"Work in Progress," Efficiency, and Profit
Here's a long and somewhat abstract and meandering discussion that still makes some interesting points about how reducing the number of overlapping tasks happening at once can eliminate management headaches and improve productivity. April 20, 2008

Charging for Design Drawings
Here's a long thread presenting some strongly held and well-articulated views on design drafting, bidding, sales, costs, and how to charge for design work. October 13, 2010

Story of a Landlord-Tenant Dispute
Confusion over three-phase power throughs a shop leasing agreement into chaos. Here are insights into the legal and practical issues involved. October 27, 2008

Debt, Planning, and Financial Security for a Woodworking Business
How to get off the treadmill and build wealth. May 20, 2011

Making Money with LEAN Systems
A thread that starts out with a question about stock versus custom cabinetry turns into a lesson in LEAN systems. October 13, 2010

Secured Debt, Collections, and Legal Advice
An out-of-business cabinetmaker is being pursued by a debt collector for money he owes on machinery. The case sparks a heated debate and reveals some hard-nosed business and legal truths. January 7, 2007

What to Do When a Job Goes Sour
Here's a seminar on how to handle the situation when the homeowner-GC-cabinetmaker relationship heads south in the middle of a job. January 10, 2008

Economics of Sawmill Operations
This thread takes a close look at some hard numbers for logs and various sawn lumber products, and teaches some valuable lessons about how sawmills can make money, or lose money. September 6, 2010

Profit Percentages
Here's a long and thoughtful discussion about profit — how much is typical in cabinetmaking, and how to go about increasing it. November 23, 2012

Age Discrimination?
A 60-year-old draftsman kicks off a long exchange about age, employability, and fairness. April 13, 2010

When to Raise an Employee's Pay
Here's a long discussion about the purpose and timing of pay raises, and the associated communication issues. July 3, 2006

Charging Enough to Stay in Business
Seasoned cabinetmakers give a newcomer some hard-nosed advice on how to price his work realistically. October 15, 2009

Words to Live By
This long thread about quotable sayings generated a long list of pithy quotes you could post up on the wood shop wall. March 21, 2012

Incentive Pay for Workers
This long, detailed thread takes a close look at the whole concept of bonus and incentive pay for employees. January 9, 2008

Team Player
When you advertise for a "team player," what are you asking for? Seriously — this job seeker wants to know. January 2, 2012

Time Clock Cheaters
A question about how to deal with workers who are punching each others' time cards leads to a wide-ranging discussion of morality, motivation, and time-tracking technology. January 13, 2009

Coping With Business Failure
A woodworker who's headed for a crash landing gets advice on how to make the best of a bad situation. March 12, 2009

Teaching an Employee to Optimize Materials
A problem with an employee who doesn't use up scrap leads to a long discussion on hiring, training, and firing procedures. May 20, 2009

Employee Overtime
There's an up side and a down side to working (and paying) employees overtime. Here, owners and workers discuss the management of labor hours. October 25, 2006

Work-Station Shop Organization Systems
Thoughts on a shop setup that involves moving the workpiece from station to station, rather than moving pieces and tools onto and off of a single work bench.May 23, 2011

Establishing a Change-Order Policy
An extended discussion of one of the peskiest issues in custom woodworking: managing customers who want to change their minds. February 6, 2007

Don't Quit Your Day Job
Starting a woodworking shop? Don't quit your day job. June 23, 2006

Bidding Wars Heat Up
In a tough economy, price undercutting can get extreme. Here, a cabinetmaker's anecdote sets off a long discussion of price competition and reality. August 11, 2009

Boosting Production and Quality with Lean Methods
Written routines, checklists, cross-training, and creative teamwork all have their place in an effort to improve shop output. August 29, 2011

Interior Designer Referral Fees
Referral fees charged by "interior designers" are a frequent source of misunderstanding. April 20, 2007

Working Too Hard and Still Broke
A cabinetmaker asks for advice on getting out of the hole he's in, and gets a ton of good feedback. January 9, 2008

Whether to Give Clients your Drawings
Here's an extended discussion about appropriate policies for control of shop drawings and design layouts. May 26, 2010

"Joint Check" Payment Agreements in Commercial Work
This long thread deals with a cabinetmaker's choices as he negotiates for a commercial job where the customer is proposing to pay the cabinetmaker and his materials suppliers with the same check. January 26, 2008

Generating Working Capital
A long discussion is triggered when a cabinetmaker asks how he can free up cash for running his business. Should he seek greater production efficiency, apply for a line of credit, or try to interest an outside investor? September 5, 2006

Pricing Example: a Simple Cabinet
A simple pair of free-standing cabinets, with a long discussion on pricing, bidding, and relating to a competitive market. July 5, 2006

Budgeting for Advertising, Marketing, and Sales
Here's a long discussion of marketing strategies and advertising budgets. December 21, 2010

Surviving Being Stiffed
A cabinetmaker mulls over whether to throw in the towel, after two big clients fail to pay. July 5, 2011

Switching from Office Work to the Cabinet Trade
A computer programmer asks whether he's crazy to want to work in a cabinet shop instead. A long, spirited debate ensues. April 9, 2008

Calculating a Shop Labor Rate
What shop labor rate will enable this cabinet shop turn a profit? Here's an extensive and detailed discussion of setting a realistic value on labor time. March 4, 2006

Wholesale, Commercial, and Retail Pricing
Cabinetmakers discuss the idea of using a tiered pricing model to reflect volume, complexity, and customization of the job. July 12, 2012

Challenging Issues for Wood Shops
This thread tackles two issues at one time (listing the top issues confronting wood shops, and managing multiple different kinds of work), and beats both into submission. July 30, 2009

Cabinet Businesses Overseas
Here's an in-depth discussion of what it's like to move your U.S. cabinet business to a developing country (where, yes, there are opportunities). August 29, 2011

Survival Strategy: Raise Your Prices!
Believe it or not, some woodworkers are successfully adapting to the downturn by increasing their prices. June 22, 2010

Recovering from an Estimating Mistake
If a rookie salesman accidentally sells a job way, way under cost, can the shop owner back out of the deal? There's more than one side to that question. October 25, 2006

Rates for custom milling
An extremely detailed look at different systems of charging for custom milling. May 30, 2001

Customer Deposits and Payment Schedules
A heartfelt and sometimes heated discussion about setting payment terms, including initial deposits, for a cabinet job. February 27, 2013

When Will I Be Rich?
A young cabinetmaker wonders when (if ever) he will be "well off." Well, young feller ... April 29, 2012

Whether to Charge a Design Fee
Charging for design work makes sense from the cabinetmaker's point of view, but it can be a deal-breaker for clients. August 7, 2008

Paying Designers
Cabinetmakers discuss their relationships with designers. April 4, 2011

Making Money on Custom Installs
How can a 2-man operation stay profitable on cabinetry installations? A discussion of costs, pricing, planning, and time management for installing custom work. July 27, 2008

Letting Employees Use Your Shop
Here's a long thread about what terms an employer should set for allowing an employee to build a personal project in the shop. February 11, 2009

Sales and Marketing Advice
Here's a long and thoughtful thread about how to create and implement an effective marketing and sales strategy — online and elsewhere. March 22, 2013

Business Financing, Credit, and Cash Flow
Pay as you go, or borrow to grow? This thread looks at both sides, and supplies some sage advice. December 2, 2006

Marketing 101 for a Small Cabinet Shop
A two-man cabinet business builds a good product, but needs more customers. Here's a raft of advice on how to build name recognition and make personal contacts. November 29, 2014

Kitchen Cabinet Pricing Comparison
Cabinet shops compare price estimates on a basic kitchen job, and discuss the factors that influence their prices. June 5, 2006

Dealing with a Deadbeat Client
A sad tale of a customer who won't pay evolves into a detailed discussion of contracts and legal alternatives. February 17, 2006

Lumber Tally: Rough Versus Milled
When you buy dressed lumber, the quantity is tallied based on the rough board footage, before milling. The "rip-off" percentage can sometimes confuse the buyer. September 27, 2012

Shooting Digital Photos of your Work
A long discussion of cameras, lighting, and photo techniques for taking the shots for your website and print portfolio. August 23, 2006

Payment Problems in Commercial Work
Slow payment, and even non-payment, is very common in the world of commercial contracting. Here's advice on how to protect yourself. March 12, 2009

Defining "Custom Cabinets"
What is a "custom" cabinet, and what do terms like "semi-custom" and "stock cabinet" mean? Pros discuss the dividing line between craftsmanship and mass production. December 28, 2005

Employee Bonus Incentives
Most employers in this thread believe that bonuses for employees don't work. June 4, 2012

Bidding Wars on a Nice Built-In
Another lost-bid case study: Custom cabinetmakers discuss pricing and negotiating strategies for a custom Cherry entertainment center job. August 11, 2009

Whether to Remove a Lein
A cabinetmaker who has not been paid asks whether he should remove his lein against the house, as requested by the owner. Colleagues explain why he should not. February 6, 2010

Training Employees
A rambling brainstorming thread about how to teach complex tasks to workers. December 2, 2006

Is a Woodworking Sub Responsible for ADA Compliance?
If you catch potential Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations in a set of plans, advise the architect, and help out with corrected working drawings, are you now on the hook for some kind of liability? Here's a long and thoughtful discussion. March 12, 2009

Gray Areas in Drug Testing Policy
Employers and employees alike express mixed feelings about drug testing in this thread. April 29, 2012

Managing a Late-Paying Customer
Advice on handling a good customer who has slipped disturbingly far behind on payments on his account. December 1, 2010

Streamlining High-Volume Cabinet Production
Well-organized cabinetmakers share their secrets for labor time efficiency. April 26, 2006

Is This Job Discrimination?
An African-American's story of a frustrating job search leads to a frank discussion of race as a factor in employment, along with some solid advice on landing a job. January 10, 2008

Collecting From Contractors
Ideas about how to make sure you get paid by a general contractor. May 5, 2007

Dealing with Equipment Distributors
Here's a long, lively, and sometimes contentious thread about the middleman's role in the machinery market. April 29, 2012

Photography Fees
Need professional photography done? Want to reproduce an already-published photo? Bottom line: good photography is expensive. June 3, 2007

Calculating a Shop Rate
An extended discussion on the math and reasoning behind setting a rate for shop work billed by the hour. July 30, 2009

Starting a cabinet business
Pros give pros and cons involved in starting a new cabinet business

Advice on Starting a Cabinet Shop
A young craftsman asks for advice about going out on his own. April 29, 2013

Best Practices and Training Systems
A brainstorming session about systematically training wood-shop employees. February 6, 2007

Playing Hardball over Unpaid Invoices
An installer decides not to show up for a job as promised because the contractor hasn't paid for the last two jobs. Is he being too radical? February 16, 2012

Shop Drawing Time per Job
How long does it take to prepare shop drawings for a cabinet job? Here's a thorough and detailed discussion of that question. November 15, 2011

What Does It Take to Be a Business Owner?
A skilled woodworker asks: Do I have the right personality to run the business? September 27, 2012

Coping With Burnout
Cabinetmakers discuss how to keep interest alive and productivity up while juggling multiple roles in a one-man cabinet business. March 12, 2009

Handling a Problem Employee
Shop owners discuss how to deal with an employee whose attitude is going down the tubes. January 26, 2008

Which Fine Details Do Customers Care About?
A thoughtful discussion about whether labor expended on small details is wasted, or worthwhile. December 27, 2010

Whether to Release Drawings Before Having a Contract
A contractor and a customer are in a Mexican standoff over the drawings for a kitchen contract. The discussion digs deep into the balance of power in sales and marketing. July 13, 2011

Furniture Pricing: Wholesale and Retail Markups
A heated, but detailed, discussion of cost and pricing practices in the furniture trade. April 24, 2006

Handling an Order Cancellation Early in the Contract
Two lessons are learned from this case where a customer wants to cancel without explaining: One, contracts should spell out the exits for both parties; and two, some things in life are more important than business. January 31, 2012

Bail or Stick?
A few communication lapses in the 3-way among a cabinetmaker, a designer, and the customer have given the cab guy itchy feet. This discussion delves deep into how and why jobs go wrong, how to handle communication, and when it's wisest to walk away. February 19, 2008

Who Are You? Thumbnail Biographies of Forum Members
Ever wonder who you're interacting with on WOODWEB? In this thread, forum posters give a brief history of their lives in the woodworking trade. June 16, 2014

Last-Ditch Business Survival Tactics
When your back is to the wall, it's time to take radical measures. Here's some advice for a contractor who's up against it. October 13, 2008

When a "Designer" Hands You Sketchy Drawings
Advice on structuring the process when a "designer" supplies you with vague, half-baked sketches and asks you to take on the job. November 14, 2014

AWI Certification and Bidding
Advice on how to get certified with the Architectural Woodworking Institute, and how to qualify as a bidder on projects when you're not certified. May 20, 2009

Trade-Show Card Swipes and Sales Followups
Shop owners explain in detail to a salesman how they feel about follow-up calls from trade show vendors. March 26, 2010

Door Pricing and Outsourcing
Here is a long thread about door pricing, kicked off by a cabinetmaker who gets sticker shock from a door vendor's bid. July 25, 2010

Categorizing Expenses to Track Job Profit
A cabinetmaker struggles with the problem of defining "cost of goods sold" and "expenses" — not for tax purposes, but to track the profitability of individual jobs. April 3, 2012

Charging for Cabinet Design Work
Cabinetmakers discuss how they price the design phase of a job — and get paid. March 12, 2009

Starting Out in a Garage
Business owners weigh in on the question, "Can I bootstrap a woodworking business out of my garage?" January 2, 2014

Hard Layoff Choices
A long discussion about a difficult choice: whether to lay off a valued employee when sales fall off during a downturn. June 15, 2009

Can You Penalize Employees for Mistakes?
A discussion of motivation, quality control, accountability, and labor law. September 7, 2013

Punch-List Management Strategies
Cabinetmakers discuss ways to streamline the installation punch-out process. May 20, 2009

Pricing Kitchen Cabinets
Price by the foot, or by the box? Cabinetmakers discuss the pros and cons of different estimating and pricing methods. May 20, 2006

Market Research for a Business Plan
Thoughts and advice on how to investigate the market for the products of a proposed new cabinet business. October 14, 2009

Ethics of Working with Interior Designers
Another long discussion about a perennial sore point for woodworking professionals: transparency and fair dealing in the relationship with designers. April 18, 2015

Gross Sales for a Small Shop
Business owners discuss reasonable sales projections for a start-up cabinet shop. February 17, 2006

Portable sawing rates
Methods for charging, plus more on the business of sawmilling. January 21, 2002

Employee Side Projects in Your Shop
Thoughts on whether to allow employees to use shop equipment for occasional personal projects. November 13, 2009

Converting from Employee to Subcontractor
Changing your status from an employee to a subcontractor for the same shop is a complicated and potentially risky move. October 13, 2008

Can Shop Workers Legally be Subcontractors?
An extended discussion of IRS rules defining employees and independent contractors, and how those rules relate to workers in a cabinet shop. February 23, 2010

Cabinet Shop Growing Pains
A cabinet shop owner gets advice on expanding his production volume while integrating some complex new software into his workflow. July 12, 2008

Partnerships and Other Ways to Share Shop Space
The pros and (mostly) cons of partner-run businesses. October 27, 2009

Thoughts After a Severe Accident
After a shop worker is very badly injured by a machine, the owner seeks feedback from colleagues. April 7, 2008

Furniture Manufacturing to Order -- Wishful Thinking or Reality?
Coordinating the delivery and processing time of serial production with the individuality of made-to-order production. March 18, 2001

Taking Small Jobs as a Marketing Method
Can taking on small repair jobs or punch-list work help you get larger, more lucrative projects? September 15, 2011

Whether to Invest in a CNC Machine
Should a part-time woodworker with a small shop make the jump to CNC? April 18, 2015

Downsize or Reorganize?
A busy cabinetmaker is burning out on the fast lane. Should he lay everyone off and fly solo, or try to grow his employees into guys who can manage his company? January 7, 2007

Pricing a Multifamily Cabinet Install Job
Cabinet installers talk ballpark numbers and hard lessons. December 19, 2009

Technology, Process Improvement , and Management in the Woodshop
A long, rich discussion about generating and applying good ideas, motivating and organizing people, choosing and using the right equipment, and keeping things simple in cabinet and furniture production. December 14, 2005

Quality and Price for a Basic Bedroom Built-In
Here's a long business and technical discussion on how to build a modestly-priced armoire and entertainment center. July 28, 2007

Lean Versus Theory of Constraints
Cabinetmakers discuss various approaches to optimizing operations and workflow. May 20, 2009

Selling Factory-Made and Custom Cabinet Lines
When you offer both your own custom-made cabinetry and a less expensive line of factory cabs, pricing and selling strategies become complicated. Here's a long and thoughtful discussion. January 19, 2011

Safety Glasses in the Shop
The owner gets advice as a new eye protection rule creates a labor-management dynamic in a woodshop. August 27, 2009

How Strict Should Work Hours Be?
Woodworking employers and employees discuss working hours, flex time, performance, and shop morale. March 4, 2006

Choosing to Accept Credit Cards
Shop owners share experiences with taking payment by credit card. April 6, 2007

Subcontractor or Employee?
Learning the rules about worker classification and managing the details correctly is a hassle, but the risks of doing it wrong are major. September 24, 2009

Taking on an Apprentice
It's good for society when young people gain skills. But the rules for apprentices are the same as for employees, and the management problem is not trivial. April 8, 2013

Toning a Table Top
This finishing problem is really more of a customer relations issue. But it's worth reading just for a look at the table top (a lovely piece of work). August 22, 2013

Nested Base Versus Beam Saw and PTP
A closet system fabricator and installer describes his journey through various shop equipment situations. May 26, 2014

Dispute Resolution: Paint Color Mismatch
Handle this: the customer gave you the paint for the built-ins; it doesn't match the trim; now the customer wants you to fix it. (This time, the story has a happy ending.) February 10, 2009

Payment Terms in Commercial Work
A discussion of the contract technicalities a woodworker has to navigate when making the switch from residential to commercial work. April 6, 2007

Starting Out as a Furnituremaker
Making custom furniture is a very tough business, and most craftsmen who try it fail. August 29, 2006

Smoking Policies for Wood Shops
How should wood-shop employers deal with the issues raised by employees who smoke? The question leads to a lively debate. December 2, 2006

Using Spreadsheets in a Woodworking Business
Business owners describe how spreadsheets can help a woodworking shop get things done. April 6, 2007

Health Benefit Solutions
Woodworking shop owners discuss their experiences trying to provide employee health insurance benefits. March 5, 2008

Methods for Pricing Cabinet Work
After years of estimating cabinet costs box by box in detail, you may have enough data to start taking short-cuts. October 2, 2007

Motivating and Guiding a Commission Sales Rep
This thread starts with a question about how to structure a contract with a commission salesperson, then expands into a broader discussion of effective sales and marketing strategies. February 6, 2010

Pricing a Nice Built-In Cabinet
In this detailed thread, a cabinetmaker learns that he is way, way under-pricing his work — and picks up some good business tips. August 22, 2007

Surviving Tough Times
A Woodweb forum maker says he's ready to throw in the towel, and others describe why they're not — and explain the tactics they've used to hang tough.October 26, 2013

Borrowing for Equipment Purchase — Good or Bad?
Shop owners discuss the promise and peril of debt financing. March 4, 2006

Pricing Custom Cabinets and Trim
Even within one local market, prices can be all over the map. Balancing careful itemized estimating against local market conditions can help you turn a decent profit. August 23, 2006

Getting Started with Lean Manufacturing
Getting the waste out of your workflow is best done in small steps with quick payoffs — especially in the early stages. February 16, 2012

Saving Time by Reorganizing Work on Sub-Assemblies
Analyzing a "bucket brigade" approach to cabinet parts and quantifying the time efficiency improvement. April 10, 2009

Tips for Shipping and Selling Lumber Nationwide
This discussion about the factors that affect shipping rates takes an interesting detour into sales psychology. February 4, 2011

Holiday Bonuses in Hard Times
Shop owners discuss whether they paid holiday bonuses to their employees, and how they feel about it. March 12, 2014

Garage Shops
Woodworkers discuss the pros and cons of working out of a small shop building at your home. September 5, 2006

The True Cost of Overtime
When you back out overhead, time-and-a-half wages for overtime hours may work out to a wash. But not always ... October 2, 2007

Speeding up the Work with a Value Stream Map
Drawing a map to visualize the steps in the production process helps cabinet shops streamline their processes and focus on productive activities instead of on moving parts around. October 2, 2007

Log Scales, Log Size, Kerf Thickness, Lumber Yield, and Profit
The estimated yield using one or another log scale may differ from the actual board footage of lumber sawn from a load of logs, for a variety of reasons. Here's a close look at how different scales, different logs, and different saws affect the yield, the price, and the profit. April 20, 2011

Choosing a Business Name
Catchy? Unique? Descriptive? At the front of the alphabet? Company owners discuss the value of a good business monicker. February 17, 2006

Pricing Basics
A skilled cabinetmaker gets help with his weak area: pricing and estimating. October 3, 2011

Markup and Profit with Expensive Materials
Should a cabinetmaker apply the same markup to very expensive lumber as he applies to his usual materials? The question kicks off a long and thoughtful discussion of markup, overhead, and profit. March 21, 2012

Finger Versus Tablesaw
A cautionary tale of a seven-stitches encounter with a tablesaw blade sets off a discussion of accidents had and lessons learned. April 25, 2006

Payment Schedules and Stategies
Another discussion on the topic of down payments, progress payments, and final payments. November 30, 2009

Kitchen Pricing for Newbies
So this guy's trying to figure out how much to charge for building a kitchen for a relative. Naturally, it's all relative. But beginners could begin to grasp the basics of pricing from this discussion. June 8, 2008

Talking Dollars with Sales Prospects
Finding out what a customer really wants, and what they really can afford, involves some psychology — but the effort can pay off. December 9, 2013

Productivity-Based Incentive Pay
One woodshop owner's take on how to calculate and pay bonuses so they will effectively motivate the workforce. November 19, 2008

Furniture Manufacturer Direct Sales
A furniture manufacturer gets some well-informed and thoughtful advice on how to structure a direct sales operation so as to survive tough market conditions that are destroying his multi-step dealer sales volume. December 27, 2008

Organizing Drills, Drivers, and Bits
Groping for a labeling method to keep track of different driver bits in different tools. August 31, 2009

Shifting to a Lower-Priced Cabinet Market Segment
A cabinetmaker gets feedback on the idea of targeting smaller and less expensive jobs. November 29, 2014

Whether to Go Out of Business
Facing slow times and scary financials, a cabinetmaker seeks advice on whether to call it quits — and if not, how to turn things around. July 27, 2008

Does Outsourcing Cabinet Parts Make Sense for a Small Shop?
Cabinetmakers discuss the pros and cons of having parts cut by another shop. January 26, 2008

