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Forum topic by uffitze posted 04-24-2010 01:29 AM 1422 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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uffitze

199 posts in 1680 days


04-24-2010 01:29 AM

I’ve been lurking for a little while now, and I have a few questions for you guys. So, without further ado …

Do you make your living selling stuff that you’ve made out of wood?

Do you need a secondary income to live comfortably?

What role if any, does your geographic location play in your ability to make a living?

What do you make? (cabinets, furniture, turned stuff, sculptures …)

How long did it take you to build a viable business?

And, yes, if it’s not obvious, I’m another guy who is considering attempting to make this sawdust making stuff more than just a hobby.


10 replies so far

View lwllms's profile

lwllms

547 posts in 2006 days


#1 posted 04-24-2010 03:23 AM

”Do you make your living selling stuff that you’ve made out of wood?”
In theory.

”Do you need a secondary income to live comfortably?”
I was once told, “the successful woodworker is one who’s spouse has two jobs.” My wife does have two jobs and we need her income.

”What role if any, does your geographic location play in your ability to make a living?”

It makes it more difficult. We’re a long distance from critical wood supplies and teaching at any of the good schools requires very long drives.

”What do you make?”

www.planemaker.com

”How long did it take you to build a viable business?”

I’ve been working full-time on this since 2000 and part-time for several years before that. Before 2000 I was a self-employed finish carpenter and did architectural wood work. I did pretty well, then suffered a badly broken arm. I still have limited use of that arm so I’m not doing bad for a one-armed guy. Cancer and a heart attack slowed me down a little but I’m getting back up to speed.

View Jordan's profile

Jordan

1358 posts in 1849 days


#2 posted 04-24-2010 07:47 AM

I’ve been lurking for a little while now, and I have a few questions for you guys. So, without further ado …

Do you make your living selling stuff that you’ve made out of wood? Yes

Do you need a secondary income to live comfortably? My wife works and when it’s slow for me, her income definitely does help.

What role if any, does your geographic location play in your ability to make a living? Much, now that I’ve experimented with two locations.

What do you make? (cabinets, furniture, turned stuff, sculptures …) Carvings

How long did it take you to build a viable business? It’s been in the works for twenty years but I made my first $5000 sale about 15 years ago.

And, yes, if it’s not obvious, I’m another guy who is considering attempting to make this sawdust making stuff more than just a hobby. My brother always told me “Don’t quit your day job until your carvings bring in at least 3/4 of that income.

-- http://www.jordanstraker.com

View Eagle1's profile

Eagle1

2066 posts in 1789 days


#3 posted 04-24-2010 01:08 PM

Personally I just do it as a hobby. There are a lot of LJ’s here that do it for a living. I’m medically retired. It keeps me busy. I love working with my hands. I started it back up because my butt was getting to sore setting infront of my computer all day to spend my time. If someone see’s one of my pieces and want to buy it I sell it, most of my stuff I make it as gifts, ot just keep it here at the house.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

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Moron

4708 posts in 2618 days


#4 posted 04-24-2010 01:31 PM

Do you make your living selling stuff that you’ve made out of wood?.....Yes, solid wood, venners and composite wood products.

Do you need a secondary income to live comfortably?...yes and no. The other half has a decent job with a good income, without her income her children couldnt visit Greece, Italy, summer camp, Florida, or do figure skating, rep hockey, sleep in till noon, watch TV…etectcetera. Add the in-laws and their habitual seek and destroy missions. If I removed her children and her parents I would have a very comfortable life.

What role if any, does your geographic location play in your ability to make a living?....probably a lot. I live near an affluent city, diversified in mfg,lots of robotic engineering firms and not too far away is an even bigger city and I am only a short drive from those who “summer” in cottage country/lakeland, movie stars,politicians, wealthy business folks…........I’m quite sure it has a spin off effect.

What do you make? (cabinets, furniture, turned stuff, sculptures …).....I remain diversified so I dont paint myself into a corner so I make furniture, repair furniture, refinish furniture, do tile work, flooring, drywall and paint but the bulk of my work is custom cabinetry in the form of built ins, vanities, kitchens, office etc.,

How long did it take you to build a viable business?.............a very very long time. Guessing I am fortunate/lucky because of my position at another company, when I left, so did enough clients that it gave me my start. two of those clients lent me enough money to get started. they were then and are now, my best clients and mentors.

