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Cooperative shop for condo-bound woodworkers ??

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Forum topic by SkipperGuy posted 07-16-2011 04:08 PM 2346 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SkipperGuy

2 posts in 1259 days


07-16-2011 04:08 PM

Moving to Naples, FL soon. Into condo…............(no shop there)
Any ideas on creating an industrial condo cooperative wood shop for others like me ?
Non-profit, insured, somewhat managed.
I’m not a true entrepreneur, but the idea interests me.
Anyone ???

Guy Sanderson

-- GLS


9 replies so far

View DonnyBahama's profile

DonnyBahama

215 posts in 1282 days


#1 posted 07-16-2011 04:57 PM

I tried this in San Diego a few years ago. I was unable to find enough interested people to make it happen.

I was trying to do it on a shoestring budget – find enough people to split the initial costs (commercial property lease, utility deposits, initial shop setup, etc.) and hopefully some of them would have some tools to contribute but there are bound to be additional tool purchases required. (I was starting with a nice Grizzly cabinet saw and dust collector which I considered a good foundation.) I got a little help from an instructor of a woodworking program at a local community college who put up a flyer for me, but it didn’t get me a single interested member.

I think if you could buy all the machinery and pay all the initial costs to get it set up, you might – over time – be able to attract enough people for it to make sense, but the startup costs would high—and you’d need some additional money to advertise it to attract members. As I see it, you almost have to approach it as a for-profit business so that you can recoup the initial outlay and turn a profit going forward. If you could produce a good business plan that shows a path to profitability over time, you might be able to get a loan to make it all happen, but a non-profit co-op is a very, very long-shot.

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society - http://lumberjocks.com/topics/29451

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Loren

7825 posts in 2398 days


#2 posted 07-16-2011 05:00 PM

It’s been tried and in some places it has worked: NYC,
Archangel Woodworks in Worchester, MA – a few others
I’ve heard about.

I’ve read about these shops failing as businesses as well -
a very tricky business model if the shop partners aren’t
all or mostly professionals with real incomes from their
woodworking to support the shop costs.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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SkipperGuy

2 posts in 1259 days


#3 posted 07-16-2011 09:10 PM

Really happy to see 2 replies so soon. Thanks for the feedback. No shortage of money in Naples. Might be easier to find initial signees because of that. Initial nut needs to be specified, along with “withdrawl strategy” to keep everyone as whole as possible. Simple, plain “contract” is the only way…........... I see insurance as perhaps the biggest hurdle. Still hoping to draw out folks from the Naples area to gauge interest – perhaps an adv. in local paper or postings on condo bulletin boards.
Hope springs eternal.

-- GLS

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1673 days


#4 posted 07-16-2011 09:16 PM

I have a brother in law that has a place in a 55+ community in Ft Myers. I know they have a woodshop in the community but don’t know anything about it. Point being,you might look around and get some more ideas locally
and find out more of the ins and outs. Just a thought.

-- Life is good.

View FlWoodRat's profile

FlWoodRat

732 posts in 2660 days


#5 posted 07-16-2011 09:37 PM

Skipper, good luck with your efforts to get a co-op going.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

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DonnyBahama

215 posts in 1282 days


#6 posted 07-17-2011 08:36 AM

Insurance is going to be nearly impossible (or ridiculously expensive.) This may sound a little silly, but I’d highly recommend contacting the nearest skydiving business and get the name of their attorney (and insurer if they have one) – then get his/her advice on how to structure the disclaimers, liability releases, training videos, etc. There’s very little that has the potential for disaster that skydiving has – thus, no one covers their asses more carefully and thoroughly than a skydiving business. Emulate their practices and you should be well protected.

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society - http://lumberjocks.com/topics/29451

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Howie

2656 posts in 1673 days


#7 posted 07-17-2011 09:06 PM

Actually, I’ve been skydiving and would rather do that than drive I-4 in Tampa at rush hour.

-- Life is good.

View DonnyBahama's profile

DonnyBahama

215 posts in 1282 days


#8 posted 07-17-2011 09:14 PM

I hear ya, Howie. I think most of us could say that about any major thoroughfare in any major city. But remember all the forms you signed before skydiving? I bet they showed you a video, too… “Don’t even THINK about suing us. You’ll never win.” Sound familiar?

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society - http://lumberjocks.com/topics/29451

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 2448 days


#9 posted 07-17-2011 09:28 PM

Why move in a Condo?
Houses in FL are selling very cheap then you can do what you want, have your own shop?

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