Hello fellow LJ’s my buddy A1 Jim kinda help set the tone for this blog entry with his topic how much is your woodworking worth ? Well I am writing about the cost of doing business as a wood worker. A wood working business is pretty much the same across the board regardless who started it, most of us dream of getting some form of compensation for our labors and heaven forbid materials but what does it really take for us to make a living off of woodworking. Let’s examine my company a few years back as I was doing this as a hobby I was making portraits of lions, scriptures, and other scroll sawn items. I was profitable but only slightly let me explain one plaque I did that was a popular seller took me 1hr to cut out frame and finish as I got a price of 25.00 for my plaques however closer examination show material cost at around 10.00 for each frame as I figured out to start stack cutting 5 out at a time I was able to bring down labor cost as I could do 5 per hour now you may say wow I like this 125.00 worth of sales in a day !!! now adding in material cost to play of 50.00 – 125.00 = 75.00 WOW I hear you say already but wait add in blades, glue, paint thinner for removing patterns, electricity, shipping for raw material, gas to get frames locally and misc that pops up totaling about 30.00 75.00 – 30.00 = 45.00 per ca pita or gross profit for me to live off of this food, rent, other hobbies or interest etc. I would need to make and sell at least 150 frames per month requiring at least 160 man hours to complete now this is a full time job just to live off of what you make. my shop rate varies and can doing smaller and more manageable projects part time allows me to be profitable and get a better start. take for example the arts and crafts table I am currently working on Google it and you find prices ranging from 198.00 to 575.00 depending on where it was produced it took me about 12 hrs to complete due to hand cutting mortises if I invest in a mortiser and I shave off 2.5 hours and am more accurate so figure it out 10 hrs x 35.00 per hour
(shop rate) + materials 125.00 = 475.00 and you make about roughly 275.00 per ca pita or gross profit now I only need to make and sell 4 tables to live off of my wood working a little harder to market but not impossible.
The other factors and cost are not monetary but read a few of the postings fellow lumber jock Todd Clippinger wrote at American craftsman workshop and you will see how too much work, or getting sick or distracted can affect your life out of the shop, plus if you have thin skinned neighbors are they going to put up with your constant noise, and is your spouse,friends and family with you 100% look at all of these factors before you start chasing the dream? :) As Todd put it you can’t live the dream if you don’t spend time in the shop!!!
-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path firstname.lastname@example.org