Living in an apartment is one of the most common reasons why some aspiring woodworkers can’t do woodworking, whether as a hobby or a career. So, we will be showing you how to do woodworking in an apartment in this practical guide. The perception of working on wood projects only on a garage or a lawn is now an old school. Believe us when you say that you don’t need such a large workspace for your woodworking.
When it comes to woodworking in an apartment, it all starts with careful planning to utilize every space available in your apartment. Second, you have to make sure to soundproof and dust-proof your apartment to avoid disturbing your neighbors. Finally, think of the tools that you need. Remember, you don’t have to go big when working in an apartment. Just buy some of the basic woodworking equipment that is enough for the projects that you have in mind.
Setting up a small woodworking shop in an apartment is all about deliberate preparation and thorough planning. Be wise in making decisions from the layout of your shop, the projects that you’re going to make, and the tools that you have to buy. Believe it or not, hundreds to thousands of woodworkers craft pieces of wood in their apartments. So, here are some tips for setting up your personalized workspace in your small home.
Is It Possible To Do Woodworking In A Small Apartment?
Can you do woodworking in your apartment? As the saying goes, “nothing is impossible.” It is true even when woodworking in a small apartment. The tools and projects that you can do may be quite limited, but you can still do a bunch of wooden stuff, whether it is for your home accessories, personal projects, and even for selling. However, you must follow noise and space restrictions. Otherwise, lack of dust removal and insufficient power demand means you can not use any machinery.
Also, without using power tools, dust will get everywhere, so it is not recommendable that you sand in the building. As much as possible, do it outside. If you apply or finish any kind of oil, you need a dust-free setting. Moreover, your neighbors might be complaining about the smell. Hence, you can need to set up two adjacent areas within the apartment.
One for sanding, which has a dust-collection system operated by a shop-vacuum. On the other hand, there should be another booth that has good ventilation to an external window for doing your topcoats and finishing. The main thing to address is noise, so be mindful of when you do it and try to restrict it to the afternoons. Like with the loud sound of a hammer strike, the hand’s vibrations saw cutting through the wood will pass through the floor and walls. In this case, it is highly essential to soundproof your apartment.
Guide In Doing Woodworking In An Apartment
You should turn your passion into a means out of your apartment to make a living. You need to design your woodworking room carefully. Wood production is a wonderfully rewarding hobby, but it doesn’t take a massive setup. With careful preparation and focused attention, your woodworking skills in the smallest living spaces will thrive. Here’s your guide in doing woodworking in an apartment.
Step 1 – Plan Your Workspace
In planning your woodworking shop, there are three major factors that you have to consider – the noise, dust, and vapors, or odors. Control of all three areas as much as possible is incredibly necessary to ensure that you don’t annoy your landlord or neighbors. The first thing you need to remember is the room you want to use for woodworking in your apartment. You can convert it into your woodshop if you have a spare room.
Some people set up a woodshop in the balconies, dining rooms, and even spare bathrooms. You may also find the establishment of a woodshop in your bedroom. You should work in the kitchen if you are working on small tasks, such as candle holders or dustbins. Only place your plywood on the kitchen table, and you can start to work.
Controlling The Noise
Noise complaints are perhaps the Tenants’ most common concern. Nobody wants to live next to someone who doesn’t value those around them. There are plenty of precautions you can take to stop concerns about the noise. In case you make noise reduction a priority, without anyone realizing you can do some woodworking.
The biggest difference in noise reduction you can make is using the right equipment. It’s just not possible to set up a big table saw in your apartment. However, within the woodworking realm, there are several different fields. Woodworking areas such as wood carving are ideal for woodworkers who are working in apartments. This area of woodworking only requires small hand tools, and they have no associated noise at all.
Another measure you may take to minimize the noise is to hang acoustic blocks on the walls around your area of work. You just need to focus on the shared walls and probably the roof if you have people living above your apartment. You can also buy some noise-canceling curtains and hang them on neighbor shared walls. Such thick curtains assist in the muffling of sounds.
Dust Proofing Your Apartment
Dust is a huge problem when you are employed in an apartment. Not just in terms of keeping the place safe, it’s a security issue as well. For an extended period breathing sawdust can cause cancer. Trying to set up the work area near a window will help with dust and also the odor problem considerably.
