In case the question how to get small woodworking projects in this dreadful pandemic era is eating you up, simply read on. The lack of jobs, the dreadful impact on the economy and the lack of funds in your bank balance is a part and parcel of this dreadful virus.
Regardless of the fatalities and economic crisis that this pandemic has brought about, you need to be positive. There is always a ‘silver lining’ to every dark cloud. This is what we shall be discussing (the silver lining) here via the means of this article.
Let me walk you through the contents of this write-up in brief:
How to get Small Woodworking Projects Write-Up Contents:
1) What are Small Woodworking Projects?
2) How has Corona Virus Impacted Small Woodworking Projects?
3) What is the History of Woodworking?
4) What are the Most Common Woods used in Small Woodworking Projects?
5) How to Build Small Woodworking Projects that Sell Fast?
6) How to Make Small Woodworking Projects for Christmas?
7) What are the Most Important Tools for Woodworking?
8) FAQ on Small Woodworking Projects
What are Small Woodworking Projects?
A woodworking projects (regardless of its size) is one that is capable of carving a user worthy object from a piece of wood. This is a simple definition that can explain what woodworking is all about.
You may have taken up this craft while in college or at school (as an extra co-curricular hobby). Nonetheless, when you transform this hobby and make it into a full-fledged profession, it becomes your livelihood. This is when the level of seriousness from a school hobby to a profession undergoes diverse changes.
Carpentry and furniture making is a part and parcel of simple woodworking projects. You can either sell it to make money or to keep yourself occupied. Woodworking can also allow you to develop your home in the most suitable and cost effective manner.
Now, the size of the project depends on its utility and time consumption. For example, if you want to develop household furniture then, it is a small scale wood project. On the other hand, if you want to develop furniture for a 1 acre factory then, it is a large scale wooden project.
How has Corona Virus Impacted Small Woodworking Projects?
Ever since COVID 19 shook the globe in late 2019, the job market across the globe simply crashed. It was noted that in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, online job postings declined by as much as 50%.
This in turn led to the introduction of ‘work from home’ concept. The decline in ‘work at office’ jobs is evident even today. Leisure and hospitality related jobs declined and retail/healthcare related jobs increased.
So, while the major job market is jeopardized owing to this pandemic, woodworking jobs seem to have risen. As the supply chain is broken, the demand for wood based furniture and fixtures has increased significantly.
Home owners prefer getting their wooden furnishings made by small scale independent woodworkers as opposed to buying it from expensive malls or furniture markets.
What is the History of Woodworking?
Germany is known to have used wooden based tools such as spears and folding stools in the ancient ages. The Iron Age is a classic example of the same wherein wooden toys were popular in Germany.
How did the Romans Conduct their Woodwork?
The Ancient Romans used wooden tools to conduct most of their building operations. Right from weapons to building houses, wood was the most important piece of construction and utility material. Dyes, pipes, waterproofing materials and transportation tools were all made of wood.
How did the Ancient Chinese Conduct their Woodwork?
The book Lu Ban written in ancient times claims that in China, wooden furniture was a part and parcel of everyday life. Lu Ban introduced the art of making wooden furniture in China in 771 BC. This is when alters, tables, house roofs and every other kind of user-worthy furniture was made using wood.
How did the Ancient Egyptians Conduct their Woodwork?
Tombs and furniture made by the ancient Egyptians is popular even today. Tools such as saws, chisels and axes were made from wood. Beds, chairs and even chests were made from wood.
The Predynastic Era contains wooden artifacts made by the ancient Egyptians. They even practiced applying varnish on their finished wooden products. Oak and pine were the most popular wood types used by the Egyptians.
How does Modern Day Woodworking Happen?
With the advancement in machinery, woodworking in the present day is very different from the above mentioned ancient civilizations. Designs are more complex, wastage of wood is less and time needed to complete a project is very less.
With the launch of Computer Numerically Controlled machines, woodworking has transformed the way of life. Even power tools have made the life of a craftsman easy. There is no need to spend hours drilling holes as these power tools get the job done in a jiffy.
What are the Most Common Woods used in Small Woodworking Projects?
When the topic of discussion is ‘small woodworking projects’ then, choosing the correct wood is of vital importance. Here is a quick overview of the most common wood types and how they can add value to your current woodworking project:
Top 6 Hardwoods used for Woodworking:
Mainly found in tropical forests, trees with broad leaves and strong wood are termed as hardwood. These are present in both deciduous as well as evergreen forests.
