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Forum topic by a1Jim posted 11-28-2019 05:00 PM 1358 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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118136 posts in 4432 days

11-28-2019 05:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi Friends
I started a woodworking club about a year ago and we have about 20 members, we have been making projects to sell and give 100% of the proceeds to our local food bank. Because our members vary in skill levels some of our projects are more basic and kind of rough around the edges and other items are great. Our area does not have a lot of people with a lot of discretionary income so we try to keep the cost on the items down we make to sell.
So far we have made paper towel holders, wood spoons and kitchen utensils, coasters and small shelves. We now have access to a venue where the buyers might have a little more to spend so we decided to try and sell a variety of wine shelves, racks, and holders. So I was hoping I could get some more ideas as to what others are having good results selling that people with minimal experience can make.
Since personally I don’t have a lot of experience selling at craft shows I’m not sure what is considered good revenues for such sales, so far we have been averaging about $110 at the two sales we’ve attended,this seems like a small amount but I’m used to being in business and expect a minimum of $500 a day,what’s your thoughts about what we are getting per sale?
Lastly, I had never belonged to a woodworking club before I started this on so I could use some suggestions as to what kind of activities your woodworking clubs have.
Thanks for your help


20 replies so far

View Karson's profile


35226 posts in 5255 days

#1 posted 11-28-2019 05:16 PM

Jim good luck on your endeavours.

When I was in the craft show business 45 years ago, I made wooden puzzles. A train engine (steam variety) was probably about 12” long and 7-8” high and it had maybe 8-9 pieces. Something a small child could put together. They were all cut out with a bandsaw. I had a supply of 2” hard rock maple so they were solid.

I had ducks, snowmen, anything you might find in a child’s coloring book. They went over well. Grandparents buy for their grandchildren. No paint, no finish leave that to the parents if they want it.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2687 posts in 1017 days

#2 posted 11-28-2019 05:19 PM

Jim – sorry I can’t provide any input for your club.
I just wanted to commend you and your club members on supporting your Food Bank !!
that is one of the most appreciated programs in any community.
my wife and I both have forklift licenses and we volunteer at the stocking warehouse.
sometime there is no room for food and utensils and sometimes the racks are as bare
as Old Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard. they always need food and supplies !!!
wishing you much success in your offerings !!!



-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View a1Jim's profile


118136 posts in 4432 days

#3 posted 11-28-2019 05:25 PM

Thanks for your Ideas Karson, good to hear from you.
Thanks for your kind words John, sounds like your doing some fine work volunteering too.


View JackDuren's profile


1324 posts in 1814 days

#4 posted 11-28-2019 05:34 PM

When I was selling I sold blanket chests. Even Norm Abrams design is basic. Wood, interior all reflect price. Wedding gifts, new house gifts,etc. A lot of places for a blanket chest…

Plant stands are reasonable to make and sell…

Hall table or end tables mission or shaker move well…. it’s about privce. Keep construction down and prices low…

View Snowbeast's profile


140 posts in 2193 days

#5 posted 11-28-2019 05:38 PM

Cutting boards work for me. Try some of the ‘drunken’ boards for some bandsaw experience and unusual offerings at shows.

As far as show income goes, I have had $900 + shows and shows where I didn’t sell a thing and everything in between. It’s all about finding the right show for what you sell.

For the items you mentioned, farmer’s markets should be a pretty good fit. Or maybe a church bazaar.

Good luck with it.

View a1Jim's profile


118136 posts in 4432 days

#6 posted 11-28-2019 05:42 PM

Thanks for your great ideas Jack and Snowbeast.


View pottz's profile


11308 posts in 1839 days

#7 posted 11-28-2019 06:33 PM

jim you mention wine racks and shelves have you tried approaching the local wineries in your area,maybe they would be willing to let you sell on a concession stoppers are great sellers at wineries,if you guys have a lathe.trivets made from old wine corks will sell too.and visitors to wineries have that discretionary money your looking for.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View JackDuren's profile


1324 posts in 1814 days

#8 posted 11-28-2019 06:43 PM

I use to sell a lot of baseball shelves during the season…this shelf is from the 80’s when hanging candles was in. I drug it out of the attic a few weeks ago…

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19573 posts in 4531 days

#9 posted 11-28-2019 07:10 PM

No experience here, Jim. This project caught my eye: Refreshing and delightful. Should sell I would think,

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View LeeRoyMan's profile (online now)


1418 posts in 582 days

#10 posted 11-28-2019 07:11 PM

Hi Jim,
A place for my keys.
I never sold these but I made one for myself and have had it for 25 years or so.
I put it on the back of my closet door.
Easy and cheap.

-- I only know... what I know....

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2848 posts in 3777 days

#11 posted 11-28-2019 07:13 PM

Our club makes toys to give to the Local children’s hospital, Ronald McDonald house and The salvation Army. Today I just finished making 56 t-rex toys nine inches tall. We make deliveries to these three places twice a year. In April and again next Tuesday. We have been doing this for more than the 12 years I have been a club member averaging about 5000 toys per year. We also have a small club of about twenty members. We also make the toys and put no finish on them. Mostly small cars and trucks. Fund raising was a chore for many years but we now have a table at a local university’s children’s Christmas event. We give away toys, About 450 of them, one to each child, and have a tip jar that brings us enough money to fund the club the entire year. In the past we sold a lot of little cars at a local pumpkin festival event and that also funded the club for the year. Just some ideas for you. Good luck.
Jim Finn
Lubbock Woodworkers
Lubbock TX.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View a1Jim's profile


118136 posts in 4432 days

#12 posted 11-28-2019 07:42 PM

Thanks, Pottzy and again JacK thanks for your help Bob, LeeRoy and Jim your work far exceeds where our club is able to do at this point 5000 wow toys per year. All those are all great ideas I appreciate your help and should be able to implement some of those ideas.


View therealSteveN's profile


6290 posts in 1429 days

#13 posted 11-29-2019 01:44 AM

Jim, the local club for me is WOW Western Ohio Woodworkers

They have stuff that comes up from time to time, but the big event is an annual show called Artistry in

The actual show is done by the Dayton Carvers Guild, but many WOW members volunteer to make it the event it is. WOW always has an area, and the members make an assortment of mostly made wooden projects. The area is open free, though admittance to the AIW show is already paid. Once in the WOW area, kids are able to pick the item they want to “build” and go from there under supervision of WOW volunteers. If you are a softie like I am, it’s something to see kids who may not have a woodworking Grandpa, doing a project, they get to take home. Endless smiles is all I can say. WOW has newsletters, and here is the October one, with a section about the AIW show. Jumping around to other newsletters there are pics from the shows, and the toys area.

We are a bunch of loafers compared to the Central Ohio bunch (Columbus Ohio area) that operated the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio. They MASS produce furniture for people who cannot afford to buy it. They have 200 guys a day working at it. Endless work, for a huge hole to fill.

Both are feel good destinations.

-- Think safe, be safe

View a1Jim's profile


118136 posts in 4432 days

#14 posted 11-29-2019 01:56 AM

Thanks for sharing Steve those are wonderful and interesting programs alright,they help lots of people.


View JerryMaldonato's profile


46 posts in 1178 days

#15 posted 11-29-2019 03:59 AM

OMG SteveN. Stop being so modest. You are the most brilliant LJer ever. I bow down to you, sir.

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