Ideally, your woodworking shop should have an ample flow of air and good light. Moreover, you can make your windows open with a box fan facing out providing a good air movement to provide you with one layer of protection against sawdust and paint fumes. When you’re sanding or chopping wood, you should wear a mask to keep out the dust. Pick something lightweight, and do an outstanding job of filtering out particles of dust.
Be Aware Of The Odor Produced
Controlling your woodwork’s scent would always depend on what the scent comes from and how intense it is. It is ideal for taking the boards downstairs and painting them in an open area if you are using a paint thinner or something that has very strong fumes. However, sometimes, you can manage the fumes by simply opening a window or turning on your fan and exhausts.
Step 2 – Soundproof Your Apartment
When you work on your wood projects, you don’t want to annoy your neighbors. Consider soundproofing the area so that the neighbors don’t get calls for making a lot of noise. It’s not that hard to insulate an apartment. The soundproofing panels can be bought from your nearest hardware store. Hang the panels across the bedroom walls. As you work on your project, the panels can absorb the sound created by power tools.
You can also buy a sheet board with insulation. Think about buying the thickest brand that your budget can afford. While working on your woodworking designs, you can use the sheets to cover the walls, windows, and doors. It’s a pricey solution, but it’s going to have the best sound insulation.
Step 3 – Work On Small Wood Projects
When you have limited space, you can work on small woodworking projects. Even if you have allocated a large woodworking room, it will be difficult to bring large pieces of wood out of the apartment.
It is not inherently poor to be working on small projects. There are several small woodworking projects on which you can work, such as baby crèches, chairs, stools, candle holders, vases, etc. Selling those items in bulk will allow you to earn a decent return. Moreover, there is a great market for small pieces of wood.
Step 4 – Learn How To Deal With Wood Dust
Expect that woodworking will acquire a lot of dust that can give family members a nuisance. When working wood in a small apartment, the specks of dust can be especially disturbing. Generally, power tools produce a significant amount of dust. So, if you want to stop dust, don’t use power tools. If this is not feasible, consider buying a high-quality dust collector. Here’s how you can make your apartment dust-free.
Know that prolonged dust exposure can be detrimental to your health. The dust collectors keep the air clean and dust-free. Consider purchasing a portable dust collector in your apartment for your woodworking shop. The portable dust collectors will have 3/4 HP motors capable of collecting 650 CFM or more. You also have to make sure that you check the dust collector filters periodically.
Step 5 – Buying Custom Boards Is Better
Woodworking poses a challenge when you’re living in an apartment when it comes to milling the timber. You can’t mill custom lumber in a small area or your apartment. Purchasing custom boards from the local store or an online marketplace is an alternative to milling. Fortunately, there are many ways to order and buy custom size wood boards and. Your nearest lumberyard normally will cut the lumbar at a small fee to the appropriate thickness.
Lumbar boards and sheets are also available for purchase online. Some wood supply stores are offering pre-cut boards online. Another choice is to order single project packs or boards from suppliers of wood such. As much as possible, look for wood stores that provide custom board range and cuts at a small fee.
Step 6 – Buy The Right Tools
Choosing woodworking equipment while you stay in an apartment often needs some thought. You need various equipment in an apartment for DIY projects. More importantly, these tools should offer high-quality results. When it comes to powered tools, some modern machines have silent modes.
It may be a bit more expensive, but know that these are better options for woodworking in your apartment. So, here is a list of tools and powered equipment for woodworking in an apartment. Make sure to include at least one or two on your shopping list.
For a tiny apartment, you can’t have a work-stand. An adjustable portable workbench is an alternative to the work-stand. All of your equipment can be put in the portable workbench. It will eliminate clutter and contribute to an orderly workspace.
Portable Table Saws
Table saws are one of the power tools used most in woodworking ventures. It is impractical to use a wide 14-inch band saw in a small room. Consider buying a portable table that saw tools in an apartment while working wood. It will fit comfortably in small sizes of apartments.
