If you are passionate about woodworking or want to get into it, you may have wondered if it can become something you can potentially live off of. You know the saying “do what you love, and you won’t work a day in your life,” but can this apply to woodworking? Is woodworking profitable?
Woodworking is profitable—it can be. Many people and businesses do it as their livelihood. However, getting into it isn’t easy to make money, and you will have better luck if you start it out as a hobby.
We will be going over more in-depth on how profitable woodworking can be. If you’d like to learn more, we encourage you to keep reading!
The Basics of Woodworking
Woodworking is a very diverse topic because it applies to a lot of things. Anything from engraving a sign to creating large furniture is considered woodworking, and it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.
Plenty of people do woodworking as a hobby because it is very satisfying to create high-quality things, many of which can be used in everyday life, such as tables and chairs. Just like an artist who draws in their spare time, a woodworker can get that same enjoyment out of cutting, shaping, and finishing wood.
Much like an artist who draws, woodworkers can sell their creations for profit to anyone willing to pay.
Is Profiting Off of Woodworking Impossible?
The biggest challenge of profiting off of woodworking for many people is the barrier to entry. Still, woodworking as a hobby can be affordable depending on what you want to do.
You can buy a beginner set of chisels for under $50, such as the REXETI 10pc Wood Chisel Set, and get into wood carving, a popular and old-school way of creating wood artwork. If you get good at this, you may be able to start selling your creations to people looking for handcrafted wood art.
Woodworking doesn’t just mean art, though. Many people love to build furniture in their garages for the joy of it, and getting started with this doesn’t have to be expensive either. You’ll just need these tools to get started as well as a proper workbench:
- Circular saw
- Power drill
- Orbital sander
You’ll also need lumber, wood finish, brushes, and various other tools. By the end of it, you are looking at under $600-$700 to get started if you shop right.
It is doubtful that you will be selling furniture within your first week of woodworking. It is best to think of it as a hobby that can grow into a business rather than something you are doing just for the money. Most people start rusty but end up growing into it over time.
The people who can sell their creations have been doing woodworking for a while and are good enough to the point that what they are selling holds value over what you can buy from IKEA.
Essential Tips to Successfully Profit Off of Woodworking
Getting into any business takes time and knowledge. If you put your mind to it, you can profit from woodworking, but you will need the right approach and the understanding of who you want to sell to. Below are a couple of key tips to keep in mind if you plan on taking this journey.
Find Your Niche and Know Where to Sell
First, you will need to decide what you want to make. Furniture is a popular one because everyone needs it, and it is a large part of a home’s decor. However, don’t think you need to follow what others are doing if you don’t want to. There are plenty of woodworking projects that can be profitable:
- Picture frames
- Cup racks
- Dog beds
- Wine racks
- Cutting Boards
- Wine Racks
- Turned Products
- Carved Signs
If you need more ideas, this list has plenty of suggestions to choose from. Always do what you love—woodworking should be enjoyable and rewarding, and so if you’d rather make fruit bowls over tables, then go for it!
We also linked a video below that details five woodworking ideas that sell. Some of these ideas are quite simple—so consider these if you are just starting:
Next, you’ll need to figure out where you are going to sell your creations. You could try Etsy, a popular online store where people sell their handmade projects, but you might want to look into selling local first to get your foot in the door. See if there are any local craft fairs in your area and/or talk with some local stores about striking a deal.
You could also create a website where people can order creations from you. You will need to understand SEO and digital marketing, but it can make you pretty successful in the long run if you play your cards right. You don’t have to be a programmer either; lots of services allow you to build a website by just selecting what you want it to look like and paying the monthly fee.
Know Your Worth and Price Accordingly
Suppose you intend to profit from woodworking that you are essentially investing your own money to make money. You have to factor in supplies and labor if you want it to be truly worth it.
Some people make the mistake of selling too low. At the end of the day, all they are doing is mitigating their investment rather than making any real profits. Selling too cheaply can also turn people off since it can indicate poor quality even if your crafts are stolen.
Customers who know their stuff and/or have plenty of money to spend on custom wooden appliances are looking for something unique, even if, in many ways, it is similar to what you can buy elsewhere.
They are also the type who like to help “the little guys” and are willing to pay more to do so. If they want something cheap, there are plenty of retail and online stores that will allow them to get a $30 chair. So, do not be afraid to price what you think your projects are worth.
Here is an example of the right way to price one woodworking project:
Suppose you spend $40 on materials to make a chair, that’s the beginning, but you also need a price based on how long you’ve spent making the said chair. If it took you 3 hours to make it, then you should figure out how much money you want to pay yourself per hour—let’s say $25/hr for the sake of it. The labor would be $75 in total and combined with the material cost, so your creation should sell for at least $115.
This is an oversimplification and doesn’t account for doing this full time where you’d want to calculate overhead costs and various other things to determine an even higher price. Plus, you may want to pay yourself more than $25/hr if you are particularly skilled at what you do and know who you can sell to.
Woodworking is indeed profitable if you are skilled, know your worth, and have an idea of where and who you can sell your creations.
However, it’s important to remember that it will take time to gain traction, even if you are doing it as a hobby. Create something that you are satisfied with and pitch it online or locally. You have to start somewhere, and your journey can begin with a few hours in the workshop.