I got the idea from a fellow woodworker named Steve (Steve’s Blog). He made a site called Home Projects that sells all kinds of things (lumber, furniture, and more) online. We both agree that if you want to make a few hundred dollars a year selling products, then you better have a lot to sell.
You can make enough to make that happen for the next five years. It’s called a hobby. And if you want to make a nice profit from it, why not do it with people you know and like? It’s a hobby, after all. It’s your hobby.
How has the woodworking hobby changed over the years, and have you ever had difficulty meeting quality needs because of shortages?
What has happened is that the internet has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for hobbyists who were previously unable to sell on the internet. We’ve seen the internet transform some of the most successful manufacturers (like Kenmore and IKEA) into the kind of businesses you find in the best bookstores of our hometown. I’m reminded of a scene in the novel The Great Gatsby when Willy Wonka (and his brothers) run a “store.” They sell a lot of great products. What used to happen is that they couldn’t meet the customers they were selling to because the people they were selling to weren’t interested. Now that the world has become so global, they can meet the demand from those who are.
But you can sell a ton of stuff if you have to. We used to have a friend who sold wood for us in his garage. He put all his wood on the shelf, then put some more on a shelf in our garage and another drawer, and another shelf in the garage. Then he brought in a truck and hauled all the wood back. It takes a while to get them all back. The wood is expensive, but it doesn’t bother him because he just sells more. No one’s complaining. A lot of woodworkers go through this kind of situation, trying to meet supply and demand. But we can make money selling more of what we’ve already got rather than selling a bunch of stuff we just haven’t sold yet.
What types of projects should people be aware of when deciding whether or not they want to work wood?
My biggest problem is that there is so little information in the woodworking world. I have seen magazines for the woodworking community. I’ve made my own website,
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