Negotiating Prices with Customers
In custom finishing work, there comes a time when you have to draw a line. March 9, 2010

Business, Craftsmanship, and Satisfaction
How do you keep love of woodworking alive and also run a successful woodworking business? No one said it would be easy... February 17, 2006

Payment Schedules and Client-Caused Delays
When a client's not ready for delivery on time, it's hard for the cabinetmaker. Contracts should allow for that eventuality. March 26, 2008

Drumming Up Job Leads
Shop owners offer a double handful of ways to direct-market your work to qualified buyers. July 9, 2007

Managing a Customer Cancellation
When a customer wants to cancel after paying a 50% deposit, and after you've purchased materials, what's the fair and equitable solution? Do you give all the money back, part of it, none of it, or what? April 21, 2011

Getting Off the Treadmill
Advice for a one-man shop about creating a little free time in your life. April 4, 2011

Seeking Success in the Cabinetmaking Business
This question from a struggling cabinetmaker provides a good opportunity for some education in the basics of business success. September 7, 2013

Just Been Under-Bid — What are the Lessons to Learn?
The "other guy" may be installing, err, inferior work. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't take a close look at ways to cut your own costs. December 2, 2006

Business Worries and Sleep
Running your own business can make it hard to get a good night's sleep. Here's some advice on healthy habits that may help (personal and business both). April 9, 2008

Working with Independent Sales Reps
A discussion of the pros and cons of working with independent sales reps, including thoughts on the compensation schedule. September 29, 2010

Markups, Profits, and Customer Perceptions
You shouldn't show customers your numbers — but you sure better understand them yourself. May 20, 2006

Gauging Customer Interest
What makes cabinet customers get cold feet, or take forever to make up their mind? Cabinetmakers discuss sales methods and customer psychology. June 23, 2006

Drawings, Estimates, Bids, and Sales
Cabinetmakers explain how they sell their services to prospective clients. April 27, 2006

Pricing Puzzles (The Case of the Custom Corbels)
How do you explain to the customer why one-off woodworking products are so expensive? January 15, 2008

Chordal's Letters Considered by Today's Shop Men
A discussion of a century-old book about shop craft, "Chordal's Letters" by James Waring See, available today as an on-line archive. February 6, 2010

Payment Terms and Extending Credit
How far should you extend credit to a new or existing customer? Opinions vary. June 4, 2012

Buying a Woodworking Business
Here's a long thread full of thoughtful advice on how to assessn the value and prospects of a cabinet business that is for sale. June 8, 2008

Hiring a Manager
A long discussion of how to find a manager for a busy shop, and how to define that person's role. October 14, 2009

Pricing and "Profit"
A question about how to price several small jobs leads to a discussion about the difference between the wages you pay yourself and the profit your company earns. August 28, 2010

Metric Versus Imperial
Point oh six of one, half a dozen percent of the other ... February 13, 2013

Credit Cards, Profit, and Sales
Here's a spirited and detailed discussion about whether a cabinet shop should accept credit cards as payment. May 15, 2011

Another Cabinet Pricing Survey
Cabinetmakers from around the U.S. quote ballpark prices for a generic cabinet project, and discuss costs and markets. April 9, 2008

Choosing Woodworking Business and Process Management Software
Here's a brief discussion of the power and limitations of MRP (Materials Resource Planning) software packages for a cabinet shop. July 5, 2011

Terminating a Job in Mid-Project
This story of a job gone sour has a happy ending: The cabinetmaker gets out in good shape by having a good contract and standing his ground. January 13, 2009

Mistake-Proofing Cabinet Jobs
Deep thoughts on office, shop, and job-site standard operating procedures that can reduce the human-error factor in cabinet production and installation. April 29, 2010

The "Sustainable" Chain of Custody
How can a small shop get certification that its wood is sustainably produced, all the way back to the source? June 30, 2009

Showroom Strategies for a Furniture Maker
A successful niche furniture maker looks for ways to broaden his appeal in his local market. October 3, 2011

Prospects for a Handyman Business
There's a huge pent-up demand out there for all-purpose Mr. Fixit men. October 3, 2006

Too Old to Start Out in Woodworking?
Is 39 too old for someone to take up the woodworking trade (or business)? The consensus here is, heck no. January 20, 2010

Lean Production of Raised Panel Doors
A discussion of tricks for evening out workflow, such as: to speed up the whole job, move labor to the bottleneck from downstream activities. June 28, 2013

Payroll as a Proportion of Costs
Cabinetmakers help a colleague analyze his labor costs and compare the office, shop floor, and installation shares of it. May 12, 2008

Managing a One-Man Shop for Income
A solo operator's question about reasonable income expectations kicks off a long discussion of wise management practices. October 3, 2006

How to Be Ready for OSHA
Either the safety agency itself, or a private consultant, can help you identify hazards and avoid possible penalties — before you're surprised by a "real" enforcement inspection. April 20, 2007

Managing Growth as a Start-Up Cabinet Shop
In its second year, this small shop owner's cabinet business is starting to take off. Here, he gets advice on his next steps.October 19, 2011

Etiquette for Dealing with Customers
A discussion about how a hardworking cabinetmaker can learn the social skills for interacting with customers from other walks of life. July 12, 2012

Should a Cabinetmaker Agree to Let the Contractor Install Cabinets?
For various reasons, most cabinetmakers prefer to install their own work — unless they know and trust the installer. December 2, 2006

Labor Rates and Profit
A lively discussion about how to value various skill levels of labor in pricing woodworking installations. December 2, 2006

Motivating Employees for Productivity
Shop owners discuss management styles, regulating work hours, and ways to cultivate a good employee work ethic. June 23, 2006

Start-Up Advice for Businesses
It's the same old story: A skilled craftsman (and new solo businessman) just figured out he's been making three dollars an hour. Guys who have been there and done that chime in with advice and encouragement. December 14, 2005

Breaking Out a Bid
If you break a bid down into different pieces of the job for a client, shouldn't each piece cost more? April 4, 2011

Learning from an Under-Pricing Mistake
When inexperience leads a good cabinetmaker to under-price a nice kitchen, he tries to make up for it on a time-and-materials island — but the ensuing sticker shock strains his relationship with the customer. Older hands point out the lessons he should draw from his mishap. December 2, 2006

Making Money as a One-Man Outfit
Experienced woodworkers and business owners share some excellent business advice with a solo operator who's struggling to get organized and make ends meet. May 26, 2011

Economics of Sawing for the Tie and Pallet Market
Ties and pallets typically get sawn as byproducts when producing higher-grade lumber. But in a down market, it's tough to sell any part of the log at a profit. September 6, 2010

Marketing with a Customer Survey
If it's presented in a thoughtful, personal way, a "How are we doing?" survey can be a very effective marketing device. February 1, 2011

Licensing, Bonding, and Insurance for a Start-Up Woodworking Business
Thoughts on the relative importance of certain business formalities. April 20, 2008

How to Work a Local Home Show
Detailed advice on how to set up and operate your booth in a local home show in order to sell enough work to make the investment worth it (and then some). October 18, 2011

Classifying Workers
An accountant's suggestion to turn a few employees into "subcontractors" comes in for criticism — along with some information about the rules for that sort of thing. September 30, 2010

Competitive pricing
Establishing a pricing system that will bring you plenty of jobs and profit. November 22, 2001

Communication and Adjustment in Cabinet Installation
Thoughts on assuming or accepting responsibility for measurements on site during installation. February 17, 2011

The Last Word on Marketing
Everyone's looking for that one book called "How to Effectively Market Cabinets for The Least Cost and Effort". Until it comes out, here's another Knowledge Base thread with some pretty good ideas. August 13, 2007

When the Customer "Cherry Picks" Your Bid
A cabinetmaker bids on a whole house project, but only gets part of the job. What's going on, and how should he respond? February 6, 2010

Working Exclusively for One Client
When a client suggests an exclusive arrangement, it's wise to think carefully about the potential downside. March 18, 2006

Production Management Software for a Woodshop
Once you have your paper systems straight, what can a computer software package do for your materials and time tracking, labor productivity evaluations, et cetera? April 20, 2008

Bidding Wars in Perspective
Seeing another company's low-ball bid starts a cabinetmaker thinking. December 26, 2006

Iwf 2010
Reports from 2010 years IWF show in Atlanta prompt the question: are big woodworking machinery shows a thing of the past? April 4, 2011

Responding to Cold Sales Calls
How should a busy shop owner relate to salespeople who drop in unannounced and uninvited? February 26, 2012

Coping with Customer Foot-Dragging
Case example: dealing with contract and money issues on a custom job when a customer dawdles. December 2, 2006

Focusing on Profitable Work
Shop owners brainstorm about keeping their companies targeted on the work they do best and make the most money on. November 5, 2007

Paying for Woodworking Training
Is it worth it to go to a "school of woodworking" (or send your employees) to learn skills such as veneering? October 18, 2011

Understanding "Demand" and "Energy" Charges on Commercial Electric Bills
Electric utility companies charge shops a fee for the power you might use (or your peak power draw), as well as for the juice you actually consume. Here, shop owners describe what that arrangement can do to your utility bill's bottom line. February 18, 2007

Three-Way Communications Involving the Client
A woodworker who subcontracts on custom job needs advice on meetings and decisions involving the client. What are the rules of the road on a three-way street? October 25, 2006

Setting Up a Tag-Team Sales Force
A cabinetmaker considers whether to hire one salesman to generate leads, another to estimate, bid, and close. March 12, 2009

Financing Big Equipment Purchases
Don't look for long-term loans — equipment should pay for itself inside of five years. January 22, 2006

Working for Friends
Offering friends a special deal can blur the boundaries between what's personal and what's professional. Here, an example triggers a long and thoughtful discussion. August 23, 2006

Working with "Designers"
In the cabinetmaking and furniture trades, some "designers" bring little to the table beyond a back-of-a-napkin concept sketch. What's good business when handling those jobs? October 17, 2012

When the Customer Wants to "Help" You Saw
Long, spirited exchange on the tricky situations created when you let a sawmilling customer help with the work. December 12, 2008

Pricing, Productivity, and Profit
An inexperienced cabinetmaker asks for help ball-parking a project, and kicks off an interesting discussion about how long it should take to do stuff. February 27, 2015

Lean Manufacturing
A discussion of how to eliminate wasted time and effort on the shop floor. October 19, 2006

The Salesman's Cut
gets paid for the sale? Business owners debate the ethics of a tricky sales situation. November 10, 2006

Material Markup, Overhead, and Profit
A cabinetmaker gets a basic lesson in some business fundamentals. June 2, 2009

Direct-Mail Marketing for Local Woodworkers
Direct mail definitely works if you do it right. Here are some success stories and tips. November 19, 2006

Should a Trim Carpenter Start a Cabinet Business?
Business forum posters think he might do better with a trim business (top finish carpenters can earn a good buck on their own). June 23, 2006

Managing Trust and Communication Issues with Clients
A few anecdotes about the interpersonal side of the custom woodworking business. August 12, 2014

Shop Maintenance and Cleaning
How to get your crew behind the idea that "a clean shop is a safe and happy shop." May 6, 2006

How To Work With Designers
Communicate and cooperate, but don't give your expertise away. April 22, 2014

Outsourcing Drafting Work
Contracting outside your company for CAD drawings creates a management challenge. Here's a discussion of how to handle the complications. December 14, 2009

Color Matching and Customer Relations
Can a finisher match colors that exist in a client's mind, and make money at the same time? March 26, 2007

Handling a Dispute over a Glazed Cabinet
The work's done, but the designer doesn't like the glaze job, and the customer wants a refund. What have we learned here? April 29, 2012

Construction Factoring and Accounts Receivable Financing
A growing cabinet business has run into cash flow problems, and is considering working with a "factoring" outfit. Fellow businessmen advise the owner to think twice. November 19, 2005

Cabinetmaker Business Website Design and Content
Advice on how to craft a woodworking business website that will interest customers and rank well in search engine results. May 30, 2011

Keys to Profitability for a Small Shop
A ton of advice from experienced business owners about marketing, money management, planning, and other business fundamentals. December 1, 2010

Whether to Hire Your Spouse
Cabinetmakers take a serious look at the implications of involving the owner's spouse (in this case, the wife) in the business. April 29, 2012

Marketing Porch Furniture
A woodworker has a large overstock of wooden porch swings left over when a big buyer backed out. Here, others critique his online marketing presentation as he tries to move the surplus. January 10, 2008

Wages and Expectations
Here's an interesting article about the relationship between pay and performance, in the mind and motivations of an employee. July 23, 2014

Pricing per square foot
Pricing work by the square foot, and why not to do so

Hardwood Flooring Grades -- Offer Affordable Choices
Making sure the budget matches the vision. November 15, 2001

Is There Any Future in Woodworking?
A young shop owner starts an informal survey of whether it's a field that's worth spending your life in. October 13, 2010

Going Out on your Own in Cabinet Installation
A skilled and responsible employeed for cabinet installation sub ponders the practicality and ethical issues involved in going solo and competing with his present employer. February 12, 2009

Buying Equipment Versus Leasing
Comparing the advantages and disadvantages of leasing or purchasing shop equipment. February 6, 2010

Marketing and Selling for Commercial Work
Face-to-face contact management is the way to get commercial jobs. February 10, 2009

Managing Customer Complaints
If it seems like a customer is just trying to make trouble for you, here's advice on how to keep your cool and respond appropriately. August 6, 2008

Professional Dress for Woodworkers
What's the right dress and grooming strategy for a woodworker who wants to make a good impression on customers? October 13, 2010

Software for Tracking Shop Time and Materials
Business owners discuss spreadsheet and other software solutions for keeping track of job inputs. December 26, 2007

Correcting Employee Mistakes
Too many mistakes cost a company time and money. Here's advice on managing an employee whose elementary goofs have become a problem. October 2, 2007

Finding Good Employees
Cabinetmakers lament the lack of qualified workers in the market, and share thoughts on how to find good help. April 19, 2015

Kitchen Advice for a Young Beginner
A youngster gets some advice and encouragement about getting into the kitchen cabinet business. April 20, 2008

Overtime and Productivity
Here's a valuable discussion of mandatory overtime, the four-day week with ten-hour days, and related labor-time organization and productivity issues. July 2, 2008

Cost of Shop Power
Understanding (and minimizing) your shop's utility bill. July 5, 2006

Screw Through a Water Pipe: Whose Fault?
It's a typical snafu: the cabinet installer hits a water pipe with a screw. This thread is a collection of examples, with descriptions of who covered the repair cost. August 16, 2012

Employee Attention Problems
Should an employer try to train a worker on attention, focus, and work discipline — and if so, how? August 15, 2011

Headphones in the Shop
Here's a lively discussion about concentration, hearing loss, and whether it's okay for employees to listen to personal music on headphones in a cabinet shop. September 15, 2011

Naming the Business
Should you put your personal name in your company name? February 17, 2011

Sample commercial contract
Example of a woodworker's contract for a bid job. January 28, 2002

Talking Budget with a Client
Most clients won't come right out and tell you how much they have to spend. But there are ways to find out what ballpark they're in. February 16, 2012

Woodworkers and Labor Unions
Woodworkers discuss the relevance of organized labor to modern conditions in the industry. February 6, 2007

What Makes a Partnership Work?
Lessons learned from successful partnerships. April 24, 2006

Moving Into Commercial Work
Cabinetmakers discuss the ins and outs of pursuing, landing, and executing commercial work. November 4, 2007

Closing Sales at a Home Show
Home shows are a good place for generating leads. But how do you make the sale? February 13, 2013

Patenting a Woodworking Invention
The deck is stacked against the small inventor, but teaming up with a large manufacturer could repay your creativity. February 6, 2010

The Business of Chair-Making
A cold look at the hard numbers for furniture building. Between rock-bottom overseas competition at the low end, and popular established competitors at the high end, it's hard for a small shop to find a profitable niche. April 21, 2011

A Disappointing Auction
Cautionary tales about equipment auction disappointments, from both the seller's and the buyer's sides. April 10, 2012

Why Owning a Cabinet Shop is Tough
Cabinet shop owners discuss why it's so hard to succeed in cabinetmaking, and discuss strategies for doing so. February 18, 2007

Pricing a Built-In Bookshelf
Another tour through familiar territory: How much is this bookcase worth? And should neighbors catch a break? November 26, 2007

Detailing Costs and Markup in Commercial Work
Commercial contracts often require documentation and place a limit on overhead, profit, and markup. This means you have to learn to appropriately modify the way you present job costs and profit in your bids and invoices. November 23, 2012

What Scheduling Software Really Does
Whether you're using pencil and paper, a simple spreadsheet, or an advanced piece of software, a schedule is like a weather forecast: it must be revised frequently to reflect reality in the shop. January 2, 2014

Should I Cut Prices to Boost Sales?
Another take on the age-old question of whether a cabinet business should cut prices when sales are slow. August 12, 2007

Performance Incentives and Bonuses: Do They Work?
For various reasons, most business owners in this thread believe that productivity bonuses are a bad idea. February 1, 2015

Questions for a Sales Interviewee to Ask
Applying for a sales job? Here's a useful list for when it's your turn to ask them a few questions. August 13, 2007

Equipment Leasing Versus Purchasing
Here's a look at the financial, tax, and business planning aspects of acquiring major machinery through a lease agreement, compared to purchasing outright. December 27, 2008

Starting a Cabinet Shop
Good down-to-earth business advice for a well-qualified woodworker considering how to go into business for himself. June 22, 2010

Value-Added Processing -- for the Sawmill
How to make sawing, drying and other processing operations profitable. March 22, 2001

Markups for Hardware
Should you charge for knobs, pulls, et cetera based on a markup formula, based on a fixed price, based on labor factors, or what?September 3, 2011

Offering Long Warranties
Should cabinetmakers back their product with a "lifetime" warranty? June 4, 2012

Hiring, Training, and Firing Employees
Based on a Paul Downs column in the New York Times, here's a thoughtful thread about how to optimize your workforce for skill, teamwork, efficiency, and morale. July 18, 2013

Fair Wage for a Color Matching Specialist
What's fair pay for a worker who's skilled and experienced at formulating a finish to match existing? January 4, 2014

Structuring a Paid-Time-Off Policy
Businesses describe their approaches to providing sick leave, personal days, vacation time, et cetera. June 8, 2008

Charging for Design Work
A shop owner spends many hours designing a proposal, then loses the job. Now he asks: how can I make sure I get paid for my time, next time? September 27, 2012

Running a Second Shift
Setting up a night shift at a busy shop can cause problems, and it can also supply solutions. A good supervisor is key to success. November 23, 2012

Sharing Photos of Completed Work
Should a contractor share professional photography he has paid to have done with the owner of the project being photograped? And on what terms? The issues can be complicated. September 3, 2014

Struggling to Get Paid
Cabinetmakers discuss payment problems in the industry, and compare contract and billing strategies. July 3, 2006

Project GC Schedules in Commercial Cabinet Work
Commercial casework builders complain about the way general contractors manage the schedules. July 30, 2009

Ballpark Numbers: Materials, Labor, Overhead, and Profit
Business owners compare notes on their numbers. March 11, 2009

Managing Customer Indecision
Here's a nice discussion of interpersonal techniques and contract language that keep a customer's inability to make a timely decision from damaging your bottom line. October 2, 2007

Naming Cabinet Styles
How do you describe the cabinet styles you offer to customers in simple, understandable, and attractive language? September 30, 2010

Owning Your Shop Building
Pros supply strong arguments for the idea that buying (or building) is a better strategy than leasing. April 6, 2007

High-Volume Cabinet Install Jobs — Is It Worth It?
Cabinet installers discuss the potential pitfalls of a 50-kitchen installation contract, and share tips for making a success of it. March 20, 2007

Figuring Wholesale and Retail Pricing
To determine sustainable wholesale pricing, start by knowing your costs cold. May 24, 2010

Resolving a Stain-Matching Dispute
By its nature, matching stain is an imperfect process. Here, a finisher's story about a problem with a customer leads to a discussion of contract terms and policies for matching stain. June 23, 2006

Learning the Ropes as a New Woodworker
A man making a career change in his forties gets advice on how to learn woodworking. January 20, 2010

Re-Negotiating an Equipment Lease Near the End of the Term
Is it worth trying to modify the payment schedule in the late months of a long lease of shop equipment? June 7, 2011

Almost Cut My Thumb Off
A close call with the table saw sparks a conversation about safe equipment and careful practices. January 11, 2008

Project and Product Photography for Cabinetmakers
A good professional photographer will give you the best results. But if you want to do it yourself, there are ways to improve your technique. January 26, 2008

Learning Opportunities for a Disabled Veteran in Furniture-Making
There are programs available that can help a veteran make use of his educational and disability benefits. March 20, 2007

Commercial Work Versus Residential Work
Here's another good thread on the pitfalls of commercial cabinetmaking work. May 28, 2010

Hold Harmless Clause Complications
A cautionary tale: When a customer's dog bites a subcontractor, the contractor finds his government contract may leave him holding the bag for a homeowner's insurance payout. June 2, 2009

Estimating and Pricing Commercial Work
Big, complicated jobs are an opportunity to make or lose money through the accuracy of your estimating. Here is some advice on coming to grips with the details that determine your costs. October 23, 2007

Print Advertising Versus Direct Mail
Believers in direct mail say it hits the target harder and more accurately than general advertising. March 21, 2012

CNC Equipment, Beam Saws, and Cabinet Shop Effiiency
Cabinetmakers discuss one shop owner's real experience, as compared to the promised efficiency boost of his new CNC. October 14, 2009

AdWords Campaigns: Do They Work?
Woodworking business owners discuss the results they've seen from Google AdWords campaigns. April 29, 2010

What to Do When a Customer Bid-Shops You
Pros give advice on handling the situation where a customer asks a cabinetmaker to price-compete with a low-ball bidder. (Note: The good guys won this one.) February 17, 2006

Cell Phones and Radios in the Shop?
Woodshop owners discuss phone and radio policies, shop surveillance cameras, and more. July 30, 2009

What to Do when a Customer Won't Follow Through
and what can you do then? Here, cabinetmakers consider the case of a builder customer who won't take delivery on cabs for his own house. September 8, 2007

Informal Bids and Business Ethics
When the bidding process is a little loosey-goosey, confusion about the relationships can trigger conflicts. Here's a case example. August 7, 2006

Pricing for Refacing Versus Replacement for a Vanity
If refacing isn't cheaper than replacement, it might still have advantages for the customer that make it a sellable option. January 25, 2013

Time Clock Problems
Advice and discussion about how to make sure employees punch in and out reliably. March 18, 2006

Making Money with a Sawmill Business
Plan with a focus on high-margin production, and you might make money — not just wear out a saw. January 14, 2008

Naming a Business
More brainstorming about how to come up with a suitable, memorable, and unique company name. November 19, 2006

Synchronizing and Backing Up Multiple Computers
How do you keep an office computer, home computer, and smart phone synchronized, backed up, and secure?July 28, 2012

