Dirty, dusty, and lovin' it


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Nov 19, 2003
Orange County, CA
After the hectic days of December, and with a bunch of new "toys" to find places for, I'm taking time out to cleanse & reorganize the workshop ... its truly amazing what you find in those dark recesses under the bench!

It's SO satisfying to get rid of junk that I know I'll never use; and be able to organize things so there a place for everything, and everything is in its place.

Sadly I purge junk perhaps only once or twice a year. Neatnik euphoria dissipates as junk returns and then its time to purge once more.

So I'm interested ... how often do you perform a major cleanup and reorganization of your workshop? Monthly, quarterly, yearly, never?
Hey Andrew, I usually try for a couple times a year but I missed the major summer/fall clean up this year........now I have a huge chore ahead of me, I am not looking forward to it one bit. I made quite a mess over the holidays.

I've got a couple recruits who have volunteered to come in and help me purge, I'm not sure why but, I have decided to take advantage of it. One of them has seen the mess and the other is just a big strapping guy who can lift heavy things.

I literally gutted this place the first year and a half I was here and I cannot believe how much crap I have accumulated since. I love getting rid of things though, it should be fun if I actually start.

I've got some plans to once again rework my backroom, I'm hoping that might make it a little easier to function.
Would other Grumblers be interested in exchanging (and by that I mean receiving, as I don't require one more molecule of stuff) White Elephants? Through an ordering error I have an abundance of some things I will simply never ever be able to use up, and I long for the shop to be clean and uncluttered again.

Anyone out there need a hundred 4 hole strap hangers (United #800), or some Nielsen sawtooths?

To answer the original question, This is only my second year open here and I've only done one serious thorough cleaning, but throughout my career once a year seems to be the average.
:D Nothing is ever out of place in my shop. If a speck of dust gets loose by some quirk of fate, employees are expected to catch it before it hits the floor.

Seriously, we try to keep things in reasonably good order and do housekeeping regularly. My theory is that everyone does better work in a clean & orderly shop, and we all pitch in to keep it that way.
I used to take advantage of the week between Christmas and New Years to clean and rearrange. Then about 4 years ago Mother was in the hospital during that time, and for 4 years running, someone has been in the hospital during Christmas, so I am so hopelessly behind that I may never catch up!

(In fact, my kitchen at home looks that way as well - what the heck am I doing piddling around on the G for anyway? I should be cleaning!)

Holy Cow, I've been in my new-to-me place a month, and I'm still "excavating". Hadn't been done in the previous owner's 6 years there. The stuff I've found under stuff under stuff. Yuck. Petrified matboard scraps, several boxes of puzzles, and stuff I still can't identify. It's coming along though, the regular customers are coming in, stopping, looking around and saying "Oh my, I didn't realize this place was so big! Where did all the "stuff" go?" Someone today said it used to look more like a warehouse than a frame shop! Now it looks like a frame shop. "Creative Places Are Seldom Tidy".My new motto.
I hadn’t had a major in house cleaning for years until I was force to spiff up the place last November for a video commercial shoot.

I ended up tossing at least fifty squares of mat squares containing custom mixed nail hold putty which I hadn’t used since the ‘90s.

Even with my wife cracking the whip it took me over 10 hours of day off time to get the place presentable. Dust bunnies had reproduced and mutated over the years to something resembling the hideous creatures only found in the video game, DOOM.

Without exaggeration, I had to change the vacuum bag twice – each one weighed at least 10 pounds.

A half dozen trips to the dumpster with arms full of miscut mats and a trunkload of moulding scraps which will keep the fireplace burning for weeks makes me say, “Never again!”

I’ll move first.
Originally posted by Meghan MacMillan:
Anyone out there need a hundred 4 hole strap hangers (United #800), or some Nielsen sawtooths?
You're just teasing.... I know my favorite 4-hole straps don't exsist anymore....

are the sawtooths snap-ins?
Originally posted by Bill Henry-:
-- a trunkload of moulding scraps which will keep the fireplace burning for weeks --
You don't really burn moulding scraps, do you? I wouldn't. Whatever chemicals are in the finish, not to mention whatever chemicals are used to treat it for vermin, no way.
Oh Gawd, I know my place needs a major gutting and I know I'm gonna find things that are so old the word nostalgia comes to mind. I keep putting it off - I keep promising I'll make 'a window' in the work schedule to turn several light years of moulding into ready made frames.

I deliberately built an island workbench the size of a snooker table - otherwise I'd just clutter myself into one little corner. I can still get round one end of the bench - and to be fair, I can still climb over the other .................

Most framers in this country would KILL for a workshop like mine and I've reduced the square footage to 50% - with stock. I'm just a sucker for a bargain.

I know the Grumble will inspire me to sort it out, one photo of an immaculate - airy - clean workshop will do it - hate to be outdone!
John, until you have a single track between benches you have spaceousness. Look, there's a space where two people could pass...

I work on the critical slope theory. When I can no longer stack or pile up things, it's time to order in a dumpster.

Last time I moved (1989), I threw away 2 dumpsters full of mailing tubes.
John, what are those rolls of something suspended from the ceiling above the table?? Tape? String? Wire? How tall are you, anyway??

That's polyester cord. I don't use wire, never have, never will.

I'm 5'9", but the ceiling is only 8' - if I have a complaint about our place it is that I cannot store all my mouldings vertically.
Originally posted by AnneL:
I've been trying to do a much need overdue cleaning but my poor shop vac went on strike. It sucked up something that appears to have jammed in the hose. Now I have to find a stick to unjam it. :(
I keep a stick of junk moulding around just for that job. :D