How To Start A Woodworking Shop | What do you need and how to do it?

Do you love furniture? The carpenter, as a skilled craftsman and creator, dreams of having his own carpentry workshop where he can develop his creative skills, but, in this type of business, a lot of professionalism is needed to be able to make quality products, because making furniture is not an easy task. 

To start a carpentry workshop, first of all, we must have at least some basic knowledge of carpentry, what type of wood we are going to use and how we are going to work, reading some books or information on the internet to update us will be of great help, for this reason, Today we will go from scratch how to start a woodworking shop. Let us begin!


What is done in a carpentry workshop?

Woodworking is the field of construction that prepares, installs, and processes wood, whether raw, processed, or laminated. A carpenter is someone who does work related to carpentry, say furniture, siding, or finishing materials on the job, which is why safety is so important in carpentry. In a modern carpentry workshop we can find that they perform the following tasks: 

  • Draw levels and create layouts. 
  • Install doors and windows. 
  • Build scaffolding to execute your tasks at height. 
  • Install fittings, sheets, doorknobs, and hinges. 
  • Perform all kinds of wood finishes. 
  • Build all kinds of furniture wood. 
  • Draw and build stairs. 

Requirements to open a carpentry workshop

One of the necessary points to be able to set up a carpentry business is related to the licenses and permits necessary to open a business. The best thing you can do is contact your local authority, which will inform you of everything you need (procedures, fees, permits). 

However, here is a list of some of the licenses that are required to start a woodworking shop: 

  • Operating license or installation license: To obtain it, it is usually necessary to present a technical report or project written by a qualified professional.  
  • Permit to open or permit to operate: The technician must confirm that the site is suitable for his work in accordance with the applicable regulations. In furniture, on the other hand, it is important to take out insurance that covers aspects such as fire risk and civil liability to third parties, in addition to having a plan for periodic adjustments of fire protection equipment and a contingency plan.  
  • Electrical project: Due to the nature of the activity to be carried out, carpentry is a place with certain risks, so it is necessary to make an electrical project that clearly shows all the machinery that will be located. 

What is needed for a carpentry workshop?

A carpentry shop can be as big as your experience and capital allow. What you really need is the desire to set up your own woodshop, creative capital, and a physical location, so when you arrive at the site keep in mind that it should be an air-conditioned place with good lighting. To set up a carpentry workshop you must cover the following aspects: 

1. Premises for a carpentry workshop

The first thing you should think about is where you will work, and there are two ways to do the workshop: 

  • Addendum: You can start your workshop in an additional area of ​​your home, such as the garage or basement. Keep in mind that you must insulate the walls to prevent noise from entering your home. 
  • Independent: If your budget allows it, a local will be the best option. Keep in mind that you have to adapt it and create spaces to launch the products and processes you need. Either way, it’s important to remember the width of the door to allow access to large pieces, of fabricated or repaired furniture. 

Now, if you ask yourself, what do I need to organize my carpentry workshop? We have the answer for you. 

  • Lighting: As in any workplace, it is important that your workshop space is well-lit. It is recommended to place the air conditioning with large windows to receive as much natural light as possible. For artificial lighting, we recommend using energy-saving lights, such as LEDs, which consume up to 80% less energy. 
  • Electricity: Before starting your carpentry workshop, make sure that the new electrical systems are installed with cables with the necessary resistance for the consumption of the machine. Remember that, for security reasons, each device must have its own port. To avoid interception of the power cables, place the optical contacts out of the way. 
  • Ventilation: When working with materials such as varnishes, thinners, etc., it is very important that the establishment has at least two windows to allow air to enter and exit. We recommend installing an extractor. 

2. Materials for carpentry

Woodworking is one of the oldest human activities in the industry, so the materials used in a woodworking shop have been developed over the years to help carpenters do their job better and longer. fast. Pay attention to the list that we leave you so that you have an idea of ​​which articles you should start with.

  • Wood sealer: Before applying any type of paint or varnish, this product must be administered.
  • Wax for wood: For a greater shine and fine touch, a wax and polish treatment is recommended.
  • Wood screws: As the saying goes, don’t go to war without a rifle, because you can’t start a carpentry workshop without this type of input.
  • Types of wood assemblies: They are lace that serves to couple one piece of wood with another.
  • Sandpaper for wood: It has two fundamental uses; First of all, to remove the burrs that remain on the wood when making a cut, and to prepare the wood before receiving a liquid product (sealant, fixative, paint, or varnish).
  • Wood stain: Used to color wood.
  • Wooden moldings: They are used for finishing in places of joints, corners, or where the decoration requires it.
  • Wood veneer sheets: They are used for wall coverings.
  • Accessories: There is a group of accessories that, although they are not made of wood but of bronze, copper, and steel, are needed in a workshop of this type; some are curtain rods, doorknobs and knockers, and handles, among others.

3. Woodworking equipment

Wood as a work material has an appeal that other materials do not have. You can build anything with wood, it’s a lightweight material, relatively easy to work with, and the associated costs are low. 

