rules Forrest I like the one leave the eff word at home.I hate it when people come in and start cussing especially if my wifes within hearing reach,and I am not slow in telling them.Swearings one thing between the guys, and anyone can make a mistake but there are those who think it's ok no matter who's around.Is it just me or do you guys get teeed off when people start to do that ?Alistair

02-07-2005, 05:59 PM
friggin A i do.

02-07-2005, 06:06 PM
Love the rules...especially the smoking one. "...the door is still inside!" So true.

You should revist your Dog and Cat rule. Can't we all just get along!!!

Rob http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

02-07-2005, 06:06 PM
Very good rules Forrest, though it did remind me of a scene from "The Andy Griffith Show". Barney Fife telling a new group of prisoners, "Rule #1, obey all rules". My first rule is, I don't let anybody in my shop that my dogs don't like. #2, No kids, period! My dogs act better, and seem to be smarter than most kids nowdays.

02-07-2005, 06:14 PM
Those rules remind me of my dad's rules. He liked kids as well and enjoyed teaching them or giving them something to do - but he also banned anyone if they got too hyper. He used to say "There's three things I won't loan - my wife, my tools, and my firearms".

02-07-2005, 06:30 PM
I like dogs though. Wish I could enforce those rules in my office! People seem to be getting ruder and abusing "friendship" and just plain taking advantage. Patients as well as friends. I have a home office and the parking problem is horrendous. They will park at the end of the driveway blocking access to three more cars so that they can get out easier. Borrowed things never returned or remembered. Touching and handling (and/or breaking) things they had no idea what it was. Don't get me started on tardiness... I could scream. I love the RULES. Keep them coming. Fred

02-07-2005, 07:01 PM
Very good Forrest. I'll keep them rules in mind next time I drop in. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif


Your Old Dog
02-07-2005, 07:04 PM
My rules are pretty much the same as yours Forest, accept for maybe the parking and dog rules.

If you come to my shop and have a Labradore Retriever in your car you can park darn near anywhere on my property. If it's raining just blow the horn and I'll open the garage door for you. Dog bisquits are on the shelf near the door and some cheweys next to it in the box! If he's a hunting dog or trained for Field Trials he can set the agenda for the visit, if not, I set the agenda!


02-07-2005, 07:14 PM
Excellent rules. I'm not fond of cats and I do like dogs, but in your house I can easily obey your rules.

I believe I lost a friend over rule #14, or a variation of it. last spring, a friend who can never seem to come up with enough money to buy the tools he needs, so he borrows one of mine, asked me to help him make a cabinet door face frame. I didn't want to do it,but I reluctantly said OK. I'll admit I was grouchy when he came over, but I made all the parts and all he had to do was glue and clamp them together and add a few fasteners. When I finished and handed him all the parts he looked at me like why didn't you put it together? I figured he had clamps glue and screws so why should i do it.(I've helped him make frames before so he knew how.)I invited him in for a drink, but he had to go so he left abruptly. I haven't seen or heard from him since then.

I might add that one of the reasons I get a little upset is that on more than one occasion when I wasn't available to help him, he has paid another person to do what I did for free out of "friendship", and he has told me what a great deal he got. "I only paid..." I probably wouldn't have accepted payment as he was a long time family friend, but it would have been nice to have been offered something. Guess I won't have to lend tools any longer.

Rant over. I'm feeling better http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

02-07-2005, 08:42 PM
Oh No... 'Bout all I do in my shop is chain smoke and mutter the F-word...

Hoffman in Warner Robins Ga

02-07-2005, 08:46 PM
My dog ,rocko, is my accounts receivables person!
He helps me from using the "F" word too often.

02-07-2005, 09:41 PM
>>I believe I lost a friend over rule #14<<

Sure can appreciate what you're saying. Reluctantly started charging everybody, friends included, cause it was getting out of hand. Your real friends don't mind paying for your time, as time is truly the only thing a person has to sell.

