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Archive of 'Workflow 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.

  • How to Organize Your Thoughts on Woodshop Storage

    Written By .
    In Workshop Layout

    There’s more to storage than plopping stuff on shelves in a particular order. If I have all of my oil finishes together doesn’t mean my shop flows well. Thinking more “big picture”, or strategically, about your shop storage will sync with the woodshop layout you worked so hard to get perfect.

    After all, what good is ergonomically arranging all of your tools if you have to traipse across the shop just to get a marking gauge?

    Take a minute here and let me comb your mind towards having the same consistent philosophy for workshop storage as you do your woodshop’s layout.

  • The 3-Step System for NEVER Running Out of Shop Supplies

    Written By .
    In Shop Systems

    Not too many things are more frustrating than running out of supplies in the middle of a project.

    Think about the interruption in workflow it causes. Having to stop what you’re doing and jump in the car to pick up supplies to continue building. Once you get out of the groove of being in the shop, there’s a good chance that with all of life’s distractions you won’t.

    What if you ran out of something and suddenly a magic owl swooped down and dropped you some more fasteners or foam brushes?

  • 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.

  • Fast Fixes for an Under-Performing Workshop Layout

    Written By .
    In Shop Systems,Workshop Layout

    I thought I had the perfect design. Everything seemed to flow, tools were arranged ergonomically, and everything had electricity and a dust collection connection.

    Then I used that design in real life.

    Most things were exactly what I imagined they would be like, but there were a few deficiencies I couldn’t ignore…

  • How to Draw Your Shop to Scale the Easy Way

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

    The Lazy Woodworker’s Guide to Drawing

    Will chicken scratch drawings be good enough to design your woodshop? How will you know if stuff fits?

    When you get a new tool, do you put it into the nearest clean area? What if you could re-do your shop’s layout from scratch, knowing that it’s well thought out?

    If you draw your shop and all its contents true to scale, then you can plan most things on paper first without having to drag your tools across the shop. Of course, try it out in real life after you’ve worked out your basic design, but you can immediately see if you have room for a particular tool if everything is drawn proportional to each other…

  • The 1 Way To Arrange Your Tools

    Written By .
    In Workshop Layout

    Don’t Copy—Instead Use Basic Principles to Arrive at Your Ideal Shop Layout

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Revolutionize Your Woodworking Enjoyment, Part I

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

    Critical criteria you need to know for designing your dream woodshop.