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Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking of turning my woodworking hobby into a partime bussiness to make some extra cash in my spare time. I have been doing working since i was a teenage for the last twenty years. I am not compley shore where to start i have tryed passing out flyer before but got no response from anyone an i am not shore about going online with my work. an i have tryed consingment shops and crafts fairs but sold very little. Dose anyone have a seggestion or differnt idea.
 

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First off welcome friend.

I'm no expert in what you're trying to do, but no one has chimed in yet, so I'll just throw out some ideas.

I guess the first step would be to decide what you want to do. Do you want to sell a service or a product? Do you want to start taking on remodeling projects, or sell items that you've made? It sounds to me like you are wanting to sell items. I think the next step would be deciding what to sell. What are other guys selling? What is it that you tried to sell unsuccessfully?

I don't know your experience level or what equipment you have. But nonetheless if you are wanting to enjoy building some projects, and make a couple bucks selling them you should be able to figure it out.

I see lots of crafty type things sold around here. The first tier are the knick knack guys. potato bins, bread boxes, jewelry boxes, pens, whimsical items, magazine racks...the "crafty stuff" The second tier is more like porch swings, coffee tables, outdoor furniture etc. The next tier seems to have a split between interior and exterior. The interior guys are starting to build furniture. Beds, more simplified kitchen tables, pie racks, china cupboards, shelves, book cases and the like. The outdoor branch of this tier is big around here. Those mini storage sheds (seem to be a nice business here), gazebos, play houses etc. And finally comes your professional carpenters. Professional level furniture, cabinetmaking, finish carpentry, remodeling and the like.

Of course you can build anything you want, my groups really don't mean sh!t, they're just observations that I made of local guys where I live.

Next you'll need a price point and a market. Price point should consist of your material, all overhead, and profit. With gas at $3 a gallon, don't forget a fair delivery charge.

Where to sell is tough, not knowing your area. And it kind of depends on WHAT your selling. AND with my hunt and peck two finger typing, coupled with a giantly bandaged table saw chewed thumb...I'm typed out.


I don't know, maybe some of my rambling sparked an idea with ya'. Keep posting, there are alot of folks on here with alot of advice.

Regards,
BULL
 

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Not to be judgemental but if your not selling your wares at craft shows then you need to develop a new product line. Craft shows will tell you what sells and what doesn't so look around and pay attention. You will probably see more than one booth selling the same type of product and there's a reason for it.

What do you make out of curiousity?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
this is what i make

Hello thank for responding to my thread. What i make is jewlery boxs, coffee tables , small cabinets and book cases. My problem is my tables are just basic. The jewerly boxes i have sold some but only three or four at a craft fair. I also have some small shelves that did not sell and i think the problem with those is they are problem to think and heavey to hangup. I also have built one small clock but that did not come the way i wanted it to but sometimes that happens. I would like to get more into custom built small tables , jewlery boxs, book case or small storage cabints some one can put in the pantry or kitchen. To let you know i have a complete shop with table saw , band saw , edge jointer, thinkness planer, small drill press, a couple of routers and a good set of chisels and a few different size bench planes from no4 to no7 as well as some old block planes. so i am equiped enoff to make almost anything except turn legs or other items i do not have a lathe. Any suggetion on how or were to start a partime bussiness are helpful .
 

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you are on the right track with the craft show thing,just build up an inventory of things you ENJOY making and take them to the shows. we have a weekend thing here called traders village and a table can be rented for a reasonable price for the weekend. you may even try a garage sale to test out what sells and what doesn't.i have made things and just gave them away and sometimes i get requests to make same for a price,so there is a few ways to get it out there.good luck
 

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johnep
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Thinking of you, I strolled around the market yesterday and looked over a stall selling pine chests of drawers and chests/boxes.

All solid wood but quite rough joints (no pocket holes!). On some items just butt, on drawers, into rebate.

Small box just larger than jewellery box was pds69 $130, and a larger chest suitable to go at foot of single bed was $400.

Tendency here is to look at what the antique shop has before considering buying new. Perhaps you could try reproduction for antique shops to sell alongside genuine old furniture.

A web site might be useful.

johnep
 

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Discussion Starter #7
about antique reproduction

Hello and thank you for your advice i was thinking of somthing like that. I have books on antiques from dutch pen, shacker and early american. But to build one of these peices is very diffcult im not saying that i can not do it . I can do that type of work but i never have ive done very little most of my stuff has bin more basic but i want to exspand more into other things so this might be a good change. I was also thinking of trying some jewlery boxs in a jewlery store that might also work. thank you.
 

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johnep
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part time business

Thinking about you yesterday, I realised that you have to make what the market wants. Most people need storage so perhaps ottomans (chests to go at foot of bed) and window seats would be items which could be made in advance for demos at markets,fairs etc and also be made to order, especially the window seats. You could experiment with 'flat pack' for easy transport.