These trees lose their leaves in the autumn months. Hardwoods have complex structures. You can distinguish them by the presence of pores as well as visible vessels.
They also contain perforation plates that are found in various sizes. Some of the most common ones include foraminate and scalariform shapes. Hardwoods have tough woods that last longer and are tough to flex.
Let me walk you through the most common hardwoods used in all kinds of woodworking projects:
This is most commonly used hardwood in making cabinets and drawers. It is a sturdy wood that is resistant to moisture. It handles stains as well as paints of various kinds. It has a pleasing demeanor with regards to its wood grains.
This is yet another hardwood that has a pleasant grain and is light in color. This hardwood can handle paint and stains rather well. It is usually found in light brown color. The drawback is that Ash is not readily available at your local furniture stores.
Both red as well as white oak is also preferred for making home furniture. The white variant is preferred because of its moisture resistant quality. This is an expensive hardwood for woodworking.
Another hardwood is birch. It is a stable wood that is used for making a wide variety of home-based and office-based furniture. It does tend to get stained. So, it is advisable to paint birch furniture before putting it to use.
The next hardwood is Mahogany. It has been used for centuries to make sturdy and long lasting furniture. It is reddish brown in color and is rather expensive.
The last kid on the block is cherry. This hardwood is easy to work with and has a pleasant reddish tinge to it. You need to get hold of cherry wood by paying a visit to the local lumberyard. It is not easily available at the local furniture stores.
Top 5 Softwoods used for Woodworking:
Gymnosperm trees family is from where emerge the softwoods. As the name suggests, they are generally (not always) softer than hardwood variants. When you want to produce paper pulp or cards then, softwoods are widely used.
The density range in softwood can easily match with that of hardwoods. Ironically some varieties of softwood are harder than most hardwoods (for example yew and longleaf pine).
Here is a list of the top softwoods used in woodworking projects:
The most popular softwood for making furniture is pine. Both ‘white’ as well as ‘yellow’ pine is used here. If you want to develop outdoor furniture then, use yellow pine. In case of indoor based wooden furniture, white pine is good enough.
This softwood is an ideal companion to your outdoor furniture. The red cedar is water resistant and deals with moisture optimally. As this wood is rot-proof, you can build the exterior of a building with it. You can also build outdoor patio or even furniture for the garden.
This softwood has a reddish-brownish color and a fine grain. As the grain pattern of the fir tree is simple, it is a stain-free wood. It is great for building as well as for making furniture. Always get it painted before finishing the product.
If you want to build doors and joinery then, there is no better wood that hemlock. Native to Alaska, hemlock tree is an ideal way to mold your favorite furniture as well.
Known as a tough wood that is water proof, Larch is a softwood that is considered ideal for making furniture. You can also use it for mill-work or as flooring for your home. So, from ‘telephone poles’, larch has progressed to indoor furniture.
How to Build Small Woodworking Projects that Sell Fast?
While you can make thousands of woodworking projects, not many shall earn you money. So, in order to earn a living from your woodworking skills, you need to understand what sells and what does not.
Well, here are a few tips:
Understanding the Demand
After honing your skills as a woodworker, you are all geared up to sell your craft. Unfortunately, regardless of what you create, your creation refuses to sell.
Do you know the reason why?
Well, it is because you are not meeting the demand created by your consumers. So, understand what your customers want. Avoid creating articles that you prefer. You are here to generate an income and not to boost your ego.
Creating Unique Items
A few woodworking themes simply never run out of steam. A classic example is wooden toys. They have been around for decades and would continue to remain the same way.
Nonetheless, the same old dolls and train sets make things rather redundant. Instead, try and focus on creating something unique. For example, opt for ‘season specific’ or ‘occasion specific’ toys.
An example of the same would be to create a Santa Clause tree with all the Christmas goodies during X’Mas.
Make Yourself Visible Online
It is a very competitive world out there. Even if you are a master woodworker, you have hundreds of thousands of woodworkers to compete against. So, you need to fight this competition to get a share in the pie.
An ideal way is to establish a website. Showcase all the categories of woodworking projects that you cater to at the website. Make sure that your website is professional in appearance.
Social Media Helps
Nowadays, social media helps influence the minds of prospective customers. So, if you have something important to share with your customers, share it on Twitter, Facebook & other social media platforms.
When you become popular on social media, you manage to attract customers without any fuss. They trust your stature and recognize you as a genuine supplier of woodwork projects.
Know the Top 5 Best Sellers
In order to be ahead of your competition, always know the top 5 bestselling niches in woodworking. Well, here are the niches that are always hot.
