So, like us, you love woodworking. Let’s be honest; it gets pretty addictive, doesn’t it? But then, you need that space to immerse yourself in your hobby. So, where do you begin?
Let’s start by eliminating the misconception that you need some vast workshop with all kinds of machinery and tools carefully spaced out and arranged in order. While that may sound like woodworking nirvana to some, it’s not necessary. Actually, we will take things down a few levels because what about if you only have a small basement or even live in an apartment? Why should you be excluded from indulging in your hobby just because of space?
Well, you don’t have to feel shut out.
Planning is Key
We need to start by stressing that planning will be even more critical when dealing with a small space. You need to think carefully about the tools you will require. That 14-inch band saw you noticed in the hardware store will have to stay in that store, and I’m sorry to break that news to you. Instead, it will be more like bench-top tools or even the old-fashioned hand tools when space is an issue.
Next, consider the safety aspect, cleaning up, and even how you will get materials into your space. Forget the idea of bringing large sheets of plywood into your apartment, which you can cut into various sizes. That kind of thing needs to be done at the hardware store, or bite the bullet and purchase smaller sheets simply because of the difficulty of getting items into your basement or apartment.
Now, that may sound depressing, but fear not, as we will start making this thing fun.
Getting Your Key Items
So, you need somewhere to work, and if space is an issue, you need something capable of doing many different things. You want to be on the lookout for something such as the Rockwell Jawhorse. Not only is it portable, but it’s also compact and sturdy, and it’s easy to add on a wood clamp to expand its capabilities. At the same time, it will be able to support several different bench-top tools without a problem.
Talking of tools, several options can be easily stored away and only brought out when required. A circular saw, such as the models by DeWalt, will offer both precision and speed when it comes to cutting. On the other hand, a tabletop miter saw is another option that is open to you. We recommend checking out options by Ryobi, as they are compact enough to be stored, while a seven ¼ inch miter saw will make short work of a couple of 2x4s.
Handling the Materials
Next, let’s think about materials, as this could pose a problem. If you are going to your local lumberyard, they will cut things down to size for you, which we recommend. Yes, it’s cool to mill your timber to whatever shape and size you want, but it’s just not practical in these tight spaces.
In other words, you need to plan your project and know the materials you need before going out and getting everything cut to sizes that you can easily accommodate. Of course, you can fine-tune things yourself but cut the bulk out of the equation to make life easier.
Dealing with Dust
So what about dust and particles? If you are in your apartment, we suggest avoiding particleboard and MDF. The fine particles created by them are not suitable for this kind of environment as they use chemicals to bind things together.
Of course, having the correct dust mask is an obvious choice. But if you are blasting a sander regularly, having an air-filtration system in the room makes a lot of sense. There are several out on the market, and they will pull all those dust particles out of the air and stop them from clogging up the room and your lungs.
Overall, setting up a woodworking workshop in a small space is easy. Think portable. Think easy storage. Think about things sensibly when looking at materials. All of this should mean you can still dive into your next project and do so without stressing about where you can let your artistic streak loose.