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Blog entry by woodworkingdrew posted 01-16-2014 05:23 AM 1492 reads 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was wondering if anyone has started a small scale woodworking business from home. I have a small garage and a decent amount of tools. I have a full time career, but would like to earn a little side cash doing something I enjoy. All input is welcome, Thanks!

-- Andrew, California



5 comments so far

View jerrells's profile

jerrells

868 posts in 1636 days


#1 posted 01-16-2014 01:23 PM

I have a scroll saw business that I run from the garage. First let me say I am retired but also did some of this when employed. First I would say, what type of business. I can say I really make a lot of money from scrolling. Most of my income comes in the fall from craft shows. My business plan says that I would like to have two orders per month but this month is not working out. I have a web site and a facebook specifically related to this work. Lots of people know about me and there is interest but not a steady stream of orders after five years. I do know of some friends that do handyman service if they are good they are busy. I would suggest research as much as possible in whatever you want to do.

Best of luck.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

16043 posts in 1618 days


#2 posted 01-16-2014 01:58 PM

I have found that one of the biggest roadblocks is the insurance companies are starting to take a dim view of people operating a woodworking business from a shop that is part of the house. It gets a little bit better if the shop is separate from the house and separated a certain distance. Then you may have to get a small commercial insurance policy if your shop is a certain size and has a certain amount of equipment. It’s best to look at your insurance policy in detail and also ask your insurance agent some hard questions.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

1188 posts in 1066 days


#3 posted 01-16-2014 06:21 PM

Yah, Charles hit a nerve there … This past year I built a 24×48 shop next to my house. The City had a bunch of rules to comply with as did the power company.
So to even get the permit to build, we had to place the new building not more than 15 feet away from the house and connect the two buildings with a breeze way.
Now that the shop is done along comes the insurance company … seems they have their own rules that do not comply with the city regs and ord’s.
Now they inform me that if I sell for profit, one item per year, I come under the heading of commercial property. In other words $$$$. And now that the shop is connected to the house, the rates doubled for the home insurance.
We are shopping for a new carrier and will be buying insurance elsewhere.
So, bottom line here, I would suggest that you keep it a ‘hobby shop’ as far as anyone else is concerned.

Now, as far as making any money, look at the craft shows in your area and see what is selling, then gear up and make an item as a draw and while the customer is with you show off your wares and the workmanship that goes into it. Example: A lady was buying a box I had made, under $50, and I showed her a hall table that I had on display. Enter the husband. I saw one of these at Wally World for $35. You betcha sir, and with the materials they use they are making a profit. This is quality solid wood hand made furniture that will outlive the import junk 10 times over.
About a month later the lady came to my house and placed an order, if I could color match the pieces she already had. ... She has purchased 4 more pieces and had a lot of input on the design.

Work up a business plan and put lots of attention as to the marketing …(Now that I made all of these widgets how will I sell them?)

Make some stuff and show your friends and co-workers, (but make sure that the price tag is on the bottom) and see what shakes out. Never make the customer ask how much is this worth. you will both be embarrassed.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Dallas's profile (online now)

Dallas

3205 posts in 1238 days


#4 posted 01-16-2014 06:40 PM

Make some stuff and show your friends and co-workers, (but make sure that the price tag is on the bottom) and see what shakes out. Never make the customer ask how much is this worth. you will both be embarrassed.

The best advice so far.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View woodworkingdrew's profile

woodworkingdrew

172 posts in 360 days


#5 posted 01-16-2014 09:19 PM

Mike- You bring up very good points here, as well as the others that commented. I started out building a redwood planter and positing it on facebook. A few of my moms friends saw it and wanted me to build things for them. I by no means want to get the insurance and city people involved. Its just way to much red tape as Mike has stated. I like Dallas idea. has anyone ever sold anything on Craigslist?? What do you ue for advertising?

-- Andrew, California

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