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Archive of 'Prioritization Archives - The Art of Woodshop Design'

  • Design the Bottlenecks Out of your Woodshop Workflow

    Written By .
    In Workshop Layout

    Think of your daily workflow in your shop like a highway system—eliminate the bottlenecks and you’ll experience what workflow implies: continuous progress.

    You step into the shop with the intention of getting something pretty specific done. Ever wonder why it took three times as long as you thought? You guessed it, unexpended speedbumps.

    You can continue to encounter them, spend time dealing with them as you go, then move on. Of course, you’ll re-discover them the next day or next week.

    I find that most of these “bottlenecks” in my workflow are recurring, and can be designed out of my shop.

    Interruptions in your pre-planned sequences also mean interruptions in thought, which leads to frustrating mistakes.

  • There’s Nothing Wrong with What You Bought 5 Years Ago

    Written By .
    In Design Process

    If you have something that already works for you, think carefully before buying the next big thing.

    If you have something that works well for you, but you see they have a new gizmo out, what do you do with the old one? Could you have spent the money to gain a new capability you didn’t have before?

    I like to stay with what’s already working for me, unless it will revolutionize the way I do things. Now, there are things that need an upgrade that aren’t working well for me, but if I’m fine with what I have, then I can allocate those resources elsewhere.

  • The Top Ten Things You Can Do To Whip Your Shop into Shape

    Written By .
    In Starting? Go here!

    You’ll need a functional shop to create the things you want for a Dream Shop.

    To build your dream shop, you kind of need a functional shop first. That’s what trips a lot of people up; they don’t know where to start with their existing shop. I solved that problem by creating a highly functional “temporary” shop that many would consider their permanent shop. That’s what I’m using now to create all the things I need to realize my design

  • Time Focus for Woodworkers: How to Allocate Your Energy

    Written By .
    In Design Process,Starting? Go here!

    I have time. You have time. 24 hours a day. We all do (if we’re alive). We all have the same 24 hours available. So why are some people happier and able to do more than others? Largely it’s due to how they’re using their available time, and when during their mental and physical energy cycles they’re doing specific types of things. Huh?

    Ok, it’s pretty simple really, but it’s all in how you think about it. Let me comb your mind in the right direction and you’ll make much better use of your day by matching what you do with what you’re better able to do at the moment…

  • Woodshop Order of Construction: The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Shop Build

    Written By .
    In Design Process,Starting? Go here!

    How to prioritize and decide what to build first for your workshop improvements or your new shop from scratch.

    You’ve got page after page listing all the things you want for your shop redesign. But do you know exactly what you’ll work on first? Do you buy that router table fence first? Nope, it probably won’t be used until you build your router table. Insulate your walls since it’s hot out today? Nope, you probably should run your electrical wire beforehand. I didn’t find it too hard, but it does take a session of thinking and writing, just like how you’d approach any creative project.

    Below is my strategy for prioritizing and organizing your Order of Construction for the woodshop…

  • Where Do I Begin?

    Written By .
    In Design Process,Starting? Go here!

    I don’t even know where to begin in this article…there’s just so much to write about. And what if I write about something when I should have written something else before that? Maybe I should just go watch TV. Oooh…176 channels. What if I’m missing a show while I’m watching another one? Maybe a DVD would be nice. But which one?

    Having an image in your head of your workspace isn’t too hard; but when you get into the details and realize how many decisions can be made and how many options there are, it begins to feel like cleaning before your mother comes over. Where the hell do you start?

  • Do This!

    Written By .
    In Shop Systems,Workshop Layout

    Your shop layout can be ruined and made pointless by something trivial.

    Your jointing a bunch of boards, and when you’re done you plan on switching seamlessly to the Table Saw, which is positioned perfectly for that very thing.

    But, you have a pile of shavings getting in the way of your jointer operation, so you look for a brush to sweep them off the jointer bed. Not a brush in sight. Dangit, it’s over there on the assembly table near the sander. So you walk over there, grab it, and go back to the jointer. Perfect workflow? Fail.

