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Putting 10 lbs. of Tools In a 5 lb. Shop

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  • Putting 10 lbs. of Tools In a 5 lb. Shop

    Well it is about time to do another reorganization of the ole home shop. ;<)

    I am looking for suggestions as to what you have done to fit more tools and supplies into your personal homeshop.

    Thanks for any advice you might be able to offer.


  • #2
    Stack stuff up . Things you use a lot on bottom . Things you dont use so much on top.I have been known to take the wheels of roll around tool chest and stack one on top of the other.
    Every Mans Work Is A Portrait of Him Self


    • #3
      start stacking stuff outside under tarps, or build another shed.

      andy b.
      The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining


      • #4
        Originally posted by Too_Many_Tools
        Well it is about time to do another reorganization of the ole home shop. ;<)

        I am looking for suggestions as to what you have done to fit more tools and supplies into your personal homeshop.

        Thanks for any advice you might be able to offer.

        A lot of...yes dear,...I'll get to it as soon as I can dear.
        Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
        Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

        Location: British Columbia


        • #5
          Now What?

          I am using all three methods posted, unsuccessfully.
          Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."


          • #6
            Tool overflow



            Here is what I did to solve the overflow problem.
            Non, je ne regrette rien.


            • #7
              I think the most practical is a yard sale with a sign that says "yard sale...some tools". That will alleviate your problem right now!

              Send me an email when you schedule your sale! (I'm still able to find some room here)

              If I had to offer a realistic suggestion it would be to split everything that ain't a tool out of the shop. Put all stock and support equipment in a shed. Don't have a shed? Do as they do in some parts of town and park an old used van in your yard, decorate it with flowers and weeds and fill it up with overflow This idea works best with a couple of cars jacked up and setting on cinder blocks next to the old van due to a normalizing/desensitizing phenomenon.
              Last edited by Your Old Dog; 09-09-2007, 09:12 AM.
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              Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

              It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


              • #8
                More Space

                To make more room in my shop, I put my 10" by 36" lathe on wheels. I built a VERY sturdy frame to put under the lathe and move it against the wall when not is use and move it out when I need it. Admittedly it is not easy to move but it was that or no room for the mill.

                The lathe had to be made mobile when the 3000 lb. knee mill arrived. I can't use the lathe and mill at the same time but it forces me to plan my work so that I can work on one and then on the other so there is no interferince between the two.


                Being ROAD KILL on the Information Super Highway and Electronically Challenged really SUCKS!!

                Every problem can be solved through the proper application of explosives, duct tape, teflon, WD-40, or any combo of the aforementioned items.


                • #9
                  I went through the re-organization process last fall and was amazed how much more usable space I had when I took the time to "build" my shop in CAD.

                  Nothing fancy like 3D or photo-realistic renderings needed. In 2D TurboCAD I measured up the shop floor (also the fold-down attic stairway) and all the big stuff like toolboxes, workbenches, lathe, mill, bandsaw, etc, etc. I saved the individual items as "groups" (blocks in AutoCAD) and shuffled them around until the space was used most efficiently. My brain will NOT do stuff like that on it's own. I'm forced to draw things out to scale and plod along until it looks right. My wife can walk into a room and say: "This goes here, that goes over there, this will fit on top of that, etc, etc." Pi$$es me off!

                  If you don't speakah-da-CAD, just draw everything out to scale on graph paper, cut out the movable objects and shift them around for the best fit.

                  Anyway, my shop is still full but I can now work pretty efficiently and even open the attic stairs without moving anything. Haven't been able to do that in years!

                  Speaking of attic, do you have an attic and can you floor it with glued and screwed-down plywood sheets and put in an attic stair unit like I did? That will open up a whole new world of junk storage, uhhh, I mean future project inventory storage.

                  One last thing, I always have trouble throwing away hobby magazines (never know when I might need the April '59 issue of Model Airplane News!) and they were taking up a lot of space in the shop. I found some reasonably priced cardboard magazine storage boxes, sorted, organized and labeled them by year and moved all but the last 2 years up in the attic over the shop. I found this little shelf unit at a garage sale for $1.00 and mounted it in the unused space over the door to the shop and now magazine storage ain't a problem.

                  "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

                  "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton


                  • #10
                    One way I saved some space was to put rotating heads on my bench grinder stands so I can mount two grinders on one stand. I made a foot pedal latch assembly to lock the head. Here is a picture of one of the stands,

                    The one in the picture has been in service for over ten years.

