Woodworking, A Small-Scale Business

Woodworking is the art of forming and shaping wood to make both useful and decorative objects. It is a skillful process which takes time and determination to master. However, if you can perfect the making of a product – a bowl, for example – you can sell it to make money. Running a successful woodworking enterprise is dependent on many factors, some of which are covered in this Technical Brief.

The majority of people that working with wood is a futile task because you feel that only master craftsman with years of experience can create worthy stuff. This is negative thinking since every job has to begin at the basic level and even the masters had begun with easy woodworking projects. Carpentry is an art, which is never built-in and one has to bit by bit develop the essential skills, but there are several things that ought to be noted before beginning any simple woodworking task.

Skills and Training

Some of the basic woodwork tools can help you create wonderful things so before you take it up as a pastime, discover as much as you can about this amazing art. Learn about the tools and the practices, starting from the medieval times to the most modern and get familiar with every aspect of this art. Searching the assorted kinds of wood and their uses is something you should do because this type of research will help you complete your easy woodworking projects and luckily there is a great deal of information available to you today. Books, journals and the Internet with a host of sites are all there to assistance novices start with carpentry.

To get on with easy woodworking undertakings you could take the help from local community colleges and enroll in the beginners course for mature apprentices and the best part is that they are very affordable and does not take too much time. From these classes, you can gain a acquaintance on woodworking techniques from basic to accomplished. Additionally, they will educate you properly in safety so that your simple woodworking undertakings will not end in injury causing you to abandon your new spare-time activity out of fear of future accidents.

Workshop Equipment and Tools

To be able to work effectively you need to have at least some woodworking equipment. Many items of equipment and tools can be self-made, reducing the cost of setting up a workshop.

Work bench

A workbench is usually like a table. It has a large flat working surface supported on four legs. On the bench there be a rack for holding various tools (although these are sometime mounted on the wall) and hole for locking pins. As well as places for hand tools there may be vice fixed or incorporated into the bench design so work can be fixed into place while being worked on. The workbench should ideally be level and provide a solid working environment for a range of product sizes.

Sawing horse

A sawing horse consists of some ‘A’ frames. These can be joined together or freestanding, it doesn’t really matter. The idea of the sawing horse is to lift your work off the ground and bring it to a suitable height to be able to cut it
easily. Ensure you lift your work sensibly to avoid injury.

Bench hook

Consisting of three pieces of wood the bench hook is designed to hook on to the top of your work bench to put work pieces on. The bench hook is fitted together squarely and allows you to cut small square pieces of wood raised off your work top, to avoid damage to your workbench.


Similar to a vice, the clamp clamps your work down on to a workbench so you can work on it freely. Simple three peg plus wedge holding device – Three pegs, some dowel and some wedges, allow you to locate a piece of material in place squarely for cutting, without having to use clamps on your worktop. This is handy for log sections which are not easy to clamp.

Wood lathe

A lathe is a machine designed to spin you work piece round to create a cylindrical form. Using chisels to work your piece of material it is possible to create a range of poles, legs and pegs for use in the workshop or for specific products. The lathe can be electrically powered or manual powered depending on the availability. Practical Action has made available a design for a treadle operated wood lathe that uses low-cost components.

