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post #1 of 16 Old 09-18-2020, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Projects for sale

Just wondered if anyone here does wood working for profit? Meaning making stuff to sell at craft shows, etc. Not trying to get on the craft show circuit, altho I do know people who do that and who would allow me a shelf or so of sales space.
What sells and what doesn't? I am thinking more along the lines of stuff I can build and sell on craigslist or marketplace.
Last, who is good for advice on antiques here?
I have a 150 year old rocker that needs some help
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-18-2020, 12:15 PM
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We sell on Etsy, I do the custom woodworking for a trophy/laser shop, and I have many local contacts - I stay busy!

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post #3 of 16 Old 09-21-2020, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-21-2020, 10:59 AM
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I saw the bump, but I can't help. That's why I didn't respond to the initial post.

All of my woodworking is for myself and my family, or given away as gifts. I also donate projects to special causes. Until I catch up with my woodworking "To Do" list, which seems endless, I have little interest in selling my work.

Sorry. I hope others respond with more useful information.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-21-2020, 11:07 AM
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I've tried to make stuff to sell at flea markets. The majority of it took more work than I could sell it for. The only thing I could make a little was a cedar chest made of solid eastern red cedar. I certainly bombed at making stuff to sell but the flea market I was trying to make a go at sold a lot of antique furniture. I ended up repairing antiques for the dealers there instead of making new things. I ended up with an antique repair and refinishing shop for a number of years until I got more lucrative work which was incompatible with the refinishing work. One of the larger antique dealers also sold aluminum patio furniture and streetlights and he needed someone to paint it. Almost always the wind was out of the south so I set up to paint the aluminum in the north end of the building so the overspray would go out the door. From time to time though the wind would change directions and blow in and would get paint on the furniture in the south end of the building so I quit doing furniture.

When repairing antiques to sell try to do as little to it as you can. That doesn't mean if the finish is very bad all over it shouldn't be refinished. This applies especially to tables. The dealer I did the aluminum for had hundreds of tables in a warehouse he couldn't sell because of the finish. He would get a container in from Europe and people would get the best ones and pass on the ones that had a bad finish on them. To make space the tables that wouldn't sell went to the warehouse. This gave me many months of work refinishing those tables so he could sell them. We didn't do a very good job refinishing them but just enough to make them sellable.

Now, if you plan to buy antiques to sell, make yourself a furniture refinisher. Might advertise to do it for others. Big brother has banned methylene chloride which is the main ingredient in paint and varnish removers in retail products. If you have a refinishing business you would be allowed to buy it. The stuff available to the public is probably ten times more labor intensive. Some finishes it won't do at all. If that is all I could get I would stop refinishing altogether, even items for myself.
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-21-2020, 11:16 AM
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Bob - I would take a few projects that you are good at making and you like doing.
make a few to give away - to practice your techniques and
refine the fabrication process and time management.
once you have a few "winners", then when you list for sale in whatever
media you choose, you can make the profit you need in order to stay competitive.
separate your categories as to what you can ship and those that are pick up in person.
get some of the standard flat rate shipping boxes from USPS, UPS, FEDEX, etc.
and build projects that fit those sizes accordingly. allow room for the packing.
then you can refine the shipping process when you already know the shipping fee.
best of luck !!
please keep us in the loop as to your progress.

Note: at craft shows and flea markets, you may get a few dozen "lookers"
on the World Wide Web - it is exactly what it is: The Whole WIDE WORLD exposure.
(just something to consider).

.

there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks.

Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 09-21-2020 at 11:20 AM.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-22-2020, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I've tried to make stuff to sell at flea markets. The majority of it took more work than I could sell it for. The only thing I could make a little was a cedar chest made of solid eastern red cedar. I certainly bombed at making stuff to sell but the flea market I was trying to make a go at sold a lot of antique furniture. I ended up repairing antiques for the dealers there instead of making new things. I ended up with an antique repair and refinishing shop for a number of years until I got more lucrative work which was incompatible with the refinishing work. One of the larger antique dealers also sold aluminum patio furniture and streetlights and he needed someone to paint it. Almost always the wind was out of the south so I set up to paint the aluminum in the north end of the building so the overspray would go out the door. From time to time though the wind would change directions and blow in and would get paint on the furniture in the south end of the building so I quit doing furniture.

