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Where can I use loud power tools except at home? (SF Bay Area)

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  • Where can I use loud power tools except at home? (SF Bay Area)

    I live in an apartment complex with very poor sound isolation. Which means I cannot use power tools in my apartment. Sanding equipment is generally noisy. Does anybody know where I can use my loud power tools? I live in San Francisco Bay Area. I know TechShop and the Sawdust Shop, but their membership is prohibitively expensive. I might need to use these tools for about 5-10 hours/month and don't want to pay $85/month with 12 month commitment (the Sawdust Shop) or $125/month (TechShop).

    Any input would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    Scroll saws make no more noise then most sawing machines. If you use the proper saw and style blades you can reduce sanding to a minimum. I would also recommend a variable speed orbital sander. Most touch up sanding can be done at low speeds and at low speed the sander is not loud. Now I would not recommend running it at 2:00 AM.
    Creator of fine designer sawdust.


    • #3
      Just a thought, but if you had a generator you could go out in the woods someplace and set up shop for the day.
      Gloria ............... Two memorable things to say in life, "Hello" for the first time, and "Good-bye" for the last.


      • #4
        What? I can't hear you. Your machines are too loud.

        Have you checked with your local college? Sometimes if they offer a woodworking program they might have an "open lab" where you can work on whatever project you want. Might be cheaper since usually you pay by the semester. Just a thought.

        Do you have a really good friend that might let you go play in their garage? In turn, you can barter favors.


        • #5
          If there is a courtyard or common "patio", you might be able to do your sanding there during the day when most everyone is out at work--assuming 85% daytime workforce.

          As NC Scroller said, most saws--when properly matched for blade/wood/feed--are about like a medium duty sewing machine, so there would be less noise than the neighbor who won't admit their hearing has diminished with age (and GOOD rock'n'roll) and play the radio/TV a few dB higher these days.
          When looking at the clock at work--the correct time is:
          Too early to leave, too late to call in.


          • #6
            Thank you very much for all your ideas! Good joke, Jim!

            I wasn't worried about the noise from my scroll saw at all - my Dewalt is pretty quiet. But Dremel 3000 and Dewalt 1/4 sheet palm sander are the ones that omit the most noise. I bought a much quieter Porter Cable random orbit sander and quite happy with the noise. I will also look at local community colleges as suggested.

            Again, thanks a lot for advice!


            • #7
              I don't know the layout of your apartment but what about investing in some sound proofing that you attach to the wall of an interior room. Then if you move you can take it with you if it isn't attached too well. 6" thick foam bedding should do it...

              Shoot they are going to keep your deposit anyway....


              • #8
                Depending on where you rent it you can usually rent a storage unit w/o a long term lease and take your generator and power tools there and set up shop. Some places will have electricity as a part of the storage unit facility. I would imagine a big city like SF might be expensive on the storage unit thing - but, maybe not so much.

                I've Got A Lot More To Learn
                About Leaving Battlegrounds Alone
                "~~ Molly Venter


                • #9
                  If you have set times, say noon till 2pm Saturday and Sunday when power tools get used, there's a chance your neighbours will accept it. It's not like a tool will be running for the entire 2 hours.

                  Try it and see if you get complaints.


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