Why woodworking pays so little?

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Forum topic by Dick_Cheney posted 10-04-2016 04:33 AM 2743 views 0 times favorited 46 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 751 days

10-04-2016 04:33 AM

Around here it is pretty easy to find an office job that pays 150k+ a year and all you do is hitting some keys on the keyboard and moving the mouse forth and back. I can attest that making a good piece of furniture takes at least no less experience than writing some stupid iphone application however very few do it for living as it is difficult to live on the income. At the sams time it is difficult to find a decent piece of furniture. Mostly smelly patlricle board stuff that falls apart on the third day, sooner in ghe presence of moisture.

46 replies so far

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 1049 days

#1 posted 10-04-2016 04:36 AM

is that you Nightguy?

View joey502's profile


544 posts in 1665 days

#2 posted 10-04-2016 05:19 AM

If you are making 150k in an office you are probably not using a mouse. You must be the good looking one, as is the case for me.

There are more people using apps than buying quality furniture. That makes the apps more valuable than the skills everyone here have been working years to perfect. It does not make the app developer’s skills better or worse, just more valuable in an open market.

Unfortunately, more consumers want cheap furniture than well built and well designed furniture. Our comsumer based economy does not allow for the market to be filled with quality. The volume of “stuff” Americans want is not possible is quality is placed above quantity.

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1600 days

#3 posted 10-04-2016 05:53 AM

People think its easy. Similar bulk products manufactured on a fast line cost less to make than the cost of my raw materials. No way to compete on price. Instead, compete on ‘hand made quality’. There is always a market for quality. Exploit it. Don’t make ANYTHING out of #2 common pine or pallet scraps.

Do the best you know how and always try to improve your quality, reduce operations, and minimize materials. Rule of thumb is that increasing production 10X will drive down costs ny half.


-- Madmark -

View JADobson's profile


1207 posts in 2258 days

#4 posted 10-04-2016 06:00 AM

If you can take home 150k by clicking a few buttons and moving a mouse around the screen what are doing even thinking about woodworking as a pro. Click your buttons are build a dream shop. You’ll have more fun.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View robscastle's profile


5313 posts in 2351 days

#5 posted 10-04-2016 09:28 AM

you get paid for woodworking?

-- Regards Rob

View rwe2156's profile


3092 posts in 1627 days

#6 posted 10-04-2016 10:19 AM

The world has changed and started changing a long time ago.

It started with the industrial revolution and has evolved to what it is today: everything made in China as cheaply as possible so we can have a higher standard of living by throwing it out an buying another one.

I taught all of my boys how to do manual labor, carpentry and build things. No matter what they do in life, it will be a benefit to them.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Redoak49's profile


3529 posts in 2135 days

#7 posted 10-04-2016 01:04 PM

I have been searching and have not found the $150 K job for just clicking a mouse.

Anyone notice someone stirring the pot…kind of like a DKV copycat.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2257 days

#8 posted 10-04-2016 01:13 PM

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2154 days

#9 posted 10-04-2016 01:52 PM

Can you say “Mass produced in Asia”? Yep, I knew you could.

And that’s the reason no one wants to pay the “small-time-custom builder” for his work / services.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Jon Hobbs's profile

Jon Hobbs

147 posts in 851 days

#10 posted 10-04-2016 02:24 PM

It’s possible to make $150k a year from woodworking. Even more. It takes a damn lot of hard work. It requires taking risk. It requires sacrifice. It requires a ton of experience built up over many years. It takes a multitude of skills above and beyond the technical skills of designing and building high quality furniture.

I’m fortunate enough to be one of those that makes about $150k “hitting some keys on the keyboard and moving the mouse forth and back”. I didn’t drop out of my mother’s womb with skills that are worth $150k a year. I didn’t luck into creating some trendy iPhone app. To an outsider, my job looks easy. However, anyone that spends more than a minute or two learning what I actually do claim they couldn’t/wouldn’t do it for twice the price. I got here through a damn lot of hard work, taking risks, making sacrifices, a ton of experience built up over many years, and developing skills other than the technical skills of hitting some keys on the keyboard and moving the mouse forth and back.

There are many men and women out there making a good living from just woodworking. Quite a number of them making the holy grail of $150k per year or more. Some of them are famous, most are not. Ask any of them how they got there and none of them will answer “by grousing about how unfair life is on an online forum…” ;)

-- Jon -- Just a Minnesota kid hanging out in Kansas

View sawdustdad's profile


364 posts in 1032 days

#11 posted 10-04-2016 02:52 PM

Woodworking doesn’t pay because everybody thinks, “I can build that myself” and save the money. You need to specialize in commercial/business work. Like conference room tables, receptionist desks, etc. Or, high-end (think mansion) custom interiors (cabinets/paneling, etc). You’ll need enough work to keep several people busy to clear $150k/yr for yourself. Can be done, but not making one-off furniture for friends.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View ste6168's profile


255 posts in 1318 days

#12 posted 10-04-2016 02:58 PM

It’s a great time to be alive.

View quasarwutwut's profile


59 posts in 752 days

#13 posted 10-04-2016 03:21 PM

If anyone would like to give me $150k for looking pretty please IM me. I just need me a few weeks’ notice to get some hipper clothes and get in better shape. Also maybe facial surgery. Probably hair restoration. And my posture’s terrible, I need to do something about that. So yeah, a couple weeks, then if you just direct-deposit the money that would be helpful.

-- Jordan, Chicago, not allowed near saws or goats. Or goats with saws.

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 922 days

#14 posted 10-04-2016 04:00 PM

-no barriers to entry

-nothing is proprietary

-extremely low start-up capital required

-not scalable


low profit

View ChuckV's profile


3171 posts in 3674 days

#15 posted 10-04-2016 04:50 PM

I see a great business plan. For a one-time fee of $75,000 I will let people in on the secret that they could easily be making $150,000 a year.

Please do not try to steal my idea.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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