With the changes that are happening around social distancing and with people spending more time at home, available space in the home is sure to be valuable commodity. For those with new found spare time and a spare room, maybe it is time to take up that hobby that has been waiting for you.
Woodworking as a hobby typically requires a generous amount of space, for machines, wood storage, and projects that are under way. But does it need to be this way?
Lets find out.
The list below shows a few woodworking hobbies that could fit into a spare room in the home, but each one has details to consider and we talk about these as we go through each one in more detail down further.
- Wood Carving.
- Scroll sawing
- Wood puzzle making.
- Wooden jewelry making
- Wood doll house making
- Mini wood lathes
Each of the hobbies above can be done indoors if space is available and can be very fulfilling and satisfying. Some folk will have a spare spot in the garage and can set up there, but for those who have a spare room and a full garage, let’s see if we can help you out a little.
This is a wonderful hobby that can be very quiet for some methods and this suits a hobby room that is inside the house. The space required can be as small as a single chair and a space for the shavings to fall. This is the whittling side of carving and is a simple start to a great pastime.
The tools needed are simple and easily obtained through several outlets like Amazon, Lowes, Rockler, and many others.
Wood for carving can be sourced through Amazon with a search of “wood carving wood” and basswood is a great carving species that is easy on tools, and carves well.
This hobby will generate chips and this will need to be considered. A protective floor mat may be the solution to the mess that can be made and could be rolled up with the chips and taken out and shaken into the garden or trash.
The best thing about wood carving in a dedicated hobby room is there is no dust made if you don’t sand anything. For those who are worried about dust we go into ways to combat dust down further.
Wood carving can also be done on a table or simple workbench.
If the project requires an extra set of hands there are clamps available that fit to the table without drilling anything and allow the wood to be held while you carve away.
These clamping systems can really open up the potential for the indoor hobby room.
Once you have both hands free the range of carving techniques expands greatly and is sure to increase the satisfaction as you learn and master new styles as you go.
The collection of carving tools will be sure to start growing and soon you will be facing growing pains in the hobby room.
Power carving with dremels and similar rotary tools.
This is starting to generate a little noise so this one will depend on your personal situation with the location and size of your hobby room. This method of carving also makes dust so it could be that this style of wood carving is best left to those who are obsessed with power carving and will take the time and effort to make a zone where the dust can be controlled.
It can be done, but will depend on how serious you wish to be. Air purifiers could be used if the unit can cope with the dust. The carving would need to be done with the filter near it to capture the dust as the air gets drawn into the machine.
That covers wood carving somewhat but it is not a definitive treaty on all aspects. As with all of the hobbies mentioned in this article, there are many far too many variables that can affect each individual’s situation that the basic themes are only presented for your consideration.
Pyrography, or wood burning as some call it.
This is a fun hobby that can become very captivating. It is also a little challenging for the hobby room because it generates smoke but don’t let this dissuade you from considering the craft because it can be very satisfying.
Pyrography is an old technique that has been brought into the present with the manufacturing of electronic burning kits. These plug into your wall power and heat up metal tips that are made in many different shapes and sizes. The power can be adjusted to help control the darkness of the burn and the speed of the burn.
The primary issue with these pyrography kits is the smoke, and as luck would have it, there are filters available that will control the smoke so you can burn away happily in the hobby room and not have smoke alarms and the fire dept busting down your door. Search for “Pyrography Activated Carbon Filter Fan” and you will have your solution.
The world of wood burning will be sure to inspire you to create masterpieces that can be proudly displayed throughout your home and can be gifts as well. The same clamp that was mentioned in the wood carving section above could be used to free up hands if this is helpful.
There is a little dust generated as you wipe away the scorch marks and soot from your work so protective floor mats might be considered.
A good work lamp might also be needed if fine detailed work is planned and for this style there are great magnification lamps that will serve two purposes if you wish to get serious. They have either a round array of led lights or a single circular tube and these lamps come in different magnification strengths for the close up work.
Search for ‘Hobby magnification lamp”.
Different woods create different smells in the smoke and some of these can cause irritation to eyes and nose so if you are considering taking up wood burning in your hobby room it is strongly recommended to get at least one of the carbon filters we mentioned above.
These units will help cancel out the smells and soots that could stick to your walls and curtains and they could smell like smoke for years if you don’t take care. Having said all of that, pyrography is a wonderful hobby that will keep you occupied for hours.
It is worth doing your research on the different brands of burning units as there are several out there. We have had good results with the Razortip brand but some pens (the burning tip holder thing) have had troubles with the finger grips coming loose over time and letting the fingers get hot.
A good look through youtube will show plenty of great content on how to use these great tools and there is no doubt that wood burning qualifies for the hobby room.
