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Anonymous

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Sorry, I mean tools.

Been an exciting day, just received my shiny new Festool TS 55 9if you're after one I recommend www.protrade.co.uk offering them with a 1.4m guiderail for £339 inc Vat.

Also received my new Triton Router and tomorrow my big old Axminster order should arrive! It's looking like an action packed weekend in the workshop for me!!

I'm actually ploughing some money into my furniture design business, I've been messing about talking about it for a couple of years now and I've just made the scary step of extending the mortgage to invest some more time (and money) into it.
 

Alf

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uniB,

Gosh, good for you. Excitement and scares all delivered to your door. :shock: Have fun. :D

Cheers, Alf
 

Chris Knight

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uniB":99yql5z9 said:
I'm actually ploughing some money into my furniture design business
Sounds more like tools for furniture construction! Care to tell us anymore about your business, ambitions etc? Just curious
 
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Anonymous

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Hello UniB

Very best wishes for your business plans. I too would be very interested to hear more.

I have also toyed with the idea of trying to make money out of woodwork for some time. I am in a position where I could arrange to devote more time but where I seem to come up against a brick wall is the space to carry it all out. Really I think if you are going to do this properly with a decent enough level of productivity to generate some income you can't do it from the shed or garage. You need to have plenty of room around static machinery that is always set up ready to go regardless of the size of the material you are working on. You need a router set up permanently in a table and a router ready for benchwork, You need a couple of benches and somewhere for the evolving projects to stand where they don't get knocked as you move stuff around and so it goes on. It all boils down to premises and it's when you factor in the rent rates etc etc that the economics just don't add up as far as I can see. Now if I happened to have a barn and the nearest neighbour was a couple of miles away maybe...

Roy
 

johnelliott

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roy":28d7n5kv said:
It all boils down to premises and it's when you factor in the rent rates etc etc that the economics just don't add up as far as I can see.
Absolutely true, unless you are doing kitchens in which case, if your marketing is effective, it is just about possible to make money maybe. Custom furniture no chance unless you have some kind of edge such as free premises, a well paid wife, some other source of income etc
John
 

norman

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Hi ALL,

The points that you all are making are real prop`s that I had when I started out in the 70`s.
Work flow is the key. one off is hard to keep any momention after the first 1 or 2, it still comes but not always as you need it. My own way out was to contact local Antique dealers and offer to do their restoriation ect. any thing from small repairs to full rebuilds.
This market flows as their are alway turning stock over( max stock held 3 months)
This gave me the chance to have a go at most things, including some of my own designs.
Also a good fill in is to buy the odd item for any slack time and restore for sale.
This I am still doing even after moving to a new area. the Trade is still there.
Hope this gives you some idea`s.
Regards
Norman
 
A

Anonymous

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The idea of my new business is to produce maybe 10 designs to begin with market, and sell them online. Put so simply it sounds doomed to failure, so I better elaborate!

I'm sure I was always meant to be a furniture designer, I have a degree in it, have always loved woodwork etc, and then somehow I became a graphic designer by mistake! I've been a graphic designer for the past 12 years or so, and I've become pretty much fed up of the selling people stuff they don't want/advertising nonsense and I've been yearning furniture design and making again.

Over the past couple of years I've built the biggest workshop the planning and building regs chaps will allow and have been equipping it and coming up with a plan, it's now time to come up with some prototypes for the designs I have.

I call myself a designer rather than a maker because I don't necessarily intend making everything myself, if a design takes off I intend to subcontract, initially when sales are limited I will have to make the stuff myself.

My years working as a graphic designer and web site designer are going to help no end... I can do all my own advertising, image and most importantly, a full eCommerce website - the website is the key to the businesses success, I have a client who makes furniture who I designed and built the website for and even though they has a shop, the vast majority of sales are generated by the website. The site will be very modern, more habitat than New Yankee Workshop! I also do professional quality digital photography so I can present all the designs accurately.

My designs are very modern but built with quality throughout (I s'pose similar to the stuff produced by www.delaespada.com ) and having a specific range means I can limit the size of products to those achievable in my shop. There could be an issues with storage although the larger designs will have a 3 week lead time so they'll be made once ordered. Finishing is another issue I have to address, subcontracting is a consideration but I'm not sure yet.

