Woodworking in apartments – more tools

Last time I wrote about tools for woodworking in apartment environment was about 10 months ago. Since then I have managed to add quite some tools, so I’ll give an update here.

The general thought was to limit noise but to not significantly decrease the efficiency that comes with power tools. So I ended up getting a corded circular saw by Ryobi. I wasn’t prepared for that noise when I first pulled that trigger, but MAN it’s loud. Immediately I was looking for foam earbuds. I bought that tool for one reason only: quick, STRAIGHT cuts. I needed to cut some 2×4 for a ski waxing jig, and I need some square cuts. While it is a good chance to practice handsaw, I decided that couple seconds of loud noise in the middle of the day shouldn’t cause neighborhood trouble, and I’ll admit it, I don’t do well with handsaws.

Another big power tool I got is a drill press. I say “big” because it’s sizable on my workbench, but still, it’s a cheap-o-freight 5-speed 8-inch press. This is another thing about woodworking in apartment: you don’t have space for them fancy 20-in floor-standing, digital speed-changing drill presses. As long as it drills fairly straight I’m fine with it. I’m not making big pieces anyways. I used it to open some slots for the waxing jig. I could have gotten away with hand drill and jigsaw, but drill press and chisel makes me feel I’m progressing. Whether that’s true or not is another question…:)

Power tool #3 I picked up recently is a plunge router with a table from BlueHawk(read:Lowe’s). This is the one time I bought a tool that I don’t know where to use it yet. The reason? It is on an insane sale for some reason, and the price is…wait for it…$17.50. Yep. For less than $20 you get a fairly powerful plunge router AND A TABLE WITH SPLIT FENCE! I’m fairly certain this is a price error, but hey, you make mistake you take the consequences. I haven’t got a chance to use it yet, but I have some projects I have in mind.

I also got a backsaw from HD for those times I don’t need to break out the noise maker, or I need a finer cut. It worked relatively well for cutting rabbets given that I don’t even have a vise. Speaking of vise, that will be my next purchase. Thinking about those leg-vise-like woodworking vise by Irwin might be it…

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