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Found 8 results

  1. There was a topic recently about custom woodwork, which I've now lost track of. I heard Nancy in a presentation last weekend and meant to post some of here thoughts, but could not find those either at the time. Probably the best advice I got before I quit my job and started my business from from a (former) custom woodworker, "The world is full of ex-custom woodworkers paying off their IRS debts." That was enough to lead me in another direction. Here's one of Nancy's recent posts http://www.finewoodworking.com/2017/08/14/nancy-hillers-reality-checklist
  2. I'm not a turner but, I subscribe to Ron Brown's newsletter. He often publishes content applicable to general woodworking. This one is such a case. Hope you all find it as interesting as I did. If not, well it's only a few minutes lost. Choices I heard an artist on the radio voice his disgust over his recent interaction with the owner of an art gallery. It seems that the gallery owner had put stipulations on the kind of work he would accept – imagine the audacity! The artist was insulted that he wouldn’t be able to do whatever he wanted and go wherever his artistic leading took him. He felt that the gallery owner should just accept anything the artist did and give him space in the gallery just because he worked hard and was very passionate about his art. Here is a hard truth: You can’t make people like your artwork just because you like to make it. Regardless of the amount of time and effort you put into something, people don’t have to like it and some won’t. The obvious solution here is that he open his own gallery and fill it with whatever he chooses assuming he can afford it. Or, meet the demands of the gallery owner. Years ago, I made wooden furniture and sold it to a specialty retail store which sold it to the public. I learned quickly to make items which sold well and were relatively easy to make at an affordable cost. I learned to make things that the customers of this particular store wanted to buy regardless of whether I liked them or not. I tried introducing pieces I thought were beautiful and the owner allowed me to stock a limited number of my own creations. Most of them bombed horribly. If you have followed me for some time, you have undoubtedly seen products listed on my website for a while, and then mysteriously vanish. I was certain that they would be run away best sellers and some are. Many more are not. Still, I keep trying. So here is the decision: If you are turning because it makes you happy and provides an outlet for your creativity, do anything you want to and can afford. If, however, you expect to earn money from at least some of your turning, make what people what to buy, not what you want to sell them. I realize that most of you don’t sell things you turn and that turning is simply a creative outlet for you. But for those of you who would like to earn some extra cash, a lot or a little, make what people want to buy. Make it the size they can use, in the colors or wood species they like and at a price they are willing to pay and that you are willing to accept. I met a fellow at a wood show one time that made mostly simple wooden pens. He had three large cases of pens, about 50 pens in each case. The first case was full of pens in maple, oak and walnut. Case #1 was offered at “All pens for $10ea – your choice”. Case #2 contained some more figured wood and was offered at “All pens for $15ea – your choice”. And case #3 contained more exotic woods and was offered at “All pens at $25ea – your choice”. I remarked that his prices seemed too low for the amount of work he put into these beautiful, but simple pens. Then he told me that he went to a flea market each weekend and sold out every week. He was OK with the prices where they were since pen turning was a hobby and he had a regular full time job to pay the bills. Now there was a fellow who knew his customers, what they wanted, and what he was willing to sell his work for. I wouldn’t change a thing. If you are your own customer pleasing just yourself, do exactly what you want. If the public is your customer, do what they want and are willing to pay for because wherever you go there you are.
  3. In my travels yesterday, I stopped in a gun store to look at a varmint rifle. The manager was my salesman. He's interested in displaying a couple pistol presentation boxes. Then, in the liquor store where I get my Dell Bac, that manager wants a steady supply of wine gift boxes. And, the owner of that knife and gun finishing supply house is interested in a few knife cases. Told them all that I'm slow. None seemed to mind. Looks like I'm gonna be busy for a while. Gotta get the table done and another rifle case. Then, start on little boxes. Fun times ahead.
