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Which good tools to start for a career?

by Hard_as_Wood
posted 11-04-2018 10:16 PM

34 replies so far

View jonah's profile


2125 posts in 4157 days

#1 posted 11-04-2018 10:30 PM

I’d strongly urge you to come up with a full business plan if your idea is to make a living selling your work.

It’s a very hard way to make money. You have to charge a lot, which means you need to sell premium work to people who can afford it. That means it’s a very small market, and you have to connect with a very specific type of customer.

There’s a few guys on this site who do so, so I’d get some very frank advice from them before you start.

If you can’t be completely honest up front about the prospects of making a living building furniture, you’re not likely to succeed at it.

View lumbering_on's profile


578 posts in 1348 days

#2 posted 11-04-2018 10:43 PM

As an accountant in a previous life, I’d agree with Jonah about the business plan. I see that you already had a shop, but don’t any more. Did you quit to do something else, or was business just too bad, or something else? You should make sure you are capable of making a living before you start out. That means knowing exactly why you got out of it in the first place.

As for the equipment, there are plenty of good brands, but it’s helpful to know what your budget is, and how much of it can be picked up as used vs new. You may also want to make sure you have a drum sander and don’t forget the small stuff such as clamps, drill/driver, impact driver, bits, chisels and sharpening equipment.

View Hard_as_Wood's profile


37 posts in 1799 days

#3 posted 11-04-2018 11:10 PM

I know why I quit.

1. I went at it backwards. I tried to build a shop first and then didn’t really know what I wanted to make and I just piddled around do a bunch of nothing. I’m fixing this mistake by picking out two or three projects first then choosing my tools around that. For example, the first time I bought a lathe and a scroll saw. I ended up using those pretty much next to nothing.

2. I quit because I had cheap equipment. This lead to extreme frustration when parts didn’t “square up” and when I wouild try to adjust something it was very difficult and it didn’t hold well. I will fix this mistake by buying better quality tools.

3. I worked in a very tiny room about 220 sq.ft. and just didn’t have enough of room. What a nightmare was . I will fix that buy getting into a larger building.

-- Ciao!

View lumbering_on's profile


578 posts in 1348 days

#4 posted 11-04-2018 11:24 PM

So it was the shoe-string budget operation. Those type of businesses often don’t survive long.

What is your general budget for this shop? There are a lot of good brands that you can buy, but it’s going to be based on what you can afford to buy, and what you need it for. For example, do you need a 19” band saw, or will a 14” do? Are you going to use it to do a lot of resawing, or is is mainly for following designs?

The jointer also has a lot of things you could look at depending on what you think your future needs will be. A 6” jointer with a small bed may be good for small items, but if you think you’ll be getting into larger things, then you may need an 8” with a longer bed.

View JCamp's profile


1224 posts in 1409 days

#5 posted 11-04-2018 11:39 PM

well for good stuff and to buy everything on ur list you (or your dad) could be looking at $10,000 (or more or less) for tools just to “start up”.
If y’all can afford it then I guess go for it but that’s a long pay back time. Better quality tools don’t necessarily mean a better product. I got a uncle that has used old junk tools for years that constantly makes great stuff but he’s a heck of a craftsman.
There’s some good brands but most of my stuff is old craftsman tools so I don’t own any. The only other names that come to mind other than sawstop is jet and powermatic (or some brand like that).
Keep in mine if your a “professional” some of the tools of the trade require 3phase electric.

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View JAAune's profile


1886 posts in 3175 days

#6 posted 11-05-2018 12:55 AM

If you aren’t already fully equipped, I’d suggest getting started on some smaller projects besides furniture. 220 square feet isn’t enough to build furniture but with the right product, it’s possible to produce tens of thousands of dollars worth of goods in that space. Cash flow is important so wherever possible, try to land the paying jobs before investing in a bunch of equipment.

The only reason I was able to make custom furniture work was because I started out with a client base and had access to a fully-equipped shop. Getting my own shop and tools didn’t happen until two years passed and I’d proved to myself and potential investor/s that I could land profitable contracts.

Don’t be too quick to dismiss the cheap tools. One good strategy to grow a business is to take supplier contracts, acquire a few cheap tools then work massive overtime to compensate for the lack of equipment. The meager profits get used to improve the setup until the contracts become very profitable. At one point in my history, I was hand-sanding hundreds of small parts late into the evening until I was able to locate a used Grizzly edge sander. The edge sander was later replaced with a customized sanding station (using Horror Fright sanders). Someday I’ll replace those cheap sanders with better ones that have quick-release tensioning levers.