Payment Schedules in Commercial Cabinetry Work
When it comes to deposits, progress payments, and final payment, commercial work is a whole nother world. Here's the voice of experience on bidding and contracting those jobs. August 7, 2006

Attracting Qualified Woodworking Employees
Employers and workers discuss how to advertise effectively for good help, and how to separate the wheat from the chaff in the responses. February 27, 2013

Managers Versus Woodworkers
Can a person with little woodworking experience manage a woodworking company? In some situations, maybe so. January 18, 2007

Delivery Vehicle Choices
A furnituremaker who plans on offering delivery services gets advice from all size about suitable trucks and trailer rigs. September 6, 2007

Keeping Tabs on Job Progress as a Sub
The cabinet contractor on a ten-unit project worries that the GC is not keeping him informed about the schedule. August 31, 2009

Qualifying Husband-and-Wife Customers
Intuition, psychology, and interpersonal techniques can help you sort out the worthwhile leads from the dead ends. July 20, 2011

How to Avoid Three Profit Robbing Procurement Mistakes
Don't step over dollars to save pennies, says a management expert. April 15, 2006

Dealing with Non-Payment on a Commercial Job
A shop owner is stiffed by another contractor who he helped out on a commercial contract. Colleagues discuss the available strategies for securing payment. April 24, 2006

TOC and Complexity
Is the "Theory of Constraints" of limited practicality because it focuses on simple, linear event chains with the assumption that there is only one limiting constraint? Woodweb goes fractal on the shop floor. November 15, 2010

Late Deliveries and Customer Relations
How do you tell a customer that you're going to miss a delivery date? October 13, 2010

Whether to Work for the Competition
Does it make sense for a large, capable shop to run some complex parts for smaller shops that lack those technical skills? February 6, 2010

Fire Code Hassles in Shop Remodel
Here's a cautionary tale: connecting two shop buildings trips the square-footage trigger for fire sprinkler requirements, and it's the surprised owner who gets burned. February 19, 2008

Bringing a Spouse into the Business
Can a husband and wife work together in a woodworking business? Depends who you ask. August 7, 2006

Bidding on Big Commercial Jobs
Advice about organization, level of detail, and covering yourself in working up and submitting a bid for a large commercial project.September 17, 2014

Marketing Frameless Cabinets
How to play up the advantages of Euro-style cabinet systems. January 21, 2007

How Long to Build Cabinets?
Cabinetmakers share views on how long a typical cabinet job should take a small shop, and help a colleague figure out why his progress has been slow. April 20, 2008

Pre-Qualifying Homeowners
Thoughts on how to weed out the tire-kickers. (Remember, talk is only cheap if you call a buck a minute "cheap.") December 26, 2006

Bidding on Builder Cabinets with No Details
Cabinetmakers discuss how to talk money with a builder client who supplies no drawings or specifications. August 13, 2007

Ins and Outs of Commercial Bidding
Commercial contracting is its own business world. Here, a cabinetmaker gets advice on how to approach his first formal commercial bid. November 26, 2007

Producing Sketches for Sales Meetings
Woodworkers discuss hand and computer techniques for creating quick visualizations of proposals for clients. April 20, 2007

Calculating Delivery Charges
Woodworkers discuss how to set rates for delivering and installing products at a distance from the shop. August 12, 2014

Selling Furniture Through A Retail Store
Woodworkers discuss reasonable terms of the deal when showing furniture at a retailer's showroom. Markups on already made pieces, prices for custom orders, and simple referrals each involve their own reasonable market value. June 23, 2006

Deposits, Payment Schedules, and Working for Builders
Here's a long discussion kicked off by the question of how to handle a builder who balks at the cabintmaker's payment schedule and terms. May 20, 2009

Analyzing Cabinetmaking Processes to Improve Productivity
Here's a cogent explanation of how breaking your work processes down into detailed small steps can help you save time and labor cost. October 26, 2007

Marking Up Materials
Woodworkers discuss how and why they mark up materials costs in their estimating and billing. May 6, 2009

Was a Teenage Woodworker
Pros encourage a 14-year-old who wants to be in business to go for it. October 3, 2006

What Are You Going to Do When You're Old?
Shop owners discuss their exit strategies from the working life. October 20, 2013

Pricing a Small Kitchen
A question about how to price an example of kitchen cabinetry leads to thoughts about pricing methods and design rendering. February 26, 2007

Are Home Shows Worth It?
Cabinetmakers discuss whether a presence at local home shows is a worthwhile part of a marketing program. August 7, 2008

Systematic Takeoffs for Commercial Cabinet Jobs
Here's some detailed advice on conducting a businesslike takeoff for creating a cabinet bid, with some useful, comprehensive lists. July 13, 2010

Indoor Photography Skills
If you want to get good at taking pro-quality photos of your cabinetry in place, here's a quick rundown of what you might need to learn. March 3, 2009

Deposits and Design Fees
Cabinetmakers describe how (and how much) they bill for design work. June 23, 2006

Cash on the Nail
Cabinetmakers offer strong arguments for getting paid before delivery — and detailed advice on communicating that policy. November 10, 2006

Getting Ballpark Budget Info from Clients
Prospective customers are reluctant to tell you how much money they are willing to spend, even though that affects what quality of goods you can offer them. Here are ideas for working around their reticence. March 12, 2009

How Long Does a Kitchen Renovation Take?
A wide-open question sparks an interesting discussion of the factors that can affect scheduling of a kitchen remodel. July 12, 2008

Practical Ways to Reduce Drying Costs
Five tactics to consider for cutting the cost of drying a load of wood. June 13, 2014

Taking on Help
A furnituremaker with a growing workload gets advice on how to hire his first employee. January 2, 2012

Setting an Hourly Rate for Edgebander Time
Shop owners discuss how to charge others for the occasional use of their equipment. October 11, 2007

Assessing Cabinetmaking Skill Levels
Skill in a cabinet shop is hard to even define, much less quantify. October 26, 2011

Husband and Wife Businesses
Husband-and-wife business teams discuss how they choose a business structure, share and divide responsibilities, and stay organized. April 6, 2007

Jointing Door Stock Twice
Is a shop worker being too careful and creating double work? How much trouble is it worth to be extra sure that door parts are precisely milled? January 19, 2012

Ramping Up When You Need Workers
When the work starts to roll in, you need help — but employees are expensive. Here's advice on optimizing the cost of help as you increase production. September 3, 2014

Recognizing Income in QuickBooks
Advice on how to apply accounting methods that keep your profit and loss statements in step with your cash flow and the value added to your materials inventory. August 28, 2010

Shop Cost, Distributor Markup, Retailer Markup, and List Price
A door manufacturer looking to work with distributors and retailers wants help figuring out how his production cost tracks through multiple markups to a realistic retail list price. April 21, 2011

Employees Versus 1099 Workers
A discussion around the rules governing when a worker is considered an employee for tax, insurance, and legal purposes. June 15, 2009

Deposits and Payment Schedules for Cabinet Jobs
Cabinetmakers share their views on schedules of payment for custom cabinetry. March 18, 2006

Training a Cabinet Installation Crew
Advice based on experience about how to teach a pair of promising shop employees how to install cabinets in the field. November 26, 2007

Cargo Trailer or Box Truck?
Cabinetmakers discuss the cost, benefits, and practicality of buying a trailer or box truck for hauling cabinets, materials, and equipment. November 20, 2005

Do Phone-Book Ads Work?
Forum-goers say networking and an Internet presence pull in far more leads than their Yellow Pages ads, these days. October 3, 2006

Boosting Website Traffic
To get a high search engine rank, you need to cultivate good links on your pages, and weed out all the bad ones.April 29, 2012

Creating a High-Traffic Wood-Shop Website
Tips on how to make your company website draw traffic and rate high on search engines. June 28, 2007

When a Commercial Client Won't Sign a Contract
or sign on the dotted line. February 6, 2007

Credentials and Training for a Kitchen Designer
A cabinetmaker who lost a job to a Certified Kitchen Designer wonders what it takes to earn those credentials. April 24, 2006

"Finder's Fee" for Designers
Yet another discussion of the ethical and practical business issues involved when a designer is in the middle of your relationship to a customer. April 19, 2015

Cost, Overhead, and Profit: A Pricing Example
A conversation about how to price a small cabinet job sheds light on different philosophies regarding costs, markups, and the path to a life of contentment. November 15, 2010

Managing a Slow Worker
Cabinetmakers discuss the problem of whether, and how, to terminate an employee who is slowing the shop down by being too darn meticulous. October 2, 2007

Options for heating a finishing room
Various ways to heat a finishing room. December 12, 2000

Gearing Up as a Cabinet Parts Manufacturer
Thoughts on starting up in business to supply cabinet parts on a large scale. August 7, 2008

Selling Furniture at a Street Craft Fair
A craft fair is no place to sell pricey furniture. However, they do offer opportunity for some. August 3, 2009

Staying Motivated
"We get ourselves into most every situation that we end up hating, so start looking at your choices." September 30, 2010

Choosing New Shop Space
Deciding about shop size, distance from home, and the pros and cons of "condo" arrangements when searching for a roomier workspace. February 6, 2010

Fraud by a Project Manager
A responsible employee talked a client into writing him a check, then skipped out with the money. Who's in trouble now? April 24, 2006

Marketability of Small Wood Craft Items
Suggestions for a small start-up woodworker about simple items that might sell well. March 28, 2015

Need a Bigger Shop ... Lease or Purchase?
There are good reasons to buy the space you need instead of leasing — if you're ready to take the plunge. December 27, 2010

Making Wooden Toys
Safety regulations discourage small shops from making wooden toys for sale. September 29, 2010

Pricing Furniture
Cost is a hard fact, but the market value of a unique furniture piece can be very subjective. October 28, 2008

Compensating Salespeople
Beyond the "salary versus commission" debate: thoughts on how to align your sales force's success with yours. December 2, 2006

Milling for shares
Sawyers discuss the practicality and profitability of share-cutting. March 4, 2002

Volume Pricing for Store Fixtures
How can a woodworking shop bid low enough to get high-volume orders and still make money on the work? March 12, 2009

Budget Alternatives to Teak
A search for "poor man's Teak" evolves into a discussion of customers, their tastes and motivations. December 30, 2005

Breaking Into a New Area
A woodworker who has just moved to a new town gets advice on marketing his business. June 29, 2008

Marketing in the Store Fixture Market
Advice on how to get the attention of buyers in the retail store industry — and on how to satisfy the customer once you make a sale. October 19, 2014

Charging Hourly Rate for Incidental Work
Cabinetmakers and installers discuss how to charge for small extra tasks performed on site. June 4, 2012

Price and Quality — Sawing Oak Boards for Dump Truck Beds
Sawing for a utility market like truck bed liners carries its own set of economic calculations. Here's a practical business discussion that delves into the pennies and the board feet. May 23, 2007

Marketing and Sales for Commercial Millwork
Commercial work can bring headaches and heartburn. But if you're willing to risk that, how do you position yourself for that market? February 17, 2011

Why Finishers Use Samples with Customers
Customers don't have the vocabulary to describe finishes, or to understand how you describe them. That's why a signed sample is your best assurance of a clear agreement. August 29, 2011

Shared Shop Space
A craftsman considers a shop-sharing arrangement, and colleagues offer tips and cautions. July 19, 2006

Teaching Woodworking in a Real Shop
A woodworker is considering teaching shop class in his own shop, but the insurance and legal risks are discouraging. October 3, 2011

Installations in High Rise Residential Buildings
Advice on the ins and outs of installing cabinetry and millwork in the upper stories of a tall building in the city. July 13, 2010

Linear Foot Pricing for Beaded Inset Face Frame Cabinetry
Pricing by the foot isn't a way to do business, but it's interesting to check out the different numbers tossed around in this thread — and the photos of the kitchen in question. October 11, 2012

Understanding Lien Waivers
A customer who's a stickler for legalistic paperwork could be trouble. But lien waivers are routine and trivial in many situations. April 4, 2011

Drafting and Project Management
Are drafting and project management separate responsibilities, or is it more efficient to have one skilled person do both? June 8, 2008

Good Size for a Start-Up Shop
Shop owners tell how much space they have — and whether it's enough or not. January 10, 2008

Profits, Bonuses, and Debt
This interesting discussion considers the significance of a Christmas bonus in the context of company financials and taxes. February 27, 2015

Finishing Prices
Calculating pricing for finishing services

Marketing for Furniture Makers
For furniture makers, word of mouth and cultivation of personal relationships are the best way to build an exclusive high-end clientele. But advertising and web marketing can also attract custom furniture buyers. October 19, 2014

Showroom Location
Cabinet and furniture makers discuss the value of a good showroom location, and the role of a showroom in the overall marketing strategy. December 20, 2005

Describing Loose Tenon Joinery to Customers
Domino joints have two mortises and a single floating tenon to connect them. But if you call that it a "loose" tenon, will customers misunderstand and think it's not strong? June 4, 2012

Fine Points of Sales Tax
Do you need to charge sales tax when you sell something to a business that they use in producing their goods? The answer varies from state to state. January 13, 2009

License Board Troubles
When a dissatisfied customer sics the state License Board on a cabinetmaker, what sort of position is he in? May 5, 2007

Commercial Work, Payment Terms, and Cash Flow
A commercial millwork shop owner who usually bills weekly considers whether to take on work with monthly billing and possible payment delays. Here's a good discussion about the risks you take when you change the way you do business. November 23, 2012

Google AdWords and Sales
Cabinetmakers report on their results from using Google ads to attract serious customers. March 26, 2009

Tracking labor time
Keeping a record of labor time per operation in your shop. October 24, 2001

Tenants, Landlords, and Owning Your Own Shop
When the landlord puts a "for sale" sign on a cabinetmaker's rented shop building, the tenant starts to consider his choices. Here, shop owners explain why they think buying out your landlord can be a wise investment. May 22, 2007

Collecting from Clients
Sometimes it can be pretty tough to get that check. January 26, 2008

Making a Partnership Work
One half of a woodshop partnership gets advice on smoothing out rough patches in the relationship. December 9, 2007

Buying a One-Man Shop
A young woodworker starting out asks for advice on purchasing an existing business. December 7, 2008

Sawing Rates by Hour and Board Foot
Charging enough to make money with a portable bandmill. November 14, 2009

Drawing the Line on Free Meetings
After one or two meetings, professionals charge for design work. August 7, 2006

Pricing Trim Work
Stay away from square foot pricing for finish carpentry. Here are details on how to price by the piece and the joint (and factor in aggravation). June 23, 2006

Printing and Viewing Blueprints for Bidding
Cabinetmakers discuss the nuts and bolts of working with digital blueprints, including a look at software that helps with takeoffs and estimating. April 19, 2015

Should You Pay Workers for Travel Time?
Business owners discuss whether workers should get paid for driving from the shop to the job site in a company truck. April 4, 2011

Estimating and Pricing for Finishing
a good finisher who's a poor businessman. July 3, 2008

Pricing and Marketing
It's been said before: don't set your prices too low. November 26, 2007

Are Yellow Pages Ads Worthwhile?
Woodworking business owners share stories about results (or lack thereof) from Yellow Pages listings. May 20, 2009

Planning for Workflow Improvements
A manager of a large shop who's working on streamlining the machine layout and work process gets advice on how to look before he leaps. October 2, 2007

Quick and Dirty Rough Pricing
Thoughts on how to price before you've learned how to price. December 14, 2009

A Salesperson's Role
Shop owners discuss what a salesperson brings to a company, and whether the owner of a small company should just perform that work himself. October 11, 2007

Whether to Back Out of a Job over Site Conditions
Cabinet installers discuss the contract and management issues involved when you encounter unexpected and troublesome site conditions. May 7, 2007

Computers on the Shop Floor
Does a computer belong in the shop? Here's a debate about efficiency, workflow, dust control, and other aspects of shop computerization. April 24, 2006

Business Networking and Surviving Slow Times
Cabinetmakers discuss ways to market your company during down times. January 13, 2009

Pricing a Furniture Prototype
How do you decide what to charge for designing and building a piece of furniture that will then be mass-produced by others? June 22, 2010

Outsourcing Cabinet Boxes to CNC Shops
Outsourcing custom cabinet panel cutting to a CNC shop is a workable system for some businesses. March 18, 2006

Estimating Jobs for Tire-Kickers
don't give those drawings away any more. April 10, 2008

Architects and Delay
Thoughts on how to manage the relationship with an architect who is not diligent about staying on schedule. July 30, 2009

A Cautionary Tale: Shop Fire Destroys Building and Burns Owner
This thread will teach you the hard lessons learned by a shop owner whose buildings caught fire — without having to go through it yourself. October 4, 2011

When a Customer Won't Pick Up His Product
Advice on how to handle a buyer who does not come back to take possession of his goods. March 11, 2009

Screening Job Applicants
Woodshop owners discuss the methods they use to assess prospective employees. April 19, 2015

AWI Certification
After landing a commercial job, a woodworking shop finds out the job requires Architectural Woodworking Institute cerification. Now what? June 23, 2006

Structuring and Documenting the Sales Process
With some customers, selling the job is a long, drawn-out process involving many detours and a lot of back-tracking. How do you keep that process organized, and remember what has been said and promised? It starts with a spiral notebook. February 16, 2012

Pricing for Portable Sawmill Sawing Services
Whether pricing by the board foot or by the hour, make a good accounting of your costs before you set your rates. November 5, 2013

Is It Worth Selling Millwork Online?
Thoughts and advice (pro and con) about starting a lumber and millwork e-commerce website. November 14, 2014

Charging Sales Tax for Cabinetry
Sales tax laws vary from state to state and situation to situation. Here's a closer look. June 2, 2009

Charging for Edgebanding
A cabinetmaker ponders whether and how to modify his piece rates after acquiring a more productive, but costly, piece of edgebanding equipment. July 12, 2012

Payment Schedules for Cabinetry
Cabinetmakers and installers discuss the terms of payment. February 17, 2011

Cost and Profit Tracking for a Small Shop
Cabinetmakers discuss how to figure out where they make money in their shop operations. February 19, 2008

Giving Vendors Feedback
A discussion of whether and when to tell tooling vendors that you found a better price elsewhere. September 8, 2007

Rights to photograph work
Who owns the photographs of work done under someone else's employ? March 23, 2002

Partnership plusses and pitfalls
The dynamics of going into business with the boss. March 23, 2002

Wearing Shorts on the Jobsite
OSHA cares how you dress on construction sites. Here's some info and some discussion. April 8, 2008

Explaining to Customers about "Plywood" and "Solid Wood"
Wood movement, quality, perception, and reality in the choice between sawn lumber and plywood. July 6, 2011

What's a "Green" Cabinet?
Cabinetmakers discuss what makes kitchen cabinets environmentally friendly, and whether customers will pay for that. September 8, 2008

Markups on Building Materials
Lumberyards charge low markups on basics like wood and drywall, but high markups on accessories, tools, paint, et cetera. June 11, 2012

Value Added of a CAD Artist
Cabinetmakers and draftsmen consider: is it worth the time and effort to make careful, detailed shop drawings? January 3, 2014

Pricing Solid-Surface Countertops
To make money fabricating and installing solid-surface counters, be sure to charge for all the incidental costs. September 23, 2006

Standardizing on One Panel Thickness
Cabinetmakers discuss the idea of making all cabinet parts out of 16mm plywood. December 31, 2012

Pricing For Small Orders
When you make your living with volume production, how do you cope with occasional one-off requests? January 26, 2008

Profitability of a one man shop
Woodworkers share their experiences making a living on their own. October 24, 2001

Young Manufacturing's -- Co-Generation Alternative
The feasibility of wood waste reuse. December 17, 2001

Pros and Cons of Combination Woodworking Machines
They're versatile, but having one machine that does many different things can make organizing the work less convenient. March 14, 2006

Price and Quality for Interior Doors
Custom woodworkers have to charge for quality that typical mass-market interior doors can't match. October 17, 2011

Consulting Fee for a Retired Cabinetmaker
Coming back to the game to help another cabinetmaker match your work in an existing kitchen ... how should you arrange your compensation? October 25, 2012

Setting Limits for Punch-List Work
Cabinetmakers discuss how to avoid being punch-listed to death, and where to draw the line. April 22, 2014

Potential Pitfalls of Commercial Trim Jobs
If you're new to commercial work, be careful. Payment schedules can slip, and you can get roped into extra work you hadn't counted on. July 27, 2008

Bids, Estimates, Proposals and Contracts
Which is which? There's communicating, there's defining, and then there's promising. March 25, 2008

Entry-Level Edgebander Purchase
Advice on choosing an affordable but reliable and capable edgebander. March 5, 2008

Should I Supply Cabinets for a Countertop Display?
Cabinetmakers mull over the idea of supplying a countertop dealer with cabinets for a showroom. December 9, 2007

Make Your Time Count in Sales
A seasoned pro remodeler and business adviser offers nine tips for getting the sale without wasting time. September 22, 2007

Selling a CNC Shop
Does a one-man woodworking business have any sale value besides its physical assets (the used tools)? November 26, 2007

Value Engineering in Custom Cabinets?
Cabinetmakers discuss ways to shave costs to make and install custom cabinets in a competitive economy. December 24, 2012

Choosing the Right Accountant
Thoughts on what a really good accountant can do for your business. April 4, 2011

How Shop Owners Pay Themselves
Small business owners discuss the various ways they draw their own pay. September 5, 2006

Steel Versus Wood Construction for a New Shop
A business owner gets advice on construction of a new building. March 26, 2009

Sharing a Shop Space
Pros discuss the potential pitfalls of non-standard shop-sharing arrangements. July 3, 2006

Keeping Up with the CNC
A cabinetmaker's new CNC will speed up only one part of his operation. Here, he gets advice on how to streamline the rest of the tasks in his process. May 6, 2007

Giving "Ballpark" Estimates
Most cabinetmakers agree: They'll buy you some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, but they won't give you a ballpark estimate. August 7, 2006

Start-up portable sawmill business
Advice on establishing a portable sawmill service. January 4, 2001

Hiring a Woodshop Helper
Advice on hiring the right person for the right wage for general shop labor. April 22, 2014

Stripping and Refinishing Pricing
Stripping furniture is laborious and slow — and so a fair price may create some sticker shock. March 26, 2009

Setting a Shop Rate for Labor Time
Business owners describe the methods they use to value and charge for shop time. November 19, 2005

Partnership Concepts
Pros and cons of taking on a partner, and some thoughts about the corporate form of organization. March 12, 2009

Sales Tax Rules for Cabinet Installations
Sales tax rules for cabinets vary by state, and can be hard to figure out. June 23, 2006

Pricing for Kiln Drying Lumber
Here are pictures of a drying kiln building under construction, with commentary on how to charge for drying wood with a dehumidifier kiln. December 8, 2012

Don't Rent Your Shop to a Builder
And don't fall in love with a dreamer. And don't stick your fork in the toaster. June 23, 2006

Spreadsheets for Cabinet Estimating
The time you spend working up a detailed spreadsheet for cabinet cost estimating will quickly repay itself with efficient pricing. April 9, 2008

