What would you pay for this?

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Forum topic by mds2 posted 02-11-2013 08:45 AM 1476 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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310 posts in 2856 days

02-11-2013 08:45 AM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut ash rustic

I built this hall table last summer but I have decided to part with it. Or at least attempt to sell it. I know what I have into for materials and time. But I’m sure this a question that every amateur woodworker asks themselves when valuing a piece. So the question is, what would you value this at?

20 replies so far

View jakelb's profile


8 posts in 2868 days

#1 posted 02-12-2013 06:11 AM

Nice work. Consider taking it to a art gallery and placing it on consignment.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 3100 days

#2 posted 02-12-2013 06:18 AM

The sad reality is that a woodworker will appreciate the work that’s gone into your piece much more than Joe Public. Combine that with what I call the Walmart mentality (everything should be dirt cheap) and, unless you’ve got a name like Phil Lowe or, in Canada, Michael Fortune, you’re not likely to get a fraction of what a person should pay you. Take it to a gallery and you might sell it but they’ll skim off 40%. It all sounds pretty gloomy, I know, but unfortunately, unless you get lucky, it’s pretty close to the truth.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 2931 days

#3 posted 02-12-2013 01:18 PM

A beautiful piece mds. I will try to be a little more concrete than the other’s here and say that I would guess that you would see something like that on etsy for around $800. Right or wrong, that’s just my guess based on other items there.

I am curious, how did you fill that bark pocket there?

View Ripthorn's profile


1459 posts in 3896 days

#4 posted 02-12-2013 01:23 PM

Selling something that you built for yourself is always tough because for a piece like that, what you really deserve is a custom piece price, but another person isn’t likely to pay a custom price for something that they didn’t have control over in the design phase. I think it is a fantastic piece, by the way. Were it me, I might consider giving it as an awesome gift to a friend or family member, as they will also appreciate the labor even if they don’t know how much went into it. Whatever you decide, good luck and keep us posted.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View mds2's profile


310 posts in 2856 days

#5 posted 02-12-2013 01:54 PM

I currently have this listed for $600 on Craigslist, so I guess I’m not too far off from reality. I thought about placing it in my Etsy store, but I absolutely no idea how to ship it. If it doesn’t sell I am fine with keeping it, its been sitting in the house for about a 8 months. Just thought I’d try to make a little extra cash to continue the hobby.

Originally I had filled the void in the top completely with epoxy, but I didn’t like the way it looked so I removed it all. That was a huge pain. I think it has a lot more character by highlighting he flaws in the wood.

Another flaw was the end of the top piece was mis-cut on the mill so the blade was backed out and it was cut thicker. This left a 1 foot deep saw cut in the end. I decided to fill it with maple to highlight it too.

Before this I had built a smaller table with the smallest piece from the same flitch. I did this to work out some problems before I did the big table. I’m going to hang on to this one for a while. 1. The legs turned out exactly how I had envisioned in my head, and 2. My son uses it for a drawing table.

I have one piece of this walnut left, just not sure what to do with it at this time.

As hobbyists how do you value the time you put in a piece?

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2918 days

#6 posted 02-12-2013 01:56 PM

I dont know where you are located, but my first thought is your best sales scenarios with be from 2 different catagories.

Bext bet scenario #1… Would be a seamstress. Because it looks like a double-stacked ironing board and it’d be the ABSOLUTE COOLEST shelf any seamstress could ever own.

Best bet scenario #2… (If you live in California) would be a surfer. Yep, it looks like 2 surfboards racked up. What else would he (or she) tell their friends but ”Isnt this is the most BITCHIN’ table you’ve ever seen? Kowabunga Dude!”

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 4196 days

#7 posted 02-12-2013 01:57 PM


Selling art is a very targeted market and hard for a woodworker to sell his/her work by themselves unless you know where and how to market it. If you could find a gallery that would put it on display you would probably have a better chance of finding that prospective customer you need, but also realizing they will get a hefty cut.(commission).

Time is another factor, If you’re looking to sell just to get some money to reinvest in another project or new tools or pay bills, then selling it as a piece of art is a waste of time. Takes too long to find the right customer.

With all that being said, most would tell you, you can only get what the market will bear. If you’re trying to sell to the Wal-Mart crowd, expect to get $129.88 for it (Marked down from $179.95). lol.

