Ten Tips for Maintaining a High Volume Shop

Woodworking Workshop
Ten Tips for Maintaining a High Volume Shop


As part of my resident research position at ITP, I keep an eye on the shop in collaboration with our shop foreman and the student workers. While we have access to a number of great tools, our space constraints and disparate skill sets and experience can lead to quite a lot of work around the shop. The challenges here are different than those of a home workshop. With multiple users and near round-the-clock access, things like maintenance and clean-up cannot be governed by the group alone.


Eric Hagan. is a resident researcher at NYU’s ITP, and helps to oversee the day-to-day functions of the school’s workshop, which includes a full complement of woodworking tools, CNC machine, laser cutter, and 3D printer. Students at ITP come from all sorts of backgrounds, making the maintenance of the shop both challenging and engaging.

18 thoughts on “Ten Tips for Maintaining a High Volume Shop

  1. David says:

    Putting Tools Back:: Signage:
    “If tools are not returned then the next person cannot find it and that person could be YOU!”

    1. Nick Normal says:

      Good one!

  2. Cory says:

    Please stop with the slideshows. Ain’t nobody got time to click through that.

  3. Devour Catering says:

    Organization and structure is always best for every shop or kitchen, in our case and can not be overlooked my the management or owners.

  4. jdm90 says:

    Your slide show way of presenting article content is tedious and clunky. It could have just been a flat page, maybe broken up to three pages.

  5. The One True Stickman says:

    Great tips… but I’m getting frustrated with the slideshow, too.

    There are a couple interrelated reasons for this:

    – Mobile fail. Wouldn’t work on my iPod (using Opera). How hard is it to have your mobile version just scrap the carousel? You already scrub images for good layout on your main blog page.

    – Like one of the tips said, “Out of sight is strongly out of mind”. Most of the content is initially hidden from the people you’re trying to get it to.

    – Unnecessary complexity when a simple list would work, and work very well. This requires extra clicking to get to and gives no indication of the number of tips or amount of information, so I felt a little lost. I also didn’t realize when it wrapped back to the first item.

    In addition to being a KISS issue, I think the bulk of this also falls in category #4 “Non-scannable text” of NN Group’s top ten web design mistakes. (http://www.nngroup.com/articles/top-10-mistakes-web-design/) Their specific points mainly deal with large amounts of text – your copy is actually fairly well written for web digestion – but it still not scannable. It’s hidden, and I have to go through the slideshow hoop to get it.

    Also, for all the slideshow haters: it looks, from my cursory glance, like the slideshow is driven by CSS – it’s very possible that a simple user script or greasemonkey script could fix it. Any takers?

    1. Jake Spurlock says:

      Hey Stickman,

      MAKE web producer here, I built the slideshow, and we like it. To address your concern, no userscript or anything is necessary, there is a View All link right under the slideshow that expands the slideshow to a big list of images and captions.

      I know people aren’t huge fans of the slideshows, but given the correct context, they are a great way to present content. We have been continually refining the mechanism, and slides load instantaneously, with no need to wait for a page load.

      Thanks for sharing your concerns, we want MAKE to be a place that everyone likes to visit, has great content, and more. We, in the most sincere way I can say it, really value your feedback.

      1. The One True Stickman says:

        Jake, thanks for your reply! I totally missed the “View All” link – it got lost in the bio blurb. I appreciate the fact that you guys care and are refining this stuff, it used to be pretty glitchy for me. What I saw of the content setup is nice and clean, though, and it does work nicely in a normal browser.

        I think I still disagree philosophically with using the slideshow for information that isn’t really sequential, nor primarily visual, but one click to just show all of it is completely reasonable and makes me happy.

        1. terrefirma says:

          You commenters could be a little more polite, but apparently the people who spent their time trying to help you are not as sensitive as I. That being said, it reminds me of the DWELL mag site where you have to scroll/click/ slowdown, etc and feel annoyed for some reason. We are just SPOILED!!!

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