The carpentry workshop is in high demand when the business is associated with the construction sector or industry. But this is not limited only to this, since retail trade and repair and restoration services are also highly developed and dynamic. To set up a carpentry workshop it is necessary that you have the appropriate machines, for example : 

1. Squaring saw

The plunge-cutting machine is a small disk or bevel-toothed circular saw with nominal cutting thickness. Its function, when making a precut, is to avoid an explosion when the main saw arrives. This will give you a better cut quality for the materials you are working with. 

2. Edge gluer

This is the second machine you should prioritize when starting a woodworking shop. It will help you, as its name suggests, to glue the edges to the paper, wood, or cardboard on the sides or sides. 

3. Multiple punches

To start, it is recommended to consider a multi-bit with at least 21 chucks, with a 32mm center distance. With this instrument, you can make 32 systems for cabinets and kitchen cupboards. 

4. Bench saw

It will work perfectly for you in a carpentry workshop, where you make woodcuts. What should you look for when buying a table saw? Consider the power supply that came with the machine, as this largely determines the thickness of the wood it can cut. 

5. Planer and edger

This is essential equipment for a wood workshop, in these, there is usually a lot of waste, the minimum capacity of the equipment in width, thickness, and length is an important fact because this will allow you to develop products that make the most of the wood. 

6. Top

This machine is very versatile for carpentry workshops. With it, you can make all kinds of model-based lines and curves and more. 

7. Sander – calibrator

This is an important topic for a carpentry workshop because it will depend a lot on the final product that you are going to make. A sander will not only allow you to sand, but it will also ensure that the thickness of the part you are working with is the same, since you will be calibrating the part in the same process. 

8. Bandsaw

Machine to make different cuts in your carpentry workshop, including curves, depending on the final product you make. What you should check in this case is the maximum cutting height allowed and the diameters of the upper and lower wheels. 

4. Tools for carpentry workshop

You cannot set up a carpentry workshop without thinking about buying some tools, the same ones that will be used in daily work. Therefore, the best thing you can do is make a list of the main components that you will need in your business. Here‘s a list of items you’ll need to buy : 

  • Drill
  • sander
  • grinding angle
  • quick release clip
  • wood saw
  • Compressor
  • hammers and maces
  • Wax, rubber, asphalt, and other finishing items
  • In addition, you will need a wide variety of woods suitable for the job.

5. Furniture for carpentry workshop

To make your work efficient and organize your carpentry, keep in mind that each material, tool, raw material, or waste has a specific location, as well as previously defined areas for each activity. 

Tables: The desk is an essential element for a carpenter. You must have at least three tables and distribute them as follows: 

  • The large table will come in handy for planning, cutting with hand tools, and sanding loose parts. It must be equipped with a cap and a clamp for fixing the wood.  
  • On another table you can perform assembly operations such as nailing, gluing, assembling parts, patching, and installing. 
  • The third table should have a stationary table saw, which will be used to make large cuts. 

Drawers: In a carpentry workshop where you use small parts such as nails, screws, and rivets, all must be stored in drawers with dividers to distinguish and group by type and size. The remaining drawers can be used to store cords, sandpaper, brushes, and power tools to keep your workshop organized. 

Shelving: They will be used to place containers of adhesives, varnishes, thinners, oils, inks, and pastes. To keep essential tools in view, we recommend placing a wooden board on the wall to hang your everyday tools: hammers, rakes, saws, pliers, squares, and more. 

Waste: Select a place where you will empty waste such as wood cuttings, sawdust, wires and other materials from your work. Creating hygiene rules in the carpentry workshop will help you to have an organized space. Create some containers and remember to mark them one by one to separate the waste according to its type. 

Safety elements in carpentry workshop

Before starting a carpentry workshop, you must know and have the elements that will help you prevent any accidents when you are on your working day: 

  • Hard Hat: Carpenters should always wear a Class B or C hard hat, as it provides protection against shock and radiation hazards from flammable materials. 
  • Safety glasses: They are glasses with side protection, transparent for interiors and dark for exteriors. 
  • Harness or safety belt: When a carpenter works on high surfaces, he must use a full-body harness and other elements to prevent falls in the event of an accident. 
  • Safety clothing: The protective suit serves to isolate the body from direct contact with dust, paint, and solvents; as well as some mechanical hazards such as abrasion, perforation, and cutting. 
  • Safety shoes: The objective of the shoes is to protect the foot from the risk of injuries due to blows, cuts, and damage caused by the impact of corrosive materials. 
  • Ear Protector: Carpenters may use foam, rubber, or silicone earplugs. They are flexible and most of them can be shaped by the user to improve the fit when inserted into the ear canal. 
  • Gloves: Protect against severe abrasions, cuts, gouges, and scrapes. 
  • Face protection: In a carpentry workshop they must wear protective masks when working with power tools, as this will prevent damage from the detachment of wood chips.