    This could happen when you go to the Table Saw and can’t find a push block. If you have to keep looking for little things all the time, there’s really no point in arranging your machines at all.

    What is the answer?

  • Tool Clusters!

    Written By .
    In Starting? Go here!,Workshop Layout

    The Most Commonly Neglected Layout Strategy.

    Stack of boards. I can’t even get started making this cabinet until I’ve milled all 4 sides of these 30 boards.

    Tedious tasks like this can be made less annoying by adjusting your “manufacturing process” to eliminate unnecessary things like walking around, picking up all the boards only to put them down again, and losing track…

  • 2-Day Shop Renewal

    Written By .
    In Design Process,Shop Systems

    When driving a long distance, you know that if you stop somewhere even to just get gas or buy a snack how much better you feel when you get back in the car. You could go for another 100 miles. But just 7 minutes ago, you felt like falling asleep.

    Giving yourself a boost like this is important when you notice you’re in a routine and things aren’t quite right.

    Every so often, …

  • Workshop Layout: What’s the Objective for Your Shop?

    Written By .
    In Design Process,Starting? Go here!,Workshop Layout

    3 Questions You Should Ask Before You Even Start

    • Do you think of your whole shop as a tool?
    • What do you want your shop to do for you?
    • What do you need to do in your shop, both for now and the future?

    If you can answer these questions you have the basic strategic direction you need to move forward in designing your dream shop.

    The planes you use are shaped the way they are because someone asked what they want the tool to do, how people are going to use it, and how will they be able to maintain it. If you think to yourself how you are going to use your shop in the next few weeks and how you imagine it’ll serve you in 5 years, you can design a shop with the layout, comfort features, and infrastructure that will do all those things in a convenient way.

    In this article, I’ll walk you through my thought process of how I arrived at my current layout.

  • Is the Last 5% Taking 95% of Your Time?

    Written By .
    In Design Process

    A Time-Hack for Woodworkers.

    This question could be asked about a lot of things in life, but I’m asking this about your workshop design. If you’re suffering from paralysis in analysis, you may know the feeling. I’ve spent a lot of time developing my ideal woodshop on paper, doing tons of research, diligently taking notes while in my various shops, and I still feel like it’s not done or exactly the way I want it. Is there a way to just get started and actually implement it?

  • Organize Your Design Drawings Like an Architect

    Written By .
    In Design Process,Starting? Go here!

    Drawing your workshop design on scratch paper might seem like it’ll save you time, but it will cost you. Organizing your drawings will ensure you’re thinking of all the things you need to build an effective shop. Plus, it doesn’t really take that long to set up your drawing sheets. It’s mostly copy and paste. Really.

  • The Value of Temporary Solutions

    Written By .
    In Design Process,Starting? Go here!

    Get your Shop Functional First, Even if it’s Not Perfect. Then Use it to Optimize Your Shop!

  • Shop Space Where You Are – Part II

    Written By .
    In Design Process,Starting? Go here!,Workshop Layout

    2-Car and 3-Car Garage Woodshops

  • Shop Space Where You Are – Part I

    Written By .
    In Design Process,Starting? Go here!,Workshop Layout

    Being creative means you’re able to make a shop anywhere. Plus 1-Car Garage Shops, and even an Apartment Shop!

  • Proven Ways to Enhance and Increase Your Shop Time

    Written By .
    In Shop Comfort,Shop Systems

    Gain permanent control over your comfort, freeing you to focus on woodworking.

  • Wrap Your Shop for a Lifetime of Comfortable Woodworking

    Written By .
    In Shop Comfort

    A comfortable shop is a productive shop.

  • Revolutionize Your Woodworking Enjoyment, Part III

    Written By .
    In Design Process,Starting? Go here!,Workshop Layout

    Forgotten design considerations woodworkers need to know.

  • Revolutionize Your Woodworking Enjoyment, Part II

    Written By .
    In Design Process,Starting? Go here!,Workshop Layout

    Streamline all of your workstations to optimize your shop.

  • Before You Build Your Dream Woodshop

    Written By .
    In Design Process,Shop Systems,Starting? Go here!

    Avoid the common mistake of making random shop improvements.