When did you become known as the woodworker/furniture maker in your community?

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Forum topic by paxorion posted 02-07-2015 04:16 PM 727 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1100 posts in 1468 days

02-07-2015 04:16 PM

In the last 3 months, I’ve had person after person come up to me asking if I either
  1. knew how to make “blah blah” item or
  2. could make “blah blah” for them.

The requests vary, from one-off products for my church (prayer/tithe boxes, stools, etc), beer tap handles for a co-worker who brew their own beer, to an highly uncalled for solicitation from a complete stranger over a social network to help him launch premium wood-made products.

While my skill has gone up considerably in the last year I personally wouldn’t consider myself a craftsman, as my knowledge of woodworking probably is still more intellectual than from experience. Still it surprises me to think that this early in my woodworking journey that I’ve developed this reputation. I wonder, for the other LJs out there, would you care to share when you became known as the woodworker/furniture maker amongst your sphere of community?

-- paxorion

6 replies so far

View RussellAP's profile


3059 posts in 1709 days

#1 posted 02-07-2015 04:47 PM

I’ve been self employed for a couple of years now making indoor and outdoor furniture. I advertise everywhere I can. The more I sell the more people see it and call wanting a piece built for themselves. As long as what they want is not too fancy I’ll usually do it for them.
Learn what you can and cannot do before you commit. Never use your own money to buy materials. Try to deliver more than what they want. I usually will give large furniture orders a breadboard or a bowl I turned. The longer you do it the better it gets. I’m working jobs that are from $2000 to $4000 now. They take a little longer.

Building furniture seems pretty straight forward, but there are a lot of things that take time. You have to find the best price on wood, you have to design and think ahead. Matching finishes is something best left to the pro’s, and applying finish is almost as costly time-wise as making the furniture. If you can do it on the side, it’s great money. Go for it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View DIYaholic's profile


19140 posts in 2097 days

#2 posted 02-07-2015 05:27 PM

It will be in 2017….
I’m nowhere near skilled enough, YET!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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13094 posts in 1279 days

#3 posted 02-07-2015 06:30 PM

Well, I would say it’s not just about your skills abilities. Most here, even the ones who we feel are spr far ahead of us in skill and knowledge feel they have more to learn. My guess is that you are known to be the type of person who is willing to share your knowledge and jot necessarily for pay. I have been known among my friends and coworkers to be a woodworker for many years and have done many projects for them. Some are small and I just help a friend. Some are big and they would never ask me to do these big things for free. If someone just wants some guidance in doing these things themselves I’m all in. I often have people come out to my shop and I help them make something. I don’t ask for pay for that. I only expect to be paid if they say, can you build this and bring it over when you’re done.
Also, you’re honest about what skills you have and what you don’t. You say, I can do this and I know how or you say I’ve never done that and I don’t want to mess this thing up for you. I’ve been asked about making chairs, but Ive never made chairs so until I do, chairs are not on my I know how list.
Just my thoughts.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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1100 posts in 1468 days

#4 posted 02-10-2015 02:51 PM

I’m far from wanting to turn it into a money-making venture. There’s enough projects that I’ve promised my wife (or myself) to take on commissions just yet. Onesie twosies maybe, and one day perhaps I’ll consider blurring the line between hobby and (side) business.

-- paxorion

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2999 days

#5 posted 02-10-2015 02:58 PM

Not sure I every have,in close to 30 years.

-- Custom furniture

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


2302 posts in 1831 days

#6 posted 02-21-2015 06:10 AM

I just say no. Seriously, I have my own work to do for my wife and I. This is my hobby not my work I wish to enjoy it. (They get the same answer for mechanical issues as well.) Granted I do make pens and some other odds and ends and sell some to those that know me to ask for a cool gift.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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