Clearing the workbench

I’ve got a confession to make. I made a mess in my shop. And I let stuff pile up on the workbench as I was doing it. The end result is simply that I had a lot of reasons to look for excuses not to go into the shop this week (memorial day, work, nice sunny days outside, no room on the bench to do anything quick, etc.). yesterday I finally got back in there and cleaned out the top drawer in the table saw cabinet, so I could re-install it. That made a significant dent in things. Today I plan to get the partitions cut for the router cabinet, and start to cut the dado’s to do the assembly. I need to glue up two panels for dividers, and I may even get that done as well.

What really got me thinking was how useful my workbench can be, when I don’t have it cluttered up. I don’t know if it’s just me, but a clean workbench is much more efficient – I can just go in, do a job and be done very quickly. Perhaps it’s too late for a new years resolution, but I’m going to start a new months resolution to keep my work bench cleaned off. (And while I’m at it, the table saw/router top as well). If I can break the habit of just piling stuff on horizontal surfaces in my shop, I suspect I can be a happier more productive woodworker.

How about you? Do you find it easier to keep a clean bench, or to let stuff pile up until you need to use it?


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