Many people are seeking a side hustle or a second income stream to complement their current job. Others who lost jobs during the Covid19 pandemic are also trying to find new ways to earn.
So, you’re probably wondering whether you should go into woodworking. Is woodworking profitable?
Read on to learn various ways to make money woodworking, the most profitable woodworking projects to consider, and other helpful tips to turn your basic woodworking knowledge into a woodworking business.
Is Woodworking Profitable?
Yes, woodworking is very profitable if you’re skilled, know your worth, and have a plan on how and where to sell your woodworking products. While many people see it as a hobby or a great way to pass time, you can turn your woodworking skills into a reliable income stream.
What is Woodworking?
Woodworking is the activity or skill of turning lumber into everyday items to use at home and in the office. It includes cabinetmaking (cabinetry and furniture making), wood carving, carpentry, joinery, and woodturning.
Pros and Cons of Woodworking
Whether for fun or as a second income stream, woodworking comes with endless advantages and disadvantages.
The perks of starting a woodworking business are many. For instance, it doesn’t require advanced skills, is a low-maintenance occupation, allows you to serve your community, and gives you control over your destiny. Additionally;
You can work from home
Interestingly, nearly all woodworking businesses start at home. You need just a few pieces of wood, essential tools, and basic woodworking skills to get started.
You’re your own boss
If you’ve always dreamed about becoming your own boss and making good money in the process, you should strongly consider woodworking. You’ll call the shots and make all the important decisions to drive your business as you wish.
It’s easily scalable
It’s easy to scale your woodworking business if you’re serious. For one, the demand for wooden products is consistently high. Additionally, you can consider various business models to reach new markets and sell more items.
It has unlimited earning potential
If you’re wondering how much money you can make from woodworking, the answer is – as much as you wish.
Generally, your income potential increases as you gain more experience, establish more industry networks and invest in expansions and more advanced tools.
On the flip side, woodworking, especially when doing it as a business, presents many challenges that you must carefully navigate to succeed. These include;
A crowded industry
Unfortunately, the woodworking market has become crowded in recent times as more people realize the immense potential of the trade.
So, you must carefully analyze the market, niche down, and build meaningful connections to stand apart.
It’s also worth noting that the demand for wooden items swings strongly throughout the year. Indeed, you may find yourself without work for an entire week – or longer.
So, you must be extremely organized and plan adequately for the not-so-good days.
Finally, woodworkers must consistently find ways to minimize overhead expenses. Otherwise, you may not get many returns on your investment.
You could easily be left with nothing by the time you purchase lumber, stain, paint, sandpaper, and other materials. It’s even worse if you need to pay a few employees.
However, there’s no need for despair. Millions of people make a living with woodworking while others rake in thousands of dollars monthly from woodworking side projects around the world.
You can do the same. The rest of this guide should help you get your woodworking business started.
What are the Most Profitable Woodworking Business Ideas
The first step is to understand the various ways you can make money woodworking. The following are the six top woodworking business ideas.
Build custom pieces
This is the most popular way to make money woodworking. Set up a woodworking shop at home, make custom wood pieces, and sell them. You can begin by selling your items in local stores.
However, you’ve likely seen custom wood pieces sold online. You, too, can sell your items on online platforms, such as Amazon and eBay.
A few custom wood pieces to consider are wine bottle casings, picture frames, storage boxes, fruit bowls, and coffee cup racks.
Build other wood projects
Besides custom wood products, you can also make general items for sale in the local flea markets. For instance, you can build and sell a porch swing, patio swing, a wall planter, and other outdoor furniture.
You can also make wooden utensils and make a few bucks off your craft. It’s all about being extremely creative.
The best part about general woodworking is that you don’t require extensive experience or advanced woodworking skills.
Teach others about woodworking
Another excellent way to make extra money from your woodworking skills is to teach other people about woodworking. There are many ways to fulfill this dream.
First, you can volunteer at the local woodworking club, where apprentices pay a small fee for mentorship programs. Or you can even get a part-time job at your local woodworking college.
Alternatively, consider starting your own classes at one of the popular online schools or offering a course on Coursera and other online learning platforms.
Related Post: Top Woodworking Schools in the World
Start a woodworking blog
Nearly every professional woodworker now has a website where they share their knowledge and educate the masses. You, too, should consider starting your website.
If you’re wondering how to monetize your woodworking website, you have many options. First, you can offer tutorials on your blog and charge a small “enrollment” fee.
Alternatively, you can promote your woodworking project on the blog and even advertise some of your hand crafted wood items. Above all, you can partner with Google to profit from their ad programs.
Start a woodworking YouTube Channel
YouTube regularly reaches out to popular channels and partners with the creators to benefit both parties.
So, all you have to do is create a great video that keep existing customers glued to their screens while attracting new potential customers. The more your viewership grows, the more extra cash you can make.
We recommend using your YouTube channel to show viewers how to make common wooden objects and help them understand basic maintenance routines. You can also use the videos to showcase your new wooden pieces.
