When we talk about woodworking there are many areas within the realm of it that an individual can specialize in. Someone might choose carving, turning, marquetry, or any dozen areas to develop one’s skills. But just like all the different avenues there are to learn woodworking, there are just as many ways to earn money at woodworking.
Not too long ago, I mentioned to you that I was contacted by the historical society in my district to do some window repair work. (click here for the video). I mentioned it was a great way to make some side money. But now, in the last month, I have another opportunity to share with you on a similar way to make money. It was with furniture repair.
I had two chair repairs and a piano touch-up job to do. Both pay really well. Before being any work I expanded to the owners that none of the pieces of furniture were worth any true value. They weren’t antiques or anything that made them exceptional. But to the homeowners, they were sentimentally attached to them. So in their minds, it was priceless.
Doing repair work is actually fun because it is challenging. Figuring out how to make the repair and do it as unnoticeable as possible is the fun part for me. However, the biggest part of making it unnoticeable is getting the stain to match. 90% of the time the stain off the shelf at the big box store will not be the right color. And if by some chance it was the right color, I’m left with a nearly full can of it when I’m done. But CrystaLac offers a stain starter kit that is just perfect! I can mix up a spoonful of stain and add any choice of color to get the tone just right. (Click here for the stain kit)
Now the big question is, how do people who need furniture repairs done find you? There are a couple of ways but it will require you to do a little bit of leg work. The first suggestion is to reach out to a local Woodcraft store. Woodcraft stores don’t offer repair services but they typically are eager to give out the names of people they know that can do that kind of work. Another place is my local Kencraft store, the local sawmill. They give my name out to people.
People looking for repairs will do a Google search for woodworking stores. You can do that type of search and then take your business card to them and introduce yourself and tell them about your services. Some will just give you the customers or sometimes you will go through them so they can mark it up a little. Either way, you will get the work. Another way is to reach out it insurance companies or fire and flood services. I have a friend who does cabinet repairs for one such company and he gets work every week from them.
The nice thing about these types of jobs, they typically are small and don’t require too much time to do them. For me, they are a great way to fill the voids between the larger jobs that come into my shop. I also think it’s a great way for a woodworker to start making money as a part-time gig.
Chad Stanton- Stanton Fine Furniture 4-30-2023