These include toys, wooden furniture, frames, planters and coat racks. So, always have a few pieces of items ready on each of these categories. When you have woodwork items on these categories, you can never be out of work.
How to Make Small Woodworking Projects for Christmas?
Christmas is a great time to make woodworking projects and sell them to make money. With so many customers in the pipeline and numerous DIY woodwork ideas in mind, making money is not an issue.
Nonetheless, you need to work doubly hard as your competitor is doing the same. Here are a few ways you can keep ahead of your competition and earn your rightful income:
Know More about Your Local Customers
Believe it or not, your skill shall play a role much later. First, you need to know what your customer base wants from you. The local area that you service holds the key to your fortune.
Keep in touch with your customer base and ask them of their needs. Make an item using wood that shall compel your customers to take notice of you.
Prepare the Top 5 Christmas Gifts
You need to do a little bit of brainstorming in order to get the best from your woodworking project. After having prepared the list of the top 5 items, you need to get them out practically.
So, start preparing them a month before Christmas. First, you need to chalk out a few innovating projects. Some of these may include Wooden Socks holders, Christmas Tree, Snowflake made of wood, Special wooden Rack for your Boots or an Advent Calendar.
Start to Pre-Sell
You do not have to sell everything on Christmas. In order to sell as many woodworking projects as possible, you need to get more orders. To make that happen, simply start pre-selling all your items a fortnight in advance.
Get orders (both online and offline) and deliver them to your customers at the earliest given opportunity. Get more contacts of relevant customers from happy customers. This shall increase your sale volume several folds over.
Choose Local Area over Global Area
I (LeanAndFit review staff)am assuming that you are a small scale woodworking project worker. If you belong to a chain of superstores then, this article shall do you no good. Small woodworking projects often require local level networking.
So, if you want to sell for profit, you need to target your local area network. Your town is where you sell your woodwork projects. So, get to know all the prospective customers. Communicate with them on a regular basis.
Get Your Distribution Channel Right
Just getting the orders and preparing the items is not enough to make money during Christmas. To get a sizable business, you need to deliver the finished products in a timely manner.
So, get your delivery boys ready. You may also need to deliver them on your own. So, get a delivery truck prepped. Chalk out a detailed time table for honoring your deliveries. This helps in developing repeat customers.
Ramp Up as Per the Order Requirements
As I have mentioned above, you need to start order taking a month before Christmas. Once you have made a rough estimate of the orders, start preparing the items.
In case your current space is not suitable for the demand, choose a larger location. You may also need to hire a few woodworkers to assist you in completing your current orders.
Have a Backup Plan Ready
In case your orders are less than your estimates, do not lose hope. Try and offer a few freebies to the existing orders. Doing so shall help build rapport with your customers.
It is quite possible that these freebies shall catapult your current orders. This sudden increase shall help you make profits despite the initial losses.
In case things go down despite all your efforts, do not lose hope. Have enough cash handy that can last you through rainy days. Hopefully, such a scenario shall never happen.
What are the Most Important Tools for Woodworking?
Whenever you are initiating a project that involves the use of wood then, you need tools to get the job done. Professional woodworking tools can transform your item from a simpleton to a prize winner.
Nonetheless, woodworking tools list includes both power as well as motorized tools. Here is a quick look at each of these categories:
Best Woodworking Hand Tools List
Now, I do not wish to go in depth discussing each hand held wood tool in detail as that would defeat the purpose of this write-up. So, here is a brief at all the important hand held tools you would need as an aspiring woodworker:
This is a handy piece of equipment every woodworking professional should have. You can either make a workbench on your own or buy one. It all depends on your budget.
Just ensure that the bench is at a suitable height that permits, sawing, cutting, slicing wood an easy job. The chosen workbench should also have solid legs for added support. It should also have a 4 inch thick work-top.
This is the second hand held tool you should buy. Most wooden furniture makes use of rabbets in their joints. So, in order to cut through these, you need a Rabbet plane. Your chosen tool should have movable planes for added flexibility.
Mid-Size Bench Plane:
Also known as Jack Planes, this tool helps in removing rough edges from wood. They are also used for smoothening joint board edges and wooden boards.
In order to hold the joints in place that have been recently glued together, you need wood based clamps. You should ideally have clamps that are 12 inches in length and of the ‘hand screw’ variant.
