Starting any business has certain costs involved. Setting up a woodworking shop is no different. The primary investments will include all the immediate expenses of rent, labor, and obviously-wood.
Considering all the tools and gear one needs, many assume that setting up a woodshop is too expensive. But that's not entirely true.
How much will it cost me to set up a woodworking workshop? If you’re wondering about something along those lines, hold on because we’ve got you covered.
Much like setting a budget for yourself, you’ll need to take a look at all the short and long-term expenses before opening your shop. That’s why we’ve put together this awesome list for anyone wondering about how much a woodshop might cost.
Let’s find out how much you'll need.
The Cost Categories
First things first- figure out all the categories where you'll need to put your money in. Any woodshop requires basic things like benches, wood pieces, tools, and small pieces of equipment like screws. If you analyze carefully, you'll find there are mainly seven or eight such categories. Some of these include –
- Startup Costs
- Space Rent
- Raw Materials
- Heating and Ventilation
- Electricity and Lighting
- Cleaning and Maintenance
- Safety Equipment, etc.
Each of these sections requires much attention and work to start a business in woodworking. And so, investments need to be made to each one of them. Sometimes more cases of expenditure also spring up as you go along building the shop.
So, it's no doubt that profits from a woodshop don't come by early. But if you have a passion for it and are willing to do the hard work, it will pay off at one point. Besides, considering how long you'll be able to use your work equipment and tools, it'll prove to be a small worthwhile investment later.
Most people starting a woodshop don't have their store. Hence, they use either a room in their home or their garage. Those who can afford rent go out of the way to start at a proper storefront. However, considering the already built up pile of expenses that entail starting this shop, it's best to stick with the garage.
Once you start making profits, you can move out of the garage store. Nonetheless, it will also require some startup expenditure. A garage doesn’t have the same lighting and ventilation as a house. So, those need to be installed and improvised.
You also need to make sure that working in the garage will not cause any inconvenience to your family and neighbors. After all, woodworking can get very noisy. You’ll have to install fans and insulation systems as well as noise reduction boxes to have a proper workplace.
The main cost of setting up a woodshop is the cost of tools. Even if you don’t buy the most expensive ones out there, there are certain tools you cannot work without.
From sandpapers, whetstones, and chisels to saws, drills, and bar clamps, you’ll need a lot. In case of choosing a lathe, you should check out some recommended wood lathe first.
On top of that, you’ll need a proper woodworking table to do all your projects. If you want some extra convenience, it’s a good idea to get a router table for the wood router as well. The more variation you have in case of tools, the more projects you'll be able to do.
So, it's not a loss but rather a source of profit in the long-run. Getting a proper tool kit with all the basics will cost you around 100-300$. But power tools can cost up to 500$.
However, let’s not forget – more tools require more maintenance and storage. It’s not enough to just get the tools and work if you end up with rust-coated screws and drills after a few months. That is why you’ll need to install storage boxes for tools and have them cleaned from time to time.
Are you looking to hire some workers to help you? If you have intentions of taking up jobs like building outdoor sheds and structures, you'll probably need some extra hands. While labor can cost a lot, you can control that cost easily by hiring only when needed.
Many woodshops hire people seasonally or based on projects. It’s mainly about being smart about your employment choices. A good idea is to get part-timers who are students since they require lesser commitment and cost less.
If you want to start with a storefront, you'll have to consider either buying or renting space. Renting is usually preferred by those who have been doing business from home for some time. This is because it allows them to save up to bear the cost of moving.
Renting a place can have its benefits too. The more your store stands out; the more people will be curious to stop by. You'll have a better scope to grow your network and can bring in more profits. But also remember that renting calls for new installations, renovations, etc.
Woodworking requires a good number of raw materials and resources to run on. Some of these include woods of different species, screws, bolts, and metals. You can look for wood in your local depot stores or even get some thrifted furniture from the thrift shop.
Let's be honest here. Wood is going to cost. But it's better to get some high and medium quality wood than buying the cheapest slabs in the market. You don't want customers to start complaining, do you?
Work to build your reputation first. Good raw materials will give you an advantage while working. So, it's never a good idea to go for cheap ones.
Look out for bargains, though. Not all high priced woods are of great quality. Sometimes what you need will probably be reasonably priced and easily available. Since wood is going to be your recurring cost throughout the business, it's good to look for deals that let you save a few coins.
Heating and Ventilation
To preserve wood pieces for longer periods, you must consider the heating system of your shop. Heat and moisture can damage wood easily. So, you need to invest in a good heater as well as proper heating solutions. Don't just get a cheap heater just because it's on sale. You'll probably regret it later.
Bad humidity in the room can ruin your stocked wood within hours. The best way to prevent this from happening is to get fans installed and make the room as aerated as possible. Ventilation is the key here.
Electricity and Lighting
This is something to invest in, especially for those who work more with power tools. Without a proper supply of electricity, you might be falling behind on projects and getting less work done. Keep your shop layout in mind.
If you have multiple worktables, it’s a good idea to install lights in each corner. Separate lighting for each area of work will help you save money on electrical bills since you won’t be using all the lights at once.
You’ll need to buy and install cables and wires. Try strategically placing lights in places where it’s best for your work. Look at some stores to find what's good and cheap. There are some great cheap circuits in the stores that serve well. If you're confused about it, you can hire a pro to help you out in this case.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Working with wood calls for sawing. And sawing calls for sawdust. Accumulation of sawdust is never a good thing. Not only does it make a mess in your workplace, but it's also really bad for your health. You need to keep your dust in check if you don't want to end up with an allergy.
So, what to do for managing the sawdust? You can get cheap and good quality dust management systems in stores now. They're easy to rig up to almost any sort of tool and work like a charm.
Remember never to blow your sawdust outside. Blowing it out will cause the dust to move to yours or your neighbor’s house and cause even more trouble.
Safety is a big and serious factor to consider when starting this business. Because the oils and burnishes used in woodwork contain harmful chemicals that aren't supposed to be breathed for long periods. Again, finishing materials often contain substances that increase in temperature when bunched together.
You’ll need to make sure; there's at least one container for these waste rags in your shop. They don't cost much, but it's still worth calculating. Get a fire extinguisher and set it up at each entrance of your shop.
Invest in some pairs of gloves, goggles, and masks to prevent sawdust or chemicals getting into your mouth or body. If you have multiple workers at the shop, consider getting a set of these for each.
If you plan a budget with all the costs in mind, your woodshop will be not only efficient but also profitable. It’s not just a question of how much will it cost to set up a woodworking shop, but of how you plan around it.