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Doing basic woodworking in the kitchen of your flat?

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les24preludes

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Hi there - I live in a flat in Kensington where I have a small room I use for making DIY amplifiers. This has a small bench and a variety of tools, but isn't suitable for woodwork and sawdust. I do that with hand tools in the kitchen. Right now I need to cut a dozen or so pieces of hardwood up into panels 300x95x20mm and the sand to a "decent" finish (not ultra-smooth). Ideally I'd prefer to find a fellow woodworker in West London area with a workshop, so please PM me if you could help. Otherwise wondering what tools to use for finishing after hand sawing - some kind of mechanical sander or plane? I have decent carpentry skills and can work materials.
 

ED65

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If you only need to smooth off and you can scrape rather than sand you won't make much dust. But that said a power sander with good dust extraction can generate surprisingly little free dust.

Two big differences between the operations worth mentioning: cost and noise!
 

les24preludes

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Yes - planing was what I was thinking - an electronic sander with no dust extraction would be a real mess. I'll have to see how that goes on the ends against the grain - presumably very little blade exposure and take your time.
 

Ttrees

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Depending how fine you want this to go
make up a quick shooting board if you don't have a vice.
It sounds like you will need some workarounds for a few situations ...
Have you got a plane, and a way to sharpen it?
An old Record or Stanley no.5 1/2, or no.5 plane is the first thing I would get if I were you.
Have a way to sharpen it, this doesn't have to be expensive
Buy some cheap f-clamps in a poundshop for about 2 or 3 quid each.
A square if you don't have one and a good light source.
I like the arms length angle poise lights best.

Is there any car boot sales or markets nearby where you are?
Planes, marking out equipment like squares, sliding bevels chisels, oilstones
vices, ripsaws, what you need if you're going cutting the plank into boards long grain, crosscut saws, chisels
You can get some nice stuff new also
In homebase they sell large 36" stainless steel rulers for under a tenner, and some lesser sizes
Very handy!

And recently started selling wee 6" Lufkin stainless rulers for 2 pounds, they're really stout
and look good for jigs and things, I bought quite a few of them.
These long rulers are a real bargain for what your getting, especially since nearly everything else in there is an absolute ripoff.

Tom
 

El Barto

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les24preludes":zh8et0u2 said:
Yes - planing was what I was thinking - an electronic sander with no dust extraction would be a real mess. I'll have to see how that goes on the ends against the grain - presumably very little blade exposure and take your time.
A sharp iron will help, as will chamfering the edges slightly to avoid spelching (tearing out fibres running perpendicular).
 

samhay

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If the boards are not rough sawn, a cabinet scraper would be useful as it will not make much dust if sharpened properly. Also easier to use on small pieces, where a plane can get awkward.
 

les24preludes

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I have just about all the tools mentioned - I'm well stocked. My small workshop has a vice as well, which I use for metalwork. It's the sawdust I'm trying to avoid as much as possible. In the kitchen I tend to put the work on a chair and put my foot on it. Caveman, I know, but works for hand sawing.

It's the spelching I'm trying to avoid, as you say. The end-grain. I think I have a cabinet scraper somewhere - I certainly have a large and small plane. I also have a tool like a plane with lots of small teeth - forgotten its name. I do sandpaper the end grain in the kitchen - it's just a bit laborious with 12 pieces and doing both ends, then brushing up the sawdust. I need to have another look at my stock of tools.

Maybe an electric rotary plane would be a useful addition to my tools? They start around £50
 

El Barto

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Easing the edges with a plane or chisel should take care of any spelching (provided you're not taking too deep a cut or being too aggressive).

Another method might be to work from the outside edges inwards. This avoids the risk of spelching altogether though it can make it trickier and also take longer to get a square and flat end - you'll often be left with a slight crown in the middle.
 

Osvaldd

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you want to avoid electric powered stuff if dust, noise and space is an issue.
I'm a European woodworking traditionalist but take a look at this Jap chap, sitting on the floor, planing, sawing, chiselling in a small room all without a workbench. Maybe it’ll give you some ideas.

https://youtu.be/L_MiykC0V2g
 

custard

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Of all the power tool manufacturers Festool has gone furthest in reducing dust. Their vision is that a tradesman can work in a customer's house but leave it virtually dust free.

https://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/sto ... %20I%20Get?

A Festool sander plugged into a Festool vac might not be a cheap solution, but it's an incredibly effective one!
 

AJB Temple

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I agree. I sanded a kitchen table in my temporary kitchen in situ with a Mirka ROS and a cheap Lidl extractor, and there was no dust to clear up. I am sure Festool is similar. Neither are remotely cheap.
 

ED65

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les24preludes":3s1iw8ab said:
Yes - planing was what I was thinking - an electronic sander with no dust extraction would be a real mess. I'll have to see how that goes on the ends against the grain - presumably very little blade exposure and take your time.
I was going to suggest the need for a plane if you have to remove much material, although scraping can do a lot if the scraper is prepared well. But it's probably not realistic to think you can use a plane for final smoothing. This may surprise you but there are many experienced woodworkers, including some pros, who don't routinely finish-plane their surfaces.

Then there's the issue of sharpening, for working end grain in particular. If you don't already know how you have to learn to sharpen to quite a high standard before you can even begin to think about planing end grain successfully as it's a bit of an acid test of sharpness.

les24preludes":3s1iw8ab said:
Maybe an electric rotary plane would be a useful addition to my tools? They start around £50
No, they're mostly for coarse shaping. Think site work rather than fine woodworking.
 

sunnybob

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From an environmental health aspect, A kitchen is the last place in the world to make sawdust. For every mote of dust you can see, theres a couple thousand so fine that you cant see them and they will float around the room for HOURS. Sweeping will just make the air currents hold them up even longer.

I can guarantee that you and your family are eating sawdust.

On the other matter, avoid power planes like the plague. They remove huge quantities of wood at speeds you cant control (yes, I have one, no, I no longer use it) and sad to say, hand planes also still produce fine dust.
 

Deadeye

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les24preludes":ifs7wist said:
Hi there - I live in a flat in Kensington
Longer term solution. Sell flat in Kensington; buy 6 bed manor with workshop and servants in Wales.

:wink:
 

AndyT

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In my experience, the best answer for efficient dust free sanding is a Mirka abranet abrasive mesh sheet on one of their hand sanding pads. The mesh allows plenty of air flow so doesn't clog. So it's quick to use.
You connect it to a vacuum cleaner - a nice quiet Henry would be ideal.
 

woodbloke66

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If you want to work in confined spaces within the home then Vic Tesolin's little tome is a really excellent place to start - Rob
 

les24preludes

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Spookily enough I was brought up in a large house in Wales with a workshop before moving to London.....
 
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