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Shelf life

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I mentioned a while back about my desire to improve my shop’s appearance with a new floor. Well, I did the floor and it looks fantastic. But I didn’t stop there.

Although the paint job I did on my floor didn’t turn out as well as I��d hoped, it still looks about a million percent better. The point of redoing the floor wasn’t just because I hated it – which I did – but I need it to look good for shop photography.

You may recall that I’d mentioned my shop’s cluttered open shelves here before. Well, once the floor was done those shelves all around the shop looked even worse and more cluttered than ever. Fortunately, I’ve got some time between assignments so I decided to get rid of a lot of those shelves and move what they contain either up into our home’s attic (which is right above the shop), or out into the shed I build last year. This is stuff I can go months or even years without touching, so storing it upstairs is no hardship. I moved and expanded my clamps to where one set of those shelves were for a better and larger arrangement. The remaining shelves holding more-essential shop gear I decided to enclose. So I made some face frames and slapped them on the shelf units, then followed that with simple plywood doors. The visual effect is amazing, and my shop is actually becoming a showplace.

Since these are low shelves, I also built and installed pullout trays using full-extension slides to make it easy to get gear. Then I moved most of my portable tools – nailers, sanders, recip and circular saw, etc – onto these trays. Nice and tidy, but more importantly, it makes getting to those tools far easier, which in turn makes me more efficient. For example, I sometimes have a tendency not to use air tools for quick jobs. But having them so accessible makes them a natural choice to use.

Back when I was a kid, I was always being lectured at school about a clean, orderly desk being more conducive to learning. At home, I got the same lecture about my room and hobby areas. Turns out my teachers and parents were right all along.

Who’d’ve thunk it?

Till next time,


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