Improvements often come in the form of shop-built fixtures and machines rather than purchasing new machinery. It’s important to learn how to visualize production processes and figure out where all the time is actually going. It’s usually not the machines that create bottlenecks. Movement of people and materials is usually the culprit. I highly suggest doing some reading on lean manufacturing. If you’re the analytical type, the books Lean Thinking and The Strategos Guide to Value Stream and Process Mapping will help you gain the right mindset.

An inability to grasp the concept of value stream and processes leads to the purchase of unnecessary equipment which fills up the floorspace and causes bottlenecks in material movement. I’ve seen too many woodshops filled with unnecessary clutter and machinery.

-- See my work at

View WoodenDreams's profile


1130 posts in 769 days

#7 posted 11-05-2018 01:25 AM

The size of the workshop will determine what you have room for. Grizzly has a “Shop Planner” that you could use to help you determine costs of equipment and lay out. As lumbering_on stated, visualize your shop and make a list of all the equipment (most woodworkers don’t consider a Edge Sander-I bought mine the same time I upgraded my table saw),power tools, & hand tools. (chisels, clamps, vises, saws, brushes, sprayers, air compressor, etc.). Air Filtration & Dust collection. Have you considered a separate gluing station, or a finishing area or booth. Are you making your own work stations and workbenches. Possibly $8 to $10,000 easily. This is just a start. Type of building, wiring & outlets for 110v/240v, single phase or 3-phase options. Additional costs of insurance, heating & cooling, phone, vehicle expenses, Don’t forget marketing (craft shows, yellow pages, types of advertising, vehicle decals, work shirts and jackets with your logo-, etc.). Business cards, EIN number, Separate Checking Account, Laptop & printer. This is only a start if this is a business. How serious are you.

View Hard_as_Wood's profile


37 posts in 1799 days

#8 posted 11-05-2018 02:39 AM

Well, I just got off the phone with my dad and he doesn’t want to spend more than 10k all in.

sooooooo… I’m thinking I better start learning some hand skills. I’ve done a little by hand before, but whew I’m not in the best shape. If I could get a good TS and a planer… that would help. I could shop cheaper cabinet TS than a SS. WE both agreed we need to start. You can’t make a thing without starting.

I also thought of building more rustic type of furniture where I wouldn’t need such high end equipment. At the same time I don’t want to buy junk.

the good news, is I don’t need to make a living right from the get go. My wife works and she has a great job so my first priority of course is to break even. Make just enough to pay the building rent, which I have no clue as to how much that will be. I’m going to be looking into that tomorrow.

-- Ciao!

View JCamp's profile


1224 posts in 1409 days

#9 posted 11-05-2018 03:02 AM

Well a ridgid table saw and a dewalt planer will be around a $1000. Before I’d pay rent on a place I’d get a enclosed carport and work from it…. so $4,000 and you’ll be set to go.
before I’d invest that kind of money I’d set down and figure out how to make and sell a $100 worth of stuff with tools I have then invest it and make a few hundred more dollars and invest it. Not being a jerk, and I don’t know your situation but you are married….. hopefully can vote, buy alcohol, guns and in some states pot….. you shouldn’t have to rely on your dad to fund you. I’d suggest start off small and work your tail off and build a small business. Stay away from loans cause the banks will want their money back (and rightfully so) and will continue to get it from you even if your business fails.
I sincerely wish you the best of luck but there’s a lot of guys that have tried and failed, just be mindful of that and learn as much as u can from their mistakes

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View waho6o9's profile


8942 posts in 3435 days

#10 posted 11-05-2018 03:11 AM

View PurpLev's profile


8594 posts in 4507 days

#11 posted 11-05-2018 03:41 AM

It really depends on your business plans, specifically your expected workload. This could mean choosing between industrial grade vs. small shop grade. As well as the type of work you plan to make, cabinets, vs custom furniture would call for different tooling.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View DrDirt's profile


4614 posts in 4600 days

#12 posted 11-05-2018 04:42 AM

If you are borrowing $$ to get started….you already are in trouble.

You do need “Decent” equipment. But it neednt be new. Tons of “big shops” have gone under.. that had teams of craftsmen, marketing departments that went under.

IF you are planning to START a business doing hand tools, get a day job.

The only folks making money at that, have built up client bases over the decades, and got tied into the wealthy buyers. Starting out, you will need “bread and butter projects you can do in reasonable time, between larger commissions.
Without power tools, I don’t see how you would keep the doors open and food on the table. – -MAINLY because you are new/unknown. Need to analyze what you have sold before, and how much it sold for and how long you spend.

