How can I keep my hobbies?
December 19, 2010 7:04 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a little advice on transitioning from a house to an apartment (specific questions inside)

Ive been extremely spoiled for the last 6 years or so by being able to live in a house with a garage. While not a requirement per se, my main hobbies are much less enjoyable without a garage (dirt bikes, working on cars, random wood and metalwork).

Im ready for a change, so its not the end of the world for me to sell my motorcycle and whatnot. My problem is that im not ready to give up maintaining my own vehicles, and I dont see this changing anytime soon.

My (first) question - Im sure im not the only one wanting to work on my bike and truck but minus a garage, so what do you do? Find an abandoned parking lot for minor work?

When I was in the military we had a place on base that had shop stalls and lifts that you could rent by the hour and either bring your own tools or rent theirs. Does a civilian version of this exist?

Second question - Where can I go to do simple woodworking projects? Again, the base had a shop for this too (I never used it but I assume its the same setup as the auto shop). Does this exist off base? Im just looking for a place that has a table saw, some vices and some drills, nothing too complex.
posted by Esefa to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It depends on the city you're in. My city has a Woodcraft store with open hours (I'm pretty sure they charge for it, but for less than their classes.)

We also have a workshop you can join - they have metalworking and woodworking equipment. It's pretty new.
posted by SMPA at 7:16 PM on December 19, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the quick reply! I definitely should have added to the post that I am in Mesa, AZ.

I also might add, I have a storage unit right now that I keep my motorcycle and some boxes in. It has an ungrounded power outlet, otherwise I would pretty much use it for everything.
posted by Esefa at 7:23 PM on December 19, 2010

If you have an apartment with a large balcony, you can do woodworking projects out there. Just set up a table. And many apartments here at least (Australia) have a shared parking garage, where you could easily work on your car.
posted by lollusc at 7:32 PM on December 19, 2010

Response by poster: Lollusc - I hadnt thought about that, the balcony might just be big enough for some tinkering, thanks!
In my area working on a vehicle is not allowed on the property, I would guess its probably a liability issue.
posted by Esefa at 7:39 PM on December 19, 2010

I don't know about Mesa, but here in Chicago (in certain neighborhoods like Pilsen where there are a lot of empty industrial buildings), there are studio and warehouse spaces available for rent for not a huge amount of money. I'm not sure who you'd talk to to see what the options are in your area. Maybe start by calling large realtor companies?
posted by phunniemee at 7:51 PM on December 19, 2010

Dunno about the cars and bikes, but a cursory google for hackerspaces near you turns up HeatSync Labs in Chandler. They look pretty wood-and-metalworker friendly.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 8:50 PM on December 19, 2010

Storage units are a popular place for working on cars. Switch to somewhere better?
posted by salvia at 9:11 PM on December 19, 2010

I work on my bike at a buddies metal/auto/bike shop. Probably not a lot of help, unless you've got a friend (or 3, like me) with a bunch of warehouse space and an open door policy. I've also done minor work (oil changes, brake pads, speedo cable, etc.) on the street in front of my place. Total pain in the ass, as everyone wants to offer their advice and tell you about the bike they had back in the day. (If you're a dude, you're lucky, you'll get to avoid the "Well, girly, let me show you how it's done," that I get when working on the street.)

Do you live somewhere with a techshop, or similar community workshop space? While it's probably not a good solution for the car/bike stuff, it's great for wood and metalworking. OK, re-reading has you located in AZ. Not so much on techshop.

Dunno what your financial state is like, but any chance you can rent a small space in a warehouse district of some sort?
posted by mollymayhem at 9:17 PM on December 19, 2010

Response by poster: Some great ideas here!

I reeeeally like the idea of renting warehouse space but it sounds a little pricey, I will definitely look into it though!

Hackerspace, never heard of it but it looks really cool! Ill def keep it in mind for more tech related stuff. $50 a month sounds pretty fair.

The only problem with storage is that I would need a huuuge one to fit my truck in (and be able to shut the door to be discrete, since I have yet to find a place that allows vehicle maintenance), and I would not be asking this question if I had that kind of money.

mollymayhem - Great suggestion, unfortunately I do not know anyone with a place like that. :(
before we moved our place was like that, storage/workspace for my buddies.

techshop looks pretty cool too, wish we had them here!

thanks again for the ideas folks, keep em comin!
posted by Esefa at 10:30 PM on December 19, 2010

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