Should I Break a Large Bid into Pieces for a Customer?
Most cabinetmakers aren't willing to itemize cost estimates. Here, forum contributors explain why. February 6, 2007

How to Charge for Custom Sawing
A discussion of realistic fees for sawing a customer's logs at their location with a portable mill. January 14, 2008

Working Four Ten-Hour Days a Week
Employers discuss the pros and cons of unconventional work hours, including the costs and benefits of overtime. December 24, 2012

Pricing for Cabinet Finishing
A furniture finisher who would like to branch out into cabinet finishing gets feedback on how to charge for the service. February 18, 2007

Downsizing Anecdotes
Shop owners swap stories of shrinking the business in order to stay profitable (and sane). April 5, 2006

Insurance Work Estimating
You can make a decent buck on insurance work if you estimate in exacting detail. February 11, 2009

Spelling Out the Payment Schedule
A good contract should spell out deposit and payment terms in correct legal language — and the amounts should provide for adequate cash flow. August 22, 2007

Make Your Time Count in Production
Ways to reduce wasted time on site in remodeling work. September 22, 2007

Figuring Sawing Prices
Sawmill operators share views on how to charge for their product or service. December 12, 2008

Advice for a start-up shop
Ideas for winning clients. March 20, 2001

Look That Up in your Funk and Wagnall's
Is "templating" a word? It is now. March 12, 2009

Website Critique
A cabinetmaker gets a bushel of helpful suggestions to make his new website more effective as a marketing presentation. March 21, 2012

Internet Click-Ad Tips
Advice on getting referrals to your website using click-through advertising, and on what kind of results you can expect. August 13, 2007

Subcontracting for Other Woodworking Shops
Business owners give advice about how to manage subcontracting arrangements with other woodworking businesses. August 7, 2006

Upgrading Fluorescent Shop Lighting
Shop owners discuss the pros, cons, and practicalities of swapping out T12 fluorescent light units for T8 fixtures and lamps. October 26, 2013

"Temporary Worker" Loopholes?
Looking for a way to limit your unemployment insurance rates or your payroll taxes? Hiring workers as "temps" won't help you any. August 13, 2007

Marketing Tips for the One-Man Cabinet Shop
Advice on getting your name in front of potential buyers, including builder, designers, and architects. June 30, 2008

Who's Responsible For Protecting Cabinets After Installation?
Cabinetmakers discuss the measures they take to protect cabinets while construction continues, and the risks involved. June 11, 2014

Whether to Leave Equipment Running
Here's a discussion of the cost, efficiency, and safety aspects of leaving equipment running for periods of time, versus shutting machinery down the moment it's not being actively used. September 15, 2011

Big Monitors for On-Screen Estimating
A discussion of the hardware and software upgrades involved in switching to all-digital (paperless) estimating and takeoffs. April 27, 2011

Hanging Laminate Chair Rail
Advice on ways to efficiently install chair rail in volume on commercial jobs, plus a side discussion about contracts and quality specifications. October 20, 2013

Client Worried I'll Die While Making His Cabinets
Life insurance, performance bonds, and similar workarounds for the risk that you may check out unexpectedly. January 20, 2010

Processing Credit Card Sales
Here's a detailed thread about various ways to manage the process if you choose to accept payment by credit card. January 2, 2012

The Food Chain
Do cabinetmakers have trouble staying profitable because they get paid late in the project? Maybe — but smarter pricing can still help you make money. September 15, 2011

Bidding Cabinet Work for School Jobs
Supplying cabinets for school construction or renovation projects is a rough business where it's easy for the small competitor to get beat. October 27, 2011

"Co-Insurance" — the Fine Points of Partial Insurance
If you insure your assets for less than their full value, you won't get fully compensated for a partial loss, even if it's less than your insured value. This thread explains the thinking. May 12, 2008

Just Trying to Get Paid
Here's a long story with color commentary about getting stiffed on a job, filing a lien, contacting the owner, and finally picking up a check. September 27, 2008

Accounting for Down Payment Deposits
Cabinetmakers discuss the bookkeeping and timely tax reporting issues around up-front partial payments for work to be done. March 11, 2009

Pricing Crown Moulding Installs
Estimating and pricing crown moulding work: by the foot, by the number of corners, by gut feeling? February 17, 2011

Starting a Wood Shop
Help with visualizing the shape of a startup woodworking business. August 19, 2013

Hourly Shop Rate, Overhead, and Labor Burden
Shop owners discuss the factors that go into setting a profitable hourly shop rate. February 11, 2009

Upgrading Office Computers
Business owners suggest ways to improve the speed and power of your office computers, without switching platforms. April 19, 2015

Time Needed to Produce Cabinets with a CNC Router
Cabinetmakers compare notes on the machine time and assembly time to make cabinets with a CNC, as opposed to working with a beam saw and line boring machine.May 27, 2014

Life as a Cabinetmaker
"Would you do it all over again?" asks a cabinet shop owner after five years of struggling with business realities. Heartfelt responses prove that building cabinets is no easy way to make a buck. February 21, 2006

Cost for Staining Custom Moulding
A small shop does some basic cost figuring for unfamiliar work: an incidental stain job. October 19, 2013

What to Do when a Customer Is Terminally Ill
Death don't have no mercy in this land ... December 6, 2008

Marketing a Machinery Modification
A woodworker has perfected a great idea for improving an existing piece of equipment. How does he bring his idea to the market? October 3, 2011

Laptops for Sales Presentations
Some cabinetmakers get good results by bringing a laptop computer with them to client meetings. April 20, 2007

When a Customer Calls Too Often
Advice on managing clients who like to check up frequently on their job's progress. November 26, 2007

Handing Back the Check
Advice on backing out of a bad deal before it gets worse, while you still can. September 29, 2014

Wife's Role in Husband's Cabinet Business
Advice on how a wife can make a solid contribution to a woodworking business, while also handling child-care responsibilities. October 13, 2008

Flat Roof Replacement for a Shop Building
Shop owners trade re-roof stories. February 17, 2011

Markup for Time and Materials Jobs
A discussion of costs, overhead, and invoicing practices. October 2, 2006

Subcontracting for Other Cabinet Shops
A woodworker considering a new business making specialty items for other shops gets positive feedback on the idea. August 5, 2006

Starting a Sawmill Business to Supply Stakes
The sawing and drying forum takes a hard critical look at a business proposition. April 20, 2011

Is a Website Valuable for a Woodworking Business?
Woodworkers tell how having a website has helped their businesses. November 26, 2007

When Someone Recruits Your Top Employee
How should an employer respond when another shop is trying to tempt a top employee to jump ship? May 24, 2010

What is a Project Manager's Job?
Here's a list of responsibilities for the project manager at one commercial outfit. January 25, 2013

Managing Schedules and Paperwork
Business owners supply tips on tracking job progress and keeping paperwork organized. September 5, 2006

Optimizing Materials Versus Optimizing Time
A small non-CNC shop considers whether it makes more sense to process more or fewer cabinets at a time. June 4, 2009

Communicating with Builders about Job Schedules
Advice on how to proactively engage builders who are not effective at time management, scheduling, or communication. November 23, 2012

Should the Shop Owner Master the CNC?
August 19, 2013

Taking On Your First Employee
A one-man shop owner has more work than he can handle, and needs advice on starting to staff up. November 26, 2007

Haggling Over Prices
How to respond when a high-end custom client wants to beat down your price for custom work. October 25, 2006

Considering Forklift Choices
Shop owners discuss forklift capacity, tire type, propane versus electric, and related considerations. August 31, 2010

Sub or Employee? The Legal Puzzle
A discussion of when you legally pay someone as a subcontractor rather than an employee. February 17, 2006

Managing Quality Control and Defect Cutting
How can a millwork shop achieve good defect grading on various jobs with different specifications and standards? April 4, 2011

Widebelt Sanding Price
Quote about a buck a minute, then work out the Karma face to face, is the consensus. August 28, 2010

Sales Negotiations and Customer Reputations
Thoughts on how to handle negotiating before the sale when a customer has a reputation for late payment or non-payment.December 24, 2012

Price comparisons and why not
A magazine article shows the great variances in pricing work across the country, and illustrates the necessity of pricing each job based on local markets and shop expenses. March 23, 2002

Quality and Cost for Veneered Cabinet Faces
The cost of veneered panels varies depending on the required appearance and the level of craftsmanship. May 31, 2014

Refunding Customer Deposits
Cabinetmakers discuss the ethics and business sense of refunding all or part of a deposit when the customer backs out of the deal.December 28, 2005

Investing in Fixer-Uppers
Can you make money buying, updating, and selling fixer-upper properties? Yes, but. Here, some who have tried it share what they've learned. February 17, 2006

Pricing to Create a Prototype
You're being promised (maybe) a large order of an unusual product. But what do you charge for developing and producing the first prototype?December 24, 2012

Pricing Out a Bookcase Design
A customer's design based on an existing manufactured product probably can't be made for a cost that's competitive with the original. June 4, 2012

Addressing Flawed Specs in Bidding Situations
What's the best way to communicate with the designer and customer when a specification includes ill-advised choices? March 12, 2014

Naming Your Company
That pesky question that plagues every start-up business — what do I call this thing? February 12, 2009

Business Names and Trademark Infringement
You're both going to be hearing from Woody Harrelson... December 26, 2006

Etiquette for Scheduling Pending Work
Thoughts on communicating with customers about their place in line. March 11, 2009

Keeping Cabinet Assembly Organized
Cabinetmakers discuss ways to keep track of jobs and avoid confusion. November 21, 2006

Sharing Shop Space
Business owners caution against splitting shop occupancy between two separate businesses. March 4, 2006

Prices for Finishing a Kitchen
A craftsman who usually finishes only his own cabinetry gets feedback on setting a price to finish someone else's work. March 4, 2009

Plywood and Lumber Rack Ideas
Thoughts, suggestions, and examples of shop-built material storage racks. September 26, 2009

Can a Cabinetmaker Repossess Work If Not Paid?
In most states you can't remove work that is installed into a home, even if you aren't paid. But there are other legal alternatives. June 3, 2007

Collecting from a Bank-Financed Builder
A cabinetmaker who's being stiffed on a job gets advice about liens, bankruptcy, and persuading a bank to pay up. July 12, 2012

Due Diligence when Purchasing a Company
When investing in an existing company, make sure your accountant gives the books a thorough going-over. March 18, 2006

LEED Specs Referenced in a Contract
A cabinetmaker puzzles over the implications of a contract clause requiring him to "comply with LEED requirements." October 27, 2009

Moving Up to Management
Here's an interesting discussion about what it takes to step up to a more senior management role in a large woodworking company. September 7, 2013

Instead of a Showroom
If you don't have space for a cabinet showroom, try these techniques instead. May 6, 2007

Getting the Final Payment
A business owner gets advice about applying pressure when payment is slow in coming and you're not getting any answers. September 17, 2014

LEED Chain of Custody Confusion
A cabinetmaker gets into trouble because of mis-communication over LEED standards on a job. May 20, 2009

BNI for Woodworkers
Shop owners share impressions about Business Networks International. November 10, 2006

Cost of Sawmilling: Renting Versus Owning
A lumber consumer who's renting a mill to make his own wood wonders which side his bread is buttered on. April 24, 2014

"Loss Leaders"
Should you take jobs you don't want in hopes of landing future work with the same customer? December 28, 2005

Overnight Shop Temperatures — How Cold Is Too Cold?
Freezing and relative humidity are the prime concerns when you turn your shop heat off overnight. April 20, 2011

Converting a Trailer to a Spray Booth
Finishers warn of the code and safety issues involved in providing lighting, egress, and other necessities to make a spray booth out of a metal trailer. February 15, 2009

Cabinetry Warranties
Cabinetmakers discuss their warranty policies. June 15, 2009

Does a Tow-Behind Sawmill Need Vehicle Tags?
Just because you can tow it behind a truck, doesn't mean it's officially a "trailer." In some states at least, sawmill equipment on wheels is not a vehicle and it doesn't need a license plate. December 30, 2007

Possible yearly earnings
What kind of sales volume does it take to support a six-figure salary in a two-man shop? May 9, 2001

Direct Mail Marketing
Pros consider the costs and benefits of mass mailings to attract business. December 20, 2005

Business Transitions and Divorce
Selling a business or otherwise disposing of assets can get very messy in the midst of a divorce. December 6, 2008

Pricing Cabinets
Basic ideas on estimating cabinet construction costs. January 9, 2006

Guarding Against Embezzlement
All humor aside, here are some practical tips for maintaining security in the financial operation of a business. September 24, 2009

Contract Terms: Suppliers Versus Subcontractors
Cabinetmakers working for contractors should insist on terms typical for contracts with vendors, not with subcontractors. January 18, 2007

16 Marketing Ideas
A cabinetmaker asks for marketing ideas, and gets a baker's dozen and then some. December 26, 2006

CNC Routers Versus Jobs for People
Despite employees' fears, a new CNC will not replace people — it will make their lives better. June 11, 2010

Finding good help
How to find and keep reliable employees for your sawmill business. January 16, 2002

Hardwood Lumber Tallies
Are you being shorted on a lumber delivery? The answer could depend on the fine points of board-foot calculations. April 19, 2015

Charging Walk-Ins for Occasional Cuts on a Saw
Making one cut for somebody who walks into your shop isn't much of a money-maker. So what is it worth? December 28, 2014

Limiting Personal Liability
A discussion about ways to protect your personal and business assets against legal liability. October 13, 2008

Bonding for Small Jobs
Even if you're a relatively small subcontractor, you may occasionally be asked to post a bond. It's not so complicated. July 20, 2011

Cabinet-Shop Start-Up Obstacles
Pros paint a picture of the difficulties involved in starting a cabinet business. June 23, 2006

Laying Out a New Shop
So brilliant, it's simple: Use full-size cardboard cutouts to mock up your layout on the shop floor before you decide. February 1, 2011

Whether to Share Your Knowledge Locally
Woodworkers discuss whether the type of knowledge they willingly exchange on a forum should be shared with local acquaintances. September 27, 2012

Documenting Work
Taking photos of your cabinet installs could help you out some time, in case someone else comes along and disturbs or damages things. May 11, 2011

Transition from Free Estimate to Paid Design
A conversation about communication: how do you let a client know that it's now time in the sales process to start paying for any further design work? February 16, 2012

Training a New Salesman
A cabinetmaker who has just hired his first salesman gets advice on how to orient and train the new hire. August 13, 2007

Are Performance Reviews Worth It?
Skeptical views on the value of a formal, scheduled review of employee performance. March 13, 2014

Job-Costing in a Busy Shop
How do you keep track of labor hours per job, when workers are always jumping around from project to project? October 25, 2006

Paying Workers for Travel Time
Is a boss required to pay workers for travel time to and from a jobsite (such as a cabinet install)? That depends on the circumstances. June 15, 2009

Drilling Into Radiant Floor Heating Tubes
Oops! A woodworker installing a door learns his lesson when he drills into a hydronic heating tube in the concrete slab floor. May 15, 2014

Keeping Hinges Organized
Advice on organizing hinge inventory, and making sure the correct hinges get installed. August 15, 2011

Valuing Unusual Boards
Arriving at a price for a one-of-a-kind large piece of wood is a very subjective process. December 6, 2009

Email Check Scams Targeting Woodworkers
Fishy-sounding email requests for quotes are sometimes the opening step in an "overpayment" phony-check scam. July 13, 2010

Cabinet Installation Business Arrangements
A discussion of piece-rate prices, retainage, and other contract provisions for cabinet installation jobs. February 6, 2007

Estimating the Value of a Business
Thumbnail descriptions of various ways to determine the worth of an existing business. November 19, 2005

How to Turn Away Work
How to tactfully decline a job that you think may involve trouble or unpleasantness. February 16, 2012

Is Joining the Cabinetmakers Association Worthwhile?
Some members say that active participation in the CMA has boosted their businesses. May 31, 2014

E-mail Marketing Versus Phone Contact
E-mailing is quick and cheap, but the telephone may be more effective.August 7, 2008

Should I Change the Company Name?
What's in a name? A woodworker ponders whether naming the company after himself was a wise choice — and ends up sticking with it. October 11, 2012

Living Quarters in the Shop
Plenty of people have a shop in their home, but a home in their shop? Believe it or not, people do it — and some of them like it. April 24, 2006

Piecework: Promise and Peril
A brief discussion about how to structure piece-work shop labor in a way that works. April 29, 2012

CNC Sign Making as a Side Business
For a well-equipped CNC shop, routing wood signs for signmakers who mostly do other types of sign is a viable business niche. March 11, 2009

Teamwork Versus Solo Work on the Shop Floor
Cabinetmakers discuss efficiency on the shop floor. When should people work in pairs, and when should handle tasks alone? June 23, 2014

Who Supplies the Tools?
Practices vary, but in most shops the employer supplies all power tools — and often, small incidentals as well. March 22, 2013

Considering Forming a Partnership
Is a partnership between a cabinetmaker and an installer a good idea? Maybe, and maybe not. December 28, 2014

Enforcing Cancellation Policies
When a customer cancels a service call on short or no notice, how do you effectively charge a cancellation fee? April 21, 2011

Equipment Auction Bidding Strategy
A look at how online auctions work, and some discussion on wise bidding and buying strategies. December 24, 2012

Bidding Commercial Jobs with Incomplete Drawings
Thoughts on how to account for items left out of the architect's drawings, when bidding on a commercial job. December 14, 2009

Shopping Around for Comp Coverage
By shopping for competing quotes, a business owner got his workers compensation premium lowered. January 20, 2011

Closing a Sale
How do you move a customer toward signing a contract and making a deposit? December 28, 2014

Technology to Help Photograph Your Work
An Apple iPad is a handy way to take and post photos of your work. June 16, 2014

Marketing Historic Preservation Work
Architectural woodwork pros discuss how a specialist in historic preservation and restoration can find and develop good job leads. September 8, 2007

Tracking Materials Inventory
Cabinetmakers discuss how to count it coming in, count it going out, and count it sitting there. June 23, 2006

Wholesale Markets for Craft Items
You can find wholesale buyers for wood craft items, but the margins are very tight. January 7, 2007

Income Goals for a Furniture Maker
How to approach the calculations involving cost, overhead, and labor time for a one-man craftsman business. November 16, 2011

Moulder Operator Skills and Pay
Feedback on the going rate for moulder operators in different parts of the country, and thoughts on how to earn at the top of the scale. December 30, 2007

Cautionary Tale: Backups and Computer Malware
A shop owner describes how his data survived a virus attack that wiped out two computer hard drives and erased a backup disk (one backup version miraculously survived). April 21, 2011

Responding to Competing Employment Offers
A skilled woodworker accepts a new job, then gets a better offer from another employer. How should he communicate with both prospective employers? January 7, 2007

Creative Uses for Scrap
October 26, 2012

Door-Sample Carrying Case Ideas
Woodworkers discuss ways to haul a few sample doors around for showing clients. April 20, 2008

Marketing to Outlying Rural Customers
Suggestions for a local lumberyard on website improvements and personal contact efforts to boost awareness of products and services. September 3, 2014

Cabinet Pricing Versus Built-In Pricing
A cabinetmaker who does mostly kitchens gets advice on pricing for a basic built-in entertainment center. February 12, 2009

Getting Commercial Millwork Jobs Without Being the Low Bidder
For various reasons, low bidders occasionally drop out of the game before the work starts. So, if you bid enough jobs, you'll get a few at your price. September 6, 2012

Cabinet Pricing Methods
Averaging several prices, arrived at various ways, may be a workable method. June 3, 2007

Marketing with Social Media
Thoughts about how your Facebook and Twitter presence can elevate your business profile. February 27, 2013

Veneered Panels: Buy Or Make?
If you're a cabinetmaker, veneering your own panels is a last resort, not a way to save money or simplify your life. June 11, 2014

Getting a Zoning Variance for a Wood Shop
Zoning rules may have room to bend, if you take a friendly and persistent approach. May 5, 2007

Setting up a Chart of Accounts
Thoughts on how much detail to capture in your record-keeping about job costs and business expenses. November 23, 2012

Basic Business Process
Owners outline their top-level routines. October 25, 2006

Design Fee for a Kitchen Job
Cabinetmakers discuss how to charge for design work on a new custom kitchen. November 19, 2005

Clarifying Architect Specifications for Cabinetry
Here's a good discussion concerning communication about job specs in a complex situation. December 1, 2010

Accepting Payment By Credit Card
More insight into taking credit cards as payment. May 21, 2007

Promoting a new sawmill business
How to get the word out that you have a mill and you're sawing wood. January 16, 2002

The Power of Discount Pricing
Here's an interesting conversation about what sort of discount offer will actually motivated an impulse purchase. September 27, 2012

Materials Cost as a Proportion of Cabinet Costs
There's no standard ratio of materials cost to other costs in cabinetmaking — it depends on many factors, and varies widely from job to job. April 10, 2008

Rebuilding a Burnt-Down Shop
A shop owner is making a fresh start after a fire, and he has questions about layout, ceiling height, square footage, et cetera. November 23, 2012

Hiring an Entry-Level Shop Worker
Woodshop owners share tips and stories about hiring helpers. March 25, 2008

Setting Yourself Apart from the Crowd
What makes a cabinetmaker's offerings special for high-end customers? February 12, 2009

Can You Patent a Woodworking Joint?
Thoughts on whether woodworking ideas qualify as intellectual property. May 21, 2009

Reclaimed or Salvaged Wood and "Green" Marketing
Is it worth marketing products made from windfalls, reclaimed urban trees, et cetera, as "sustainable" goods? July 28, 2008

Showroom Samples and Contract Terms
Woodworkers debate whether showing a customer your showroom samples is enough to make clear what exactly you have promised to provide as your installed product. November 15, 2010

Competing with the Big Box on Solid Surface Countertops
Business tactics for a cabinetmaker who outsources his countertops. January 9, 2007

Managing Layout for Mechanicals
Who's responsible for marking the locations of pipes, wires, et cetera during a kitchen remodel? Cabinetmakers discuss the reasons that some will take on managing this problem, and others won't.February 27, 2013

Contributing Cabinets for a Granite Supplier's Showroom
Should you supply free cabinets for a countertop company's showroom in hopes of getting good referrals? Cabinetmakers are skeptical. September 30, 2010

Calculating Waste from Rough Lumber
You always lose some ... here's a look at the numbers. December 2, 2010

Responsibility for Tools
Shop owners describe how they keep track of tools — and try to keep workers from abusing them. January 26, 2008

Whether to Take a "Hot Job"
Shop owners discuss the temptations — and risks — inherent in that one big-money, high-profile job that could put some fat loot in your pocket (but could also disrupt your whole business). April 21, 2011

Cold Calls
One cabinetmaker describes how he succeeded with a determined program of cold sales calling. June 4, 2012

Time Management After Downsizing
When you lay off your office people, how do you stay on top of all the stuff they used to do? April 13, 2010

