Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Master firewood maker
Joined
·
1,973 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am thinking about making an entry table or nightstand-type table and selling it as a learning experience and to see if I could do it.

My goal at this time is to make something that is more likely to sell quickly.

In your-all's experience, would a table like this made from soft maple, red oak, or stained poplar be something what would sell fairly quickly?

Or do people generally prefer these types of pieces to be made from the darker woods like like cherry or mahogany?

The most plentiful source of wood for me is what they stock at the Home Depot near my home: soft maple, red oak, and poplar. I am trying to decide if I can get the wood for this project there, or if I should look for another source.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
The oak will machine the nicest and stain without blotching the best. Poplar is soft and blotches badly when stained. Soft maple sometimes tears out when machining it and it blotches when stained, also. The blotching can be remedied by using Zinsser sanding sealer thinned down to condition the wood.

Most people like oak, but some do not because of the dramatic grain patterns. For those who like "plain", the maple would be a good choice. If you paint maple, you do not have to worry about the blotching. I would still use the Zinsser as a sealer first.

Here is a link to the Zinsser seal coat...
http://www.rustoleum.com/product-ca...d-finishes/sealcoat-universal-sanding-sealer/
 

·
Master firewood maker
Joined
·
1,973 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
While I was over at the HD at lunch, I priced out the oak for this hall table I have in mind. Even though it's a simple table with one small drawer, it looks like just the wood will run close to $100. Is it me, or is that high for just the raw materials?

The table is like this:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
423 Posts
Home depot and lowest are probably the most expensive places possible to by lumber. Do you have a lumber yard or know of any local sawyers. That's the way to go if so. I honestly don't think I could build that piece with 100 dollars worth of oak from lowes. At my lowest 100 buck would probably only get you like three boards lol.
 

·
Master firewood maker
Joined
·
1,973 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I live in a Maryland suburb of NW DC, pretty close to the line. There are no lumber yards within 20 miles. But there is a place called TW Perry that sells lumber ... I'll check with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
614 Posts
Get away from Home Depot and lowes for wood. On one of my projects I purchased about 60 bf of poplar for about 100 bucks at a lumber yard. I made a few mis-cuts towards the end and needed to pick a few boards at HD. At HD I purchased 2 boards, it was probably under 5 bf, for about $30.

I lived around Havre de Grace a few years ago, there were a few mills around that area in Harford county. From people here, PA seems like a gold mine of cheap wood. It might be worth it to take a trip and load up.
 

·
No Longer Here, BY CHOICE
Joined
·
2,442 Posts
Do you have a jointer and a planer?

When I need flat stock, I buy it from people with hobby mills on CL. Many of these guys want you to buy 100 BF or more at once but I found a couple that will let me pick through there stock and pick out what I want with no minimum. The prices are incredible, especially when compared to HD. My local HD sells S4S poplar and red oak and the prices are rediculous. I can buy dry rough cut walnut a whole lot cheaper on CL
 

·
Master firewood maker
Joined
·
1,973 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Do you have a jointer and a planer?

When I need flat stock, I buy it from people with hobby mills on CL. Many of these guys want you to buy 100 BF or more at once but I found a couple that will let me pick through there stock and pick out what I want with no minimum. The prices are incredible, especially when compared to HD. My local HD sells S4S poplar and red oak and the prices are rediculous. I can buy dry rough cut walnut a whole lot cheaper on CL
I have neither, but I do have a set of hand planes, so you could also say I have both, probably just not the types you were referring to.

I should check CL, there might be something there for me, thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
909 Posts
I've been taking down rough lumber with planes, and I'm sure you can do it, but if you're trying to make a living rather than have fun the power tools may be the way to go.

Prior to getting either a power planer or jointer, you could do it with a router sled and a table saw or get S2S lumber. More expensive than rough but less than HD/Lowes lumber. Take your jointer plane and plane one edge straight (or use a jig... but I think the plane is simpler), rip on the table saw for parallel edges. Flip the board over and adjust your fence in a smidge to joint the planed edge if you aren't good at getting it square.

