Workshop Organization Tips

Maker News
Workshop Organization Tips

How do you manage your workshop? Do you separate your woodworking and soldering areas? Pegboard or no pegboard? What do you do with those funny-shaped tools that don’t fit anywhere?

We asked you, our readers, to share some of your favorite shop tips with us. Here are some of the suggestions given and received via our @make_tips Twitter account:

Cover X-acto tips with triangle pencil grips… won’t poke, won’t roll, and adds retro looks! via @3leftturns

Try storing/transporting small parts like screws using packing tape!

Sort obj like Lego by size not color. Easier to pick a red 2×4 brick out of a bin of 2x4s than a bin of red bricks. (v @mightywombat)

Put an old magnetic knife holder underneath an old ice cube tray to keep your screws and washers organized. (v @flincshop)

Use synthetic corks as sharp tool blade covers (chisels, gouges, etc.):

Sort and store your through-hole resistors by the color of the third band.

Component drawers aren’t just for electronics; try them for nuts/bolts, drill bits, rivets, thumb tacks, etc. Label the drawers!

cut up and recycle cardboard tubes and organize your boxes of misc cables by doing this: (via @chamblin)

Electronics: A small desktop cup/container can be handy for gathering small clippings from leads, wire, and solder sucker refuse.

Clean and re-oil your tools after a messy project to extend their life.

Maker Pro tip: Check out @ULINE for boxes and other shipping materials:

When rolling up power cords, start at the power source; unplug first and don’t get shocked if the cord is frayed. (v @chrisspurgeon)

What are your favorite tricks for organizing and storing your tools and supplies? Share them in comments or tweet them to @make_tips. [Workshop image: Craig Smith]

6 thoughts on “Workshop Organization Tips

  1. rallen says:

    5 minutes spent at the end of a work session cleaning up and organizing will save you a lot more than that trying to find where you put that stinking tool! It also looks a lot more professional to visitors.

    Remember: if you can’t find it, you don’t have it.

  2. craig says:

    I got sick of loosing the chuck key for that drill press. It would get covered up by something, vibrate/fall off the base, etc… I set a magnet on top of the drill press for holding the chuck key at eye-height. It took awhile to get used to setting it up there but after awhile it became second nature. Never looking for it… EVER!

  3. craig says:

    Often on larger jobs, I cut my wood out in the garage table saw, and haul the piece back in the house. Or I measure at point A, go get it cut at point B, and back to point A again. The measurements get forgotten especially if it’s a piece of plywood with two measurements to the cuts. So I sand the yellow and orange plastic tape measure surfaces dull so a pencil can easily write on the surfaces, and it does erase easily. Notepad directly on my measuring tool. (black tape measures don’t work well)
    Orginization??? Yes, orginization of your time not wasted running back because it was “What and three quarter?”

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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