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Tool organization inspiration

Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
6
Likes
3
Location
Portland OR
Hello! I'm fairly well a newbie here, so my apologies if there's a better spot for me to be posting this, or an obvious gallery that I'm totally missing. I actually joined back in November when I decided to go all in and invest in a full size lathe (the Nova Orion) which due to worldwide shipping issues only just last week was finally delivered.

Anyway, now that I've a very nice upgrade to the shopsmith fueling some creativity here, I'm thinking it is time to put something together to organize my many chisels and maybe faceplates/chucks/keys as well. I'd love to see what folks have done near their lathe that has worked well for them!

I've some blank wall behind my lathe, so while I'm likely to go wall mounted, I'm interested in seeing carts or whatever else as well. I figure it only seems fitting to turn the crate that the new lathe was delivered in into some sort of shop organization accessory. And after finding someone selling a bunch of chisels and other stuff recently (their lathe was stolen from their shop but their loose tools left behind, go figure), I've now officially entered "too many" chisels territory and need to get organized.

So please, share your organizational ideals! I'm sure that just about anything is better than my 'loose pile under the router table' approach!
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
6
Likes
3
Location
Portland OR
My chucks and faceplates aren’t organized very well but I am happy with the way my tools are set up. I have more tools but took out the ones I never use.
Dang, that's a clean setup! Also, I like the towel dispenser there... I wonder if I have room to add towels by my lathe rather than the opposite wall...

And yeah, I have a ton of chisels that will stay boxed up and just be around for me to practice with different grinds or whatnot on occasion. I feel like old Shopsmith brand lathe chisels reproduce on their own somehow.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2020
Messages
96
Likes
131
Location
Jackson, NJ
Website
www.blacklabelwoodworks.com
I used the top of the garage door as a cleat to hang it. Its got a lot more hooks and stuff hanging on it now. All my small stuff is stored in the drawers under the bed. Its not normally that much of a mess i was in the middle of flipping my lathe and bandsaw from opposite sides of the shop.

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Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
1,271
Likes
544
Location
Bozeman, MT
There was a lengthy, worthwhile thread on this subject about a year ago, probably stated by Odie. You could do a search and all at once have the multitude of varied and interesting answers to the question.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
6
Likes
3
Location
Portland OR
There was a lengthy, worthwhile thread on this subject about a year ago, probably stated by Odie. You could do a search and all at once have the multitude of varied and interesting answers to the question.
I would love to see this! I havent found it yet, but I am definitely looking. I suspect I'll be starting to build something next week, and the more ideas I have the better!
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
3,054
Likes
875
Location
Cleveland, Tennessee
I keep my turning stuff in the top drawer of a HF tool cabinet. Tools are kept on the top in the original wood box.
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
Messages
788
Likes
541
Location
Jasper, Alabama
My chucks and faceplates aren’t organized very well but I am happy with the way my tools are set up. I have more tools but took out the ones I never use.
Hi Rusty, very neat shop indeed! I see what looks like some pen blanks. I turned pens for several years as a little business. Now days I just turn bowls. Happy turning!
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
Messages
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Location
Jasper, Alabama
My little shop does not look like this now as I am in the process of expanding the shop. I'm expanding taking in another room. I'll have much more room for more tools. :)
 

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Joined
Jun 6, 2018
Messages
954
Likes
388
Location
La Grange, IL
I was able to pick up two rolling tool chests from Harbor Freight cheaply on a Christmas sale. These have worked very well for storing most all my lathe chucks & tools. (If you go this route make sure the drawers are long enough for your tools).

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Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
3,371
Likes
1,060
Location
Eugene, OR
Well, mayhem could describe my shop. I have the grinders set up by each lathe, and the rolling wire racks/shelves for tools. Easy to move and position where I want them. I built plywood trays for the tops so tools don't fall through, and I like them laying flat so I can see the tool I want to use, even if I have to push the shavings aside...

robo hippy
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
169
Likes
123
Location
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Hi Rusty, very neat shop indeed! I see what looks like some pen blanks. I turned pens for several years as a little business. Now days I just turn bowls. Happy turning!
Thanks. Yes those are some of my pen blanks on that little shelf with the scroll saw blades. I used to make and sell a lot of pens but haven’t made any for a while. Been turning mostly bowls and lidded boxes.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
3,054
Likes
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Location
Cleveland, Tennessee
I was able to pick up two rolling tool chests from Harbor Freight cheaply on a Christmas sale. These have worked very well for storing most all my lathe chucks & tools. (If you go this route make sure the drawers are long enough for your tools).

View attachment 38883
I looked at one but the shelf is a dust catcher, IMO. Got the nine drawer cabinet. Have one empty drawer. Turning tools will go there. thanks for the idea.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
5,658
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2,452
Location
Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
My shop is a hodge-podge of incremental changes. I first put this shop together when I moved into this house in 1996. I am completely out of space, so organizing things with "convenience" in mind, has been a great effort. I've been taking photos of my shop for many years, and each time I update the photos, I'm amazed at how much things are in a continual state of change!

More to come.

-----odie-----

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Joined
Dec 22, 2006
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Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
continued.......
 

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Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
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Location
Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
continued......
 