If you spent 2 weeks to make a 900 dollar coffee table…. you would make more flipping whoppers.

Avoid trying to compete head to head with all the Amish oak stores.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View bruc101's profile


1384 posts in 4400 days

#13 posted 11-05-2018 05:05 AM

Business plan, operating capitol, a market for your goods, and a “well known name in your market”.

About the wife footing the bills. I know a person that did what you’re wanting to do with wife footing the bills. She came in one day and told him…tired of paying the bills by myself. You have two options, get a job making a decent salary or else.

The ,or else, would be putting him out on the streets paying child support and alimony. He went job hunting the next day and woodworking became his hobby, not saying that would happen to you.

Good luck.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View jonah's profile


2125 posts in 4157 days

#14 posted 11-05-2018 03:50 PM

This topic comes up fairly frequently here. What I’ve gathered from the guys who have been there and done that like Jacob (JAAune above) is that you need to focus very closely on the specific niche where you can get work. It’s very difficult to do. If you can’t identify a niche in a business plan-type-document, I would make woodworking my hobby and find another job.

The other thing that I’d keep in mind is that making furniture for a living becomes, necessarily, a production thing. Even if you’re a fine artist type who makes one-off pieces for well-heeled buyers, you have to produce the thing for as little in the way of labor as possible, or you’ll never make money. If you try to make something more standardized, you quickly start competing with actual production shops who have much deeper pockets than you’ll ever have, more equipment than you’ll ever have, and consequently lower prices than you’ll ever have. Will your buyers accept 50% (or more) higher costs for your furniture?

I don’t mean to discourage you, but this is the kind of thing you need to go into with your eyes wide open.

View WoodenDreams's profile


1130 posts in 769 days

#15 posted 11-05-2018 06:33 PM

The post I gave earlier was not to scare you off but to look at all your costs, Start up and on going costs. Consider used or less expensive but good equipment, you can always upgrade later. Have a written plan of attack (business plan). Review your business plan, projects and budget on a regular basis, and follow through. Talk to your suppliers for contractor discounts. Only get your lumber as you need it. Keep a part time or regular job that allows you some time in the day to contact & visit clients. I started as a hobby, turned into a over blown hobby, now a business. My shop is out of my home. This saves on outside costs. I have gone to craft shows to display the quality of my work armed with business cards & brochures showing what I do. My pick-up is Lettered and has decaled pictures of some of my work. The pick-up is like a billboard, I park it a grocery stores and shopping centers for 6 to 8 hours at a time.. I’m in the phone book yellow pages under woodworking and restoration. I offer small (15×15x24, Pine) toy boxes for free, for fund raising events at all the local churches (silent auctions). Advertise in Tidbit & Senior Center newspapers. I have a store that displays my work & takes orders. I also sell Urns to funeral homes in a 100 mile radius. I been fortunate and I have a waiting list of client projects. You could talk to local remodeling contractors, offer your services on custom shelfs and cabinetry. I wish the best for you. but it could be a slow process to start. If build what box stores offer, this just lowers price. So find your niche and maintain quality.

View ohtimberwolf's profile


1010 posts in 3210 days

#16 posted 11-05-2018 09:39 PM

Hard as Wood


-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View clin's profile


1121 posts in 1854 days

#17 posted 11-05-2018 10:40 PM

I think most one-man or other very small businesses start out because there is already a demand. You make something for yourself or as gifts, friends of friends see these and want some and off you go.

Build it and they will come is more likely to fail than succeed. Though it does happen, but that’s the same as the old saying that even a blind squirrel will find a few nuts. That’s based mostly on luck.

Large business will do extensive market research and will know exactly or as best they can what the market wants and how to go about it. Then a detailed business plan and then they start off with a bunch of investment capital to ensure they can actually get going. And many still fail.

Normally I would recommend that you don’t quit your day job, and do this part time. But, you say that you are not dependent on making an income, at least for now. So that helps, what will kill you is having expenses like rent. If there is a way to get started out of your garage or similar, I really recommend that. Even if the space is small and difficult. Though obviously some things just take more room to make than others.

Along with rent will be utility bills like electricity, water, maybe gas. Also, in a professional rental you may be required to carry liability insurance (slip and fall) to protect the landlord from accidents that happen on the property. That’s another expense.