Job applicant testing
Developing an aptitude test for potential hires. March 28, 2001

Protecting Cabinets from Shipping Damage
Cabinets often suffer damage if shipped by truck or rail. Here's advice on packaging for protection. October 12, 2012

Considering a Hotel Kitchenette Cabinet Job
A quick look at the pricing and management issues involved in approaching a commercial cookie-cutter job. April 9, 2008

Compensating a Salesperson
Business owners consider the angles — salary or commission? December 6, 2008

Bidding Against Low-Ball Competition
A tip on how to compete on price — but not really. February 11, 2009

Quantifying the Waste Factor
How much of the lumber you buy becomes scrap instead of cabinets? Shop owners report their observations. December 27, 2007

Bidding Against Big-Box Home Centers
For custom work, you may be able to match a home center's cost and offer more and better features. July 5, 2011

Practical Showroom Advice
A showroom can boost your woodworking business, but don't go hog-wild — sometimes less can be more. October 25, 2006

Obtaining a Supplier Response -- by Writing an Effective Product Specification
Buying and Selling Wood on the Internet: Part 2 March 14, 2002

Steaming Before Kiln-Drying: Good Idea?
Steaming wood before the drying cycle may or may not be wise. But in any case, the idea is patented. June 13, 2014

Installing Cabinets When Carpet Has Been Laid
Thoughts on how to handle the business and technical problems raised when a GC asks the cabinet installer to follow the carpet installer in the job sequence. August 31, 2009

Managing Battery Drills
Useful thoughts on labeling and organizing multiple drill/drivers in the shop, plus an epiphany about turgid nomenclature. September 26, 2009

Calculating Profits and Setting Profit Goals
A discussion of how profit is measured, and how to set realistic profitability targets. February 10, 2009

Should a Cabinetmaker Finance Customer Purchases?
Cabinetmakers discuss extending credit to customers. November 5, 2007

Steel Truss Roofs for Shop Buildings
Business owners advise on choices involved in building a large clear-span steel truss-roofed shop. November 8, 2008

Point Air-Conditioning for Shops
Advice on providing cooling to work stations rather than to the entire shop. September 17, 2014

Doing Your Own Bookkeeping and Taxes
Accounting's not for everyone. Here, owners discuss the pros and cons of managing your own books. February 17, 2006

Environmental Sensitivities: A Tough Sell
Failure stories are common among cabinetmakers who have tried to satisfy "chemically sensitive" clients. February 28, 2012

Charging for Short Runs of Custom Moulding
Thoughts on how to price custom short moulder runs when the customer supplies the rough stock. June 24, 2007

Pricing Edgebanding Work
There are several factors to consider if you want to know the full cost of applying edgebanding. July 28, 2012

Coping with Temporary Disability
If you're not prepared for it, a temporary disability can be very bad news. April 9, 2008

Pessimistic Thoughts about Partnership Deals
When a cabinetmaker asks for advice on formalizing a partnership arrangement, he receives a lot of warnings about the potential risks and pitfalls. May 22, 2007

How Not to Over-Think a Project
A question about filling nail holes for a pre-built fireplace surround prompts some wise thoughts about the effective use of time and brainpower. March 4, 2007

Reversing the Bid Process
In certain unusual circumstances, it's the general contractor who suggests a price and the sub who gets to okay the deal, or not. August 13, 2007

Change-Order Fun and Games
It's important to keep the understandings clear: the original signer of a contract (not a relative) needs to sign off on change orders. June 23, 2006

Is Facebook Good Marketing for a Woodshop?
Cabinet shop owners talk about the traffic and sales value of maintaining a presence on Facebook. April 22, 2014

Whether to Locate Furniture Shop in the Basement
Cheap heat and convenience are up sides, but insurance could be a worry. April 20, 2011

Sliding Cabinets Around in the Shop
From glides to dollies to conveyor belts, cabinetmakers describe how they move cabinets around the shop during fabrication and finishing. July 18, 2013

Looking for Work in Cabinetmaking
A couple of useful tips for woodworkers on how to present yourself to prospective employers in a tough market. May 11, 2011

When to hire help?
Considering all the financial aspects and adding up the figures--is it worth it to hire? February 7, 2001

Contracting for the Government
There's money in government jobs — along with bureaucratic hassles and headaches. January 10, 2008

Pricing for Furniture Refinishing
A discussion of how to set prices for furniture refinishing. April 18, 2010

Buying used CNC and tech support
How much help can you expect from the manufacturer or distributor? January 28, 2002

Shop flow
Enhancing efficiency in the workplace by carefully planning shop layout. January 16, 2002

Whether to Get a Deposit from a Builder Customer
Five out of five cabinetmakers agree — no deposit, no work delivered (with rare exceptions). March 1, 2006

Creating a partnership
Is a successful partnership possible in the woodworking industry? May 9, 2001

Cost of Web Hosting
Are you paying too much for website hosting? April 13, 2010

Troubleshooting a Web Hosting Snafu
Advice on how to insulate your website hosting and domain name registration from problems with your hosting service provider. March 28, 2015

Chasing Bad Debt
How much effort is justified in pursuing the unpaid obligations of a customer who has gone out of business? October 3, 2011

Saving and Tracking Receipts
Paper receipts for expenses are a pesky detail that requires attention. September 30, 2010

Selling Used CAD or CNC Software
You can transfer a software license to another buyer, but there are formalities involved. November 23, 2008

Buying at Online Auctions
Tips on loading and delivery and on checking equipment value when you purchase used woodshop equipment from an online auctioneer. May 4, 2011

Advice on Shipping Used Shop Equipment
Advice on choosing a shipper, insuring your freight, and related topics. June 23, 2014

Shipping Lumber Overseas
Advice on how to bulk ship sawn lumber overseas. June 15, 2009

Dealing with Leased Equipment when Going Out of Business
A look at managing the legal details when auctioning off shop equipment: how do you handle leased machines? November 28, 2011

Is "Green" Certification Worth It?
Cabinetmakers mull over the process and price tag involved in getting formal recognition as a "green" woodshop. January 13, 2009

Shipping to Canada
Shipping freight from the U.S. to Canada involves brokerage fees. Here's advice on how to minimize them.March 26, 2012

Raising Prices During Busy Times
Shop owners discuss the strategy of using calibrated price increases to improve profits and cut their work backlog. August 12, 2014

Designing and Pricing Garage Cabinets
Thoughts on how to make money in the garage-cabinet niche. January 11, 2008

Hot Weather and Shop Productivity
Advice on taking care of the workforce during a heat wave. August 19, 2013

Photo Advertising on a Trailer
Legal and practical discussion: Should you use stock photos of cabinetry (that you did not make) as advertising on your company trailer? June 17, 2012

Compensating Employees Who Opt Out of Health Insurance
Should employees who opt out of your company's insurance plan get a little something extra in their check? Maybe not — the practice could create complicated tax issues for you. April 24, 2006

Taking On Debt
Shop owners advise a colleague that taking on debt for land and a building is wiser than borrowing to buy equipment. August 5, 2006

“Value added” manufacturing -- five approaches
New ways to improve your product and marketing. March 19, 2001

Getting Government Contracts
Advice on putting your company in a position to do work for the Federal government. March 12, 2009

Commercial Lease Terms
Woodworkers discuss lease provisions that make a difference to someone renting shop space. October 13, 2008

Understanding Costs and Profit
Is "the money I have left over" the same as "my profit"? Cabinetmakers analyze and discuss the figures from an example job. July 29, 2012

Is Vertical Hierarchy Dying
In the future, is everybody equal? March 13, 2014

Selling Services to Builders or Other Shops
How does a small solo woodworker approach builders or larger shops to get extra work? July 3, 2006

Volume pricing and production
Figuring out what prices to charge for large volumes. January 28, 2002

Dropping your lumber prices -- and why not
Why do customers expect a local sawmill's prices to be lower than the lumberyard's? February 13, 2001

Selling Accessory Items
Add-ons and doo-dads can make you a little money. Here are tips on presenting a smart selection. February 11, 2009

By-the-Foot Price Guesstimates as a Sales Technique
Nobody can really price by the foot without more information. But suggesting a range of by-the-foot prices, depending on the details, can be a way to help start a sales conversation. September 6, 2012

Regulations for finishing operation
Concerns about building, fire and environmental laws for new shop. March 23, 2002

Solving "slow-pays"
How to charge a customer who is not prompt with their payments. May 9, 2001

Networking and Lead Generation
Woodworkers describe how they cultivate the relationships that bring them work. October 11, 2012

Hustling for Work
Tips on scouting for jobs to make ends meet during slow times. April 24, 2009

Heavy-duty CNC router recommendations
Suggestions choosing for a good-quality CNC router, offering adequate tech support and training. February 28, 2001

Granite Countertop Pricing
Cabinetmakers discuss the granite countertop market. February 6, 2007

Piece Work and Productivity
Some shop owners find it pays to pay by the piece. February 13, 2013

Holiday Pay and Overtime
Fine points of compensation for holidays and overtime. April 13, 2010

Planing Charges for Rough-Cut Lumber
Sawyers discuss the up-charge for planed boards, and for custom planing work. December 6, 2009

Countertop Materials: What Does the Market Want?
Countertop and cabinet contractors discuss the current popularity of stone, solid surfacing, laminate, concrete, and green recycled composites as of mid-2009. February 14, 2010

Bidding on Commercial Work
Advice on effective bidding in the commercial world, and tips on avoiding trouble. November 5, 2007

Can You Make Money With Wire Shelving?
A quick look at the business side of wire shelving. February 13, 2013

Is There a Stain Sample Book for Architects?
Well no, there isn't. But here are some suggestions for obtaining samples. February 17, 2012

Going Out of Business
Advice on closing up shop, disposing of your business assets, and paying your taxes. September 16, 2013

Color-Coding Tools
Thoughts on paint, tape, markers, and other ways to color-code tools for shop organization. December 24, 2012

Woodworker Tests iPhone Angle Finder
... it seems to work surprisingly well. June 18, 2010

Building a sawmill shed
Tips and designs for building a sawmill shed

Cash Flow Ratio
A brief explanation of the cash flow numbers banks like to see when financing a business or a capital investment. September 27, 2008

Financing a Building Purchase
A woodworker's landlord is selling the property, and the tenant wonders if he can afford to buy it. January 9, 2008

Hours Worked Versus Hours on the Clock
Thoughts on measuring how much of an employee's workday consists of actual work in the real world of the shop floor. November 5, 2013

Website Setup for a Portfolio of Completed Work
Here's some advice on putting up a website to display photos of projects you've done. April 24, 2013

Hourly Shop Rates and Real Productive Time
When you figure an hourly shop labor rate, how do you take into account unavoidable "wasted" time? May 5, 2007

Who Can Make Money Building Custom Furniture?
To succeed in business as a custom furnituremaker requires a rare combination of skills and talents. August 3, 2009

Business and Management Forum -- Marketing Ideas
Cabinetmakers discuss email marketing, Google ads, and other methods for bringing in new business. February 11, 2010

Using Up Scrap Wood
Woodworkers and cabinetmakers share stories about turning their "drops" into extra cash. December 20, 2005

Lighting your sawmill
Providing good light for your work on dark days and late nights. February 19, 2002

Pricing Lineal Moulding
Tips and advice on setting a per-foot price for custom moulding runs. July 23, 2007

Fire Sprinkler Damage to Machinery
Thoughts about the insurance claim issues and the practicality of repair or restoration of equipment after a small fire sets off the fire sprinklers in a shop. February 26, 2012

Billing Schedules
A cabinetmaker considers whether to adjust his usual "50% down, 50% on completion" by breaking out installation as a separate charge. February 8, 2008

Selling Used Woodworking Equipment
A woodworker is closing down his shop and wants to sell off some older equipment. In this thread, he gets advice on how to go about it. December 14, 2005

Cost-Cutting Measures
A short list of quick cost cuts that have helped a small woodworking company stay in business through tough times. June 7, 2011

Legal Limits on a Cabinet Job Down Payment
Cabinetmakers explain how they deal with "10 percent down" state laws for remodeling contracts. March 6, 2008

Soundproofing Between Office and Shop
Advice on quieting down your machines and on isolating the office from shop floor noise. November 14, 2011

Charging for Trim Work
Pricing advice for a cabinetmaker looking into residential trim installation work. August 31, 2009

Buying a forklift
Considerations when purchasing a used forklift. March 28, 2001

Big Box Pricing — Not So Cheap Really
Surprisingly, big box store cabinet prices don't necessarily undercut custom work. February 27, 2015

Work Van Carrying Capacity
A woodworker who's considering a van purchase wonders how to manage 16-foot lengths of finished moulding. April 20, 2008

Dealing with Fire Code Issues in a Spray Booth
Advice on communicating with a building department about the fine points of the fire code as it relates to spray finishing booths. May 27, 2014

A retail lumber business?
Tips for success in a start-up sawmill-to-retail business. January 16, 2001

Outside-the-Box Marketing Ideas
Here's a list of creative marketing ideas from a seasoned cabinetmaker. March 3, 2010

Replacing Electronics for Big Iron
Here's a tip: shop around for parts or components before you buy a whole new touch screen, display, controller, or similar electronic element for shop machinery. You could save a bundle. January 2, 2012

"Non-Compete" Clauses in Contracts
Some information on what is and isn't legal in a non-compete agreement with an employee. April 5, 2006

Advertising Success Stories
Cabinetmakers describe advertising strategies that have worked for them. May 22, 2007

Discount for Timely Payment
Here's a tip on how to word your contract to encourage prompt payment. May 12, 2008

Cost of Grid Power Versus Running a Generator
Generators are a poor deal when fuel prices rise, but commercial power bills can get complicated. Here's a look at how the numbers crunch. March 3, 2006

Sales Staff Expense Allowances
Business owners discuss whether and how to reimburse salespeople for vehicle use, cell phones, laptops, et cetera. December 14, 2005

Accounting for Referral Fees
Advice on how to figure "thank you" payments for referrals, and how to enter them into your bookkeeping system. March 25, 2008

Supplying Countertops for Another Business' Showroom
If a butcher-block countertop maker provides tops for a cabinetmaker's showroom cabinets, what should the business terms be? November 23, 2012

How to Collect from a Builder
Calling up on the phone over and over again has been known to work. October 25, 2006

Do ANSI B11 Standards Apply to Woodworking Equipment?
ANSI Standard B11 was created to apply to machine tools, not woodworking machinery. But an argument could be made for a broader application of the rules. October 26, 2011

Efficiency Tips for a Too-Small Shop
When you have plenty of work but not enough space to work in, how can you adapt until you're ready to move into a larger shop? May 15, 2014

Waste Allowance for Running Trim
Suggestions for how to handle the "fudge factor" involved in estimating trim material quantities. August 13, 2007

Estimating and purchasing software
Recommended reading and computer software for estimating architectural woodwork. February 7, 2001

Finding a Use for Low-Grade Poplar
A sawmiller has buyers for his clear poplar, but needs an outlet for the knotty material that's left over. April 24, 2014

Getting Rid of Scrap Laminate
Suggestions for putting excess laminate into the hands of someone who might need it. September 17, 2014

Closing Shop for a Vacation Week
Key people need a break. But how will clients feel when you shut down the whole operation for a week? February 27, 2013

Folding Blueprint Table
Cabinetmakers discuss folding table options for the stuff they bring along when they measure a job. December 31, 2012

Pricing a Stump
Woodworkers get a good laugh out of chunks of hardwood log, sold in catalogs as two-hundred-dollar furniture. February 11, 2009

Getting Appliances for a Kitchen Showroom
If you're creating a classy showroom, appliance makers and other vendors may be happy to provide you with products to include. June 5, 2006

Packaging Equipment
Basic info on shrink-wrapping machinery and related packaging equipment. November 12, 2008

Humorous Quotes and Sayings
Wise one-liners worth framing and hanging on the wall. November 5, 2013

When Another Company Steals Your Website Content
Occasionally a company uses material published on another company's website as part of their own web presence. Here's a discussion about how to respond. July 11, 2013

Third-Party Alternatives to Adobe Acrobat
Advice on PDF creation and editing software, beyond the Adobe products. June 11, 2010

Expanding your Market for Furniture
When a cabinet shop starts to make furniture, how can they widen their niche? April 11, 2008

Outsourcing Accounting
How does it work to have an outside company manage your payroll? And is it worth the cost? April 13, 2010

Blue Book Advertising
Some woodworking shops get good results from advertising in their local Blue Book. March 12, 2009

Estimating Labor when Wages Vary
Do you consider which workers will be doing what parts of the work when projecting the labor costs for a job? April 22, 2014

Sequencing Tasks to Optimize Workflow
Quick tips on organizing cabinetmaking tasks for efficiency. February 13, 2013

Handling and Installing High-End Appliances
What's the best way to get a heavy, expensive Sub-Zero or Wolf fridge or range off the truck and into the house? Short answer: pay somebody else to do it. January 23, 2014

Starting a one-man shop
Advice on planning a new cabinet business. January 28, 2002

Converting MBF Price to Cubic Meter Price
Converting prices and converting volume aren't quite the same process. Here's a discussion. January 31, 2012

Whether to Hand Out Business Cards
Some say yes, and some say absolutely. Just do it. February 26, 2012

Showcasing Furniture
Furniture shows are a mixed bag — and the Internet offers other venues for showing off your work. March 16, 2015

Cabinet Installation Prices
A reasonable per-box rate for cabinet installation can really vary, depending on the complexity of the job. September 27, 2008

What to Include on a Resume
Put everything down — experience that seems irrelevant to an advertised job may qualify you for something better at the same company. October 2, 2007

Portable Display Panels for a Cabinet Showroom
Here's advice on a setup to mount cabinets for display that you can use in the showroom, or haul to trade shows. July 8, 2014

Understanding AWI's "Premium Grade"
Watch out — if you really have to build to an Architectural Woodwork Institute specification, you really have to know your stuff. January 10, 2008

Used CNC buying advice
What to look for when buying a used point-to-point CNC. April 20, 2001

Estimating Long-Schedule Jobs
Tips on projecting costs and covering yourself for changing conditions when getting involved in multi-year projects. November 4, 2007

Whether to Study Advanced Woodworking
Are classes on furnituremaking a good idea for a skilled cabinetmaker? March 28, 2015

Understanding "Schedule of Values" Billing
Breaking job processes down into meaningful parts helps support invoicing in commercial work. February 8, 2008

Radius of an arc
Formulas for determining the radius of an arc, or "eyebrow"

Training draftsmen for woodworking
Can an engineer learn the nuances of drawing millwork in CAD? March 20, 2001

Estimating formula
Methods of estimating how much to charge for your work. March 20, 2001

Getting Information on Federal Contract Jobs
Don't sign up with any kind of middleman — the Federal contracting process is open to everyone. October 2, 2007

Shopping for a Used Cargo Van
Good ways to locate a good deal on a used work vehicle. April 4, 2011

Marketing with a Project Blog
A cabinetmaker describes how he creates and updates a blog for each client's project to help garner referrals and publicity. April 22, 2014

Following Up on Price Quotes
Sometimes a followup call or message leads to a sale. April 8, 2013

Figuring finish prices
Methods for determining how much to charge for finishing work. March 28, 2001

Dehumidification Versus Cooling for a Wood Shop
An undersized air conditioner will dehumidify effectively as it cools the shop. August 24, 2008

Charging for Edgebanding Service
How much should you charge to edgeband for other shops? February 27, 2013

Cost Per Sheet for CNC Part Cutting
A cabinetmaker looking to outsource parts gets some rough ballpark numbers as of 2007. January 27, 2008

Experiences shipping lumber
Determining the costs and problems of shipping lumber through UPS or other service. January 16, 2002

Advice on a forklift purchase
Is a 3000-pound capacity forklift enough? Not in the eyes of these forum visitors. January 31, 2001

Material Handling
Basic descriptions of material handling equipment. November 11, 2008

Qualifications for finishers
Make sure the finisher you are hiring is capable of doing quality work. March 20, 2001

Fork Lift Trucks
Basic description of fork-lift equipment. November 11, 2008

Health Alert: Hearing Loss
A short discussion about how woodworking can damage your hearing. April 22, 2014

Free Forestry Sciences Laboratory Software
Here's a collection of free computer software designed to help with starting and running a wood products business. December 22, 2006

Truck Driver's Log Book
Big work trucks may get snagged by regulatory paperwork requirements, such as driver time log books. May 20, 2009

Minimizing Federal Income Tax for Forest Landowners
Tax law changes effective since 2004 provide new ways to write off reforestation expenses. Here's some info on how the rules work. May 19, 2007

Thoughtful Gifts for Clients
Cutting boards or butcher blocks made from shop scraps make a nice gift for a valued customer. March 28, 2010

International Machinery Sales
Machinery transactions overseas call for an experienced broker to play trusted middleman, but that costs money. November 23, 2012

Millwork set-up fees
What do small millwork shops charge for set-up on custom runs? March 20, 2001

A Planning Guide for Small and Medium Size Wood Products Companies
Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Here's a detailed, but easy-to-read 75-page handbook on business planning for wood products companies, contributed by Jeff Howe and Steve Bratkovich of the United States Forest Service. December 9, 2005

Cabinet manufacturers' associations
Finding associations, local and larger. January 16, 2002

Butcher Block Finish Dispute
This long saga of a woodworker's difficulty with a customer who is dissatisfied with the finish on a butcher block shipped cross-country offers lessons on communication, contracts, and credit card company dispute resolution processes. March 26, 2010

Outsourcing Pros and Cons
Outsourcing door production is a no-brainer — except when it's not. This discussion looks at door production from both sides. July 5, 2011

Cabinet Door Shop Set-Up Necessities
Specializing in cabinet doors isn't a business you can easily jump into. Here's a lively discussion about "barriers to entry" — the minimum scale required for success, and the equipment you'll need to compete. December 14, 2009

Equipment needed for one-man startup
Advice on budgeting and buying machinery for a new custom cabinet shop. December 12, 2000

Reality Check for Urban Wood Sawmilling Idea
What a cool idea — invest in some equipment, saw up "free" logs, and make a tidy profit. If it were only that easy. December 11, 2007

Tooling Up for a High-School Wood-Shop Program
Cabinetmakers advise a high school shop teacher on how to equip a new shop class program. July 11, 2007

Quality and Service Issues with Outsourced Cabinet Doors
A long discussion of how large-volume specialty door companies address occasional defects in the products they ship. March 6, 2008

What to Say When the Job's Too Small
For a busy shop, "small" jobs can be an unprofitable, time-wasting distraction. But what's the best way to treat those potential customers? April 20, 2007

Container Material for Solvents
What kind of plastic or metal containers are okay to use for storing and transporting olvents? April 4, 2011

Estimating Sheet Quantities for Cabinets
Advice on "guesstimates" and more precise calculation of the number of sheets needed to build a set of cabinet boxes. September 7, 2006

Deposits and Payment Schedules for Cabinet Jobs
Here's an extensive debate on the reasons for requiring payment from customers in advance of starting work or delivering a product. December 7, 2008

Marketing and Selling Outsourced Cabinets
Here's an insightful discussion of the practical aspects of outsourcing cabinet parts for the small shop, in light of customer perceptions of the value of the end product. November 23, 2008

Adjustment Problems and Customer Care
An extended discussion of how to handle a customer who repeatedly calls about minor drawer alignment issues on custom cabinetry. December 6, 2008

Yellowing Paint on New Poplar Doors
This long discussion deals partly with the performance of paint on poplar, and partly with the division of responsibility between the cabinetmaker and the finisher. January 24, 2014

Small Shop Struggles
A one-employee cabinet shop owner gets wide-ranging practical advice on managing his fledgling business. The voice of experience, from pros who have been there. August 29, 2005

Four Case Histories for Smart Specifying
December 4, 2001

Whether to Build a Big Order of Slab Doors
A long and informative discussion of the risks inherent in constructing cabinet doors as glued slabs made up of solid wood boards. November 14, 2014

Profit-Sharing and Incentive Pay
Employers and workers discuss the pros and cons of linking employee compensation to company performance. November 4, 2007

Cultivating Initiative and Creativity on the Shop Floor
Here's a thoughtful discussion about how a shop foreman can train his employees how to think for themselves, rather than simply solving problems for them. Also mentioned: how to craft shop SOP's. February 11, 2010

Marketing and Advertising Ideas
More thoughts on how to get your name and business in front of the public. March 11, 2009

Accepting Less than the Agreed Price
Learning from experience: a cabinetmaker gets paid less than he is owed because of supposed defects the customer perceives in the product as delivered. September 29, 2014

Ending the Endless Punch List
Good quality control is important, but contracts and business practices should keep punch lists within reasonable limits. October 26, 2012

Should I Specialize in Door Production?
These days, the cabinet door industry is highly competitive and has low margins. Here's a discussion of the realities of starting a door-making business. March 25, 2007

Pricing a Bathroom Cabinet Job
Pros share estimating tips and pricing strategies. June 22, 2005

Win the Estimating Game
Understanding Costs Means Profit. November 5, 2002

Structuring Performance Incentives
Business owners discuss ways to tie employee compensation to productivity. February 17, 2006

Using Photos and Video to Analyze Processes
Woodweb's "LEAN" seminar thinks about using pictures to develop insight into shop workflow issues. May 6, 2009

Overcatalyzation Callback Confusion
Here's a cautionary tale: A cabinetmaker dismisses a customer's legitimate complaint about finish discoloration because he think the customer is hiding something. Turns out, overcatalyzing the finish did cause it to turn orange after many months. Now the cabinetmaker has to apologize and make the jo ......

