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Forum topic by smittyhouse posted 11-03-2016 09:41 PM 1044 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 745 days

11-03-2016 09:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question resource

I used to build furniture for myself, family and friends as more of a hobby or way to save money sometimes just a specific piece that someone saw on pinterest then I thought I’d sell a thing or two off of etsy to make some extra money. Now I believe that I’ve created something of a monster, I have pending orders that never seem to get caught up and the worst part is that its not as fun anymore. Its become work again, everyone likes the same style of picture frame, table or bench. Has anyone else had this type of experience does anyone have any advice.

9 replies so far

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 1078 days

#1 posted 11-03-2016 09:53 PM

I am in the same boat, Just try to make your common sellers easy to make. I have jigs and templates for my most commonly made items. I use to love going out to the shop now seems like a choir, Taking breaks away from the shop helps me. In my experience a second hand really makes builds easy. good luck

View clin's profile


947 posts in 1172 days

#2 posted 11-03-2016 09:59 PM

It’s pretty common that hobbies become less fun when you transform them into your job.

Keep in mind that if demand for your product is too high, time to raise prices. You’ll work less, and make more money.

-- Clin

View pirollodesign's profile


1 post in 745 days

#3 posted 11-03-2016 10:06 PM

I was in a similar situation a few years back. My marketing paid off in spades and I was overwhelmed with orders. Problem was I had a day job and could not keep up. A huge decision on scaling back the business or expanding loomed , and at this juncture I began to realize this was not the direction I wanted to go in. So rather then establish a bad reputation, I killed the business off and re-focused on the type of woodworking I really wanted to do. Went back to a fine furniture making school and learned some new hand tool skills. Went on to make studio furniture instead of cranking out multiples. The early business experience was great though, you quickly realize all there is to know about running a business, good and bad parts. Take a step back and ask yourself if this is the direction you want to go in. I even wrote a book that talks about this..


-- Norman, Canada,

View Madmark2's profile


392 posts in 764 days

#4 posted 11-03-2016 11:22 PM

To double your money in woodworking take all your cash and fold it in half.

This is like trying to justify a yacht by all the fish you’ll save.

Once you start operating (S corp? LLC? else?) things need to happen on a schedule. Do you know what & how to file? If you don’t you’ll need to PAY someone to do it or it won’t get done.

Are you zoned for ‘light industrial’? Are you capable of covering the rent in an industrial park? Do you know about workmans comp?

Prepare to spend more time on your paperwork than in the shop doing what you like.

By all means go for it but go in with your eyes open.


View SuperCubber's profile


1037 posts in 2460 days

#5 posted 11-04-2016 01:08 AM

Personally, I think Clin nailed it. To me it seems like you have two choices to return to the times of enjoying your hobby.

It sounds like you are saying that you are taking more orders than you can keep up with. Can’t you just stop taking orders?

If that isn’t an option, then Clin is right on. Raise the prices and the orders will slow down.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View JAAune's profile


1846 posts in 2493 days

#6 posted 11-04-2016 05:06 AM

Woodworking businesses aren’t hobbies. They’re only fun if you enjoy the process of running a business. I do (most aspects at least) and I also enjoy woodworking. Some days it’s not much fun because projects don’t always go well but overall, it’s been great for me.

It helps a lot to get paid well. Over time I’ve slowly raised prices (or gotten faster at building things) and my client base keeps getting better each year. So raise your prices. That will reduce the jobs you get while keeping profits about the same.

-- See my work at and

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile


542 posts in 2040 days

#7 posted 11-04-2016 11:26 AM

This is why I typically only list and sell finished works on Etsy. I’ve got a couple for order, but that’s it. And I usually just use my Etsy store as a reference for people ITRW that want to commission a piece.

-- “If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” ― Lenny Bruce

View smittyhouse's profile


2 posts in 745 days

#8 posted 11-07-2016 12:32 PM

Thank you for yalls advice I’m a CO at a prison so this is my side gig. not really looking to it to take over long term I just enjoying making stuff for people, and getting a little on the side for doing so.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5603 posts in 2585 days

#9 posted 11-08-2016 04:00 AM

I do not do work for others for money. Gifts I do make but these are rare and for very good friends. It is a hobby not a business and I enjoy my time in my own small world. While I could make money at this, why would I want the headaches? Worse yet is when you are so consumed with orders and such making something for yourself or for the wife becomes a chore, or never gets done.

My 2 cents worth anyway. LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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