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Some Shop Clean Up

It has been a very busy couple of months in my shop.  I finished up two furniture pieces (editing footage now), built a bow saw, and launched The Hand Tool School and built 5 project for that so far.  There has been a lot of building and very little cleaning.  The funny part is most of the shop is spotless.  However, in a 2-3 foot circle around my bench, it looks as if a tornado has struck.  Cleaning up the shavings was like some kind of archeological dig.  As I dug down through the layers of Pine, Mahogany, Walnut, White Oak, and Cherry I recalled each project and the smell and texture of the stock.  It was a nice reflection period.

If only cleaning up the shavings was all I have to do.  Buried within these shavings I kept finding things like marking gauges, planes, and bench appliances.  In particular the bottom shelf of my bench was overflowing.  I already had 2 shooting boards and 2 bench hooks.  After a recent Hand Tool School lesson I made 2 more bench hooks, a miter box, and a miter shooting board (that lesson gets published this week) so that bottom shelf was filling up.  I also keep my winding sticks and molding plane collection down there.  This is a shelf that I like to keep pretty clean because it is a nice holding area for project in progress and tools.  I will often be using say a plow plane to cut grooves in drawer only to set the plane down below while I dovetail the parts.  I then pull the plane back out for the next drawer.  I find this to be a very efficient method of working, but as soon as you start to gum up the works with bench appliances and other objects that don’t get used as often it all breaks down.

Wall Hook for Bench AppliancesSo I decided to create a bench hook “shelf”.  Shelf is a bit much.  Basically a piece of 2″ wide white oak screwed to the cinder block wall acts as a surface that all my hooks can hand from.

This idea was put in my head when one of my School members, Mike, mentioned that possibly making the cleat part of these hooks one half of a french cleat for wall storage might be a good idea.  This is probably going to be much more secure than my method, but really they are pretty stable and a very quick, easy to reach from the bench.

I’m working on a next Hand Tool School lesson on half laps right now and I keep reaching for my shooting board and bench hook.  It is a single step to the right and I can reach all of my appliances and then can move it off to the wall after I’m done.  It is a tiny measure of convenience but having my lower shelf back and easy to access for tools and such makes such a big different when you spend all your time at the same work station.

Clean Workbench Shelft

Now I have room for more tools right?

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