If you put it on Craig’s list; put any price on it you want, but most of that group will want to haggle you down to $100.00 ( if you can ship it across the country).

As a piece of art, you could ask $800 to $1,500 and if placed in the right gallery, get it (less commission).

If you where a known artist….................$2,500.

Whatever price you decide to let it go for, remember it’s one of a kind and you’ll probably never build another one like it. I’ve sold a couple pieces over the years I wished I’d kept. They meant more to me then to anyone who ever bought them. I’ve always felt I sold a part of me!

Good luck, it’s a beautiful piece.

-- John @

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4070 days

#8 posted 02-12-2013 02:54 PM

I’d put a $1000 price tag on it. There is somebody who will buy it…though finding those people is always the hard part.

If you don’t find that person, don’t sell it. Heirloom furniture, especially something as nice as that, deserves a better fate.

-- jay,

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4070 days

#9 posted 02-12-2013 02:56 PM

BTW, art pieces like this shouldn’t be priced according to time and materials, IMHO. That’s too much of Ikea mentality. Your skill has value too.

-- jay,

View PASs's profile


602 posts in 4010 days

#10 posted 02-12-2013 03:02 PM

I’ve been selling at craft shows and online for a couple of years now.
At first I was just glad to sell ANYTHING and my prices were fairly low.
As an example my first canes were $20 compared to $100 plus from other sellers.
Now they are $50 but I’m going to raise them to $60.
The wood hasn’t changed, but I realized that the people who want them are willing to pay that price.

Now I consider how long it takes to make a piece, and what I want to get for my time ($60 per hour).
That plus the cost of material and I have my price.

As an example, I ask $15 dollars for a small, 4-6 inch bowl or 4-6 inch long handle (15 minutes) ...$30.00 for a 8-10 inch bowl (30 minutes).

Last week I made my first pizza cutter. The head cost $18. I made a couple of handles out of scrap to give a couple of options. I accidentally over-priced it at $40 (with one handle). The person who bought it didn’t even quibble.
At the same show there were dozens of people who looked at it, but they weren’t really in the market for a pizza cutter, just walking by, so I wouldn’t have sold it to them for $20.

I said that to point out that those who like it, and who are able to afford it, will pay.

And I gotta agree with huff…sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye to something you have created that is more a work of art than just a piece of furniture.

My 2 cents.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View a1Jim's profile


118143 posts in 4488 days

#11 posted 02-12-2013 03:03 PM

Start high an see what happens $2400.


View mds2's profile


310 posts in 2856 days

#12 posted 02-12-2013 03:05 PM

Do any of you guys have experience shipping large pieces of furniture? I am very tempted to put it on Etsy and bump the price up, just to see what happens. It is about 5 feet long, probably 40-42” tall (cant remember) and I would guess it weighs 100 pounds.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 4196 days

#13 posted 02-12-2013 04:07 PM


Once you design and build a box or crate that will support and protect your piece then you will know how much all of it will weigh and determine if it could be shipped UPS, Fed.Ex or would have to go motor freight. When designing and building a shipping container, remember to allow for it to be moved, kicked, flipped, possible dropped, and rattle around in a truck for who knows how long before it reaches it’s destination.

You can have a shipping company pack it for you, but that you would need to find out the expense before hand before you could quote a price on shipping.

-- John @

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4496 days

#14 posted 02-12-2013 07:57 PM

Someone has to really love any piece made by any of us before they decide to pay the big money .That’s a fact. It would be better to ask at sales places,and galleries etc what they think rather than asking us, as it is unlikely anyone here ( with the best of intentions) is going to give you a low figure or say they don’t like it, that’s just how it is.Asking strangers who know how to sell these works and the current selling situation is a different thing. and remember we are in a deep recession. They who know will in my humble opinion be the best way to go.I like them but personally they are not something I would personally buy.But I do admire the skill and artistry involved.I hope my words help you. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Loren's profile


10781 posts in 4559 days

#15 posted 02-12-2013 08:17 PM

Make a color brochure with pictures of the style of
work you do and mail it to local interior designers.

It’s a long shot, but some designers do use work
in that sort of style. Some even have showrooms
and you may be able to put the piece there on
consignment and/or as an example of what you
can do on a custom basis.

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