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post #1 of 17 Old 06-04-2013, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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projects to pay for your hobby

hi guys. I'm sure a few here can relate, I am very poor and have a lot of hobbies fishing, hunting, guitar and now woodworking, I have been trying to come up with projects that are relatively simple that i could sell on craigslist or ebay to help buy tools or wood for the bigger projects I want to do. I am looking for ideas with some decent instruction as I am new to this and have no friends or family to teach me.

tools I have:

table saw
miter saw
sanders
brad nailer
router with cheap table
jig saw
circular saw
bunch of random hand tools

any ideas would be greatly appreciated, wife gets mad when I say I want a $100 dado blade lol!
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post #2 of 17 Old 06-04-2013, 06:16 PM
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First Welcome Aboard, You can always make some flag boxes an sell. Check around funereal homes to see what the demand is like, also any military bases close to you if any. Hope cheat is also another seller to, get can get free plans on the intent

Again Welcome Aboard
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-05-2013, 02:00 PM
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I've been taking pallets (free wood) and making small potting benches out of them. Not fine woodworking by any means but the local boutique pays me $30/ea. That goes directly into my tool fund. I challenged myself and bought a new belt sander on the Home Depot card. I wanted to see if I could pay it off using only money from the boutique. I'm about halfway there in less than 30 days. I think I will have essentially a new belt sander for free by the end of the month.

I know how to run a business, and I can tell you right now that if you want to make a decent hourly wage, you either go full time or don't try to sell. Unless you find something to mass produce and become VERY good at it, it is very difficult to make decent money on the side. I estimate I make about $10/hour when I do the potting benches, but I do stain them (with cheapo stain) and I do buy dowels from Lowes to use as fasteners. Little things like that pull from my "hourly wages". Long story short - as a beginner it's hard to make "good money". I think I understand your intentions though and I think you and I probably have similar ideas in our home builds.

Check out Ana-White.com. Her stuff can be built with the tools you have any some of the little stuff on there sells well in local boutiques. Beware - sometimes they will only sell on consignment. If that's the case, ask for commission over a set fee. That way if they sell your bench for $100 instead of $60, you make a little extra.

edit - just realized you don't have a pockethole jig. Small investment on your part to build the ana-white stuff I guess.

Curtis
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post #4 of 17 Old 06-05-2013, 02:29 PM
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I am having good luck at local farmers market. I sell cutting boards (easy to make), salt/pepper mills, cheese trays, bottle stoppers and bottle balances.
Tom
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post #5 of 17 Old 06-05-2013, 05:11 PM
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I am in the same boat. My wife has a hobby of turning glass sticks into jewelry, her tools $$$$$$$, and wants me to have a hobby, so here i am. We both work and live and a very tight budget and I love my tools. Being an electrician, not a contractor, says that! And just like you, when I want a new tool the wife gets p.o., she makes more than me. Bird houses etc. are low cost on materials and can be sold on line, like Etsy for 4 times the cost of materials. You should take a look at that website for ideas. I buy my wood at Depot and pick through to find the good stuff. You can also make stuff for other people to use at arts and crafts sales. When I get home I'll take a couple of pictures of things that I have made and hope to sell. The tools I have are very limited, and I'm still paying for some of them.

DeWalt compound miter saw
Ridgid portable table saw
Skill 77
Craftsman router and table
Sanders
Air guns
Multiple quick grips
And a lot of little basics

The first is a bird house cut with compound angles
The second is a squirrel feeder
And last is a display rack with red oak, small gift shops love things like that

Good luck, let me know what you come up with and works.
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Last edited by Anguspapa; 06-05-2013 at 08:12 PM.
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post #6 of 17 Old 06-05-2013, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctwiggs1 View Post
I've been taking pallets (free wood) and making small potting benches out of them. Not fine woodworking by any means but the local boutique pays me $30/ea. That goes directly into my tool fund. I challenged myself and bought a new belt sander on the Home Depot card. I wanted to see if I could pay it off using only money from the boutique. I'm about halfway there in less than 30 days. I think I will have essentially a new belt sander for free by the end of the month.

I know how to run a business, and I can tell you right now that if you want to make a decent hourly wage, you either go full time or don't try to sell. Unless you find something to mass produce and become VERY good at it, it is very difficult to make decent money on the side. I estimate I make about $10/hour when I do the potting benches, but I do stain them (with cheapo stain) and I do buy dowels from Lowes to use as fasteners. Little things like that pull from my "hourly wages". Long story short - as a beginner it's hard to make "good money". I think I understand your intentions though and I think you and I probably have similar ideas in our home builds.

Check out Ana-White.com. Her stuff can be built with the tools you have any some of the little stuff on there sells well in local boutiques. Beware - sometimes they will only sell on consignment. If that's the case, ask for commission over a set fee. That way if they sell your bench for $100 instead of $60, you make a little extra.

edit - just realized you don't have a pockethole jig. Small investment on your part to build the ana-white stuff I guess.