Comparing Assembly Methods for Euro Cab Construction
Starting with a question about entry-level cabinet assembly, and bypassing a digression about business qualifications, this thread digs deep into the relative advantages of different assembly methods and process systems for a production cabinet shop. April 27, 2011

Standardizing the Work Process: Is It Worth It?
What's the best way to create standard shop procedures — and is it worth the effort? September 7, 2013

Changing Careers -- to Woodworking
Here's a half-dozen stories of people who've made the mid-life switch to a woodworking career. March 18, 2006

Unstable Cabinet Geometry and Toppling Risk
A furniture maker wrestles with the stability and safety issues of a tall, narrow freestanding cabinet with one heavy glass door. August 21, 2006

Glazing and Distressing: Productivity, Quality, and Pricing
Cabinetmakers and finishers share views on how to estimate and cost out the work involved in distressing and glazing cabinet doors. May 13, 2013

Switching to Factory-Built Cabinets
A Gulf Coast cabinetmaker has had good luck with a line of factory cabinets. His story triggers a discussion of today's market realities and the pros and cons of adding factory-made cabs to your business model. November 10, 2006

Are Small Walk-In Customers Worth It?
Should a woodworking shop bother with a half-hour job for a drop-in customer? May 5, 2007

Accounting for Wood Waste
Woodworkers discuss how to estimate the waste of materials, and how it affects production and costs. April 7, 2008

Subcontractor Payment Terms in Commercial Work
Getting paid when you're low down on the food change can be a frustrating hassle and a runaround. Here's some general advice and a few relevant anecdotes. July 12, 2012

Scrap and Cutoffs: Are they Worth Saving?
The perennial problem: how to manage odds and ends of material. September 30, 2010

Outsourcing Design Work – Why or Why Not?
A CAD artist who wants to draw for others on a contract basis gets feedback about the usefulness and value of that proposed service. February 8, 2008

Marketing High-End Cabinets
Cabinetmakers share ideas for attracting big-ticket clients. February 10, 2004

Drawings Versus Specs in a Dispute
When the spec says one thing, and a signed shop drawing shows something else, who's right? March 26, 2010

Referral Etiquette
When you refer a client to another specialty contractor to handle part of a project, whose job is it? November 30, 2009

Website Hosting Options
Woodworkers discuss various ways to put up a quick and simple website for marketing purposes. October 2, 2007

Handling a Finish Failure Callback Three Years Later
Cabinetmakers discuss a customer service issue — how long after the original job should you keep fixing a finish? December 6, 2008

Fair Pay for a Sales Rep
This thread on sales force compensation has some ballpark numbers attached. August 13, 2007

Learning to Price Kitchen Cabinets
Customers are asking a furnituremaker to build custom kitchen cabinets. Now, he needs advice on learning how to charge for the new type of product. February 18, 2007

Shop Floor Management Systems
Woodshop owners discuss ways to improve the techniques they use to organize and run their operations. July 3, 2006

Pricing and Closing During a First Sales Call
This thread presents good arguments for being prepared to present a firm quote and close the deal during your first meeting with a customer. August 28, 2010

Organizing Cabinet Door Production
Cabinetmakers offer advice on how to set up the workflow for making doors in a three-man shop. October 13, 2008

Adding value to old pallets
Examples of how woodworkers have recycled pallets and other old wood into new products. June 5, 2002

Payback Period for an Investment in CNC Equipment
CNC owners discuss how quickly new machinery can be expected to pay for itself. May 14, 2006

Crating and Shipping Tips
Advice on packing and shipping your fine work safely. August 23, 2006

Shipping Woodshop Products
Woodshop business owners discuss the ins and outs of packing, shipping, and damage claims. October 13, 2005

Doors: Outsourcing vs. in-house
Exploring issues of quality control, efficiency and profitability. November 7, 2001

Cabinet Doors: Outsource Or Build?
It's hard to beat the cost of outsourcing. April 10, 2005

Employee Overpayment Snafu
A cautionary tale: an overtime miscalculation resulted in years of paycheck mistakes in the employees' favor, before the payroll manager figured it out. How should the boss respond? June 5, 2006

Managing a Business Disaster
A big customer can't pay because of big legal trouble — now the cabinetmaker has to struggle to stay afloat. This long discussion is loaded with sympathetic insights. November 26, 2007

Sizing Up a Shop That's For Sale
Another worker ponders whether to buy a shop that's up and running, or set up his own from scratch. Lots of good angles considered in this long thread. July 2, 2008

Financial Success in Woodworking
Philosophies and turning points on the path to $100K a year. January 6, 2005

Equipment For New Cabinet Business
Equipment and other advice for a beginning businessman. August 26, 2004

Pricing Cabinet Installation Work
Pros discuss their differing approaches to charging for kitchen and bath cabinet installation work. January 24, 2005

Per-Hour Shop Costs -- and Small Business Overview
Understanding loaded per-hour shop costs and what goes into a business plan. March 12, 2003

"X Factor" Estimating and Why Not
Further proof that estimating shortcuts are merely quick paths to poor profits. February 8, 2005

Overhead per employee
Adjusting your overhead when you add workers. September 24, 2002

Career change: Computers to cabinets
Issues that could affect the success of a newly purchased woodworking business. July 29, 2003

Sustainable forestry
How sustainable forestry relates to the woodworker and consumer demands. June 3, 2003

Testing Prospective Employees
... and have some fun along the way. February 8, 2005

Developing a Cabinet Business
Starting up without large equipment and finance resources. January 28, 2004

Employer Vs Employee
Must employees and business owners be pitted against one another? From WOODWEB's Business Forum. March 5, 2003

New Business Liability Insurance
Issues including insurance, worker's comp, and taxes. April 18, 2004

Taking a Business to the Next Level
A question about equipment investment turns into a thoughtful seminar on marketing, pricing, and finding your niche. November 10, 2005

Crown Moulding Expansion/Contraction Problem
Who or what is responsible for gaps appearing at joints after installation? June 4, 2004

Finding Good Finishing Help
Tactics for attracting finishers, perhaps the industry's most difficult "get." December 26, 2004

Six Sigma Strikes
Are the Six Sigma system requests that a customer makes appropriate? November 3, 2004

Sawdust as fuel
Building a sawdust-fired boiler to heat kiln and shop. November 18, 2002

Value added defined
Many definitions and interpretations are offered up. July 29, 2003

Danger in the Woods
Woodworkers should be aware of the reactions some people may have to certain species and take appropriate precautions. August 13, 2005

Machines and Tools: Cost Versus Value
Are expensive tools worth the money? Are cheap tools worth the hassle? Pros on the Woodweb Business Forum talk about how much to pay for quality equipment, and why. September 4, 2005

Photographing Kitchens Professionally
Recommendations on creating high-quality shots of your work. April 2, 2004

Social Conversation and Shop Morale
Can a business owner help maintain a friendly and sociable work environment? The question sets off a long and lively discussion on the Business Forum. July 24, 2005

Home-built moulder
Advice on the construction of a moulder, and encouragement to follow an easier path. November 18, 2002

Eyewitness: Injury
Scary stories about careless acts and bad consequences. June 28, 2005

To Fire or Not to Fire?
A new hire's performance is spotty and his pay is high. Should the boss let him go? In this thread, the question gets a thoughtful examination from all sides, including several different boss and worker perspectives. November 10, 2005

Stupid Woodworker Tricks
With a nod toward David Letterman, pros discuss their least-best moments. January 24, 2005

Copyright Issues and Architectural Drawings
Are these original shop drawings protected by copyright law? May 19, 2004

AWI certification
Is membership or certfication with AWI worth your while?July 29, 2003

Six Sigma Observations
Principles for developing efficiency in the workshop. November 3, 2004

Best Ways to Advertise
How to get the word out that you're in business and available for work. November 22, 2004

Business Start-Up Advice
Woodworker asks about a business start-up kit, and gets an earful of wise advice.

Increasing production flow
Presenting to a boss the numbers that prove production flow could be improved. (Business Forum) May 17, 2003

Price sawmilling by the cut?
Pricing by the hour, the board foot and the cut. (From WOODWEB's Sawing and Drying Forum) February 12, 2003

Shop lighting
Best bulbs for brightness and efficiency. February 12, 2003

Radios In The Shop
A discussion with as many opinions as there are styles of music. February 25, 2005

Outsource, or Build it Yourself?
Shop owners discuss the pros and cons of outsourcing doors and drawers. August 29, 2005

Pricing a Custom Piece of Furniture
A custom cabinet-maker asks for input on pricing a specially-ordered free-standing chest of drawers. The discussion covers a lot of ground on estimating, pricing, and the difference between cabinets and furniture. October 19, 2005

Profit Margins
Defining profit and determining how much you should expect. November 22, 2004

Expanding portable sawmill business
A hard look at the pros and cons of expanding a business. October 9, 2002

Downsizing your shop
Businesses that have grown too fast or too big choose to cut back and go small. October 2, 2001

CNC configuration
Building a CNC router. May 1, 2003

Low-Bid Bottom-Feeder Blues
but this discussion of commercial bidding, corner-cutting, and cut-throat competition is worth a look anyway. November 11, 2005

Project manager compensation
A conversation about PM pay grows into a detailed look at the cost of doing business. December 17, 2003

Parametric Drawings
Can parametric design simplify change orders? May 19, 2004

Cost of Estimates
Getting paid for time spent on a job before you know it's yours. April 18, 2004

Rewarding Employees for Job Leads
When an employee brings in a job lead, what's a reasonable finder's fee? March 14, 2005

Who cuts sink holes?
Is this the responsibility of the cabinetmaker or installer? December 17, 2003

Selecting CNC Machinery
Choosing a machine to best suit your operation. January 28, 2004

Creating an installation division
Setting up a special division to install the product your company builds. July 9, 2002

Marketing Cabinet Design Work
Ideas for marketing drawing services to shops in need. July 28, 2004

Pay Scales for Cabinet Shop Workers
Pay rates vary by skill level, and also by region. Here, cabinetmakers dig into what makes a worker worth his wage. October 18, 2005

Figuring labor and overhead
Factoring in all the variables, and ways to learn financial management. July 24, 2002

Bidding a Commercial Cabinet Job
Residential cabinetmaker gets advice on pricing a commercial unit. May 4, 2005

Responsibility for a Too-Dark Finish
A cabinetmaker is being asked to hold the bag for the poor work done by a painter who the customer hired. In this thread, professionals suggest ways to handle the problem. November 11, 2005

Switching to a Woodworking Career
A professional pilot who loves woodworking is considering a career change. His story sets off a spirited discussion on the ups and downs of the self-employed craftsman's life. November 10, 2005

Estimating Start-Up Costs
A brand new business owner seeks input on projecting first-year expenses. January 6, 2005

Recycled barn wood
Processing and marketing reclaimed lumber. September 23, 2003

Kitchen Projects: Required Deposits
The policy of demanding a deposit gets fouled up when contractors are involved. December 26, 2004

Employee Issue: Train or Let Go?
A shop owner is on the fence about a new hire: keep him on and hope for improvement, or fire him now? Experienced employers discuss philosophies and approaches. July 24, 2005

Out-of-Level Brouhaha
Sparks fly when a cabinet installer goes with the out-of-level house for the sake of appearance. His story sets off a lively exchange of views. October 22, 2005

Melamine Cabinet Boxes
Can melamine move in as plywood quality degrades? October 5, 2004

Estimating and Pricing for Cabinet Installation
Cabinetmakers and installers discuss the ins and outs of pricing methods and rules of thumb. September 4, 2005

Business Tips for the One-Man Cabinet Shop
A solo operator's running hard just to stay in one place. Fellow business owners offer practical advice. August 3, 2005

Straight-line vs. gang rip
Which is better suited to this moderate operation? June 24, 2002

Should I charge more?
Cabinetmakers share their systems for determining pricing. August 29, 2001

Potential of a One-Man Shop
Is it realistic to think a small shop owner can make a decent living? December 9, 2004

Presenting A Quote
There are reasons to sell the job face to face, in person. April 10, 2005

New Shop Layout
Efficient shop flow for increased profit. February 28, 2004

Lumber: Quantity or Quality?
The debate over speed or grade when sawing for profit. January 29, 2004

Building Your Own Spray Room -- On a Budget
Technical advice and alternatives for a small operator building a new shop. February 25, 2005

Crating and shipping products
Advice on finding the most cost-effective and reliable shipping solutions. July 29, 2003

Moving Beyond Drying
A small drying operation wants to invest in planing, jointing, and ripping. March 18, 2005

Advertising Signs on Your Vehicle
Target the market you want, and the leads will roll in. March 14, 2005

Managing Multiple Projects
Shop owners share methods for keeping multipe jobs on track while saving your own sanity. November 10, 2005

How to Charge for Finishing
Determining costs and profit on finishing jobs. November 22, 2004

32mm manual vs NBM setups
Will any efficiency be gained by adding high-tech equipment to a small shop? July 24, 2002

The Most Important Skills to Learn
An apprentice woodworker asks what he should concentrate on for a career in the trade, and gets a full helping of good advice. October 2, 2005

Cabinet Refacing
Can it work as a business? Pros share business and tech tips. June 17, 2005

Price Negotiations
Ways to handle a client who asks for a line-item breakdown of your estimate. June 29, 2005

What is value added?
Forum participants give technical and personal definitions. April 2, 2002

Competing with the Factories
Custom quality at a mass-produced price? Pros debate the issue. February 25, 2005

Defining "Quality" in Custom Cabinet Work
Pleasing customers is about matching their expectations, not your own. Cabinet shop pros discuss how to succeed with custom work in a competitive market. August 29, 2005

New Shop Options — Steel Building or Pole Building?
Business owners discuss the costs and merits of engineered steel buildings and pole barns. September 4, 2005

Starting a portable sawmilling business
Advice on making a living with a start-up sawmilling business. June 24, 2001

Making Time in a Small Shop
A 2-man shop needs to pick up speed. Should they buy tools or revamp their process? March 17, 2005

Installation scheduling
When he can't keep up with the jobs the sales staff hands him, what's an installer to do? June 24, 2001

Lumber Insurance
Can a sawyer be held liable for the structural integrity of his wood? February 28, 2004

Cost of Carrying Employees
Shop owners discuss the costs associated with employing help, the value of good employees, and the advantages of going through a temp agency. September 4, 2005

FOB defined
Origins and meanings of the term "freight on board." (Sawing and Drying Forum) March 23, 2003

Job costing help
Methods of job costing for an architectural millwork business are discussed.July 24, 2001

Six Simple Marketing Steps
Wood marketing tips from Forest Service expert Steve Bratkovich, with feedback from sawmill owners and lumber dealers. July 26, 2005

Stroke, drum and widebelt sanders
What sort of sander is most efficient for a small cabinet shop? July 24, 2001

Middle-Man Muddle
what's the proper way to structure your relationship with someone who's your go-between with the end customer? August 29, 2005

Establishing a shop rate
When adding an employee to your business, how do you adjust the shop rate? June 24, 2001

Ballparks, Estimates, Quotes and Bids -- The Fudge Factor
A newcomer to business gets advice on managing uncertainty in the cost of a job. March 14, 2005

Architectural Millwork Installer Compensation
Owners and employees discuss the wages installers make, and the factors that affect the value of labor. November 11, 2005

Net present value
Making the correct calculations when buying machinery. June 24, 2002

Appropriate job deposits
What percentage of the price on a job is it okay to ask for up front? September 2, 2002

What Does It Take to Start a Business?
Besides woodworking skill, what characteristics does a person need to start up a wood shop business? The question sets off a long and thoughtful discussion on the Woodweb Business forum. September 4, 2005

"Green" Cabinetry
Environmentally-friendly or non-toxic cabinet work has become an important market niche. In this thread, cabinetmakers discuss the ins and outs of meeting customer expectations for "green" cabinets. September 4, 2005

From residential to commercial work
What risks are involved when moving into much larger scale jobs? June 4, 2003

Setting up a milling business
How much land, what equipment is needed, and in what order, for a startup sawmill. April 24, 2002

Outsourcing drawings
Positive and negative experiences from those who have hired the job out. October 30, 2002

20-foot span for saw shed
What approach should be used for strength and reliability? April 2, 2002

Why Build Face Frame?
Reasons the face-frame tradition survives. September 9, 2004

10 hour days vs 8 hour days
Pros and cons of working 4 - 10's versus 5 - 8's. August 13, 2002

Delivery Truck Choices
How best to move cabinets: Truck or trailer? Purchase or lease? Or just hire a moving company? Shop owners kick the topic around. September 4, 2005

Design fee and competing
Should you charge for designs and estimates? It depends on your business focus and your competitive environment. June 12, 2005

AWI CAD Standard?
If there isn't one already, why not? December 26, 2004

Time Tracking for Individual Tasks
Various time tracking methods - from time clocks and paper forms to electronic devices which input to a computer. May 10, 2005

Music in the Shop
Is it good, bad, or both? June 22, 2005

Making decent money
Advice on making a living in the business of contemporary craft woodwork. June 6, 2001

Mechanic Lien Process
Do-it-yourself, or hire an attorney? April 2, 2004

Liability for Breakage
Broken stuff happens. Who should hold the bag? Business owners look at a case of broken glassware and discuss the ins and outs of taking responsibility. July 24, 2005

Materials, Labor, Overhead And Profit
Cabinetmakers discuss typical cost ratios. April 10, 2005

Defining "Success" in Sales Rate
If you're getting every job you bid on, you're probably not charging enough. October 4, 2005

To nest or not to nest?
Is nesting appropriate for all shops? June 4, 2003

Titleblock in CAD
How-to instructions for setting up a titleblock for your template. July 24, 2002

Downsizing Considerations
What size operation fits your style? April 10, 2005

Employee retirement plans
Questions about simple IRAs and taxes. October 2, 2001

How much land for a living
How many forested acres are needed to supply enough timber to support you? June 3, 2003

Union or Non-Union Apprenticeship?
A woodworker starting out asks about the choice between union and non-union training employment. Lots of information and some opinions are supplied in the discussion that follows. November 11, 2005

Searching for a sales rep
Increasing sales by adding the right marketing professional to your team. September 20, 2003

Charging for estimates
Is it ever done in a cabinet shop, and if so, how? October 2, 2001

Carpenter to accomplished installer
How do you train a carpenter to become a cabinet and millwork installer? July 9, 2002

Moving to Metric
Tips on making the transition as smooth as possible. September 9, 2004

Work diversity -- Good or bad?
Should a new business take on everything from cabinetmaking to house construction? June 6, 2001

Shop arrangement and setup
Shop owners describe the best and worst aspects of their workspaces. March 21, 2002

Cost of Developing Custom Applications
Business aspects of code written to order. April 11, 2005

Health Insurance for Employees
Shop owners discuss the ins and outs of employer-sponsored health insurance plans. November 10, 2005

Moving A Shop
Plan ahead to manage the costs and hassles. April 10, 2005

Output Volume Per Employee
A rough rule of thumb holds that cabinet shops should put out $100,000 per worker per year. In this thread, owners consider the fine points and exceptions. September 4, 2005

Business Plans
Do's, don'ts, pros and cons on perhaps the most basic fundraising tools any business can possess. February 25, 2005

Cost of an employee
Figuring in taxes, worker's comp and more. October 30, 2003

Cabinet Assembler Productivity
How many cabs should an assembler put together daily, assuming all the pieces are cut and ready? In this thread, bosses and workers offer their perspectives. November 12, 2005

Characteristics of a First-Rate Installer
Experienced pros discuss what qualifies an individual to be called an A-triple-plus installer. October 22, 2005

Tallying Moldings
Suppliers round off piece lengths in different ways. Are you getting the quantities you ordered? May 29, 2005

Straight line rip lumber
Is the added time and waste worth what customers will pay? September 23, 2003

What Makes a Contract a Contract?
A cabinet-maker's builder customer has bailed out on a design-build job after paying a deposit and okaying plans. Now who owes what to who? This thread from Woodweb's Business forum provides a good clarification of just what kind of statements and actions add up to a legal contract. November 11, 200 ......

