I guess I have been a hobbyist long enough now that I have brought some of
my professional practices back from work to my “bench.”
In my second business, we manufacured an electronic product. Our shop
forman took all the clutter in our produciton area and moved it intot he
hallway, then brouight each item back piece by piece into storage areas,
inventory areas, work in progress areas and testign areas until everythign
was neatly organizaed. When he had finished, the produciton areas were
completely bar (completely) except for a workbench, a stool, lighting, a
soldering iron and only the exact number of parts needed yto complete the
piece that was beign worked on at that momemt (average cycle tiem was abotu
The result of this was that our defect rate decreased from 4% to less than
0.5%, our average cycle time (to do the manufacturing steps) went from 20
minutes to 8 minutes, and the assemblers went form a 1/2 horu break in a
day to 1.25 hours per day.
Our production went up, costs when down, everyone was more realxed,
everybody was happy.
Why was all this possible? Simple: with a clean work area there are no
distrations from the work at hand. There is nothing else to concentrate on
but whatever you are working on. No pieces of past projects, pieces of
stuff that you might get to, or other distrations.
My shop at home is set up with 4 benches: 1 for cabbing, 1 for trim
sawing, 1 for miscellaneous grading and slab sizing, and one for design.
The design area is ther messiest of the 4, the produciton one (cabbing) is
bare except for lighting, the machine and the piece I am working on.