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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes I have a full time job, but I am looking at next year to find a commercial spot to start me a cabinet shop next spring. I know its going to be hard. Cause I don't if my income can afford a spot to rent.
 

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I've never heard a cabinet guy say it's cheap to set up shop. I've heard of people renting shop time or renting the tools if they are starting out.
 

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I've never heard a cabinet guy say it's cheap to set up shop. I've heard of people renting shop time or renting the tools if they are starting out.
Tools ain't cheap, though you asked about space (assuming you have some tools!), you often can find a place to rent reasonable enough...post an ad in the local paper looking for a ##'x##' shop to rent, and see if anyone has a garage they're not using...some people have luck, some don't! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am looking for the space, I like old arn woodworking machines so I can get set up on the cheap. I make $9.35 and hour so I hope I can find something in the $300 price range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I can't that's why I am trying to get a side gig going. I am still living at home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had been looking at building a small garage to start off, but I don't wont to fight my local government on have a business at the house.
 

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Personally, I wouldn't start up counting on old machines unless I was a whiz reconditioning them.

Have you worked out your build process / cost details on paper yet?
 

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Hey CJ, Lord knows you been trying to get something going.

A cabinet shop is going to need one heck of a cash outlay to get started.
Then several months expenses in the bank to cover you during start up.

Besides stationary equipment you will need fab tables, saw blades, cutters, bits etc etc etc....

$300 for any kind of commercial space is pretty low.

Cabinets are also very competitive.

Not to burst your bubble, but why don't you start with a Handyman gig.
You have most everything to get that going. Keep your job with the city and do Handyman stuff after work & weekends.
 

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CJ, I'd listen to griz for this year.

I just wrapped up year 1 of working on my own and I can tell you that despite being 5 years in the trades, having had what I consider to be a great first year in business, and owning the vast majority of tools you need to do light carpentry, I am nowhere close to being able to afford the space or equipment to consider myself a cabinet maker. Like others have said, there are guys who have been at that game for a long time and have 10's of thousands of dollars of equipment and 10's of thousands of square feet at their disposal.
The most important thing for you right now is going to be getting a feel for how the business works if you don't have that already. Like I said a minute ago, I'm almost exactly a year in right now and I'm just now starting to feel confident in what I'm doing in terms of bidding accurately and making sure I get some ok margins off the jobs that I do, which range from handyman stuff, to semi-decent sized paint and trim jobs.
Stay at home as long as your folks are kind enough to have you and if they've got a garage, see if you can rent a side of it from them. That's all you need. I keep all my tools in my 600sqft apartment, which I will add is a walk up. The shop will make you money in the future, but like griz said, you may not be ready for that undertaking just yet.
Best of luck!
 

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I had been looking at building a small garage to start off, but I don't wont to fight my local government on have a business at the house.
Also about this... even if they do know, which they probably won't, they most likely aren't going to care.
Admittedly, I don't know anything about your area. Around here though, every house with a garage in the neighborhood has a contractor operating out of it. As long as you're not trying to open up a permanet cabinet making shop in your folks' place you should be alright.
A garage or shed to store your tools and make some cuts in should fly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey CJ, Lord knows you been trying to get something going.

A cabinet shop is going to need one heck of a cash outlay to get started.
Then several months expenses in the bank to cover you during start up.

Besides stationary equipment you will need fab tables, saw blades, cutters, bits etc etc etc....

$300 for any kind of commercial space is pretty low.

Cabinets are also very competitive.

Not to burst your bubble, but why don't you start with a Handyman gig.
You have most everything to get that going. Keep your job with the city and do Handyman stuff after work & weekends.
You got a point there.
 

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The thing about doing cabinet work is it is the same finish quality as furniture. Just learning the finishing part can take a little while, and a fair amount of floor space for doing even medium sized jobs.

Then you have the question as to whether you're going to be using software to design and render your proposals. That takes time and money to learn. Or will you end up generating a CAD file so you can have fab done at a local CNC cabinet shop?

Maybe you start out in a niche that you can transform into cabinet making down the road. Whatever you do, you don't really want a big money outlay and a monthly payment while you're getting off the ground, If you can do something like use Sketchup to design sheds, that gets you going without a shop.
 

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A cabinet shop needs to be able to produce and hold a kitchen. My first shop was 600 sq ft. I did no finishing at all. That 600 dropped to about 150 when cabinets were assembled. Made it very hard to move. That was $250/mo, no insulation, crap for heat in a 3 car garage 60 miles round trip from my home.

My second shop was about 1200 sq ft. Same problem. After cabs were build a lot less room to move. Stacked them up to save space, but the one you need is always on the bottom. $650/mo OK insulation, good heat, 2 miles from home

My addition was another 1100 sq ft. Made this storage and finishing. Now I had room to make kitchens and finish them. Another $600/mo, total $1250/mo.

I need to clear $755/wk to just turn on the lights and walk through the door. Lights, heat, insurance, utilities and rent. Plus I have $30,000 in machinery and essentials.

I did this all by myself with no loans or outside help (Dad did help some). And still some years are really tough to find rent money and living money. Some not.

I don't think $300/mo is going to get much unless you are in a really depressed area and can get an old building for $1/sq ft
 

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CJ... let me throw in my thoughts too. If you're indeed making less than $400 a week, then there's just no way for you to try and set up shop on your own "cold turkey." Why not this... take repair jobs on the weekends. You LITERALLY can double your weekly pay every Saturday by doing a simple floor repair in somebody's bathroom. Put out fliers, print some cards and put them on community bulletin boards, but if you're a personable guy, just walk around in Lowe's and talk to people who look like they have absolutely no idea what they are doing there. Go to the commercial sales desk and introduce yourself to the guy working there. If he's not a complete jerk, and you can create some kind of connection with him, he may hand out your number. Offer to give him a few bucks. Remember... he's working by the hour too, and $50 for a referral on a $1,000 job is nothing for you, but it's an entire week's lunches for him.

If you're making $400 a week, how big is $400 for Sat. and Sunday? ..or $800? And it won't cost you a dime in start up costs or rent, or electricity. I'm gonna say this too about haning around Lowe's or Home Depot trying to drum up business. If you're not willing to do something like that, you're very likely not gonna make it in business, because people won't just start lining up at your door offering you work just because you put a sign on it.... Good luck, I hope you find success.
 

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Kermie is on the money. One painting job can mean the difference of a good month and a great month to me. That extra ~$500-$1000 that you might be able to pick up by working some OT will really afford you the ability to step your game up.
 
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