Finding a woodworker for small scale manufacturing in Northern NJ

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Forum topic by NaturaMama posted 07-27-2014 08:32 PM 1410 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1422 days

07-27-2014 08:32 PM

I make and sell poplar kid’s chairs online and I’m having a hard time keeping up with orders. It’s not a ton of chairs, and a very simple design, I’m just looking to outsource the work so I can spend more time on hobby projects. How do I go about finding someone local with a workshop that wants to make these for me? I’d probably need at least 10 chairs per week, or could build up an inventory of 100-300 at once every couple of months. Each chair takes at most a half hour start to finish, and much less if someone does a bunch assembly-line style. I feel like it’s not a big enough job for a “real” manufacturer, and I’d much rather support the small, local woodworker anyway. Though maybe this kind of work is too blah for a creative craftsman? Looking for anyone that can point me in the right direction of where to search. My local lumberyard is swamped as is and they charge a lot just for basic cuts so that’s not an option. I’m completely new to woodworking so i don’t have a network of contacts to try. And I’d rather avoid casting a large net on craigslist when I won’t have any way to weed out by skill level.

Btw, I’m new here and excited to read up on new projects I can get into, as soon as I can free up my time with these chairs!

7 replies so far

View jinkyjock's profile


488 posts in 1597 days

#1 posted 07-27-2014 09:09 PM

I am intrigued by your post and would like to ask a couple of questions.
Are you asking for someone to assemble the chairs.
Are the component parts all provided ready milled by you.
Is a finish applied to chairs.
As the chairs are for children, do certain criteria have to be met.
Cheers, Jinky (James).

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5 posts in 1422 days

#2 posted 07-27-2014 10:00 PM

Yes, the chairs would need to be assembled. I think I’m looking to provide the milled boards of poplar (1×12’ 1×10’ and 1×8) and have someone cut them down to size, round their corners with a jig saw, glue/drill to assemble, and sand the edges. I finish them myself with a natural polish, and that way I get to have a detailed once over for each chair too. I’m just starting out with this, but from what I’ve been researching, because it’s a chair and not a highchair/crib/toddler bed or a few other items that have specific safety regulations, it just falls under a general children’s product category, which needs testing for the finish, which I’m using a tested, food-safe product for. Hope that helps!

View tncraftsman's profile


92 posts in 3162 days

#3 posted 07-28-2014 12:14 PM


I have some experience with limited production runs. I’d like to learn more about what you need. Please send me a PM.


View NaturaMama's profile


5 posts in 1422 days

#4 posted 07-28-2014 04:32 PM

tncraftsman, thanks! I’m a brand new member and it won’t let me PM yet :-\

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5 posts in 1422 days

#5 posted 07-28-2014 04:34 PM

I’m also brand new to the business side of this, so I have no experience with limited production runs, fabrication companies, etc. How does it work if you’re not local? I think I had in mind a local craftsman who I could drop off supplies/pick up finished chairs from, and handle the shipping out to customers myself. But I’m completely open to any cost-effective way to get things done.

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5 posts in 1422 days

#6 posted 07-28-2014 04:35 PM

ah, think I figured this out, sending a PM…

View stnich's profile


118 posts in 2947 days

#7 posted 08-03-2014 09:52 PM

I’m in North Central NJ where are you located?

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