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post #1 of 10 Old 12-07-2008, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Starting Off.....

for a small, just getting started shop where would you recommend i start off selling my work at? (other than the obvious friends/family) and more importantly, what kinds of items in your opinions are lowcost to make but would be in some demand,so that i could make some cash to put back into the company and get my name out and get known? Thank you very much for any info & advice you guys can provide/share!
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-07-2008, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JASON77 View Post
what kinds of items in your opinions are lowcost to make but would be in some demand
Jason: it's quite difficult for any of us to recommend to you what to build to turn a profit.

Several factors complicate the answer to your question: your skill level, your locale, demand in your area, national buying trends, the economy, time of year, just to name a few.

Beyond that, I think you're going to find that, as a 'just starting out' shop/woodworker, you're going to go in the hole real quick or never build anything if you're a one-man band waiting for the work to come to you, or waiting for the buyers. One of two things will happen: you'll earn about $1.60 an hour when you cost out every part of a project, or your projects will cost so much that no one will afford them if you pay yourself what your time is worth.

Word-of-mouth and family/friends is a great start, but don't depend on it if you're planning a livelihood/living doing this. Most guys and gals on WWT are what you'll probably consider amateurs; we most all do it as a hobby. Christmas presents for the grandchildren, quality built furniture for ourselves we can't find in any store, something to fit that odd space in our home that no one builds, etc.

Hope you get the idea here...not too many of us have or ever will prostitute our skills and love of the hobby for the money. It just ain't worth it.
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-07-2008, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the reply and i DO understand what you mean. Im not exactly in it for the money, i in no way expect to make a full time living off of it, i do however want to make pieces that i can make some money back on so that money can help finance my future projects without alot of out of pocket expense. And was just wondering what some others did/have done in their early days...again thanks for the reply.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-07-2008, 10:33 PM
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One word...URNS..people are just dying to buy them.

Yours Truely,
The Prostitute
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-08-2008, 12:32 AM
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I've prostituted myself out enough with my 19" bandsaw to justify its purchase several times over. As for most of my other projects, they aren't moneymakers...Usually just enough to buy another tool or justify the purchase of another tool!
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-08-2008, 02:25 AM
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I get a cabinet order from time to time, that give me some cash flow, yet to trust solely on that for a living is out of the question. Ditto on that building stuff for friends and family for gifts that will last, and bring years of satisfaction is what it's all about.
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-08-2008, 12:28 PM
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Promotion and sales is a skill just like wood craftsmanship and requires a plan in similar fasion. Effective plans produce results with efficiency and consistancy in a reproducible manner. The formula for any business model is basically the same. I'm not sure if there is a formula for a hobby model....but then..who, besides the IRS, cares?
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-08-2008, 06:00 PM
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Many years ago I started building speaker cabinets etc "on the side" to keep my wife off my case for spending "house" money on my hobbies. It has nearly turned into another full time job this year which has allowed me to also get some new tools for the shop without the usual "did you really need that?" etc from the wife. So far I've been able to get a Porter Cable 894K dual base router kit, Uni-fence to replace the Biesemeyer, Delta Dust collector, 2 new Shop vacs (one of which just arrived on UPS a few minutes ago ) and next up will probably be the JesseM sliding table. Although my situation kind of happened by accident I'm pretty sure you can find something with a market in your area/online that will allow you to use yours skills to accomplish your goals.
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-08-2008, 06:32 PM
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The word of mouth deal is a mixed blessing. Generally, people that have contacted me to make them a piece want me to do it for very little as they are just trying to save money (at my expense). I made a decision that if I couldn't make money on a piece I'm making for someone, I'm not going to make it. As a rule of thumb, I take the cost of the material, double it and that's what I charge for my labor, miscellaneous items and wear and tear on my tools.

Finally, if you are making a piece specifically for an individual, make sure they know exactly what it will cost them before you start.
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-08-2008, 06:47 PM
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My suggestion, get into an art museum featuring wood sculpture. Or fine art furniture galleries. If your stuff is up to that level, I'd say try to get your stuff into a gallery on consignment.

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See
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