View Full Version : Need some advice

Steve Leach
02-21-2008, 3:05 PM
Hello All,
I hope this is an appropriate topic for this forum, please let me know if it is not. I am a "long time listener - first time caller" you might say as this is my first post (at least as far as I can remember - I never know when the CRS has kicked in:)).

I have been a weekend warrior type of woodworker for five or six years and I consider my skill level to be in the intermediate catagory (need more time in the shop!). I am looking to retire in about four years and getting that time out there. I am also looking for ways to make a little "project" money at the same time (I know, everybody's dream:rolleyes:).

It appears to me that the folks on this site have quite a wide varity of woodworking experience - from newbies to pros. I would like to find out if any of you have any experience with or opinion about Eureak Woodworks. It is a company that provides templates, assembly jigs, and various kinds of support for the porduction of lawn and garden type furniture (it's your business, they just provide what you need to get started). I don't have any business experience, woodworking or otherwise, so I would appreciate input from anyone who would care to respond.


Joe Chritz
02-21-2008, 3:54 PM
No experience with them but you can wing some plans on your own or buy plans from a number of sources for garden furniture.

If you have the availability to have some sitting out for sale you could do well.

It can tie up a substantial amount of money having products to sell however. Most people don't want to wait for a piece unless they get something custom.

I can't see what the company you mention could give you that you couldn't get with some leg work on your own.


Travis Gauger
02-21-2008, 4:29 PM
Hi Steve,
I am not a profesional woodworker by any meaning of the term, however, I have been selling some of my completed projects and commisioned from individuals to do a few more. I was in the same boat as you about a year ago though, and really put some thought into it. The way that I looked at it was there were really 2 ways to go about this.

The first involved alot of time being spent at craft fairs, art shows, etc. This method of selling your work is time consuming and also limiting to what you are going to build. I don't really find much enjoyment building bird houses and crafty decorations. Some people make a good living doing it though.

I choose to go the second route. I started building things that I enjoyed building. Things that I thought other people would like. Furniture. Tables, chairs, bookcases, etc. Things that you don't normally go to a craft fair for. Made up some business cards that had my contact information on them and then posted them anywhere I could think of. Mostly the message boards in the entry of the local hardware store and grocery stop. Filled my house with furniture in no time and hadn't sold anything. The wife started to notice the amount of money that was getting tied up in every corner of the house and decided she would help by donating one of my first Morris chairs to a charity auction. I was really upset with her right up until we went to the auction and seen all the interest that my chair got. Opening bid was for $50 and it sold for $2300. I was shocked! Jaw on the floor, amazed. My wife had donated the chair under my "Company" name and provided a little sign that had pictures of some of my other work. the stack of business cards that she provided disapeared as did the stack that I kept in my wallet. Ended up handing out napkins with my contact information on them. Since then I have had enough to keep me plenty busy. I still work full time at a normal 9 to 5 and do my WWing in the evenings and weekends. I don't have to worry about how to pay for more sand paper anymore. The little projects that I do when not building something for someone else are now auctioned via a website and kept small enough to be shipped. I just built 3 jewelery boxes for valentines day. One went to my wife, the other two got sold.

Moral of the story is... I don't think that you can buy what your looking for. I think that your best bet is going to be to build some of the things that you like to build, out of your head, from a plan, whatever. Focus on getting the enjoyment out of working that piece of wood into something beautiful, and the rest will take care of itself.

I'd say that was my $.02 but it more like a nickel or two!

Danny Thompson
02-21-2008, 4:44 PM
Inspiring success story, Travis. Can you share a website address that shows your work?

Steve Leach
02-22-2008, 2:24 PM
Thanks Fellas, I appreciate the feedback. I guess the initial attraction of this proposition is the "shortcut" of having the milling and assembly jigs and templates all ready to go into production. Of course, there's a pretty steep price to pay for that shortcut. Like you said Joe, there's nothing there I couldn't get with my on legwork!

And Travis, that was a pretty inspiring reply. It really underscores a problem I've been having in consdering "the shortcut" and that is not really knowing if I'll have a product that is marketable enough in my area to get a decent return on investment. I like the idea of building the kinds of things I like to build and then seeing if there is a market for them. Donating to some select local charity auctions was something I have been considering and your success has convinced me to give that a go.


Cliff Rohrabacher
02-22-2008, 4:38 PM
Stay away from them~!!

They want anywhere from $5-Grand to $15-Grand for what? Some assembly stuff? Some patterns? They have a list of retailers of some kind or other but, you have to do all the cold calling and sales.
You could do that with a phone book.

For that kind of money they should be advertising for you in every journal and on TV where your "customer base" would be. Such as Martha Stewart, Coastal Living etc.

They should be in every retailer's convention promoting the franchise owners like you and putting your name and phone number out there.
I see absolutely zero evidence that they do any of that. All they appear to have are patterns and dreams

They are trying to sell - at a very very dear price something you can do yourself. Yard furniture isn't hard to design or build.
Selling it however~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

You can also purchase yard furniture plans all over the place. I'll bet there are whole books of yard furniture plans.

I hate to be a buzzkill but this looks like little more than a way to separate you from a lot of your money and give you very little in return

Dave Anderson NH
02-24-2008, 7:12 AM
Unfortunately, Cliff's description is right on the money (yours). It's similar to those ads you occasinally see in some magazines about how to make millions in your spare time making and selling bunkbeds. While the ads give you what they promise and hence are not fraud, they are not really a good way to proceed.