Finally, creative woodworkers can also make more money by buying old or broken wooden furniture, fixing them, and selling them as second handpieces.
For instance, you can purchase old and broken chairs, tables, and cabinets for peanuts from relocating families. Later on, you can sell such items at the local flea markets for double or triple the purchase price.
It’s an easy way to start your own business with little capital. You don’t even need many raw materials to start a furniture flipping business.
What Do You Need to Start Making Money Woodworking from Home?
If you’re ready to start, the next step is to assemble the tools and materials necessary to begin making money woodworking. Generally, you need six things you get started;
- Circle saw: You need a circle saw to cut your wooden pieces into the correct sizes. Make sure to pick the right size.
- Sandpaper: Obviously, you can opt for a sanding machine, especially if you’re keen on making it a long-term woodworking business. However, you only need individual sheets of sandpaper for regular woodworking projects.
- Jigsaw: Some woodworking projects require greater agility when cutting wood, and that’s where the jigsaw comes in handy. Jig saws offer more flexibility than cut saws, allowing you to cut cleaner curves and corners.
- Power drill: You can always drill holes with a hand chisel. However, it takes a lot of time. We recommend investing in a power drill to drill holes faster so you can complete projects faster and make more money.
- Clamps: It goes without saying that you need a few clamps to attach wood pieces together. You can also turn to the clamps to bind multiple pieces together during gluing for a stronger bond.
- Paint or stain: Finally, you cannot start a woodworking business without stain and paint. You need one or both during finishing to protect wood surfaces from direct sunlight and water. Painting and staining also enhance aesthetics and increase product value.
Of course, you also need a workstation. However, your garage should do until you decide whether to find a commercial space.
11 Best Woodworking Projects to Start Earning Money
You’re ready to get things rolling as soon as you have the above tools and materials. Now, let’s look at some of the items you can easily make to kickstart your art or craft project.
Wooden picture frames are one of the easiest items to make that you can also readily sell to make money. You don’t even need power tools to make a picture frame.
All you require are a miter box and handsaw, picture frame molding (you can purchase one from the Home Depot), clamps, a hammer, and a piece of cardboard.
You can easily sell your wooden picture frames to your neighbors, in the local market, and to local art or craft shops.
Custom cutting board
You can also readily make and sell custom cutting boards. The most important step here is choosing the right wood type. You’ll get a higher price for real wood pieces.
However, don’t hesitate to use leftover scraps of wood – as long as it’s hardwood. We don’t recommend softwood for chopping boards. Mahogany is an excellent choice, though maple also works great as a cutting board.
Here too, you need a miter saw, table saw, sander, planer, clamps, a router, and round-over bit. Make sure to oil the cutting board during finishing.
Making a wooden clock is a little more involving compared to the first two projects. However, it’s an hour’s job once you get to grips with the requirements.
You’ll need scrap plywood and MDF plywood. More importantly, you need wood stain in a few colors to give your clock the necessary aesthetic appeal.
Finally, you also need a clock mechanism kit. You can easily get one online. Make sure to find a shaft length that’s long enough to comfortably go through your plywood.
The majority of people who go into woodworking begin with custom furniture making because of the strong demand for custom wood items.
Rocking chairs, chests of drawers, glass wall cabinets, dovetailed step stools, and handcrafted wooden pencil box cases are just a few items to consider.
However, you must be very confident in your woodworking skills to carve a niche in custom furniture making. Additionally, you should know how to price your items. Otherwise, you may face many challenges along the way.
Planter boxes are a commo sight in modern and traditional homes where they hold plants outside and inside the house.
Wall planters are especially hot cakes in spring when many people grow house plants for decoration purposes. So, you can make a killing if you can have several waiting in the period right after winter.
However, make sure to choose the right wood for your wall planters to avoid common issues such as rotting and splintering. Redwood and cedar are some of the best choices.
Coffee tables are some of the most expensive wood items today, with some costing as much as $1,500 per piece while others cost way more.
Yet, you only need about $300 worth of raw materials to make a majestic coffee table. It means you can rake in big profit building and selling the tables as a side hustle.
The most important thing is your choice of wood. The best coffee tables are made from solid wood, ideally hardwoods. Additionally, make sure to create unique custom pieces that stand out easily. Here is the best wood for a coffee table.
Armchairs for use outside the house, usually on the porch, as you while away the evening are a standard sight in the US. Anyone with a porch usually has one.
And, of all outdoor armchairs, Adirondack models are the most common. So, it’s another excellent option for woodworkers trying to identify popular wood pieces that sell fast.
Just remember that most people want their Adirondack chairs strong and highly unique. So, you must find some of the best hardwoods and consistently show your best work.
Making picnic tables is very easy and can prove a masterstroke, especially now that people have more picnics at home following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The best part is that you can build all kinds of picnic tables and sell them for handsome prices. Common options are traditional picnic tables, octagon models, hexagon tables, and round models. You can also build folding picnic tables.
