Thoughts on selling an incomplete project

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Trade & Swap forum

Forum topic by Kyle posted 11-07-2019 09:07 PM 1633 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kyle's profile


112 posts in 3924 days

11-07-2019 09:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: furniture dresser build project sapele quilted maple poplar money selling washington state dovetail mortise and tenon sliding dovetail handcut dovetail facebook drawer drawer runner raised panel chest of drawers boiled linseed oil shellac dye

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on here but I thought I’d reach out to a knowledgeable resource due to the circumstances. My wife and I are planning on moving from Washington State to Florida and need to downsize drastically. One project that has occupied the workshop (our garage) since 2012 has been a dresser that I’ve been slowly building. We need to have a lot of our belongings sold by January, and due to preparing for graduate school and the move it will be impossible for me to finish this project. So despite a broken heart I’ve decided to put it up (unfinished) for sale on Facebook Market place but it’s very hard to put a price on such a project. Below is the description I posted on Facebook and was wondering what people think about the price. I need some honest feedback. Does this seem like a reasonable ask?

Thanks in advance,

Original Ad:
$1000- Incomplete Dresser Build: Figured Hardwood (Sapele, Quilted Maple, Poplar)

Unfortunately, I have taken too long to finish building this dresser and we’re looking to move. The case and raised panels are made of Sapele wood, drawer sides quilted maple, drawer runners and insides made of poplar. No metal fasteners have been used in this project. It is held together completely by glue and joinery mostly consisting of: dovetails (handcut as well as machine cut sliding) and mortise and tenon. The solid wood panels are pre-finished prior to gluing up the case (to account for wood movement), and the back is a finished triple raised panel, not plywood.

If you’re interested in seeing the process, I attempted to blog the majority of the build but as time went on the documentation and narration drastically slowed down.

What is included in the purchase:

The entire dresser in it’s current state
Sapele wood to complete the top of the dresser
Poplar wood to complete the drawer backs
Plywood to complete the drawer bottoms
Any finishing products I have that would be used for the project
A discussion regarding the plans I had for completing the project
An email of the pictures taken during the build process

Honestly, this is a steal for any woodworker since it’s coming with the wood to finish it (most likely yielding additional scrap wood). The price is probably worth much more due to the craftsmanship and quality of the wood so please be thoughtful if trying to negotiate down.

-- Kyle

11 replies so far

View ibewjon's profile


2678 posts in 4074 days

#1 posted 11-07-2019 09:21 PM

Nice work.

View Ocelot's profile


3559 posts in 3919 days

#2 posted 11-07-2019 09:26 PM

I think it would be hard to sell. Another option would be to find a competent woodworker who routinely does professional work and pay him to complete it, then try to sell the finished piece. That would greatly increase your market.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View Kyle's profile


112 posts in 3924 days

#3 posted 11-07-2019 09:38 PM

I think it would be hard to sell. Another option would be to find a competent woodworker who routinely does professional work and pay him to complete it, then try to sell the finished piece. That would greatly increase your market.

- Ocelot

I appreciate this idea. Currently I’d love to just wipe my hands with it and be rid of it. However, despite having to invest more money to hire a competent woodworker to complete and market it, it may be something worth seriously considering as a last resort. Thanks, Ocelot.

-- Kyle

View pintodeluxe's profile


6497 posts in 4094 days

#4 posted 11-11-2019 11:53 PM

You’ve worked too hard on this to let it go. If time is the main constraint, just take it as is, and finish it later.

If space is the main constraint, I guess you’ll have to sell it. Any family that would store it for you?
If I sold one of my pieces unfinished, I would expect to ask 10-20% of the finished price. I’m talking give-away prices.

That’s why I think you should find a way to keep it.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View builtinbkyn's profile


3031 posts in 2222 days

#5 posted 11-12-2019 12:00 AM

Are you leaving woodworking along with leaving WS? If not then just ship it with the rest of your stuff. Pack it with clothes and other items you’ll be moving too. That way it has a function deserving of the cost. Finish it when you have the inspiration to do so.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View TravisH's profile


783 posts in 3216 days

#6 posted 11-12-2019 01:12 AM

I would think you will have a tough time selling it unfinished for a grand. More likely to find someone willing to buy it at a bargain (250 bucks) for the wood for other smaller projects. If you don’t have the space to take it with you then you essentially will just be chucking it as the add is pretty clear you don’t want to finish it and you screwed up by stating moving so most will know the time is ticking so ride it out as likely days before you will be just wanting whatever you can get out of it.

I would either put some long night hours in and finish it ASAP to either use or try and sell as finished piece.

View avsmusic1's profile


682 posts in 1966 days

#7 posted 11-12-2019 02:00 AM

I think the hard part is finding the market for this.
It’s beautiful work but, in a world of cheap garbage furniture, the people willing to pay a grand for a stand alone dresser aren’t willing to work on it. On the other hand the people willing to work on it may struggle w/ how far along it is and the fact that the concept is solidified

If at all possible I think you should finish it. It’s a badass piece and you’re too far

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4858 days

#8 posted 11-12-2019 05:19 AM

I agree with those that say it’s a hard sell,I’m afraid your $1000 is an emotional price because of your investment in time, Perhaps your market is better than mine but $1000 for the finished dresser would still be a hard sell in my area.
I’m not putting down your workmanship or the look of your dresser, it looks like a very fine piece perhaps the Florida market would be a more favorable market place. Best of luck to you.


View LittleShaver's profile


778 posts in 1901 days

#9 posted 11-12-2019 06:01 PM

Having done multiple relocation moves over the years, I would suggest giving it to a local woodworker. If you give it to someone who you believe will finish it, you can rest assured they will remember you and you will know it went to a good home.

-- Sawdust Maker

View JackDuren's profile


1739 posts in 2241 days

#10 posted 11-12-2019 06:12 PM

I think your Goin to have to flip a coin to just give it away or take best offers.

View avsmusic1's profile


682 posts in 1966 days

#11 posted 12-17-2019 06:50 PM

curious what ended up happening here

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics