Niche woodworking?

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Forum topic by Beginningwoodworker posted 04-18-2010 05:37 AM 2299 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13345 posts in 3673 days

04-18-2010 05:37 AM

Someday I would like to do woodworking full time, I am trying to get into a niche woodworking business, I dont wont to build kitchen cabinets full time it to much of a hasel for me. I wont to do something that the rest of pack is not doing. I dont know where to start, I am thinking beds, tables, chairs, millwork or something on those lines.

15 replies so far

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3470 days

#1 posted 04-18-2010 05:39 AM

Welcome to the club.

View lew's profile


12061 posts in 3755 days

#2 posted 04-18-2010 05:58 AM

How about high end custom finish work?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Wintersedge's profile


83 posts in 2973 days

#3 posted 04-18-2010 06:00 AM

Build them all and then build your own creations.. then follow the ones that inspire you and make you want to wake up and build more of them.

-- Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3673 days

#4 posted 04-18-2010 06:19 AM

Never tought about that Lew.

View shopdog's profile


577 posts in 3485 days

#5 posted 04-18-2010 12:57 PM

I build decks using tropical hardwood, and I build them as if they were furniture. Some people say “it’s just a deck”, but not my clients. It’s easy to outbuild my competition, and I’ve been successful for many years. I still get to play with my tools, and make sawdust…and be my own boss.
I also make built-in bookcases (cold weather and rainy day projects), and do very well with that part of the business too.
It took me years before I decided to concentrate on one or 2 specialties. Years of being a trim carpenter and a cabinetmaker…I even built 2 houses.
Whatever you choose to do, do the best that you can, and try to be original. If you have great skills, and a good market, you’ll succeed.

-- Steve--

View john's profile


2370 posts in 4381 days

#6 posted 04-18-2010 01:26 PM

There is no better feeling finding a niche that you enjoy doing .
Mine was building Extreme Birdhouses :-)

Click for details

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3893 days

#7 posted 04-18-2010 02:03 PM

good luck

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View ToddTurner's profile


144 posts in 3323 days

#8 posted 04-18-2010 03:18 PM

Im with you bud. I am a maintenance manager, which is what i wanted for a long time. But woodworking has my heart and soul. I wonder if i did woodworking full time would i loose sight of the glory it holds? Think about that. I enjoy cabinet making myself and would love to contract cabinet making from local retailers. I wonder how to get in to the market. You have to ask how to get your goods in front of the people who will buy them.

View chrisstef's profile


17386 posts in 3006 days

#9 posted 04-18-2010 03:21 PM

Being a demolition contractor and a wood working hobbyist .. i would say a niche market could be reclaimed furniture. It certainly takes its toll on your time and tools working with old used wood, but IMHO the character and the story behind the wood is invaluable. Whenever i finish a reclaimed piece i always burn where the lumber came from into the piece. I certainly cant say wheter or not there is a market out there for reclaimed furniture but just throwin out my thoughts.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3074 days

#10 posted 04-18-2010 03:22 PM

I have no desire to make a living at woodworking since I already have made my living and I enjoy a nice pension. However, I have done quite a bit of woodworking for my church and one other church. The furniture available from the catalogues is quite expensive and you can custom build and be price competitive. Also, churches like things custom designed and often built in. At the moment I am working on a project to upgrade the looks of the church pews by making new panels for the ends of the pews.

It may take a lot of effort to get your name known, but if you build your reputation you could become the one to go to for custom church work.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Ger21's profile


1074 posts in 3131 days

#11 posted 04-18-2010 04:00 PM

Whatever it is, just make sure it’s something you like to build. Otherwise, it’ll get old fast.

-- Gerry,

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3480 days

#12 posted 04-18-2010 04:17 PM

I was watching a TV story a couple of years ago and they had a woodworker on there that used to build furniture and was quite good at it. He had, I believe, a neighbor ask him if he could build a casket for her husband who either had just died, or was expected to. She wanted a simple pine box like you see in the cowboy movies. He built here one and the word got out, and now he no longer does furniture, but devotes full time to casket making….how about that for a niche? :-)

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Roz's profile


1699 posts in 3786 days

#13 posted 04-19-2010 09:08 PM

Do what there is to do that you have the equipment for. I have done that and now have too many requests to keep up with. I discovered along the way that I like doing the special request projects that people want. I have done a lot of children’s toys intended to be air looms. Also martin houses, mantles, furniture and what ever comes up. It is always interesting and a nice additional income.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3673 days

#14 posted 04-20-2010 03:05 AM

Thanks guys for the help, I am still looking work :)

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2961 days

#15 posted 04-20-2010 03:48 PM

Be aware of the legal ramifications of this venture. Business licenses, zoning regulations, tax certificates for collecting sales tax, liability insurance, OSHA (and the state equivalent agency) to name a few. I would take time to visit a lawyer and see what this venture requires. Good luck! Hope it works out for you.

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