"No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit. "
- Helen Keller
Keeping your workshop clean and organized sometimes may seem almost impossible. Woodworking produces a lot of sawdust, wood scraps, etc, which spreads out really quickly. And before you know it, everything is covered with dust.
When you work with that many tools and also small bits and pieces like screws, bolts, nuts, and so on, keeping things tidy is difficult.
Don’t get disheartened, it might be difficult but not impossible. Check out these twelve ways to keep your workshop neat and tidy.
Maintaining a Cleaning Schedule
As mentioned before, your workshop can get really dirty and unorganized fast. Woodworking takes time, and long hours of standing on your feet can wear you out. Hence, cleaning can go neglected for long periods of time.
Remember that the longer you neglect cleaning, the harder it becomes. After the end of a project, no matter how hard it might seem, try to clean up all the wood scraps, dust, and project leftovers. Put the tools back in their places after using them.
If the project takes a few days to finish, try to clean the scrap materials at the end of each day. If you do that, you can keep your workshop clean for a longer period of time.
How to Handle that Concrete Floor
Most workshops have a concrete floor and that becomes the evil behind a dusty workspace. Concrete floors release concrete dust that inevitably fills out the place.
You can feel it under your shoes when shuffling around the workshop. It makes your workshops feel dusty all the time. Seal your concrete floor with a concrete sealer, followed by paint. This takes care of the concrete dust problem.
Using Foam Carpet
Painted floors are more slippery, plus the hard concrete surface makes you tired from standing more quickly. If you put a double layer of foam carpet, it helps to make the area less prone to slipping.
You can put them in your work zones, where you stand the most, and seal them with duct tape to prevent tripping. Seal the sides with tape so that the edges do not curl. It is better to cover your entire workshop floor with this, to make cleaning easier and also for visual appeal.
Best Way To Clean The Dust
Cleaning away the sawdust is necessary to keep your workshop neat. You can use a two-step dust cleaning method. Always wear a mask and protective goggles before cleaning, otherwise the dust will get into your eyes and nose and irritate you.
Use a Blow Gun
Use a blowgun to blow out the dust from difficult to reach nooks and crannies. Use the blowgun on upper surfaces to blow away the dust. There will be a dust storm, hence using protection is a must.
If you use a feather duster, it will take forever and you won’t be able to reach everywhere. A blowgun is the easiest way to draw out all the dust from hard to reach places.
Use a Vacuum
Fine sawdust lifts up into the air with little prompting. If you sweep your floors, it will hang in the air and then settle down later. Hence, your workshop really will never be properly clean.
If you are able to use a vacuum, it will make the job much easier. Dust cannot escape the vacuum.
Be careful while cleaning out your dust filter. You can put it in a plastic bag and seal it temporarily and prompt the filter to let out the dust. After the dust settles, carefully take out the filter. This makes it less of a hassle and easier on your lungs.
Organizing the Small Tools
When we work, we tend to spread out. We use different tools and leave them there. This is why a workshop always looks unorganized. Leaving your tools everywhere makes them prone to getting lost, which means you have to spend money to replace it.
Use racks or hangers to keep your small tools organized. You can make your own tool rack or pegboard. Check out these D.I.Y Pegboard ideas.
Organizing the Necessities
Keeping your necessities organized helps to keep your workshop from looking too messy. Keep them organized in closed lid boxes to avoid overturning and to protect them from sawdust. This is vital for paint and other liquid materials.
When you work, you might not notice a screw or a bolt rolling down to the floor. Before you know it, your floor is covered in a layer of metal bits and wood scraps. Use a magnetic broom to pull all the screws, bolts, and bits together from the wood scraps.
Labeling and Color Coding
With so many closed lid boxes, It might get difficult to find your woodworking necessities. Label and color code all your closed lids and boxes. If a box contains screws and bolts, label it by the item so that it’s easier to find.
You can also color-code them if that is easier for you to remember. Use whichever organizing method that helps you keep your workshop organized.
Protecting Your Projects
After working hard on your projects, you must keep them protected. Clean them regularly and cover them up with a cloth to keep away the dust. If you have another place to store them, do so as your workshop is a dust prone area.
Use Rosin Paper
Using rosin paper is a great way to keep your workbench protected from damage caused by glue, paint, finish, etc. You can always tear off the dirty paper and replace it with a freshly rolled one. You can make your own rosin paper holder and attach it to your workbench.
Using Air Cleaners
Keeping the air clean not only makes your workshop breathable but also keeps it cleaner. You can find different types of air filtration systems online but they can be expensive.
You can make your own air cleaner by using a box fan. If you want to make a professional-grade air cleaner for your workshop, check out the project here.
Throw Out What You Don’t Need
People working with Wood tend to hoard scraps because you never know what you can make with bits of wood. However, this often leads to an extremely cluttered workshop.
If you want to keep your workshop tidy and functional, you must learn to declutter. Before keeping something, ask yourself if you really need it. Regular purging of unnecessary objects can minimize the things you need to clean and organize.
Keeping your workshop neat and tidy is not impossible. Regular cleaning and organizing can spruce up your workshop. A clean, breathable workshop makes working long hours a breeze.