When repairing antiques to sell try to do as little to it as you can. That doesn't mean if the finish is very bad all over it shouldn't be refinished. This applies especially to tables. The dealer I did the aluminum for had hundreds of tables in a warehouse he couldn't sell because of the finish. He would get a container in from Europe and people would get the best ones and pass on the ones that had a bad finish on them. To make space the tables that wouldn't sell went to the warehouse. This gave me many months of work refinishing those tables so he could sell them. We didn't do a very good job refinishing them but just enough to make them sellable.

Now, if you plan to buy antiques to sell, make yourself a furniture refinisher. Might advertise to do it for others. Big brother has banned methylene chloride which is the main ingredient in paint and varnish removers in retail products. If you have a refinishing business you would be allowed to buy it. The stuff available to the public is probably ten times more labor intensive. Some finishes it won't do at all. If that is all I could get I would stop refinishing altogether, even items for myself.

The rocker that needs attention is a 150 year old rocker that was my great grandmothers. It is coming apart and a poor attempt at repair happened sometime in the past. Wondering if I need to disassemble the chair and re glue it back together, or do I need to redowel every joint that is lose. Is there a third option?
TIA!
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-22-2020, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaBob View Post
The rocker that needs attention is a 150 year old rocker that was my great grandmothers. It is coming apart and a poor attempt at repair happened sometime in the past. Wondering if I need to disassemble the chair and re glue it back together, or do I need to redowel every joint that is lose. Is there a third option?
TIA!
If the finish is bad and will be refinished then start by cleaning it with a wax and grease remover. This will remove the majority of polish that has been put on the chair over the years and stripping it will just rub the polish into the wood. Then chemically strip it. Before it's dry from that dismantle the chair while glue may be softened. If you are only re-gluing the chair, start by taking every joint apart that is willing. You have to draw the line somewhere and if a joint is very stubborn to come apart leave it together. You are more likely to severely damage a part trying to disassemble it. Use a rubber mallet when taking furniture apart so it doesn't damage the wood or finish. Then with some sandpaper around 100 grit, clean off the dowel ends as best as you can. The holes, re-drill them so you can get as much old glue out as possible. Then purchase some slow drying two part epoxy. Most of the epoxy in the stores will set up in 5 minutes and you can't put the chair back together that quick. It usually takes 30 to 45 minutes to completely assemble a chair so you need a lot of open time. The slow set epoxy is stronger anyway. Wood glues are no good for a re-glue. They are intended for porous materials and since the chair has been glued together before the grain of the wood is sealed with the original glue. This is why epoxy is better.

When you do this be sure to have clamps ready. Sometimes a ratcheting tie down strap will work to clamp the legs together. Sometimes all that is needed is to bump the parts back together with the rubber mallet. The bottom line is if you can get the parts back to where they are suppose to be and they will stay put that is all that is needed. That's all the clamp pressure that might be needed. The epoxy will take care of the rest. Also have some rags handy. If you are just re-gluing the chair it tends to get messy and you can't use a solvent with epoxy or it will take the finish off. You will have to just use elbow grease and rub off any that gets on the surface. If the finish has been removed the excess glue could be cleaned off with acetone.
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-22-2020, 10:51 AM
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I use to sell in the 80's blanket chest, shelves,candle holders, baseball shelves, etc..
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-22-2020, 01:54 PM
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Like difalkner, I also sell on Etsy. I sell everything from simple bookshelves and cutting boards, to side tables and elaborate (for me, anyway!) secretary desks and resin tables. I'm nowhere close to making a living on it yet, but it's more than payed for itself for four years now, including buying all the tools I need. I've gone from hemming and hawing over a $200 router three years ago, to spending nearly $2,000 on a table saw last Christmas and knowing that it was a good, necessary purchase.

