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  1. #1
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    Default Post your best space saving shop ideas

    I'm always trying to get more stuff into less space & looking for ideas.
    pxl_20201106_175723284.jpg

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    I have a bunch of relatively light things on wheels that I'm not always using (2 blast cabinets, a 40 gallon parts washer, a die cart table) so I just crowd them together and when I need to use one I spread them a little to get to what I need to use.

    I know its not a ton of savings - but helps to not keep dedicated isle and operator space for them and gives me reconfigurable space depending on the need. (I also typically wheel the blast cabinets outside to use to keep the flying grit down).

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    Move the temporary but not currently worked on projects out of your shop and store the somewhere else. A pickup truck with a shell on it works well.

    However, you MUST resist the urge to say to.your spouse:

    "Honey, the truck is full. I need another one"

    Trust me, it does NOT end well....

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    She said I should build a second building alongside. No way, it would magically fill up and I'd have more aggravation.

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    I leave things at other peoples houses. Father in law, sister in law, moms house, moms cabin, friends house.

    You have to have a very patient family. And you have to not use the stuff, just own it.

    Short of an industrial building, black hole, very large pole barn, I haven't found another solution.

    Seriously, I moved four years ago and my stuff is yet to follow. I started a business after moving, the business expanded to fill the space I have, and I haven't caught up to getting it all moved to a central location. Goals.

    But buy vidmars, lista, etc. Just pay the $100/drawer or whatever it is, and buy them one a year until you have a wall of them. They don't lose value as long as you take care of them.

    Don't do the card catalog that's hard to find, and even harder to fit anything in. Tried it...gave them to my father in law.

    I think I'm up to 7 vidmar/lista cabinets...which amounts to an entire wall of them. I'll buy more when I have more wall space.

  8. #6
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    A long time ago I met a couple of guys who were next door neighbors. They had a great system. If you borrowed something from the other guy, you had to keep it until he needed it back.


    Sent from my Nokia 7.1 using Tapatalk

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    A place for every thing and everything in its place.
    For me, that meant lots and lots of drawers. Well over 100.
    And that many drawers really need a good labelmaker. The new ones can print wire labels onto heat shrink, how cool is that?

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    1. You can get magnetic label tape (which so far as I have found only works in certain epson labelers.) Epson LABELWORKS PX | LabelWorks PX Magnetic Label Supplies

    [I have *three* labelers, because the brother makes the strongest permanent labels for things like tool holders, the dymo/rhino has the best heat shrink labels and some useful color combinations, and the epson makes the largest labels of the three, and also magnetic labels.)

    2. Regarding the industrial building - I have one, and getting rid of stuff to make room for more stuff is still a constant problem. You could have the entire boeing 777 assembly building (the largest building in the world) just for your shop, and you'd fill it up....

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  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerholz View Post
    A long time ago I met a couple of guys who were next door neighbors. They had a great system. If you borrowed something from the other guy, you had to keep it until he needed it back.


    Sent from my Nokia 7.1 using Tapatalk

    I tried to get the neighbor to borrow my leaf vac today...I’m done with it for the year. He’s got a big ole pole barn with nothing in it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    I tried to get my neighbor go 50/50 on a snowblower, and I would even let him keep it in his garage. He bought his own, and I had to as well.

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    Why not pay your neighbour to do your snowblowing? Worked for me for years. And they did it to a better standard than I would have...

    Lazy L7

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    I do have a Dymo label maker and do use it for some things, like draw fronts. But most of my labels are printed with the same computer that I am using right now. I like to buy the full sized label sheets (8.5" x 11") but some labels only come on smaller ones. I keep label stock in both die cut sizes and full sheets with no cutouts. And I get both removable and permanent adhesive types.

    I like using a more or less modular storage system. It starts with adjustable shelves on the walls. Most of my shelves are 11" deep and hold the 11" or 12" deep cardboard bins. I use the cardboard bins because they are inexpensive and I can keep a stock of about a half dozen sizes/widths. I have been using them for several decades now and they seem to last well enough in a one man shop.

