Woodwork Biz/Getting Started #2: Item One - Shop Space

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Blog entry by billb posted 02-16-2011 04:00 PM 1437 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: My First Steps - The Search For Cash Flow Part 2 of Woodwork Biz/Getting Started series Part 3: Item Two - Getting the Word Out »

Let’s start with item number one, what to use for shop space. Obviously, the best thing would be if you owned a shop space such as your garage or some other out building. This would certainly be less costly than renting even a small space. However, it may not be viable in a subdivision with deed restrictions, where you may not be able to conduct any business from your home. Or, it is possible that there are noise restrictions precluding the use of woodworking machines. Check all that out before you start a business at home.

Assuming you have to rent a space, don’t start out with a large and costly space. Your monthly rent can quickly drain your reserves. Consider a small space, perhaps in some low rent storage area since most of the high end storage area do not allow businesses to operate. My storage area encouraged small businesses so it was easy to convert it to a small shop space. You can always move to larger quarters as your business grows. My last shop before I retired from woodworking was 1400 square feet.

I often hear concerns that projects can’t be built in a small space. Even though it is more difficult to work in smaller spaces, it is definitely viable. For over a year I did power tool demonstations for Skil Power Tools at Home Depot stores. On weekends I would set up a 4 foot by 8 foot space with a small table saw, a work bench, and a few other power tools and build small projects including a childs table and chair set, book case, end tables, and other projects that I would often design on the fly. I wouldn’t want to run a business from a 4X8 space but I did sell a lot of power tools because of the neat projects I was building.

-- Bill, Austin, Texas,

5 comments so far

View Rob200's profile


313 posts in 3194 days

#1 posted 02-16-2011 05:59 PM

if you love what you the floor space is the last thing to think of it should be all abut working with wood

-- Robert Laddusaw and no I am not smarter then a fifth grader ( and no I canot spell so if it is a problem don't read it ))

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3811 days

#2 posted 02-16-2011 08:05 PM

Good post. I’m a beleiver that organization is more important that vast space. But vast space is good too.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3310 days

#3 posted 02-17-2011 05:10 AM

Bill, Your advice is good down to earth information. I hope everyone that’s thinking of starting a woodworking business will take the time to follow your blog. I know I’ll be following because even after 25 years in this business, I’m always interested in hearing from other woodworking professionals. Good luck with the blog and look forward to your next post.

-- John @

View billb's profile


113 posts in 2969 days

#4 posted 02-18-2011 04:10 PM

No question that the bigger the better for a wood shop. I noticed that I tended to grow into the space each time I moved into a larger shop. I guess the important thing is to realize that while a larger space is an advantage, it’s not essential to making it in the woodworking business. You can get started with a small space and grow as funds permit and if you choose.

-- Bill, Austin, Texas,

View billb's profile


113 posts in 2969 days

#5 posted 02-18-2011 04:11 PM

John, thanks for your comments. I definitely plan to keep posting on the woodworking business.

-- Bill, Austin, Texas,

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