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1275gt

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Hello,
First post here after a few months of lurking. So hello everyone. I'm trying to get in to the hobby of woodworking and I feel I'm pretty serious about it scouring the internet and trying to buy decent but used tools and already starting to think about 1st projects and such. However I have one thing holding me back from starting and I need advice. I'm in a terraced house (assume garden is nonexistent). I need a surface/space to work, I've looked into workmates and they're either spoken highly of or not, plus a lot of people on this site use them in a trade setting so not applicable to me. Any advice is welcome. As I'm a beginner I'm going to be starting small with boxes and small practical furniture.

Thanks in advance
 

1275gt

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Thanks for the prompt reply Pete,
Starting off with small boxes, shelves and racks, I would like to eventually make a small chair for my daughter. I am planning to use all hand tools.
 

woodhutt

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There are videos on YouTube that show how to make folding work benches if that's what you need because of space. A workmate is OK and the clamping feature is useful, but you don't want to be crouched over that for hours on end so you really need something you can stand at. I don't have any personal experience of folding benches but perhaps some other members can advise.
I haven't seen a folding bench with a vise but you can work around that using clamps/bench dogs/shooting boards if necessary.
Let's wait and see what ideas other members come up with.
Cheers,
Pete
 

sunnybob

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You really need your own room for woodworking. Not only do the tools (even hand tools) take up a lot of space, but the dust created can be very harmful to anyone in the house who breathes it in. Wear a mask, clean up after every work session. If there are any rug rats about, that warning is vitally important.

And as said, workmates are too low to stand at for any length of time, bad backs last a lifetime, I know :shock:

I grew up in a victorian terrace house, my dad had his "back room" which was full to overflowing of "man things" (he was a very good cabinet maker). Mum never even went in there, let alone try to clean.
 

AndyT

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I started woodworking when I lived in a flat and so have plenty of others. Keep your tools minimal. Only buy a new tool when you need it for a new project.

I made bookshelves - they only needed a saw, a plane, a hand drill, a tape measure, a try square, a pencil, a hammer and some sandpaper. I also made some musical instrument cases including one for a small harp that I was rather proud of - a sort of fat isosceles triangle.

I did use a Workmate, but this was 40 years ago and it was a decent quality two height job. There's some shocking rubbish offered now which would be no use at all.

My tools all fitted in one box. Things are different now!
 

MikeG.

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I started in a flat too. And worked on the floor.

Workmates are really useful things on building sites, but they simply aren't stable enough for woodwork. I tried for years. If I was in your position I would make myself a knock-down bench along these lines.

You say you're going to start with boxes......well, that's jumping in at the deep end! I've been messing with wood for god knows how many decades, and have only made half a dozen boxes, and all in the last few years. They're not easy, but, more importantly, they need planing, and without a solid bench (and a decent vice for use cutting your joints) that's all but impossible.
 

Doug B

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My first workshop after getting married was under the stairs in a terraced house, I made a bench from plywood about 350mm wide running the length of one wall then widening as it went round the sloping end, it had a small vice & I managed for quite a few years under there making a fire place & window for the house amongst other things, admittedly planing was done with the door open & glue up was done in the front room but I managed.

Probably what’s made me such an organised tidy woodworker as I definitely had to clean up between each operation.
 

Sideways

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Read around Japanese toolboxes, workbenches, planing beams and saw horses. You are likely to come across images like the ones below. Maybe they can provide some inspiration. Planes and scrapers leave a nicer finish than sandpaper and make less dust. The dust from a saw could be managed. Clean up as you go along. A low noise vacuum like a Numatic Henry might be good to get early on.
140a490812df82af208116985c951cca.jpg


108japanesetoolbox.jpg


41be7cc91eb3dbd33f6fa7977d77cfcf.jpg
 

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woodhutt

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Like DougB says, you need to be tidy unless you have a dedicated room where you can leave out tools/ projects etc. There's nothing more discouraging to progress (I found in my early days without a shed) than having to clear away everything at the end of the day and then having to haul it back out again the next.
I see you have a small daughter so if you do have a room, however small, that you can use and lock or bolt to prevent little fingers getting in and hurting themselves, that would be good.
Pete
 

thomashenry

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If you stick to handtools, you can do it. Once you start introducing machines, you need more space and a dedicated room.
 

Discobob

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I am just starting to get into joinery (I differentiate joinery and carpentry) as well and this is my first post. We have a garage off the kitchen but it is also used a s storage and usually have to take everything out onto the drive and put it away at night which is a pain. You can also bet that you forget or find you need something else - then it takes 5 times as long as if you was working where your tools are stored.

I am looking to install some french cleat storage in the spaces in the garage for my tools etc.. and replace my workbench area which is currently some offcut worktop from when we had the kitchen done with a chassis of some old drawers underneath with shelves added instead of the drawers. The biggest thing will be to get some dust collection going to at lease minimize the mess when I can get to work in there.

I have just done 5 doors in the house - trimmed to size. hinges routed out, locks and handles fitted. I just need to sand and paint them which I will do in the Garage. I bought some superjaws a month ago which has been a god send as my 2nd set of hands for holding the doors.
 

1275gt

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Thank you all for your valued input. I will have my own room albeit small and I'll be able to keep the little one away. I'm gonna research folding benches and undoubtedly I'll be back again with more inane and simple questions as I'm starting out.
 

AJB Temple

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With hand tools dust is rarely a big deal in a dedicated space. I work clean. I clean up regularly and I never leave tools out at the end of a day. I put everything away and then clean up fully. I have always done this. I have loads of space now but I still do it. Good habit to have. Good luck and max encouragement with your new pastime.
 

woodbloke66

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AJB Temple":2mvalrdv said:
With hand tools dust is rarely a big deal in a dedicated space. I work clean. I clean up regularly and I never leave tools out at the end of a day. I put everything away and then clean up fully. I have always done this. I have loads of space now but I still do it. Good habit to have. Good luck and max encouragement with your new pastime.
Same here. If there's more than half a bucket of shavings on the floor at any time they get hoovered up into the cyclone bin- Rob
 

samhay

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If you have a dedicated space/room, then a folding bench may be a great idea/necessary. A 'knockdown' bench that can be occasionally dismantled may be a better idea as it will be easier to build.
As another woodworker in a small space, I will reiterate the need for order and (relative) cleanliness. A good vacuum cleaner will be very useful in this regard.
 

samhay

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It seems my message was missing a crucial 'not', but nevermind.
How much space do you have in your little room?
 

Sideways

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I'd want to splay out the legs, it looks rather tall / narrow. Unstable for planing. Or have a way to fasten it to a wall. If you "borrow mass" from the building even a small bench can be very solid.
 
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