I will still keep up the graphic design but hopefully scale down the amount I do, just keeping the nicer stuff, this means I don't have to worry about making a full living from the furniture to begin with.

So there you go, that's roughly the idea, hope you're not all laughing your heads off!!

While typing this my Axminster delivery arrived so I'm off to get those boxes ripped open...!
 
A

Anonymous

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Certainly not ' laughing my head off'

I wish you the best of luck Uni. Don't forget to link to the site from the forum

Have fun with the tools :)
 

Neil

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Your plan sounds excellent to me, uniB :) - you have a great range of skills to have a good crack at this, and keeping up the graphic design will take the cashflow pressure off. Also I like the fact that your major stengths are on the furniture design side - I've always thought that this is the key to making money with furnituremaking as it is the only way to differentiate your work from that of lots of other makers. I wish you luck!

So what did you get from Axminster, then? :wink:

NeilCFD
 

frank

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uni the very best of luck, you have your head screwed on the right way going at it the way you plan to , neil give him a chance to open the boxes :D (will you be getting a rat next uni :twisted: )
 
A

Anonymous

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Thanks for the support guys, glad you haven;t pointed out any major problems with the idea (yet).

Todays axminster goodies - the main 2 items were an ASF500 Air filter and a Leigh dovetail jig complete with 8 extra cutters. sorry Frank, I seriously considered a Rat but after reading all the reviews and after much pondering I decided it had to be a Leigh. I also considered the fancy Trend one but it's lack of capacity put me off.

My tip of the day - if you have am air filter to screw to the roof, get someone to help you! I had a bit of a tumble and dropped my shiny new one, it's fine but now has a few minor dints, as does my arm! It's all up and running now though so all's well.

Amongst the smaller items from Axminster today was a small thin thing wrapped in yellow paper - what's this I thought, soon remembered as I ripped it open and slid my little pinky down the edge of my replacement thicknesser blades, hope they cut through wood as well as fingers!

After two minor acidents today I think it's best I go and retire to a near by beer garden and make the most of the sun before anything else painful happens! :wink:
 
A

Anonymous

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UniB

Well you certainly seem to have all bases covered there. I look forward to the website going online. Any chance of a sneak preview of the workshop and goodies on this forum?

I expect you feel like you should have done this years ago.

Kind Regards

Roy
 

norman

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UniB

Well you certainly seem to have all bases covered there. I look forward to the website going online. Best of luck for your plans.

Regards
Norman
 

frank

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uni no probs but one day you never know you might just join the world wide raters :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
 

Chris Knight

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uniB.

Thanks for the insight into your plans - very interesting and not a little daunting!

I guess the key to success will be to find a design that is truly distinctive and appealing that is reasonably easy and inexpensive to make - easy peasy for someone with your background! :wink:
 

houtslager

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good for you UniB, wish you all the best, as I and a few others here know how difficult is is to be in this field :? One major thought NEVER to forget is DO YOUR BOOK WORK on a DAILY BASIS.

This will make the end of month bookwoork much easier, and the end of year books a CHORE not a nightmare DAMHIKT ! :oops:
On the design side, use the ever useful acronym KISS ! or in plain speak - keep it simple stupid !
Also, post
PICCIES ! of your w/shop, and if possible the type of layout, you know we all love to know how others set their shop up 8) we might glean an idea or two from you LOL !
Again wish you all the best,
HS
 
A

Anonymous

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Of course I'll post some pictures of my shop, I've been busy building a box (for want of a better name) that will go outside to store all my off cuts in, a friend of a friend of mine is a blacksmith, he's building a small wood burner for me to keep me warm in those winter months (and the way it's going - the summer months as well!). So in a week or so the workshop should be looking a lot more tidy with the big pile of off cuts bags moved to their new home so I'll take some pics then.

houtslager - I know what you mean about doing the books, I'm self employed at the moment and I'm rubbish at being organised about the accounts, and the longer you leave it the more daunting it gets, I realise that the move to a more product based business means that it would be best to be VAT registered meaning even more paperwork. :cry:
 
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