Reply by rwe2156

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3134 posts in 1654 days

#1 posted 07-19-2018 04:08 PM

Hey guys, new here, first post. I am going to be starting a woodworking business soon. Currently reading some textbooks, watching videos etc. I want to make dining tables, dressers, bed frames etc. So it makes sense to make bed frame dresser sets eventually. Since I m going to be doing dining tables, should I also be making dining chairs? If I am to make them, is my best bet having only a couple designs which I master, and just change up the finishes to match the table? I mean rather than probably struggling with a bunch of complex chair designs, from what I see, chairs look pretty finicky once the designs get a bit more complex. So my question is should I be specializing with making a couple nice elegant fairly simple to build designs or stay away from chairs and just sell the tables? I imagine I should be able to make a bit more money with full sets eventually, once I nail down the processes.

Please take this as constructive I’m not trying to discourage you but the vast, vast majority of consumers looking for a dining tables, dressers and headboards are going to a furniture store, not a furniture maker. Its a very tough business to start because of the extremely limited market willing to pay a premium for custom woodworking and furniture.

Trust me, no way you can compete with $50 solid oak chairs from Ikea.

I am finishing up a trestle dining table I can tell you I have north of $500 invested in the lumber and probably 200 hours of my time. I would have to charge $4500 for the table to make $20/hr. And I haven’t made the chairs yet!

What I’m saying is there’s a reason why for every custom furniture maker there are, like 10,000 cabinet shops. I know a couple guys with shops making some furniture, but they all make there living in cabinet work. They both told me they lose money on furniture but do it because the love ww’ing. IOW the cabinet shop subsidizes their furniture making.

Also, I m a mechanical engineer that can t find work in my field, figured I d create my own work doing something I know I will enjoy, so I m not just looking for a get rich quick scheme but just want to ensure I succeed by having a good plan, knowledge, and work hard.


- Harry4386

What exactly does “create your own work” mean? There’s no such thing as “build it and they will come” in woodworking :-D

Yes you need both a marketing and business plan. The analysis is what mahdee and rich said.

You’re going to have up front capital investment to get things off the ground. My suggestion is to start building a portfolio, which means, start building some pieces. Doing this will help you with design, efficient production, and time. Have them professionally photographed. Get some brochures printed, start a website, Facebook etc.

You could target interior designers, high end builders, etc. You could show your pieces at an art fair or other venue like rent a booth at a home show.

And no, I wouldn’t think you could sell a dining table without chairs.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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