Woodworking is a popular pastime for many. The ability to create usable and functional wooden projects is also a useful skill to possess.
A common misconception is that woodworking demands a lot of space, however, this isn’t the case as you can establish a successful setup even if you live in an apartment.
As apartments are smaller, woodworking in this type of environment warrants more caution due to the limited ventilation and transfer of noise and dust to your neighbors.
Below, we have provided you with a guide that covers everything that you need to know about woodworking in an apartment.
Gain permission from the apartment owner or landlord
If you are renting your apartment, it is worth asking the owner/landlord for permission to begin woodworking before you invest in your tools and work on creating your setup.
Should you receive any complaints from your neighbors, you can inform them that you have been granted permission to pursue your hobby in this environment.
Plan your workspace
First, you will need to assess the space you have available and how much of it you want to dedicate to your woodworking setup. If you don’t plan your workspace properly beforehand, it is more likely to become cluttered and difficult to work in.
Focusing on creating smaller projects is recommended if you are working with a tighter space. This is because the equipment that you need to bring your creations to life is going to be less substantial and bulky.
Living rooms, dining areas, and spare bedrooms are areas that are commonly used for woodworking.
It is important to remember that woodworking can lead to an accumulation of dust which can become difficult to clean if it is not properly contained. Setting up your workspace in a ventilated area is also going to reduce the amount of dust that you inhale.
Some machines can also emit an odor that may be a little bit distracting. When considering the best place for your workstation, assess how closely located you are going to be to your neighbors.
Determine what tools and machinery you require
You also need to think about what tools and machines you are going to need. There are some projects that can be made using manual tools and others that will need to be made using a machine.
Whilst some hobbyists may prefer the efficiency of a machine, others may choose to strengthen their skills by crafting their projects by hand.
Avoid rushing into your tool and machinery purchases, especially if you are new to woodworking. Sometimes it can be tempting to invest in every woodworking tool and gadget that the market has to offer, but storing them is not going to be feasible when working with less space.
Start with a small collection of tools that you are likely to use every day. If required, as your skills develop you can then invest in more but starting small means that your workspace isn’t inundated with machines and tools from the get-go.
Soundproof your apartment
Your neighbors aren’t likely to be overly accepting of your hobby if it is going to be noisy. Operating noisy machinery may potentially result in more complaints. As such, we would advise you to take the necessary steps to soundproof your apartment if possible.
Soundproofing panels and insulation boards are two options that are likely to effectively reduce noise levels. Although this will require you to dedicate more time to setting up your workspace, it will result in happier neighbors.
Again, using quieter tools and making smaller projects is recommended if you are worried about annoying the occupants of your neighboring apartments.
Protect yourself and your apartment against the dust
Dust is one of the biggest problems associated with woodworking in an enclosed environment. Not only can it make your apartment messy but it can also affect your health. If possible, you should try and set up your work area near a window. This way, you can keep a window open whilst you work and the circulation of air will prevent the dust from accumulating.
To protect the floors and surfaces inside your apartment, we would advise you to purchase some cloths and plywood. You can use the cloths to cover the furniture surrounding your workstation and some plywood to cover the floor.
Make sure that you have plenty of space to store your tools
Sufficient storage is going to be required for all of your tools and machinery. Whilst some people may choose to keep their woodworking station set up at all times, others may prefer to tidy it away in between uses if they do not have a lot of space available.
If this is the case, you will need to have somewhere to store everything.
Utilize the space on your workbench to organize your tools and resources. Also, it is recommended that you only purchase the materials that you are going to be using. For example, do not bulk buy wood if you aren’t likely to use it with any immediacy.
This is because it is going to take up valuable space. Also, be realistic about the size of the wood that you need. If you enjoy making smaller wood products, you aren’t going to need an overly large piece of wood.
As you can see, living in an apartment doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy woodworking, however, it is going to involve more planning. Select the best location for your workstation, ensuring that you aren't going to disturb your neighbors.
Also, make sure that the area is sufficiently ventilated so that the dust can escape. Furthermore, you should also avoid purchasing lots of tools and materials if you aren’t likely to use them. This is because the extra space can be used for something more useful.
Spend plenty of time planning and putting your workspace together and you can then enjoy working in an area that accommodates your project needs.