No Space For A Workshop...

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Hey all,
I'm getting into woodworking, however, I have no space for a workshop. I live in a townhouse with no basement or garage. I live in Severn, Maryland, and the Woodworkers Club at the Woodcraft shop in Rockville is about 45 minutes away assuming no traffic, 5 or 6 hours with normal DC Beltway traffic. I haven't been able to find a woodworking club to join around here that has a workshop to use. The question is: What do I do? I'm sure at least one of you has struggled with the lack of space for a decent workshop.
I've even thought about trying to get a bunch of other guys with the same problem together and leasing some industrial space, but I'm sure the cost of the space would be too much for us to afford. Any other ideas?
Dave
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David P. Hagan wrote:

S-10 while in college. Now that I'm "grown up" I bought a newer s10 and still do some work there with my cordless tools. I cut all the plywood panels for my kitchen cabinets on the back of that truck with a little 9.6v circular saw. Have a porch/patio? You can run a router there. I have seen a small benchtop table saw recently at one of the borgs that had a small stand with wheels attached to it, it looks like a small luggage cart with a table saw attached to it, roll it out and stand it up and go.
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Yes, but will it still work with a Dodge Dakota? Silverado? Do you need pull saw if you do it in a Nissan?
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

in the bed ? :)
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1) Move ?? 2) Space to buy or build a shed in the backyard?
or do what I did several years ago before I had a garage, convert a bedroom to a workshop.
Life is short, get busy.
Rich
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On Mon, 3 May 2004 18:41:16 -0400, "David P. Hagan"

Do you have any storage bins nearby that will allow non-commercial hobby work? Vocational school open shop time?
Other than that and everything else you've mentioned, maybe it's time to move?
Barry
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Dave Hagan asks:

Depends on the space, area, etc. About 10-12 years ago, I took a lease on a basement under a sub shop. This was in a small town, so cost was low, at $125 a month. Some problems, naturally. I had to rewire and paint walls and floor and install a large window AC--dank as all get out in late spring and summer. And put in more lights. Shape was a little goofy--19-1/2' x 63'--and the exterior door was too low, but otherwise, I got 3 very good years out of it at what I thought was a great price. Look for something not quite ready for prime time and fix it up a bit, if you do rent. Much cheaper that way.
Cost me maybe $400 or $500 to get it usable. Heat was free (furnace in the basement), but I had to use care with finishing and with some kinds of sanding to keep from ruining the furnace (or the building).
Charlie Self "An unfulfilled vocation drains the color from a man's entire existence." Honore de Balzac
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What do you mean by no space?
No existing structure to use as a shop or literally no space to even put up a shed?
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
  Click to see the full signature.
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In Scott Landis's book, "The Workshop Book," he profiles several people who work out of very small spaces, including one guy work works out of an apartment/townhouse.
Remember, you don't NEED power tools, they just make things go more quickly. Especially if you want to build relatively small things, then you can probably just do it with hand tools inside your townhouse.
Mark

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I was going to suggest this book, but you beat me to it. It really is inspirational in that it shows you how people improvise. After looking at that book I'd hardly think David could have any excuses.
FWIW, I live is a roughly 600 sq ft. studio apartment. The only power tools I have are a Metabo cordless drill, Dayton 10" bench top drill press, a Delta 14" bandsaw and a small Jet 2 stage dust collector. I chose these tools because of their relatively low noise. I own a few Japanese saws, chisels, Stanley hand planes and a Record #45 I use in lieu of a router to make dados, rabbets, etc. My "workshop" occupies the living area of my apartment. Being conscious of dust control and vacuuming thoroughly afterwards helps a lot. Where there's a will there's a way...especially in woodworking where I've really learned there's more than one way to skin a cat, or cut dovetails, or chop mortises and make dados. A table saw is nice but you don't NEED one.
Layne
On Tue, 04 May 2004 03:03:00 GMT, "Mark Wells"

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On Tue, 04 May 2004 03:03:00 GMT, "Mark Wells"

