Random question

  • Advertise with us

« back to Sweating for Bucks Through Woodworking forum

Forum topic by woodworkingdrew posted 10-20-2014 03:51 AM 1714 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View woodworkingdrew's profile


190 posts in 2670 days

10-20-2014 03:51 AM

I was wondering if anyone has ever considered doing a woodworking business on the side or if they thought of other businesses like gardening or a trade. I love woodworking but as many of you have said it’s tough to turn a profit. One of the upsides I see with gardening and yard maintenance is no money needed up front. It’s the idea of a service business or something to that nature. Thanks!

-- Andrew, California

12 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2828 days

#1 posted 10-20-2014 11:52 AM

I have tried handy man jobs on the side and that can be profitable.


View The Box Whisperer's profile

The Box Whisperer

678 posts in 3131 days

#2 posted 10-20-2014 12:04 PM

Woodworking, selling my products and to some clients selling my straight time, is my full time gig. It’s tough.

-- "despite you best efforts and your confidence that your smarter and faster than a saw blade at 10k rpm…. your not …." - Charles Neil

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 3430 days

#3 posted 10-20-2014 12:37 PM

One of the upsides I see with gardening and yard maintenance is no money needed up front. woodworkingdrew

That’s true if you’re just looking to use a normal mower, some shovels, rakes, etc. But like anything else, to get the job done right and to be able to do it in an economical/profitable fashion, you’re probably going to want more professional-grade tools. You don’t want to turn down a potential client with a huge job because you either don’t have the tools to do it, or it’ll take you 5x as long as someone who does. You also don’t want to rely on having a single piece of each type of equipment, because when that breaks, you’re down. Do you have a truck, trailer, tillers, mowers, trimmers, seeders, rollers, aerators, etc? Do you have experience renting, transporting, and operating larger equipment like bobcats and loaders? Now disclaimer, my only experience besides working on my own garden/lawns is that I worked two years for a landscaper/lawn-care business. If you can’t offer the same services at a competitive rate, you’re going to have trouble competing. And in order to be able to do that, you need a professional setup.

I think this would carry on into other service-type fields. The people who are out there making a living at it either a.) have invested into their business in order to be able to compete at a professional level or b.) work for someone who did.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Tugboater78's profile


2796 posts in 3253 days

#4 posted 10-20-2014 01:22 PM

I worked 5 years in landscaping and would have to agree, for the most part, with Binghampton. Though I do have 4-5
People that I do maintenance twice yearly to thier landscaping with basic tools. Nothing big but those few jobs do bring in a couple thousand to my income. (Cash jobs) works well with my regular jobs schedule.

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 4005 days

#5 posted 10-20-2014 04:37 PM

As with any business, it is about marketing the business. You need to develop a plan of how to draw in the business to justify any large purchase. And then execute that plan and sell yourself to them so that they will want to do business with you rather than someone else. Any business is easy to do the work, it is the sales that bogs down most people as that is hard.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View woodworkingdrew's profile


190 posts in 2670 days

#6 posted 10-20-2014 05:15 PM

Failed to mention. I do have some stihl professional tools. i.e blower, weed whacker, hedger. I also have a really nice self propelled honda mower. I have a truck and various hand tools. I.e racks, hoes, shovels. Those with landscaping experience do you find the potential to make decent money on the side compared to wood working?

-- Andrew, California

View Bluepine38's profile


3390 posts in 4146 days

#7 posted 10-20-2014 07:36 PM

Since I had the tools, because I bought houses that needed remodelling for the amount of money I could
afford, I used to pick up extra money playing handyman. My regular job gave me insurance and income and
allowed me to pick and chose. If you are going to really get into this work you should be looking at insurance
and bonding for your business, or you could really wind up behind the 8ball when something goes wrong and
your work is at fault-or a real good lawyer says it is. The last few years, I have just been playing in my own shop, and occasionally helping a semi retired
master cabinetmaker. He does not claim the title, but I know that he has earned and deserves it. He even
makes his own corian countertops from slabs.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View jeffswildwood's profile


4878 posts in 3038 days

#8 posted 10-20-2014 08:52 PM

I work full time, 12 hour shifts but 2 on 2 off 3 on 3 off. I mow grass, weed eat and thats as far as I take my yard work. I get 30.00 dollars for a yard that take 1-2 hours to do. Not bad in the summer but then it ends til spring. I also sell some wood working and between the two and keeping up my yard it don’t leave a lot of time for much else.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View joshuam39's profile


62 posts in 2443 days

#9 posted 10-20-2014 09:21 PM

What kind of woodworking would you be trying to sell? Are you talking small arts and crafts or full blown cabinets and furniture? I would say, perhaps arts and crafts would be viable as side work to make some extra money. Cabinets and furniture would be a more daunting task. Aside from the start up cost, you would need to find a reliable source of clientele.

-- Let's go Pens!

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3573 days

#10 posted 10-20-2014 09:58 PM

Actually I think lawn care would cost more on the over head side then woodworking with fuel and millage, all the cost for woodworking would be up front buying and setting up your equipment, once that’s done, you could mill your own wood but as for as making a living yea I’d agree that lawn care would be more readily available, with what I make and sell, I average between $300.00 and $1000,00 a month, there’s no way anyone could make a living off of that.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View hoosier0311's profile


706 posts in 3086 days

#11 posted 10-20-2014 10:43 PM

I dunno about the money, but I hate cutting grass and love to work with wood.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View Loren's profile


11160 posts in 4709 days

#12 posted 10-20-2014 11:09 PM

Honestly, you can hustle handyman type work. it’s not
that hard… you can look up “how to” info on the
internet. You’ll spend a lot on tools as you get into
it but if you like getting dirty and learning fixit skills
it’s kinda fun. I did it a lot in the past.

If you want to make good money at custom woodworking
you gotta both be seriously good and seriously
set up. Everyday casework is competitive. You
can do it and make a living at it but it’s not very
creative and to do it efficiently requires a lot of
equipment and it still will take a toll on your body.

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