Making Woodworking Profitable

Working with wood can be enjoyable. Some find it relaxing. It is an outlet for creativity that often results in beautiful pieces. One may make all kinds of things for their own house and family, but still desire to make more. What to do with these pieces that are extraneous but still useful and aesthetic can be a quandary. However, the truth is that veterans of woodworking and even those who are new to woodworking can make a profit with their creativity with the right principles.

What is Needed

There are some things that a person will need to acquire in order to begin profitable woodworking; turning your hobby into a professionis a great way to make a living doing something you love. While it may be possible to work around or without some of these things, having them will make the whole thing work better and make the finished products better quality.


It is true that there are tools that are necessary to work with wood, but it is also true that not every woodworking tool is required. Project plans often list the tools needed to complete them. Beginning each new project by purchasing only the unowned tools required for that project will eventually build up a tool collection with which one can make any project without further tool purchases.

Some tools will be used in pretty much every project. These include safety glasses, a square, a saw (preferably a circular saw or table saw), a drill, clamps, a hammer, and a screwdriver in each type (Phillips and flat).

Other projects may require more specialty tools. Sanding with sandpaper will achieve the desired result but using a hand sander is faster and a powered sander even more so. A plane may be useful for smoothing. Sawhorses offer support for larger projects, and a lathe may widen the possibilities for projects and decorative elements.

Tools can be purchased secondhand to save money. Purchasing tools new may provide a warranty.


Both hardwood and soft wood are available to use to create projects. While it is easier to work with soft woods, they are also not as durable for long term projects. The hardwood is a little more difficult to use but will result in a much longer lasting finished product. Pine is an example of soft wood, while hardwood examples are oak or maple. Cost is also different between, with softer woods generally costing less. This makes it a good idea to do a test run with a soft wood since it will not cost as much to do.

Lumber yards are a good way to get wood, as it is possible to look at and maybe even touch the wood in question before purchasing. It is also possible to get wood from places like Lowe’s or Home Depot. In this case, be sure to look for dried wood rather than green. The amount of moisture in the wood will affect the results; it is best to use wood with 10% moisture for furniture, for example.

Ordering online is another option, which allows one to purchase precut pieces of wood from all types of trees.


There are a variety of premade plans available online. These range from knick-knacks to pieces of furniture. Furniture tends to sell for more money, but the smaller items can be made more quickly, resulting in having pieces for market more quickly. Smaller items can also be mailed to purchasers, which helps to increase the profit margin.

The best way to start is by making things that are personal favorites. Give them the best effort to create a prized possession. When the quality provided is top, people will be happy to pay a fair price. The simplest things – cutting boards and coffee tables –may be just as profitable as more complicated projects, depending on the quality and care put into them.

It is possible to create plans and find free plans, but to get many plans in one place, a book of plans may be the best choice.


Marketing includes both pricing and getting the word out about the pieces available.


One woodworker suggests pricing at $20 per hour plus materials. This number will seem high to beginners, but it is a fair price and a quality product is well worth that amount. For those still uncomfortable with the resulting number, check the prices of similar pieces that are handmade and brand new.


A website is almost required in today’s world; however, it is possible to sell locally or using other websites such as craigslist. Home shows or places that offer booths to craftsmen can be an excellent option; pieces displayed there may bring in customers for custom pieces, as well. Be sure to have contact information (preferably some sort of business card) available to those who are interested.

Where to Buy
SKIL 5280-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser Guide
Lot of 4-6
IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamps, One-Handed, Mini Bar, 6-Inch, 4-Pack (1964758)
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver with 30-Piece Accessories (LD120VA)
Gateway Safety 6980 Cover2 Safety Glasses Protective Eye Wear - Over-The-Glass (OTG), Clear Lens, Black Temple
Swanson Tool Co S0101 7 Inch Speed Square Tile
Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Skills, Techniques, and Projects (Fox Chapel Publishing) Over 1,200 Photos & Illustrations, 41 Complete Plans
My First Project: Easy-to-Build Woodworking Plans for Beginners Paperback – September 15, 2015
Birdhouses You Can Build in a Day (Popular Woodworking)
Making Authentic Craftsman Furniture: Instructions and Plans for 62 Projects (Dover Woodworking)



Circular Saw

This circular saw has a laser guide to aid in cutting. A dust blower keeps the cutting line visible and the lower guard makes snags less likely.

Clamps (Spring)

6” clamps open 3” wide to provide a firm grip on your project. The heavy duty clamps have tips and handles that are coated with PVC for better grip.

Clamps (Bar)

Pads on the grips protect from scratches while the trigger to release the clamp can be worked with one hand. Hardened steel bars and sturdy resin make this resistant to flexing or bending. These clamps can provide 140 pounds of force.


Cordless convenience is accompanied by thirty accessories, including a variety of drill bits and a variety of drivers. One lithium battery and a charger are also included.

Safety Glasses

These protective lenses can be worn over corrective lenses if needed. They are lightweight with flexible temples and offer protection from flying splinters and sawdust.

Speed Square

A 7-inch speed square offers measurements for many angles and includes a Miter Square and a Try Square along with a line scriber, protractor, and saw guide.


This complete step-by-step guide contains over 1200 illustrations and photos along with 41 plans with diagrams that are easy to follow. It includes projects, as well as necessary skills and techniques to complete the projects. More information on choosing the right wood, how to measure, mark, and layout the projects, cutting and joining, and much more.

My First Project

For those just starting out, this book contains beginner level plans for useful projects that are easy to do but not too simplistic.

Birdhouses You Can Build in a Day

Birdhouses come in a variety of sizes, but all are small enough to build quickly. Over 50 different houses for flying creatures are included for regions all around the world.

Making Authentic Craftsman Furniture

62 pieces of craftsman furniture can be found in this book, with diagrams, measurements, and instructions to create them. These range from a bookshelf to a high chair, dressers to dining room tables, and many other things between.