size of market for woodworking accessories?

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Forum topic by JeffP posted 01-16-2015 12:59 PM 779 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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573 posts in 812 days

01-16-2015 12:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question clamp

I’m in the process of putting together a non-pro woodworking shop.

Since I have been looking at related items a lot lately, all of the online marketing robots have recognized me (perhaps correctly) as a sucker for all things woodworking. I pretty much can’t go anywhere on the web now without seeing ads for woodworking related “paraphernalia”. Clamps and safety-gadgets and digital protractors, oh my.

Before getting more interested in this area lately, I would have thought that the market for woodworking accessories was really small. Upon seeing such a variety of gadgets for sale, I have started to wonder how many of a new “must have” gadget a company could hope to sell.

Anybody have some wild guesses (or perhaps even real data) regarding how many of an item a company like Incra or Festool or Jessem might realistically sell of whatever their latest gadget might be? (I’m talking of items that fall loosely into the realm of “impulse buys”—let’s just say less than $200)

Even a “hunk of molded plastic” like a Grrraber or a pocket-hole jig can be MUCH more expensive to produce in small quantities.

Just curious.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

5 replies so far

View pjones46's profile


986 posts in 2064 days

#1 posted 01-16-2015 09:39 PM

Welcome to the fickle world of product development, marketing research, advertising and retailing. If you were in the retail market you would be in a better position to determine which products move and which product or accessories are in demand. Most of the information you’re looking for is proprietary to each company.

Better question is to ask is which accessories can’t I find for existing tools or fixtures, such as plugs for pocket-holes, and can I be competitive. Also most power tool manufacturing companies offer quantity discounts, like 50 tools or better, along with shipping terms and payment terms. Good luck.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View MrUnix's profile


4031 posts in 1620 days

#2 posted 01-16-2015 09:46 PM

I pretty much make any accessory that I may need.. and I make sure to block ad sites and clear cookies frequently so I don’t get all of those targeted ads.

Makes it kind of interesting, since they don’t know what to target to me and just pull random crap out of their arse!


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 2492 days

#3 posted 01-18-2015 05:35 PM

Fortunately, the crowd-funding phenomenon makes the process a lot easier for you.

If you have a great idea, work up a business plan for launching a Kickstarter campaign. Be sure to factor in all the overhead—Kickstarter fees, Amazon payment processing fees, and costs to manufacture and ship the pledge rewards, as well as any other overhead. Your reward tiers could include anything from detailed plans to a kit including materials to a fully-assembled product.

For the business plan it isn’t necessary to get all the details right; just the ones that you can reasonably figure out (like material costs). The primary purpose of writing a business plan is just to get you thinking about all the financial and operational details. In fact, you’ll have to make up a lot of numbers. It will help if you do a break-even analysis and work backwards from there to see whether the business is even viable in terms of the numbers you’ll have to hit and the amount of time you have available to put into it over various durations.

Even if you miss your funding target and the campaign fails, you can get valuable feedback which you can use to reframe a later attempt.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3069 days

#4 posted 01-18-2015 05:54 PM

It’s a huge market, the hobby gimmick market.

I’ve bought and tried enough of them that I seldom
do it anymore, but along the way I got to be pretty
well equipped.

The guy who started Fastcap (the company) is an
authority on lean manufacturing and inventing viable
products the market will accept. I think he has or
had a podcast on lean manufacturing and it is/was
highly respected. Check it out.

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 757 days

#5 posted 01-18-2015 06:50 PM

My shop has plenty of useless gadgets that I bought to try and then abandoned. The only other industry I can think of in terms of gadgetry is golf. I think of companies like Join tech that sold decent products yet seem to disappear. Perhaps my top five list of useless gadgets is in order:

1. The plastic feather boards that you tighten in the miter slot.
2. The corner chisel you hit with a mallet to square a corner.
3. My Kreg jig (decent product but I’ve progressed to mortise and tenon and dovetail joinery)
4. Various contraptions to set jointer and planer knives
5. My dowel centering jig that sits in a cigar box somewhere on a shelf and I’ve never used dowels.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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