Hand Tools

  • Mallet – Used as driving tool for chisels into wood and other pieces of wood into wood. The wood carvers mallet has a rounded head.
  • Adze – Similar to an axe in form, it is used for shaping and smoothing planks of wood. If used effectively by an artisan it is a versatile and accurate tool.
  • Hammers – various types for different jobs, such as banging in nails, squaring up and knocking in pieces of wood. The claw hammer is the most commonly used hammer due to its versatility.
  • Pincers – with reasonably long handles for a good gripping mechanical advantage, the pincers main task is to remove nails, either in the wrong place or from an old piece of wood.
  • Pliers – can be used in a similar way to the pincers, but with a fatter jaw they can grip and bend metal into various shapes as well as cut wire.
  • Brace and bit (link to drill maybe) – The lesser form of a hand drill, the brace and bit is used for boring holes into pieces of wood. The diameter range is from 0.5cm to 5cm and a maximum of 15cm depth.
  • Gimlet – Similar in design to a corkscrew and working like a brace and bit, bores shallow holes into wood, for short screws.
  • Hand drill – Drilling small holes up to about 1cm the drill makes a pilot hole for screws, for fixing pieces of wood together.
  • Auger – Like the Gimlet but bigger. Creating holes up to 6.5cm in diameter with a shaft length of about 60cm.
  • Saw cross cut – As the name suggests this saw is used for cross cutting. Large sections of trees which need to be reduced in size, the cross saw has a length of about 1.5m.
  • Saw-rip – The teeth are set to make it easy to cut along the grain (in the direction of the grain) making it easy to cutting down a plank of wood. About 50 – 70 cm in length.
  • Pit saw – Used for cutting/splitting pieces of wood along their entire length. The pit saw would be about 1.5 – 3 metres long.
  • Bow saw – The carpenters’ bow saw is used for cutting wood into shapes. The foresters bow saw is used for felling trees and then cutting them across to make them into smaller lengths, ready to work on.
  • Hack saw – traditionally a metal working saw, but it can be used for cutting wood. As the teeth on the blade are so small the process is usually slower than with a normal saw. Various size blades can be fitted and usually range in length from 15 – 20 cm.
  • Clamps – As their name suggests they clamp materials in place. This could either be clamping one piece on to a workbench whilst cutting it or clamping to pieces of material together whilst joining them.
  • Saw-keyhole – Again as the name suggests this saw is used to cut keyhole size shapes in wood. They are good for cutting small holes in wood in general. Usually about 30cm in length.
  • Saw-Tennon – A fine toothed blade for cutting small accurate pieces of wood accurately.
  • Screwdrivers – There are two main types of screwdriver the slot head and cross head or the ordinary blade and the cruciform blade. Lengths vary from 15 to 50cm, as do the head sizes according to screw type.
  • Files – The main use for files is to shape your wood. There are a few types, from flat to triangular, round and half round, and they all come in different sizes. The other use for files (mainly the flat and the triangular) is to sharpen the teeth on saws’ blades.
  • Chisels- Basic tool for shaping and cutting you piece of wood in to various shapes. They can be used effectively with a mallet to carve out rough shapes, which then can be smoothed down. The most common use is probably in joint making such as mortises and tenons. They come in various shapes and sizes and are also used in woodturning.
  • Rules (various) – Various tape measures and rulers can be used in the workshop depending on the accuracy or the measurement and the size of your material. Most common is wooden or steel rule.
  • Spoke shave – A small wooden device with a small blade attached. Like a small plane the spoke shave is used to shape your wood in smaller detailed areas.
  • Block Plane – Use to smooth off the end of your piece of work material, cutting the end grain. Usually about 2.5 – 4cm in width.
  • Jackplane – Used to shave pieces of wood off in the direction of the grain, i.e. along your work piece. Shaving material off until an exact thickness is achieved.
  • Rasp – Similar to a file, but with larger teeth. Used for removing larger sections of wood to shape and smooth your wood. May be made of solid metal, with the possibility or renewable blades.
  • Oilstone – Used for sharpening most tools, blades –such as chisels, knives and other sharp edges. Smoothing plane – Used to plane timber smooth after it has been worked. About 4-6cm cutting iron, leaving a smooth finish.
  • Callipers – used for measuring diameters of various sections, both internal and external.
  • Set Square – Again as the name suggests, this tool is used to set things square. Can be used for setting or marking out right-angled sections.
  • Marking gauge – Used to mark out where wood is going to be cut. They come in various forms with tightening screw or home made with a wedge tightening set up.
  • Vices – similar to clamps in that they hold your work piece in place, but they can hold larger pieces of material both in width and lengths. They are usually mounted on your workbench so you can work on the material with all your tools at hand.

The Business

Whatever the business, there are certain practices that make the business work and ensure that you are making a profit such as looking after your customers, ensuring you are asking the right price for what you sell.

Starting a Home Wood Working Business is just the thing for those who love working with wood as a hobby. The quality and design of hand crafted wood is prized the world over. Furniture, toys, boxes and the like are used everyday. There is a definite market for Woodworking Business Opportunities.

Many products of woodworking are marketable today. Everything from shipping crates to cabinets are made from wood products. There is also an emerging market for hand made wooden toys. If you posses skill and talent, you can make money in the wood working business opportunities field.

You will need a good supplier of various woods and wood handling tools. Though you should never use sub-standard materials, quality is especially imperative for toys, furniture, and other practical items that your clients will be using daily. A long lasting product will get you plenty of referrals.

Product Design

Don’t limit your imagination. Many clients may ask for custom work. Be sure when handling custom orders that the direction of the project is clear. There are design copyrights to be considered also. If a client has a copyrighted design that he would like for you to build, be mindful of that. However, you can also copyright your own designs. This could lead to increased revenues in your Home Wood Working Business.

Fashion and home decor trends are on your side in this industry too. Beautifully crafted wooden bowls and home accessories are always popular. If you are interested in doing these types of small jobs, keep in mind that they are relatively inexpensive to ship and make great online products.

There is also the artistic side of the woodworking business opportunities field. Sculptures, frames, and other art objects can be sold as well as furniture. Your only limit in woodworking is your imagination and your bravery to try new things.


There are also more traditional means of sales in the Home Wood Working Business Opportunities field. Trade shows, flea markets, arts and crafts fairs, malls and small outlet stores are all resources that need to be investigated. Marketing your custom designs to furniture stores and specialty stores is a great way to start your home wood working business rolling. Make sure you do not over-book your business, however. You will need to consistently maintain your level of quality throughout the sales process.

Advertising your home wood working business on the Internet, local bulletin boards, trade magazines and the like will help you establish a reputation and make your name known. Going to arts and crafts shows, trade shows and flea markets will aid in showcasing your work and increase your sales. All of these opportunities should be taken advantage of as often as possible in order to increase your profile and resume’. Entering contests in the woodworking trade will also help with referrals and increasing sales.

Woodworking can be a fun and lucrative career. The woodworker has the ability to create as not only a practical tradesman, but as an artist as well. If you have dabbled in woodworking, think of it now as a career.

sources: www.practicalaction.prg, ezinearticles.com, xmbmods.com, photos from buildyourhouseontherock.files.wordpress.com, stilesdesigns.com

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