Curtis
thanks I will check her out, and get a pocket hole jig as well been wanting one for a while.
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post #7 of 17 Old 06-05-2013, 06:10 PM
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A few years ago, I was working for a fencing company. They had so much old weathered fencing that my boss encouraged me to take all I wanted. So I was making small wishing wells and benches that go in people's back yards or flower gardens. I was able to sell those before there was a Craigslist. If you have family friends that are "older church ladies", that was my biggest customer type. Those are supper easy to make and would be very easy to build with the tools you listed. Like CTWiggs said, if you can find a wood source for free wood, that will greatly improve your profit margin. I have only recently began to sell some things. I usually only sell to friends, coworkers, family or friends of those people. I'm not out to make a big profit just make a few bucks on the side to buy the wood for my own projects. But my long term plan is to make side money once I retire in 25 years!
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post #8 of 17 Old 06-06-2013, 01:40 AM
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I made a few toddler beds for my girls and everyone loves them that has seen them. Sold a couple too.
Use 2x4's, 1x4's, and plywood.
Take an inch out of your posts to make a slot for the side rail.
Make your side rails 54" long.
Cut 2x4 to make a 2x2 for the cross supports.
Make all cross supports 27" wide for whatever width is needed.
Add whatever you like for a head and foot for cross stability.
I used lag screws for the posts and carriage bolts to hold the side rails to the inner support.
Then laid the 27" 1x4's across and screwed them down to the inner support and just slapped some plywood over that to stiffen up the bottom of it.
Stain to perfection then finish with whatever.
If you can score free wood it only ups the profit margin.
I sell for about $100.
And the best part is you can add head boards for a small fee, I've just glued up 2x4's and added an arc to them, used a round over bit for the extra appearance.

Just a thought for you.
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post #9 of 17 Old 06-06-2013, 11:52 AM
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note - Check out a homemade stain on the Google. You mix steel wool and vinegar. Super cheap to make a lot of it and the weathered look is in right now for the womens. If you don't believe me look at your wife's Pinterest boards.
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post #10 of 17 Old 06-06-2013, 12:14 PM
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Wishing wells and picnic tables are a couple good sellers, easy to make with a minimum of tools. Just make them up and set them in your front yard with a for sale sign.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #11 of 17 Old 06-06-2013, 12:43 PM
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A freight pallet here is 40" x 48". I cut them dowm to 30" x 48" and add simple 2x4 legs, as outdoor yard/garden benches. Beats the hello out of sawhorses and I don't have to crawl around in the dirt.
No-brainer and they won't sell locally since lots of people could and would do the same.

Instead, I got some really nice birch for cheap and ripped it all into 3/4" x 3/4" x 14" kitchen stick blanks. Takes an hour to complete one with an oven-baked olive oil finish. Good way to pass the cold days of winter and $0.20 wood brings me $12.00 each in a couple of local outlets.
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-06-2013, 12:49 PM
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I like that pallet idea. I'm going to try it at the local boutique.

Thanks Robson

Curtis
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post #13 of 17 Old 06-06-2013, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
A freight pallet here is 40" x 48". I cut them dowm to 30" x 48" and add simple 2x4 legs, as outdoor yard/garden benches. Beats the hello out of sawhorses and I don't have to crawl around in the dirt.
No-brainer and they won't sell locally since lots of people could and would do the same.

Instead, I got some really nice birch for cheap and ripped it all into 3/4" x 3/4" x 14" kitchen stick blanks. Takes an hour to complete one with an oven-baked olive oil finish. Good way to pass the cold days of winter and $0.20 wood brings me $12.00 each in a couple of local outlets.
What are kitchen sticks? A google search for "kitchen stick" didn't return anything meaningful to me. I have a bunch of beech that i could potentially use to make some of them.
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post #14 of 17 Old 06-06-2013, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Curl
What are kitchen sticks? A google search for "kitchen stick" didn't return anything meaningful to me. I have a bunch of beech that i could potentially use to make some of them.
I would also like to know.
Tom
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post #15 of 17 Old 06-06-2013, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robson Valley
Instead, I got some really nice birch for cheap and ripped it all into 3/4" x 3/4" x 14" kitchen stick blanks. Takes an hour to complete one with an oven-baked olive oil finish. Good way to pass the cold days of winter and $0.20 wood brings me $12.00 each in a couple of local outlets.

Is this what is meant by "Kitchen Stick"? I see them on Etsy for $12.00. I see that they are used for pulling out the oven trays and for decorations.
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Last edited by Anguspapa; 06-06-2013 at 10:33 PM.
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post #16 of 17 Old 06-06-2013, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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great ideas! time to look into some pallets!
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post #17 of 17 Old 06-07-2013, 04:24 AM
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I make flower boxes. A 4$ 1x8x12 makes me 3 12" planters. I bevel the base to 10 degrees as well as the exterior walls. Not including stain I can turn 3 boards into a dozen boxes on 3-4 hours. I sell them for $10 each, farmers market, ol church ladies (luv it), and a year round nursery in town. Love the vinegar & steel wool stain idea, will try it soon! Also the pallets... ty!


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