Thursday, April 2, 2009

Making Martha Proud

Let's face it: the more storage units you build, the more surface areas you have on which to work.

At least that's the way it is in my shop, where any flat surface becomes cluttered with tools and other items which have no designated cubby or drawer to call home. This can make woodworking frustrating when you're constantly shifting piles from one surface to another.

Not only that, but if you're wasting time searching for a tool because it's buried under a stack of sandpaper, you're not doing what you want to be doing—building stuff.

This spring marks the 5th anniversary of having my shop built and I've decided to release my inner-Martha Stewart and get more organized.

So I opened a can of Martha on an eyesore masquerading as a light duty sharpening bench. Without shelves, the area was cluttered, inefficient, potentially hazardous, and downright unsightly.

I used some of the pile of pine to create a small cabinet, with one shelf, and four bins that effectively hold everything from the jumbled mess that had previously inhabited the space.

Storage units don't have to award-winning and can be made relatively quickly using simple joinery. But the time you invest in constructing them will make building your show-and-tell projects more enjoyable.

Now if only I could develop the same desire to tidy up my house.


Bob Tinsley said...

Yeah, be all neat and tidy! Until you get to the point of "I'm going to use that tool again in a minute, so I'll just leave it out where I can get to it." At least then the drawers will be neat.


Anonymous said...

Simple and sturdy. Like a lot.

Chris Schwarz said...

Two grinders? Four wheels?

Are you Shiva?

Man, even I've got just one grinder, and it has disco sensibilities, if you know what I mean.



Kari Hultman said...

Bob, leave a girl to her delusions. ; )

Thanks, Anon!

Chris, there are actually 3 grinders--one is hiding behind the radio in the top photo. Now what does that make me??? Maybe don't answer that.

Anonymous said...

Funny how we are more motivated to clean our shops and not our homes!

Anonymous said...

Funny how we are more motivated to clean our shops and not our homes!

RonG said...

I have lived in this same delusional world. If we are all honest, we know that junk expands to fill the space available for it. Not I see a new flat surface just begging for a new collection.

I can say this because my bench alternates between a pristine work surface and flat storage for all the things I'll put away later.


Vic Hubbard said...

Let's see now..where does that road of good intentions lead..
I can't remember...I put my GPS down let's see..what was I doing when I last saw it?

Andrew said...

The more time spent in your shop, the less your house needs tidying - or so I tell myself. Always good to find someone struggling with similar problems.

Woodbloke said...

See...I told you there was a project somewhere in that 'pile o'pine'!! I can't stand clutter either, a place of everything and everything etc etc. Interesting that you favour dry grinding as opposed to the Tormek variety...but what's a geologist's toffee hammer doing in your 'shop?..tut tut - Rob

Kari Hultman said...

Rob, I'm thinking about a Tormek, but I'm in the "do I really want to spend that much money right now?" mode. ; )

The machine in the center of the table top in the first photo is a slow speed wet grinder (Makita), but I don't like it very well.

Only one grinder has grinding wheels. Another one has hard felt honing wheels, flat and profiled.

The third one will eventually have cardboard wheels that are shaped for specific needs.

Shazza said...

Damn - I wish I had your talent to work with wood.

Great stuff Kari - think I can get you to design some kind of CD storage thingys so I don't have to rig something awkward and dorky looking?

{Big Teethy Grin}

A.J. Hamler said...

Hi Kari....

I built a large outfeed/assembly table for my saw about five months ago for the extra flat worksurface. In appearance it's exactly like your grinder station, except I never added that lower shelf. So not only is the top usually cluttered (when I'm not using it as an outfeed), but I don't even have the lower shelf to toss stuff. Talk about a lot of wasted space.

I've been contemplating closing in the bottom with doors/drawers as you have, and since your table is nearly identical to mine your design would work perfectly. So I'm going to steal it for my own.

'Course, I'll tell everyone I thunk it up myself...


Teresa Jones said...

Geez Kari, I am just finishing something similar for my miter saw and it has been months. I know you haven't had that pile of pine very long!

Nice job!


Kari Hultman said...

Shazza, bring it on, sistah!

A.J., be my guest!

Teresa, this was just rabbeted, dadoed, and nailed/glued together. That's why it went together so quickly. ; )

Anonymous said...
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Woodbloke said...

Kari - with the exchange rate favouring your side of the pond at the moment, now is a good time to get hold of a Tormek. Tool grinding will be a revalation. I've had one now for over 10 years and I reckon it's one of the essential 'must haves' for any 'shop. Besides, a little nudge down the 'Slope' never did anyone any harm... - Rob