Shop time.


Living in Houston TX. I find myself using a lot of time on tools. High humidity with salt in it is not good for tools. I have not timed my tool time vs. shoptime, but guess I spend about 15% of my time on tools. Shop cleanup is shop time to me.

Does any body have thoughts?


Tor and Odin are the greatest of gods.

I would love to have someone who would take care of my tools . . . sharpening; changing blades, bits, sandpaper, etc.; repairing; adjusting; fine-tuning; etc., etc. and also someone who would clean up after me! Those things seem to take up a majority of my time.


“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

Not enough time here. Then i have to deal with my son leaving his salty, sandy fishing gear on my table saw. Uggghhh…

Losing fingers since 1969

At the end of each project, I ‘reset’ my shop… there’s a Forum thread that I started on this…

It is a necessary part of the process, unfortunately; though, I know several woodworkers who take as much pleasure in touching-up everything – the sharpening, vacuuming, replacing (everything in its place) – as they do building something. For me, the design time is often equal in duration as the build time; if I through in the tool & shop reset, this pretty much consumes all of my time within the shop.
I’ll add a 4th time consumer – tweeking my shop… moving this piece to that corner, running new electric or new dust collection, finding another place to store something that I bought. With my limited space, every square foot is important.
The best that I can recommend is to learn to enjoy, or tolerate, the process – it’s not going away.

It’s hot and humid in Florida too.
I keep a fitted sheet of plywood on each cast iron tool top.
I use Mother's California Gold Pure Brazilian Carnauba paste wax on them babies—same as I use on my truck.

I’m waiting on the County to approve my permit application and then there won’t be a garage door—there will be a wall with a 42” wide door.

I just retired 1-MAR-2024, so I finally see a good deal of time in the shop.
Tool maintenance comes in many varied types, and yes often due to your specific weather. I try to listen to music as I do it, and sometimes it's not too boring. The time it takes it what it takes, or I have always looked at it that way. I can see it takes away from the much more enjoyable things. I really like stock prep, but just like sanding, something that is a part of it all.

I do find in my humid climate that wax/oil in all types is my friend, and I do a careful application of it at least twice a year. Paste wax on the cast iron surfaces, and Camellia oil on hand tools, and other rust prone things. I find it takes away a goodly portion of the "reconstruction" time that often happens if rust gets a foothold. Sometimes other waxes, and oils are the best bet, but that is still a work in progress after ~~~ 60 years of tool use. 

One of the many reasons coming to places like this work so well for me, you never know enough, or are too old to learn new tricks. :-)

I'll also add that 4 years ago I added heat to my shop. I always wanted heat, and or "Conditioning" but it never got top billing. I can say with certainty that since I can keep the shop a constant 55 degrees through the colder months has almost removed the need to do harder tool maintenance, at least as far as rust prevention applies to it. I suppose some of you hotter, sweatier, folks down South might need cooling, more than heating, but it is a for real difference in my humid corner of the world. Going through a Winter without rust was luck, now it's a given. Beside just comfort, and ability to apply finishes it's worth the $$$$ to me.