Clean Shop = Oxymoron ?

Last week, just before the start of the long weekend, Kevin and I gave the workshop a thorough cleaning. What started as a simple sweeping of floors and emptying of garbage cans soon snowballed into using the ShopVac to vacuum dust out of all kinds of nooks and crannies.

Three hours later the shop looked magnificent, although in all honesty I don’t think we got it clean enough to ever grace the pages of Fine Woodworking magazine.

That got me to thinking that having a clean shop and having one that produces actual furniture might be two totally different things. After all, as any woodworker knows you often have to do little more than think about using a woodworking tool in order for it to start making a mess.

Every time the latest issue of Fine Woodworking comes out I find myself feeling just a little inadequate at how the shops featured in the magazine look perfectly organized and pristine to the point of rivalling the surgical cleanliness of an operating room.

I am well aware that these are photos are prepped and staged for marketing purposes but, still, I can’t help but wonder why MY shop can’t look like this all the time. In practical terms the only way to achieve this would be to never use the tools at all, which defeats the whole purpose of having a workshop in the first place. Hence, the oxymoron.

For now I’ll just look forward to walking into a clean shop in the morning, so we can start messing it up all over again.

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