By Molly Hammond, StorageUnit.com
In the era of Pinterest, upcycling, and DIY, woodworking is an increasingly popular hobby. Handcrafting furniture and other beautiful wooden pieces gives the woodworker financial and creative control over a finished product, and it’s fun! As with any home improvement hobby, though, it doesn’t take long before woodworking gear can take up a ton of space, and for apartment dwellers without sheds or garages to dedicate to their hobby, it can be a real problem.
What started as a single set of end tables has grown with your talent for woodworking—to the tune of a large workbench complete with clamps, files, routers, and saws (circular, jigsaw, and hand saws), and an entire station for sanding, staining, and finishing. Since it’s just not practical to keep this kind of equipment on hand in a garage full of cars or an apartment, something’s got to be done…and it’s definitely not giving up the workshop.
The Solution: Set Up Shop in a Storage Unit
As long as you find a storage unit with electrical outlets, you can create an entire woodworking studio away from home. Having a space that’s dedicated solely to woodworking ensures that each project gets the space it deserves. Gone are the days of trying to quick dry pieces on balconies or back decks—simply lay down a tarp in your unit and come back when the stain is set! No more pushing saw horses and buckets of shavings to the back of your garage just to get the van inside. You can arrange your space however you like and leave all of your equipment in place until it’s time to work again.
Finding an appropriate storage unit is simple. Take a quick inventory of what you have, and think about what your ideal layout is for your equipment. You can search on StorageUnit.com for a storage facility with a unit that can accommodate your needs. You will probably want to choose a storage facility near your home for convenience. You will want at least a 10×10 or 10×20 unit to have enough room to store supplies and create a work space. Most storage sites will have sizing guides to tell you what unit size will work best, but any employee of a storage facility should be able to help you, too.
As far as amenities go, electrical outlets are a must (sawing and sanding become a lot tougher when everything is done with a hand tool), as well as climate control. Climate-controlled storage is essential for woodworkers not only because it makes the temperature inside the unit comfortable for you while you work, but because wood and some of the products a woodworker might keep can be very vulnerable to heat, cold, and moisture. Climate control will keep your unit between 55–85°F with low humidity, so your materials and supplies will remain safe. If you think you’ll want to work at odd hours of the day or night, you can also look into a unit with 24-hour access, so that you can always work when you want.
Quick Tips for Storing Woodworking Tools
- Be sure to speak to the facility manager about your plans to woodwork inside a unit. They should have no problem with using the space in this way, but it’s always better to make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Climate control is essential for making you comfortable and keeping wood from warping, but that doesn’t mean you should ditch that box fan you’ve always used—a fan is important to keep air circulating and sawdust from settling in undesirable places.
- Keep varnishes, stains, paints, and other similar products sealed tightly.
- Consider shelving for your unit. Some facilities will offer in-unit shelving, but even if yours doesn’t, portable shelves can always be added, and are a great way to keep things organized and off the floor.
- Keep saws and other power tools clean, and be sure to unplug them when not in use.
- Keep drop cloths, a broom, and a dustpan on hand in your unit to keep the floor clean.
By carving out a space specifically for woodworking, you passion can finally have the room it deserves. A storage unit is the perfect place to keep tools, supplies, and projects. When you have a woodshop of your own that doesn’t jeopardize family safety or daily sanity, you will have incredible motivation to express your creativity—we bet you won’t even miss the garage.