Woodworker's Journal 2004-Winter, страница 8

Woodworker

Better shop layout begins with a good sketch. Organize your shop around the tasks you regularly do. Design the workflow (green arrows) from the point where materials enter your shop to the space where projects are finished.

The Effective Workshop

By Chris Marshall

Creating a hard-working shop involves smart layout, the right kinds of organizers and some good old elbow grease.

What tops your shop wish list? Does "bigger" come to mind? If so, you're in good company. Many woodworkers who write in tell us the same thing about their shops. Truth be told, there's a certain New England plaid shirt celebrity with a workspace I'd trade for in a heartbeat... But that's not a reality for me any time soon, and you're probably in the same boat. Size up your shop, with its own unique limitations and restrictions, and you're probably faced with that old poker adage about playing the hand you're dealt. To some degree, we're stuck with the workspaces we've got.

If you're feeling like your shop isn't a little slice of Eden to work in, it could be you're not making the most of the space that's already there. Maybe it's high time to make your workshop "the next big project." It probably won't be as enjoyable as ripping into a fresh stack of maple or firing up a new router, but a few weekends spent assessing your layout, getting organized or tending to tool and machine maintenance could radically improve the way you work.

Lowdown on Layout

There's no perfect shop layout that will suit every woodworker's needs. Your style of work, the space you have to work in and the sheer volume of stuff you have to fit into your space all influence shop layout. However, it's still worth the effort to put your shop under the "magnifying glass" from time to time to see if there are ways to improve efficiency and make your space work harder for you.

Scott Landis, a professional woodworker and author of "The Workshop Book" (The Taunton Press, 1998), says the first step to better order is to consider the way you work in your shop. Ask yourself the following questions: What kinds of operations do you perform repeatedly or only occasionally? How much wood do you use, and is it primarily lumber or plywood? How do materials flow through the shop from arrival and storage to the completed project?

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