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Forum topic by russi666 posted 01-03-2014 04:51 PM 1030 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 1601 days

01-03-2014 04:51 PM

Hi all,

I’m brand new to this site, so apologies in advance for if I’ve put this in the wrong thread or anything like that.
I’ve joined the site looking for advice. I’m looking at starting creating my own items with the view to selling.
I’m a 26 year old guy, and have been doing basic woodwork my entire working career. I’ve spent 9 years at a fireplace manufacturing company. The product is already cut by the time I get it, so my experience is predominantly in the sanding, slotting and assembly of fire surrounds and small quantities of basic household furniture. Basically, I would really appreciate anyone’s ideas of products I could create with my limited skill set and a low budget. I’ve recently acquired a one car garage to get the ball rolling. Early ideas are bird tables and chopping boards. I would ideally like to do this as a hobby/weekend job to see how it goes, and if it’s financially viable, do it full time.
Any comments at all very welcome. Thanks in advance for your responses.


7 replies so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15349 posts in 2615 days

#1 posted 01-03-2014 05:16 PM

Russ, welcome to LJs.

The topics of what to make, how to sell and the viability of going into woodworking full time surface on a fairly frequent basis here. It’s not truly an area of interest for me, but I read your post and just wanted to suggest there are posts and threads here that bear a look. Do some searching for a day or two and you’ll find recurring contributors that know the craft and boutique woodworking markets and comment with authority that is well-earned. Plenty of ‘tales of woa’ but also exceptional insight.

Good luck on your pursuit.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2481 days

#2 posted 01-03-2014 05:21 PM

First thing that comes to mind is the blog series that Huff has put together on that very topic. Another one worth a look is from pashley who has done some series on that, too.

Happy reading.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Don W's profile

Don W

18711 posts in 2564 days

#3 posted 01-03-2014 05:24 PM

Welcome to the forum. I’ll second what Smitty wrote. Just put “how to make a living” and similar in the search line. Lots to read.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15349 posts in 2615 days

#4 posted 01-03-2014 05:30 PM

Good stuff, Brian. That’s exactly the type of stuff I was referring to. Don’s seen them too, and that search phrase is a good one. If this is something you have your heart set on, a block of search time on LJs is a small price to pay.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View russi666's profile


4 posts in 1601 days

#5 posted 01-03-2014 11:06 PM

Thanks for your replies. I’ll give it a search. Briefly, on the subject of bird tables, I can get hold of quite a substantial quantity of 12mm thick MDF, approx 15” square free of charge from work. I assume that it’s suitable for use, how would I go about treating it for outdoor use?

View bondogaposis's profile


4725 posts in 2348 days

#6 posted 01-03-2014 11:52 PM

Welcome to LJ. I don’t think MDF could ever be made suitable for outdoor use.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View HowardInToronto's profile


76 posts in 1698 days

#7 posted 01-07-2014 01:37 AM

Russ -

First off, congratulations for taking the first, most important step – doing research by asking for help.

You’re on the right path. But you really need to ask different questions of yourself.

You describe your skills as limited.

Why remain limited by your definition? Why wouldn’t you add some new skills?

I’m not talking about adding tons of exotic one-in-a-million skills. I’m just saying why not add to your (self-described limited) skills and knowledge so you can bring more to your life.

Anything less is a disservice to you and those that depend on you. And besides, it’s a mighty quick race to the bottom.

Also, you’ve got “what should I make” backwards.

Why not ask yourself “what do people in markets I know intimately or will research deeply need or want.”

Those two questions might look too simple. They are. But answering them truthfully lets good answers come real easy.


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