Shop Storage for Guitar Building
Shop storage for guitar building is paramount for safety and efficiency. There is nothing more hazardous than having lots of stuff on the floor. The floor is not for storage. Getting everything off the floor may save you from tripping and possibly falling into a dangerous machine.
Proper shop storage will also reduce the amount of damage you do to things you are working on. Causing damage to your work will make you tear you hair out. Since many of the woods used are softwoods shop storage for guitar building is necessary to protect your materials from damage and abuse. Guitar wood is getting more expensive and harder to find all the time. It pays to take care of it.
Proper shop storage will improve your guitar building efficiency. Having a place to put things in your shop will make your life easier, save you time and improve your results. Are wasting too much time looking for things? Are you constantly tripping over things on the floor? I you said yes to either, or both of these questions you need to improve shop storage for guitar building efficiency.
Don’t have the space for proper storage? Make some. There is always a way. The fastest and cheapest way to create shop storage for guitar building efficiency is hanging things on the wall. Wall space is a must. This is a great way to get things off the floor. It will prevent accidents with both you and your materials. Create a home for everything in your shop and make sure it ends up there when you are finished with it. This will save you days out of every month.
Below are some things to consider to make your shop safer and more efficient to work in. These are things you can make. They are great projects to get you used to working with wood if you don’t have much experience.
Tool Boxes & Storage Boxes
Most guitar makers have a ton of tools. Organizing your tools will save you endless time spent looking for things. A well built tool box will protect your sharp edged tools from harm. Throwing your tools in a drawer just won’t do if you intend to keep them in shape.
It is not unusual to have a few different tools boxes. I have one box for most of my luthier type tools. It has everything from tuners to nut files in it. I have another box just for my carving tools. The edges on these tools are very delicate and should be well protected. Redressing one of these is not easy.
Any tool or gadget that has parts or accessories should have its own box. Not being able to use something because you cannot find all the parts can be maddening. This type of thing can kill your profits and enjoyment of guitar building.
I also have boxes for collections of things, typically small things. That way I don’t have to rummage around in the bottom of a tool box for something I use fairly often. There’s a box for the wedges I use for edge joining, a box for nuts and saddles, and a box for all my stick shellac sticks and tools.
Staying organized is important. It will make your work much more enjoyable. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is for me not to be able to find something I need, when I need it.
To improve your shop storage for guitar building it will likely be necessary to build a few storage cabinets. Having been a cabinet maker this was not difficult for me. If you have little experience it will be a great way to get some experience working with wood. Practice your chops on a cabinet or two before digging into your Indian rosewood. It can be very helpful.
Storage cabinets in my shop are generally saved for things that I do not use everyday. These are typically things that are important to guitar building, take up space but only come out now and again. This would include things like a bending iron, scales, power tools, and the like. Having a place for these things and keeping them there when not in use will improve your shop storage for guitar building efficiency. If it sounds like a mantra it is. You will not be efficient if you do not do these types of things.
Multi-Purpose Cabinets on Wheels
Some things in your shop may have to be moved occasionally to where ever it is you need them. In my shop I have a large flat granite slab. It is mounted on a cabinet. The cabinet has storage underneath that houses many of the things that I use on that granite slab. The cabinet also houses machine repair and adjustment items. The cabinet is on wheels. This way I can roll it to where ever I need it then when I’m done wheel it back out of the way. If you have a small shop you will quickly see the benefit of something like this.
I also have a small bench with storage underneath that is also on wheels. This is used as staging area when milling on various machines. This is so helpful. This is how it was in the cabinet shop I apprenticed in. We had all kinds of tables and benches on wheels so that you can stack your wood on it as you move from band saw to joiner, to planer, to the drum sander. This is such a time saver. And when you are not milling you can use it as a bench which you can also move to where ever it is needed. If you plan the design of these things carefully you can get a lot of milage out of them.
Racks & Shelves
Racks and shelves for the wall are the least expensive solution to creating shop storage for guitar building shops. Shelves are ideal for things like your hand planes, sanding pads, glue, finishing products and small things like knives and files. It makes access easy. It also creates a home for things that typically get strewn about the shop willy-nilly. Everything in your shop should have a home. And it should get put back in there when you are done with it. Shop storage for guitar building efficiency once again. It works so do it!
There are some things that you cannot and should not put on shelves. Some hand tools are better kept on a rack. Chisels, files and rasps, scrapers and gouges can be stored on a rack. If stored this way their sharp edges not touch each other or anything else keeping there cutting edges in tact. This will save you trips to the sharpening stone. A chipped cutting edge takes forever to sharpen. Get more sharpening information here.
Clamps are one type of tool you pretty much need a rack for. They are perfect for rack storage. If you have a few different types and sizes of clamps you may need more than one rack. You can see a couple of my clamp racks in the photos. Make some racks for your clamps. You will not regret it.
Clamp racks can be either on the walls or they can be movable racks on wheels. This way you can put the rack where ever you are working.
These are all things that you can make yourself. You can design racks for one type of tool. I use my chisels often. They are kept in a rack right behind my workbench. Designing and building you own shelves and racks will also give you practice in thinking about design with a purpose in mind. This can be a very helpful skill when it comes to guitar building. training yourself to do this will help with making jigs, fixtures, guitar building aids and a host of other things. This is a skill that can be learned.