This is one of the hobbies that will need some thought before committing because it can be a little noisy and dust is generated. It is also very entertaining as there are so many ideas and materials to try that with a bit of creative effort the noise and dust can be contained and managed and they won’t be a hindrance at all.
Scroll saws come in a variant of qualities and configurations. They range from entry-level machines to high quality versions with a multitude of models in between.
The major difference to note here is the type of blades they use, as there are pinned and pinless blades. The pinned blades are heavier blades and are great for rougher cuts in thicker wood and the pinless blades can be very fine to heavy.
The price of the scroll saw is the telling factor with the quality of the machine. Get the best you can afford.
Scroll saws can vibrate when being operated and the image above shows one on a stand that with rubber pads beneath the legs should go some way to stopping the movement.
These machines will all benefit with a solid base of some description with some mass to it. The vibrations are something that you will have to deal with, as it is the saw blade oscillation that is the cause of it.
It isn’t something wrong with the saw, it’s how the work. A bad case of this will suck the enjoyment from the hobby if you let it so make plans to find a cure before you commit to buying one.
It may seem extreme but a slab of granite under the scroll saw base works wonders, but they come with weight challenges and that transfers the concerns to the table or bench strength.
The thing to understand here is that the hobby is worth the effort to be involved in, the setup challenges will be overcome, and the understanding that you gained by beating the problems will help form a great platform to enjoy your saw for years to come.
Scroll saws can fit into the hobby room category, with challenges.
Wood puzzle making.
This is a side hobby that can be a part of scroll saws. As you research uses for each tool or light machine that can be used in your hobby room, you will discover other uses that your machine is capable of doing. This is a great outcome because it means that you can easily expand your hobby horizons with very little expense and this is the reason this section is in this article.
Each machine will have several different hobbies it can be used for.
The noise is already taken care of as well as the dust so there is nothing stopping you from growing the ideas list.
This is on the same list as wood puzzles.
image plan from intarsia.com
The scroll saw is such a useful tool that you will be amazed with what can be done with it.
With as little as a blade swap you can go from rough cutting some wood strips to length, to creating very fine cuts that fit together to make artistic forms that can be framed and hung on a wall.
It really is worth the trouble to beat the vibration issues they can have.
Wooden jewelry making.
The hobby room can be used for wood based crafts as well as the above hobbies. Jewelry making is one of these and natural wooden earrings and pendants can be fun to make and easy to wear.
To make jewelry you will need something to cut wood and something to drill holes for the jump rings and such.
The hobby industry has all of these things figured out already for you. Proxxon make a range of tools that are tiny but seriously useful for things like jewelry making and they make a drill press that is cute. This is exactly the kind of tool that is required for drilling holes in wood for earrings and pendants.
Cutting the wood into shape can be done with a fine handsaw like a coping saw. There is a slight amount of dust and the noise levels are low. Space required is minimal. To scale it up you can use a scroll saw to cut lots if you want to make jewelry for friends and family.
Go for it, this hobby ticks every box.
Wood doll house making.
This is a great way to use the hobby room if this pastime interests you. Bear in mind that several of the tools we have mentioned above will likely be needed to undertake this hobby.
It is basically building in a micro scale. Much of the process of making wood doll houses will be fairly quiet and the dust can be controlled.
There will be some sanding and painting so protective floor coverings will be needed when paint is being used.
There is a lot of time that can disappear into a project in this hobby so having the ability to close the door and leave it all spread out on the table top or bench is a big plus and…it is something for all year round as well.
When the weather turns sour, there is no better time than then to hide yourself away for a few hours and do a bit more on that wonderful project.
Wood doll house making fits the hobby room perfectly.
Mini wood lathes.
This is a funny one because the size of the mini lathe is never big enough and the hobby wood turner will quickly start to look over the fence at larger lathes. Expect thoughts like this to pop into your head; a midi lathe can do what the mini lathe can do but the midi can also do this.
If all you want is the mini lathe then this will fit the hobby room ok, but expect some dust and chips as the wood gets shaped and turned. Floor coverings will be desired and dust control will be a challenge. Wood turning with a mini lathe is on the maybe list for us. It will really depend on each individual situation.
There are certainly other hobbies that could fit into the hobby room and you can add them if you wish. The main criteria we have looked at are the space required, the noise levels of the tools as they are used, and the dust generated because it has been about woodwork hobbies for this article.
Many of the tools mentioned cross over into other hobbies so there is huge potential for hobby expansion once the tool collection starts to grow.
We know of someone who has a CNC milling machine in the spare bedroom and he has worked out how to keep the noise down and the dust controlled. How you approach your hobby room is completely up to you but just know that it can be done, and a bunch of fun is to be had if you want to go down this path.
We hope you have found something in this article to get you thinking. Hobbies should be a creative release and we all could do with a little time out from this mad world we live in. What better way than have a go-to place right in your very own home.