More woodworking in the condo

February 7, 2016: Happy Superbowl Sunday!

I’m up at 6AM with my coffee on Bruce’s beautiful iMac doing some research on a table project I’m planning to do for my mother Xenia. And I come across these woodworking HowCast videos that shows you how to use different tools in a woodshop. The excellent Robyn Mierzwa shows you how to use huge and intimidating wood working power tools and equipment with very simple, clear and detailed explanations.

I’ve been watching the entire playlist in fascination. If only I had a woodshop. If only I had a garage, or a basement, or a backyard. I don’t have any of those things living in a high-rise condo building.

Then she shows this terrific video on hand-planing. Instead of getting a humongous Dewalt planer that takes up half a room and is as noisy as a jackhammer, I can invest in one of these beauties and quietly hand plane my wood to get that smooth, glassy finish.


My favorite point Robyn made about the hand-held smoothing plane: Once you get the hang of these, you can throw your sandpaper out. YES!!!

Hmmm….more woodworking in the condo. No noise. No sanding dust (if using a manual planer…plenty dust in store with the power planers).

This got me wishing, and hoping, and dreaming and praying. Maybe, just maybe, with the right tools this condo might become my ultimate woodworking shop.


Here I am in Tim’s garage sanding away at my wood (July 4, 2015), praying that I get no swirls in the process. Dusty and noisy (should be wearing ear protection). I would love to do more of this work at home to demonstrate that a condo can be used a a maker workshop.

I’ve done a number of projects that called for light sanding and assembling wood in the condo. Here’s an example of when I assembled the bench for my pipe hall tree in the condo (August 17, 2015).


I screwed the Kreg jig pocket holes at Tim, but joined the wood using the pocket screws in the condo because I didn’t want to haul an assembled bench from Tim’s to home (and negotiate getting it up 7 floors in the process).

So this is a goal that I’m serious about. I’m going to get the condo woodshop setup figured out (at least for the smaller projects).

So, while dreaming of my workshop, here are some of my wishlist items:

Hand Woodworking Tools

  • Panel saws
  • Wood working smooth plane (Like the one above).
  • Back saw. (And a really good sharpener so I can slice through wood like butter.)
  • Bench chisel.

Power Woodworking Tools

  • Circular saw. (Can it be QUIET? No? Okay.)
  • Miter saw. (One small enough to hide away in the pantry).
  • Finisher nail gun. (As a companion to my Ryobi Brad nail gun).

And, of course, the time to learn how to use them all and to make some really cool woodworking projects! V-


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