Reclaiming My Workshop Part 1

I opened the door and stepped inside but that was as far as I could physically go. My workshop… NAH! My Sanctuary, has been neglected and mistreated all summer long like the end piece of a loaf of bread – touched and abused but never loved.

Sawdust carpeted the floor ankle deep and blanketed every surface, while scraps of discarded wood had created what appeared to be an abandoned nest for some sort of prehistoric bird of prey. My work bench, piled high with tools and empty boxes like the leftover bones of the beast’s dinner.

Winter is coming and I need my shop back if I’m going to complete the epic list of projects that have to be done before spring. There’s an old saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

The Four Part Plan

  • Convert the Old work bench into the New wood storage area
  • Remove all the old shelving and finish the walls with particle board and French Cleats
  • Get rid of all the useless stuff and build a new work bench with storage
  • Build an Outfeed Table/Assemble Table for my table saw

I should be able to knock this all out in a weekend. Yeah… that’s it… a weekend.

Getting Started:

My 12’x20′ workshop defies time and space much like The Doctor’s Tardis. I discovered this when I started moving everything out into the yard. As you can see from the picture, the pile of stuff outside is bigger than the outside of the building itself – and there is still just as much crap inside left to come out.

Once I had all of my tools outside, I set to work converting my old workbench into a new lumber rack. Perhaps you can see the problem with that sentence. I had piled all my tools outside and since I was converting my workbench into storage, I now had no place to work.

So using my saws-all and a hammer, I roughed out some crude racks – it wasn’t pretty but it was sturdy. This allowed me to move all of my lumber to a permanent location and out of the way. While this was a small step, it moved the lumber storage from Horizontal floor space to Vertical wall space and freed up a significant amount of room in the shop. I’ll dress this rack up after I get everything else done.

Next, using a shovel, I began removing the sawdust (even as I type that sentence, I am filled with the sort of shame reserved for a Jerry Springer guest). At one point I even cranked up the leaf blower, only to create a cyclone of sawdust that circled in every direction except towards the door. I’m still digging man-glitter out of my every orifice!

Then there was the issue of the Pterodactyl nest. A lot of these wood scraps are uniformed and could be re-purposed later but at some point, you stop being frugal and you’re just hoarding. So I made a burn pile and started feeding the nest to it. Yet after three hours of burning, I had barely put a dent in it.

I moved this pile to here and that pile to the there… and after 10 hours of hard labor, my efforts had yielded only the slightest noticeable difference -there may have been tears.

This ended weekend one. I’m sure I can finish everything that’s left in just one more weekend… yeah… that’s the ticket… just one more weekend.

Time doesn’t matter, so if it takes all month, so be it.

It is worth mentioning that I am planning a YouTube Channel starting in January, focused on homestead woodworking projects and how to build beehives for free out of pallets. Because of this, the new layout of my workshop is geared toward woodworking efficiency but also with a YouTube set like feel in mind. So hit the follow button below to see how this all works out.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. This is great – all journeys start with a single step … and cleanliness is next to godliness .. yes my partner has wrestled with the mess in his shed down on the farm and after much effort has converted it to a fabulous and usable space as he enjoys doing his woodworking. It took quite a few domestics for him to realise the difference between stockpiling and hoarding – as you have said – and he has done a great job in delivering a terrific man-cave where he can get his jobs done in an ordered environment with his music blaring and tools and work tables set up and ready to use!! Good on you – bet you feel a lot better getting rid of what no longer serves you!!
    Donna πŸ§šπŸ»β€β™€οΈβ€οΈπŸ™

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bryan Layton says:

      For now it is just depressing but I am confident that it will be awesome by the end of the month!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hang in there!! πŸ§šπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ™β€οΈ

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Suzanne says:

    love the way you write. Tardis! Pterodactyl nest! Jerry Springer! The pictures made me laugh because, well, mine might look a tiny bit similar…..
    Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bryan Layton says:

      Thanks, Suzanne! Great minds think alike.


  3. Mate, not many people can present a really crap job like cleaning and re-purposing a shed in such great literary prose! Very entertaining – great story – you had me laughing so much – love it! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bryan Layton says:

      Thanks, Martin! Nothing makes me happier than knowing I made someone laugh.


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