The owner of a local Woodcraft, and woodworking school, has a shop in his condo.
The condo shop has ONE power tool, a 14" Delta bandsaw. The rest of the shop is a good quality bench w/ vises and hand tools. Bandsaws don't make much noise, probably on par with exercise equipment, so you may get away with one in a multi-unit dwelling. His shop is in a spare bedroom.
Barry
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On Tue, 04 May 2004 10:59:49 GMT, B a r r y
snip

My 14" BS makes less noise when it's *cutting* than my air-conditioning unit which is blasting right now to help me and my two cats cope with the heat here in Los Angeles. One can woodwork and not disturb the neighbors if you're willing to do a little neandering.
Layne
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hi Have you tried to ask the Annapolis woodworkers guild? they are close to serven. and may know of a shop closer than Rockville.
Len

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Dave,
I'm in a similar situation. I live in New York City in a 750 sq. ft. one bedroom apartment with my wife. First, I would suggest that you look around (this lead about the Annapolis woodworkers guild seems like a great thing to follow up on) for classes or any other resources -- not just for space to work but for what you can learn by working with other people. Check out local community colleges and even high schools for classes or shop space.
As far as working in your apartment, there is a lot you can do with a little space and no power tools. I'm in the process of building a workbench that is collapsable but has all the benefits of a traditional workbench. You can rip, plane, drill and cut dovetails for days.
Of course, you can do everything with hand tools. It's been done for hundreds of years! But power tools can of course save lots of time. My philosophy is to use this time to gain hand tool skills that will serve me well for the rest of my life. I'm sure I'll move at some point and have space for a shop. I'm taking a class at a local art school and so I can use their shop.
In terms of noise, the worst thing is the pounding when you are chopping mortises. I've gotten complaints so I've had to stop doing that. I do that in the art school shop or on a park bench!
Get a good vaccuum cleaner.
I'm going to buy a drill stand from Grizzly that let's you use a regular hand power drill as a small drill press.
Dimensioning-- I'm learning how take rough lumber and give it 6 square sides with hand tools. But sometimes it's nice to have wood already milled. You might try a store called Exotic Lumber, which is in Gaithersberg, MD. I've dealt with them before and they are great. They have great lumber and, for a fee, will mill to whatever dimension you want. http://www.exoticlumberinc.com I've even used cast-off hardwood flooring to make furniture. It's already planed. You can glue up several pieces if you need a different thickness.
My point is, where there's a will, there's a way.
Keep going!
Regards, Mitch

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On 4 May 2004 07:32:58 -0700, mitch snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Mitch from NYC) wrote:
snip

I live on the 3rd floor and stopped chopping mortises before I got complaints. I use a drill press with a forstner bit to remove most of the waste and then square the corners with a chisel.

Ditto that.

Mitch. I'd suggest foregoing this idea and just get a small 10" or 12" bench top DP. The Delta's are nice, especially the variable speed one. You can do more and be more precise with a DP.
Layne
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Have you checked out the Howard county woodworker's guild? http://www.hcwg.org I live in northern Baltimore county, so it's a bit far for me to go, but they seem to have a good shop and have pretty interesting discussions at their meetings. I've emailed a couple of the people and they seem like really nice folks.
--Tom Wojeck

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I see some great suggestions, and I think that the Scott Landis's(SP) book is a must.(G) How about taking a look at an old standby "Hand Tools" and their ways and workings, by Aldren A. Watson, Why? Because he has drawings showing the neatest looking fold down woodworking bench in a closet that I've every seen , never tried it but I sure think it's worth looking at for someone with a lack of space.(G)
GJP
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Hi Dave,
If you happen to one of the following: "active duty, DOD civilians, retired and reservist personnel and their family members", then you might want to check out the woodshop on Ft. Meade.
I was stationed there for 5 years, but was more interested in auto mechanics than woodworking at the time. That being said, if their woodworking shop is outfitted as well as their automotive shop, you will be the envy of most everybody in this NG :)
-Rick
http://ftmeademwr.com/activities/arts/index.htm
David P. Hagan wrote:

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Here is one example of a micro shop:
http://www.shoptours.org/shop_tours/files/jeremy-osner.html

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On 4 May 2004 14:54:53 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@control-tech.com (Charles Erskine) wrote:

That's pretty cool!
Barry
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