                    The stand is from Harbor Freight and the bearing I used is from a 3.0L V6 Toyota cam belt idler.
                    Mark Hockett


                    • #11
                      I've been working in the same 18 x 18 detached garage for the last 36 years, and it gets tighter all the time.

                      At this point I have no wall space left anywhere:

                      I stick shelf units wherever I can fit 'em. For strength and versatility, I build my shelves exactly like freestanding bookcases, with backs nailed to the shelves. That way I can move the entire unit, and the shelves don't sag no matter how I load 'em.

                      I have as many things as I can on wheels. Bandsaws, buffers, table saw, all the lighter tools. Here, I have milling tool drawers on super heavy smooth casters, in front of my paint cabinet, also on casters. It stands in front of a giant old fire safe in which I keep lesser used items:

                      May seem cumbersome, but the big oversize casters make shoving a heavy tool cabinet really easy.

                      Drill chart on the ceiling, along with lights and infrared heaters:

                      And, half a wall of Sears tool cabinets, off their casters to save space:


                      Frank Ford
                      Gryphon Stringed Instruments
                      My Home Shop Pages

                      Frank Ford


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=Too_Many_Tools]Well it is about time to do another reorganization of the ole home shop. ;<)

                        I am looking for suggestions as to what you have done to fit more tools and supplies into your personal homeshop.

                        Thanks for any advice you might be able to offer.

                        Try to organize this!
                        The 12 x 24 foot room contains a South Bend 10K, a bead blast cabinet, Millermatic 251 Mig, Miller Syncrowave180 Tig machine, Rockwell Vari speed Drill Press. 55 amp plasma arc cutter, Rockwell disc sander. Baldor 7/8 inch double shaft buffer, oxy-acetalyene tanks, 12 ton floor press, Graymill Parts Washer, Rockwell 7 inch grinder, the metal work bench and the Dillon XL650 reloading machine thats sitting bolted to the top.
                        The Bridgeport, the Unisaw, the Rockwell shaper, 14 inch bandsaw, 12 inch belt/disc sander, the Quincy 5hp 2 stage air compressor and two Harley-Davidsons are (behind the left wall) inside a two car garage. Oh, I forgot the wife's car. Don't want to leave that out...Heh-Heh.
                        Organize? I gave up a long time

                        Last edited by piniongear; 09-10-2007, 01:55 AM.


                        • #13
                          My shop is only 20'X20'. I have a Fadal 15XT with 30" x16" travels, Milltronics CNC knee mill that is the size of a Lagun mill with a 10" X 50" table, Haas TL-1 CNC lathe, 13" x 40" manual lathe, 9" x 42" vertical manual mill, 7" X 12" mini lathe, mig welder, a couple of tool boxes and a bunch of inspection equipment packed in there.

                          Just to the left of the picture is another shop where I do all of my anodizing.

                          Mark Hockett
                          Mark Hockett


                          • #14
                            Once you've utilized all of your floor space, pretty much the only way to go is up, assuming of course, that you cannot build onto your existing shop.
                            I mounted everything that I could onto wheels, excluding lathes and millers, and then started going up. At one point, I actually had pallet racks where I had the bottom eight feet left open so that I could put my machines under the shelves, and then used the upper elevations for shelving those items that I couldn't bring myself to get rid of. It's not always convenient, and of course, doing that, you will need to find storage for your ladder. At the end of the day, it's always a trade-off.
                            Ultimately, I had to just suck it up, and start getting rid of things that I really didn't need, but just wanted. I mean, do you really NEED 30 hammers, forty different pliars, three tablesaws, two chop saws, three lathes, etc. It was hard, but I actually found that I really didn't need everything I had, and I started "thinning out". What I found was that I re-discovered an old friend. I now actually have room to work in my shop, and get more enjoyment from the tools that I actually find time to use.
                            When I go to auctions, I still buy tools like there is no tomorrow, but when I get the stuff home, I cull out the things I dont want/need, and then have a sale of my own, rather than keeping everything.
                            Then, when all else fails, there is that ultimate space-saver....DISCIPLINE!
                            There is no shortage of experts, the trick is knowing which one to listen to!


                            • #15
                              Mark, how are you powering that Fadal? Is it a single phase machine, do you get 3 phase, or are you using a converter(rotary/digital sine/etc)?

                              The reason I ask is because I want a Haas VF really, REALLY bad, and am unlikely to get 3 phase power, so when I see somebody else do it, it piquues my curiousity, especially as these machines are much more picky about their power.

                              EGO partum , proinde EGO sum