Antique Engines and Old Iron
[Home] - [HELP] - [Forums] - [Groups] - [Classified Ads] - [Subscribe] - [Books] - [Sponsors] -

Go Back   SmokStak > SmokStak® Shop Equipment Tools and Techniques > Machine Shop and Tool Talk
Forgot Password? Join Us!


Machine Shop and Tool Talk Shop Equipment, fabrication, repairs, how to fix it, which tool to use for the job. Machinist shop talk, straight to the point.

Machine Shop and Tool Talk

Organization of your workbench - Advice & Tips Needed

this thread has 6 replies and has been viewed 4357 times

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-03-2009, 09:26:25 PM
2manyhobbies 2manyhobbies is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Durham NC
Posts: 59
Thanks: 48
Thanked 25 Times in 18 Posts
Default Organization of your workbench - Advice & Tips Needed

After looking at a few pictures here and there of different members assembling engines, parts and pieces on their workbenches I have noticed a trend: most are well organized. I will be the first to admit my workbench is a mess. I struggle to keep things organized. This may be a elementary problem that begins and ends with discipline, but I would like to hear from anyone willing to share on how they organize their work ares and keep their work in process organized. I primarily work on model engines and of course fixing this and that.

Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 05-03-2009, 09:48:02 PM
shanelc50 shanelc50 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: canastota NY
Posts: 411
Thanks: 362
Thanked 355 Times in 104 Posts
Default Re: Organization of your workbench - Advice & Tips Needed

Hmmm that's easy for me. Lay it down and that is where it belongs till the next time I cant find it. Ok really When I'm not working on something my bench is well organized. But when I am.....
Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2009, 11:00:29 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Rockaway, New Jersey USA
Posts: 14,136
Thanks: 1,990
Thanked 6,761 Times in 4,297 Posts
Exclamation Re: Organization of your workbench - Advice & Tips Needed

Big engine projects get laid out in a bay in my garage. The engine is laid out in the manner if dis-assembly. Small assemblies are taken to the bench, and are dis-assembled there, again laid out as it is taken apart. Most of my hardware supplies (nuts, bolts, washers, etc are in a large wood cabinet. The cabinet is set in 6 compartments. 1 is for bolts-coarse thread. 2 is for nuts, left side for coarse, right for fine and specialties. A box contains all the metric stuff, to keep it from getting mixed with the US stuff. Don't ask me about the brittish ones I had! 3 is for mags - they are kept apart by wooden partitions and drawers, so the magnets don't interfere with each other. 4 is for wire. You name it , it's in there someplace. Primary, ignition, specials etc. 5 is for miscellaneous metal pieces. Copper, brass, stainless steel, or sorts of shapes and sizes! If I need a piece machined, I usually find something close in this bay. Unfortunately, the yard I used to get my 'stuff' from has changed hands, and they will no longer sell to the public. BOO-HISS. 6 This section is for flywheels! Anything from the latest aluminum small engine, to old cast iron valve handles, They are in there.

Tools are kept in a mechanics tool box, and specialties are kept in their cases. Shelves are at a premium. My walls are loaded with them, and they too are loaded! Some are complete small engines, a few are future projects, and a few more are parts units.

I have 2 benches. One is a small (4x6 foot) former jobsite box, that I use for small engine repairs. The other is 3x16 feet. This has some complete engines, and is my primary work bench for larger projects it has a large 4" jaw vice that opens to 10", an old plumbers chain type pipe vise (holds up to 6" IPS pipe), as well as a 6"grinder with a fine and coarse stone (1 HP motor), And there are 4 air stations in the garage as well. 2 are on the main work bench, another at the rear of the garage, between bays, by one of the compressors) and one at the front of the garage, on a 75' retractable reel. There are 3 compressors! 2 are 2 cylinder, with 1 HP motors, one a single, with a 1/3 HP motor. One compressor is mounted on a 10 gallon portable air tank, the others near a 150 gallon 300 PSI capable tank, I got from a jobsite. All compressors are set at 110 PSI max, and each has it's own relief valve. The air stations are 3/8" supply into 1/4" lincoln fittings. Both tanks are linked with 5/8"OD copper, and the 5/8" supply also comes to within 6" of the air stations, for lessened air movement resistance. I use 4 different air drive wrenches, a 1/4" air ratchet, a 3/8" air ratchet (it WILL break your wrist if you are not careful!), a 3/8" impact gun and a 1/2" impact gun.