Barry Milton

Dave Opincarne
02-07-2005, 09:50 PM
Well Skye has caught a couple of mice in the shop, she works 7-3:30, same as me but is also use to staying in the car. I'm in your area at least once a week Forest and I can live with the rest. Love the smoking one too.


02-07-2005, 10:11 PM
To all,
"When in Rome, do as the Romans do".
Wasn't one rule that can't easily be followed.

PS How early can I drop the kids off?
I'll pick them up first thing in the morning.

Michael Az
02-08-2005, 12:31 AM
There are also rules for the house. My brother came to visit a couple years back and wanted to know if he could bring their cat!! I politely told him absloutly not. I was surprised that they came, but they did so without the cat. Some people just don't think.

Excitable Boy
02-08-2005, 12:47 AM
Forrest, I like most of your rules and would abide by them if I ever had the good fortune to visit your shop. It's obvious that you developed them after many years of shop experience. I've only had my shop a short time and it's tiny, but here's what's posted on bright pink paper on the outside of the entry door to my shop. The bright pink paper and large fonts make it hard to miss:

Read before entering

You are entering a machine shop. Machine shops are dangerous places with many sharp objects and sharp chips on the floor. These rules are designed for everyone’s safety.

• No bare feet or open toed shoes allowed
• Eye protection is required if machines are running.
• Hearing protection is recommended if machines are running.
• Keep fingers away from machines in operation.
• It is bad form to surprise the machinist while he is operating a machine. Surprises in a machine shop are NOT FUN!

These rules are simple and designed for the safety of all concerned. If you choose to ignore these rules and are injured, it’s not my fault. Proper safety equipment will be provided at no charge. These rules have been revised to remove any offensive material.

I'm going to have to revise my list to include some of your items.

I'm a big dog lover and even have a show dog, but he's not allowed in the shop as I don't think it's fair to let him get chips in his feet and fur.

Thanks for the post.


Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.

02-08-2005, 02:16 AM
On Rule 13... I'm assuming lathe dogs are exempt.

John Stevenson
02-08-2005, 03:04 AM
Number one rule in my shop.

[1] Make the scrap man a coffee as
soon as he calls round.

[2] If he wants to smoke then let him, there's that much crap and fumes from machining, welding and grinding that one cigarette is going to make absolutly no difference - get real.

[3] Listen carefully to everything he says and agree with everything.
Hidden in that conversation are nuggets of information to materials and machinery the like of which Alladin has never seen.

[4] Never let his coffee cup become empty.

[5] Keep his mobile number on speed dial.

John S.

02-08-2005, 03:27 AM
I generally don't allow anyone in my shop when working. My wife learned a long time ago not to bother me in my shop because when she did within seconds something would go badly wrong and the eff word would be uttered in earnest. Dog is a bit interested sometimes but doesn't like the swarf. She also doesn't like wet feet outside. Picky dog. Funny to watch her when it is really cold. She actually has been seen to try and stand on only two feet (not hind legs).

I smoke a pipe. I do not like cigarettes but a good cigar is a treat I have perhaps once per year. Not allowed in the house though.

Loan tools? Over my dead body.

Allan Waterfall
02-08-2005, 04:09 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by John Stevenson:
Number one rule in my shop.

[1] Make the scrap man a coffee as
soon as he calls round..

[4] Never let his coffee cup become empty.

John S.</font>

Still not sharing that brown jug with the whisky and treacle in it then? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif


02-08-2005, 04:27 AM
Who cares?

02-08-2005, 05:44 AM
I do. Interesting and entertaining to read.


02-08-2005, 07:17 AM
The other day my brother stopped by the shop with a buddy. He's goiing on about "inventing something and getting a patent and getting rich...If only it were that easy, right? Anyway, he flips the switch on my little shaper muttering "How's this coming". Fortunately it was unplugged. I 'm usually pretty patient and mild mannered but I went off on him and laid down some rules.

