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As part of my pending new construction, my trainroom will have a closeted area for a workbench and the associated materials. Before purchasing items I think I may need, and that end up not being practical, I’m interested in your insights.

Thanks,

Jay

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What is this "organize" of which you speak?  I have never heard of it.



Seriously, I have an automotive tool chest on wheels that I can move around the room as well as some old kitchen cabinets around the workbench.  My space is VERY limited, so the workspace is far more cramped than it should be, butt eh drawers and cubbies help to alleviate the mess when I do a good job of returning tools to their places.  I wish I had room for another cabinet for paint and building supplies, but they have to live in totes under the layout.

I used to have a condensed area, but being crammed in a 4'x6' area just doesn't work. After much thought, I went with a 10' counter top supported by two base cabinets with drawers and storage.  It allows for a decent test track, parts bins and pegboard for tools.  I also have a roll around spray booth for painting.  Please see the photos.20200831_09372520200812_093604

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Last edited by Ahitpy
@palallin posted:

What is this "organize" of which you speak?  I have never heard of it.



Seriously, I have an automotive tool chest on wheels that I can move around the room as well as some old kitchen cabinets around the workbench.  My space is VERY limited, so the workspace is far more cramped than it should be, butt eh drawers and cubbies help to alleviate the mess when I do a good job of returning tools to their places.  I wish I had room for another cabinet for paint and building supplies, but they have to live in totes under the layout.

You beat me to the draw on that one....even used my wording.

Over my main work bench I have a hang on the wall cabinet with open spaces on each end for plugged in tools like sabre saw, solder gun, 3 electric drills and Dremel Moto tools (4) to reduce changing bits.  I only use the right side for the plugged in tools since I am right handed.

The peg board section is 44 inches wide and the end shelves are 12 inches wide.

There are 12 electrical outlets on the cabinet and 4 more below as well at 4 under the work bench.  All of these tools and outlets are within reach of my stool with a back at faces the work bench.

In the center of the cabinet are peg boards on the ends and middle.  I have one main pegboard type tool holder with over 80 pairs of pliers and 100 screw drivers.  It is that gray colored bar in the pictures.  Other peg board tool holders line the sides and back of the cabinet.  Most of my tools were purchased at garage sales and always buy a style of pliers I do not have.

The cabinet is held up with a 1 x12 inch 7ft board bolted on to each end and stands on the floor.  Two lag screws anchor the cabinet to the wall, driven in studs.  The cabinet and work bench were made in the 1970s and a have been moved to 5 houses so I did not have to make them but once.

Right end of Cabinet

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Left end of cabinet

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The 6 ft x 3 ft wide work bench below the cabinet has the front 12 inches made from laminated 2 x 4 s on edge for solid hammering.  A 4 x 10 inch Columbian wood working vise, that quick opens to 12 inches, is installed flush on the end to allow cutting off to the edge of the bench.  The bench is always crammed with tools, parts etc.

There is open space under the work bench for my feet and a heater.  I use a stool with swivel seat and back padding.

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To the left of the work bench is a 18 inch Craftsman Jig saw, 15 inch drill press and 14 inch band saw.

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There is a smaller 4 ft work bench with a 5 inch metal vise and tool cabinet on the wall opposite the larger work bench.  A garage sale heavy duty file drawer like cabinet was installed below the work bench top (colored file drawers faces).  The file contains lathe tools, aviation and tin snips, files, five drawers for small clamps etc. I have hundreds of clamps in other boxes and several long clamps made with 4ft and 6ft pipes.   The bottom of this work bench is full of 7 1/4 in Skill saws, large 1/2 inch drill,several sizes of planes, spoke shave and saw blades for Skill and 10 inch blades for the  table saw in the garage.  There is a lockable sliding cover for the file cabinet drawers and lock for bottom doors as this bench was on a carport at one time.

Above the work bench in another cabinet with peg boards on the center section that holds several hack saw, brace and bits, Wonder pry bars, combination ruler, square and levels, etc.  The right section has cubby holes and hold plastic shoe boxes with things like sewing needles and thread, and other stuff.  I see another saber saw and often a hand drill is there also.

The left section has no partitions and is open.  It has peg board and holds longer tools like old style hand saws, 24 and 36 inch levels, 2 foot long grabbers, long drill bits, crow bars, pipe wrenches, pieces of long straightened out coat hangers, etc.

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The garage has messy power tools.

Charlie

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Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

Organization is a fluid state on my bench based on the current project. This photo was taken after a clean up.

2020-04-11 17.22.20

I recently added this shelf unit to store my cordless drills that used to sit on the floor. The top was an added flat surface for the chargers. The cabinets came from a chemistry lab we were renovating at the school I work at.

2020-05-23 15.24.57

And in the interest of total disclosure

2020-03-14 20.39.57

Bob

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Last edited by RSJB18

I may have hit the trifecta when I moved to my new place, I have a very generous work area.

