What is needed to start woodworking business in home? Do I start with used woodworking tools? Do I get electric woodworking tools or hand woodworking tools? Today there may even be green woodworking tools. These were some questions I had many years ago, before kids, heck even before I had real internet access. Dial-up wasn’t the easiest way to research these type of subjects.
I went to some local libraries and found that books had many examples available. From people with just a corner in an apartment to having a full-fledged workshop for welding or woodworking to building a car or a boat. The options are almost endless when it comes to building items at home.
Many big businesses today have started in a garage or a small basement corner. Good examples that come to mind would be companies like Microsoft, Apple or Formlabs 3d printing, that started their businesses in a garage or basement.
Depending on the type of things you are going to build, you are going to need the appropriate tools and the proper size and setup of space to work for your type of project.
My personal experience with building something, then selling what I built revolved around woodworking. I mainly built furniture that came from custom orders by word of mouth. I also built some furniture from a template in advance then sold them with custom paint or stains finishes. Also dabbled in renovations, mainly for my own home but I wouldn’t constitute that part as a business for me, as I did save ++$$ with doing renovations myself, but it did not bring an income, so I won’t be speaking to that home based business option right now.
I really enjoyed the woodworking business and plan to return to it again someday. The reasons I had to quit were related to having newborns, new jobs with less time. I still build the random piece of furniture for ourselves as I still have all the tools another bonus to having your own business.
How do you start? Today I’ll only be looking at a small, independent home business, similar to what I did in the past. Small space or garage in your home big enough to make that little extra $$, but likely not enough to quit your day job, yet!
Make a plan of course, so here we go!
First things first, do you have the skills? there is no use starting all this research, preparation and expenses if you do not have the skills. At this point, I would hope you already have a few projects under your belt and feel confident that you are able to build quality items with little to no wastage. Otherwise, you may want to rethink you home business type.
Start with the legalities – You’ll want to check with your local municipality whether you will need a permit for the type of business you plan to start. Regulations vary from one to another and also depends on the size of business, and how yo plan to market your product. For example, if you plan to build 1 or 2 dressers or desks per month in your garage, and only sell them to family and friends you’re likely not going to require any permits. On the other hand, if your building 1-2 per day with ++ noise from saws /drills and people are driving up to your yard daily then you will likely need one, along with special signage and number of other regulations you will need to follow. It is best to do these checks with your municipal office beforehand, as you don’t want your neighbors calling the police thinking you’re running some type of grow op or something with all that traffic. Another part of legalities are tax implications, So on we go to the financial laws next.
Financial implications – tax and insurance implications. I would recommend a consult with an accountant and your insurance broker to understand all that there is to know about having a business in your home. How much can you make before paying taxes, do you need to add taxes to your sales, what can I deduct as business expenses? Do I need a specific type of insurance or can I lose my home insurance having a business in my home? Many important questions to ask ahead that will save you headaches later.
The space – You’ll have to realistically determine what you can build depending on the size of space you have. Don’t end up being that guy who builds a yacht in the basement with no plan on how the heck to get out to sea. If you are using a corner in your apartment, you may want to build small items like wooden jewelry or pens. If have a basic 1 or 2 door garage, you can probably get away with building regular size furniture for the common a household. Have a 5000 square foot workshop? Get out of here, I hate you! Seriously though, if you have a workshop with thousands of square feet, you have serious room for a full-time business profitable business.
Noise/ Dust / Smell – Yes woodworking is noisy and dusty. You may be able o get away with the mess when you make small items that can be cut with a razor knife, but you will still need to do a certain amount of finishing such as sanding, painting or staining. All these steps create noise, dust, and smell. Larger projects when using power tools will definitely require some type of air filtration and dust collection system, soundproofing the space wouldn’t hurt either, I’m sure your spouse, partner, children or neighbors will appreciate it.
Tools – Ok, you figured out you are allowed to do woodworking from home, you have your financial stuff in order, and you figured out where you will be setting up shop at home.
Now the fun part, getting tools! I would go all crazy shopping at this point! Alas, a good business plan will help you know what you can afford, what is required to start and what you can get down the line as you make some money from your business. smaller projects may only need small tools like a Dremel rotary tool and palm sander. For larger, furniture building, you will need some basic equipment.
Here are my beginners tools suggestions:
- Table saw, -preferably a belt driven saw with a side and back end extension
- Sliding Mitre saw – preferably a belt driven saw with side extensions
- Router table
- Drills and drill press, and set of high-quality wood drill bits.
- Biscuit Joiner
- Circular saw
- Orbital and Belt sanders. Ideally both palm and table types.
- Clamps -lots of clamps – variable sizes
- Dust collector system
- Lots of glue and screws
This is a the basic list of items you will need to start doing woodworking from your garage. Obviously, there are thousands of other types of equipment that one can get, or may need to get due to particular wood projects you build. Most of the equipment listed can also be outfitted with multiple attachments, blade or drill bit types as well. So prepare well, understand what you will building before going out and buying thousands of dollars of equipment, these things add up quick.
Now that you have built your stuff you’ll have to figure out how to sell it. If you are lucky enough to have customers before you build like I did then it is not an issue. If your are building things in advance then wanting to sell then you may want to look at options like the full eCommerce service from here ====> Shopify Ecommerce – Start your FREE trial now! or start your own website / eStore through my #1 Recommended website platform here =======> Wealthy Affiliate.
I hope this information has helped you out. If you are in the setup stage and are looking for good deals for tools you would be surprised at the deals you can get online.
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If interested you can check out the kitchen remodel I did back in 2008. I built the kitchen cabinets, doors, and countertops myself. i didn’t have any garage at the time so used an old mosquito net tent to do all my woodworking in the backyard. i found it to be quite fulfilling and it really helped to sell the house.
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