How Do I Keep all this Organized? – Setting up the Barn & Answering Questions

Welcome back to the barn. I have some more cleanup and setup work to do out here, so I thought I’d bring you along for that. 

I’m about to start working on the flooring for the house, so I have to get the lumber out from the pallet racks, but I have all this stuff in the way. I’ve been cleaning up my shop a little bit, and I’ve moved some things out here. Instead of shuffling stuff around, I might as well clean and organize a bit before digging out all my flooring. 

I have some more shelving in, so I’ll get that set up and do some more organizing. I’m planning to swap out one of the shelving units in the packing area, as well as put up a couple more shelves for other storage. I went with a smaller rack for this spot, simply because this is modular, so I can swap things out to make this rack taller or wider or narrower. 

I’m figuring that this area over here will be over-flow from my shop. So things that don’t need to be in my shop, but I can come and quickly grab.

I’m back to having open access to this area now that I have put up those shelves and put away the things that were cluttering the area. 

Now I can get this flooring pulled out, and move some different lumber into this spot. 

After getting things more organized and pulling that flooring out, I can knock out some small little tasks that have been on my to-do list for a long time. Getting the fire extinguishers in their spots in the barn and on my forklift, fixing my air compressor, plugging this hole in the door, and making some adjustments to the desk in my chair packing area. 

That’s going to do it for organizing the barn for now. Overall, I’m pretty happy with where things are out here. I’ve got more open space, and the packing area has gotten quite a bit better. Next time we’re out here, we’ll be putting together the dust collection. Things are really coming along!

As always with these set-up videos, I figured I’d answer some questions you’ve sent in! 

  1. How do you stay organized? What is your system for inventory, planning, and such? 

– I’m going to answer this more based on the chair kits side of my business. I’m really focused on standardizing where I can to make the process of fulfilling orders as streamlined as possible, and I could drop someone else in and it would be a fairly quick and easy onboarding process. At this point any mistakes that have come up or issues to work through have already presented themselves, and I have worked through them to come up with solutions. So essentially, there has been a lot of trial and error. But what I have found is that I do better with visual indicators to help me stay organized, such as keeping the screws sorted into bins, having the different SKUs organized onto shelves, etc. At this point, I’ve packed close to 2000 chairs, so I’m hoping that I’ve experienced every possible issue and resolved things along the way. 

  1. Will I be storing boules in the barn or just dryer lumber?

-My plan is that the barn will be a staging area between lumber being dried and lumber being shipped off or picked up by the buyers. I did the same thing with the lumber I had in my warehouse. I would presale slabs or lumber to customers based off the videos, using a reservation system. Once I had enough reservations, I would pull all of those orders and take that load to be dried. So my plan is for things to remain largely the same: this will be a staging area for lumber that has been dried that needs to go out to their respective buyers. 

  1. Will your lean-to project be a place to store the telehandler and the skid steer?

-The lean-to will be a nice place to store things, but the biggest reason the telehandler is in the barn is because that thing has no desire to start in the winter. Last winter, that machine sat throughout the whole winter because it was absolutely useless. Having the telehandler in this heated space allows me to use it in the winter, which has been great. So the lean-to will probably be the spring, summer, and fall home for the telehandler, and then it will live in the barn when it gets too cold. 

  1. Do I have multiple sets of tools for different locations, or do I carry things back and forth?

-Right now, I am mostly carrying things back and forth as needed. Because I am doing a lot of set up right now, I need a very diverse set of tools. But as soon as that stage is over, I will probably get a second set of the basic tools, like ratchets, stockets, wrenches, pliers, etc. 

  1. Why do I keep the sawmill in my driveway when I have all of this space?

-That’s where the infrastructure is. That is the only paved surface on this property, which allows for a nice stable base for the sawmill. The driveway is also close to electricity, which I need because my mill is electric powered. It’s also nice to be close to a water supply. Plus, it is close to all of my filming equipment. So my sawmill will likely stay in my driveway for an extended period of time. 

  1. What types of wood do you have stored in the barn?

-There is a slab of ash from the second time I used my first log trailer. I have the small maple crotch from the first big log I ever cut on the sawmill. I also have some maple from a couple of big logs, some white oak which I used to test bi-metal blades against embedded steel, some honey locust, more white oak from the workbench kits, some pecan, some red oak, some elm, some walnut from Ohio, some ash, and a red oak log. For some reason, I have no problem remembering literally everything I’ve ever cut. Most likely because I either edited the footage to make the video, or reviewed the edit, and re-living the experience during the editing process really solidifies the memory. 

  1. How do I organize video footage?

-I have all of the raw footage that I have ever shot cataloged, mostly in chronological order, in a directory on my computer.  Originally, my videos centered around weekly shop updates, so I would organize all of my footage by week. Nowadays, I just organize by month, and the first time I start a project will dictate which month that footage gets put into. So any project that I started shooting in January will have all of the footage for that project in that January folder. Then I have a separate directory that is full of the project files that are exactly as I left them after the final edit. I can go back and in theory continue editing those projects by looking them up in that directory. There’s 900 video projects in that directory alone, about a hundred videos for each year I’ve been making videos for YouTube.

  1. Why am I banding the boules?

-I didn’t often band the boules back at the old house, but now I’m doing it most o the time. It’s sort of for the drying process, because it helps keep things compressed and flat, especially the top slabs that don’t have a lot of weight on them. But it also, sometimes the forklift driver around here gets a little wild and spills a whole stack. If the stacks are banded, then if they fall off the forklift, it’s not a big mess. 

That’s going to do it for this one. Thank you as always for joining, I greatly appreciate it. If you have any questions or comments on the barn or anything back in the shop, please feel free to leave me a comment. As always, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have, and until next time, happy woodworking!

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