Post Reply  
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
10-04-2021, 18:45   #1
howyegettinon1
Registered User
 
howyegettinon1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 314
Cabinet Maker/CNC shop turnover/margins

I am looking for some advice from anyone running their own business/shop woodworking

Ive been doing woodworking for a good few years now, ive built a small workshop and considering slowly taking on some projects with the hope of moving to doing this full time at some point

Im currently contracting in IT so I am pretty good with software, been using fusion 360 for 3d printing projects and looking at buying a CNC next

Im not planning on making the full move for a couple of years as i need some time building up the capital in the company for a propper shed(ive land out the back for it), machines etc.. but i want to get an idea of how much I could pull in if i was doing well say after 3-5 years running my own shop

My thoughts on this are running a couple of CNC machines from the shop making doors etc for cabinet makers while the CNC machines are doing their thing working on my own projects for customers

I have it pretty cushie now, working from home past 5 years around 25 to 30 hours a week pulling in stupid money but there is something missing sitting behind a desk making things you never see or can touch.
I am aware it will be a big hit on the income but i am curious at what i could be pulling in eventually all going well doing something i enjoy

Hope that makes sense any advice or thoughts welcome
howyegettinon1 is offline  
Advertisement
10-04-2021, 19:52   #2
JayZeus
Registered User
 
JayZeus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,436
If you're making big money working 25-30 hours a week, you're a lunatic to be considering going full-time with a CNC based woodworking shop, especially where you plan to tie your income to someone else's margins. It puts you two steps away from the buyer with the budget, which is always a bad way to work if you're a one-man-band. Don't do it.

Take some of that stupid money and do something less stupid with it. Save a bit, build your nice big workshop and equip it to your liking. Cut back a bit on your IT hours if you're prepared to take a financial hit now, then put those quality hours in doing what you'd like to be doing on the back of the better income from the day job.

Also, whatever anyone tells you or whatever mad notions you'll get watching liars on YouTube or listening to them on podcasts, You'll work twice as many hours and harder work at it just to pay yourself half as well as you are now, especially if you want to job-it for yourself. You'll end up tired and worn out physically and mentally and you'll end up losing any love you might have now for the hands on stuff.

Don't give up the job you don't like, just so you can turn your hobby into your next job you don't like. It's a terrible, terrible idea. If you were going to do it part time in partnership with some hard working full time labour/employee, it might be an idea, but don't do that either. You wouldn't be asking the questions you are if you were ready to run a business and take on an employee or even a contractor.

Last edited by JayZeus; 10-04-2021 at 19:57.
JayZeus is offline  
10-04-2021, 20:39   #3
kadman
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,410
Sound advice there/\/\/\

If you are thinking of cabinet doors as your bread and butter. Then you are hoping to compete with the multitudes of
cheap chinese wood materials that have been coming into the country for the last 15+ years.
Trying to compete with cheap chinese labour costs is a definite heartbrake.

If you are earning silly money now, keep at it and make loads. Save it and put it into a
work shop you would be proud of. Enjoy your hobby, and some projects.

There is a reason why there are numerous cnc machines for sale in europe. They're idle.
kadman is offline  
(2) thanks from:
10-04-2021, 20:53   #4
howyegettinon1
Registered User
 
howyegettinon1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayZeus View Post
If you're making big money working 25-30 hours a week, you're a lunatic to be considering going full-time with a CNC based woodworking shop, especially where you plan to tie your income to someone else's margins. It puts you two steps away from the buyer with the budget, which is always a bad way to work if you're a one-man-band. Don't do it.

Take some of that stupid money and do something less stupid with it. Save a bit, build your nice big workshop and equip it to your liking. Cut back a bit on your IT hours if you're prepared to take a financial hit now, then put those quality hours in doing what you'd like to be doing on the back of the better income from the day job.

Also, whatever anyone tells you or whatever mad notions you'll get watching liars on YouTube or listening to them on podcasts, You'll work twice as many hours and harder work at it just to pay yourself half as well as you are now, especially if you want to job-it for yourself. You'll end up tired and worn out physically and mentally and you'll end up losing any love you might have now for the hands on stuff.

Don't give up the job you don't like, just so you can turn your hobby into your next job you don't like. It's a terrible, terrible idea. If you were going to do it part time in partnership with some hard working full time labour/employee, it might be an idea, but don't do that either. You wouldn't be asking the questions you are if you were ready to run a business and take on an employee or even a contractor.



That is some honest advice, yeah I am playing with the idea in my head the last year or so, just weiging up my options in a bit more detail now, think I could be chasing an unrealistic idea in my head


I have considered as you mentioned, cutting back the IT hours or days to 2-3 days a week eventually, but at the same time keeping the idea in my head of going full time with it if it takes off and what it might look like/pay like

Also I dont actually not like my current job, its interesting and problem solving based and is rewarding when you get to solve the problem eventually if it's an interesting one but it just lacks the hands on stuff. So yeah, I think you are right, it would be better to spend the money(which is alot easier earned) on doing up a big hobby workshop and keeping woodworking as a side gig for some small income while enjoying it



Yeah you are right about youtubers etc.. I know running you own bussiness, manging customers is nearly a full time job in it's own before you even put your hands to something, think thats why I found CNC idea attractive, it can run somewhat on it's own/overnight while you concentrate on the business aspect of it.
There is a lot to be said on the not running yourself into the ground mentaly an physically too, thats the main thing thats keeping me from going near this I think
howyegettinon1 is offline  
10-04-2021, 21:33   #5
howyegettinon1
Registered User
 
howyegettinon1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by kadman View Post
Sound advice there/\/\/\

If you are thinking of cabinet doors as your bread and butter. Then you are hoping to compete with the multitudes of
cheap chinese wood materials that have been coming into the country for the last 15+ years.
Trying to compete with cheap chinese labour costs is a definite heartbrake.

