What would you swap for a box?

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Forum topic by coloradoclimber posted 07-29-2009 08:03 AM 1643 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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548 posts in 5306 days

07-29-2009 08:03 AM

I just finished a box for my lady's birthday.

I’ve made more than a few small boxes, to the point now that I’m starting to have an abundance of boxes. You can only give so many boxes to people before they’re like oh, thanks, another box. I’ve also got wine stoppers, pens, wine tilts, etc, piles of little wood trinkets.

I’ve always given away as gifts anything I’ve made, never tried to sell it. I’m not really interested in trying to sell my woodworking, for me it’s a hobby I enjoy and I’d rather not turn it into a job I despise :).

When it was done with this latest box but before I gave it to my lady I took it in to work and showed it to some friends and coworkers. It was greeted with the typical warm praise and then the typical “how bout making me a box, I’ll pay you for it”. Like I said I’m not really interested in selling boxes and I’m busy enough I dont really want to take on extra projects for coworkers.

But then an idea came to me. One gal said she really liked the box, would I consider making her one. I didnt really want to take on another project and I dont really want to sell boxes but then I remembered this gal always brings in homemade chocolate truffles each year around christmas time. I suggested I might be interested in a swap, say a box from me for a big plate of her homemade truffles. She thought that was a great idea and so did I. I can make boxes easier than I can make truffles.

Another guy was listening in and he asked would I be interested in making him a couple boxes, one for his mother and one for his lady friend. I said, yeah, I can make the boxes, what you got to swap?? This guy is a remote control plane and helicopter fanatic so he said he had a running RC helicopter with a controller he wasn’t using anymore, how bout that. Sounded good to me. I dont need a RC copter but I can give it to my son, he’ll think it’s cool.

So I’m thinking this could work out for me. I make something interesting out of wood and swap it for something interesting not made of wood. Depending on how this works out I thought I might put a box on craigslist, not for sale but for swap. Makes me curious to see what people might want to swap for an interesting piece of wood.

Anyone else ever try anything like this before? Have you ever had anyone offer you anything weird in trade for your work?

11 replies so far

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 4764 days

#1 posted 07-29-2009 01:50 PM

Do I hear Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn out there somewhere? Great story and the way things should be…

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4579 days

#2 posted 07-29-2009 02:02 PM

i’ve given away lots of boxes over the yaers ,
but quit when everyone wanted me to deliver them for free too !
the swap thing is good ,
but i still have a hippy shoulder bag in rough leather ,
that i will never use ,
im still waiting for someone to trade it to !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 4951 days

#3 posted 07-29-2009 03:50 PM

i trade stuff at the farmers market all the time, some ground beef for a wood platter, no problem.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 5306 days

#4 posted 09-01-2009 07:01 AM

I’m on my way to my first foray into “what would you swap”. I took these two boxes in to work and handed them over to a co-worker, one for his mom and one for his lady friend. I told him just bring me something you think is equivalent value. We’ll see what turns up.

View a1Jim's profile


118240 posts in 4815 days

#5 posted 09-01-2009 07:05 AM

good luck on your swaps


View ajosephg's profile


1898 posts in 4799 days

#6 posted 09-01-2009 08:37 AM

Would you like some Jorgensen screw clamps? ;) LOL

-- Joe

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4668 days

#7 posted 09-01-2009 09:41 AM

Great idea. The only thing I have swapped is cookies from my daughter. That is what I get every year, christmass and birthday. I have to beg for any more often. haha

I would like to get a pen from someone if they think of something I could make for them. Anyone interested?

I have the lathe but no pen mandrels,drills,trimmers.etc….


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View Walnut_Weasel's profile


360 posts in 4460 days

#8 posted 09-01-2009 05:11 PM

I just recently recieved a table saw (craftsman contractor style) for free. I do not have many wood working tools and was trilled to get such an expensive item that while not ultimately what I want for my “dream shop” it is definately something that is of good enough quality that it expands the range of items I can make. This post made me realize that if this person is not willing to accept money for the saw, perhaps I need to make sure and make him something nice!

-- James -

View ajosephg's profile


1898 posts in 4799 days

#9 posted 09-01-2009 05:16 PM

James – That would be a great and thoughtful thing to do. Go for it.

-- Joe

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 5306 days

#10 posted 09-01-2009 05:37 PM

Well of course my immediate response would be heck yeah. If you enjoy making things and you appreciate the saw then turning out a small gift made on the saw would be great. You get to play / practice / enjoy your hobby and your friend gets to know the gift they gave you is being put to worthy use.

I wouldn’t feel obligated to make a gift in return, gifts are just that gifts. But if you do turn out something suitable I’m sure it would be appreciated.

View MaxS's profile


46 posts in 4432 days

#11 posted 09-02-2009 12:22 AM

I outfitted about half my shop with swaps. Anytime someone wanted something built, my price was cost of materials plus….a saw blade or router bits or even tools….depending on the size of the project. Even now, if a project requires any kind of one-off tooling (like cutters that I don’t expect to use often or again), that gets added to the ‘cost’. Most recent ‘swap’ was a nice set of Bosch trim bits for formica.

Scrappy….I’d be happy to make a pen for you. Send me a message if interested. Cheers.

-- Socrates: "I drank what?"

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