It starts with my 6 foot main workbench.

This is were most of the work is done, especially anything dealing with electronics.

WorkSpace N1+

Secondary bench with more tools, parts, and books

WorkSpace N2



Staging table, this is where I usually wrap or unwrap stuff.

WorkSpace N3

Of course, we have to have a spot for the computer!

WorkSpace N4

The double doors lead back to the "dirty" shop area.

The door on the right conveniently leads to my train potty.

WorkSpace N5

The back room where dirtier stuff is done, cutting, grinding, etc.

Yep, more parts cabinets back here as well.

WorkSpace N6

The eight foot bench and more tools and storage.

WorkSpace N7

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There are some great ideas and nice workshops in this thread.

I am a fan of pegboard and magnetic bars to organize my small tools. They give easy access and are versatile when you need to change things. Just like building layouts, space is always a limiting factor. In the same way that large congested cities build up with skyscrapers (see Alan Arnold's neat layout), peg board allows me to build out with longer hooks if necessary to hold similar items. Wiremold type multi outlet power strips are also a must.

TJ

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Great workshops all!  Always like to see how others handle storage of tools and other stuff as there never seems to be enough places for all the "stuff".

My workshop is in the basement and roughly 11x14 feet and is next to the train/laundry room.

First picture is when you walk in from the family room.

Workshoppic1

This is looking back from workshop to entry door from family room. Toolbox has hand tools.

Workshoppic2

Wall with pegboard for hand tools and other odds and ends. Storage for hand power tools underneath. TV and VCR for watching train flicks and DVDs.

Workshoppic5

More pegboard with storage under.

Workshoppic6

This is looking from workshop into train/laundry room.

Workshoppic3

Looking back from train/laundry room into workshop.

Workshoppic4

Thanks to all for sharing.

Dean

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As the RR is actively in the process of gradually taking over the entire basement I find that the various tool boxes, roll around power tool work bench and roll a way tool boxes  are left to fend for them selves.

At one time or another each of them heard shouted from a less mobile soul,  "Roll on, save your self, find a place to hide".  So consequently there are quite a few multi drawer Craftsman, Husky & Snap-on tool boxes snuggled in  at various locations.

I find Covid a very convenient  excuse for not hosting visitors and just maybe by droning on and on the average reader will skip to the next posting and fail to notice the absence of photos of my conglomeration.

A  moving work bench.   Just returned from a sister-in-law project.

Finding coffee cans has become an issue.

Most of the work gets done with these tools.

A good day, there are not-so-good days.

One of the trucks, a long time ago, I installed a pipe vice on the tailgate.  Was O.K., got used a lot, but was always in-the-way.

A couple of the trucks, we doubled the ladder storage area, commercial work, an eight foot ladder was more useful.  Tools and tool box was not as side accessible. I was O. K. with the set-up, added a 10 ft or 12 ft step ladder to the roof when needed.

The sister-in-law project required an 8 ft sheet of drywall, which fits in the space pictured.  Recent years heavy duty plastic trash bags have become an additional item.

The 8ft. bed, pictured, has become a novelty, apparently the rest of the world likes the 6ft. bed.  Truck pictured had to be order, 8ft beds don't sell on the car/truck lots, I was told.  The high, walk-in vans seem to be the modern trend.    May be time to retire.

Last edited by Mike CT
@harmonyards posted:

Ok, we need to get off topic just for a second...nevermind the workbench, what do we have here??.....please do tell....afterwards, we’ll return to the regularly scheduled programming....

Pat

5344O

Pat -

Since you asked, I grabbed 2 or 3 photos from last year:

Williams bottom; "ATSF" Warhorse top; I used a hardware store torch to take off the major components on the Dreyfuss.

5344S

New, higher skirting based on the old:

5344J

Since no one would build the proper J1e 5344 in its Century-like garb, I did. I used the Wms brass to streamline the Lionel; Wms tender w/Lionel electronics/tether. Added Lionel valve gear.

Still Pullmor, one chuff. On the list for a chuff-ectomy, if I ever get off the layout work. And get the sound to work again...

(I did not "aluminize" the drivers; this loco is dirty anyway, and I just really like those flat gray Lionel drivers. They look serious.)

DSCN3335

David.

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Last edited by D500

Start off with my not having finished models in the shop other than maybe for reference purposes, but it's dusty and dirty there so as projects get done, off to another room. Workshop space is not the place for storing or displaying models.

Got a 4'x12' main bench and back 12" are parts bins with front being racks of small tools behind 2 dedicated model building spaces of 30"x40" plate glass resting on a cushioned underlayment.  Rest of space is filled with parts and tools associate with ongoing projects.  Small 2nd bench is ~4'x4' and set up for seated close work with shelving filled with parts and supplies.  Other shelving and file cabinets are filled with parts and supplies.