It's caused a little rift between us but I don't think I was out of line one bit. I explained WHY to him but his feelings still got hurt... He wants to learn a little machining but he's ham-fisted so I'm not that keen on him learning on my machines. I mean, I could get another brother but where could I find parts if he broke something http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

02-08-2005, 11:16 PM
I like them. We have something close to that, but it's not enforced. Man I do get tired of cigerate smoke. I do not mind animals as long as the darn thing goes out side and not on the floor.

02-09-2005, 12:25 PM
Just dont have anyone in then theres no mental pain. Cats are ok if they dont crap on the floor. Moose likes cats.(Our Big Dog)

02-09-2005, 03:41 PM
Add to that list.. Tell the same joke twice and your welcome is worn out. I have heard the same jokes, same stories, same ... &lt;{SNAP}&gt; where is my green pills?

And never tell polish jokes to someone named Kawalski..

David http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

02-09-2005, 04:36 PM
Why not? I tell black jokes to blacks,as long as they are in good taste.

02-09-2005, 06:07 PM
for a while the only time my brother would get ahold of me was to borrow tools so I started telling him no I figured if he wanted to be a friend that was fine but I dont like being used even by family, he finly came arround

Matt in AK

02-09-2005, 06:48 PM

The thought came to mind, Thrillseeker.. The guy on the "Groove tube" (movie of the 70s) who put on a motorcycle helmet and ran into a crap game crowd of black people and started yelling racial obscenities.. They chased him. HA. Thrillseeker. have you saw it? Flashbacks.. hey I can remember the 70s. some.. That movie started out with a bunch of monkeys around a television set bangin on it. Had some funny parts.. One news commentator, said, "your popcorn has been peed in, Film at 11".. HA.. Imagine sitting in a theater and seeing that?

I worked in the projects IN Atlanta where we had to hire someone to watch our cars.. I didn't tell jokes. I toted a pistole, and two magazines.


02-09-2005, 09:07 PM
I think that scene was in "Kentucky Fried Movie" IIRC.

02-09-2005, 10:44 PM
ha! that john stevensons shares my views as well! very well put john, but to me a bit of ciggy smoke smells nice, well i am a smoker, specially when im on fire!


02-09-2005, 11:42 PM
Joel.. perhaps it was.. HA.. I told ya I only remember some of the 70s.. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif I was having too much fun, ya know like Elvis did?

Ohh some of the things I do remember.. WHOO HOO..

02-10-2005, 12:04 AM
My rules-

#1 No "lowrider" shorts,unless you are 18-35 years old,female and less than 135#lbs http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

#2 No lowrider parts(boom boxes on wheels)will be made.

#3 Smoke so long as your not on fire.

#4 Pay me what I ask,I am reasonable,you should be too.

#5 Anyone caught cleaning up had better be a mind reader,because if it ain't where I put it you will be shot.

#6 There is metal,scrap metal and MY metal,learn the difference between them.

#7 If you make coffee it better be good coffee,not that limp wristed yankee bathwater.(sorry to all those north,but coffee doesn't exist above the Mason Dixon line)

#8 If you wear a suit and tie,go home and change into work clothes,otherwise you may not get service.

#9 Prints drawn by Reeses monkeys,on bubble gum wrapers,in Crayon are acceptable so long as they are dimensionally correct,CAD drawings done by an idiot will be mocked and used for toilet paper.

#10 Understand that your job maybe interuppted by any of the following,cute girls in lowrider shorts,coffee,killing cleanup wannabees,bounced checks,crappy CAD drawings,lack of material,or chasing lowrider trucks down the street with a gun http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 02-10-2005).]

02-10-2005, 12:23 AM

BUT&lt; Weird: This lowrider has hauled more guns than most swat team vans. I love it.. it goes around corners so fast ya gotta keep your mouth closed to keep your false teeth in.

I have seen change come out of the center console go sideways and hit the window on the passenger side from G-force.

Okay, I'm a 47 year old wanna-be kid. It does have a trailer hitch on the rear thou.. right below the neon tag frame.. Yeah, that's ice pearl over the factory color.. Dirty as heck in this picture thou.