There are 2 power sources into the garage. One is 30 amp, for the compressors and most outlets, and a 20 amp, for emergency power and lighting (in case I blow the 30 amp fuse - been there done that at 2 AM!)
In an emergency, I can run all 3 compressors on the 30 amp circut (starting at 0) pressure), and can get max air in about 5 minutes. At 100 PSI, I have to shut down one of the 2 cylinder compressors or about 50% of the time I will blow the 30 amp breaker, before the 110 cut off automatically shuts them off. the power supply was put in by the former owner, and I am sorry he didn't bring in 220 Volt service to the garage. he also used 2 different guage wires, si I cannot change over myself without doing some major jackhammering and digging up my driveway to change it.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Andrew Mackey For This Post:
Old 05-03-2009, 11:16:36 PM
Kelly Tytlandsvik Kelly Tytlandsvik is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Estevan, Saskatchewan Canada
Posts: 1,196
Thanks: 285
Thanked 4,157 Times in 510 Posts
Default Re: Organization of your workbench - Advice & Tips Needed

I have a friend that owns a Diesel injection shop. He works out of the tool box all the time! Use the 3/4 wrench and put it back in the drawer immediately! He says that way I know where it is all the time. Mind you he does bench work 95% of the time and his tool box is right behind him. That is the way he has trained his employees to work as well. I can see it keeping the clutter down on the bench but that would drive me insane! I usually work till the tools get to deep then stop and put things away. Or hang tools up while the lathe is on a long cut. I too work on model engines in my home shop.

Kelly T
Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2009, 10:35:33 PM
Reed Engine's Avatar
Reed Engine Reed Engine is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hominy, Oklahoma
Posts: 4,062
Thanks: 1,748
Thanked 4,485 Times in 1,744 Posts
Default Re: Organization of your workbench - Advice & Tips Needed

I'd hate for you to see my shop. We've been building oil field engines there for the past 36 years, so tools are all over the place. In fact you can hardy walk sometimes for all the worl piled up.

A guy ask me about "having tools in a tool box?" I told him the building was the tool box, if you have time to file away everything in it's own special place and clean the floor that only means one thing, you ain't got no work. My theory anyway.

When you have several guys working on stuff tools get moved around. It helps to have plenty of tools so they get evenly distributed around.

I also use just "good" tools, not Snap On or some other high dollar brand, they get lost, or walk off. Just by something you can get at the auto parts store. I do tons with a crescent. I had a snooty customer ask me why I was using a crescent once and I told him "anybody can do it with the "right" tools, the mark of a real mechanic is he can do it with nothing".

Anyway, my .02 on tools and their storage. They're just tools, your the user, suit yourself.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2009, 07:40:11 PM
2manyhobbies 2manyhobbies is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Durham NC
Posts: 59
Thanks: 48
Thanked 25 Times in 18 Posts
Default Re: Organization of your workbench - Advice & Tips Needed

Originally Posted by shanelc50 View Post
Hmmm that's easy for me. Lay it down and that is where it belongs till the next time I cant find it. Ok really When I'm not working on something my bench is well organized. But when I am.....
This is how I feel! Things go everywhere when I am working well... more like where I last used them. I guess I can tolerate the looking for tools, but I put a nice big scratch on a flywheel I was working on I figured something has to be done about this.
I work out of a couple tool boxes now, I have my mechanics tools in one box and my machining stuff in another box (well 2 actually). My wrenches and such in the mechanics box is about 15 feet from the workbench so I just set things down on the bench instead of putting them away. I am thinking of is making some easy out in the open storage for my most used stuff... so it's easy for me to put back every time.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2009, 07:35:33 AM
grub54891's Avatar
grub54891 grub54891 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Washburn, Wisconsin USA
Posts: 1,017
Thanks: 1,863
Thanked 344 Times in 232 Posts
Default Re: Organization of your workbench - Advice & Tips Needed

Keeping organised is easy! Put it away as soon as your done,wipe down tools before sticking back in the box,lay out part's in an organised way.I use ziplock's alot for smaller part's,label them.Also a digital camera for reference.When I'm done with the bench at work you can't even tell I was there.When other's use it it's piled high with crapJust cant get it through their head that it's so much easier to clean it up.I've even just pushed their stuff on the floor so I could work. My boss asked me why I had so much shoptime on my timecard,I say simple--Cleaning up others mess,I'll take the pay for doing nothing!!
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

F o r u m Jump

Similar Threads Chosen at Random
Thread Thread Starter F o r u m Replies Last Post
First Steps to starting or restoring? Tips needed enginesilo Small Air Cooled Gasoline Engines 15 05-18-2008 08:55:45 PM
A/C Associated model found in a box under the workbench Paul Spence Hit & Miss Gas Engine Discussion 2 11-20-2007 11:24:44 PM
Lister D age and restoration tips needed. Nork Vintage Diesel and Oil Stationary Engines 4 03-13-2006 03:00:51 AM
Advice needed Benny Mckheean in NC Antique Engine Archives 7 01-14-2004 06:26:52 PM
Advice needed Mike Austin Antique Engine Archives 2 11-06-2000 04:22:27 AM

Use "Ctrl" mouse wheel to change screen size.
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:20:01 PM.

Smokstak and Enginads site search!

All use is subject to our TERMS OF SERVICE
SMOKSTAK® is a Registered Trade Mark - A Community of Antique Engine Enthusiasts
Copyright © 2000 - 2019 by Harry Matthews P.O. Box 5612 - Sarasota, FL 34277