@D500 posted:

Pat -

Since you asked, I grabbed 2 or 3 photos from last year:

Williams bottom; "ATSF" Warhorse top; I used a hardware store torch to take off the major components on the Dreyfuss.

5344S

New, higher skirting based on the old:

5344J

Since no one would build the proper J1e 5344 in its Century-like garb, I did. I used the Wms brass to streamline the Lionel; Wms tender w/Lionel electronics/tether. Added Lionel valve gear.

Still Pullmor, one chuff. On the list for a chuff-ectomy, if I ever get off the layout work. And get the sound to work again...

(I did not "aluminize" the drivers; this loco is dirty anyway, and I just really like those flat gray Lionel drivers. They look serious.)

DSCN3335

David.

Wow, that’s nice work...I remember Pete telling me you had built one, and that’s a fine example.....great job!..and now back to the workbenches...

Pat

The sagest advice I can give is DON’T BE LIKE ME.  My workbenches are places where I drop my tools when I finish a job.  My woodshop workbench is usually so full of stuff that my table saw is my work surface.  I built a second work surface in my staging area because the first one was always full of stuff.  Now they are both full of stuff.  I have a place for everything, but don’t usually don’t put everything back in its place.

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Jay Francis:  In response to your opening question may I suggest to consider magnetic tool holders, Speciality gizmos for pegboard use,  tool boxes with primarily low profile drawers, vise, soldering station,  U shape or L shape work area so you can be perform multi tasking within a seated reach,  a spur track connected to your RR, super lighting, lighted magnifier, safe beverage placement, organized small parts drawers for maintenance items like couplers, wheel sets, small fasteners.

One thing I found restricting was a real neat looking machinist tool box.  Very professional looking but an awkward time waster frequently sliding drawers reaching for and returning small tools.  I replaced it with nook and cranny shelving where certain frequently used tools were immediately visible and reach able with out any extra motion.

Work stations are organic, they will develop and grow as your area of involvment expands.

GRJ has one of the most functional work spaces I have ever seen.  He can reach overhead, underneath, side to side and right in front of his position to efficiently address any need.

Hi treasure trove of parts and widgets in the parts containers under his work station is more akin to an electronic supply house.  Total envy!!  Especially of his knowledge!!

Everyone, thank you for the insights and that is what I was hoping for when I posed the question.

TomTee, I’m going to be limited to an oddly shaped closet in my train room. The door opening will be about three feet away from the side of the layout and I won’t be able to run a spur into the area. However, earlier Pat had mentioned that he mounts a toolbox under his layout. I intend to that since it will be within reach. There will also be a work bench in the garage.

Jay

When I built benchwork for Joe Genovario back in '09 he requested a raised portion in his benchwork to allow for a roll out 2' X 6' work bench.  This saved considerable floor space in his limited area.

I started with a 3/4" X 8" X 8' piece of Maple plywood and shaped it accordingly.

Then I made a rollout work bench with four fixed rollers which provided stable back and forth movement.

Joe had drawer units immediately beside and behind him also under the layout for his supplies and tools.  Excellent work provision, zero floor space impact.

Joe, Summer '09 017

For the deck I made a thin honeycomb waffle bottom for a rigid platform.  This configuration served Joe very well.

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Last edited by Tom Tee

I’m still figuring out my workflow in my shop areas.  Currently I share my bench between my two hobbies, trains and woodworking.  They share the bench, but have separate storage adjacent.

F4C3AC73-9449-4366-AE26-2658578DC8BB
multipurpose 6’ bench.

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A recycled anesthesia cart for the woodworking hand tools.

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An old microfilm cabinet provides 36” deep, full extension drawers to hold the train specific tools and spare rolling stock.

On the other side of the wall is a dedicated 13’x19’ power tool shop with dust collection.  Keep most  the dust in a separate area that way.  Storage in that room uses a French cleat wall, recycled upper cabinets and some peg boards.

46D4CF3E-9317-4453-A91B-6D67BE6818CE668290B0-878B-418E-80FA-6CD984340C82

During the lock down I built a separate work desk for the trains.  It’s a laminated hard maple desk. But, the wife reminded me I promised to build her a scrapbook table, so I lost the desk and the space.  

2ECE450A-8BD5-4337-AEDD-FE3E7142FEF8

I’m back to using one bench for two hobbies.

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Last edited by jstraw124

I took a few pics of the shop that is somewhat in order. I am like Lehigh 74, in that I tend to pull out an arsenal of tools and equipment project after project, until most of the tools are scattered throughout! It is usually months after before I finally force myself to organize and clean. The island work table is on wheels, and folds in half to change t work surface from 2' X 8', to 4' X 4'. It is set to he height of the table saw for cutting long materials.

The last two pics are the normal look!

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