If you’re a fan of woodworking and other DIY projects, moving into a small apartment might seem like the end of the world.
When you live in a house, there’s often room in your basement, garage, or shed to set up a workstation where you can keep your tools and whatever projects you’re working on.
Living in a cramped apartment doesn’t provide you with this space.
Don’t give up on your hobbies though! There are ways to make woodworking in an apartment work.
It might not be as convenient as a basement workstation, but with a few tips and tricks, you’ll be breaking out your sketch pad to plan your next project.
Carefully select your tools
You need to be realistic about what types of tools you can keep available in your apartment.
Gone are your days of large table saws, drill presses, and sawhorses.
Instead, you’re going to need to learn how to rely on using only hand tools and smaller power tools.
A drill press is one tool that provides a few alternatives for home use because of how many accessories and bits it comes with.
Using smaller tools does take more time and precision than using larger tools.
With enough practice, however, you can produce pieces with hand tools that look just as nice as what you would produce with large tools.
Don’t mill your own lumber
Most woodworkers purchase large pieces of lumber and then cut them down into appropriately sized pieces.
Unfortunately, when you live in an apartment, you won’t have this luxury.
Instead, you’ll need to carefully measure out what size pieces you need, then purchase the lumber at that size.
Most home improvement stores will cut lumber for you at no additional charge.
Have them cut it as close to the size you need it to be, then make small adjustments at home.
If you need to cut your own lumber, do it outside your apartment.
Pick small projects
The size of your apartment is going to limit the projects you can work on.
Instead of crafting bookcases, you may need to stick to smaller projects, such as benches and wall shelves.
Crafting smaller projects can be just as fulfilling as crafting larger projects.
You may also have to be mindful of how many projects you have going at a time.
You won’t have the space to spread multiple projects out, so instead, focus on only one project at a time.
Focusing on only one project at a time gives you time to perfect your skills.
Work near a sink or tub
It’s unavoidable. Woodworking is going to create sawdust.
To help prevent this dust from getting all over your apartment, consider doing your sanding and drilling in your sink or tub.
This will help contain the dust. It also makes for easy cleanup.
Just be mindful that you don’t wash large chunks of dust down your drains because this will eventually cause your pipes to clog.
Instead, wipe visible dust with a rag and throw it away. You can then wash the finer particles down the sink.
Clean your messes
When you have a dedicated work area, you’re able to leave your projects as-is and worry about cleaning up messes later.
However, when you’re in an apartment, you’ll want to clean up your messes immediately.
Chances are, you’re going to be doing your woodworking in the kitchen or bathroom.
You won’t want to leave tools lying on your counters or chunks of wood on the floor because it will interfere with the rest of your daily life.
As soon as you’re done working for the day, get in the habit of putting everything away, vacuuming, and dusting.
Think things through
You’re going to need to be mindful of the fact that you have neighbors that are on the outside of the wall.
Woodworking is noisy and you don’t want to disturb your neighbors while they’re trying to sleep.
Plan your projects carefully so that you’re completing noisy tasks during the day or the weekend.
Quiet tasks, such as painting or staining, can take place during the evenings.
A little bit of consideration for your neighbors will go a long way.
Woodworking in an apartment isn’t as easy as woodworking in a basement or garage.
However, it is certainly possible!
If you’re serious about your hobby and want to continue working on DIY projects, you’ll find a way to make your small apartment work.
Just be mindful not to disturb your new neighbors.