    When called for, I divide the inside of those bins with cardboard mini-bins. I also have a number of prescription medications that I take on a regular basis and I keep the plastic bottles from them to use for shop storage. I presently have more Rx bottles than I ever wanted and they all were free. A couple of the label sheets that I keep on hand are round labels for these Rx bottles. My screw and nut stock is presently in these bottles with one or two cardboard bins of them for each thread size up to about 5/16"/M8 or so.

    I found that screw sizes below #4 were too small to efficiently use the above system so I purchased several clear plastic, bead storage boxes from the arts and crafts area at Wal-Mart. They are about 1" high and 12" wide and come with about 15 or 18 small, screw top, round containers inside. Each of those small containers can hold over 100 of most small screw sizes. Everything is clear so I can easily see what I am looking for. By standing them on the front or rear edge, one of these bead boxes only takes up about 1" of my shelf space and I can have thousands of small nuts, bolts, washers, set screws, etc. in only about 6 or 8 linear inches of shelf (well under 1/2 cubic foot). That is compact and space saving storage.

    I like to use peg board for other areas where shelves may not be the best. Or, in some places I combine both. I have a combination of shelves and peg board behind my lathe. And a small, peg board on the head of my mill that holds most of the tools that I need when using the mill.

    I have used the space above two doors in my shop. Above one door I have a continuation of the shelving on that wall. It is enough to hold two or three of my height gauges that I do not use often. Above the other one I have a peg board that presently has a number of extension cords hanging on hooks. Of course, that could change just by using different hooks. I love peg board.

    Another use of a door will be a compact, fold-able fixture for taking photos in the shop. It will have a horizontal table surface that folds down and a cyclorama style background, perhaps with several colored inserts available and lights hanging from the ceiling. I may even make that background from a translucent plastic and incorporate back lighting. Back lighting is often incorporated in industrial photography for stunning photos. This will fold against the door and therefore take up almost zero shop space when not in use. This is a back burner project.

    Another idea that is a work in progress is to use the space under the table of my floor stand drill press. I wanted a big, floor stand drill press so that I could work on large things there. But, lets face it, 99.99% of the work on that machine will not use that space under the table. In most shops this is just wasted space. I was inspired and purchased a 6 or 8 drawer tool box to use there. I bought one without wheels, but obtained four large diameter wheels that would allow it to roll over the base of the drill press. I plan to mount those wheels in a manner that will allow four wheel steering so I can easily roll it out of the way when I do need that space. The four wheel steering will allow it to be easily maneuvered about the narrow areas of my shop. I will post/publish this project when it is done.

    Those are just some of the ideas that I have for efficiently using the space (that's SPACE, not just the area) in my shop.



    Quote Originally Posted by bryan_machine View Post
    1. You can get magnetic label tape (which so far as I have found only works in certain epson labelers.) Epson LABELWORKS PX | LabelWorks PX Magnetic Label Supplies

    [I have *three* labelers, because the brother makes the strongest permanent labels for things like tool holders, the dymo/rhino has the best heat shrink labels and some useful color combinations, and the epson makes the largest labels of the three, and also magnetic labels.)

    2. Regarding the industrial building - I have one, and getting rid of stuff to make room for more stuff is still a constant problem. You could have the entire boeing 777 assembly building (the largest building in the world) just for your shop, and you'd fill it up....

  17. #13
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    My motto is to go high whenever possible. I have shelves up pretty high on the walls, always seems like there is lots of bulky lighter things that I want off the floor (platic totes, milk crates, etc). Try to keep smaller cabinets on wheels so you can cluster them to gain a bit more room in an area. Stack cabinets with smaller organizers on top as high as you can reasonably access.

  18. #14
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    high you say? (I don't ever really roll it around, and its secured in place so it can't get pulled over...)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 160-6032_img.jpg  

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  20. #15
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    Like it! I did that with my welding equipment also. Just keep an eye on those casters! They may disappoint you.


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