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Matt's bathroom workshop. Be careful reaching for the soap...
Matt Paldy lives in a small place. His studio apartment on Manhattan’s upper west side measures 14’ by 19’. Within those 266 square feet, though, he’s managed to make room for his hobby.
Last week, Matt sent these photos of his 5’ x 5’ bathroom woodshop, where he makes boxes, serving trays and other small items. As soon as I saw them I knew I had to post them here. Here’s what he says about his set-up:
“I move individual tools, such as the band saw, drill press, Dewalt DW745 tablesaw, and router table in and out of the bathroom as I need them. I made a workbench that straddles the tub. I store the tools against a wall when I’m not using them, and make a sad attempt to cover them with a sheet to make them less of an eyesore.”
He describes the process as “arduous,” but says the extra effort is worth it.
“Woodworking, even in the constraints of the bathroom, gives me an escape from the stress of living in Manhattan. Manhattan is a city that favors disposable items and it’s easy to become disconnected from nature, the earth, wood, and the pleasure and appreciation of making something by hand.”
For a closer look at Matt’s work, check out his website here. He told me he also plans to try selling some of his pieces outside the Museum of Natural History on weekends. If you’re in the city, you might stop by for a look.
When not in use, Matt's tools liven up the front room.
Lumber storage at the front door.
A component of Matt's dust-collection system.
Some samples of Matt's work.
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I started woodworking on a deck on the back of our 1.5 story house in October. Here in western Canada, October nights get quite cold, often bordering on freezing temps. My first project was a primitive cabinet assembled entirely without glue (too cold for glue). My next workshop was a 10 x 10 bedroom in our basement. Here I built a massive entertainment unit from recycled Douglas Fir from a train boxcar floor. It was so large in the small shop that I had to move tools around just to squeeze myself around the project! Ultimately, we moved to a country home where I filled the 2 car garage with my woodworking tools.
I'll never forget moving day when my wife called me at the new house explaining that the movers couldn't get my entertainment unit out of the basement! I rushed back and hauled out my recip saw and cut my masterpiece in two! I almost cried, but I didn't have time to. The mover was charging me a hundred dollars an hour.
I love the determination of a dedicated woodworker!
Beautiful boxes by the way!!
Love it. My bathroom is floor to ceiling with sheleves of hardware and finishes, and I often do sanding & more in there.
Wow, and I thought having to work in half a 2 car garage was cramped!!
Now I have a reason not to remodel the bathroom...
Now THAT's being resourceful!
I can tell you're not married either :-)
I'll never complain about my shop space again. I have just one suggestion, Matt. Just be sure you don't have your sandpaper supply close to the TP roller. Ouch -- not fun!!
Love the bathroom shop!
I'll second the recommendation for Rosenzweig Lumber in the Bronx. And I've had several folks building projects in my shop with lumber from ML Condon--they were very happy with waht they found up there.
By the way, if you are a woodworking enthusiast in NYC, short on space (who isn't?), and are looking for a place to learn and build stuff, check out Makeville Studio in Brooklyn (www.makeville.com).
I feel ashamed. I'll never complain about working in a two car garage again.
Matt's shop is a riot. Only a true lover of woodworking (like me) would understand why anyone would do that. But then I looked at the picture of the boxes! Enviable work! I hope you'll be able to progress onto a bigger bathroon soon!
Matt: I can relate. I lived for years in a Manhattan apartment and had an very understanding wife who put up with the noise and the dust. I did, however, develope good hand tool skills because they didn't bother my neighbors. Now I live in a house (Bronx) and have a "real" shop in the basement. My challenge is that is long but very narrow -- barely 10' wide. Sort of like the guy whose shop is in the RV! :-)
Two places that I know. M.L. Condon in White Plains, where I shop and Rosensweig in the Bronx. I'm in Riverdale, which is more convenient to White Plains, believe it or not. I have not been to the latter, but am told it is great. Both charge for delivery unless you have a way to go get it. Happy hunting.
I'm new to the city and I'm trying to find a location for good quality hardwood. I'm looking to build some large furniture pieces. Any suggestions?
The low-down on prefinishing parts, and the perfect finish for tools and drawer runners.
Grids and cutouts define a practical piece
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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