Risks that you should prevent in a carpentry workshop

As we mentioned before, when doing carpentry work, performing various functions, and using different tools, it is necessary to take precautions and use the right tools to ensure safety and avoid accidents. But what are the risks to which we are exposed? Here are some risks to be aware of:

  • Tools with sharp or pointed accessories.  
  • Raw wood may contain splinters.  
  • Exposure to electrical energy from using tools or damaged electrical cords.  
  • Falling while driving on a construction site or on scaffolding due to the accumulation of various materials that make movement difficult. 
  • Exposure to dust from chipped and sanded wood.  
  • Excessive load when handling materials such as boards, tables, and furniture.  
  • If you’re working in enclosed areas, you may be exposed to enough toxic fumes while varnishing or painting. 

How to start a carpentry business?

Before starting a carpentry workshop you must make some decisions. This includes the aspects of carpentry you’ll focus on, such as rough or structural work, such as roofing, framing, or other masonry work, or finishing work, such as cabinetry and decorating. 

You’ll also need to consider the workplace, if your focus is on structural carpentry you can probably find yourself on construction sites, but cabinet carpentry and detail carpentry are more than just interior work. Would you rather work from home or rent a private workshop? The design of a carpentry workshop is important when starting this business, so know how to achieve it in a few steps. 

1. Who is your client?

Are you going to specialize in a certain type of client? Or, on the contrary, do you intend to include as many clients as possible? 

Before starting a business, you must identify your potential customers. Here are some of the different types you can find in the industry: 

  • Individual client: A client who comes only to deal with personal and specific matters without having any relationship with a company. 
  • Small furniture stores: Small and medium-sized stores have a limited number of products. Perhaps the client needs a piece of furniture with the exact dimensions that you do not have, so you will need a carpentry workshop to make the necessary modifications or creations.  
  • Home construction and repair companies: These companies will also need custom furniture and fixtures, so they will need the services of a carpenter. 

2. Do you know your competition?

Who will you compete with when you open your business? These are the types of competitors that you can find more frequently when looking for ideas to start your carpentry workshop: 

  • Big-box DIY stores: They sell woodworking equipment and tools, and some offer the ability to move and/or assemble the furniture the customer buys. They are the most dangerous competitors because they tend to be well-known chains both locally and internationally. As a consequence, they also have a large number of customers.
  • Reform companies: They specialize in small or large carpentry jobs. They are usually not professionals but they do handle all the construction processes.  
  • Furniture factories: They manufacture and sell products to retailers or wholesalers.  
  • Woodworking Franchise: They can be a formidable competitor because they have a logistics structure behind them and have enough marketing budgets to attract local customers. 

3. Do you have a good location?

The site is very important for business; a bad decision can have a terrible effect on the audience, appearance, and overall results. Therefore, when making this decision, consider the following factors: 

  • City and region: You will always have more clients in cities and capitals, even if the rents are cheaper in other types of cities.  
  • Close to streets, highways, and communication routes: We recommend connecting the carpentry with everyday life as much as possible to facilitate customer access.  
  • City or district policies to help establish new businesses: Some communities offer support to new entrepreneurs, it would be a good idea if you count on it. 
  • Close to establishments that sell raw materials for your carpentry.  

On the other hand, it is not enough to get a good location, an important aspect to open a carpentry workshop is to find a suitable workspace. As a general rule, you need a site with a warehouse, a bathroom, a customer service area, and space for the workshop itself. In total, we can say a room with a space of 80 to 100 square meters. 

4. Do you offer anything else?

In the carpentry business, we can find all kinds of customer requests, and if you don’t know how to order the offer in a carpentry workshop, we show you some options:  

  • Furniture: You can make all kinds of furniture to order, in different woods, and it is important to be prepared to find creative solutions. 
  • Shelves: Try to stay original when making shelves, they are easy to find in department stores, so you have to add a differentiating factor that impacts your clientele. 
  • Cabinets: Offers a variety of designs that suit the needs of customers. 

Whatever type of product you deliver to the customer, you can always provide added value. For example, you can advise them on how to treat the wood to keep it in optimal condition. 

5. Do you have a team?

Depending on the type of business or woodworking shop you want to specialize in, you may need the following professionals on your team: 

  • Carpenter 
  • Cabinet builder. 
  • Gun varnisher. 

You may also need to hire an assistant to help you with accounting or billing matters. And of course, there is the option to start with just one person, the business manager, and as you begin to attract customers for your woodworking operation, you will be able to hire more workers. 

6. What is your budget?

As is logical, the investment varies according to the size of your project, but in general, for the average assembly of frames and boards in a carpentry workshop, here are some references to take into account when putting together your budget. 

  • Machinery: More than $5,000 USD.  
  • Tools and protective equipment: $1,500 USD. 
  • Initial raw material: $1,000 USD. 
  • Registration and legalization expenses: $500 USD. 
  • Adaptation of the premises: $900 USD. 
  • Computer equipment: $700 USD. 
  • Other expenses: $900 USD. 

Final words

In this, we show you everything you need to have and put into practice to start a carpentry workshop. So, if you have the right carpentry skills, training, and financing, it’s arguably already a big step towards success starting your own business.

See also  Did you know that working with your hands is good for your brain?

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