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

View uffitze's profile

uffitze

199 posts in 1680 days


#5 posted 04-26-2010 11:23 PM

Well Rob, it’s not often that I get accused of being smart … the truth is that I do have a plan, but I’m currently laid up with a ruptured achilles, and so don’t have much to do but read, watch the tube, and think about stuff (in other words second guess myself).

Thanks for the responses guys … exactly the kind of info that I’m looking for.

View billb's profile

billb

112 posts in 1669 days


#6 posted 05-04-2010 03:18 PM

Do you make your living selling stuff that you.ve made out of wood?
I don’t now but I did for over 20 years.

Do you need a secondary income to live comfortably? Unless you established a reserve fund when starting up, a secondary income is helpful. However, it really depends on your needs and your financial situation. For example, if you own your home free and clear as opposed to paying a mortgage or rent. Living comfortably means different things to different people.

What role, if any, does your geographic location play in your ability to make a living? I doubt it makes much difference if you know your market. If you are trying to reach a market that doesn’t exist in your area, it will make a serious difference. I moved from a city in Florida to a city in Texas and found little difference in the markets.

What do you make? I made furniture and cabinets. Entertainment centers, kitchen cabinets, specialty cabinets like armoires, night stands, dressing tables, conference tables, workstation desks, file cabinets, lecterns, etc. I also did finish carpentry such as installing crown moldings and fireplace mantels.

How long did it take you to build a viable business? I was making a living by the end of the first month and my business grew so I had to raise prices to avoid long backlogs of work.

-- Bill, Austin, Texas, http://woodworking-business.com

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live4ever

983 posts in 1735 days


#7 posted 05-07-2010 08:21 PM

I am not a woodworking pro.

But I do have experience turning a hobby into a business. And I would advise you to be very, very, careful. At the end of the day, there’s a good chance you will be able to professionally do something that you enjoy very much (and not many people can say that). But there’s also a good chance you could end up with a failed biz and a ruined hobby. Hobbies mean different things to different people – but if your hobby is something that fulfills you in a lot of different ways, it’s important to be careful with it.

I don’t mean to sound at all preachy – just would hate to see anyone go down the path I went down. Even picking up a camera and shooting for fun is still, at times, hard for me.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View JimArnoldChess's profile

JimArnoldChess

196 posts in 1719 days


#8 posted 05-22-2010 02:25 PM

1. Yes…for many years now.

2. I did at first. During hurricane season in Florida people don’t buy anything unless its comes from home depot, so I would pick up a re-modeling an old boat or old house for a couple months, that lasted for a few seasons.

3. Speaking from a wood carver’s perspective I think geographic location is everything!

4. Old fashioned traditional hand carved wood products.

5. The I.R.S. tells me its a viable business…

The company has only one employee. I keep trying to fire his ass, but he won’t leave.

Wood carving is what I do.

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/JimArnoldsChessSets

View a1Jim's profile (online now)

a1Jim

112549 posts in 2302 days


#9 posted 05-22-2010 02:49 PM

I’ve been lurking for a little while now, and I have a few questions for you guys. So, without further ado …

Do you make your living selling stuff that you’ve made out of wood? yes

Do you need a secondary income to live comfortably? I’ve been a contractor for the same amount of time I’ve had a wood shop so that’s a yes
What role if any, does your geographic location play in your ability to make a living? It is a rural are so that makes a big difference I would not survive with out both businesses
What do you make? (cabinets, furniture, turned stuff, sculptures …) I make cabinets,furniture and architectural details
How long did it take you to build a viable business? It’s been 20+ years

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Puzzleman's profile

Puzzleman

345 posts in 1669 days


#10 posted 05-22-2010 04:12 PM

Do you make your living selling stuff that you’ve made out of wood? yes

Do you need a secondary income to live comfortably? My wife works part time as an RN, the house and cars are paid for, the kids are gone. With all of that I do fine

What role if any, does your geographic location play in your ability to make a living? Location makes little difference to me as I do wholesale, internet and catalog sales. I ship 99% of my orders.

What do you make? Personalized Puzzle Stools, Puzzles, And many other personalized items for children and adults. Learning puzzles.

How long did it take you to build a viable business? Started out 7 years ago and made a little money the first year (by the way no pay check for the first year) and then it has grown and taken off. I am always looking for new ways to market my business while still doing the ways that have been proven effective for me. Promoting business is a subject for a whole different conversation.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler, http://www.hollowwoodworks.com

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