Author Topic: I make my furniture!  (Read 3078 times)

Lonely Artisan

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I make my furniture!
« on: August 18, 2016, 08:14:55 PM »
What a fun hobby! I started by looking at the crazy $$$ for basic material... wood, metals, paint and nice angles... mm...

took the same budget but I bought the tools and the material with it.. then made the furniture. In the process I discover a passion about the hobby and as I did some I got better, had exactly what I wanted in the end.

woodworking, metalworking, blacksmithing, metal casting, welding, spraying etc... what a fun way to spend the saturday morning in my garage with hot coffee, the wife and baby sleeping, van morrison in the background and my tools

I saved '000's $, can always resell them and I even have some clients that are asking me for custom work! I got my retirement all planned out in advance! : )

aperture

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2016, 08:35:33 PM »
Hey LA, congratulations on your new? gig.  I have been down the path of woodworking, and I don't think most people would describe buying tools and lumber to make a piece of solid wood furniture as a frugal undertaking.  What is your secret to achieving a margin on what is mostly a pretty expensive hobby for those that enjoy it? -Ap

FI@2022Jem

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2016, 10:36:18 PM »
Let's see some pictures! please?

LivlongnProsper

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2016, 03:39:11 PM »
Awesome, I second the pics. I have made a few things over the years mostly out of frugality (certainly not skill).

Lonely Artisan

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2016, 08:45:49 PM »
Hi all!

Ok I've got some pictures off of my gdrive.
There is no miracle, but here are some pointers:  Wife bought me my mig welder as a gift. I get steel from a metalyard where I have a good relationship, and I try to get my wood from lumber and use my planer (rigid, got it on sale) to end up with dimensional board.

I have a list of tools/accessories I need, and when I see a sale I purchase.
I try to use my credit card points to get gift cards at HD.

I use a spreadsheet to cost my work, down to the number of angles to grind with time estimates for all my tasks for a job... it computes the total time with my hourly rate and adds a profit margin %, like I was my own employee! I use the profits to pay for my tools. voila! :)

VladTheImpaler

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2016, 08:48:02 PM »
Nice job!

Lonely Artisan

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2016, 08:48:49 PM »
more pictures. That bbq (big green egg goes in the hole) was a LOT of work!

Lonely Artisan

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2016, 08:52:20 PM »
These days I'm into Shou Sugi Ban ... I am going crazy and taking out all my wood fence, burning it, sealing it and putting it up again all around the house lol. I was there at night yesterday burning my garden gate at 500 000 btu downtown lol

Rocket

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2016, 09:24:07 PM »
I also do woodworking and want to start welding.  Theres a place a mile from my house that has classes in all types of welding with free shop time after taking course.  Just need to get over there and take a class. Your furniture looks really good.

Dee18

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2016, 05:20:05 AM »
Beautiful pieces!

iris lily

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2016, 06:42:01 AM »
These are great. The Outdoor piece is very handsome?

ender

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2016, 06:46:07 AM »
I've thought about making my own stuff. Inspiring.

Lonely Artisan

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2016, 10:06:12 AM »
thanks everyone!

Lonely Artisan

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2016, 06:12:55 PM »
just finished my shou sugi ban fence and garden gate.... enjoy! :)

BudgetSlasher

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2016, 08:52:55 AM »
Hey LA, congratulations on your new? gig.  I have been down the path of woodworking, and I don't think most people would describe buying tools and lumber to make a piece of solid wood furniture as a frugal undertaking.  What is your secret to achieving a margin on what is mostly a pretty expensive hobby for those that enjoy it? -Ap

For me the "secrets" are

1) Don't buy brand new tools, I have modern (5-10 year old) tools that retailed for 5-600 dollars that I purchased for 100 or less. I have older tools (say 70 years old) that cost 50 dollars, where a new one or similar quality would again cost at least 5-600 if not more. It still adds up, but 4 tools at 400 dollars is much better than 4 tools at 2000 dollars.

2) Don't put a dollar price on your time; the time I spend woodworking is likely to otherwise be down time for me, plus I enjoy the process.

3) Know when you are beat. I will never be able to beat flat-pack RTA storage cabinets and shelving (but I wouldn't want those outside of the workshop, utility room, and basement). But . . . the 800 dollar solid wood bathroom sink base or the custom kitchen cabinets yeah I can probably beat them.

4) Materials materials materials . . . good deals on scraps, cast offs or the like come up from time to time (a widow clearing out the barn). Moving sales and the like are also a good source . . . and sometimes you just happen to know the right person (say with a constant stream of cast off end that are the right size to use as hardwood flooring).

5) The scale of your projects, if you buy all the necessary tools to do one project and then stop you will never break even. But, if you are redoing the kitchen, bathroom, replacing the carpet with hardwood, and finishing off the basement suddenly the cost of the tools is spread over multiple projects.

6) Other savings; while not directly tied to woodworking, if you are doing a project yourself you are less likely to engage additional services. For example if you building your kitchen cabinets you are more likely to do the kitchen layout yourself or if you are fixing the sag in the floor with a beam in the basement you are less likely to involve and engineer.

The problem with these savings and MMM is that the items you would be comparing the things you build . . . well they are things that many people here would not be willing to purchase from a store. So perhaps for us the comparison is not a savings per se, but getting something much nicer and approximately the same price.

Metric Mouse

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Re: I make my furniture!
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2016, 12:05:52 PM »
Beautiful work! Fresh and clean and simple. I like your work alot.