Mainly though, I don't think you can cut a profit buying wood at the big box store. I still buy wood there if I want a large piece of pine S4S for a quick project, but I can get rough poplar from the sawmill for almost as cheap per bdft if I have time to plane it.
 

·
Master firewood maker
Joined
·
1,973 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
thanks gil. no, i'm not thinking about quitting my day job, just thinking about how i can pursue this hobby and break even or add a couple of dollars to the pot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
Just finished a shoe rack out of s2s red oak and I used a water based dye, sealcoat as a finish. It came out a lot darker than I would have liked (one light coat) and the grain is super pronounced.

Not sure I would make something out of red oak again, or maybe I just wouldn't dye/stain it. In all honesty, I liked it better unfinished however it was my first furniture project so I learned a lot about finishing (like raising grain).

Not sure how you can really break even buying your wood from HD or Lowes, especially the red oak stuff there, it's all s4s and it's a bit pricey.






 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Like others have said, ditch the box stores their markup is outrageous. Call a cabinet shop and ask where the get their solid lumber from.

Out of your choices maple is the likeliest to be able to sell, red oak or stained poplar really isn't marketable outside of family or friends. The big three in popularity are walnut, cherry, and mahogany (or one of its cousins.) Maple and white oak can go well also, but usually more in specific styles. Mission furniture for example in white oak, or shaker in maple. Not that maple doesn't work well for many other styles, maple furniture just isn't as popular right now.

The design you have chosen is a good piece, clean design with subtle accents. I have to sell furniture if I want my family to eat so I've developed a decent sense of what will and won't sell. To make a piece more marketable here are a few tips:

1) Do not stain, pick a wood whose final color you like. By final color I mean after an oil based finish is applied.

2) The final sheen of your finish should be satin to semi-gloss. I use a fairly complicated schedule that uses high gloss finish rubbed out, but for your first piece for sale I'd go with just using a finish with the final sheen you want.

3) No visible joinery. Again, the table you picked is good. M&T no screws etc holding things together.

4) Resist the urge to get fancy. Don't say, "Man a strip of bloodwood running down the middle of this table top would really pop." It may, but you are trying to build a piece that a large number of people could see putting in their home. Stick with one material, save the contrast for cutting boards. This isn't a hard and fast rule for the rest of your woodworking career, and as your design sense progresses you may be able to bring contrast into your work. But I see WAYYYY more poorly designed contrasting pieces than I see good ones.

Hope these help, it's not everything by any means bust these are the most common places people go wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
Go to www.woodfinder.com plug in your zip code and see what is around as far as hardwood dealers. Looks like Vienna Hardwoods would not be too far away, 11 miles, from the 20015 zip code, if that is near you. Also, I have scored real well on Craigslist for rough lumber and occasionally see planed lumber on there. I have bought rough lumber multiple times from a hobbyist sawyer for real good rates. The more times/amount you buy from them, the better the deals, if they like you. My last buy from him was White Oak, most while not cut quarter sawn, had quarter sawn grain, due to him letting me pick through the boards and pulling the ones with best grain.

I would recommend also watching CL for a reasonably priced planer and jointer. I got lucky and found my Dewalt 734 Planer with a Wixey gauge for $175 and my Dewalt 8" Jointer for $525. You could probably get a 6" jointer for a couple of hundred bucks. So while the initial outlay of money is there, you will make up for it in rough lumber savings. This will allow you to jump on those good rough lumber deals. Only downside is you now have to mill the lumber square, which is more work, but at least you control it. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Wow....listening to these prices makes me realize how lucky I am to own my own mill. I had to buy some 5/4 select pine for some sills on a trim job at my local lumber yard because my stuff was still green and I was shocked at the price. S4s was close to 6 dollars a bf! We well pine for .50 per bf and select for 1.00.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
By asking around, I was able to split , with two other people a minimum 1000 bd ft order of kiln dried red oak from a wholesaler. I do not remember the price, but it was waaaaaay cheaper than the big box stores.

JIm
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top