re-organizing workshop - any tips?

curtis

Member
Messages
155
Hi,
I'm re-organizing my self this year as I'm at full capacity but think I can do better, so I'm storing all guitars and cases outside the workshop (i'm based in a music store) in some big, purpose built racking. This gives me approx 30% more room.

Any repairmen out there have any great tips for optimizing space?

Workshop size is approx 5m x 15m.
I'm going to get some better ventilation with a decent extraction system (I dont spray in there but sanding and dust etc needs long term solution) and I'm hoping to get a decent sized mill this year...one that fits through the single door though...

I guess if anyone had photos of their shop I'd love to see em!

cheers

steve
 

levelfrets

Senior Member
Messages
591
Dont' have pics sorry. I quit doing this full time about 5 years ago but I did average around 20 guitars per day so efficiency was #1 in my shop. I hope this helps

1) Hang all tools within reach and in a visible place. Peg Board and magnet strips were my best friend. Drawers took up space and made it difficult to find stuff and wasted time.

2) Guitar hangers for jobs in progress. That's a givin. I would have 10 or more hanging in the shop drying, or waiting for the next step.

3) Shop vac for dust. Get a universal adapter for the shop vac and hook it up to each machine while you use it. It's loud but keepsdust out pretty well.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,974
I'm also crammed into a tiny nook in a music store, so + a bunch to cases stored elsewhere, hooks to hang guitars in progress, tools in easy reach and a shop vac for dust removal.

all I can think of to add is:

put the shop vac itself in another room with a hole through the wall hooked to hoses if at all possible. Less noise, and dusty air doesn't get blown back into your space.

Tools should be arranged ergonomically, with the things that get grabbed the most hanging near the hand that does the grabbing. I hang them, but I'm paranoid about them falling onto work in progress, so make sure the hanging method is really positive and reliable.
 

curtis

Member
Messages
155
Thanks - great advice,
I'm also paranoid about having things hanging over the bench, I keep everything in red roller cabs, with only masking tape etc over the bench.

I'll most likely have them on some kind of shadow board with magnetic strips beside the main bench so that I can see instantly when somethings's missing.

Dust extraction is a biggie, I've got two exterior walls, so a decent sized extraction fan will do wonders.

One thing I have been thinking about is having specific areas for certain work. My main bench for most things, set ups etc, a second bench for similar plus all the quick things that come in - saves me moving jobs off the main bench. Then a headstock repair area, fretting bench and a triple layer bench/ horizontal rack where things can be left to dry.

I've always wanted something similar to the Dan Erlewine shop stand & neck jig set that I could do fret dresses on and get all the way round...maybe now's the time to work on that...
I think the Kamimoto book had a stand that you put near the main bench and swing the guitar out so the neck rests on the stand (with the body still on the bench) so you can get to either side...perhaps that might be the way forward


cheers
 

kerouackid

Member
Messages
14
Here's an idea that I did in my shop that may work for you.

I bought a grinder stand from Harbor Freight that had a 4" hollow post.
I bought a 3 1/2" section of tubing a little shorter than the 4" tube from a fence supply company and drilled holes in it in 1 inch increments.
I wrapped the bottom of it with urethane (old bandsaw wheel bands) to keep it from rocking around inside the 4" post.
I drilled a hole about 2 inches down on the 4" post, so now the grinder stand is height adjustable by placing a cotter pin in the holes.
The grinder stand comes with a flat plate with slots, so I bolted a cheap swiveling machinists vice onto the plate.
I took a 16x40 inch piece of 3/4" plywood and screwed a piece of angle iron onto the bottom so I can place it in the vice. Now my workstand is free standing, and you can use the Erlewine neck jig, or put a buffer on it, whatever you like. I like being able to move it around, but you can also bolt it to the floor if you like.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,974
oh, yeah, here's a good one: retire whatever tuner you're using, even if it's a mechanical strobe, and get one of these for your bench!
 

curtis

Member
Messages
155
Here's an idea that I did in my shop that may work for you.

I bought a grinder stand from Harbor Freight that had a 4" hollow post.
I bought a 3 1/2" section of tubing a little shorter than the 4" tube from a fence supply company and drilled holes in it in 1 inch increments.
I wrapped the bottom of it with urethane (old bandsaw wheel bands) to keep it from rocking around inside the 4" post.
I drilled a hole about 2 inches down on the 4" post, so now the grinder stand is height adjustable by placing a cotter pin in the holes.
The grinder stand comes with a flat plate with slots, so I bolted a cheap swiveling machinists vice onto the plate.
I took a 16x40 inch piece of 3/4" plywood and screwed a piece of angle iron onto the bottom so I can place it in the vice. Now my workstand is free standing, and you can use the Erlewine neck jig, or put a buffer on it, whatever you like. I like being able to move it around, but you can also bolt it to the floor if you like.

'like it!

I'm gonna sink some chunky fixings into the floor in a couple of choice places so I can use a similar set up, I dont use the buffer much really, so it can come out when needed and have its own station set up. Rest of the time it'll a 360 degree guitar bench most likely.
Part of the reason is that I'm over 6ft and want to work at the right height for me (not the guy I used to work with). Getting right up close for fret dressing etc without stooping will be great.

I've heard of guys using dentist chairs as a vertical and rotational stand, sounds like a lot of work converting it, but possibly a beaut of a bench.

The 3 or 4 level glue drying bench is going to be my biggest space saver. A headstock repair, a bridge re-glue and a poly finish repair can seriously jam up my work flow, when they can all sit in the space of one small bench I'll be dancing a jig :)

I want to optomize my 60 hrs a week....and hopefully be able to make it 50hrs a week (although I seem to have been saying that for years now)



...You know you're getting old when better workshop organization is more exciting than sports results
 

kerouackid

Member
Messages
14
Don't forget more lighting if you can. I used white pegboard for all my walls, added a ton of flourescents, and put track lighting directly above my main workstation. It's REALLY bright in there, but I haven't needed a swing arm lamp ever since I did it.

I also built in 18" benches along two walls in an L shape. One side is soldering station, and the other has a space for my steaming apparatus.

I also built a small paint booth that doubles as a go bar deck. It's not really that great for full finishing jobs, but it works great for finish repairs. It's basically a 48" x 48" box with a 12" exhaust fan to the outdoors. I added plexiglass doors to it so I can close it up while the lacquer dries. The whole thing put me back about $100. The fan motor is sealed, but not blastproof, so I don't do major refinishing in there.
 






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