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I'm Jeff, 61, and I'm addicted to sawdust. :cool: and have no desire to cure it. I started woodworking about 7 years ago. I am doing this on an extremely tight budget. I live in a second-floor one-bedroom apartment. Instead of a living room, I have my "workshop." 2 filing cabinets, and a door for the top. A folding table is used for assembly work. I built a coffee table, and tables, a kitchenette table and chair, and a platform bed for my apartment, mostly from what used to be inexpensive dimensional lumber. I've done some bookshelves and other pieces. I am now working on learning how to engrave signs with my compact router.

My choice of lumber has been dependant on the location of my workshop. I can't make too much noise, especially in the evenings. I do a lot of hand sawing with a Japanese backsaw. I have a miter saw, but to use it I have to haul a folding table, wood, tools, and the saw downstairs. Make my cuts, and haul it upstairs again. It's easier to use a miter box and a hand saw.

I envy those guys who have a $1K workshop and tools. I've been told that without a jointer, table saw, planer, and dust control system, woodworking can't be done. Well, I am here to prove people wrong. I find great satisfaction in completing a project using nothing but hand tools (save the drill for holes and screws). I hope to learn from the more experienced people on this board and to share any tidbits I've learned.

Jeff
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Welcome to the forum, Jeff! I admire your determination and willingness to accomplish the task with whatever tools you have available. We do like photos so show us some of these projects when you're ready.
 

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G'day, Jeff. Welcome to the forum..
 

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Jeff, I can identify with your addiction. When first married I built a cedar chest in our one bedroom apartment. Another area I lived in I had a neighbour from South Africa. He built tons of stuff with hand tools only. Talk about dedication. Of course, it was a house he lived in which gave him room to work. He made a complete chesterfield suite with hand tools. He and his wife upholstered it.
 

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Your situation is a lot like mine. Barely enough room for a smash TS, A drillpress and a small bandsaw. Oh, yes and a HT's thickness planer. I only use them to rough out the lumber. All else I'd done by using hand. Non powered hand starting 3 years ago . I have all this in a 8x12 shop I built.
Don't let you ever be told you can't do something until you try it.
 

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Hi Jeff, you still here? I know your situation. Years of living in apartments, and at best having a circular saw and sometimes a porch or small patio. We finally bought a house when I turned 58, and it makes a hell of a difference. My income turn upwards and I was finally able to buy a shop full of tools and have a 12x24 shed built for my shop. All wired and insulated now, but pretty bare bones at first. Had a 100 ft. #12 gauge extension cord at first, but my wife surprised me with an electrician who ran a 60 amp sub panel out to the shop. But I still tend to do mostly fairly simple home improvement projects, with the occasional fine piece.

You're doing just fine if you ask me. Lots of purists out there doing hand tools only. One thing that you might consider is getting a couple of good quality hand planes, setting and tuning them up carefullly and using them in place of a jointer. I have a loooong #6 that will do a great job giving you a flat edge or even surface so you can use some of the really nice hardwoods.

Like you, I love using the Japanese saw. So precise, and such a clean cut. Hope to see more of you around here. We'd love to help out any way we can.

Finally, after all those years paying rent, I finally did a little calculation and realized that if I didn't go nuts and buy too expensive a house, it was about the same cost as rent, and after a couple of years of watching rents go up while your house payment stays the same, having a house gave me lots more freedom. My best.
 
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