You can also have ‘bar screw’ and ‘parallel clamps’. Buying these depends entirely on the nature of your current woodwork project. To cut down the cost and avoid accumulating (more than necessary) clamps, simply add only those that hold the glued joints perfectly.
The Little Apron Planes:
I am calling them so (the fancy name above) because of their tiny size. Popularly known as block planes, they allow you to trim grains and joints. Block planes are also useful in stuffing chamfer inside the edges of wooden boards. Always pick one that encourages the use of low angles.
When you need to cut joints, you need to hammer chisels into them. This is where the wooden mallet comes to play. You can use both the Joiner’s or Carber’s mallet to get the job done. The former is heavy duty while the latter gets ‘light’ jobs done in a jiffy.
If you thought that a metal based hammer is a better choice then, think again. Only a wooden mallet made from oak or maple can get the job done.
Rather than opting for a full-fledged saw, you should opt for a panel saw. This fits your tool chest and is smaller in size. As far as the tooth configuration is concerned, opt for both rip as well as cross-cut.
The rip saw shall help you slice through grains in a similar way as a chisel does. Cross-Cut saw shall help you cut grain like a knife does. So, the work is same but the action is different.
This is yet another tool that is vital to sharpen your saw, chisel and irons. Most beginner level woodworkers tend to avoid this. Nonetheless, sharpening tools are handy for the upkeep of you other woodworking tools.
This is a hand held tool that woodworkers use to provide finish to joints. Their teeth are positioned in such a manner that you can slice through wooden grain precisely.
The Marker Knife:
When you need to make accurate markings in tight spots then, a marking knife comes to your rescue. Dovetails are where you would certainly need a marker knife.
Miter Box with Saw:
If you want utmost accuracy while cutting through wood then, you would need a Miter box with a saw. Not only does it help you cut accurately, you can also attach angles of your choice.
This is similar to tape measure and allows the woodworking professional to get the right measurements. Folding Rule is vital for cutting wood and placing it to make a masterpiece. The trick is to get a folding one as it can easily slip into your apron.
If you wish to make super fine cuts on wood then, you need to get hold of a coping saw. It is especially good for rough edges. You can also use it to slide off the dirt left within dovetail joints.
If you wish to take measurements on a repeated basis then, marking gauge shall come to your rescue. It can be attached to the wood you wish to measure securely. So, accurate reading is possible.
These are vital for hammering and creating a finished product. You should ideally opt for a few bent chisels that have high quality steel. You can also opt for fishtail and pairing chisels for executing cumbersome projects. For drilling holes in wood, use Mortise chisel.
The Good Old Compass:
When you are indulged in joinery work, you do make use of a compass. It is very tough to get accurate measurement using a ruler. So, the good old divider follows you from your high school mathematics class to your woodworking project as well.
You can purchase a wide variety of compasses. These are helpful in drawing a wide array of arcs. So, opt for 3 inch, 6 inch and even 9 inch dividers.
Squares for Woodworking:
You need ‘Combination’, ‘Side’ and ‘Sliding Bevel’ Square in order to take in-depth and precise measurements. For example, ‘Try Square’ takes square shaped measurements whereas depth based measurements can be taken via ‘Combination Square’.
Professional Woodworking Power Tools List
As the name very well suggests, power tools are those that require an external source to function. They are operated via the means of battery, electricity or cable that is connected to a power socket. The good news here is that you do not need to empty your bank balance in order to get these.
Here is a list of the most popular power tools that every carpenter should have in his/her kitty:
Stationary Based Router:
To make dados and rabbets, you need a router. If your woodwork demands artistic contours then, routers shall get the job done in a jiffy. Opt for a router table if you want a stationery variant. You can also opt for a plunge router.
Always choose a router that has 2 horsepower as its minimal performance output. It should have speed control mechanism to cut bits as per your choosing. Shanks measuring ‘one fourth of an inch’ to ‘half an inch’ should be cut using your router.
This is the second power tool for woodworkers. It helps slice though fiber-boards and plywood with accuracy. Re-enforce your circular saw with clamp-on’s to give it more accuracy.
The Miter Saw:
When you want to cut angles with complete precision then, you need to make use of a Miter saw. It can help you make compound and bevelled cuts in an easy manner.
You can also cut straight angle as well as bevelled angles using a compound Miter saw. So, I suggest you go in for it. In my opinion, going in for a 12 inch saw makes sense.
The Drill Machine:
Drilling holes is a part and parcel of almost each and every woodworking project. Simply opt for a ‘half an inch’ or ‘three fourth of an inch’ chuck while getting home a power drill. Portable (cordless) drills are better as they offer mobility.
