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Forum topic by yarydoc posted 05-15-2010 03:44 AM 5945 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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417 posts in 3143 days

05-15-2010 03:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

For me woodworking has always been a hobby. This is what I do for fun, therapy, or just to feed my tool addiction. I have found that anything that is sold if you add some more money with it I can buy more. I realize that there are some truly gifted people on this site that sell there products to supplement your income or even make a living at it. My question is this, If we didn’t love what we do would we be woodworking? What kind of time do you have in your projects and how does it average out? How many of us actually make minimum wage on our projects.

-- Ray , Florence Alabama

25 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3073 days

#1 posted 05-15-2010 03:55 AM

My woodworking does not show a financial profit. I never wanted it to. I enjoy it a great deal and I get a great payback when I see the look on my niece’s face when I give her a music box I made. I get a great feeling of satisfaction when I complete a project for my church and I take pride in a house full of furniture that I made. I could go on but this is getting boring. I’m sure you get my point.

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

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3058 days

#2 posted 05-15-2010 04:11 AM

Very few do woodworking because of money, most of us do this for the love of the craft.

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3197 days

#3 posted 05-15-2010 04:11 AM

I am trying to make a profit, but, this is my 3rd year trying. My tool purchases should be down, I have most everything I need ( not want). It is hard though, I have a full time job, that gets 50 – 60 hours a week, and with special events going on like my sons graduation coming up,my other son plays varsity lacrosse, each game is 4 hours total time donation 10 hours a week, lots of yard work. Sometimes I have to work a sixth day, my wife seems to come up with ideas for my time at home, other responsibilities. I just haven’t had time so far this year to make sale-able stuff. A couple more weeks and things slow down, I can get some turning in. I am not whining, just explaining. It is good to be busy.
Keeping my chin up and my visor down.
Good luck.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3890 days

#4 posted 05-15-2010 05:01 AM

Thanks for speaking for the rest of us Steven. “Love of the craft” doesn’t pay the bills. I do it for the money.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2984 days

#5 posted 05-15-2010 05:36 AM

I’m not quite at the “making profit” stage, but I am making income. I anticipate that by the end of this year, it will be profit (from my initial investment in equipment and tools)

It’s definitely something that I love doing, which I think just makes it easier for me to be able to dedicate the energy into it being profitable.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3427 days

#6 posted 05-15-2010 02:47 PM

I’ve made $. I’ve lost $. Thankfully, I made considerably more than I lost.
My tools have all been paid for from when I made $.
Now it’s all for the fun of it.
For me, woodworking with profit in mind is just a job.
I don’t need a job!

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3479 days

#7 posted 05-15-2010 03:26 PM

I’m like many, furniture building for me is mostly a hobby. I rarely do work for hire so no profits here. Most money I receive for building is when I do things like remodel a house or build a deck.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4126 days

#8 posted 05-15-2010 03:33 PM

My gross profit margin runs an average of about 80% on retail and 40-50% on wholesale.
Not a hobby…

-- 温故知新

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3665 days

#9 posted 05-15-2010 05:09 PM

If you woodwork for a living and don’t make a profit, then you aren’t really woodworking for a living now are you?

If it cost you money to do it, then it is a hobby. Even if you have fancy business cards and a website.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3575 days

#10 posted 05-15-2010 05:15 PM

Woodworking for a living is a tough game even the most elite and talented struggle to make a profit.
It’s one of those chicken today feathers tomorrow things.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View john's profile


2370 posts in 4380 days

#11 posted 05-15-2010 05:45 PM

I build because i love what i do but i am also very lucky to make lots of money doing it ! :-)

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2959 days

#12 posted 05-15-2010 05:48 PM

i think it may be different in europe, professional woodworkers here usually have so much demand that they mostly only do the biggger most profitable jobs like making stairs, doors and windows. no time to lose on anything else, thats why it’s not that hard as an occasional woodworker to get regular jobs making furniture and other special things as long as your not asking too much. and maybe also because professional woodworkers (in belgium) usually charge €40/hour (about $60!), wich is partly why i got into woodworking because im “greedo” the greedy bastard who doesn’t wan’t to pay someone $60 an hour to make his windows and doors for his future house!

as to answer the first question, im under a special contract with my dad on the farm where i don’t work for a salary but for “shares” in the farm, so occaional woodworking is my only source of income. so i need to make a profit doing it. i started end of 2009 by investing about €3000 in better equipment and tools, and started making profit about 3 months later, so now my little “business” sustains itself. but all this adds an ambiguity, i need to make profit so jobs go first and personal projects come after. there is so much i would like to make for myself and my GF, but i feel like im losing money if i do that and i just don’t have the time as i got the farm, evening school, and my “business”, that occupy at least 13 hours of my days, 24/7 don’t rest on sundays either!

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3283 days

#13 posted 05-16-2010 02:54 AM

There’s a lot of different type woodworkers and a lot of different levels of success or profit. For some, woodworking is nother more then a vehicle to make money and if they weren’t making money at it they would move on to something else…......Others, it’s a passion. We love what we do and can’t think of anything else I would rather do for a living, so the money is not the # 1 priority. I make my living doing woodworking and have for the past 25 years. I guess you could say I’ve had some pretty profitably years and then there has been some slim times. 2008, I had the best year I’ve every had in the 25 years I’ve been woodworking, yet 2009 was one of the worst. Doesn’t matter! I’m sure I’ll die behind my table saw and I’ll never be a millionare, but I’m happy and very proud of what I do.

-- John @

View Dustin's profile


392 posts in 3448 days

#14 posted 05-16-2010 06:30 AM

I do it because I want more tools. I’ll be honest. I make thousands of dollars that I just seem to blow away on more tools. I think I spent well over ten grand last year alone. This year I’ve already spent over six. Someday I want to make enough money to drop 5k at a time on cool new huge machines! Here’s the thing though, I’ve been an entrepreneur for a decade before I got into woodworking. I absolutely know the game. The trick now is to learn woodworking.

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3665 days

#15 posted 05-17-2010 02:31 PM

It makes me kringe to hear someone talk about doing woodwork for money and then turing around and saying they need to learn how to woodwork.

Granted, running a successful business is more about knowing how to run a business, but a firm grasp of the trade is equally important.

Best of luck.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

showing 1 through 15 of 25 replies

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