A Floor Covering is Easier on the Feet

This is the second article in a series about reorganizing my benchroom (my shop is divided into two sides; my machinery resides in the other half).  You can read the first article HERE.

It was fifteen months ago that I last reorganized my benchroom.  Before reading this article, you may want to review what it looked like back in March 2010.

This year, part of the upgrades I had planned for my benchroom included laying down anti-fatigue mats to cover the entire concrete floor.  I started by moving everything away from the far wall and laying down as many rows of mats as I could.  Then I moved as much as I could onto the mats and continued laying mats across the adjacent wall.

That was all I could do until the workbench was moved onto the mats.  To make it easier to move the bench by myself, I fastened a 2×4 to each end of the workbench.  Then I lifted one end at a time onto the mats.

Once I got the bench moved onto the mats against the wall, I proceeded to lay the rest of the mats.  To clear the floor I continued moving things from the concrete onto the already-laid mats, making for a very crowded-looking shop in the end.

Once the mats were laid, I sorted through the accumulation in front of my bench and temporarily arranged the various piles against the opposite wall.  This was just temporary to make everything accessible; I still needed to organize it.  At this point, I took a step back to assess how much stuff I had and how much-needed to stay.  Most of it needed to stay.  I looked at the sizes, volumes, and frequency of use of each grouping.  I knew that my scrap wood collection was too large and infrequently used to be taking up prime floorspace as it did before in the 5′ tall cabinet.

Though the reorganization was far from over, my shop was once again functional.  For now, I had access to everything in the shop and, most importantly, my bench.  I wanted to work with the open layout before taking the next step – assigning a home for everything to restore order and free up space in my benchroom.

The third article in this series discusses how I moved elements of the shop around to create a more open floorspace.

6 thoughts on “A Floor Covering is Easier on the Feet

  1. Covering that whole section of floor with anti-fatigue mats is quite a luxury.
    In my small shop, I use two separate mats made up of two pieces each which are placed in the area that I will be working.
    Your shop will be much more comfortable to work in, and I suspect there will be a noise reduction as well.
    It’s really coming along.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Eric,

      The way I look at it, the mats are an investment just like the machinery and tools I put into my shop. The difference is that it’s harder to see the return on mats because they don’t change how I work wood and that is the reason I never gave them much thought until recently. After using the mats for a while, I will write a more detailed article on them.

      Chris

  2. Great idea. Hope people take your suggestions. This saves on your energy levels and best of all it saves your body joints.

  3. Anti-fatigue is the main reason I chose to build a structure with a crawlspace. I too have my shop dividing into power and hand tools/office. I even plan to eventually paint the two sides differently. The hand tool side will have actual color and the power side will remain more of a sterile industrial white. Another reason I went with a crawl space is to enable all the DC and electrical to come up through the floor, instead of creating obstacles which I’d have to move around. I’ve just added the sharpening station on the hand tool side. My next step is to design an assembly/router/bending/out-feed table on the power side and install the oscillating spindle sander where I removed the shaper. After that piece of business, I’ll finally build my Roubo bench. I”m seriously considering the Bench Crafted hardware.

    I think you’ll really notice a benefit with the anti-fatigue mats.

    Cheers Chris,

    Vic

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