I already have most of the tools, the design ideas and a lot of desire to work hard on it. Could it realistically turn into a small business? What are your success stories with this? Have you started your own business? Has it worked for you? I'm not going to lie, don't quit your full-time job. If you have an income and it pays the bills, keep working the wood in the evenings and on weekends. When you get to the point where you can't function because you spend more time woodworking (on paid jobs) than you do at your full time job, THEN re-evaluate.
Sure, Sam Maloof was making $40,000 per rocking chair, but at that point he had been doing it his whole life. If you go for it and it takes off right away and you can consistently pay your bills, while also saving some for the inevitable slow times, then bravo, you got lucky. Thanks, I appreciate the honesty. I'm just looking for another job, and carpentry is what I like best and I was thinking about what they say about career vs work.
Maybe not start my own business but somehow work with wood anyway? I'm not looking to get rich either, just stay sane and enjoy working. Thanks again, though what we as woodworkers need to figure out is how to model our industry after the organic food scene. Look at the growth of the last 10 years. People are obsessed with knowing where their food comes from.
We need to get people obsessed with knowing where their furniture comes from and what it's made of. When that happens, my opinion of people asking these questions will be very different. Until then, if you're set on woodworking as a profession, find an established workshop to start working in. They'll pay you minimum wage for being a grunt, but that's more than you'll earn right away with your own company.
Work hard there and learn as much as you can. Keep developing your own designs and ideas in your spare time. If you're still passionate about it in a couple of years, re-evaluate your options. So this is going to get downvoted to hell, but I'm going to piggy back on this comment and make everyone uncomfortable.
That's exactly what people who shit on buying furniture from Ikea think when they see their beautiful table, console, or whatever; and the premium price that goes along with it. Who cares if the plastic-handled screwdriver was made in some sweatshop bought by a company that doesn't give a shit if you like it or not. It's cheap and it works, right? I think we all need to practice a bit what we preach. If the guy who does that (he does a lot of other good things too, by the way) doesn't have a day job, he probably can't even afford to buy his own product.
Recognising the value of custom and supporting his fellow woodworkers when the opportunity allows I'm buying one for myself for fathers' day, by the way. The challenge, I think, is that woodworking tends to be at a much higher price point. Buying organic means paying $1 as opposed to $2.Buying custom wood means paying thousands of dollars more. It sucks, but it's virtually impossible to compete with a factory that has automated everything, which means custom woodworking is going to be relegated to people who have a LOT of money, and appreciate it.
That's not a big market. There's a guy I used to work with who set up his own shop that makes tables. It's called James and James, and he's had great success in getting the business off the ground. What he did was find a niche that was marketable and where there weren't a lot of companies competing.
SMeekWoodworks has hit the nail on the head in terms of shaping the organic food scene. If it is seen as trendy, it will take off. I think a lot of people who get into woodworking do it with the romantic idea of building beautiful handmade one-off pieces only to fall out of love with the idea when they build their 500th kitchen cabinet. I know many talented carpenters who, in order to pay the bills, have ended up mainly in cabinetmaking, because that's where the money is usually to be found.
I don't mean to criticise the cabinetmakers either. How many pieces have you sold so far? What is your hourly rate? What are your overheads? What is the margin on the pieces you have sold so far? What percentage of the gross comes from your work and what percentage comes from the person who finances you? A tip I gave some time ago. Marc is a professional woodworker who makes ZERO dollars working wood. That says it all.
You also have some really solid advice from another professional carpenter at the top level of his specialty below. Your chances of having mild success with carpentry are the same as a guitar player having mild success playing guitar for a living. That said, some people can do it. Kitchens are always a fairly steady business and the best way to keep food on the table.
However, it's not a carpentry job, it's an assembly line job. You're going to build the same exact box with slightly different dimensions and different finishes over and over again. If that's OK with you, go ahead. But the end product is the same: the art.
It's very subjective and it's not for everyone. This is exactly what I was looking for. I was hoping for better news, but I was hoping for this. Thanks, I can't stress enough what you said about the kitchen cupboards.
