Apartment Woodworking

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Forum topic by BustedClock posted 08-30-2017 11:05 PM 2148 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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129 posts in 3289 days

08-30-2017 11:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question apartment woodworking space tip resource

My wife and I (whom I love dearly) are having a… “discussion” about where I can do my woodworking. We live in a smallish two-bedroom apartment with no garages. The kids are long gone, but our son and his family live in the same city with us (Denver, CO). Our daughter lives on the east coast and comes to visit us once or twice per year. All the above is by way of saying that we need that 2nd bedroom to be available as a bedroom—once in a while. I argue that there’s enough room in the bedroom to work (all hand tools) and, with a little straightening up and putting things away, still have a place for our daughter, and grandson, to sleep.

The one thing SWMBO comes back to is that, “Nobody does woodworking in their apartment!” I said that’s not the case, but she responded, “Who do you know that works in their apartment?” Hence this post. A show of hands, please, for those who find some way to do woodworking in their apartments, while keeping peace in the family?

It’s not that the future of our marriage hangs in the balance, but that I would be able to satisfy the jones I have for running a well-tuned plane across a piece of wood. Oh, and she only asked me to name THREE people. But, the more the merrier.

Thanks, folks.

-- Hey, I'm usually right twice a day! Except where they use 24 hour clocks.

14 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4415 days

#1 posted 08-30-2017 11:15 PM

I don’t do woodworking in an apartment but I
have. Imo, it would be ideal in such a situation
to focus on veneering, miniatures or stringed
instruments. General cabinet and furniture
making is way too messy.

You can of course make furniture using hand
tools only which makes the mess a lot easier
to clean up. Power tools like routers and
circular saws spray debris all over the place.

View TravisH's profile


714 posts in 2702 days

#2 posted 08-31-2017 12:27 AM

I build things in our house at times if that counts. Have done several glue ups in the kitchen, built several fish tank stands in the den, and made hundreds of fishing lures in various rooms of our house.

Set a small band saw up in the living room and cut out hundreds of blanks in the living room and have had the scroll saw in the set up on the ding room table to make Christmas ornaments.

I always clean up after keep things orderly and put things away when needed. It really wouldn’t be a discussion. I would explain to my wife I will be building a murphy bed to fold up and stay clean and can store tools under it when the room is in use by visitors.

My wife read your post and laughed and said it didn’t make much sense. You do with out for most of the year so she can have a spare bedroom all year for a week or two of guest stays.

View sras's profile


5451 posts in 3896 days

#3 posted 08-31-2017 12:35 AM

This is the best example I know of. He makes amazing creations in a closet!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Mosquito's profile


10283 posts in 3059 days

#4 posted 08-31-2017 03:29 AM

I don’t anymore, but I did for 2 years

I later switched out the canvas drop cloth for a couple of those vinyl carpet runners, which I would then just roll up when I needed the spare bedroom as a guest room (only happened twice, as I had a hide-a-bed couch in the living room otherwise). Do what’cha gotta do

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View MrUnix's profile


8079 posts in 2966 days

#5 posted 08-31-2017 03:35 AM

As someone who has a Makita 2030 combo jointer/planer in the living room… I don’t see a problem :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View oldnovice's profile


7549 posts in 4135 days

#6 posted 08-31-2017 05:19 AM

My late uncle in Germany had a 3’ square table in the corner of the basement where he did all his work.
He could only have that much space because the laundry, shower, and storage space was also down there.
However, he did not have a single power tools, only hand tools.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View DS's profile


3501 posts in 3187 days

#7 posted 08-31-2017 02:39 PM

I did this project in an apartment.

Cleaning up was nearly impossible as wood chips go EVERYWHERE.
It’s easier when you can get out the leaf blower and clear the garage of dust and wood chips.

You certainly are limited in what you can do inside the house, but, everyone starts where they are, right?

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View knockknock's profile


473 posts in 2940 days

#8 posted 09-03-2017 09:06 PM

I do woodworking in my apartment with hand tools (check my projects and workshop).

-- 👀 --

View Gilley23's profile


489 posts in 1149 days

#9 posted 09-04-2017 12:51 AM

Brother, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT ANYBODY ELSE DOES!!!! I would hate to live life doing what I’m doing only because others are doing it that way.

Your wife seriously wants you to forgo what you truly enjoy doing just to have the bedroom free and clear for two weeks out of the year? That’s ridiculous and very honestly, truly selfish.

You know when company is coming over and will have plenty of time, even if it’s only two days, to have a single bedroom cleaned up, kid friendly and guest ready.

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 4058 days

#10 posted 09-04-2017 01:06 AM

Look up a Lumberjock named Dilo Marcio Fernandino. He hasn’t been around in several years, but he did magnificent Rococo-style work in a utility closet in his apartment.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View wood2woodknot's profile


108 posts in 2740 days

#11 posted 09-04-2017 02:56 AM

“That’s ridiculous and very honestly, truly selfish.”
Well, maybe just someone who is an OCD Neat Freak. Keep the door shut and the room clean and semi oranized. I used to use the kitchen for a photo lab in the day when you used real chemicals and film and prints hanging up to dry.

-- ajh

View oldnovice's profile


7549 posts in 4135 days

#12 posted 09-04-2017 03:48 AM

Remember, where there is a will there is a way!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4135 days

#13 posted 09-04-2017 04:11 AM

I live in a very small 2 bedroom house. My shop is the second bedroom. A small bench to house your tools and a shave horse to work on and you are in business.

View OleGrump's profile


565 posts in 1111 days

#14 posted 09-06-2017 12:04 PM

Hi Clock,

Sounds like my “Beloved Spouse” (?) For at least 5 1/2 years I lived in an condominium which was originally built as apartments. Therefore, NO fancy condo frills, just an old apartment. You’re damned skippy I did woodworking projects there !!! OK, I did use mostly, but not strictly hand tools. OK, I did use my Workmate as I did not have a real workbench there (although I could have built a smallish one). And I DID use my Rigid wet/dry vac for clean up. When I married and we bought a house, a woodworking area was a NEED and not a “want”.
I have had the “discussion” with the Missus. “If you try to force me to give up my passion, and make me sit here staring at the four walls bored to suicidal, every day I will wind up hating you more for it. SO, if you want me to make the decision between you and my tools, I’ll get your suitcase. (I even held the door open for her one day…..)
She got the point. I’m not normally “bossy” or demanding, and in fact, I encourage my good lady to pursue her own hobbies/activities. I just want her to extend the same courtesy to me. You points are valid. The spare room can certainly be cleaned up in time for an impending visit a couple of times time year. Between the visits, you are paying rent for a certain amount of space that sits idle. Why not put it to use and work some wood….?
BTW, Yes, I am still happily married. She’s learned that things work well if we don’t try to interfere with each other’s respective hobbies. Having to visit yarn shops sometimes is a small price to pay for peaceful shop time.

-- OleGrump

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