Small tasks, big disruptions

A major shop redo can be fun in spite of the scope of the project. But sometimes it’s the small adjustments that are the biggest chores.

You may recall a while back when I built shop cabinets. It was a huge project, one that altered my entire shop layout and workflow for the better. That took a week to complete, then another week figuring out how best to utilize the new arrangement. Still, I enjoyed every moment of it.

I got several new, large clamps recently and needed somewhere to put them. My existing clamp rack was too full to take them (and too low to the floor anyway), so I had to make a new rack. In itself, a small one-evening project is enjoyable – they’re quick, easy, they use up scrap, don’t involve complicated joinery or fasteners, etc. Turned out that making the rack was the easy part, but locating it was problematic.

As you can see from the above photo, the optimal spot was by the shop entrance – the angle of the steps even matches the angle of the clamps – and the install was quick, easy and uneventful. But see that little cabinet in the left-hand image? That’s my router bit cabinet, and I had to get it out of the way. It was perfect in that spot, and so far I still haven’t found a good, practical place to put it. For the moment, it’s on the floor under my saw’s router table extension.

Which is where I keep my shop vacuum, now rolled underneath a countertop opposite my workbench.

Which is where I keep the stool I use for when I’m doing design or paperwork, and now the stool is out in the middle of the floor – and in the way. I’ve already had to move it a dozen times.

A simple, little clamp rack that’s only 24” wide, and it’s managed to disrupt the entire shop. I need to find someplace to put that router bit cabinet, so I’ve got someplace to put the shop vacuum, so I’ve got someplace to put that stool.

Of course, those clamps also displaced my shop calendar so I need to find a spot for that, too. No idea when I’ll get around to that; without the calendar, I have no idea what day it is.



  1. Larry wrote:

    I Hope that those red and white stripes in the corner is not an American Flag!

  2. Mark L. wrote:

    I bet you grt lots of comments on this one.

  3. A.J. Hamler wrote:

    Mark — No, it’s not. It’s what’s left of a roll of 4th-of-July table bunting.

  4. DiAnne Patrick wrote:

    Hang your router bit cab on the shop door. It’s probably closed when you’re working.

  5. DiAnne Patrick wrote:

    Calendar goes on the router cab door.

  6. Abe wrote:

    Raise the clamp rack 6 in. and put router cab under the shortest clamps. Or create a door for the parts cab and integrate the router cab into that door.

  7. Chuck R wrote:

    Anyone with a shop that neat has way too much time on their hands!! :)


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