Waiting List Information

All my woodwork is custom made, after you place your order. Wait times vary depending on my workload and the intricacy of the item you order - anywhere from two weeks to several months. Please contact me before placing your order if you have any questions. Thanks!

Featured Project

I like to feature a recent project below. If you want to see more, check out my Bowls and Boxes, Pens, Gifts, Toys, and Home Decor pages.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Good Year of Great Projects

A little over a year ago I got my start with my lathe. I had been burned out on woodwork for a while from taking some risks - spending money on materials and then not selling projects, or taking too much time on jobs. Once I got into woodturning, though, it was fun again. I made my first bowl, and thought it was way cool. Then I came up with a new business plan: NO drawing from family money, period. Make stuff from wood I have on hand with tools I already have, and then sell it, or take custom orders. Use half the profit to buy more wood and tools, the other half goes into the family finances. And set up a web page for custom orders. My wife was a little skeptical at first, but I was confident that it would work out, so I set up my page.

I still remember the first email I got asking about stuff. I felt like the scene from Tommy Boy about "JoJo the Idiot Circus Boy" who gets so excited about his sale that he loses the business, tearing up his dinner roll - youtube it if you want. Great clip! Then, about a year ago - start of April last year anyway, I closed my first sale from my web page - $500 of custom frames for a school fundraiser. My business was off to a great start. Of course, that's the biggest order I've had, but it was great.

Since then I've had fun. I've "met" interesting people across the country, and expanded my product offerings to over 120 items.

I've learned that woodturning is my favorite and that I will sell woodturning things for less than what I should because I enjoy it so much. Any excuse to work in woodturning is a good one - see the spindles in the jewelry display...

I've learned that wood pens don't sound that exciting till you hold one and use one, and then you can't help but become emotionally attached to it - see the comments on a purpleheart pen I made, for example.

I've learned that kids still love wood toys every bit as much, if not more, than action figures and things that beep and flash. And to sell magic wands, it works well to give a kid with siblings a wand for his or her birthday and then wait till Christmas for their parents to order wands for the rest of the kids.

I've learned that, for whatever reason, Penny Hockey boards sell, but Penny Soccer boards don't. Go figure.

I've made some people very happy with their orders - the segmented bowl set here got me the comment "You have no idea how happy these bowls have made me. "

And sadly enough, I've learned that what I think is beautiful and striking isn't always beautiful and striking to everyone - this bowl got me the comment "I have put the box in a spare bedroom for now and will deal with it all later. I don't even really want to look at any of it just now; I need to clear my mind first. " You see, she didn't like the white spot in the wood. I was very sorry, and offered to pay shipping to have her send the bowl back and replace it with one without the sapwood, but she wouldn't do it. I think that if she was really that upset, she would have taken me up on my offer. Anyway, one unhappy customer out of over 36 in the last year, though more than I would like, is still not too shabby.

So it's been fun. I've made some cool stuff, and made most of my customers very happy with their custom-made stuff-Woodwork, By Design. My wife and kids now get excited about it and have even started making their own projects

This next year should be good. Coming soon: Salt and Pepper shakers, Salt and Pepper Grinders, ceiling fan chain bobs, a page dedicated just to magic wands, a chess set, cutting boards, a smaller rocking horse, an American Girl sized canopy bed by my wife, and more. Thanks to all who have helped support my habbit this last year. And to say thanks for reading my blog, mention this post and get $5 off your order. See you in the woodshop!

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Company Profile

Hand-made classic wood toys, gifts, pens, furniture, kitchenware, and more, all lead free, most made from renewable wood resources, and all made in small-town USA. If there's something you're looking for, let me know and I'll let you know if I can do it, how much it will cost, and how long it will take. Some of my projects have included bunk-beds, shelves, frames in standard and custom sizes, coat racks, benches, rubber band guns, hand-turned bowls, segmented salad bowls, chess pieces, magic wands - Harry Potter type, etc.