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Woodworking - Hobby Or Business?

Updated on January 18, 2018
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Tricia Deed has spent many years swimming in different types of waters. It is her favorite summer activity.

Woodworking Craftsman at Work

A woodworking craftsman busy at work creating his masterpiece.
A woodworking craftsman busy at work creating his masterpiece. | Source

Woodworking Hobby

The woodworking hobby is a practical hobby for men, women, and children. Woodworking as a hobby can be pursued as a creative or craft artist.

The creative artist may want to venture into hand carving which can be done manually or with power tools. This type of woodcarving includes making toys, statues, decorations, and other types of art items. The art may be a creative inspiration for free form or making a traditional item with a new twist.

The craft artist has an interest in making practical wood products such as building houses and constructing customized cabinets and furniture.

If you desire to do so, "Yes", your woodworking hobby can become a thriving business. It can be worked part-time or full time as an entrepreneur, a sub-contractor, or as an employee.

Art Carving of A Guitar

Carved wood guitar; a musical art piece.
Carved wood guitar; a musical art piece. | Source

Art and Craft Woodworking Project Ideas

  1. Toys
  2. Bird houses and perches
  3. Clocks
  4. Planters
  5. Decorator Shelving
  6. Cat scratching posts
  7. Dog houses
  8. Play houses or doll houses
  9. Miniature furniture
  10. Jewelry
  11. Decorator items
  12. Indoor and outdoor tree carving
  13. Food and non-food containers
  14. Unique picture frames or shadow boxes

Antique Cabinets and Chairs of Fine Wood

An attractive family room with antique wood furniture of cabinets and chairs.
An attractive family room with antique wood furniture of cabinets and chairs. | Source

The Woodworking Business

In any neighborhood there are usually one or two people who make a part time income making wooden toys or gadgets from their garage. In my local area, cat-scratching posts and dog houses are seemingly popular woodcraft items.

There are different methods of selling these handcrafted creations. A person may sell from their home curbside, at craft shows, flea markets, or swap shops on the weekends. Another individual may prefer to advertise in local newspapers, sell online, or sell to specialty shops or department stores. Other personalities that do not like direct retailing may choose the wholesale market. Entrepreneurial personalities will want to have a brick and mortar location.

Customized Rocking Horse Chair

The rocking horse is a classic favorite for children.
The rocking horse is a classic favorite for children. | Source

Woodworking Hobby Becomes a Business

Woodworking is competitive, but the success of any business is dependent upon the ambition and the motivation of an individual. The originator of the business creates his own world and targets those potential customers who want to be a part of his world.

Four business choices:

  1. Make customized items for higher income as an entrepreneur - unlimited income
  2. Specialize in a niche that meets current demands - income dependent on niche choice
  3. High hourly wage working - Bureau of Labor statistics quotes average mean @$13.67 per hour. Higher hourly pay is determined by skills, tool experiences, and computer experiences
  4. Subcontractor $37.50 to $50.00 per hour

A person performing a hobby does it because they like what they do and will do whatever it takes to continue their pleasure.

A person who wants to start a business should also want to pursue it with the same passion as their hobby interest. However, if you drum up excuses, procrastinate, or lack the energy or the motivation then you are not ready.

Business is very similar to life in that you live it, and prepared or not you manage to solve problems, meet new challenges, learn, grow, and receive rewards for doing what is right. If we should do something wrong, a penalty is paid. But somehow we always manage to survive and realize that life is wonderful.

Financial rewards of business:

  1. Quality of workmanship – determines longevity.
  2. Customer service – take care of customer’s requests as well as complaints.
  3. Advertising – get the word out. Let people know where and how to get your product.
  4. Marketing – the best method to sell your product.
  5. Selling – the products will not move without sales people. The product needs to be sold to collect financial rewards. If selling is your weakness hire sales people.

The above list is interdependent and all of the above have to be done for a successful business.

Traditional Wood Chisels

Traditional chisels for working wood.
Traditional chisels for working wood. | Source

Woodworking Tools

The tools which you will need will depend on the type of wood crafting. The most important thing to remember is to only purchase those tools which you will be using and whenever possible purchase a tool which has multiple purposes to help minimize unnecessary tools and expenses. Sometimes it may be wiser to rent the equipment that is needed and then make a decision which tool needs to be purchased.

Tool List:

  1. Hammer, screwdriver, utility knife, assorted chisels, hand saw
  2. Assorted saws; Table, Milter, circular, hand, saber, band, radial arm, Jig
  3. Workbench
  4. Electric and/or cordless drill, drill press
  5. Palm sander
  6. Measuring devices, e.g. measuring tape, T-level, Layout square, calipers, level
  7. Clamps
  8. Bench grinder
  9. Rip fence
  10. Router
  11. Chisel sawhorse
  12. Block plane, surface planer
  13. Nail set
  14. Jointer
  15. Jigs and dados
  16. Moisture meter
  17. Appropriate wood for your projects
  18. Purchase plans make your own plans
  19. How to do woodwork manuals

Safety Tools

Wear gloves, goggles, or helmet with visor, and headphones.
Wear gloves, goggles, or helmet with visor, and headphones. | Source

Safety Tools and Workplace

Provide a safe working area. Not only should your tools be handled with safety but also provide a safe working environment. Before starting do not forget that you will need a place to store your tools and a storage area for unfinished and finished projects.

Safety Equipment:

  1. Metal detector
  2. Tool manuals
  3. Cap - optional
  4. Safety glasses and ear plugs
  5. Gloves
  6. Dust mask
  7. Proper clothing and shoes

Wooden TicTacToe Game Board

A simple but pleasurable game board for young children.
A simple but pleasurable game board for young children. | Source

Money Making Wooden Toys

You have made some wooden toys for your children, grandchildren or as gifts for friends. Word-of-mouth advertising is supplying you with customers which means that making toys may be the niche which you may consider as a business.

Toys are usually small and will enable you to work from home. But as the business grows residential zoning will not allow for business activity. Growth and zoning requires moving to a commercial location.

This is a chart which lists some of the popular products and their retail price. Start today as toys sell year round.

Specialty toys, special occasion toys, and personalized toys are also in demand. Stock your inventory and be prepared for these sales.

Children's Wooden Toys
Beginning Selling Price
Highest Selling Price
Fire trucks
Push and pull toys
Wire mazes
Dog and cat houses
Baby rattles
Musical instruments
Toy guns

If you are considering making toys for children. This is a partial list of popular toys.

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