One common reason that slows down new woodworkers is that they think woodworking is expensive to start. Is it indeed costly? Let’s compare if woodworking is high-priced, especially for beginners.
It depends on the type of woodworking that you’re going to work, your location, the kind of project, and your tools. It’s better to start small, then expand your arsenal later as your skills develop. Woodworking should be simple, and it must not be expensive. There are ways to lower its cost, but for starters, you only need fundamental tools to start.
Woodworking doesn’t have to be expensive, but the costs add up depending on how serious you get and how much further you want to take it. Let’s find out how you can start with little expenses, and why you should start doing it.
Why is Woodworking so Expensive?
Woodworking is only expensive because of the materials that you want to use, modern tools and machines that most woodworkers use today. However, you can still do it with the foundational tools. The cost of woodworking also depends on the type of woodworking that you want to do.
Most power tools are expensive because they have built-in motors that last for a long time. There are other woodworking types like carpentry, which requires using those tools to finish a project. Doing huge designs like building cabinets needs such tools to finish faster, and with higher accuracy.
If you’re someone who enjoys creating beautiful pieces out of wood, don’t be feared out of the thought the woodworking is expensive. You can still make small artistic and functional workpieces then, sell them and start earning. That way, you can save money and invest in more extensive projects.
How Much Does it Cost to Get into Woodworking?
The cost of woodworking is all about the pieces of equipment and materials that you’re going to use. So, before buying anything, decide the specific project that you want to do. Think small and straightforward, but creative. Getting into woodworking also means having a background about it — some tips and techniques, guides in using the tools, and understanding your material.
The good news is that the internet is a vast world of videos and walkthrough articles to give you the necessary information. It will help you learn, plus it’s free.
- Chisels. It is an all-around tool that you can use for carving or cutting hard materials. For as low as $50, you can have a set of it in different sizes.
- Handplanes. It is for smoothing or shaping the surface of the wood. Depending on its types and the manufacturer, you can get it at around $200.
- Handsaw. For less than $100, you can purchase excellent quality for cutting your wood. You can choose from different types with various styles, sizes, and applications.
- Clamps. It essential in holding your workpiece in place. For $50 and above, you can get a suitable quality clamp, depending on its kind. There are C-Clamps, F-clamps, Trigger clamps, and Pipe clamps. The most expensive kind is Parallel clamps.
- Screws & Nails. It’s good to have a set of different sizes. For as low as $20, you can buy various screws and nails.
- Wood Glue. Woodworking uses wood glue more often than nails. A durable wood glue costs at $50 for 1 gallon. It’s enough for sticking many workpieces.
- A Power Drill. Get an electric drill with a complete set of drill bits. You can get it at around $50 to $100.
- Workbench. You may want to buy a workbench for $150-$500 or create it as your first project. It is essential because it’s where you will work.
- The Material. Usually, the most common types of wood used are basswood, oak, and walnut. For $25 wood, it can keep you occupied for a while.
- Sharpening Tool. For less than $50, you can maintain the blade of your handsaw.
- Wood Marking and Measuring Tools. These require the accuracy and efficiency of your measurements. Their price may range from $50 to $100.
Generally, most woodworkers started from these primary tools. The price may vary depending on your country, but here are some approximate costs. If you plan on doing woodworking as a hobby forever, it would be nice to stick with the essential tools unless you have the fortune to buy more expensive instruments.
Here are other tools that you can buy as you advance your woodworking skills. It is better to buy advanced tools if you’re already earning from your workpieces and if you want to expand your woodworking arsenal.
- Circular saw. It is a hand-held device for cutting wood. The average price is around $100-$300 and can be $400-$600 for branded with extra features.
- Jigsaw. It is primarily for making curved, plunge, angle, straight, and intricate cuts on the wood. Probably price at approximately $100-$200.
- Table Saw. It is for cutting large panels and sheet goods like plywood or MDF. Home models may amount to $400-$1,000, while professional types may range to $900 and up.
- Miter Saw (a.k.a Drop Saw). It is a power tool for cutting quick and accurate crosscuts. The price starts at around $50-$150 and can go higher to more than $500 depending on its features and the brand.
- Router. It is another powerful tool for routing or doing a hollow cut in an area of hard material. For good quality, it can be around $300-$500.
Technically, the purpose of these tools is to help you accurately cut and shape wood faster. It’s good to have advanced power devices, especially if you want to enter into broader projects. The point is, with or without these, it is still possible for you to start woodworking.
How to Save Money in Woodworking Projects?
Depending on your project, woodworking can be expensive. It depends on the materials and tools that you’re going to use. The good news is that you can still save money on buying the essentials for your workpiece.
- Buy Cheaper Materials
Unlike tools, consumable materials need constant replacement once used. Finding cheaper materials doesn’t mean that the quality is lower. Sometimes, it’s because you’re getting it from the supplier and there’s not too much overhead cost yet. You can buy in bulk or unbranded materials to save more.
- Choose One Project and Stick to It.
If you’re starting, it is crucial to find one specific project. Pick one that will help you learn and expand your experience without breaking your bank. Choose an exciting project that is doable using just foundational tools. As your skills develop slowly, start investing in more significant projects.
- Purchase Online
It is probably the most popular way of shopping. It is more convenient, plus the prices are almost the same as hardware stores. Since the competition of online sellers is stiff, some tools are lower in price. As a rule of thumb in shopping online, always read reviews, questions, comments, and the entire item description.
How Types of Woodworking Affects the Cost?
The type of woodworking that you’re going to do also affects the cost of your tools and materials. Here’s a list of the various woodworking types in simple terms to help you decide where to put your focus.
- Hand Tool WoodWorking. It only involves traditional woodworking tools, which makes it inexpensive. Hence, the perfect starting point for any beginner to gain experience. It may cost around $1,000 in total.