Taking on a larger shop space and all the expenses, immediately starts you going backward. You’re not just not making money, you are actually losing money. I don’t care how good your product is, it is very unlikely that you will start selling much in the first months (maybe many, many months). Though a real marketing plan will help this a lot. But that can be more money for things like craft-show booth rentals.

I know I’m not sounding encouraging, but there’s nothing to be gained pretending it will all just work out. And it is doable, you just have to be realistic about things, and be flexible. I can almost guarantee that what you think will be the money maker for your business won’t be and it will be something unexpected. So, be flexible. Though I understand you have some previous experience, so you’ve already learned many things I’m sure.

Best of luck to you. And, get the SawStop. It a huge chunk of your budget, but I think it is well worth it.

-- Clin

View CWWoodworking's profile


1040 posts in 1037 days

#18 posted 11-06-2018 12:16 AM

I would replace jointer/planer with 2-3 sanding machines and dust collection. Find a supplier that gives you a straight edge and semi planed. I glue up over 1000 panels yr without a jointer or planer.

I also second the business plan being more important than machinery

Also, if you choose the “super high end, sell directly to consumer route”, make sure there is a customer base.

I live in a town of 2500 people. Not many would pay $5000 for a awesome dining table. Almost all would pay $1200 for a “pretty cool, not high end table”.

View CWWoodworking's profile


1040 posts in 1037 days

#19 posted 11-06-2018 12:27 AM

About the wife footing the bills.

- bruc101

We somewhat did this. And I will offer a glimmer of light on this side.

When things were very ugly during this summer, my wife was stronger than any person needs to be. I was ready to cave at least 5 times. She pushed through, made me go at it.

To date it somewhat paid off. I am busier than ever and there is light at the tunnel.

When it was rough, all I seen was bills. All she seen was potential, because she believed in what I was doing. She seen the bigger picture.

I have know idea if I will make it long term, but I do know I listen to my wife. :)

View CWWoodworking's profile


1040 posts in 1037 days

#20 posted 11-06-2018 12:52 AM

I will play devils advocate on a few things stated.

1. Don’t borrow 10 large from pops.

Depends on relationship. Some fathers are understanding, others not so much. I personally would not borrow from pops. Just make sure you know who your getting into bed with.

2. Don’t borrow money.

Highly disagree with this with one stipulation. If the Cost justify the means, borrow it. Even at a somewhat high interest rate.

I just bought a sander that will pay for itself in 6 months. Couldn’t afford it outright. But at the labor hrs saved, it doesn’t matter. I was paying for it wether I had it or not

3. You can only do super high end exotic stuff for rich people.

I always wondered why people take this route. America is filled with hard working people that want a value for there dollar. You don’t have to be cheap. You don’t have to be crazy high end. Just find something your good at that people like and find a way to market it

You can’t compete with the 59$ end table on amazon, but you can compete with the Amish solid wood craze out there.

View DrDirt's profile


4614 posts in 4600 days

#21 posted 11-07-2018 08:06 PM

Parents are understanding. But i do believe that owing family even those that are understanding makes life awkward… you show up and your wife has a new outfit…there is a subtle, “Guess I know why you haven’t been paying me back”... you invite subtle judgement.

“The borrower is slave to the lender” and it will change how the thanksgiving turkey tastes Owing a bank (impartial third party) keeps relationships stronger

I agree with your borrowing for a specific justified need…that you can monetize. I still wouldn’t borrow money to grow, I am a bootstrap kind of guy, rather than a leveraging capital one.
Too often you see someone get a SBA loan, decide they need all new powermatic so the color matches and a shelf of festool. AND a new truck with their name on the doors. Without considering what they are going to build and for whom… then they get a new computer, sign a $$$ lease on shop space and wait for the phone to ring while the bills come due.

My Amish comment was. Because the OP lives in an Amish area – - Millersburg Ohio, population 3K… that is a tough customer base to start a business in.

Competing with the stores that carry Amish stuff can be done, and you may even get some of your stuff on their showroom and help get your name out there.
However, if you have a row of shops and yours is the only one with a car in front (versus a horse) the challenge will be that the potential customers that go to that town…. are doing so looking specifically for Amish stuff.

Like opening a pizzaria in Chinatown – you are both serving food… but the person that got off the metro there, is not thinking Canadian Bacon and Pineapple..

