Marudai and Inkle Looms

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Project by Wayne Precht posted 01-23-2016 02:06 AM 574 views 3 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

Simple projects, but don’t be deceived, they are a PITA.

A friend came to me and wanted me to make him some marudai to sell at craft show. Woodworking isn’t his thing and I had never heard of a marudai before. He tried to explain it, but it just didn’t register:

“You mean it’s a donut and a square and 4 dowels. That’s it?”
“And people pay for this?”
“Yes, $40-$100 depending on size and wood.”
“Really? US Dollars you mean?”
“Yes. Can you make them?”

OK, so you most assuredly can sell these. It seems people into the fiber arts aren’t much into woodworking, even to this rather modest extent. See, the problem is it takes about 45 minutes to make one. It takes about an hour to make 5. So you make 5, and you sell them. And then you have to make 5 more. And sell them. And then you make 50 and slowly sell them. Then you never want to make another.

Plain ones go for around $40, fancy ones I have sold for $120+. The “Fancy” part is really the wood. Padauk and Zebrawood out sold all other types about 5 to 1. The wood is a lot more expensive, but you only need 2×8” cuts per marudai. So the first one pays for the board even at $15/ft.

This also tells you that most of these will get used once or twice and then will become shelf art. I made 5 special ones for an instructor. She wanted 10” wide, wood as white and clear as possible and 24” high instead of 18” high. Maple was fine for her. “See,” she said, “the Zebrawood is pretty but if you are actually weaving, you need to see the colors.” Ah, quite.

So, you can make money at craft fairs, Etsy and eBay, but it will drive you slowly insane.

The other loom, Inkle loom is harder to make and you can’t really make money at those. Pricing is around the same, but it takes a couple of hours per.

Just simple, but nice if you take the time to do a good job and select your woods well.

-- --- Wayne.

1 comment so far

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#1 posted 01-23-2016 03:34 PM

This project is very interesting. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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