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Forum topic by PhillipRCW posted 12-18-2014 10:14 PM 2642 views 1 time favorited 63 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PhillipRCW

386 posts in 725 days


12-18-2014 10:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource question tip carving shaping turning veneering finishing joining sanding woodburning traditional modern shaker greene and greene arts and crafts rustic victorian

I started my own business and have already run into the whole, “can you do this item cheaper?” question from customers? 90% of my work will be sitting there in the shop cutting and forming pieces for what I want to make and hoping they sell. I don’t want to make more than one unless it’s a set, and even then I never write down build plans. It’s just how I operate. I work in my head, however I came across a design from a customer of a piece that she wants “knocked off.” I know I can do it, and I know I can do it better, and for less. This piece I don’t feel so bad about, but I don’t think I’d take a job making a Greg Klassen river table knock off. I love those tables and have actually had plans drawn up with my dad from when I was young to build something like that, but I don’t think I’d ever just undercut him and sell a knock off for a grand compared to his five grand.

Sorry to ramble on, but what is everyone else’s opinion on this? I work a 9-5 and don’t live off of my woodworking so I have the luxury of saying no I won’t do something, and already have for various reasons. At what point is it ok to imitate work as a form of flattery compared to forging the work for a quick buck?

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.


63 replies so far

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Timberwerks

355 posts in 2622 days


#1 posted 12-18-2014 10:20 PM

I’ve already seen knock offs of his work. You pretty much have to expect that when you post the same thing over & over on Facebook etc. In my mind it’s now overdone. Me, I’d pass. I want to be recognized for my work not someone else’s.

-- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timberwerks-Studio/126415221682

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PhillipRCW

386 posts in 725 days


#2 posted 12-18-2014 10:29 PM

Yeah, I’ve seen a few. I HOPE someone copies my stuff. It means it was awesome lol. However as a builder, whether paid of not, I am in it for being creative and not so much to make a million. If it happens somewhere in the process then I’m fine with it, but I guess my complaint is that when someone comes to me asking me to knock off an artist work for less money it means they value my work as a lesser or cheaper product. Now if he’s behind and I can knock one out in a week or two and the person wants to pay me 5 G’s, bring it on. I will make it my own product at that point.

Now the Pottery Barn and other stores that I know all woodworkers or anyone who’s seen a saw has been asked to knock off, I could care less about their profit. Hell before I talked my wife into letting me use savings to reinvest in tools after the tornado, she paid a local place 3K for a 6ft rustic table and chairs. I wanted to die when I came home and saw that price tag.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

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Richard

1898 posts in 2151 days


#3 posted 12-18-2014 10:35 PM

Now the Pottery Barn and other stores that I know all woodworkers or anyone who s seen a saw has been asked to knock off, I could care less about their profit. Hell before I talked my wife into letting me use savings to reinvest in tools after the tornado, she paid a local place 3K for a 6ft rustic table and chairs. I wanted to die when I came home and saw that price tag.
- PhillipRCW


Phillip , when the wife buys it you Never Look at the Price Tag! But she will always look at yours for new tools. :)
And I agree that makeing a Knock off of the cheap stuff is Ok with me because I would want it to last longer.

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PhillipRCW

386 posts in 725 days


#4 posted 12-18-2014 10:37 PM

Yeah I can make and sell a nice farmhouse table for like $700 bucks for what the local place charged me 3k for. and that’s including the bench and using reclaimed wood from the expensive vendor here.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

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Redoak49

1938 posts in 1449 days


#5 posted 12-18-2014 10:41 PM

Since you do not live off your wood working, as you said you can do as you please. It seems that this is pretty troubling to you. Unless you have some other compelling reason to do the work, I would not do it. From your post, it seems like it bothers you and always will if you do it.