  4. Howdy folks, my family and I here sitting around and throwing out names for my business restart up. For years, the last 25 years I have had the name Courtland Woodworks and I owned the url www.courtlandwoodworks.com I lost the url, and I want my business name to be the same as my url for a website showcasing my work. I have to have Courtland in the name somewhere, it's my grand dad's name. And it's my middle name. The main production of my shop is chairs, and other furniture accessories, but mainly chairs. So I am putting out a calling to you guys, can you help me with some business name ideas? Here are some we came up with, none of them sound appealing to me. courtlandcrafts.com (business name, Courtland Crafts) courtlandartsandcrafts.com (business name, Courtland Arts and Crafts) courtlandrockers.com (business name, Courtland Rockers) courtlandchairs.com (business name, Courtland Chairs) One I was partial too, but my family struck it down, was courtlandwoods.com or Courtland Woods. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated, don't be afraid to get wild, the more creativity the better! Hey, if we end up using your idea, we'll throw a one year subscription for Woodcraft Magazine your way! Thanks for any ideas folks!
  5. I was a little worried about EZ Wood tools after Jorgenson bought them and then they (Jorgy) went under. But I guess the firm has been sold again.
  6. WELL HERE IT IS 2015 AND AS USUAL I'M ANTSY AND NEED TO GET SOMETHING GOING. 5 YEARS IN THIS hockey sticks HOLE WITH NO SHOP AND ONLY A FEW HOURS A WEEK IN MY FRIENDS WOOD SHOP AIN'T GONNA CUT IT NO MORE. I'VE BEEN WAY TOO PATIENT WAITING ON OTHER PEOPLE. SO FOR THE NEW YEAR, GUESS WHAT? I'M GONNA HUNT SOMETHING DOWN AND KILL IT!!!! NOW BEFORE YOU GET YOUR PANTIES IN A BUNCH AND THE COPS SHOW UP AT MY DOOR HEAR ME OUT. I STARTED A LANDSCAPING/CONTRACTING/TREE BUSINESS BACK WHEN I WAS MARRIED (EONS AGO). I WAS AROUND 24 YEARS OLD AND DID PRETTY GOOD AT IT TILL THE DIVORCE. I'M NOW 53? AND I DECIDED TO DO IT AGAIN. SO INTO THE VALLEY OF DEATH I RIDE WITH THE 600, READY TO DO BATTLE AGAIN. I'M MAKING APOTHECARY CABINETS AND TEA CABINETS IN DIFFERENT SIZES, ALL WITH DRAWER FRONTS THAT CAN BE CUSTOMIZED (BY ME). SO RAGE, RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT. I WILL NOT GIVE IN WITHOUT A FIGHT!!! AND IF I DIE UPON THE TABLESAW WITH A POUCH FULL OF SCREWS AND A SCREWGUN IN MY HAND, SO BE IT!!!! ONCE MORE INTO THE FRAY!!!!! (ADVICE AND IDEAS ALWAYS APPRECIATED!!!!)
  7. May I pick your brains please? I see many of you are selling your work and I could use your knowledge/experience. Researching online I keep running into those 16k plans and "woodworking profits." I've been around the block and recognize them for what they are and I'm not interested. My business experience has mostly been with services. Real Estate, Truck and Equipment Repair, Website Creation, Telephone and Data Services, etc... This will be my first experience in creating products to sell. I have experience in sales, marketing and inventory control. I'm familiar with Etsy, Ebay, Amazon and Personalization Mall. I'll offer drop shipping through contacts found through Worldwide Brands. I will create my own website and will attend the few Craft Shows in Anchorage and sell at the Saturday Market in the summer months. I will focus on quality over quantity. Because of physical limitations my products must fist in 2' cube and preferably less than 15 lbs. I've created products specifically for Homebrewers, Craft Breweries and Beer lovers. I'll also be adding some more traditional wood craft products like cutting boards, serving trays, knives and knife blocks, children's toys etc. I'm setting up my shop from scratch. I'll need mostly benchtop power tools. What tools/brands would you recommend. I have a Jet Cabinet Table Saw and a Chop Saw already. I have hand held power tools as well. Circular Saw, orbital sander, jig saw, drill. What advice do you wish you were given before starting your woodworking business? What have you learned that has led you to be successful? How do you price your products? Like any business, I know it's not going to be easy. Success is not going to happen overnight. I'm not expecting to get rich. But, I'm willing to put in the time and the effort to improve my craft. So there you go folks, what should this newbie know? Thank you in advance for any and all comments. I appreciate it. Bob
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