I made the mistake of thinking that cabinets would be a big step towards bigger and better things. No, it's like you said, an assembly line job. Go work for an established cabinet shop if you don't mind that. It's a lot less stressful than being responsible for getting your next cabinetmaking job.
I started writing a rant against customers who buy cabinets. Let's just say that, until you become the cabinetmaker of $5 million dollar homes (you won't), you won't enjoy 50 percent of the clients you get. If you have to ask on reddit, the chances may be slim. The job of a furniture carpenter is to turn wooden parts and products into mass-produced or highly customised furniture.
An understanding of technical manuals, blueprints and architectural drawings is required. Other important qualities are attention to detail, mastery of mathematics and hand-eye coordination. Furniture carpenters use CNC machinery such as drills, lathes, routers and milling machines to do much of the woodworking. The individual parts are then assembled into the desired piece of furniture.
In the final steps of production, the furniture carpenter can perform the detailed work by hand to achieve a high-quality appearance. Wood craftsmen rely more on hand tools from start to finish to build unique and ornate furniture. Finally, wood craftsmen sand and varnish or paint the furniture and fit the necessary hardware, such as drawer pulls and hinges. Woodworkers need a month of on-the-job training (OJT) to learn how to perform basic tasks such as safely passing a piece of wood through machines.
However, it takes months or years of on-the-job training to become a craftsman, according to the U. S. Some furniture carpenters earn carpentry diplomas and certificates from public or private technical schools. Others earn an associate's degree in applied woodworking or a four-year degree in a field related to furniture making.
Unlike carpenters in the construction industry, woodworkers work indoors in air-conditioned workshops. They need physical stamina and strength to lift and assemble large pieces of wood. To avoid injury, they must be safety conscious when working with machinery and using power tools. They are exposed to chemical fumes from stains, varnishes and paints.
Standing on their feet all day assembling furniture can be tiring and lead to joint and back pain. Experience offers a competitive advantage in the job market because employers and custom furniture buyers prefer workers who know what they are doing. Mistakes can ruin a piece of furniture or diminish its value. Talented furniture carpenters with a reputation for craftsmanship can open their own business and increase their purchasing power by setting their own furniture carpentry rates.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that demand for carpenters will decline 4 percent between now and 2029, however, positions will open up as workers retire and change jobs. Automation will continue to reduce the workforce needed to make furniture. Employment prospects will be brightest for woodworkers who know how to use computers to make bespoke designs. Mary Dowd holds a doctorate in educational leadership and a master's degree in counselling and student affairs from Minnesota State, Mankato.
Helping students succeed has been her passion while serving in many areas of student affairs and adjunct teaching. She is currently dean of students at a large public university. Dpwd's writing experience includes publishing research, training materials and hundreds of practical articles online. Many people take up woodworking as a hobby because it is so satisfying to create high-quality things, many of which can be used in everyday life, such as tables and chairs.
Like an artist who draws in his or her spare time, a woodworker can derive the same pleasure from cutting, shaping and finishing wood. Some demand for carpenters is expected in residential and commercial property repairs and renovations. With experience, skilled carpenters can be promoted to other positions that offer greater responsibility. This prospect may seem surprising to many woodworkers, but any successful business spends a significant amount of time marketing and selling.
As a self-employed entrepreneur, you have to be willing to devote countless hours to your business if you want to be successful. For more information on woodworkers, visit other resources, such as O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations. I have not received any formal training and I do not have any family members who do woodworking for a living to guide me. Need additional (post-employment) training to achieve competence in the skills needed in this occupation.
Do you want to treat it as a hobby, a part-time business and part-time income, or do you want to be a professional business and make a full-time income from your woodworking. I hope I have given you food for thought and that you take the time to analyse your current situation and decide if that is where you want to be with selling your woodworking. But above all that, I have been a lifestyle woodworker as a furniture maker and woodturner and the emphasis here is lifestyle.