This is The Secret to the Most Profitable Woodworking Projects to Build and Sell. In this guide, I’ll show you several secrets that you can use to pick out the most profitable projects that you can build and then sell. Enjoy.
Building and Selling Profitable Woodworking Projects
Building and selling your projects is one of the huge landmarks in woodworking that many strive to reach. It’s one of those points where you’re in business for yourself, and you’re producing income from the work that you made with your own two hands.
This can seem like a dream at first, but it’s actually a lot easier to attain than you might think in the beginning. All you need is a little bit of advice, and a good direction to get started. Once you’re going, choosing profitable projects is a logical next step.
After all, if you’re going to make and sell something, you might as well make more money. That being said, there are a few things to look for when choosing the most profitable woodworking projects to build and sell.
Here is the list, and I’ll go into each one of them in greater detail farther down in the post. I will show you why each secret is important, and how to take action.
- Pick Easy to Make Projects
- Find Short Build Times to Make More Faster
- Tool Up to Cut Time Significantly
- Pick Projects With the Least Tool Cost
- Batch Your Project for Efficiency
- Use Free Sources of Wood
- Harvest Your Scraps and Use Them on Another Project
- Make Things That Excite You
Pick Easy to Make Projects
One of the secrets the profitability is making a project that is easy. In general, projects that are easy to make are far more likely to be completed and then projects that are more difficult. This is a key factor in making and selling woodworking projects.
The bottom line is that if you can’t make many examples of a particular project, at least as many as you would need to bring to a show or a place to sell, then it can be difficult to leverage that project into something that’s profitable.
When you pick something that’s overly elaborate, it can consume a lot of your resources making that project. When you factor in that you may need to make 100 of them, that difficulty level all of a sudden goes through the roof.
For maximum profitability, pick a project that’s easy to make. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a simple project, it just has to be something that you can make easily with the tools and the abilities that you currently have.
See Also: 10 Fun Things to Build With Wood
Find Short Build Times to Make More Faster
Another secret to profitable woodworking is to find projects that have a shorter build time. This means you will be able to crank out more of the projects in a shorter amount of time, which makes production far easier.
For example, if you have a project that takes 10 hours to make, you can only make so many of them between sales events. Even if you were to work 24 hours a day, you would still only make about 2 units.
In contrast, if you’re making a project that requires 10 minutes to make, you can produce six of them an hour, or 60 of them in an honest days work. This gives you more products to sell, simply because it was faster to build.
In the future you can overcome some of these longer build times by either hiring some help, or increasing the quality of your woodworking tools and machines. For now, picking a fast project is a great way for a beginner to start making money in woodworking.
Tool Up to Cut Time Significantly
Something you can do right away if you choose that will significantly increase your profitability is to tool up for your specific project. This means get the best tools and the most efficient tools for the project you intend to sell.
A perfect example for this is making cutting boards. There is a part of the construction process near the end where you have to level the board. If you are sanding by hand, with a sanding block, this can take hours.
However, if you were to have a drum sander brought into the shop, you could take several hours worth of work and reduce it to a few minutes. Literally a couple passes through a nice sander will completely even the surface.
This is an example of where investing some money in a tool can translate into saving time. That time allows you to produce more work, and you show up to market with far more examples and more opportunities to make money.
See Also: Make and Sell Cutting Boards
Pick Projects With the Least Tool Cost
If you are an absolute beginner, and you’re trying to get into the selling woodworking projects game right away, then choose projects that require the least amount of tools. In this way, you can alleviate some overhead, and get started right away.
There are a lot of different things that you can make with just a small table saw. You can also do quite a bit with just a single lathe. If you don’t want to use any major tools at all, you can always use hand tools, though it will increase your time commitment.
Like most beginners, you may have an abundance of time but not an abundance of money. If this sounds like you then go for projects that you can make with hand tools that don’t require powered shop tools.
Once you start selling some of your projects and making money, go back to the section just before this and turn some of those profits into helpful tools. These tools will help you save time, and you’ll be able to make even more money.
Batch Your Project for Efficiency
The best way to build your projects is not one at a time. There are so many different set ups and things that you have to do in between actually producing your work that are the real killers of time when you make a project.