We recommend softwoods for wooden picnic table projects. Redwood, Douglas Fir, and Cedar are especially good choices.
Another great project to consider is making wooden desks. A key advantage of making desks is the vast market.
Wooden desks are found everywhere, from homes to offices and churches to hospitals. So, you’re guaranteed a good market. Just remember that many other woodworkers make desks.
Therefore, you may face stiff competition. As a result, you must find ways to set yourself apart. Making unique desks in your own style can help endear you to customers.
See Also: Best Wood for Desk
Wooden toys make the perfect gift for young kids. For one, wood toys are environmentally safe. Unlike plastic and some metal toys that degrade the environment, wooden toys can be safely disposed of.
Additionally, wooden toys have a classic look and tactile feel. Above all, wood toys are safe for your kids. They rarely have sharp edges that may cut your kids.
The best part is that you can now make all kinds of wooden toys, from airplanes to wooden frogs and cars.
Many pet owners keep birds at home. So, you can also curve a niche out of making wooden birdhouses. But, it’s important to understand the tastes and preferences of your customers.
For instance, many people love colorful birdhouses. If so, you should paint your items in bold colors. Also, the design should reflect the purpose.
Otherwise, only make the birdhouses on order. Publish ads in local magazines and along the street asking anyone who wants a birdhouse to contact you.
Finally, starting woodworking projects to build home decor can also make you plenty of money in the long run. Alternatively, occasionally build and sell a coat rack or use pallet wood to make floating shelves and casters.
Of course, you can also make and sell fruit bowls, wine racks, wine bottles, a bedside box, candle holder, beer caddy, coffee cup racks, jewelry box, and coat racks. Racks, such as a wine bottle rack and coat rack, are easy to build and typically sell fast.
Tips for Profitable Woodworking
Now that you know some great woodworking business ideas, let’s discuss tips to help you start and run a profitable woodworking business.
Have a clear plan
The best woodworking plans cover three main things, i.e., costs, marketing, and labor/management. Set a budget. Then brainstorm your market options.
Where’s your target market and how can you reach it? Finally, decide whether you’re more interested in DIY projects or need a few employees to help.
Define your business structure
Defining your business structure is critical for tax purposes and legal commitments. We recommend starting a sole proprietorship business as they’re easier to run.
However, partnerships are also common. A limited liability company (LLC) is another excellent choice.
Become familiar with the expenses
Woodworking projects can be very expensive. Getting the tools alone can cost over $10,000, with items such as drill press costing over 1,000.
And that’s before you mention materials, which can also be very expensive. So, think about your options and find ways to keep the costs down.
Ditch the hobbyist mentality
Engaging in woodworking projects as a hobby is good when starting out or when you don’t have any intentions of making money from the projects.
However, you must ditch that hobbyist mentality as soon as you decide to turn it into a profitable business.
Research the market
Understanding the market will help you plan accordingly. For instance, you’ll know what sells in your area and what not to make.
Additionally, the research may reveal profitable marketing channels, such as opportunities to supply distributors, so you don’t have to deal with retailers.
Find a niche
A common mistake budding woodworkers make is trying to be good at everything. Don’t fall into the same trap. It saps your energy and robs you of the chance to become great at one thing. Instead, find a niche and stick to it.
Build a workshop
Yes, your garage isn’t the best place for profitable woodworking projects. For one, you need more space for the power tools and lumber storage. More importantly, you need visibility to market your items. The garage offers zero visibility.
Licensing is important for many reasons. First, it makes your business a legally recognized venture. Secondly, you can only take loans against a licensed business.
Finally, you can only claim certain government services if you’re licensed. Licensing takes 30-90 days.
The most profitable woodworking projects are also insured. Why? Because someone can get hurt in your woodworking workshop. Or thieves may break into the premises. Insurance policies cover you and your small woodworking business in such circumstances.
How much do woodworkers make?
The median annual wage or salary for many woodworkers is $33,750, according to data released in May 2020. However, the top 10% make $51,520 on average while the lowest 10% made below $23,210. This means that there’s money in woodworking if you have the right skills.
Can you make a living selling woodworking?
Yes, it is possible to make a full-time living from woodworking. The profits are enough to pay all your bills, feed your family, and educate your children.
How much money can you make selling woodworking?
Most handmade woodworking businesses make $1,500 to $2,000 per month selling exterior and interior wood products, with a 60-70 percent profit margin.
What woodworking project is most profitable?
The most profitable woodworking project is turning pallet wood into wooden toys or pallet coasters. Making coat racks, wooden utensils, fruit bowls, and picture frames are other profitable woodworking projects to consider.
Making Money off of Woodworking Projects
So, Is Woodworking Profitable?
You can make a lot of money woodworking as long as you’re organized and willing to learn. Indeed, some people make as much as $2,000 or more from wood projects per month.
It’s all about finding your niche, working hard, and constantly honing your skills. You can even turn it into a full-time handmade woodworking business if you wish.
Recommended Reading: Common Woodworking Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them