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View ColonelTravis's profile


1976 posts in 2752 days

#22 posted 11-07-2018 08:16 PM

Just sayin if you have a row of shops and yous is the only one with a car in front versus a horse that the people that come to that town to buy furniture are looking specifically for Amish stuff

- DrDirt

Ask the parents for a second loan to start a stable.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9659 posts in 3187 days

#23 posted 11-07-2018 09:08 PM

Random business thoughts from a guy who has wanted to run his own business for 20 years and has done fairly detailed business plans, but could never pull the trigger to get over the “hump”. What is this hump that I speak of? It’s the Paycheck – no paycheck – paycheck hump.

1. I don’t know what your employment status is right now, but if you’re making a contribution to the family finances, then I’d suggest starting your woodworking venture as your second job, and not quitting your income job.

2. Getting an income job for a company that makes things out of wood would be an excellent way to learn on someone else’s dime.

3. The #1 thing that makes businesses fail is negative cash flow. The #1 cause of negative cash flow is fixed overhead expenses (rent, insurance, equipment leases, utility bills, loan payments, etc…). Overhead = death. You may not want to do things on the cheap, but taking on overhead is often the kiss of death to your cash-flow plan. Frankly, if you’re talking about paying rent right out of the gate as you start a business from scratch, divide your savings by your rent and you’ll get a pretty good prediction for how long your business will survive. I don’t know how far away your dad lives, but you might be better off to tell him that instead of $10K, what you need is $5K and the use of his garage for a year. Buy only the tools you need to actually build the 4 items you’re starting your portfolio with. Buy decent quality and buy second hand if possible.

4. Get out there and start doing research for your area. What is selling at the craft shows? How many furniture makers are there already in your county? Are there any shops that would sell your work on consignment?

5. You’re correct in your thinking about making quality items, and that certainly does take a minimum level of quality tools. But look up the really old episodes of The New Yankee Workshop on You Tube and you’ll see that Norm’s equipment wasn’t very impressive by today’s standards. Norm’s a very talented woodworker, but he didn’t get really nice tools until his PBS show got popular and the tool manufacturer’s started giving him stuff. But you’ll never hear him complaining that he couldn’t make quality stuff because his tools weren’t up to snuff.

I wish you the best…. and that is not to make the classic mistake of borrowing money and launching a business without having thought it through in significant detail, and without having a plan to make your cash flow work for the first year.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View CWWoodworking's profile


1040 posts in 1037 days

#24 posted 11-07-2018 09:27 PM

DrDirt- didn’t even know you said something about Amish. And I completely agree. Wouldn’t try to sell direct in millersburg.

But he’s not far from a lot of population.

If I wanted to be a full time woodworker in that area, I would find a wholesale item to make that you could be competitive on.

View bmerrill's profile


119 posts in 931 days

#25 posted 11-07-2018 09:45 PM

Failure to plan is a plan to fail.

Beside having a business plan try to have a years worth of living expenses available. It will take 3-5 years or longer to become profitable.

All of the woodworkers I know who sell their goods also have a full-time job.
One thing they have in common is a specialized product filling a niche in the marketplace.
A good example is a friend who makes custom chopping blocks /cutting boards. He is a second generation woodworking with the trade/business learned from his father. Besides cutting boards, he makes tops (flat work) for counters, mantels, sofa tables, and dining tables, benches.

Your niche maybe: birdhouses, lawn/porch/deck furniture, bandsaw boxes, wooden bowls, pens, coffee/sofa/farmhouse tables, hall trees, moldings, cabinets, book shelves, cutting boards, etc. Find your niche and make a business plan around your products.

-- Woodworking, the transformation of nature to culture.

View OSU55's profile


2658 posts in 2848 days

#26 posted 11-07-2018 10:20 PM

Why would you not get a day job and try to build a ww business on the side? At some point you reach “critical mass” and go full time, or it doesnt pan out. Meanwhile you building a job resume if ww doesnt work out. Multiple irons in the fire….

View CWWoodworking's profile


1040 posts in 1037 days

#27 posted 11-08-2018 12:19 AM

I second finding a niche.

Also, consider how your going to get sales. If I had to do it over again, this would be #1 and it’s not close.

You can get a book keeper. You can find ways to make stuff faster. Have your 12 yr son clean up the shop. Find a graphic design major to do a catalog….

The only thing that really matters is sales. Sales consume 90% of my thoughts/worries about my business. I can make anything. If I need to do it fast/cheap, I’ll figure it out. If I need high quality, I’ll figure it out. But I need orders.

View shipwright's profile


8583 posts in 3656 days

#28 posted 11-08-2018 03:03 PM

Lots of good advice above but the thing that came to my mind when I read the OP was…..