Roger Chevalier
02-10-2005, 01:15 AM

Rule 14 My grandfather blacksmith/welder/machinist of 50 plus years in a farming community had a sign above his welding table that read:

I would rather loan my dog than my tools
My dog can find his way Home !

I always thought that was self explanatory

Roger from Montana

02-10-2005, 05:27 AM
I'm with Hoffman.......and any cats that the ill tempered Weimaraner dosen't maul......I kill....sorry.

02-10-2005, 05:43 AM
My first thoughts regarding felines is in very poor taste.........put it this way,you can bring any pet you want to our shop,it simply has to survive a severe mauling by a partcularly ill tempered Weimaraner.

WS's #7 & #9 also apply.

02-10-2005, 07:23 AM

John Stevenson
02-10-2005, 08:29 AM
Cats need rounding up and sending to China.
They are our only viable export we have.

02-10-2005, 08:38 AM
Keep your rules in your shops, I am not coming to your shop if I do I can read them there.

02-10-2005, 08:57 AM
HEY, you know thats a good idea. this topic has gotten way off.It went from a few good rules to peoples opinions and off the wall B/S. My self included, Hell I'm not going to shoot someones dog on there own property, nor would I bring my cats over to see some pri**s shop. so .


02-10-2005, 09:26 AM
America has a "pet" problem. If you don't believe it just go by your local Animal control shelter and see the poor beasts due for execution.
China has no such problems. Please neuter your pets or dispose of the extras properly. There must have been 500 stray cats around the home in Dalton. The animal enforcement people told me to "shoot" them. I was 1 block from the courthouse. I asked her about that, her reply? DOn't shoot in that direction. They'd not even come out and pick up the ones I caught in a live trap. There was several I did shoot, one in particular would back up and urinate through the screen door. I shot him right through the eye. (We have a 18 pound tomcat)

Coffee: Hmm
Why does coffee make such a more stronger pot if you wet the filter first? Why is the flavor so much better if you use "cold" water to make the pot? Ever had coffee where the old guy would just pull the old coffee loaded filter out, add a few scoops on top each pot and keep on brewing? About mid day I'd have the "twitches". Must've been a depression era thing.. OR roasted Acorn coffee? close to the real beans..


02-10-2005, 10:00 AM
I agree with you David, the US has a animal control problem, we have 8 cats and all have been fixed. and WE live in the country. I do shoot ferral toms and stray dogs on occation, but I kill all I shoot at, no wounded to wonder around.

John Stevenson
02-10-2005, 10:22 AM
We have a fish pond here and roaming cats are a bloody pest.
Don't tell me it's natural for a cat to fish if they don't swim.

Any I catch I throw in the pond, I mean lets face it that's what they were after anyway, I just make it easier for them.
Also saves having to run the aeration pump http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

If my dogs were allowed to roam they would be caught and locked up, so what's different for cats.
We have a cat, it goes out with the dogs at night and comes back in when called.
It stays on our land, same as the dogs.
Wasn't hard to train.

John S.

02-10-2005, 11:16 AM
IOWOLF,thats a good one!But the really funny part is......she has survived a shotgun blast,also been sliced slam wide open by a new pc of barbed wire,been hit by 2 cars,and cvrd. with play sand and runover repeatedly by my 4 youngins with their Tonka dozers.She just soaks it all up,on her "off" days she goes next door and gets her a$$ handed to her by a pair of Roty's.Some folks like dogs some like cats?I did have a solid black shop cat 20 some years ago,named after that Dallas character "JR".We called him an attack cat.......he would sneak up on visitors and give'm a good goin over then split.Have a wonderful day,BW

02-10-2005, 02:06 PM
Grampa had a big tom, it had long back legs and a stubby tail. My dobie was asleep not bothering anyone. The tom Climbed up onto her head and scratched the devil outa her, ran off about ten feet to a tree, went up about two feet turned around and spit at the dog that was running in circles howling.

The dog never messed with "that cat". I figure a bobcat bred with a housecat and produced that offspring. Never saw another cat like that one.