This is a slightly advanced tool that is expensive yet super-reliable in getting the job done. The table saw is perfect for making straight cuts. It is also perfect for making dado grooves, bevels and even miters. So, you get all possible edges with just this power tool.
The Saber Saw:
This is yet another power tool that helps cut circular patterns. It is also handy in cutting carved patterns with utmost ease. Opt for a saber saw that allows you to replace blades in a jiffy. Make use of an orbital mechanism based saber saw that has a corded power supply.
In order to get the desired finish for your cherished woodworking project, you need to get hold of an orbit sander. It never leaves behind any scratches and allows you to include finer grits to make the finished product look even better.
The Nail Gun:
This is a special tool that helps drive nails inside a wooden board. If you want to complete a woodwork project at warp speed then, you need to do away with the traditional nails and hammer. You can select a nail gun as per your required power range.
In case you want precision drilling onto wood then, you need a drill press. Often considered an advanced level tool, a drill press is a machine that tends to drive precision depth holes of larger diameter. These cannot be achieved via the normal drill machine.
FAQ on Small Woodworking Projects
Q-1: What is an Ideal Duration of Small Woodworking Projects?
A-1: There is no specific time frame for completing a small woodworking project. It all depends on the expertise and resource level of the carpenter. Nonetheless, most projects of small category should be completed within a week’s duration.
Q-2: What are the Most Common Small Woodworking Projects?
A-2: The most common simple projects made from wood include birdhouse, toys, utensils, wine racks, wall shelves, racks for keeping tea or coffee cups, Christmas tree, wooden coaster and beds for your pets (cat or dog).
Q-3: What are the Most Profitable Woodworking Projects to Build & Sell?
A-3: The most profitable simple items made from wood include toys, planters, coasters, household furniture and picture frames and coat racks. You can learn how to create them and earn a sizable income.
Q-4: What are the Wood Projects that will Sell Like Crazy in 2022?
A-4: The most unique and best-selling woodwork projects for the year 2022 include floating bookshelves, baby gym, magnetic chalk board, docking station near your bed, drink caddy, cribs, cradles, birdhouses and clocks.
Q-5: Can a Novice Starts Making & Selling Woodwork Items of Small Category?
A-5: Yes of course a beginner level carpenter can sell his/her items for money. All you need is confidence in your abilities and the will to learn woodworking. Practice shall perfect your woodworking skills.
Q-6: What are the Top Woodworking Projects that Sell on Etsy?
A-6: Wooden Signs, Key-rings, Home decor, Puzzles, Spoons, Wall Art World Map, Teapot Based Bird House, Birthday Cards, Personalized Gifts, Ornaments for the Christmas Tree & Buttons for Clothes are the most popular at Etsy.
Q-7: What are the Best Selling Wood Projects at Amazon?
A-7: Amazon is a different ballgame altogether. Selling woodwork items on Amazon is unlike selling them on Etsy and eBay. The ones I feel do well are wooden toys, wooden frames, living-room furniture and decorative items.
Q-8: How Much do I Have to Spend to Start My Small Scale Woodworking Business?
A-8: Well, there is no fixed amount here. You need to buy woodworking tools and wood in order to start selling items you make from them. All this I believe should set you back by $6000 (on an average).
Q-9: How to Scale-Up My Woodworking Business?
A-9: There is no magic wand that you can turn in order to expand your woodworking business. Nonetheless, keep the price of your items low, the quality high and never be late on delivering the final product to your customer.
If you do these three things, your customer base would get bigger and you would end up making more money.
Q-10: Is Woodworking Business Profitable in this Covid 19 Era?
A-10: Yes, it certainly is a profitable venture in this pandemic era. With the loss in jobs and the never-ending lock-down, people have begun to rely on small scale and cost effective products.
So, if you are planning to work from home then, definitely opt for this option. Start making woodworking projects on a small scale and market them from home. Your business should give you sizable returns.
Making money from small woodworking projects is doable in this pandemic and Covid 19 era. While there are no shortcuts in this game, knowing the art of woodworking and developing networking skills shall get you to your goals easier.
Simply give yourself some time. In two to five years, you shall have a flourishing woodworking business. The essence here is to test the waters and create innovate wooden products. Thereafter, win the trust of your clients by providing them with what they want.
Scale your business and become one of the most successful small scale businessmen manufacturing small scale wooden artifacts. I know it sound all too simple. Nonetheless, when you take the first step, the remaining shall come automatically.