One way to save space in a small shop is to make a smaller wood storage area. The area that you store your wood is kind of a dead area if you think about it. There is no production, only storage. If you minimize and organize this area, your shop will feel bigger.
Maximizing Your small Shop
I wrote about making a smaller wood storage area in 29 Ways to maximize Your Small shop Layout, as well as several other great methods if you are thinking about making a huge difference in your small work area.
This is just one, and it’s worth the time to put into practice. It can really help you if you are the type that can’t get rid of anything, or you have a huge wood area. If this is you, you can really benefit from making this change.
However, if you already have a small and well organized wood storage area, then you might not get as much bang from this technique, since you are already way ahead. In that case, look at some of the other ideas from the article above and try some of them out…
Wood Areas Are Many Times Too Big
Of all the areas in your shop, the wood area is the easiest to overlook. It tends to become a pile, and over time can get out of hand. Wood is valuable too, so the idea of throwing it out is not something that you normally think about.
As a result, wood storage can slowly expand. In the beginning it is always very modest, because you don’t have a lot of wood yet. As time goes on, and more wood enters the shop, the area gets bigger.
Before you know it, the wood area is out of control. There are several problems with a wood storage area that is big and unorganized. The space it eats is obviously an issue, but you also start forgetting what you have, because it’s buried.
See Also: 15 Great Places to Find Woodworking Wood
Crate a Smaller Area
If you already have a crazy big wood storage area, you will have to do a lot of cleaning and organizing to minimize the stack. If you are just starting out, you have the advantage of being able to start out clean and keep it that way.
Either way you go, the goal is to make the area as small as you can while still having room for your valuable wood. Look through your stack, and organize too. Put the same types of wood together, and this will also help.
A challenge of looking through a condensed stack is finding things. The more you can group like types of wood together, the easier it will be. Work by size as well as species, and soon you will have a well maintained and smaller wood pile.
How to Stop Adding to the Problem
Probably the best way to reduce your wood pile is to stop buying wood. If you need to get something that you don’t have for a project that is fine. However, make sure to buy the right amount, and resist the urge to overbuy by too much.
Take a look at your drawings, and plan for the best board width to get the right amount of wood with the least amount of drop and scrap. Also, see if you can make the project from the wood that you already have. If you can, you can move out more of the pile rather than add to it.
Plan your projects well, and stop buying wood that you don’t need for a while. If you work in your shop a lot, and you combine these two efforts, it will make a dent quickly. Stop adding, and start subtracting. Going at it from both ends will make it shrink quickly.
Your homework is to go through your wood pile and get it organized. If it has been years, prepare for a long process. One of the best things you can do is just get it all out of the area you have, and then start filling it back in.
Clear it all, then clean the area. Decide on a final size that you want the wood storage area to take up, and create that area first. Then, start adding pieces of wood to the area. Keep them organized, and make the stack tight.
Organize by species and by size. This method helps you a lot in the future, because you tend to look for wood by the size of the piece, and by the species. Keep working this way, and get the wood pile under control.
How to Make a Smaller Wood Storage Area Wrap-Up
In many small shops, too much area is given to the storage of wood. This is essentially a dead area, and not a productive space. In a small shop, every inch counts. Giving too much away to the wood pile is a plan for a crowded shop.
Wood piles can be unruly. Prepare to spend some time going through what you have. Make decisions on what to keep and what to toss, and then organize it all. Get it back into the storage area carefully and in an organized way. This will condense the area and make it look smaller right away.
Finally, stop adding to the problem. Buy less wood and use the wood that you already have for a while. When you use what you have, you subtract from the pile. Also, when you stop buying wood, you stop adding to the pile. This double attack is a sure recipe for a smaller wood storage area.
Additional Information About Westfarthing Woodworks
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