I am an avid reader and enjoy researching new subjects. Along the way, I have discovered a wide variety of Maker’s whose approaches to building I admire. Among those is Adam Savage, one of the stars of Mythbusters.
Adam’s new book, Every Tool's a Hammer - https://amzn.to/2YSDxI5 - (all Amazon links are affiliate links) recently came out and I knew that it needed to be added to my library. Adam’s style is a bit different than mine but he has provided me with many tips that I have incorporated in order to improve my own work flow.
The book is more of a guide on how to be a better builder than a tutorial on how to build specific projects. In order to be a truly successful Maker, it helps if you can streamline your design and thought process ahead of time. It will save you countless trips to the hardware store and will keep your project on track.
One of the things I have worked hard on the last year or so is trying to organize my work spaces so that I can be more productive. Parts and material have been sorted, arranged and labeled in plastic bins allowing me to easily find them when needed. I also now carry a tool pouch - https://amzn.to/2MaTjwu with those items I use the most. This has been a huge time saver as I no longer spend time searching for that tool I just used!
Adam’s solution to organizing his tools includes ladder racks that allow him to see all his tools at a glance and easily grab the one he needs. If you have the space for such a rack, you should check his out and replicate them for your shop.
I don’t have a large shop area but rather several different spaces in my home for specific tasks. I have an electronics and soldering station in a bedroom, a workbench in the garage for fabrication, cutting and fine tuning of parts, a separate bench for my 3D printer and electrical work and an area on my patio for the final assembly of large props. This requires me to have multiple sets of tools so I’m not wasting time walking back and forth to retrieve the tool I need. Like Adam, I also want to have my tools visible and easy to grab. My solution is to use magnetic tool strips. They are inexpensive, easy to install and all me to store a variety of metal tools regardless of their shape or size. You can find them at your big box hardware store, Amazon - https://amzn.to/2YMqOqg or at Harbor Freight -http://bit.ly/2VPiioF.
One of my greatest take aways from the book was it reinforced my resolve to clean and straighten up my workspace at the end of each day. It is so frustrating to return to the shop, ready to build, and find you don’t have a clear area to work or you can’t find the tools you need. I’ve made the excuse before that I don’t have time to clean as my to do list always seems to be overflowing. However, taking the time to straighten up before quitting for the day will save you time and frustration, many times over, when you return to work!
I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking to develop, improve or reinforce good building practices. Whether you are a newcomer to the hobby or an old hand, I’m sure you will find many things inside that will prove useful. Plus, it is a fun and interesting read!