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Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
82
Likes
37
Location
Spartanburg, South Carolina
My shop is a hodge-podge of incremental changes. I first put this shop together when I moved into this house in 1996. I am completely out of space, so organizing things with "convenience" in mind, has been a great effort. I've been taking photos of my shop for many years, and each time I update the photos, I'm amazed at how much things are in a continual state of change!

More to come.

-----odie-----

View attachment 38891View attachment 38892View attachment 38893View attachment 38894View attachment 38895View attachment 38896View attachment 38897View attachment 38898
Very cool progression, Odie-you gotta keep the sawdust outta your coffee lol!
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
238
Likes
93
Location
Delray Beach, FL
My shop is a hodge-podge of incremental changes. I first put this shop together when I moved into this house in 1996. I am completely out of space, so organizing things with "convenience" in mind, has been a great effort. I've been taking photos of my shop for many years, and each time I update the photos, I'm amazed at how much things are in a continual state of change!
Is there room for you???
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
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2,452
Location
Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
339
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232
Location
Baltimore, MD
You’ve got A LOT of stuff there Odie! What is the wooden gizmo with cord attached to the right of your grinder stand? Looks like something to hold a window open at variable heights.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
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Location
Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
Organized chaos! Sign of genius at work.

Gary,
Wish I could claim to be genius, but I am persistent in doing things over, and over, and over again, until I finally get a workable solution! ;)

You’ve got A LOT of stuff there Odie! What is the wooden gizmo with cord attached to the right of your grinder stand? Looks like something to hold a window open at variable heights.

Lou.....
I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to, but.....
#1 is a paddle that I use to apply pressure to the motor when I change belts.
#2 is a utility work platform that fits between the bedways of my lathe.

-----odie-----
shop photos november 7 2020  (34)_LI.jpg
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
339
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232
Location
Baltimore, MD
Sorry, I see there are two grinder stands. Here it is:
 

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Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
5,658
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Location
Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
Sorry, I see there are two grinder stands. Here it is:

Oh, that......it's part of my honing station that adjusts for the length of my gouges while I hand hone.

Actually, that isn't a grinder......It's an old pedestal motor I use with a 3M deburring wheel. It's used to polish the bottoms and corners of scrapers, so they slide smoothly on the tool rest. The motor is a "Packard" motor with old fashioned oil cups for the bearings.......probably about as old as you, or me!....I'm guessing 1940's

-----odie-----
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
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Location
Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
Here's something interesting, that I didn't show you, because it's covered up with other stuff. .......late 1940's or early 1950's vintage Delta table saw. I completely tore it down and rebuilt it about 1975. Installed a Beismeyer fence, new motor, and added extensions. Still runs like a champ!

Yeah, some of my tools are pretty old, but they come with kindred spirit ghosts from the past! :cool: It bugs me a little, because these old-timer ghosts keep looking over my shoulder while I work......I hate that! o_O

-----odie-----
 

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Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
339
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232
Location
Baltimore, MD
Ahh, I see (said the blind man...). Actually 1940’s predates me by about a decade, but who’s counting. You’ve got an amazing shop. Thanks for opening the doors to us!
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
15
Likes
7
Location
Sykesville, Maryland
My storage. I love my chuck/accessories shelf. There are holes for the chucks and a lip at the bottom. Holds a ton of stuff. I need better chisel storage, but this will do until I move to a new shop of a couple of years.
 

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Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
176
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1,199
Location
North Ogden, Utah
I designed my shop (which is just a corner or my garage) on the fly, one thing at a time, with really nor rhyme or reason to any of it. BUT, if I could start over, knowing what I know now after twenty years of working in there, I would pay very close attention to where the shavings tend to land and leave those areas free of hard to clean racks and holders. You'll get used to where your stuff is and it will become second nature just to reach for it. I don't necessarily agree with all the talk of ergonomics and in fact think it helps prevent fatigue to be forced to move around a bit while you're turning. But cleaning is a pain in the backside any way you look at it. Make your shop easy to clean!
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
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Location
Nebraska
You can look at someone's sock drawer and have a pretty good idea as to what their shop is going to look like. :)
Having an organized shop is a big plus compared to spending a half an hour trying to find a tool you need to use each time.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
238
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93
Location
Delray Beach, FL
Having an organized shop is a big plus compared to spending a half an hour trying to find a tool you need to use each time.
Not all the time for me. I often find a different tool that will do the same and that leads to a new learning experience.

I am not a production turner, for them tools should be where expected.

Stu
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
325
Likes
595
Location
Hillsborough, NJ
You can look at someone's sock drawer and have a pretty good idea as to what their shop is going to look like. :)
Having an organized shop is a big plus compared to spending a half an hour trying to find a tool you need to use each time.
Sock drawer ?..... you have a sock drawer ???:rolleyes: No wonder my shop looks like it does - I'm doomed!:)
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
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Location
Nebraska
I worked in a shop for several years where the owner had the habit of leaving his tools in the last place he used them. It was quite common to walk around the shop looking for a tool you needed with that zombie look in your eyes finding another tool you were looking for yesterday and then trying to remember what you were looking for to begin with. It is a lot easier and more efficient to keep your tools in a designated location so it is always there when you need it. 5S process will help anyone that manufactures goods and services.
 
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