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Shop Organization, Machine racks, IDEAS?

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  • Shop Organization, Machine racks, IDEAS?

    This will probably be the most subjective Question ever asked on this board because there are as many answers as there are readers! As I accumulate pieces of equipment it occurs to me that I need to build some kind of rack or system to store or consolidate. There are many factors to consider so I thought I'd throw this out there to see what other people are doing. It seems that the best Ideas come from a combination of everybody elses neat stuff. Pictures would be good. I am mainly thinking of shop based work space but mobile is great because you get to play with machines AND trucks! This could open up a whole can of worms, but thats what keeps it fun
    Thanks JEFF
    200DX 350P 625 Plasma & other stuff I forgot

  • #2

    That's a difficult subject!! If anyone here figures it out please let everyone know. One of the big problems is that when you get the shop set up the way you think it will work, you get a new piece of equipment and now you're stuck with trying to make it all fit again. I gave up years ago and now just sort of push everything I'm not using into a corner and use what I need as I need it. I haven't been able to figure out how to organize it yet. I'm not very good at organizing things other than work. I can organize that pretty well but as far as where to put the tools and materials. I have to claim the BLONDE thing as my handle implies!!! I've built shelves in the garage and had it all neat and tidy then I started working in it and bringing in more tools and equipment, more supplies, more material. And now where do I put it all??? My girlfriend comes out in the garage and asks "how do you find anything?". I ask what she wants and as long as nobody has touched anything I know right where it is.

    That question is about as broad as it is deep and if anyone has any magical solutions I sure do hope they'll share them. I'm sure if I nuked the garage and built a bigger one I'd be OK for a short time but then I'd have more room for more tools and would end up in the same boat as I'm floating in now. What's worse is I'm looking for more equipment such as a shear, brake and if I can ever find one I like an english wheel. Not to mention the bigger MIG machine that I'm planning on adding ASAP with a TIG and PlasArc. Possibly the plasarc can sit on or below a shelf and I can get a longer torch and leave it stationary but the welders will have to be able to roll about.

    I have a handle on the nuts and bolts situation thanks to a local home improvement store which had a company change the way their product was displayed in their store. I got a bunch of see through plastic bins that tip out for 5 bucks. Those are screwed to the wall in the back of the garage and I can see what's inside them. I thought I had the hand tools conquered with a roll cabinet that's taller than I am but alas again I have more tools than space in the roll cab so I'm going to have to buy more storage once again. By the time I'm through I'll probably have 3 roll cabinets taller than I am busting at the seams with tools.

    Portability?? I've learned through the years that everytime I take my tools somewhere to work something comes up missing so now I tend to let the work come to me. Unless I can come up with the scratch to afford another Big 40 I won't be doing any portable welding and if that time comes I'll have to make tool storage provisions for the truck and keep those tools on the truck and my garage tools in the garage. The only exception to that rule was I would take my torches to my brother's when his tractor or one of his trucks needed repairs but since he got a set of his own torches for Christmas I won't be taking the torches anywhere anymore either. I will recommend from experience if you want to go portable to keep seperate tools for taking out and keep your shop tools in the shop.

    I know this isn't offering a solution to your problem but if it helps you're not the only one with this problem. I think we all have it to some degree or another, some more than others. But I don't think anyone is 100% orgainzed 100% of the time. I guess we have to learn to live with a little disorganization and learn to work through it.
    Blondie (Owner C & S Automotive)

    Colt the original point & click interface!

    Millermatic 35 with spot panel
    Miller 340A/BP
    Victor O/A torches
    Lincoln SP125
    Too many other tools to list

    03 Ram 1500
    78 GS1000
    82 GL1100 Interstate


    • #3
      My .02 cents

      Couple things come to mind such as lots of outlets, store the compressors outside the shop and pipe in the air, task lighting over the work spaces, store small, light weight items up above and the bulky heavier things under the counter tops. LOTs of general lighting and portability/mobility. What do I mean by portability/mobility? Well I have the larger work area/bench on castors so I can move it in and out of the garage (mobility). On the work surfaces that are stationary I have it so I can afix multiple items. Chop saw, grinder, small drill press all store on the same work surface but when it comes time to use one I bring if forward... bolt it in and get to gettin.
      MM210 w/3035
      Next up - Sync 200


