<edit> Sorry for the long post! So much to say/ask, so little time... </edit>
I've been lurking for a while, so first things first: great forum, I've read so much cool stuff on here
I've scoured the search feature of this forum trying to find information that might help me out, and I've seen a lot of comments hinting about truly tiny apartment workshops, but have had a lot of difficulty finding thread about them, so I turn my questions over to the knowledgeable folks here
First, my situation:
I live in Finland, where winters are cold and snowy. I'm a relative newcomer to the hobby. I'm not really interested (yet, at least!) in building big things - I'd like to build boxes, small tools, and the odd electric guitar or two. I'm also not interested in power tools at all - I have a natural aversion to vibration, noise, and dust, and an unnatural attraction to planes, chisels, saws, and drill braces I'm definitely a Neanderthal. I am purchasing a flat on the 8th floor of a building, and moving in soon - its a pretty typical smallish flat here, about 60 sq m with one bedroom, lots of closet space, and an unheated balcony with sliding glass panels enclosing it.
Up until now I've been using a Workmate clone on my rental apartment's balcony during the summer months to do a few things here or there, but I really want a more solid, more conventional bench, in a workspace somewhere inside so I can use it all year round.
So far I've seen/thought up a few possibilities:
- Build a more permanent bench to stay on the balcony, and buy a power-chewing heater to allow me to use the balcony during the depths of winter
- Build a small knockdown bench to drag out every now and again, hoping theres enough free space that I can requesition without upsetting the better half
- Permanently dedicate a corner somewhere to my habit, possibly walling it off with wardrobes or something to kind of subdivide the room
- Build a super-compact bench that can be disguised as a piece of furniture, to live in a corner and be unfolded every now and again as a semi-permanent work area
- Build a workshop-in-a-closet? (I guess this is similar to the above, really)
I guess the main problems are:
- Size. Whatever it is, it needs to be compact and efficient, and might need to be usable with access to only one or maybe two sides of the bench.
- Shavings. How to contain them?
- Eyesore. How to make it significant other-/snobby visitor-proof? Certainly, a bedroom shop is unlikely to please she-who-must-be-obeyed.
I've got and read through both Schwarz and Landis and there are some nice seeds of ideas in there, and I've heard tantalizing hints on this forum, but I'm yet to see any fully realized solutions to the problem of woodworking in a small apartment. I realize this is a very tough problem, but has anyone got any thoughts, tips, advice, or better yet - links or first hand experience about such tiny workshops?
Put it this way: imagine you were stripped of your garages and spare rooms, transplanted to a tiny flat in Europe or Japan, and had to find a less than ideal solution to get your woodworking fix - what would YOU do?