I started with literally just simple bookshelves on my Etsy shop, and every time I built something new for myself or friends/family, I put that on there too. Put enough well-made stuff out there at the right price, and you'll eventually find people who are interested in it!

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post #11 of 16 Old 09-22-2020, 06:39 PM
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Grandfather clocks sold very well for me at an art fair, in a nice tourist town.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-22-2020, 08:36 PM
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i see making stuff for (assumed) profit just another job
and a sure fire way to mess up a perfectly good hobby
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Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 09-23-2020 at 08:32 PM.
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-23-2020, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
If the finish is bad and will be refinished then start by cleaning it with a wax and grease remover. This will remove the majority of polish that has been put on the chair over the years and stripping it will just rub the polish into the wood. Then chemically strip it. Before it's dry from that dismantle the chair while glue may be softened. If you are only re-gluing the chair, start by taking every joint apart that is willing. You have to draw the line somewhere and if a joint is very stubborn to come apart leave it together. You are more likely to severely damage a part trying to disassemble it. Use a rubber mallet when taking furniture apart so it doesn't damage the wood or finish. Then with some sandpaper around 100 grit, clean off the dowel ends as best as you can. The holes, re-drill them so you can get as much old glue out as possible. Then purchase some slow drying two part epoxy. Most of the epoxy in the stores will set up in 5 minutes and you can't put the chair back together that quick. It usually takes 30 to 45 minutes to completely assemble a chair so you need a lot of open time. The slow set epoxy is stronger anyway. Wood glues are no good for a re-glue. They are intended for porous materials and since the chair has been glued together before the grain of the wood is sealed with the original glue. This is why epoxy is better.

When you do this be sure to have clamps ready. Sometimes a ratcheting tie down strap will work to clamp the legs together. Sometimes all that is needed is to bump the parts back together with the rubber mallet. The bottom line is if you can get the parts back to where they are suppose to be and they will stay put that is all that is needed. That's all the clamp pressure that might be needed. The epoxy will take care of the rest. Also have some rags handy. If you are just re-gluing the chair it tends to get messy and you can't use a solvent with epoxy or it will take the finish off. You will have to just use elbow grease and rub off any that gets on the surface. If the finish has been removed the excess glue could be cleaned off with acetone.
Would have never EVER thought of epoxy!
Genius!
Thanks very much!
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-23-2020, 09:23 PM
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It’s just me, however, I’m not interested in anything that sells for $ 20, or so.. If I am going to sell it , I want to make it worth my while. And . No. It doesn’t spoil my hobby making something for money,,,In addition to Grandfather clocks,, I also make ‘presentation’ cases for guns,, and I have found when it comes to showing off their guns, guys will pay what I ask...Lots of fun making them,,, also have a few ‘ready made’ just in case.
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-28-2020, 09:21 AM
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I use to just make things for friends and family but the wife was diagnosed with cancer 7 yrs ago and was out of work for 9 months. So I started selling on Etsy and Amazon Hand Made, under the name Augie's WoodCrafts, mostly Military/Flag displays (I am a retired Marine so I do what I know) (average costs is $150-$250). It helped pay the bills and paid for a whole shop full of equipment to include a high end Hobbyist CNC (Laguna IQ). I have tried selling at the local flee market but that customer base doesn't seem to want to spend the money I ask for my product. I haven't tried any craft shows yet but may next year after the COVID restriction get reduced. I work a full time job as an Aircraft Inspector and do my woodworking in the evenings and weekends. Though I do enjoy doing the work and love the reactions and reviews I get from the online and some local customer it does seem like an other full time job. But a guy has to do what he has to do to make ends meet.
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-28-2020, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebelwork View Post
I use to sell in the 80's blanket chest, shelves,candle holders, baseball shelves, etc..
THAT IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!
How well do they sell and what price point are you at?
That is exactly the type of stuff I am talking about!
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