- Power Tool Woodworking. It’s the modern woodworking wherein it involves using power tools for working huge workpiece. However, it’s a bit costly, especially for starters who don’t have a background in creating any workpiece.
- Blended Woodworking. It uses both hand tools and power tools, but the use of machines is more dominant. It is also ideal for massive projects. Almost the same with Power Tool Woodworking, the cost in doing it is approximately $2,000 and above.
- Specialty Woodworking. It can be inexpensive depending on your project, which may involve basic sculpting may be approximately less than $2,000. Meanwhile, the price for hardcore specialty woodworking for the material, tools, and equipment can cost up to $3,000 and above.
- Digital Woodworking. A CNC Machine is the primary tool for it, which costs approximately $25,000 to $50,000. It’s highly costly and mostly applies to industrial woodworking.
Overall, Hand Tool WoodWorking is the ideal type to begin. The projects involved are all simple, the tools used are inexpensive, and you can still be creative of the outcome. Start learning how to do a box in different styles and sizes. It is the foundation of all projects. Bring the process of doing it to perfection, and you’ll eventually expand your skills in doing any designs.
What are the First Projects that You can Do?
The goal here is to help you start woodworking, and make you believe that it is possible to even with hand tools. It is less expensive, but there are infinite variations to do.
- Tables. With some pieces of wood, a handsaw, and other fundamental tools, you can do different kinds of it – side table, a mini dining table, a study table, etc.,
- Stool. It may sound complicated, but some familiarity with wood joinery and proper gluing will help you create a chair.
- Wall Shelf. It may be as simple as joining various boxes in different lengths. It will teach you to plane stock flat and square and possibly to glue up panels. Another option would be a bookshelf.
Why You Should Start Woodworking?
1. Woodworking is Productive
Woodworking helps you be more creative from planning to designing. You can build valuable things from raw boards, that can be an heirloom to other people. As a starter, you can make wooden gifts like cutting boards, wooden pens, and small tables.
2. Woodworking Relaxes Your Mind
As a hobby, woodworking is relaxing your mind and takes away your worries about your job and other matters in life. It helps in diverting your attention from the pressure of the real world. Time flies whenever you cut joints, assemble your projects, and finish them.
3. Woodworking Rewards Your Physical Health
It may look too exhausting, but woodworking relaxes your body because it can also be a form of exercise. Your body moves, and there’s a continuous circulation of blood. Using a plane, carving out using a chisel or hammering a wood is an exercise without you noticing it.
4. Woodworking Can be Your Business
While doing something that you love, you can also earn money at the same time. There’s nothing more rewarding than that, in a world of corporate people who are unsatisfied with their current job. Woodworking can be a start of a new business venture. The money that you can earn will be your fund to purchase new tools in the future.
How to Start Earning Money by Woodworking?
Choose simple projects, unleash your creativity, make it unique by upgrading your design, you can start posting online to market the workpiece, and look for a buyer – that’s how to start earning money in woodworking. If you have a plan of getting into more pressing projects, learn new skills with small woodworks.
Then, expand your range slowly. Keep on learning, and creating several workpieces until you perfect the design that you have in mind. So, start your goal with making beautiful, hand-crafted wood items to sell. Then, reward yourself with money by selling it.
How To Price Your Woodworking Projects?
As mentioned, if you want to invest in massive projects, and buy those advanced woodworking tools, then you should start building and selling your wood crafts. Now, the question is, how would you price your art?
You should always come up with the right price that your future clients are willing to pay, at the quality that you can give. Remember, charge more, and you won’t make a sale; sell less, and you will lose money.
Every pricing should cover the cost for materials, labor, overhead, profit, and selling expenses. We won’t be too mathematical in here, but if you have plans of selling your wood piece in the future, here’s what you should know.
- Materials. It should consist of all the materials you used to create the item from the wood, glue, nails.
- Labor. Usually, labor should be per hour. For how long did you make a specific workpiece? How much effort did you put in, and how much do you expect to pay yourself? Labor is like a talent fee. If you’re a starter, be ready to get paid a little at first.
- Overhead Costs. These are the utilities of your shop for using, glue, sandpaper, tools, nails, and finishing materials. Usually, it is 15% of the total cost of materials and labor.
- Profit. It is the amount that you want to add to the price of your finished workpiece. Be careful, as you don’t want it to be too big. Usually, woodworkers add 10% of the total cost of materials, labor, and overhead costs.
- Promotional Expenses. It is the cost of selling the item added to the price. It could be the delivery fee, marketing expenses, and other promotions if ever you’re going to spend some for it.
Should You Become a Woodworker?
If you’re someone who likes creating something new from scratch by using wood, then you should become a woodworker. There are so many ways to cover up for those fancy tools. Don’t be scared to start, just because other people tell you that it is expensive. All you need are the fundamental tools, and they can be versatile to any application and purpose.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can you Recycle wood?
It depends on the condition of the wood. Treated, painted, or varnished wood is not suitable for recycling unless you want to create a new item out of it. Recycling Wood is usually for chipping in compost or mulch and donating it for other use.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Woodworking Business?
Depending on your workpiece, for your overhead money, you might need approximately $2,000 to $6,500 in total.
More often, small to medium-sized projects are simple to make with essential hand tools. Even when woodworking started in Ancient times, all of their workpieces started from bare hands using handy tools. Even so, the outcomes are still outstanding. Power tools are for making woodworkers’ life convenient, especially in doing mass projects.
The point is, you don’t need these expensive power tools to create a beautiful wood piece. Don’t compare yourself with other fully-equipped wood shops. It also took them years to buy those expensive tools. So the trick is to start small, learn how to sell your workpiece, get paid, and expand your skills.