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Planning a new bench for a slob


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OK, I'll admit it.  I'm a real slob when it comes to my work areas. In my garage I have found it a bit easier to be organized and cleaner if I have the proper work bench, drawers, storage, etc.  Ever since I got back into building models well over 20 years ago, my go-to bench was a simple fold out cafeteria type table.  A few years back, I ramped up the game a little by building a riser where I could stack more crap, and more important, I put magnetic strips on the front to hold all of my metal tools. Files, Xacto knives, clamps, etc.  For any new kit I just opened, I would place it on the table until the clutter took over or I added tools in the way.  Then I resorted to another chair or to set the box in, or simply place it on the floor.

Now that we are about to move, the wife has persuaded me to try and clean up my act a little.  My workshop will be in the corner of an active entertainment area that I want to keep organized and easily capable of storing and closing up what I am working on.  This will help keep the cat from playing while I'm away too. Seeing how another hobby of mine is woodworking, I can build a really nice bench to keep projects neat and orderly.  I'm thinking of an actual "desk" with a couple of really large but not too deep drawers so each active model can be removed from the box and kept separate and not out in the open.  Maybe a roll top desk system like the old antique desks of years past.   I do have two sheets of stainless steel that are right at 2' X 5' that I could use as a building surface.  Any spills, would clean up easy.

My current paint and odds and ends are in an old 3 drawer roll around crash cart from the hospital. Basically a glorified tool box with better casters on the bottom.  I would like to eliminate this as well, but not set on it.  While all the bottles stacked out in the open is great for speed and ease of finding the color, I'm not running an assembly line.  Of course with my stash as big as it is, I probably need to.

If anyone here suffers from the anal retentive habit of clutter free living, please share!

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I can only share my experience:

- having a tidy bench helps modelling and avoiding the dreaded modelling doldrums, but it is not a failsafe method

- having a cluttered bench is now a definitive modelling put off for me

- Hobbyzone, or the likes, whilst not especially cheap when you start adding the modules, is the best tidying solution I could find.

 

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Hubert

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Hubert, are you my brother..........i hate cluttered benches and tend to tidy after every sub assembly has been finished or set aside to cure etc.........I know, I know........having an engineering background........

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I'm about to do the same thing , Scott.... my 'model room' is a little room in the basement right now, and FULL of 'crap'....I can barely move in it... my bench was a computer table, and I have so much other stuff on it, that my work area is about 12 inches by 12 inches... and that's on a good day LOL... we are going to move soon to a little smaller house, but I will share a room with my wife, she gets one side I get the other....I now have a BIG desk ( to load more crap on :rolleyes: ) and I will hopefully be able to organize it and keep it under control when I get back to some spare time.... also where do you guys buy your cutting mats, I would like a fairly large one, but it will most likely have to come in the post.....not sure how that will work... and how big are your cutting mats? AND how many of you guys use cutting mats?

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26 minutes ago, Jeff said:

AND how many of you guys use cutting mats?

I always have a cutting mat on the bench. Not that you can tell as it's inevitably gets covered in well, everything.

I get my cutting mats from an art store in the neighbourhood. They have a bunch of sizes in stock. 

 

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1 minute ago, BlrwestSiR said:

I always have a cutting mat on the bench. Not that you can tell as it's inevitably gets covered in well, everything.

I get my cutting mats from an art store in the neighbourhood. They have a bunch of sizes in stock. 

 

LOL, sounds like my bench... I'm just not sure how they would ship something like that thu good old C/P.............. you know what those guys are like..... I might have to sniff around locally to see what I can muster up....

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@HubertB, @Bomber_County, I try to keep my workspace neat but it's usually a failure sadly.

It has gotten better since I picked up my bench  organizer. The Hobbyzone ones were just too expensive to get in Canada so I went with Arttystation. I believe Harv has them too. 

 

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Jeff, that 12 X 12 work space sounds about right for my fold out table that is almost 6’ long. 
i love Huberts Lay-out, but the wife would classify that as clutter.  Might do some cabinets with paint racks.  I’m thinking like the builders hide everything in those tiny homes. 

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The problem we have as modellers is the accumulation of tools (me, a tool freak ? :rolleyes: ), paints, chemicals, plastic cards, brushes, masking tape, etc... Having them orderly yet accessible is a permanent headache. I have multiples of the same tools because I sometimes could not find where the first one had been stored out of view.

Now, I can see and reach (almost) everything. But the drawback of that is the apparent visual clutter, as you point out, Scott. I sometimes find myself that my bench space looks cluttered, even with an empty bench :mellow:.

So there is no perfect solution, that suits SWMBO for neatness, and our need to have all our stuff ready for use when modelling. In all honesty, I probably can also empty the shelves when I look at all the paints I have. There must be some 200+ tins of Humbrol, some of them certainly more than 25 years old, and that I will  probably never use, especially as there are better alternatives. I must just build the resolve to dispose of them, but somehow can get myself to act.

Hubert

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My big problem these days is paint. I keep trying different brands when I used to just stick to Tamiya acrylic and the odd jar of Gunze aqueous (when you could find it).

Now, I have:

- Tamiya acrylic 

- Tamiya lacquer

- Mr Color 

- Gunze Aqueous

 - AK Real Color

- Tru-Color

- Mig 

I don't have the shelf space for them all. 

Carl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Bomber_County said:

You forgot, Vallejo, Xtracolor, Humbrol, MRP...................:rolleyes:

The Vallejo and Xtracrylix I gave to my boys to use on their models. 

MRP isn't available in Canada so I'm safe there and I don't even remember the last time I used Humbrol. Might have been their Metal Cote.

 

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Well, Scott's remark about visual clutter piqued me (positively), and I realised he was right and I could do better.

So, some 60 Humbrol tins have been filed vertically, the plastic boxes containing bits and pieces have migrated from the shelves to behind the closed doors of the bookshelves on the opposite wall (Ikea Billy to the rescue). The finished kits moved one shelf lower, and I now have plenty of space for the myriads of other kits I will churn out soon   :rofl:

The clutter is still there, but not as much and, as Phil said, there is some almost devious satisfaction on tidying the bench :)

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Hubert

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Good Gravy Hubert!  Do you build kits, or make everything from Evergreen stock???  Quite the well stocked supply you have there!

Now I have to think of how I can pack up my "shelf of doom" models along with my builts for safe transport.

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I build kits, but prefer scratchbuilding ... And truth is, my display has cut down my searching time for the right size of EG strips/rods/tubes. I could almost say this has trebbled my effective modelling time :lol:

Hubert

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  • 2 weeks later...

Over the years I moved into the Florida room, organized it with everything having it’s place and home: draws, shelves and bins. I try to keep my cave neat, clean, organized and straighten up after each work session. Biggest problem these days; venting my spray booth safely and lighting, oh yes- lighting. Just can never have enough 5000K lights to see what I’m trying to do.

I’m overly conscious of all the health issues associated with the chemicals, glues and solvents we use and have made good ventilation and safety job number one.  :construction:
Keep ‘em comin

Peter

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I get very frustrated when my space is a mess.  Hard to find things and build smoothly.  This is a bout as messy as it gets.

 

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