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Forum topic by Andybb posted 02-12-2018 07:30 PM 1577 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Andybb

754 posts in 511 days


02-12-2018 07:30 PM

My son wants me to help him go into the wooden earring business via an Etsy page. He wants me to make various shapes. Trying to figure out the best way to make them. The round ones are easy to make with a plug cutter but I need some sort of production setup, especially for the different shaped ones. Cheap Chinese laser CNC? But don’t want a huge investment as he can’t really afford it so I’ll have to front the $ to get him started.

Any ideas? Anybody? Bueller?

-- Andy - Seattle USA


18 replies so far

View pete724's profile

pete724

50 posts in 716 days


#1 posted 02-13-2018 01:18 PM

First make rods.

Round, square, hex, diamond, etc.

Then slice off the buttons.

Similar procedure to this;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW5r4gVrtZQ

View ScottM's profile

ScottM

597 posts in 2054 days


#2 posted 02-13-2018 01:22 PM

Just thinking about all that small tedious sanding gives me the shakes…. :)

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2752 posts in 2422 days


#3 posted 02-13-2018 01:49 PM

Here’s my advice:
Have him take a look at the number of stores on Etsy selling earrings, then wooden ones. My guess is he might find it a bit daunting.

I took a look:
Six separate categories of wooden earrings.
60 items displayed per page.
250+ pages.
Hundreds of dealers, if not thousands.

Das a lot of earrings!
Good luck…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View jonah's profile

jonah

1581 posts in 3206 days


#4 posted 02-13-2018 03:13 PM

I would not spend much of anything trying to compete on Etsy. There’s inevitably going to be some Chinese seller making whatever you’re making at a fifth the cost and selling it for half what you can sell it for.

Etsy is not a way to make a living.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

754 posts in 511 days


#5 posted 02-13-2018 06:03 PM


First make rods.
Round, square, hex, diamond, etc.
Then slice off the buttons.
Similar procedure to this;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW5r4gVrtZQ
- pete724

EXCELLENT! Thanks. That gives me some ideas. Turn the round ones on the lathe. Slice the rods like carrots on the band saw.


Just thinking about all that small tedious sanding gives me the shakes…. :)
- ScottM

Yeah, me too. I’m thinking that once I get them cut I’m gonna try putting them in a tupperware container filled with sand, wrap that in bubble wrap and let it tumble in the dryer for a while.


I would not spend much of anything trying to compete on Etsy. There s inevitably going to be some Chinese seller making whatever you re making at a fifth the cost and selling it for half what you can sell it for.
Etsy is not a way to make a living.
- jonah

My son is getting an MBA at USC and wants to set this up. Dealing with suppliers (me), demand, marketing, production costs, shipping, invoicing etc. Even if the effort fails he gains the experience. He has no intention of earning a living at this. If any of you have adult children you will understand that any excuse I can use to keep in touch with him when he is over a thousand miles away is priceless, so I don’t care if he wants to market pig shit in a plastic bag, I’m gonna do it. Just the fact that he asked for my help is worth it to me. :-)

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

538 posts in 1377 days


#6 posted 02-13-2018 06:13 PM

If it’s “practice” for running a business, why not go for a product that is less tedious to make, like cutting boards / serving trays, or even coasters. Tedium = burnout, quickly.

Wooden earrings just seems like such a niche product. Even in Portland where 1/3rd of the population seems to have their ears gaged with those huge rings and stuff, I don’t see anyone wearing wooden earrings.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View SawDat's profile

SawDat

2 posts in 2928 days


#7 posted 02-13-2018 06:29 PM



First make rods.
Round, square, hex, diamond, etc.
Then slice off the buttons.
- pete724

There may be a problem with that technique. You will end up with all endgrain showing on the earrings. Not what the samples show.

Just something to watch for.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

754 posts in 511 days


#8 posted 02-13-2018 06:38 PM


If it s “practice” for running a business, why not go for a product that is less tedious to make, like cutting boards / serving trays, or even coasters. Tedium = burnout, quickly.

Wooden earrings just seems like such a niche product. Even in Portland where 1/3rd of the population seems to have their ears gaged with those huge rings and stuff, I don t see anyone wearing wooden earrings.

- William Shelley


It’s what he wants to do. He feels there is a niche on the huge USC campus. Right or wrong I’m just the supplier. :-)

First make rods.
Round, square, hex, diamond, etc.
Then slice off the buttons.
- pete724

There may be a problem with that technique. You will end up with all endgrain showing on the earrings. Not what the samples show.

Just something to watch for.

- SawDat

Thanks. Good point. I guess as the supplier I’m still in the R&D phase depending on what my client wants.

I bet I could even use brass tubes or rods in some of them for a little variety.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Loren's profile

Loren

9967 posts in 3555 days


#9 posted 02-13-2018 07:15 PM

Stick the wood to a backer board with
tape or construction paper glued on both
sides. Cut out the pattern on a radial arm
saw. Pop the parts off with a chisel.

View Davis844's profile

Davis844

2 posts in 323 days


#10 posted 02-13-2018 08:08 PM

Cut a series of squares from your stock. Make a jig to glue and clamp the squares into a blank. Shape the blank and slice as suggested by pete724. you will then have the grain showing.

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

800 posts in 816 days


#11 posted 02-13-2018 09:22 PM



...I don’t care if he wants to market pig shit in a plastic bag, I’m gonna do it. Just the fact that he asked for my help is worth it to me. :-)

- Andybb

If that’s the case, you may want to consider using eBay or Alibaba.com!

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

754 posts in 511 days


#12 posted 02-13-2018 09:38 PM


...I don t care if he wants to market pig shit in a plastic bag, I m gonna do it. Just the fact that he asked for my help is worth it to me. :-)

- Andybb

If that s the case, you may want to consider using eBay or Alibaba.com!

- Ripper70


LIke I said, I’m not considering anything. I’m strictly manufacturing. The boy is 30 years old. :-)

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Davis844's profile

Davis844

2 posts in 323 days


#13 posted 02-13-2018 09:41 PM

...I don t care if he wants to market pig shit in a plastic bag, I m gonna do it. Just the fact that he asked for my help is worth it to me. :-)

- Andybb

Totally agree. The important thing is not how much money he will make; It’s just give him the help he requested;-)

- Ripper70


View RobHannon's profile

RobHannon

18 posts in 438 days


#14 posted 02-13-2018 09:50 PM

I would go with the advice pete724 and Davis844 gave over getting involved with a cheap CNC or laser cutter. Too much potential for frustration with a cheap unit, especially if you are also learning how to operate it.

I also would not get discouraged by how flooded the market is. If he is doing this as a learning exercise that is a very real hurdle to gain experience with. If you end up with a bunch of earrings that don’t sell, turn them into cuff-links and try again. Turning a mistake into something else is part of any creative endeavor and often a rewarding one. And if not a single thing gets sold and you get quality time and memories with your son, money well spent.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

754 posts in 511 days


#15 posted 02-14-2018 03:39 AM

Loren and Davis844,(welcome to lj’s) not sure what you mean, even though I don’t have a RAS. Trying to understand.


Stick the wood to a backer board with
tape or construction paper glued on both
sides. Cut out the pattern on a radial arm
saw. Pop the parts off with a chisel.
- Loren


Cut a series of squares from your stock. Make a jig to glue and clamp the squares into a blank. Shape the blank and slice as suggested by pete724. you will then have the grain showing.

- Davis844


-- Andy - Seattle USA

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