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Rob

704 posts in 2531 days


#6 posted 12-18-2014 10:41 PM

I think if the knock-offs are one-offs and it’s clear that they’re knock-offs because they have your mark and you’re giving proper credit, it’s fine. If you’re making a batch of knock-offs and selling them as originals or as your own design without giving proper credit for your inspiration, then that’s crossing the line.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

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PhillipRCW

386 posts in 725 days


#7 posted 12-18-2014 10:41 PM

And I know everything is imitated at some point, just trying to determine what others thoughts are on this imaginary line. I could knock out some “river tables” like nobodies business right now. I have 50 slabs at least in the garage waiting for something like that. Not to mention another 9000 lbs worth to cut up at the saw mill. But I want to do my own thing with it for the most part. There’s a few items I’ve seen other jocks build here that I can’t wait to give it a shot, but if it were something they were making a living off of (like a unique design) then I wouldn’t promote it through my business.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

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Richard

1898 posts in 2151 days


#8 posted 12-18-2014 10:51 PM



Yeah I can make and sell a nice farmhouse table for like $700 bucks for what the local place charged me 3k for. and that s including the bench and using reclaimed wood from the expensive vendor here.

- PhillipRCW


Yep I have seen Lots of those on this site and most of them cost way less than 3 grand , and the people who made them are in most cases more than willing to give you plans or help in the design and build cycle of it if you ask or they have posted a full build review many times.

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PhillipRCW

386 posts in 725 days


#9 posted 12-18-2014 10:52 PM

I’ve told everyone of my customers so far if they want to learn please come over and I’ll show them. That’s how I learned was getting in there and just having to do it hands on.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

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wseand

2754 posts in 2502 days


#10 posted 12-18-2014 10:56 PM

Its a priclkly pear to do an exact copy, I wouldn’t but doesn’t mean its bad. What’s the harm in going to Wal-Mart and seeing something there and copying it. I don’t know you have to do your own moral check in this realm. I wouldnt care if someone copied my stuff but not really the same thing, right. If it is some corporate made piece I say go for it. Anything else you might say no to it, . I dont make anything thats not custom/paid for already now, so I don’t just make stuff to show.

As far as Greg Klaussens stuff, it aint that unique, I woukd copy his stuff in a heart beat. All he has done is added glass to a table.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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Rob

704 posts in 2531 days


#11 posted 12-18-2014 11:11 PM

From the perspective of a buyer, if I’m buying a high-end piece of furniture and I’m willing and able to pay the price, then I’m buying the name and the story, not just the piece. If I buy a knock-off, then obviously I don’t care about having the genuine article and maybe I can’t even afford it in the first place. I was never a potential customer to the designer. If I’m a poser and buying the piece in hopes to impress my high-class friends, they may be able to tell that I bought a knock-off and I’ll never hear the end of it. Or maybe the knock-off is good enough that all my friends want one and end up buying the genuine piece from the original designer…after all, I did tell them it was a Greg Klassen original.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

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Rob

704 posts in 2531 days


#12 posted 12-18-2014 11:23 PM


Its a priclkly pear to do an exact copy, I wouldn t but doesn t mean its bad. What s the harm in going to Wal-Mart and seeing something there and copying it.
- wseand

Ha, the harm in copying Walmart is that everyone will see that you charge more than Walmart for crappy particle board furniture!

(I know you probably meant building the same design out of better materials, but I thought it was worth a chuckle.)

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

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JAAune

1635 posts in 1777 days


#13 posted 12-18-2014 11:36 PM

I’d tell them to buy the original if they like it. If they want me to build it, I’ll charge more since I have to put time into making drawings and setting up machines to make a single item.

Beware of customers that walk into your place to shop from a competitor’s catalog. If they don’t want to pay someone else for their labor, they sure aren’t going to pay you.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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changeoffocus

457 posts in 1078 days


#14 posted 12-18-2014 11:50 PM

+1 on Jajune post,
and beware of a customer who tells money is “no object” , he’s not going to pay you.

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Woodendeavor

276 posts in 2067 days


#15 posted 12-19-2014 12:18 AM

I personally do not know if I could build a river table cheaper due to the shaping of the glass. He is using real glass not plexi and I have spent a few hours grinding on glass before to know that I would not be able to do that for cheaper

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