      • #4
        This sounds like a problem I am familiar with, since I work in a space that is only laughable it is so small. In a 14'x 21' garage I have a tower toolbox, a mm210, air compressor, 2 work benches, a fire proof chemical cabinent, a refrig, 2 shelving units, and I can put a full siz truck in if need be. It is very custom and your problems solution will be also. I have a 4ga extension to run the mm210 at a distance if I need to move outside, the welder is the only piece of equipment that is on the floor. The air compressor is mounted overhead the tool box and the fire cabinent are on the front wall 1 bench on each wall and shelves on each opposite corner. The trick is to put away every tool when finished otherwise it takes no time to be trashed.

        Recently I was at Airgas our local suply house and they have a real cool display from lincoln that hold welders and info it would be easy to copy, it was 2levels and about 4'x 6'platform and 6'tall the frame was set on 6" casters and 2"Square tube frame with Al diamond plate for the platforms.

        What each of us needs is to customize what we need for our own purposes. I have a sort of solution for my trouble but it is hard in such a small space, good luck with your fix. pjs


        • #5
          Hi, Thanks for the Ideas and thoughts. One aspect of this I was wondering about specifically was the use of a rack mounted on casters to hold a couple of machines, maybe a wire feeder or a couple of sheves built in and a couple of bottles on the back that could be rolled around a shop or out of the way and covered up. There are any number of configurations which is why I am hoping people could show off some of their creations with a pic or two. Also, you all have spoken so highly of the Optrel helmet lately that I had to order one from BR today! Once again Thanks to all,(my wife says I,m suddenly hooked on the computer )!JEFF
          200DX 350P 625 Plasma & other stuff I forgot


          • #6
            Jeff, if I can figure out the digi-camera thing I will get you some pics of my set-up and the cart at my dealer even if it is a red box show case. This computer stuff is not specialty so it may take a while unless I get help from a friend. I'll be in touch. pjs


            • #7

              I'm a lot more fortunate than pjs - the Gadget Garage would hold two cars if any would fit. As it is, it's a no-car-garage. I have a 15" planer, 6" joiner, 14" bandsaw, 10" table saw and a floor model drill press all on casters. Stack 'em like cordword in the corner 'till I need 'em. My buzz box is now on casters, as are all my other welding goodies, and right now, they are smack dab in the middle of the floor and will stay there until I learn how to use them! Four shelving units - one on each wall. Too many samall power tools to count. One of those "taller than me" tool chests. Air compressor is on wheels, but it mostly stays put. When pjs says "put it all away", he's dead serious. I never used to have the patience for that clean-up chore, but I learned the hard way - it's the way to go.

              Long story short - the more mobile the tools, the more flexible the space.

              Good Luck.

              ...from the Gadget Garage
              Millermatic 210 w/3035, BWE
              Handler 210 w/DP3035
              Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange


              • #8
                Hi, It sounds like my 2 car is getting as full as a lot of others out there. I think that putting as much as possible on casters is a good idea. One of the next items I,ll be watching for at some of the commercial auctions I attend will be a fireproof cabinet; I have one at work but never gave it a lot of thought for the house though. Finally, I figured out the best way to use my digital camera... I take the pics and hand the camera to one of my sons, the rest much be magic great for me. Thanks for the ideas and taking the time to write, JEFF
                200DX 350P 625 Plasma & other stuff I forgot


                • #9
                  Jeffscarstruck: I have a fire prof cabinent that I will consider parting with if your interested. Email me an email address and we can talk about it.


                  • #10
                    Hi, pjseaman, I e-mailed but I,m not sure it went through. My E-mail is [email protected] if you get a chance to send yours as it didn't go through the forum. Thanks for writing. JEFF
                    200DX 350P 625 Plasma & other stuff I forgot


                    • #11
                      Jeff-Fairview is that new St.Louis. I live in Evansville, In.


                      • #12
                        Hi, yes about 15 mi east of St. Louis. I get to Evansville a few times during the year. Small world somtimes EH? JEFF
                        200DX 350P 625 Plasma & other stuff I forgot


                        • #13
                          Jeff: no kidding we talk to people everywhere and here we are 2 hours apart. We need to get together just to bs and trade shop secretes haha.