Woodworking in an apartment/condo... possible? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 64 Old 03-17-2017, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Woodworking in an apartment/condo... possible?

Hi

I was wondering if it possible to do woodworking in an apartment/condo.

If yes, how can I achieve that?

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post #2 of 64 Old 03-17-2017, 04:49 PM
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Sure, small projects bird house, wood turning use your imagination
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post #3 of 64 Old 03-17-2017, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kentucky tom View Post
Sure, small projects bird house, wood turning use your imagination
My main worries are noise and wood dust/collection

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post #4 of 64 Old 03-17-2017, 05:59 PM
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When I lived in my apartment, I used to take my tools down to the parking area, and do my work there. End of the day, pack it all back upstairs. Made a decent bedroom set that way.
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post #5 of 64 Old 03-17-2017, 06:00 PM
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In an apartment or condo you do not use power tools that make noise. That is about anything with the exception of a lathe.

You work small projects with hand tools. You learn and practice real wood-crafting skills this way.

George
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post #6 of 64 Old 03-17-2017, 07:17 PM
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Carving (hand tools) is something that could be done in an apartment. And most cities will have maker spaces.

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post #7 of 64 Old 03-17-2017, 08:48 PM
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When I was in the Air Force, we lived in an off base townhouse. The guy next door was an officer and he would do woodworking outside on his patio. He always seemed to fire up his power tools while our baby was trying to sleep (bedrooms were in the back over the patios). I never understood him as we had a fully equipped woodworking hobby shop on base that would have made Norm Abrams drool. Buy good quality hand tools and learn to use them well. You'll be a good neighbor as long as you don't scream loudly at a mistake. If you need to break down sheet goods, you could do it in the parking lot of where you buy it. All you need is four 2x4s, a good guide, and a cordless circular saw fitted with a good carbide blade.

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post #8 of 64 Old 03-17-2017, 09:10 PM
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An apartment or condo is not a good place to do woodworking for several reasons.
Power tools make too much noise. Outlets were designed for lamps but not power tools.
All completed projects need a final finish and an apartment is a poor spot for finishing. And you have to sleep in this apartment after your work. Breathing the dust you've made or the finish vapors you've applied.
I suggest using your time reading up on woodworking, finding and developing plans to use in the future.
This will help prepare you for a good start when you move to a place more accommodating to woodworking projects.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #9 of 64 Old 03-17-2017, 09:18 PM
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What I did is I rented an apartment with an extra room and removed the carpet and did wood carving and assembly work. For machinery I rented a mini-warehouse and run my power tools off the power for the lights.
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post #10 of 64 Old 03-17-2017, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
In an apartment or condo you do not use power tools that make noise. That is about anything with the exception of a lathe.

You work small projects with hand tools. You learn and practice real wood-crafting skills this way.

George

Yeah I agree ... aren't lathe noisy? Plus wood flying out when doing wood turning

Do people get bored doing woodturning?

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Originally Posted by Mort View Post
Carving (hand tools) is something that could be done in an apartment. And most cities will have maker spaces.

I don't live in a city... it a pretty residential area, probably like 40 mins away from the city and I ain't doing that

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Originally Posted by MontanaBoom View Post
When I lived in my apartment, I used to take my tools down to the parking area, and do my work there. End of the day, pack it all back upstairs. Made a decent bedroom set that way.

Lol That too much of a hassle for me to bring things down to the basement

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Originally Posted by Jim Frye View Post
When I was in the Air Force, we lived in an off base townhouse. The guy next door was an officer and he would do woodworking outside on his patio. He always seemed to fire up his power tools while our baby was trying to sleep (bedrooms were in the back over the patios). I never understood him as we had a fully equipped woodworking hobby shop on base that would have made Norm Abrams drool. Buy good quality hand tools and learn to use them well. You'll be a good neighbor as long as you don't scream loudly at a mistake. If you need to break down sheet goods, you could do it in the parking lot of where you buy it. All you need is four 2x4s, a good guide, and a cordless circular saw fitted with a good carbide blade.

I agree with going hand tools route

I think it just a matter of how to set up in the apartment/condo and what things I can make with limited space and equipment.


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Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
An apartment or condo is not a good place to do woodworking for several reasons.

Power tools make too much noise. Outlets were designed for lamps but not power tools.

All completed projects need a final finish and an apartment is a poor spot for finishing. And you have to sleep in this apartment after your work. Breathing the dust you've made or the finish vapors you've applied.