Retail/wholesale pricing
Setting prices based on your market. June 6, 2001

Considering a Cabinetmaker/Builder Partnership
Could it work? Professionals take a hard look at the possibilities. July 24, 2005

Installing cabinets over tile
Tying kicks to a tile floor, and the complications presented by floor-integrated radiant heating. February 19, 2002

Figuring a Company's Value
How much is a company worth? Perspectives on valuation. March 14, 2005

Shop Productivity With a New CNC
It seems more efficient to go on cutting parts manually than to program the CNC... what's missing? October 5, 2004

Competition for Installation Contracts
A cabinetmaker complains that his installation sub started working directly for the builder. The story sets off a discussion on fair competition in the new-construction market. November 11, 2005

Waste wood into profit
Sawyers turn wood otherwise destined for the landfill into a business. June 5, 2002

Pros and Cons of Sawing Your Own
A solo cabinetmaker wonders if he should mill his own lumber on the side. March 14, 2005

Are Showrooms Worth It?
Pros and cons of adding a showroom to your shop. April 10, 2005

Moving On - Time To Work At Another Shop?
After eight years at the same shop, a woodworker's ready for a new situation with more potential for growth. But he has a strong personal relation with his employer. Here, he gets advice from seasoned pros on how to make the transition to owning his own shop. November 10, 2005

Millwork Touch-up and Repair
A visitor seeks advice on how to get training in the fine art of fixing faults. February 26, 2005

Workers' Comp for Owners?
February 25, 2005

Store-bought and home-built log trailers
Suggestions on buying and building log trailers and loaders. (From WOODWEB's Sawing and Drying Forum) January 21, 2003

Marketing to Professional Designers
Can a furnituremaker succeed by selling primarily (or even only) through professional designers and architects? The question sparks a thoughtful discussion in Woodweb's Business Forum. July 2, 2005

Pricing and Legalities for Portable Sawmilling
What should you charge, and should you let the customer help? February 26, 2005

Yellow Pages Advertising
Is a Yellow Pages ad worth running? Business owners share experiences and anecdotes. July 24, 2005

Digitizing board recommendations
Digitizing drawings that are larger than the tablet. July 24, 2002

Developing shop into business
Adding employees to a small shop, and developing a business plan. September 24, 2002

Sourcing Cabinet Hardware
Pros discuss one-stop shopping for cabinet hardware from various manufacturers. August 29, 2005

Acquiring a Business
A remodeler's considering buying out a one-man cabinet shop. Is it worth it? Owners consider the pros and cons, and offer advice. August 2, 2005

Shop Drawing Submittals in Metric
When converting to 32mm construction, should all drawings be done in metric as well? April 18, 2004

Selling Furniture Through a Gallery
What's a fair business deal when you place your work in a gallery? August 30, 2005

Cash Flow Troubles
Non-timely payment by his main client (a builder) is fouling up a cabinet-maker's cash flow. But otherwise, the relationship's a good one — so what's he to do? Suggestions roll in. November 11, 2005

Optimizing Factory Layout
A scale drawing and a pencil will help you understand and organize the workflow in your plant. November 10, 2005

Should your business have its own website? Pros share experiences and discuss the worth of a web presence. June 12, 2005

Marketing to Builders
A local cabinetmaker gets advice on getting the attention of production builders. June 16, 2005

Adding a Salesperson
The owner of a growing shop mulls adding a salesman and reaches an interesting decision. February 25, 2005

Shop Floor Teamwork
A sofa shop struggles with coordinating part production and assembly. March 17, 2005

Shavings for Sale
The always resourceful sawyer crowd discusses the packaging and marketing of wood chips. February 9, 2005

Finding a College-Level Woodworking Program
Educational choices versus the school of hard knocks. June 18, 2005

Determining pricing
Finding a balance between fair and greedy pricing. June 5, 2002

Warranteeing Laminate-on-Particleboard Countertops
How long should your guarantee last for a laminate countertop? Installers discuss warrantees and materials. October 8, 2005

Vacation policies for employees
Setting standards for how much vacation time employees earn, based on their tenure and value. April 24, 2002

Corporation vs. sole proprietorship
Choosing which is the way to go, depending on the size and future of your company. October 2, 2001

Job Descriptions
A shop owner with 20 employees gets advice on creating employee job descriptions. November 10, 2005

LLC vs. S-corp
The pros and cons of these two business classifications. June 6, 2001

Managing Pesky Clients
When clients are living in the home while cabinets are installed, sometimes they take a little too much interest in the work. In this thread, installers suggest tactful ways to deflect their attention eslewhere. October 22, 2005

The Top 7 Mistakes Woodworkers Make When Starting A Business
A cabinet shop owner explains how to avoid the most common pitfalls of start-up businesses. September 27, 2005

New shop specs and layout
Electric power and other considerations for a new cabinet shop. April 24, 2002

Accepting Credit Cards
Business owners discuss whether to take payment by credit card. September 4, 2005

Estimating drafting time
Charging for time spent on job drawings. January 3, 2003

Itemizing Bids
Pros discuss how much detail to provide in a bid breakdown. March 14, 2005

Employee Bonus Strategy
Shop owners discuss whether, when and how to award employees a bonus after an outstanding month for the company. September 4, 2005

New Equipment: Lease or Purchase?
A shop owner is looking at a major investment in machinery. Should he consider leasing? Experienced business owners weigh in. July 24, 2005

A Finisher's Pay Scale
More thoughts and information on what a skilled, experienced finishing craftsman is worth in the marketplace. November 11, 2005

Profit sharing and incentive plans
Profit sharing and incentive programs in action. June 6, 2001

Working for a Home Theater Company
A cabinetmaker got an offer to build all the cabinets for a home theater company. Here are the tips he received on how to size up the opportunity — and make the most of it. October 18, 2005

Understanding Web Statistics
Exposures, impressions, click-throughs and refferals, and how to measure them. April 18, 2003

Is a One-Man Shop Practical?
Can a one-man shop succeed as a business? This thread offers half a dozen first-person answers. June 27, 2005

Cabinet warranty period
What is a reasonable warranty period for a custom cabinet installation? July 24, 2001

Selling small quantity custom profiles
Dealing with customers who don't comprehend the work and cost involved in the manufacture of custom knives. June 6, 2001

Owner's Compensation
Shop owner describes his business and gets feedback on his numbers.

Setting Up Three-Phase Power
Owners share advice on ways to upgrade the shop's power supply. June 12, 2005

Overtime pay
Good reasons to pay overtime, whether or not your competition does. June 6, 2001

Starting a woodworking business
Ideas for advertising, books to read and special considerations when starting up your own business. June 24, 2001

Specifying features for leased space
Advice on features to include in a leased production facility. June 6, 2001

What to Say When You're Running Late
If your schedule slips, how do you break the news to your customer? Here are some thoughts from people who've been there. October 18, 2005

Cabinet Shop Lighting
Pros share advice on bulbs and fixtures for bright, even light. May 10, 2005

Handling Government Contract Work
Government work is its own strange world, so learn the ropes and be careful. October 8, 2005

Profit sharing plans
Developing a plan where employee compensation is linked to productivity. June 24, 2001

Red Flags
There are many ways to qualify customers. In this thread, shop owners discuss the tell-tale signs of a job you'd be wiser not to take. June 12, 2005

Sample Subcontractor Agreement
Spelling out the parameters of the work and relationship to avoid legal problems. April 4, 2004

Mixing Solid Surface Brands
If you combine sinks and countertops from different makers, will warranties (and adhesives) hold? April 14, 2005

Converting log volume scales
When sellers and buyers want numbers in different scales, how do you come up with the calculations? July 22, 2003

Solid surface fabrication in-house
Should a 30-person shop be subcontracting its solid-surface work or doing it in-house? April 2, 2002

Quality Standards in Contracts
Referencing published industry specs is one simple solution. Here, pros chime in with additional short and sweet disclaimers. November 12, 2005

Recruiting Employees
Ideas for enticing and signing on workers. July 24, 2001

Home Made Trailer and Crane
Fully illustrated description of a home-built log trailer and crane. March 2, 2003

CNC industry pricing
What goes into formulating your pricing system. September 2, 2002

Selling Hardwood on the Side
A furniture and cabinet maker is considering a small-scale side business selling lumber, and gets advice on where the market is. November 10, 2005

Copyright protection for woodworkers
Is it worth copyrighting your plans and other literature, and how can it be done? September 2, 2002

Listing Prices on Your Website
Should you display price information for pieces you display on your website? Business owners discuss the pros and cons. July 2, 2005

Building with Urban Trees
Harvesting and utilizing wood which would otherwise end up in the landfill. February 28, 2004

Employee Upward Mobility
Hired as a CAD draftsman, a worker finds himself handling much more, and more varied, responsibilities. Now he's wondering how he can upgrade his job title and pay accordingly. November 10, 2005

Keeping the CNC Operator Busy
Productivity tips for operators while nested part runs are in progress. March 17, 2005

Calculating Remaining Edgebanding
Formula to determine how much is left on the roll, with a nod to Archimedes. March 14, 2004

The Purpose of Shop Drawings
Builders often ask for shop drawings when offering a cabinet job in a custom home project. "Paper is still cheaper than wood," notes one pro: Here's an explanation of how the drawings serve the needs of everyone involved. November 11, 2005

Purchasing Imported Equipment - The Currency Exchange Rate and Cost
The currency exchange rate can have a significant impact on the purchase price of equipment. July 11, 2002

Growing a business
Keeping your mind on what matters in a healthy business, with a nod to Paul Hawken. May 19, 2003

Fundamentals of Estimating
How does a newcomer learn the basics of estimating cabinet work?

Equipment as Collateral for Credit
There are some fine points to valuing your equipment as security for a bank loan. But in any case, banks are more interested in your cash flow, your profitability, and your personal creditworthiness. November 11, 2005

Registering a Sawmill for Highway Use
sawmilllers share experiences from different states. June 22, 2005

Insuring a Business on your Residential Property
Homeowner's insurance may not cover you if you build a shop on your property, or even work out of your garage. In this thread, business owners consider insurance strategies. November 11, 2005

How to Say No
You know those private eye stories that start, "I knew she was trouble the minute she walked in my door..."? Beware, brother, beware! August 29, 2005

Opening a Showroom
In today's market, a retail showroom location may be a liability, not an asset, according to some. November 11, 2005

Gene's value-added hints
A bit of wisdom on adding value to your wood products, from Professor Gene Wengert. April 2, 2002

Employee ownership
Ideas for keeping employees, who expect more than standard benefits, happy. June 6, 2001

Pricing Rough Cut Lumber
and gets plenty. June 23, 2005

Building a Home Show Display
Pros share design and construction tips for a trade-show booth presentation. July 2, 2005

What is the AWI Estimating Seminar About?
An Architectural Woodworking Institute educational presenter provides a thumbnail description of AWI's two-day estimating seminar. November 11, 2005

Five value-added approaches
Professor Gene Wengert presents ideas on adding value to your wood products. April 2, 2002

Business Insurance
Business owners share tips on getting good coverage, and warn about the risks of "going bare." June 12, 2005

Cabinet Cost Versus House Cost
What percentage of a house's price might the cabinets cost? Feedback from various locations. August 29, 2005

Job Application Forms
Questions for screening potential hires. March 14, 2005

Standards for Shop Drawings
Pros share advice on the content and level of detail expected in shop drawings for a project proposal. June 19, 2005

Website Domain-Name Ownership
A shop owner's website designer went out of business, and now it seems that he doesn't own his site's domain name. What does he do now?November 11, 2005

Solar Power for a Wood Shop?
Solar panels or a windmill can supplement your shop's electric usage, but you're not going to run big iron on it without the grid doing most of the work.. June 4, 2012

Looking Back at Life
Ever punch a rooster? Business owners discuss the meaning and purpose of life — and how to enjoy it. January 22, 2006

Pricing Example: Bath Vanity
An emotional, but informative, discussion of cabinet pricing based on one bath vanity example. September 23, 2006

New Hires and Production Problems
Adding new employees to speed up production can have exactly the opposite effect. Here's a case in point. July 20, 2011

Parts Handling Flow
Ideas for carts or conveyors to handle parts in a busy closet shop. April 9, 2008

Can a Beginner Make a Living with a Portable Sawmill?
Experienced sawmill operators counsel a newcomer on his odds of success with buying and operating a sawmill in a tough market — and describe what his life will be like if he tries it. November 16, 2010

Competing on Price in a Tough Market
Cabinetmakers discuss how to squeeze dollars out of an estimate and still make a buck. August 14, 2009

Setting Shop Temperature
A long discussion about how warm (or cool) to keep a shop, whether to turn the heat down at night and over the weekend, and the effect on costs, productivity, and quality of different practices. December 24, 2012

Importing Machinery
A woodshop owner takes a chance on importing his own machinery straight from Asia, takes a chance, and reports back on the results. August 19, 2008

Shop Power Choice: Single Phase or Three Phase?
Shop owners discuss the relative pros and cons of three-phase and single-phase power supplies. February 6, 2010

Attention, Safety Practices, and Loose Nuts
A woodworker describes how a moment's inattention damaged his machine — but luckily, not him. The tale sets off a long thread of similar stories (including one fatality) and lessons learned. November 16, 2011

Dressing for Success (or , Throw your Toupee Away)
What should a woodworking pro wear for a first meeting with a client? Opinions vary all over the map in this lively discussion. January 9, 2006

One Man, One Kitchen, How Many Days?
Solo cabinetmakers compare notes on the time it takes them to complete a basic kitchen job. April 26, 2006

Smart Leasing Tactics
When you need to rent space for your woodworking shop, favorable lease terms can be a real plus for your business. December 7, 2007

Recovering from a Shop Fire
Woodweb forum steps up with well-informed advice about how to cope with a catastrophic fire in the wood shop. April 16, 2009

Running a Part-Time Cabinet Shop
Many successful cabinetmakers got their start with a part-time operation. Here is some wise advice on how to make it work. June 23, 2006

Dry lumber kiln -- buying your first
Business and technical considerations when getting started in kiln drying. March 19, 2001

Patenting a New Jig or Tool
A woodworker has thought up a modification that improves on someone else's design, and wonders whether he should seek a patent. Responses supply a rundown on the patent process and its pitfalls. February 17, 2006

Whether to Move the Shop
Relocating to a different shop space can involve complicated pros and cons, including commute times, neighbor relations, marketing implications, and more. November 29, 2014

Who Buys the Hand Tools?
There are reasons to supply hand tools for your workers, and reasons to have them supply their own. October 3, 2006

Fire Sprinkler Requirements for a New Woodshop
including a story of one disastrous fire. December 14, 2005

Breaking in a Wood-Shop Apprentice
Advice on structuring the workload of a new hire for optimal learning. March 12, 2014

Structural Testing for Chairs
There's the Fat Man test, the Little Boy test, the Throw it Off the Roof test, and the "Entire state is sliding into the ocean" test ... you get the idea. January 3, 2012

The Cost of High Turnover
Replacing a lost employee costs a business to a degree that isn't always appreciated. Here, cabinetmakers discuss the problem of selecting, training, and keeping valuable team members. September 8, 2007

Backyard Shop Ideas
Here's lots of advice for a first-time shop builder from cabinetmakers who have been there and done that (with a side discussion about relating to the neighbors). January 28, 2009

The Crazy Hours of the Sole Proprietor
It's the rare woodshop owner who doesn't work 12-hour days and 6-day or 7-day weeks. February 6, 2007

Enabling a Problem Employee's Poor Personal Choices
Letting an employee's bad judgment spill over into the employer's business is causing problems on the shop floor.July 20, 2011

Keeping Track of Tools
Tips and strategies for reducing the common tendency of shop tools to disappear throughout the year. July 12, 2008

Who Owns the Hand Tools?
Shop owners discuss whether to ask employees to bring their own hand tools. September 8, 2008

Mobile Shop in a Trailer?
Cabinetmakers discuss the practicality of running a woodshop on wheels. June 28, 2007

Power Cost for CNC Machining
Juice to run the machinery is a small percentage of CNC operating cost, but it's not zero. October 14, 2010

Painting a Concrete Shop Floor
Advice on cleaning and applying a rugged coating to a shop floor. March 4, 2006

Shop Security
Advice on locks, cameras, watchdogs, security procedures, and staying within the law in protecting your shop and tools after closing. February 6, 2010

Motor Vehicles Paperwork for a Portable Bandmill
Info on bill-of-sale, title, registration, and insurance technicalities for bandsaw mill trailers. December 9, 2010

Fine Points of Linear-Foot Pricing
Linear-foot estimating can play a role in sales and bidding, but it's only a starting point. Here's an extended discussion. August 31, 2010

Advice about Starting a Cabinet Business
Cabinetmakers deliver several truckloads of advice to a young person with some start-up cash and a lot of enthusiasm. October 25, 2006

Future of Sawmilling
Here's a long, conversational thread on the economics of sawmill operations and the big picture of the general economy. August 31, 2009

Should a Moulding Mill Bring Sawmill Operations In-House?
Here's a long, detailed, and authoritative examination of a moulding mill owner's proposal to invest in his own sawmill operation. April 20, 2011

Business Startup Advice
Here's a rough-and-tumble thread providing advice and cautions for a would-be cabinetmaker. October 2, 2007

Skilled Woodworker Employee Wages
A highly qualified shop employee with broad responsibilities asks how to assess his own fair wage rate, and kicks off a spirited discussion among employers, employees, and self-employed craftsmen on the forum. February 10, 2009

Expanding a Part-Time Screen-Door Business
Here are some detailed tips on finances, sales, equipment, and job management for a woodworker who's looking to expand a small side business making screen doors into a full-time operation. October 19, 2011

Whether to Invest in a CNC Router
Here's a long, thoughtful, and detailed thread comparing the advantages of a CNC router to other efficient setups, and considering whether buying a CNC is a good move for a small shop facing cut-rate competition. September 30, 2010

From Installer to Cabinet Shop
Can a successful installer start a successful cabinet shop, by focusing on sales? This question starts a wide-ranging discussion of how cabinet shops succeed. November 28, 2011

Sizing Up a Shop That is For Sale
Another worker ponders whether to buy a shop that's up and running, or set up his own from scratch. Lots of good angles considered in this long thread. July 2, 2008

Hiring a First-Class Finisher
and how to assess those abilities. July 2, 2008

Building a Shop
Cabinet shop owners converse about what they would do differently if they were to build their shop all over again, again. August 14, 2007

Selling a Cabinet Shop as a Business
Does a successful cabinetmaking business have a market value above and beyond the value of machinery in the used market? Only in special cases. October 18, 2011

Adding Floor Space Versus Re-Designing Workflow
A company that's cramped for space may need more room. But consider also the option of re-configuring your work process. July 3, 2006

When an Equipment Auction Transaction Goes Bad
It's "buyer beware" at an online equipment auction — and it can also be "seller beware." Here are tales of some lessons learned. March 22, 2013

Radiant Floor Heating for a Small Shop
Shop owners who have tried it recommend radiant floor heating, and offer tips for a good installation. April 24, 2006

Home Shop Pros and Cons
Cabinetmakers describe what it's like to have your shop next to (or underneath) your house. April 13, 2012

Hardwood Flooring and Millwork -- Finishing Options
Pre-finished or site-finished? November 16, 2001

Metering Shared Electrical Service
A woodworker who rents space and shares electrical service tries to learn how to separately keep track of his shop's power consumption. July 29, 2012

Codes for Dust Collection in a Home Shop
Navigating the building codes for a woodshop over a residential garage is tricky. July 22, 2013

Square-Foot Pricing for Volume Work
When a potential customer suggests a low-ball price for a volume job, finishers chime in with information about the realistic costs of such a project. May 27, 2014

Murphy's Law in the Shop
Bad things happen to good people. Want to hear about it? January 2, 2012

Pros and Cons of a Basement Workshop
Woodworkers share experiences with home-based woodshops. March 12, 2006

Necessary Equipment for a Start-Up Cabinet Shop
Most respondents did not take the original poster seriously in this thread. But a few cabinetmakers did provide a list of basic equipment for a start-up shop.June 16, 2014

Shop Layout Advice
Here are some useful tips on making scale mockups of a shop floor plan, along with advice about how to best use the available space.July 8, 2014

Is It Worth It to Buy a Moulder?
A small shop owner gets advice on whether investing in a moulder would pencil out for his operation. October 28, 2014

Bandmill enclosures for all-weather milling
Ideas for a structure to house a bandsaw mill, with thoughts on heating and dust collection. February 13, 2001

Modeling Workflow to Design a New Shop Layout
CAD or cardboard cutouts? There's more than one way to mock up a shop in scale model form. April 3, 2012

Smoking Policy for Wood Shops
Shop owners discuss smoking and no-smoking rules. July 30, 2009

Idle-Time Transformer Power Consumption
A shop owner tries to decide whether there are significant power savings to be achieved by turning a transformer off at night and on weekends. December 29, 2008

Moving Out? Take Your Stuff.
A landlord tries to stretch a lease provision about elements connected to the building into a claim on a tenant's dust collection system. Fat chance. January 2, 2012

Laying out a new shop
Advice on dust collection, electric, and general layout from those who have built their own shops. March 16, 2001

Controlling and Estimating Finish Thickness
A cabinetmaker facing a lawsuit learns a few basic concepts about wet and dry finish thickness. January 24, 2014

Best Philosophy For Managing Volume

What Would You Feel About This Proposal From A Potential Salesperson?

What Does A Foreman Do?

Am I Being Reasonable????

Finishing Cost (In-House Versus Contracted Out)
A cabinetmaker wonders why bids he gets to finish cabinets don't match his own cost to do the work himself. The question sets off a long discussion of cost, value, markets, and business strategies. May 17, 2010

History Of Bassett Furniture

How Much Do You Invest In A New Space???


Professional Photographer Wants $$ License Fee

Motivating Employees By Screaming

How Would You Handle This Customer?

Start Up, No Capital But Full Shop Of Machinery

Missing A Deadline In A Big Way, How Would You Handle This?

Screening Employees For Ebola

Is Melamine A 4-letter Word?

Making Money After Years In Woodworking

Throughput Problem

Access To The Facility

Scheduling And Manufacturing Software

How Do I Land Side Woodworking Jobs?

What To Do About Photos Being Infringed?

Taking Over A Business

How Did You Find Cheap Commercial Space???

Cabinet Shop Marketing Ideas

Charge Tax Or Not?

Custom Furniture Makers-how Do You Negotiate With Clients?


Communication Between Cabinet Shops About Outsourced Work
A busy cabinetmaker who needs to send work to another shop for cutting on CNC equipment wishes the other shop would meet him halfway on the transfer of information. A debate ensues. January 31, 2012

Table Leg Attachment and Veneer Details
This thread offers good analysis of table structure, veneering techniques for complex shapes, and the business problem of trying to compete with cheap manufactured goods as a custom furnituremaker. October 1, 2010

Management Structure

Starting A Buisness

Blue Ocean (sky) Strategies

Starting A Woodworking Business From Scratch - Would You Do It?

Business Value

Charging for Finish Samples and Color-Matching
Matching a customer's finish sample introduces complications. Here's how some cabinetmakers manage the process and the costs. August 19, 2008

Millwork And Casework Industry Question

When Is Enough Enough

The Business Of Wood Slabs

Problems First

Need Help With Trailer Options

How Man Hours Are Related To Production

Dealers For Small Custom Shop

Legitimate Questions From An Interviewee?

