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Thread: Cutting Board Business

  1. #76
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Millstone, NJ
    Posts
    298
    I just wrote out a couple paragraphs before I realized this was a 6 year old thread.

    I tried etsy store my material cost is averaged at $40 a board including packaging and board oil included for edge grain boards 12x18x1+ (using walnut/cherry/maple/yellowheart/redheart/wenge/leopard/etc) Shipping can be expensive 10-20 depending on shipping zone. etsys cut is almost 10% so i priced at 85 or so leaving me 15-25$ profit for a board that takes me 1-1/2" hour to make. And at that they dont even sell. Etsy is flooded and it is near impossible to find my boards on it. You will need to advertise your page on your social media. And then it becomes your family supporting you.

    A website is 30-40 a month so if you arent selling 5 boards a month it wont pay.

    Never tried craft shows. I suppose they could be the way to go but I have young kids so im out.

    I would be happy if someone would supply me all the materials and packaging, come and pick them up, and cut me in $15 a board

  2. #77
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    1,463
    Even though it's 6 years old this subject is always of interest. I think cutting boards are going to become even harder to sell as time goes on. CNC routers are in demand right now and with the number of lower priced models now it's opening up markets to non-woodworkers. A couple of the places I buy hardwood from are also woodworking shops. They often have narrow boards for sale at a reduced price that I'm sure they would run through their cabinet saw so they are ready to be glued up. Add a chop saw, some clamps, and sanders and with a CNC router someone could make custom cutting boards. Used open sanders are often for sale around here for well under a grand.

    The wife's sister gave us a cutting board with a design on it and our names/ wedding date as a gift. It's maybe 1 1/2 BF of something like yellow birch made from strips 2" wide. I would think that someone who was just looking to make a few bucks so they could feel like the CNC router was paying for itself could easily make up a dozen or more cutting boards that required no real woodworking skills. If they had a way of transporting their CNC router to a craft show they could even customize the boards they are selling and have them ready for people before they left the show. Even if they were too busy to do it while they waited or if the design was too complicated to do in a short period of time customers still would get to see another one being done.

  3. #78
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    2,893
    The cutting boards i see selling at stores are mostly made in Indonesia Some Thailand some India.
    It must be such a loosing proposition not even China wants any part.
    Some things are just better left for the fun of making and can go no further.
    Good Luck
    Aj

  4. #79
    I sell them at craft shows. I don't do just cutting boards as most of what I sell are turned pieces. I certainly won't sell 10 a day or anything but, I do sell the 10 eventually. As most items one day you may sell 3-4 and another day you won't sell any. Just depends on the market and the mood of the buyer.
    Denny

    Always try to be the best but, never think you are the best.

  5. #80
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    13,954
    I sold Corian cutting boards for several years. I got the material for free from a top shop that was throwing their counter top sink cut-outs scraps in a dumpster. I machined my cutting boards with my CNC so the only time I had in each one was sanding. Sold them for 40 bucks each and couldn't make them fast enough, every board I made on the weekend was sold on Monday morning at a job I was working at the time. I really got tired/bored of making them. I did inquire at the local Bed, Bath and Beyond store at our local mall about them selling my cutting boards and they were hot for the deal but I moved on to other projects that were more enjoyable.

    Every now and then one of my daughters asks me to make a custom cutting board for them to give to a friend who is getting married. I usually route the person's name on the back and fill with Corian adhesive. The Corian boards are dishwasher safe and durable but not the same as a wooden board as you would expect but the ladies loved them.

    No reason that any woodworker can't make these even without a CNC Router. Making routing templates you could machine them almost as fast as a CNC.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    553
    I sold a few cutting boards years ago, cut to custom shapes and such, and I used to have a few on consignment at a local gift shop. My materials cost was $2 to $5 or so per board, and I used to sell them for $20 or so. I have a website for the things I sell now, and it costs me about $10 a month, so it's not too bad at all since most of my livelihood comes from it. The cutting board market is so vast that it's hard to make a name for oneself in it, I think. Almost everyone needs a cutting board, and about 10% of the population seem to be making them and trying to sell them.

  7. #82
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    6,199
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    I've had plenty of people tell me I should do craft fairs and sell cutting boards and such. Thing is I don't WANT to spend my time cutting the same long strips of wood and slathering on a ton of glue.

    I do ww'ing for me because I enjoy it. Making it a monotonous production environment would take the joy away for me.

    If you can pay the bills at your main gig and do ww'ing for fun, I suggest you keep it that way.
    Im just going to quite myself from 6 years ago. Nuff said.

  8. #83
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    875
    I started out making end grain boards to pay for tools. It worked pretty well for me for many years. It ultimately transitioned into making countertops and island tops, which paid significantly more per hour of labor. I am trying to remember, but i routinely sold 18-20" square end grain boards that were 2-3" thick for $150-200 a piece. You look at William Sonoma, for example, and a walnut board that size is $300-400, i think. There is definitely room to compete and make a decent wage. It is every bit as monotonous as you would expect. I used to make 2-4 at the same time, and sanding those at the end of the process suckkkkkkeedd. I never went to craft shows or whatever else, and i strictly made end grain boards to compete with The Board Smith, Boos, or William Sonoma. I routinely compared my product and pricing to those groups at the first interaction with a potential customer/prospect. I very rarely make boards now, but i think making boards is a great idea if you have the free time. In a way, cutting boards allowed me the luxury of investing in the level of shop tooling that i have. Elevating to the next step of making very large end grain pieces and countertops allowed me to pay off all my student loans in my late 20s. I say all this to let folks know there is money to be made in simple quality utilitarian items, but i would avoid ebay/etsy/amazon like the plague. 99% of my sales were local face-to-face.

    You dont want the normal every day joe that is cutting on a corian/glass/marble--no offense, Keith!!!--because those people do not know or care a gnat's wing about cooking and their knives. Find the people that are very into cooking and high quality knives. Spending time on kitchen knife forums would be a good place to interact and market. This is primarily how the Board Smith did so well. The original owner was first on the scene on a lot of these Japanese knife forums and it got to the point where a new member would join and everyone would command them to go get an end grain board, and specifically a Board Smith board. If you spend $300 on a knife, you do not cut on granite.

  9. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Henderson View Post
    That's always been my position, I refuse to turn any of my hobbies into something that makes money. Hobbies are for having fun. I do them when I want, the way I want and nobody can tell me differently. If it becomes something I have to do, it stops being fun.
    So of hobbies are for having fun, is work for suffering? I love my work and pity those who don't do what they love for a living.

  10. #85
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    2,893
    Quote Originally Posted by johnny means View Post
    So of hobbies are for having fun, is work for suffering? I love my work and pity those who don't do what they love for a living.
    Cut him some slack Johnny. That was Brian in 2015 Im sure his saws and hands have tasted the victory of paying commissions.
    I myself am reduced to the status of Amateur woodworker. Feel free to take my opinion as such.
    Aj

  11. #86
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    13,954

  12. #87
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Clayton , North Carolina
    Posts
    163
    I think I've read somewhere on this site that woodworking for profit makes you a business and you require a change in your homeowners insurance. You probably can get away with it unless you have a fire and then of course you are in deep do do.

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