Circular saws also play a part in power tools used in woodworking projects. You can use this machine to remove plywood, particleboard, melamine, and drywall from different sizes. You can also use the tool to do MDF and trimming work. The tool lets you make the exact cuts needed for woodworking projects.
Miter saws are also valuable tools to use when it comes to woodworking. The method is ideal for angled crosscutting and straight cutting. For your small DIY woodworking projects, you can buy 10 to 12 inches miter saws.
In all types of projects, drills come in handy. You can choose from different types of drills, but consider buying a cordless model for your woodworking projects in an apartment. When working on small woodworking projects, the cordless drills offer great convenience and speed. Cordless drills operate on batteries that are rechargeable. The device comes with a battery that helps you recharge the batteries once you finish all your projects. Check out some of the most essential drill bits here.
Jigsaws are power woodworking devices that are primarily suitable for wood cutting. You can use this tool in cutting any curves you want for your project. Stencils and bevels may also be cut on wood using the tool. Jigsaws are ideal for cutting wood shapes and curves with their thin blade, which is connected to the tool’s body by a spring-loaded front clamp. You can use this little-size device inside an apartment for DIY ventures.
The rotary tools are suitable for wood cutting, grinding, and sanding. These methods are useful for making accurate and thorough cuts. Moreover, those rotary tools are essential when woodworking in an apartment, especially for various styles of woodworking ventures.
Multi-purpose woodworking equipment is an oscillation tool that can be used for cutting, grinding, sanding, polishing, and scrapping. Try purchasing a product that comes with simple blades and accessories, including a hard case and a product bag for clothes. You can also buy aftermarket blades later, whenever required.
Step 7 – Installing Laminate Flooring
Try laying flooring with laminate on the carpets. It would make sure the carpets are not getting dirty while you focus on your woodworking ventures. Making sure panels or rubber mats are put under the laminate sheets. It would avoid slipping off the laminate floor over the tape.
Laminated flooring is essential to cover the carpet if you plan to work on metals like aluminum. The shavings of metal will get trapped in the carpeting. It’s impossible to clear the shavings from a carpet.
Step 8 – Buy A Shop Vacuum Cleaner
Standard household vacuum cleaners are not suitable for wood chips and sawdust cleaning. Vacuum cleaners filters can clog and reduce suction. You should consider buying a shop vacuum cleaner for sweeping up woodworking messes. Such machines are capable of quickly removing dust and chips from the surface.
They can accommodate a significant amount of chips made from sawdust and wood. Try purchasing one that comes with a washable filter and bags ready for disposal. It will save you a lot of trouble cleaning up the woodworking mess in your apartment.
Other Tips In Doing Woodworking In An Apartment
When it comes to woodworking, there should be nothing that stops you from doing this activity. Whether it is for fun or to start a career from it, always find ways to make your dreams come true. Start from the basics and small wooden projects that will help you grow as a woodworker. Learn from every mistake that you make and keep on improving. Aside from the steps that we provided in starting woodworking in your apartment, here are some more tips in doing it efficiently.
Tip #1 – Use Your Space Wisely
Just like any activity, woodworking must always be in place and organized. In your Woodworking shop, you don’t have much room to spare. Plan your room, just as you plan an elaborate everything in your life. Know what resources you’re going to use, how much of every ingredient you need, and keep it all handy. When you intend to get rid of all of your furniture, you won’t have the luxury of buying bulk.
Avoid buying full-size shop houses for every gadget because the last thing you want is many unitaskers. Devices that only do one job and only use once a year. Investing in a pressurized water-fire extinguisher for your woodshop is a smart idea.
Consider what tools you’re going to use every day. Which roles do you do for your companies every day? Is a 148-piece socket package a want or a need? Equally, what equipment are you going to use every day? How much glue do you need in just one week? Reduce your expendable supply to a minimum so that your shop will not take up your entire living room.
Most specifically, store your supplies in small drawers, mason jars, or Tupperware containers separate from your household items. For your sawing area, you can design a secondary tabletop surface, and once again, the secret to a good layout is to start minimally. Which one saw will deal with most of your cutting needs? You cut hardwoods or veneers, and what are their thicknesses? A benchtop bandsaw with a sliding rip fence, or a miter saw? So how many curves are you going to cut?