Loose feral cats are a danger to any child who loves to pet kitties. THEM things have claws long enough to rip open a flannel shirt I had on one day. It was in a humane trap. A hav-a-hart brand if you ever need to trap some. I still have "that trap". Not used it in a long time. About $35.


02-10-2005, 04:44 PM
John S.
I love my cat - it is spayed, electronically tagged, liscensed - and always kept indoors. It stays healthier that way - no bastards can poison the cat that way. I have lost loving dogs and cats for bastards that choose to poison a kids pet - then again those same bastards poisoned me one Halloween too - was in a coma for a month.

I have the same rule you do - kiss the scrapman's ass - for that is a very generous ass indeed... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

I agree with your rules - they are just and resonable. I however, have been known to blurt obscenities at non-existant gnomes for interferring in my work - I will try to not swear - just for you - although I would have you know that I learned from experts on power poles when I was two - man, did I eat lots of soap - kind of like it now though... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Dave Opincarne
02-10-2005, 10:57 PM
It's not swearing, just a few magic words that need to be said before things can work properly.

WS - What makes you think we in the PNW don't know coffee? And I'm not talking yuppie foo-foo drinks either, I like my coffee to sit up and bark, and it better not come out of a can either. LOL at the last one, spent an hour going through CADD files today finding errors. I'm printing that out and taking it to work tomorow.

02-10-2005, 11:29 PM
Ibew,not really talking about the vehicles,but some of the "people" who build them.You have things like common sense,mechanical ability,skill the sort of things most who want to build lowriders don't http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Hehehehe..talk about stuff sliding out,your got the trash tray over the gloove box? Mine does,corner too fast with the passenger window down and s--- goes out the window http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Dave,you might have coffee,does it contain at least 20% Chicory? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
EVERY CAD drawing has had errors,save ones drawn by one engineer with Oceaneering,god bless him whoever he is,perfect drawings everytime.

02-11-2005, 07:32 AM

Love your rules, too!!! But, if I posted #1 in my shop, there would be hell to pay from the boss.

I agree with you on #2 in particular. My neighbor came over one day and wanted me to make a part for one of those noisemakers. I told him to find somebody else after he tried to bend #4. Besides, I don't do much automotive stuff. Too much liability.

A customer of mine has a bunch of "kids" working for him and most of them are into that crap. He does the parts that they want for their annoyances. I guess I'm getting crotchety....

I don't drink coffee. You can bring me a Coke or a Dr. Pepper to get your foot in the door....

And, I like #9. I worked in a shop that had an engineering department. I would work closely with the engineers and we would get things worked out so the parts would work on scratch paper or toilet paper in crayon or other writing implement. When they gave the print to the draftsman, it was always a different part than we had come up with...He had no clue....

Now, the CAD drawings I've gotten out of NASA and the Navy have been great! I've done some Oceaneering work, too. They had great drawings!


Dave Opincarne
02-11-2005, 09:21 PM
Weird, yes we have coffee with chicory too. But you need to go to a Vietnamise noodle house (Pho) to get it. I worked with a bunch of Vietnamise. Their method of making coffee was to fill the filter up to the very top, then add a lot of sugar. Talk about a buzz.

02-11-2005, 09:28 PM

Mine didn't get the frame cut. NOW, who would take a truck and cut the frame in two and weld sheetmetal back in place of the structural bent metal?

There is a Chevy at our shop, fell on the ground when the C-ed frame broke.

Mine rides rough thou, not a buggy-bounce. The oversized sway bars front/rear. I put air shocks on it so I still could pretend it is a truck when I have to carry something. Lil compressor behind the seat to air them up when I have to.
We rode to Iowa in it, picked up the Smelter and Sand mueller from Gary. I love that old truck. (needs a V-8 instead of the 4.0 tho)

02-11-2005, 09:29 PM
I took a picture of a turtle that wondered by my window, my chinese neighbors grabbed it and made soup out of it. The Chinese have a saying, "They know what pets are, and what are not". I dont think you'll see any Chinese with pet rabbits.