First Commissioned Project

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Project by Rex B posted 11-13-2012 05:31 PM 2106 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When a friend of mine mentioned to her parents that I was a woodworker, they asked if they could hire me for a small job. When they told me it was building ramps for their barn, I thought it sounded way over my head (not to mention more of a construction job than a woodworking job), but, not knowing how to politely decline, I agreed to come take a look. It turned out they were only about 60” long with an 8” rise, so I felt like I could handle it (the last picture shows one of the plywood ramps I was replacing). I drew up a nice plan in CAD, figured out exactly how much it would cost me for materials, threw out a number for labor, and they agreed.

It is all built with pressure treated pine: decking and 2×10’s. One thing I never take into account is just how heavy that wet PT wood can be, and it was very tiring moving it around by myself. I attached the ramps to the footer of the barn with a cleat and ripped the 2×10’s at an angle to give my slope, then screwed the decking down. I spent a little extra time in the details, spacing the screws evenly and cleaning up all my cuts. I wanted to make it more of a nice woodworking project than something a contractor would build at a construction site.

It turned out to be a nice way to make a little extra money, although it took more time than I anticipated (as always). The customers were very pleased. I actually enjoyed doing it and would do it again sometime, just not any time soon. I know that if I was to start doing projects for pay very often I will quickly kill my favorite hobby.

The best part of all: I was finally able to go to the hardwood store and buy some project wood with the money I made, and I got some awesome deals there. You just can’t beat that! And now I have a shop project to work on – a lumber rack to hold the new scores!

-- Rex

6 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30544 posts in 3071 days

#1 posted 11-13-2012 07:13 PM

Sounds like a successful project all the way around.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2909 days

#2 posted 11-13-2012 08:51 PM

Looks like you pulled it off effortlessly! Great job!

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3970 days

#3 posted 11-14-2012 12:09 PM

If you do more projects for pay, it won’t kill your favorite hobby… What will happen is your shop will fill up with new tools and lots more wood to the point you’ll need a new shop and use the old shop for wood storage. Then to make more money (for better tools) you’ll end up buying a sawmill to reduce the cost of your wood to turn free logs into expensive lumber. (check your local free section of Craig’s List to see how many people want someone to remove logs from their property.)

-- Hal, Tennessee

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3800 days

#4 posted 11-14-2012 01:43 PM

Nice work!! Great to make some extra cash to support what you really like to do.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View DocSavage45's profile


8932 posts in 3576 days

#5 posted 11-15-2012 04:36 PM

As My wife says”people will see it.” You did integrate the architectuaral details into the ramps, improving on a very nice building. Rembrant painted houses. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3694 days

#6 posted 11-16-2012 03:54 PM

Very nice! I would like to build a ramp into my storage build, too.

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