I know a woodworker who said he saved himself hundreds of steps a day merely by moving his pencil sharpener so it is under his table saw. I had a similar “duh” moment today when I was wiping down a handsaw to put it in my tool chest.
For the last 15 years I’ve kept an oily rag hanging on the frame of my articulated bench light. The position of the rag allowed me to wipe down a tool when I was done with it at the bench. But sometimes I’m not at the bench. I’m working on sawhorses or on the piece itself, which are both away from the bench. So I have to circle around the bench to get the rag.
Or sometimes I forget to wipe things down and have to turn around and head back to the bench to fetch the rag.
It’s not a huge deal – my shop is pretty small – but little things do add up.
Today I screwed a cheap cup hook into the lid of my tool chest (I’ll have a blacksmith make me one soon). Then I hung the oily rag on the hook. I immediately noticed the difference as I worked the remainder of the day. The rag was right where it should be: Above where the tools are stored.
It’s a simple, stupid thing. But every minute in the shop counts. And less faffing means more woodworking.
— Christopher Schwarz