JIT Inventory Vs Ordering Doors

Considering Closing Shop And Working For Competition

Bidding On Fixtures We Currently Build

System For Recutting Damaged Parts

Moving Into Bigger Space

Starting Capital !!!

How To Expand?

Selling Higher Quality To Customers

Time Wasted Looking At Jobs

Interesting Conversation With Employee

Pricing Finished Versus Unfinished Cabinetry
Thoughts on breaking the cost of finishing out of the cost of a cabinet job. March 26, 2010

Employee Accountability

Resources/leads For Spec Custom Furniture/fixtures

Let's Talk Take-off Software

Fortune Teller: Making More Money in the Wood Industry
Wood Doctor Gene Wengert makes some educated guesses about the near future in the wood products industry, and offers some advice about how wood-based businesses can profit from change. April 15, 2013

Training In

Need A Website…where To Start

Job Tracking Software

Long Lead Times And Deposits

Economy Is Clearly Better

Salary For Finisher

Money In The Mail

First Employee Hired...work Contract Needed?

Employee Cell Calls In Bathroom

Using E-Track For Cargo Control

When Workload Is Low, What Do You Do?

Bad Client

Transitioning To Management

How To Handle A Hot-Headed Employee

Electric Cost For Molder

Who Does the Wood Trim Takeoffs?
Should the wood moulding supplier do quantity takeoffs, or should the customer do it? January 19, 2011

When To Walk Out On A Job

P-lam Price Check

Panel Processing Time with and without CNC
A CNC shop and a cabinetmaker using conventional equipment compare the labor time used to cut up and bore an entire kitchen. January 1, 2012

Big Shop Now Or Try To Get By In A Small One?

Big Bold Warranty - Or Something More Safe?

Commercial Cabinets Pricing

Business Opp

Conversion Varnish Supplier

As The World Turns

Accounting And Design Software !!!

Changing Business Name

How To Deal With Storing Finished Products

Documenting Project Specifications

Bidding Program/spreadsheet

Training New Employees

What Is A Commercial Estimator Worth?

Cost of Shop Drawings
Pros consider perspectives on drafting's share of the cost of a kitchen job. November 26, 2007

Outrageous Handling Fees

Anyone Using Good Software To Draw - Note Dimensions On Pictures?

Anyone Ever Worked With Todl.com?

Do I Need To Add Homeowner As An Additional Insured

Material Ordering On Per Job Basis

A Little Advice And Guidance May Help.

Choosing An Installation Market

Finding Shop Insurance

Developing Sales Channels For High-end Furniture For Hotels

CRM: Zoho, Salesforce, Etc..how Do You Use Them?

Moving My Business To Texas

Difference Between Interior Designer And Interior Decorator

Shop Drawings

Selling Excess Capacity

Prevailing Wage

Charging For Shop Drawings

New Hire Illness

Pricing Moulder Services
How to charge for machining someone else's material. January 13, 2006


Law Suit

Using Pinterest To Market Your Woodworking Business

Starting A Lumber Brokerage (small-time)

Contour Bander

Pricing Cabinets???


Installation Vehicle

Time Clocks

Potential Uses Of Scrap Wood

Safety Issues

Online Lien Service

Breaking Into Contract Work

Deducting Mix Use Shop Space

Square Foot Finishing Cost

Shipping Plywood

Best Places To Recruit New Employees

How To Make This Product

Go Smith Leads

Subscribing To Public Bid Lists

Counterintuitive Manufacturing Logic

Performance Review Forms

Brandt Edgebander Fast Clicking

Lumber Inventory Control

Which Of The Following Wood Types Are Valuable?

Best Outsource Door Manufacturer ??

3mm Pvc Breaking

Biomass Heating

HUD Severe Use

Cabinet Catalog Software?

Benifits Of A Showroom?

3rd Party Particle Board Cutting

Commercial Bidding Advice

Hiring Outside Salesman

Timesaver Roller Recover

Employee Evaluation

Business Model Of Big Machinery Purchases?

Moving Into Bigger Space

Finance Charges

Takeoff Software For Mouldings

Formula Help

Workers Comp Classification

AWI Standards

Project Managers Handbook

Efficient Allocation Of Shop Space

Insanely Messy Worker Wants To Be Foreman

Defining A Business?

Wood Species For Cabinet Doors

Cabinetmaker's Responsibilities
Lively conversation about who should handle plumbing, electrical, etc. on kitchen/bath projects. December 9, 2004

When a Job Goes Sour
Expectations were unclear, now the customer is unhappy. What to do? May 4, 2005

Choosing an Employee
Who to pick - the rookie, or the experienced hand? May 4, 2005

Moulding prices
Pricing product in a small, start-up moulding manufacturing operation. October 9, 2002

Itemized Estimates
Should you show item-by-item cost breakdowns to a client? April 10, 2005

Switching Specialties: From Cabinets to Furniture
Can a one-man business successfully make the change? Owners weigh in on both sides. July 24, 2005

Managing A Busy Spell
When you're over-booked, how do you handle new customers (and should you change your pricing)? April 10, 2005

Reputation, References And Customer Feedback
How to improve what your customers are saying about you. April 10, 2005

Cabinet Warranty In Unfinished Buildings
Covering yourself against damage caused by humidity and temperature. April 10, 2005

How To Charge For Design
Getting paid for design work's not easy, but some markets will bear it. April 10, 2005

Measuring and Estimating Trim Quantities
Tips for figuring quantities and ordering lengths. March 14, 2005

Advertising and Marketing
Solo craftsman gets advice on niche marketing. May 4, 2005

Caught in the Middle with Workers Comp
When a client doesn't pay on time, a business gets stuck in a workers-comp double bind. May 4, 2005

Shipping Methods
Furniture-maker gets advice on shipping pieces to distant customers. May 4, 2005

Accountability for Product Defects
Views on when and how to catch and fix defects. May 4, 2005

Discounts for Builders
Should a cabinetmaker offer a "contractor's discount" to builder customers? May 4, 2005

To Grow Or Shrink?

Contractor Mark Ups

How To Increase Efficiency In The Shop?

Jointer/Planer Or Wide Belt Sander

Business Climate

Employees Don't Want Responsibility

Three Phase Current, Demand Charges, and Phase Converters
Shedding some light on ways to minimize power company "demand charges," with an in-depth look at the way phase converters function. December 3, 2010

Illegal Operation

Looking To Grow!!

Growing A Custom Cabinet Company

Why Did You Start A Business In Woodworking?

Vertical CNC Machining Center

Safety And Fire Part Two

What's Involved in Starting Up a Moulding Supply Business?
Here are some business issues to think about if you're considering starting to both manufacture and install large volumes of custom trim. April 20, 2007

Insurance Company Requiring Spark Arrestors

Production Tips, part three
Part three of three from Woodworking International Magazine, offering proven ideas for increasing efficiency in production shops. 1998.

Production Tips, part two
Part two of three from Woodworking International Magazine, offering proven ideas for increasing efficiency in production shops. 1998.

Developing Sales Skills
Overcoming fear of sales, and implementing a sales strategy for your woodworking business - June 18, 1998

Making Stove Pellets from Shavings and Sawdust
A look at the technology for turning wood waste into wood-stove briquettes or pellets. Is it practical? January 25, 2010

Getting payments from general contractors
Woodworking pros trade tips on getting payments from general contractors. June 27, 2000

Outdoor wood furnaces
Experiences with outdoor "water stove" heating systems. March 20, 2001

Wood, the environment, and Man
A wide-ranging overview of the state of the primary processing industry, and where it may be going from here. August 10, 2000

Company sponsored, on-site drinking
Legal implications of the Friday afternoon beer-drinking session, and off-site alternatives to it. November 7, 2000

How Much Money Do I Need? - Part 2
A hard look at the financial end of starting your own woodworking business - June 18, 2000

Finding Software for Design and Visualization
It's hard to find one application that will quickly create design visualizations for a customer during a sales meeting, but also generate good designs suitable for construction in the shop. This thread offers some insight into software capabilities and some nice example drawings. December 28, 2010 ......

Value-added pricing: Why? -- Because you're worth it!
We all fear "those guys in their garages, doing work for cheap." But we really have nothing to fear at all.

Doing the Front-End Math
Jon Elvrum provides a process for making the transition to the 32mm system.

Good information equals production excellence
How can you assure that employees have all the information they need to do excellent work? September 26, 2000

Coping with an Employee -- Who Hasn't 'Got It'
An unproductive employee isn't likely to tell you the problem. You have to discover it and deal with it. 1998.

Building a rotary phase converter
How to build a rotary phase converter. November 29, 2000

Capacitor ratings and installation
Technical information on the installation of capacitors. Rule one: Call an electrician. November 29, 2000

Is this customer worth the hassle?
The project was complete and paid for in full. Then, the customer requested a "free" change to it. June 7, 2000

Mulligan Stew: Random Observations -- and Ideas on Management
A bunch of different stuff that owners and managers of woodworking business should think about. 1998.

Training Workers
The interviewing, hiring, and training process lays crucial groundwork that sets the tone for sound employee management. 1998.

Interviewing Potential Employees
The interviewing, hiring, and training process lays crucial groundwork that sets the tone for sound employee management. 1998.

Managing On-Site Work
Knowing how to handle yourself and your employees on a job site is critical to winning future referrals. 1998.

Components--Not Cabinets
A longtime adherent of the system process of cabinet manufacturing makes his case for componentizing. 1998.

The Web as a customer interface
Shop owners share their ideas on the Internet's usefulness from a marketing and customer service standpoint. September 6, 2000

Getting Started
Three basic tips for getting a new woodworking business off to a healthy start. 1998.

Production Tips, part one
Part one of three from Woodworking International Magazine, offering proven ideas for increasing efficiency in production shops. 1998.

All About Authority -- Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
Unless owners grant their managers the freedom to act, those managers will never rise to the stature of 'leader.' 1998.

Direct Mail: An Effective Marketing Tool -- for Custom Woodworkers
Small- to mid-sized shops can use this mode of marketing to their advantage. 1998.

How to Play 'The Circle Game'
Bad economies are inevitable. Here's how woodworking businesses can prepare. 1998.

Contracts and Collections
Owning a woodworking business is great, provided you remember it is a business. How to contract carefully, and get paid. 1998.

Preparing for Bad Times
Bad economies are inevitable. Here's how woodworking businesses can prepare. 1998.

A Selling System, part two
Part two of five, from Custom Woodworking Business magazine, on developing a customer base through a carefully planned and executed sales approach. 1998.

Assertiveness Training for Woodworkers
One in a series, looking at the relationships between woodworking companies and the businesses they deal with. 1998.

Advertising alternatives
What are the best-bang-for-buck advertising venues for woodworkers? November 7, 2000

Marketing Your Business
Assessing the value of various types of advertising and marketing tools. 1998.

A Selling System, part four
Part four of five, from Custom Woodworking Business magazine, on developing a customer base through a carefully planned and executed sales approach. 1998.

Turning to the 'Pros'
One in a series, looking at the relationships between woodworking companies and the businesses they deal with. 1998.

Can You Relate? -- Legal and Accounting
A closer look at the accounting and legal professions, and their value to woodworking businesses. 1998.

What NOT to expect from your computer -- Unreasonable expectations & wishful thinking
expect as a result of computerization. 1998

New Year's Resolutions -- Or: Leaving a Paper Trail
You can learn a lot from the paperwork a job generates, especially if you're careful to generate plenty of it. 1998.

Lead Generation - Knowing Your Customer -- It's the Key to Quality Leads
You really can’t generate profitable leads if you don’t know what you’re looking for -1998

Tools to choose in setting up shop
Selecting the best makes and models of tools when starting out. October 31, 2000

A Selling System, part five
Part five of five, from Custom Woodworking Business magazine, on developing a customer base through a carefully planned and executed sales approach. 1998.

Should I Advertise?
The whys and wherefores of marketing for owners of woodworking businesses. 1998

A Selling System, part one
Part one of five, from Custom Woodworking Business magazine, on developing a customer base through a carefully planned and executed sales approach. 1998.

A Selling System, part three
Part three of five, from Custom Woodworking Business magazine, on developing a customer base through a carefully planned and executed sales approach. 1998.

Retainage, what is it?
Retainage is defined and a lively discussion ensues. June 6, 2000

Effects of environmental awareness?
Lumber processors discuss the market effects of buyer awareness of environmental issues. August 23, 2000

People -- Your Biggest Key to Profitability
Creating a productive, inclusive shop atmosphere that encourages employee initiative. 1998

1998-Rewarding your People
Creating a productive, inclusive shop atmosphere, and rewarding employee initiative. 1998

Marketing Strategies -- to Help You Move Beyond Referrals
Referrals are fine, but don't ignore other ways of finding business. 1998.

Contracts versus cost-plus
Some jobs are impossible to estimate. But don't walk away until you've proposed working on a 'cost-plus' basis. 1998.

Job estimating: How-to
A primer for woodworkers on doing accurate job estimates. June 7, 2000

Taking it to the Bank
One in a series, looking at the relationships between woodworking companies and the businesses they deal with. 1998.

The Other Side of Estimating
How good cost accounting keeps your pricing structure 'honest.' 1998.

Building a Business Plan
One in a series, looking at the relationships between woodworking companies and the businesses they deal with. 1998.

Should engineers do parts drawings?
Product engineers can draw impressive sketches. But should they be expected to write code? November 15, 2000

Rates for sawmilling/kiln-drying
Sawyers post their individual rates for sawmill and kiln-drying services. June 27, 2000

When is three-phase power -- the right choice?
A primer on three-phase power, and when it's appropriate to make the switch from single-phase. June 14, 2000

The 'PDQ Rule' for Custom Work
Follow this simple rule to assure your custom manufacturing business's profitability. 1998.

Safeguarding Woodworking Machines and Worker Safety
A detailed description of machinery safeguarding techniques - 1984

Direct response marketing and testing
How to assess the effectiveness of advertising/marketing programs, particularly direct response marketing - 1998

Bad checks and bad credit
How to protect yourself from, and deal with, bad checks and un-creditworthy customers. June 7, 2000

Computers: Turbo-Charged Filing Cabinets
With a little effort, computers can make information storage and access a quick and painless process. 1998.

Sawing for half
Sawmillers trade their takes and tolerances for sawing in exchange for a share of the yield. August 10, 2000

Finding -- and Fine Tuning - your Niche
How to find the type of work you can do best, and most profitably. 1998.

Selling work despite long lead times
September 26, 2000

Applying UV-Cured Coatings to Flooring
Commercial pre-finished flooring comes with a UV-cured urethane finish, but that's an advanced process best left to the specialists. June 17, 2010

Profitability analysis
Forum participants provide their ideas on the reasons for low profits earned by a particular shop. November 13, 2000

Onsite sawing prices
Further discussion of how people charge for onsite, rough sawmilling services. January 24, 2001

Dealing with union organizing efforts
How to handle the potential unionization of your workforce. November 7, 2000

Estimating price of CNC projects
Formulas for calculating how much to charge on CNC jobs. January 3, 2001

Establishing a formal absenteeism policy
Shop owners discuss policies they've adopted to ensure consistent employee attendance, and how those policies are administered. September 26, 2000

Marketing a woodworking start-up
Some ideas for spreading the word about a new woodworking business. June 7, 2000

Procedures for shop-floor medical emergencies
What to do when a serious accident occurs in the shop. September 26, 2000

Aromatic cedar for closet lining
A discussion of drying and machining, aromatic red cedar for closet lining. Includes ideas on marketing the finished product. March 4, 2000

Database and inventory software
Recommended software for customer databases and inventory tracking. November 21, 2000

Market for persimmon?
Once popular in the manufacture of golf clubs, the demand for persimmon has slowed. March 2, 2000

Scheduling machinery maintenance
Creating an equipment maintenance schedule to ensure that machines provide peak proformance. January 16, 2002

Am I charging enough for work?
A woodworker wonders where his profits are. June 7, 2000

Moulding Calculator Spreadsheet Program
A free downloadable Excel spreadsheet that calculates the price per foot to charge for mouldings. December 16, 2000

Building a joint furniture venture
Advice on beginning a furniture manufactuing and sales partnership. November 7, 2000

Going metric: Pros and cons
Pros and cons of converting to metric measurement in your shop. February 28, 2001

Expanding a sawmill operation
Advice on expanding an existing sawmill operation June 20, 2000

Computers on shop floor
How to protect computers used on the shop floor from damaging dust. September 26, 2000

Machinery maintenance schedules
How to develop a system of regular equipment upkeep in your shop. March 16, 2001

Pricing custom cabinets
Examples of woodworkers' different pricing methods for kitchen cabinets. December 6, 2000

Valuing and pricing old lumber
Lumber pricing is like everything else: Whatever the market will bear.

AWI: A boon to sales?
The effects of AWI membership on sales are discussed. June 7, 2000

Boosting voltage with a transformer
Guidelines for increasing voltage through the use of a transformer. January 31, 2001

Primary processing profit parameters
Some goal guidelines for profitability in kiln-drying operations. July 26, 2000

After-the-kiln powderpost beetle infestation
Who's responsible for a powderpost beetle infestation, two years after the wood was kiln-dried? June 27, 2000

Calculating a material waste factor
How to determine a wastage factor to be applied when pricing work. November 29, 2000

Renewing rusted table saw tops
How to fix a badly rusted table saw top in a few easy steps. February 7, 2001

Learning the trade
How to approach a woodworking firm about becoming an apprentice. November 7, 2000

Lumber drying options and efficiencies
The Wood Doctor's favorite references for making decisions among lumber-drying options. 1998.

3-phase to single phase
Is it possible to convert 3-phase equipment to single-phase power? March 20, 2001

ITEMIZER - From R & R Drummond, Inc.
Use your computer to generate efficient layouts for cutting sheet material into desired sizes (a link to a demo download is provided)1998

Pricing custom kiln drying services
How to determine what to charge when kiln drying lumber for others. January 3, 2001

Liability insurance for on-site milling
Some sources for liability insurance covering sawmilling performed at a customer's location. June 20, 2000

Equipment layout and clearance standards
Suggested reading to find clearance standards for equipment in woodworking operations. March 16, 2001

Shopping For Shapers (To Make Your Own Doors)
There's a choice of machines, but is it worth it? April 10, 2005

Climb cutting and why not
Climb cutting on a shaper with feeder--safety and procedure issues. September 19, 2001

Radius of Convex Wall
Formulas for calculating this measurement. May 19, 2004

Scribing cabinets and Z clips
Issues of overhang and attachment are discussed. February 19, 2002

Hardwood Built-In Installations
Hardwood Built-Ins Create Striking Centerpiece. December 3, 2001

Cabinet doors: to build or to buy?
A roundtable on making raised-panel doors for cabinets, versus "buying them out," opening onto a discussion of the larger issues of tooling and automation. July 18, 2000

Spray Shop Layout
Setting up an efficient spray-finishing area in an expanded shop. December 26, 2004

Cost of Door Samples
A discussion about whether to give potential customers a sample of your cabinet doors — or how to charge for that. November 3, 2011

Safety and climb cutting
Safety issues involved in climb cutting with a shaper. January 21, 2003

AutoCAD Drawings, Step by Step
Efficient development of shop drawings. April 18, 2004

Photographing Your Work -- Professional Vs Amateur
Should you hire a professional, or take the photos yourself?

Appliance Cutouts
Standards, and a lack of, for kitchen appliace cutouts. August 7, 2004

Setting Up Excalibur Slider
Tips and photos for accurate alignment. March 14, 2004

Three-phase motors 101
Three-phase power and converters; explained in layman's terms. June 19, 2003

Bid Pricing For Cabinet Jobs
How to figure costs and prices? A start-up cabinetmaker gets an earful of good advice. April 14, 2005

Compressed air delivery system
Appropriate piping for shop air distribution lines. January 15, 2003

Speeding Up CNC Router Production
Tips on operation, loading and unloading for efficiency. December 26, 2004

Scribing loose end panels
Woodworkers describe the processes they use. April 3, 2002

Finish room heating
Safe systems for keeping you, your finishes and your spray equipment cozy. November 22, 2003

Scribe Rails -- Why Not?
Why are custom shops not including scribe material on backs? August 26, 2004

Layer Names and Line Defaults
Organizing and simplifying layers in CAD. May 19, 2004

Kitchen Remodel Rendering
Advice on software to create images showing how a new kitchen will look. April 14, 2005

Shop ceiling heights and heating types
Suggestions on minimum ceiling height and more for a new cabinet shop. August 13, 2002

Estimating High-End Cab Installs
An installer seeks tips on estimating his time and pricing his services. February 25, 2005

Converting power to three-phase
Things to consider when converting power from single-phase to three. June 24, 2001

Door Panel Tolerances
Sloppy fit : Is the supplier at fault? August 7, 2004

Biscuits Or Butt Joints
High-quality, high-speed cabinet joinery techniques. October 20, 2004

Applied wainscot
Creating fake raised panels for the lower portion of walls. April 3, 2002

Base cabinet installation
How to cope with wavy floors. April 3, 2002

To cleat or not to cleat
Does cleating cabinets save installation time and money? April 3, 2002

Joining boards end to end
What's the best way to do it when creating a 20' oak top? April 2, 2002

Exhaust Fan Size for Spray Booth
How much ventilation is needed? August 17, 2004

Frameless Cabinets With Traditional Look
Achieving quality and style with framless construction. April 4, 2004

Assembly table
A cabinetmaker shares a photo and description of his shop's assembly table. October 30, 2002

Cabinets over outlets and cables
Options for installing over electrical outlets and computer cables. July 9, 2002

Outfeed Table Plan
Construction ideas for an outfeed table with mounted router. March 14, 2004

Finishing As A Percent Of Cost
Breaking out the cost of finishing. April 10, 2005

Installing refrigerator end panels
The search for better methods. April 3, 2002

Three phase generator
Running machinery off of a three-phase generator. September 2, 2002

Gang Ripping on a Moulder
Tips for making short work of multiple rips. February 27, 2005

Resawing Reclaimed Heart Pine Timbers
February 27, 2005

Soundproof Shop
Considering noise reduction when building a shop. February 10, 2004

How Much Money Do I Need? - Part 1
A hard look at the financial end of starting your own woodworking business - June 18, 2000 June 18, 2000

USPs: Your key to selling success
How "unique selling propositions" can increase sales and focus your marketing efforts. - 1998

Cost of running a CNC router
Choosing the right CNC machine based on projected capabilities and costs. November 29, 2000

An overview of sawmill operations
Sawmill operators swap experiences, "war" stories, and ideas for production profitability. October 17, 2000

Three-phase electricity primer
Pros and cons of three-phase electricity and static and rotary phase converters. November 21, 2000

Think before you take the CNC plunge
WOODWEB technical advisor Brian Personett offers some food for thought to those thinking about purchasing CNC equipment. November 15, 2000

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