The secret to being a successful woodworker lies in managing your budget. Whether you’re offering a professional service or are just a dedicated hobbyist, the amount of money saved over a single project should not be underestimated. To help you save the most cash in your carpentry, we’ve listed 6 money saving woodwork hacks that won’t have you compromising on quality.
#1 Make the most of scrap wood
The biggest expense in woodworking is the material. Getting wood that’s freshly cut to size can be costly in the long run, so it helps to know how to make your scrap wood go for longer. Unused pallets, weathered furniture, office supplies...there are countless sources of scrap wood that can either be used to bolster your existing project, or turned into DIY shelving or mini-furniture pieces. For more information on how to find and treat reclaimed wood, one of our previous blog posts covers the subject in depth.
#2 Learn to hunt closeout products
Most tradesmen agree that going after the newest and most (excuse the pun) cutting-edge tools is foolhardy. Likewise, second hand isn’t always advisable if you want something made to last. One of the best money saving woodwork hacks we ever heard was learning to hunt closeout products. The manufacturers of hardwood flooring products are always upping their own ante, and that means older models will eventually be sold off at at great deals. Rest assured that you aren’t getting ripped off - these products were the latest and best thing a year or two ago, and they’re still perfectly functional now.
#3 Rent or borrow the more specialised tools
Sometimes a woodworking project requires the use of a very unique tools, such as an air compressor, a shingle froe or a timber scribe. You may, understandably, be wondering when you’ll ever need the item again, so to avoid shelling out for such niche carpentry tools, it’s better to first ask other woodworkers if you can borrow their, or if there are any shops or businesses that could loan you one.
#4 Prioritise price according to safety
It’s a satisfying feeling to know you saved hundreds by buying a tool second hand. However, you won’t be so smug if it turns out the equipment is faulty or malfunctioning in such a way that it could pose a safety hazard. Avoiding this is common sense; always inspect the tool for possible signs of damage, ensure that all parts and accessories are operating normally, and that you get receive an owners manual and other documentation with the purchase.
#5 Learn to master hand tools
If you’re short on money but loaded with time, one of the best money saving woodwork hacks is to train yourself with more traditional tools. A hand tools can do everything power tool can if you're patient, and relying on them will save you smaller amounts of money in the long-run, such as the cost of electricity, repairs and spare/replacement parts.
#6 Work with your local timber yards and builders merchants
One of the biggest mistakes new or unacknowledged tradesman make is over-relying on the major hardwood stores. Yes, it’s very convenient to have such a selection in one place, but these shops often charge double what you’d pay in a dedicated builder's merchants or timber yard. As a means of getting timber, access to tools and a variety of other woodworking hacks, opening an account with these organisations will be a huge money saver.