If you are earning silly money now, keep at it and make loads. Save it and put it into a
work shop you would be proud of. Enjoy your hobby, and some projects.

There is a reason why there are numerous cnc machines for sale in europe. They're idle.

Thanks for the advice, I think keeping this as a hobby in idle time is a much better option

Going into this full time would leave me with alot less idle time to enjoy anything else or even another hobby while strugling to pull in decent money



Good point on the CNC machines around europe, I was hoping this could be a profitable area that would be in somewhat of a demand by locals cabinet makers but it is probably too cost prehibitive for the custom work and a pretty small niche at that
howyegettinon1 is offline  
Advertisement
10-04-2021, 21:54   #6
the_pen_turner
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 6,571
this would make a great side hussle but a dificult main job.
if you can work from home then you can let the cnc run while your on the clock and just load it on your breaks
the_pen_turner is offline  
Thanks from:
10-04-2021, 22:32   #7
howyegettinon1
Registered User
 
howyegettinon1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_pen_turner View Post
this would make a great side hussle but a dificult main job.
if you can work from home then you can let the cnc run while your on the clock and just load it on your breaks
Thanks, and good idea, how much money or what are the margins for cnc work/doors, I would like to buy one anyway and have the money through the company to buy it if it can earn on the books, I have time to draw up designs and load up the cnc during work hours so could be worth while getting one with a bed big enough for a full sheet vs the smaller one
howyegettinon1 is offline  
10-04-2021, 22:43   #8
kadman
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,410
Check donedeal, you might get some hourly rates charged by cnc shops,

I know metalwork cnc is expensive. Might be an option here to offer CNC work for one off items.
kadman is offline  
Thanks from:
10-04-2021, 22:49   #9
the_pen_turner
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 6,571
Quote:
Originally Posted by howyegettinon1 View Post
Thanks, and good idea, how much money or what are the margins for cnc work/doors, I would like to buy one anyway and have the money through the company to buy it if it can earn on the books, I have time to draw up designs and load up the cnc during work hours so could be worth while getting one with a bed big enough for a full sheet vs the smaller one
40 plus an hour for 3 axis cnc is what i have heard guys charging.

go for the larger bed if you have space. big time and material wastage saver.
gt a tool changer if you can. it will open up a lot of posibilities and allow more complex designs without operater input

if the company is paying then its a no brainer. enjoy your new toy
the_pen_turner is offline  
Advertisement
11-04-2021, 10:41   #10
kadman
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,410
Fusion 360 is a great programme, I use it myself
for 3d printing as well.
Good choice.
kadman is offline  
11-04-2021, 11:03   #11
howyegettinon1
Registered User
 
howyegettinon1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by kadman View Post
Fusion 360 is a great programme, I use it myself
for 3d printing as well.
Good choice.
Yeah its great, very powerful, started with sketchup but it lacks so much but it's a good starting point to get your head around extruding concepts etc..
howyegettinon1 is offline  
11-04-2021, 16:32   #12
CelticRambler
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 6,142
Quote:
Originally Posted by howyegettinon1 View Post
I am looking for some advice from anyone running their own business/shop woodworking

...

I have it pretty cushie now, working from home past 5 years around 25 to 30 hours a week pulling in stupid money but there is something missing sitting behind a desk making things you never see or can touch.
I am aware it will be a big hit on the income but i am curious at what i could be pulling in eventually all going well doing something i enjoy
As the others have already pointed out, if you give up the easy money, it'll totally change your relationship with the woodworking. At various times over the last three decades, I've looked into and taken tentative first steps at generating an income from craftwork, and it takes an awful lot of the fun and enjoyment out of it.

Whatever level you come in at, if you're dependent on customers to cover your overheads, you're entirely at the mercy of whatever's going on in their world, and as this last year has shown that can change with little or no warning. Of the craftworkers that I know personally, those who built their business around high-volume, low-margin sales (mostly through craft fairs and pop-up shops) are now in dire straits; whereas those with high-value niche products aren't affected at all (other than not being distracted with having to go to exhibitions and other events!)

Myself, I've kept up the "day job" to a certain extent, but now work a maximum of 20 weeks a year. That gives me more than enough cash to live on and have plenty spare to spend on kit that will probably never pay for itself, but adds to the enjoyment of my art- and craft-work activities.

If you're really attracted to the 3-D modelling and CNC sculpting field, I'd say aim high: create a portfolio of quality, fine-detailed work that will serve as your showcase, and once you have that ready to display, let it be known that you're available to help with the making of similar pieces, either as a "consultant-designer" or with the rental of machine time.

But keep it as a hobby until you've paid for your retirement the old-fashioned way!
CelticRambler is offline  
(2) thanks from:
Post Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Remove Text Formatting
Bold
Italic
Underline

Insert Image
Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text
 
Decrease Size
Increase Size
Please sign up or log in to join the discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Share Tweet