This saw should meet all your requirements when fitting into your workshop room. Don’t think about a bright lighting fixture overhead, particularly while operating on sunny days. A single pendant lamp works better over your workbench than an extended arm lamp mounted on the bench itself. Hold the source of light apart from and off your path.
Tip #2 – Clean Your Space Thoroughly
You’re setting up an apartment-sized woodshop by design, and you don’t have access to a garage, basement, or backyard shed. If you’ve got a spare bedroom, then fine, shut the door and seal off your woodshop. Otherwise, keep in mind that you’ll be working in your hobby area’s airspace and sightlines.
Consequently, recognize the need for a decent shop-vac. It is necessary to run a shop-vac during your job cleaning up the dust and debris after your job. You want the floor and tabletops to be clean, but you need to consider the air in the room. Run the shop vacuum while you build the dust stop a film of sawdust covering all the furniture and lampshades.
Your average shop-vac is about 75 to 80 decibels (dB), which is very noisy. A lawnmower works at around 90 dB, while the tops of a bandsaw are about 105 dB. Keep the neighbors satisfied with the daily running of the shop-vac and power tools. Keep your shop-vac happy by periodically cleaning the filter; built-up debris makes the fan work harder and more disruptive.
Tip#3 – Organize Your Stuff
In a classified, flame retardant cabinet, devote a free, out-of-the-way space for oil-based stains and cleaners. It will eliminate fumes and vapors, and most importantly, it will hold hazardous content under lock and key. Think of the camper concept again, if you need to be realistic about your ventures
Upon completion of the drywall and windows and doors, the school found no way to remove the frames intact. The prints in the assembly-room had become permanent fixtures. Remember those framed prints in the classroom, as you create in your apartment-sized woodshop.
Hold your tasks manageable, much as your inventory does. Wood-burning, hand-carving, restoration of furniture, assembly of wood mosaics are all viable small-scale hobbies that produce beautiful creations.
Tip #4 – Think Carefully Of Materials Required
Instead, think of the raw materials you’ll need to reach your workspace. What are you going to bring up the stairway and through the front door? How can you store in your woodshop, comfortably and compactly? Lumber board or sheet goods?
Would you deal with found objects or repurposed wood; would you reupholster fabric with batting and bolts? You want to share your goods outside your door with the world, but you have to get the stuff in the door to get going.
Woodworking in an apartment requires planning and a commitment to keeping things easy and tidy. Prepare the house, use your home’s space wisely, and clean the place after every work that you do. In woodworking, it doesn’t need a massive amount of space. All it requires is some space for planning, cutting, and assembling. However, take note that your project plays an essential role.
Tip #5 – Be Creative With Your Limited Space
Wood making is a wonderfully rewarding hobby, but it doesn’t take a massive setup. With careful preparation and focused attention, the woodworking skills in the smallest living spaces will thrive. You need to design your room carefully, use the space wisely, and thoroughly clean the space to effectively with your woodworking projects.
You have to be realistic about the size and reach of your projects. You need to start small, think minimally, and use the necessary tools and material to build your woodshop.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fortunately, you can perform and do woodworking projects in your apartment. What you need to do is pick the right tool for projects in DIY Wood. To minimize the dust and vibration, you should start using hand tools. It is all about being careful and planning carefully. More importantly, always be considerate with other people.
Can you make a living doing woodworking?
Many woodworkers are making a living while doing woodworking through selling their stuff. Some get income by getting hired by a firm. For short, it is possible to make a full-time living and decent salary when it comes to woodworking. Remember that a full-time living pays the bills, feeds the family, and educates the children. You can start by making small wooden objects and finding a market for it.
Is woodworking a good career?
Many people enjoy woodworking as a hobby but don’t realize that they can turn it into a legitimate career. As a professional woodworker, it is your job to manufacture various products for businesses or homes, such as furniture, cabinets, and other structures. More often, these projects are from wood, veneers, and laminates.
What is a workshop layout?
Workshop layout is how equipment, workbenches, and workshop storage are placed with each other in a building. A bad layout means that the product flies and is treated too much during its manufacturing stage. If you want to be accurate in designing your woodworking shop, make better floor plans and workshop layouts.