Instead of switching between tasks and making one project from start to finish, create a batch and make several at once. This allows you to leverage the time you’ve already invested in your set up, and use it to create several examples, parts, or processes.
For example, when you set up a jig to make a particular cut, you invest a certain amount of time in getting it out, getting it ready, making the right measurements, making the test cuts, and finally having it ready to go.
Compared to actually making the cut, you might’ve spent 10 or 100 times the amount of time on the setup. However, if you run several pieces through this jig instead of just one, you start to get some of that time back.
This is where batching is huge, and will make your process a lot quicker and a lot more uniform. Instead of going from start to finish on one project and losing all of that set up time, try a batch of 10 instead.
It’s funny, but making 10 of something can sometimes only take as long as making three or four of something if you were to make those three or four from start to finish one at a time. In this way, you almost get free extra projects for the same amount of time invested.
See Also: Make and Sell Wooden Rings
Use Free Sources of Wood
One of the biggest secrets to profitable woodworking projects that you can build in your shop and sell anywhere is to use free sources of wood. The big major cost other than time is materials. Free materials means a lower cost.
Woodworking projects are made out of wood. When you go to the store, you are going to have to exchange money for that wood. However, if you use different free sources of wood you can greatly reduce your cost per project.
For example, there are a lot of projects out there that can be made from reclaimed wood, especially wood from pallets. These can be found nearly anywhere, and a lot of places actually pay to have them disposed of.
If someone like you were to come along and asked to take them away for free, and alleviate a business expense for them, you might be received really well. This will also work out great for you, because you’ll have a free source of wood.
There are a lot of different ways that you can find free wood, pallets are just one. Another one is looking online to the secondhand market because a lot of people give away extra wood that they aren’t using.
See Also: 15 Great Places to Get Woodworking Wood
Harvest Your Scraps and Use Them on Another Project
Another source of free wood is to harvest scraps from the projects that you already make. If you make several different projects that you sell, odds are they are different sizes. You might be able to harvest scraps from one project and use it to make another.
When you do this, the wood for the second project is essentially free. Since you already bought the wood for the first project, anything that fell off and is used again to make another project is totally free.
Most scrap projects are smaller than your main project. That’s OK, because the size of the woodworking project doesn’t necessarily affect the way that you sell it. People that are into chairs will buy chairs, and people that are into cutting boards will by cutting boards.
Look for Easy to Make Variations
Another way to come up with a lot of projects that are easy to make and sell is to look for variations of projects that you already make. Sometimes, you can add a feature or slightly change of product that you have and create a different project.
For example, if you make cutting boards, you can make them in different shapes. You can also add a well on one side for scraps. The process up to that point is largely the same, then all you do is add the twist.
This works out well with color too. It’s amazing how having a display with a few different color pieces can make it look like it has more variety. The pieces maybe very similar, or even identical. However, the color makes them stand out.
Make Things That Excite You
Above all else, one of the absolute best things that you can do for yourself and for your sanity is to make projects that excite you. Making and selling things sounds fun until you have to make 500 pieces for a show this weekend.
At that point, it turns into a job really fast, and the fun of woodworking get sucked right out with it. Instead of falling for this trap, make things that excite you and you’ll always have a fun reason to go out into the shop.
Even if you’re faced with making 500 wizard wands, making toys for kids is a lot of fun, so that will help you power through it. Don’t get stuck making things you don’t like, otherwise it will become a real chore over time.
See Also: My Favorite Handmade Toy Tool
Your Action Assignment
Now that you know how to make a bunch of profitable woodworking projects to build and sell, it’s time to get out in the shop and take action. Get out a paper and pencil, and start listing all of the projects that you already know how to make.
If you don’t know how to make anything yet, go online and start looking at woodworking projects and writing them down. Get everything that interests you on paper, and then start going through the list.
Mark out anything that is a really difficult, or will take too long. Look for ways to create variation, and think of things that can be made of scrap wood. Once you narrow your list down, you’ll have a heck of an opportunity in front of you.
If you have any questions on the secrets to finding profitable woodworking projects to sell, please Post a Question in the Q&A Forum and I’ll be glad to help. Happy building.
- More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
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- Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
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