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Small Shop - Halfathumb - 07-07-2024

Last year I sold almost everything and now I'm having sellers remorse. We moved to an adult apartment complex. I only have an oversized garage that I have to share with my car. I'm open for suggestions as to what I can make with limited space and downsized tools. I my love was making furniture but that's not very realistic now.

I now live in Overland Park, Ks. Any groupies in the KC area?

Thanks for any suggestions.


RE: Small Shop - Gary G™ - 07-07-2024

One of my work spaces is a one-car garage.
We don’t put the car in.
I use pegboard, narrow shelves along a wall, and have almost all the tools on locking casters.
There’s a lot you can build in such a small space.

Edit, FWIW:

If you look at this post…
you can see some pics of the garage space I’m using.
There have been some changes since I posted but the basics are mostly the same.

RE: Small Shop - Bill Wilson - 07-07-2024

I've known some pretty good scrollers who set their scroll saw up on the dining room table, or in the laundry room or a spare bed room.

RE: Small Shop - GaryMc - 07-07-2024

(07-07-2024, 08:51 AM)Gary G™ Wrote: Jim
One of my work spaces is a one-car garage.

Ditto here for the first 30 years.  Bought smallish Craftsman machines (TS, BS, planer) on casters which could be pushed to the rear enough to get the (smallish) car in at night.  Real pleasure to now have a basement shop with lots of room (read that as bigger tools
Smirk) and cool (temp outside 93F right now, 71 in shop).

RE: Small Shop - Admiral - 07-07-2024

Think handtools and a blended shop. A 6 foot handtool bench with vices and dog holes for holddowns is a tool, and it works wonders. Likely like me, you are too darn old to S4S by hand, but you can face joint with a #5 and #7 bench plane good enough to use a Dewalt 735 planer to prepare stock, the #7 will joint your edges, so you save floor space by eliminating a jointer. You can do without a TS, and instead get a bandsaw on a mobile base for ripping and resawing, that is worth the floor space and on wheels you can tuck it away. Low noise too. You can do a lot with a benchtop drill press and mortiser. Invest in handsaws and joinery saws and learn how to use and sharpen them, and build a shooting board to square your cuts and bench hooks to hold the work while sawing. Smoothing planes and scrapers make surfaces nice and smooth, you don't need a lot of sanders. A #78 for rabbets, and dados can be made with a backsaw, chisels and a router plane. Sure, takes time, but that's what you've got, eh? Many ways to skin the woodworking cat . . . . . and you'll be amazed at what you can do.

RE: Small Shop - cpolubin - 07-07-2024

Cars are built to be outside. Table saw's aren't. Put a remote start in the car and it's almost like parking inside. For years I worked out of a one car garage with a cabinet saw, 6" jointer, Dewalt 735 on a stand, Shop Fox dust collector and a workbench (only 6' long but it worked). It was cramped but I could still build stuff. Only time I absolutely didn't have enough room was when I was building a 44" square altar for church. Built it in my shop and assembled it in my fiance's garage.

If you absolutely have to put the car in the garage put all your tools on mobile bases. Shove them against the wall when you're not working and park the car outside and pull them out when you are.

Get your imagination going and you'll probably work something out.


RE: Small Shop - tomsteve - 07-07-2024

(07-07-2024, 09:21 AM)Bill Wilson Wrote: I've known some pretty good scrollers who set their scroll saw up on the dining room table, or in the laundry room or a spare bed room.

scrollsaw work was my first thought,too.

RE: Small Shop - shoottmx - 07-08-2024

Hi Jim!
Turning doesn't take a lot of space nor does it have to absorb a lot of money. Use lathe, tools and a BS. The true advantage to a lathe is you can turn out (pun intended) small "gifty" items quickly with minimal square footage needed.

Another thought is band saw boxes. Lot of fun, not incredibly tool intensive, relatively fast to make.

Good luck with whatever you do. Stay active. Helps keep the demons at bay.


RE: Small Shop - Bill Holt - 07-08-2024

Jim, I too enjoy designing and building furniture, but those opportunities don't come along very often.  At 79, I spend 5 to 6 hours a day, six days a week in the shop, building, on the lathe, or "tinkering".  Like someone else said, cars will survive outside. Not sure how long I would survive without woodworking.

RE: Small Shop - Halfathumb - 07-08-2024

Thanks everyone for your ideas.
The neighborhood rules require the car to be garaged.
Of course smaller and mobile tools are a must. In 1987 I started woodworking in a 1 car garage. Made a rolltop desk with a 6" TS, radial arm saw and hand tools, so I wasn't always spoiled.