I suggest using your time reading up on woodworking, finding and developing plans to use in the future.

This will help prepare you for a good start when you move to a place more accommodating to woodworking projects.

You are the first person to tell me to not do woodworking in an apartment/condo

I have no idea when I will able to get a house...It could be 5 years, that's a long time of just reading up on woodworking

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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
What I did is I rented an apartment with an extra room and removed the carpet and did wood carving and assembly work. For machinery I rented a mini-warehouse and run my power tools off the power for the lights.

The condo/apartment is 1 bed 1 den place... only option is to do it in the den

What kind of wood carving did you make? What kind of assembly work?



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post #11 of 64 Old 03-18-2017, 01:45 AM
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Lol I happen to have your same issue. I may not be the favorite neighbor amongst everyone here as I do use power tools including a small table saw out on the porch of my apartment. I never do any woodworking inside as there's no space and I have no desire to rip up carpet or clean up a dusty mess. However I am always courteous when it comes to the neighbors. I've had on a few times a neighbor politely ask me to stop as they were trying to work on a school project or in another case a work project and would like some quiet to do so to which I politely apologized and either switched to doing something else with just hand tools that I knew would be quiet or I just cleaned everything up and went inside.

One big note to keep in mind is I work 2nd shift and it seems the vast majority of the other apartment dwellers near me all work day turn as both apartment buildings next to me have virtually empty parking lots so that gives me time to work before work lol. It's only been during the weekends when someone has ever complained to me. As just another note of courteousness I have asked neighbors if my woodworking does bother them at all and the responses varied from: Not at all; eh it used to, but I don't notice it anymore; You woodwork? I never even noticed, I never hear anything coming from over there except when you and your wife argue; sometimes it does when I hear that vacuum going. You get the picture. Biggest thing is don't be a dick. I've made plenty of things living in an apartment and yes I read and watch videos.... a lot. It's more of a lack of money to buy supplies to be able to do anything with than it is a "I don't want to bother the neighbors" thing.
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post #12 of 64 Old 03-18-2017, 06:05 AM
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We did have poster who made electric guitars in his apartment. Forgotten his name. Had a nice view of the mountains out of his window.
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post #13 of 64 Old 03-18-2017, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulak View Post
Yeah I agree ... aren't lathe noisy? Plus wood flying out when doing wood turning

Do people get bored doing woodturning?




I don't live in a city... it a pretty residential area, probably like 40 mins away from the city and I ain't doing that




Lol That too much of a hassle for me to bring things down to the basement




I agree with going hand tools route

I think it just a matter of how to set up in the apartment/condo and what things I can make with limited space and equipment.





You are the first person to tell me to not do woodworking in an apartment/condo

I have no idea when I will able to get a house...It could be 5 years, that's a long time of just reading up on woodworking




The condo/apartment is 1 bed 1 den place... only option is to do it in the den

What kind of wood carving did you make? What kind of assembly work?



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At that period in my life I was making nothing but furniture. It was the mid 1970's so I can't remember specifically what I was doing. I do remember I carved the center panel of this bed in the apartment.

As far as the apartment, I leased a two bedroom apartment with the intention of making a shop in one bedroom.
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post #14 of 64 Old 03-18-2017, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by renraw9002 View Post
Lol I happen to have your same issue. I may not be the favorite neighbor amongst everyone here as I do use power tools including a small table saw out on the porch of my apartment. I never do any woodworking inside as there's no space and I have no desire to rip up carpet or clean up a dusty mess. However I am always courteous when it comes to the neighbors. I've had on a few times a neighbor politely ask me to stop as they were trying to work on a school project or in another case a work project and would like some quiet to do so to which I politely apologized and either switched to doing something else with just hand tools that I knew would be quiet or I just cleaned everything up and went inside.

One big note to keep in mind is I work 2nd shift and it seems the vast majority of the other apartment dwellers near me all work day turn as both apartment buildings next to me have virtually empty parking lots so that gives me time to work before work lol. It's only been during the weekends when someone has ever complained to me. As just another note of courteousness I have asked neighbors if my woodworking does bother them at all and the responses varied from: Not at all; eh it used to, but I don't notice it anymore; You woodwork? I never even noticed, I never hear anything coming from over there except when you and your wife argue; sometimes it does when I hear that vacuum going. You get the picture. Biggest thing is don't be a dick. I've made plenty of things living in an apartment and yes I read and watch videos.... a lot. It's more of a lack of money to buy supplies to be able to do anything with than it is a "I don't want to bother the neighbors" thing.
It seem to be a bigger pain in the butt because I think my condo will be fussy about it and are a bit strict on how the condo is run because for example we aren't allow to have xmas christmas lights on Feb 1 even if the lights are off. It has to be taken off and put it in storage or only allow certain outdoor furniture on the balcony.