You are skilled at making boxes and those I have seen have often been of poor quality and expensive. Have a look at 'Gail's chest' and one of the Kreg videos which shows how to make a very fancy chest simply with my beloved pocket holes.
good luck, you will get there.
johnep
 

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If your interested in doing storage cabinets then you might try marketing on craigs list. Put up pictures of you base models and charge a little extra to make custom sizes the fit exactly to the space people have. Craig's list would be good for your jewelry boxes too. Its free and its easy. Just don't fall into the walmart mentality. You should not try to compete on price. Someone will always be willing to make something cheaper then you. Compete on quality, attention to detail, and customer service. You'll find your customer base will grow over time, but if you don't pay yourself you'll be the only employee of your own sweat shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hello and thank you for the idea it sounds good. I always try to focus on quality. Quality to some people is more important than quanty at a cheap price. I my self have seen a lot of junk in these furniture stores and cheap imports. Foriegn inports has made it very diffcult for wood shops to make money i know a couple that have gone out of bussiness becouse of cheap competion.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hello thank for the idea . I have exsperince at making small boxs the big boxs i have never made but they are made the same way just on a bigger scale. I am in the process of designing a new jewlery box then after i am done designing it i am going to try some carving on it this will be my frist time carving . I have a instrutional video from nora halls so it will take a few trys but that is way we make practice pieces frist then the real one comes latter. After i am done i will post it on this site for people to see. Thank you again.
 

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johnep
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Part time business

General Motors supposed to have said, small cars small profits, big cars big profits.
Suspect the same is true of boxes Work is much the same for a small one as a big one. Just the cost of materials.
johnep
 

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woodboxs,

This sounds almost too goo to be true but what has worked for me is to simply start making things and don't worry about the rest. If you have any friends or family hat come over word of mouth will eventually get your work seen.

If you do not have any visitors ever or rarely, give away a few pieces to people you know that DO have alot of company. Trust me on this, it works. I have never had to give anything away I have always recieved orders and payment but the rpinciple is the same and if I wanted to create some business out of nothing the cheapest way this is what I would do.

First I would just be honest with your friends and tell them straight out that you are rying to develop a customer base for your products and you are willing to give a discount on somethig they need built just for the favor of a referral when someone asks "where did you get that?".

I know this sounds too simple to be true but word of mouth is still very powerful and effective. Some say that it is the most effective but my experience says that a website is by far more effective. I do not promote it correctly at all and have not updated it all in many months and I still get enough orders from it that I can pick and choose the ones I want to fill and who I want to deal with.

Hagglers get a nice "I'm too busy thank you very much" and outright buyers get the red carpet. My point is that whether or not you want to, you need to get a website. It is a must-do in todays world because it literally brings you FREE customers from all over the world!

In the meantime until you get one put up, start getting your pieces "out there" by whatever means necessary. Build it and they will come is pretty much true from my experience with few exceptions.
 

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Woodboxs,

There are several places to sell your wares. You can put the on eBay, there is the furniture trader, same as the auto trader. You can build a web site and sell them on there too. There is also furniture consignment places for your larger pieces. As for the craft fairs, they are not all created equal. You will need to go to the fairs with a higher end income crowd. I Live in Southern California and there is a big difference just going a few miles. If you sell your stuff on the Internet take lots of pictures. Show that you used a mortise and tenon joint. Let the people see your craftsmanship. If you make a quality product it will sell.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hello again you are right small cars small profits big cars big profits. The problem with small projects is that you have to make to many to make it worth your while verses making just a few big projects and you can charge a lot more becouse of the time involve to make the project. But my problem is in my cellar i do not have a door to go outside i have to bring everything up through the house an then take it out so i will have to work something out. Thank you again
 

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Hello texas timbers. I keep hereing about the intrenet an how it is helping a lot of bussiness . I have a friend that started a dog walking bussiness and is doing very well she has olny been in bussiness for 6 months an has a ton of customers. I am helping her by passing out business cards . I think she would help me as well and now i think of it i could link my site to hers an she could do the same i will look into it . An thank .
 

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I think she would help me as well and now i think of it i could link my site to hers an she could do the same i will look into it . An thank .
Do you know how incongruous a pairing of a dog-walking website and a woodworking website is??? Like trying to cross a walnut with a chair. :no: :no: :no: :thumbdown: :thumbdown:

Hand her a stack of YOUR business cards and have her pass them out to her customers, just as you've passed hers out.

Nancy (121 days)
 

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johnep
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Sometimes the press run a story of someone who had to have the side of his house removed so his boat, plane etc could be got out.

Naturally, I would say that final assmbly (using pocket holes?) would have to be done outside or perhaps you have a garage for this.

I often have to work in the back yard because of lack of space. Would love a cellar.
johnep
 

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Discussion Starter #19
about space in shop

Hello i have had the same problem in the past with space my self. The problem i have is when it comes time to put the finnish on if i do not take it outside the hole house stinks like shellec or varinish. I do have a couple of windows i can open but that only helps a little bit it still stinks. The other probelm i have is i am in boston mass. An we get cold up here from december to march and sometimes it snows so that makes for a chalenge april is cool but not to cold but it rains a lot. May through september it stays warm october an november starts to cool down . thank again.
 

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Hi Neighbor.
Their are good things about making small items.
First, you don't have to make one at a time, you could set up a production line and crank out 5 or 10 at a time.
Second, the market size is bigger because these boxes or whatever you plan on making can easily be shipped cheaply.
 
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