If you were experienced enough to make it in this ridiculously tough field you wouldn’t be asking this question on a forum.

Sorry, life ain’t easy.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View BroncoBrian's profile


894 posts in 2817 days

#29 posted 11-08-2018 04:14 PM

This sounds like chaos to me. You need to know a business before starting one.

2 real suggestions:

-Go work for a carpentry shop. You will learn a lot and know what equipment you use and why. Then you should be able to answer this question. Forums are meant to help you decide between a Grizzly and a Powermatic, not to give you a shopping list.

_Build decks. You can get by with $1500 in tools and make $3-6k pretty consistently. That will build a skill level with wood and build a customer base quickly. Then you can start buying woodshop tools. Get more creative, make your own rails and then your skills will grow with your tools.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View 01ntrain's profile


259 posts in 1928 days

#30 posted 11-09-2018 12:35 AM

Lot’s of good advice here, and I will chime in with some more…..our home situations are kind of similar.

I’ve had a fully-equipped woodworking shop and everyone is right…..if there’s no product, or no idea how to get it, you’re going to go under. I did this in my much younger years, and it cost me my marriage. If your wife can carry your monthly nut comfortably and you have no other obligations, I say go for it. Buy the tools, learn what’s going to work for you(or not), but, don’t give up the day-job right away, and ease into this. As others have said, don’t get the loan from your father, it will cause stress and strain that your relationship may never recover from.

I agree with BB, go to work building something on the periphery like decks, or casework, or cabinet installations. You could set yourself up with a truck or van and a lot of quality portable tools for a lot less than that 10K. Once you’re out there and on your own(which is a good feeling, btw) you can slowly build a shop with newly-purchased equipment or good used stuff. This is the route that I went. I, too, have a wife that pays the bills and covers that nut comfortably, but my business also contributes, and it works for us. It affords us a lot of flexibility and that part makes our lives better.

I have a lot of high-end portable tools and fashion myself as a jack-of-all-trades, so to speak(I hate the word handyman) My shop is currently in storage and will be put back into commission in about a year, or so when we move to the down-size house. Almost all of it was purchased used and it’s good quality stuff, that I got for a lot less than new. My former day-job was over 20 years in Industrial Maintenance, so it helps that I know machines.

In closing, I will say that there is a lot of good advice to be had here. What you really have to ask yourself is why you’re doing this. In my case, I’d had it with the rat-race and the politics of working for companies where the managers couldn’t run a daycare, let alone a full-fledged ISO-qualified factory. I suspect that you’ve possibly experienced this, and it’s why you’re trying to stake your own claim in life. It’s a noble thing that a lot of people never achieve. Take it from me, it can be done but a lot more of the easy does it while still working on the fringes of what you dream to do, someday.

View Aj2's profile


3358 posts in 2656 days

#31 posted 11-09-2018 01:32 AM

So you want to be a furniture maker.

-- Aj

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7822 posts in 1571 days

#32 posted 11-09-2018 03:46 AM

So you want to be a furniture maker.

- Aj2


-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View CWWoodworking's profile


1040 posts in 1037 days

#33 posted 11-09-2018 04:12 AM

So you want to be a furniture maker.

- Aj2

I guess it just depends on where you live. I know for a fact 3 very nice sized cabinet companies in my area that cover 5-10 states that use SawStops, and use the very things that vid makes fun of.

2 of them use paper white hard maple for drawer stock.

In my opinion a stupid use of nice lumber, but they can sell it.

The only thing that really matters is sales. Can you sell enough to make a living?

Anything else is just details.

View JAAune's profile


1886 posts in 3175 days

#34 posted 11-09-2018 06:31 AM

There are a lot of things I disagree with about that video. One being that a sliding tablesaw is obsolete and CNC routers are the go-to tool for a cabinet shop. To the contrary, many successful cabinet shops prefer sliders for cutting sheet goods. CNC routers cut slower than saws so with the right setup and product, a sliding panel saw can break down sheets faster. It’s all about the process so it’s important to not develop tool favoritism.

That being said, the decision to acquire a CNC router, a laser and a second CNC router (and soon, a third) were some of the best decisions I’ve made despite the large expense. Those machines allow me to bid numerous contracts that would have been cost-prohibitive do do otherwise. But the routers don’t go out and find clients so it’s necessary to have a way to generate sales before putting money into such machinery.

Oddly enough, owning these machines helps land jobs that require hand-carving. People send quote requests assuming that anything can be carved on the CNC. Sometimes that’s not the case but for those situations, there’s always a chisel and mallet.

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