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Tiny workshop: Tips for woodworking in a small space

May 31, 2018

Don't let excuses prevent you from becoming the DIYer you've always wanted to be.

We all have aspirations, but too often we let excuses prevent us from pursuing our interests. I'd love to learn how to cook, but I don't have the time. I wish I could grow my own vegetables, but I don't have a green thumb. I want to learn woodworking, but I don't have the space. Don't let excuses prevent you from becoming the DIYer you've always wanted to be. All you need is dedication, planning, and adaptability to turn any small space, even a 600-square-foot apartment, into a woodworking workshop.

According to Stuart Deutsch for Popular Mechanics: "One of the most common reasons people shy away from woodworking is that they think they need a huge garage or workspace. But you can successfully set up a small hobbyist woodworking shop in any space, even in an apartment. A compact wood shop just takes a little planning and preparation.

First, as most eager but hesitant potential hobbyists realize, you have to be much more thoughtful about tool selection. A 14-inch band saw? In your dreams. In a small space, you're going to have to rely on bench-top or handheld tools."

According to Eric Limer for Popular Mechanics: "The problem with apartment woodworking isn't so much a lack of space as it is the lack of dedicated space. Given the choice between setting up shop in my smallish kitchen or a workshop half the size, I'd choose the latter every time. It's not particularly annoying to deal with a lack of elbow room since I already do that constantly. What's far worse is the way a temporary workspace mars the joy of progress.

I cringe with regret imagining that I'd gotten into this hobby when I was younger and could have built projects in the family garage and my father's workbench in the basement, each of which is roughly the size of my entire apartment. I'd kill to have either now, not to mention a Lowe's down the road and a car to drive there. A few years down the line, maybe I'll have a house of my own, and with any luck, an actual workshop. I'll even settle for a tiny yard, a minuscule shed, or just a second bedroom."

To learn more, read "How to Start Woodworking in a Basement or Apartment" and "The Joy and Agony of Woodworking in a Tiny Apartment" from Popular Mechanics.

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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