You know, other than spending my entire next paycheck at Ikea.....
November 27, 2013 3:14 PM   Subscribe

Ok, so I recently purchased a pullup cage/station. You know, includes a side for dips, a pullup bar, etc. and is one large metal structure put together with nuts and bolts. Anyway, I think I enjoyed putting the darn thing together even more than I will using it. What other projects/hobbies can I work on/build/create using a tool box, wrench, other hardware type stuff etc. in my small to medium sized apartment that won't lose me my security deposit?
posted by sendai sleep master to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You can do small scale woodworking if you're able to manage the sawdust and ventilate properly when painting / finishing. I did a cool little wood storage box for one of my board games a few years back with a similar setup (ok technically I had a small garage but the number of tools and space to work with was pretty limited).

Beyond that I do work on my motorcycle which you can do anywhere outdoors and honestly I play with legos a lot to get my fix.
posted by MillMan at 4:10 PM on November 27, 2013

You could advertise on Craigslist to put together other peoples Ikea stuff.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 4:12 PM on November 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

This metal tiered round hardware bin from Harbor Freight. They are selling on designer websites for upwards of almost $300, but this one is only $19.99. By all accounts, hard to put together and involves many fiddly bits of nuts and bolts and screws. Plus, you can put stuff in it!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:14 PM on November 27, 2013

Get a bike and learn to do your own repairs/upgrades. Specifically, learn how to adjust your derailleurs and repack a hub - these are both very satisfying tasks. Sheldon Brown is your friend. Join your local bicycle co-op and learn from the people there - there's one near me where we fix up bikes for use by newly arrived refugees. You get your weekly mechanical fix, plus the joy of doing something nice for others. Join your local makerspace and learn to use their laser cutter, CNC router, etc, then assemble your designs at home. Anything from Ikea that has drawers will be absurdly laborious to assemble; offer your help next time a friend moves house.
posted by embrangled at 4:35 PM on November 27, 2013

If you downsize the tools that are in the toolbox, you could have a very satisfying side-hobby putting together working PCs from cheap/free spare components, and donating them to...people who need shitty old computers, I dunno, I'm sure there's some charity around. Bonus: you learn about computers, which are vaguely interesting!
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:23 PM on November 27, 2013

(Also, the pullup cage/station is generally called a "power tower".)
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:24 PM on November 27, 2013

I find the more complex Lego kits satisfy the same urge, although you don't get to use power tools (and frankly IKEA might be the cheaper hobby.)
posted by restless_nomad at 5:57 PM on November 27, 2013

Without a yard you are kind of stuck if you have truly got the Erector Set fetish. I have been there, done that, got it out of my system for the most part but yeah.

I would suggest possibly getting one of the new small 3D printers (or kits, which gives you another assembly rush). The printer won't satisfy your urge to torque nuts fast but it might satisfy the urge to turn not-stuff into solid 3D stuff that you can touch and play with.
posted by localroger at 6:49 PM on November 27, 2013

Model building.

Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.
posted by Talk To Me Goose at 9:01 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding Habitat for Humanity! You're not limited to your apartment space, and you're helping. Win-win!

For indoors stuff, refurbishing old neglected turntables totally satisfies my tinkering urges. You can make a bit of money out of the deal, too, if you know what models to look out for. It's a bit of everything, mechanical skills, electronics, some precision work (arm bearings are fun), and the designs of stuff like automatic return systems are really cool, there were some really clever solutions to hit the right cost/performance ratio, especially in a lot of mid-range tables.

Really, audio equipment in general is a whole lot of fun to work on. A DIY flat-pack speaker set is a great apartment project, something like the Overnight Sensations MT.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:30 PM on November 27, 2013

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