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Studio clean-up routines

I vowed that this year that I will do a better job keeping a neat
and tidy studio. What hints and tips do you have. What are your
routines? What about minor and/or routine maintenance? Thx!!

Jamie King

My routine is to work in an ever shrinking space. When I get down to
about 2 square inches of workspace and can’t find anything I toss up
my hands in frustration and clean it all up, vowing to “keep it
clean” from then on… And then the routine begins again. ;o)

Pam East

What hints and tips do you have. 

You’ll get many hits… Keep it clean to begin with. If you make
a mess, clean it up then and there…

Clean your floor regularly. Regularly means at least once a week. If
you drop a small stone, jump ring or other item it’s easier to find
on a clean floor.

Keep a small shop vac handy to do this.

M. Mersky

Organizational folks will say that if you label your storage
containers with what they are supposed to contain you are far more
likely to put them back. Similarly the mechanics with peg board who
outline each tool. There is a certain part of the mind that just will
have an urge to put things where they belong more in such cases. I
myself don’t carry it quite so far, but I do generally towards the
end of each bench session to clean my files, wipe down all of my
plyers and other tools that were out and put them in the right racks
drawers and other spots before wiping down the bench top. For me
that last quiet 10 minutes of shop time let me focus on ordering what
I will do next time I get out in the shop to the point I can sit down
and write up a list of things I know I need to do if I have pieces I
haven’t finished etc.

For me the only way that set in was to force it every day and after
about a month the routine just took over.

Hope that helps,

the most practical tip I can give you is to replace the small brass
filters inside your torches each year- at least clean them annually.
Other than that I replace all o-rings and other gaskets that are
relative to torches, compressors, handle/hose assemblies annually as
well. I inspect pickle pots frequently for rust, cupric oxides, etc.
inside the warming unit. &replace the seal on the nut inside the
cover (a dab of silicone sealant) whenever it becomes loose. I keep a
large powerful magnet on rollers and pass it over the floor every few
weeks or when i have been grinding or shaping tools, gravers, etc-
anything ferrous and then using a wet wipe dispose of it entirely. I
inspect all bench blocks, punches etc. and remove any rust and
re-season them all every six months as I live in humid areas( i use
cosmoline on rollers on the rolling mills, and dry lithium grease on
most other steel, alloys or cast iron tools and equipment.

I replace all fluids frequently though I know it’s overkill in some
cases; pickle remains good even after it absorbs copper ions and
turns dark blue though I prefer to see the bottom of my pots and
save the used but not depleted pickle for plating, garden use (it
kills balck spot on roses and tomatos, and is beneficial for other
plants and fights some soil and airborne viruses too). I have a water
torch and replace the electrolyte/ flux every three months, topping
up the water level between uses. I also make it a point to keep a
piece of crepe gum handy to clean files. Ispend a lot on files when I
buy them and protecting the investment as long as is possible is
important to me and my wallet. I also replace diamond coatings, using
the same basic process as someone explained in another thread,
because given my wallet’s state (read empty) I do not find all that
much actual working difference in plated vs. sintered diamond files
(burs are a different story as the uniformity of the industrial
diamond grit seems largely more standardised in sintered burs) of the
same shapes and functions. Soft copper works for cleaning the
patterns, but far less effectively than latex or rubber gums. Also
brushing out the openings of handpieces (always keep a bur in them
according to manuf. instructions), and moving parts on equipment
prevents problems later and adds to the potential return on your
refining order -particularly if you brush the pieces out as soon
after use as is possible and seperate the metal dusts into respective
containers ( without seams or turns in their construction). You would
be amazed at the amount you will collect after 6 months -a year. I
sent in a film cannister of high karat gold dusts ( collected over
two years, and free of contaminants) around the turn of the year and
was amazed when I got a credit of $2100.00, I expected about $6-

700.00 based on similar submissions in the past. Using wet wipes to
wipe down work areas then containing them inside a seamless plastic
bag is also something that most refiners accept and ads up
eventually. Letting them dry -just leave their container open- is a
good habit to get into too as they will mould in humid dank areas
rapidly. You want to store those things in lined or seamless vessels
as ziplock type bags and trash cans, etc have too many places for
fine particles to get trapped defeating the purpose of saving them
in the first place. Installing an undersink/basin separator or any
number of new products that attach to the gooseneck under your water
sources also pays for the equipment’s purchase with the first
refining of the material- particularly if gold is your primary
metal. Hope this isn’t stuff you already know and is helpful in some

Here’s my routine. Put things away when I’m done with them. Clean
things when they are dirty. Thoroughly clean and reorganize between
the end of the Christmas rush and New Years.


Studio clean-up routines ??? Never learned about these even with
fancy schooling and can’t find any space in my studio for anything
new :slight_smile:


I usually find myself cleaning up when I can’t find something and am
completely flummoxed…I JUST had the darn thing. Or when
I’m stressed, cleaning helps. I know I should have better habits,
Lord knows I used to! Growing old is not for the faint of heart.


Growing old is not for the faint of heart. 

Cheer up, Lainie. You think you’re getting old when you can’t find
stuff that you know you put in your studio. But you’ll know you’re
getting old when you can’t find your studio.

Everyday at the end my tools are put into a mechanics tool chest
which sits behind me. The bench is cleaned and everything has a
place. This time organizing actually saves time and time is money.My
tray is cleaned also. My tool chest has a lock on it, to keep sales
associates out. For those who are unorganized try it. You will save

Thanks Johneric

For those who are unorganized try it.

I’m VERY unorganized but even I put ALL my tools away in their
places at the end of the day. My bench has a bank of eight drawers
down the right hand side and each drawer contains specific tools so
that I can go straight to what I want. Top drawer: measuring and
setting tools. Second drawer: cutting tools (saws, shears, files).
Third drawer: hammers and punches (centre punch and.925 punch).
Fourth drawer: bezel mandrels. Fifth drawer: soldering paraphenalia
(solder panels and strips, flux, tweezers, pick, etc). Sixth drawer:
polishing paraphenalia. Seventh drawer: miscellaneous. Eighth drawer:
heavy tools such as bench block, brass dapping block and punches, and
soldering aids such as third hand. I actually find that end of day
routine of putting things in their places and switching all the
electrics off strangely therapeutic and it sets me up for the
following day. It’s probably the only aspect of my life that is
somewhat organized!


I am like Helen, I tidy up at the end of the day. I found some
shallow trays that stack nicely. I put the parts to what ever
project/s I am working on in them so that the cat can’t bat them all
over the floor and get pieces lost or mixed up. I also wipe down my
bench with a damp paper towel, put all of my tools in their places,
and check all fluid levels. The next morning, I need only turn on
three switches and my tanks to be ready for my day

Saudi Arabia

have a lined trash can devoted to those wipes, you’ll be quite
surprised at the amount of metal that can be reclaimed from them at
the end of your year. leave the can open overnight to insure that
they dry out so mold does not set in…line the can if it has seams
or rolled metal as a lot of dust and small particles get trapped in
there! Most refiners accept towelling, cloths, polishing wheels,
points, etc., and some even accept carpet. I have a sticky mat at
the entrance to my milling area and at the entrance to the studio, at
the end of a week or so you peel off the - what amounts to a giant
piece of masking tape and toss it into the same can with wet wipes,
etc for that end of the year return!