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Forum topic by Savage86 posted 05-25-2017 03:51 PM 404 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Savage86

29 posts in 205 days


05-25-2017 03:51 PM

Long time lurker first time poster. I’ll start off by saying I’m 31 years old. I’ve done construction work on custom homes since I was 16. I love what I do. I’ve recently ventured out and started my own business. In my down time I dable in woodworking projects. I’ve made quite a bit of furniture for family an friends. I’ve acquired quite a bit of hand an power tools over the years. My question and I don’t mean to step on anyone’s toes here. Is it worth making custom stuff to sell? I love log type Adirondack style. I live in upstate ny. There is a few people up my way that do build an post sale items on Facebook. I just couldn’t imagine charging the prices they do. I realize it takes a lot of time and I have thousands invested in tools. There is definetly some master craftsman on here. I would appreciate any advice or insights you could offer me. I’m not sure if a person could make a living building stuff but that would be a nice pipedream.


7 replies so far

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

373 posts in 426 days


#1 posted 05-25-2017 04:11 PM

The easiest way to make a small fortune in WW is to start with a large one.

Shipping as a %age of COGS will kill you. Once you get past what UPS / USPS can handle you need a Less Than Load trucker and that ain’t cheap!

Examine your designs to insure they can be shipped flat and assembled by the cust. This will impact your joinery choices.

Good luck from a former Rochestarian!

M

View weathersfuori's profile

weathersfuori

86 posts in 968 days


#2 posted 05-25-2017 04:15 PM

I’ve been doing a little bit of custom stuff in my spare time for the past year or so and advertising on Facebook here in the Houston suburbs, all out of my garage. Couple things I can pass along… keeping in mind my day job is to forecast the weather behind a desk and I have 3 young daughters that lead to very little free time!

My sole purpose for selling stuff was to fund my hobby, and so far it has worked pretty well. With money earned on small projects here and there, a couple bigger projects, and saving up cash from birthday/Christmas gifts, I’ve been able to buy a solid table saw (recently upgraded to a Grizzly 1023), band saw, jointer off of Craigslist, planer… not all top of the line stuff but far better than I expected to have at this point, and I wouldn’t have been able to get “approval” on these purchases if I hadn’t offset the cost with earnings from projects I’ve sold.

Unless you can come up with something you can mass produce quickly and/or have some help and/or your work is just so good that people are willing to spend a lot of money on it, you probably aren’t going to make a ton of money. But ask yourself why you are doing it… for me, like I said I just do it to help pay for more tools or projects for my own home, and to learn the craft by doing projects for people that I’ve never done before… for instance right now I am building a couple of doors and some bar stools for customers. This is forcing me to learn how to do some mortise and tenon joinery among other things. Never thought I’d build a door.

Biting off more than you can chew when selling things can take the fun out of it. I’m in this position right now with said doors and bar stools (3 different customers). My real job has been busy, jointing 8 ft boards for these doors has been frustrating, and I’m spending more time in my shop than my wife and kids would like. I know this feeling will go away though once I get these things done, because (hopefully) I’ll be proud that I’ve built some things totally out of my wheelhouse.

What’s cool about Facebook, is I can be somewhat selective on my advertisement. I belong to a handful of groups where people sell things, and they are restricted based on location. This way I don’t have to worry about shipping or delivering on the other side of town. If the buyer is a member of that group, they either live nearby or are required to pick up the item within the group’s geographical area. Also, if you have nothing going on you can post on a bunch of these groups to generate some business, then pull your post if you get too much, or just post to a couple if you are itching to build something but have other stuff going on that might take up your time.

I don’t know what the market is like up there for the kind of work you do, but give it a try. Just start slow and get a feel for the market, and adjust from there. Facebook is a great way to start IMO because you can more easily set your pace than say a website that is seen by everyone.

-- Weathersfuori, Texas, www.facebook.com/f5creations

View Savage86's profile

Savage86

29 posts in 205 days


#3 posted 05-25-2017 04:23 PM

Thank you mad mark. I’ll post some of my projects later on when I get time. That is what I was kind of thinking if I tried to do internet sales the stuff would have to be assembled and you are right that would greatly affect the joinery choices. I was lucky enough the stuff I’ve built so far I could transport an deliver myself. I just find say for a bed frame or bench for example. There’s a store in Plattsburgh ny that sells log style stuff. I’ve looked them over very well. It’s full of timber locks and Sheetrock screws and still a price tag of over $1000. Mine are very time consuming but with tenons n mortise and dovetails and the few other joints I’ve learned to master in mind haha are much stronger and look a whole lot better. There is a huge flea market coming up I rented a space and I’m going to dip my feet in the water and see if anything sells. I guess that’s the only way to find out. I’ve made quite a few things for customers and they were all very pleased. I just didn’t know if the demand for custom pieces would be high enough to earn myself a nest egg doing what I love to do

View Savage86's profile

Savage86

29 posts in 205 days


#4 posted 05-25-2017 04:26 PM

I appreciate your advice guys. I know it’s a very vague question but I knew there would be true craftsman that were in my shoes once upon a time that wouldn’t mind giving some words of wisdom.

View weathersfuori's profile

weathersfuori

86 posts in 968 days


#5 posted 05-25-2017 04:35 PM

well hopefully another true craftsman besides just Mad Mark shows up then! LOL

A craftsman I am not, but hopefully my experience as a newbie is still helpful. Best of luck to you! As I tell my three girls, the only way to learn from mistakes is to make them.

-- Weathersfuori, Texas, www.facebook.com/f5creations

View Savage86's profile

Savage86

29 posts in 205 days


#6 posted 05-25-2017 09:43 PM

I appreciate your insight to weathersfuori just didn’t want to spell your name wrong lol.

View Loren's profile

Loren

9631 posts in 3486 days


#7 posted 05-25-2017 10:13 PM

Try approaching interior designers and
architects. There’s enough wealth in your
state to pay a fair wage for good
craftsmanship.

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