It seem that I have to pick a different hobby and hoping some day I will get my own house/garage and do woodworking then

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post #15 of 64 Old 03-18-2017, 09:56 AM
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try wood carving

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It seem to be a bigger pain in the butt because I think my condo will be fussy about it and are a bit strict on how the condo is run because for example we aren't allow to have xmas christmas lights on Feb 1 even if the lights are off. It has to be taken off and put it in storage or only allow certain outdoor furniture on the balcony.

It seem that I have to pick a different hobby and hoping some day I will get my own house/garage and do woodworking then

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Carving is a quiet hobby, make little mess and will challenge you artistic skills. You can use mallets and gouges for large projects. You'll need a good workholding vise made for carvers and a heavy bench that won't move. It would work best if you are on the first floor or have a concrete base. A Dremel or Foredom rotary grinder would save some time.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #16 of 64 Old 03-18-2017, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mulak View Post

You are the first person to tell me to not do woodworking in an apartment/condo

I have no idea when I will able to get a house...It could be 5 years, that's a long time of just reading up on woodworking.

The condo/apartment is 1 bed 1 den place... only option is to do it in the den

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I tried woodworking in an apartment many years ago. So I know it's not practical.
Can you do it? Of course you can, but that still doesn't make it practical. It's like finding a guy overhauling his motorcycle in the den. Yes you can do it, but it's not practical.
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If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #17 of 64 Old 03-18-2017, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mulak View Post
It seem to be a bigger pain in the butt because I think my condo will be fussy about it and are a bit strict on how the condo is run because for example we aren't allow to have xmas christmas lights on Feb 1 even if the lights are off. It has to be taken off and put it in storage or only allow certain outdoor furniture on the balcony.

It seem that I have to pick a different hobby and hoping some day I will get my own house/garage and do woodworking then

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The lights and February 1 are more practical than fussy. People leave them on the house too long and the weather deteriorates them and they become a fire hazard. Some entire towns require this as well. You know if they didn't make an ordinance a lot of people would leave the lights up year round. I know I had to cut apart a steel fence one time because the posts were rotted off at the ground. On the fence was a row a Christmas lights the insulation was rotted away on a lot of the wire and the bare wires touching the fence. I think if it wasn't for the paint on the fence somebody would have gotten zapped.
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post #18 of 64 Old 03-19-2017, 12:19 AM
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47 years ago, I did woodworking in our 1 bedroom apt kitchen, and in the building basement. When our daughter was to be born, I made a cradle with turned spindles and countoured head and foot board, that would swing on pegs mounted in the uprights which were attached to the stand. Every thing was made out of hard maple. I had a cheapo JC Penny lathe and turned spindles in the kitchen. The noisy router and electric saw operations were mostly done in the basement. Drilling was done with a brace. Gluing was in the kitchen using pipe clamps. We still have the cradle in the attic.
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post #19 of 64 Old 03-19-2017, 11:22 AM
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Hi

I was wondering if it possible to do woodworking in an apartment/condo.

If yes, how can I achieve that?

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Hand tools are generally very quiet. Dust shouldn't be much of an issue if you have a vacuum on hand. Remember the only thing that makes sawdust, is a saw.

Woodworking inside is very possible, I work in my basement no problem.

Measure 6 times, cut 3. Plane it down wrong and go buy a second board.
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post #20 of 64 Old 03-19-2017, 12:49 PM
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Hand tools are generally very quiet. Dust shouldn't be much of an issue if you have a vacuum on hand. Remember the only thing that makes sawdust, is a saw.

Woodworking inside is very possible, I work in my basement no problem.
I agree with Rodrat. Hand tools not only make less noise, they also make less dust. A handsaw has much thinner kerf than a power saw - much less sawdust. Chisels and handplanes produce chips and shavings, much easier to clean up than the fine dust produced by routers, power saws, planers, etc.

Plus, you develop some muscles working with hand tools.
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