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There was a time when crafting was seen as little more than a hobby to pass the time on cold winter days. These days crafting has evolved into a legitimate form of business for loads of people all around the world, allowing them to turn their creative hobbies into means of income, whether it be supplementary or a full-time job. This is thanks to the means of crafting not only becoming more readily available thanks to mass production, but these means have also become way more affordable than they previously were. Crafting kits for beginners and professionals are sold everywhere from hardware stores to kids’ books stores, and people all over the world are taking advantage of these kits not only to make some extra money but to create much-needed jobs for people in their communities.
Table of Contents
- 1 Are You Thinking About Selling Wood Crafts?
- 2 What Will You Need to Get Started in Wood Crafting?
- 3 Is Wood Crafting a Profitable Business?
- 4 What Are the Wood Projects That Sell the Best?
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Are You Thinking About Selling Wood Crafts?
So, you’re thinking about selling wood crafts. This is great! There are hundreds of crafts out there that you can create and sell to make some of the sweet, sweet cash. Even though it can seem a bit daunting to newcomers, making crafts and selling them is actually quite easy compared to other small business ideas, and what’s more, is that you can actually have a lot of fun and express your creativity while turning a profit.
One of the initial challenges of starting your own wood crafting business is deciding what you’d like to make and sell. The easiest way to decide is to do a bit of research into which crafts sell the best overall, and what sort of things people in your immediate community want or need.
This will give you a good idea of what to make and how much money you’ll need to spend to get started, although generally speaking the start-up costs are pretty low for anyone looking to get their feet wet in the commercial crating industry. Once you know what you’d like to make you should probably decide where you’re going to work. Remember that woodwork and crafting, in general, can get quite noisy and produce a lot of mess, so starting your crafting business in your bedroom isn’t really an option.
Most people that sell crafts in their spare time start out in a garage or their back yard. Why? These areas have sufficient ventilation, space, and make it easier to clean up things like sawdust and crat glue. They also dissipate noise fairly well, so your neighbors and family won’t lose their minds every time you turn on a power tool.
What Will You Need to Get Started in Wood Crafting?
Finally, you will need the right tools for the job. When starting out, most crafters go for smaller crafts that don’t require any specialized tools to make. These crafts are usually available in kits that come with instructions, glue, wood, screws, nails, paints, and even things like gloves and goggles. Starting with one of these should allow you to develop your crafting skills and the confidence you’ll need to start making your own custom designs later on. Remember, while ambition is great, it won’t do you much good if your designs are bad, so focus on your craft when you’re starting out.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of basic wood crafting, you might feel a bit restricted by the designs set forth in woodworking kits, which is usually an indication that you’re ready to move on to your own designs.
At this point, you will need to decide on where you’re going to get your wood from, where you’ll be getting supplies like wood glue, wood stain, epoxy resin, nails, crews, and paint from. You’ll also need to invest in tools like a power sander, sanding paper for smaller workpieces, a drill, a power saw, a circular saw, and a decent workbench with a vice to secure your workpieces.
Is Wood Crafting a Profitable Business?
Considering that you’re interested in starting a business in the wood crafting industry, it’s a good idea to know whether it’s likely to be a successful one. A good indication of whether an industry is worth entering is its worth, and if you’re wondering how much the wood crafting industry is worth, it’s up to about $36 Billion in annual revenue.
This being said, it’s a good industry to enter if you know what you’re doing, have a passion for wood crafting, and have a market willing to pay you some of that sweet, sweet cash we mentioned earlier to make things for them.
Before you go putting your well-earned money into the industry, it’s also a good idea to know what the market is like, and what you can expect going into the industry on a day-to-day basis whether you’re interested in doing wood-crafting on a full time or part-time basis.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Selling Woodwork Pieces?
Woodwork art is just that, an art form, and like most other forms of professional artwork, there are advantages to doing it for money. Since the advent of the internet and specifically sites like Etsy and Instagram, the cliché of the struggling artist has become somewhat less realistic, and even though you won’t be making millions of dollars every month, most artists who have found their niche market and are consistent in their output seem to make a decent living off doing what they love.
Advantages of Woodwork Crafting
This doesn’t mean that you’ll be a guaranteed success though, as it takes lots of hard work, marketing, and development of your personal brand to ensure that your brand is reputable but reaches the widest audience possible to maximize the probability of making that next sale. This being said, there are many advantages to working in the wood crafting industry, one of them being that you get to work from the comfort of your own home.
Although this is an option and not a prerequisite to becoming successful when selling woodwork art, most professionals work from home and simply have an online store where people can purchase or commission workpieces from. This doesn’t mean that you can’t set up an official location from which to operate your business, but it does help a lot with overhead costs especially for new artists. You also have the advantage of working for yourself, knowing that all of the money you make is either going back into your business or directly into your pocket, plus you don’t have to go into the office!
Making woodwork for sale is also a really flexible business, you don’t have to go all-in on one concept, you can adjust the scale of your business to suit demand, output, your things in your personal life. You could be making furniture one day, ad when the market for that dies down, you could decide to make ornate decorations or bed frames. If you’re the kind of person who likes learning new things and developing their skills, this might just be the occupation you’ve been looking for.
Disadvantages of Woodwork Crafting
Just as there are loads of advantages to working in the woodworking industry there are some disadvantages too. For one, you probably aren’t the only person who thought wood-crafting would make a good primary or secondary income.
The crafting industry, in general, has become really crowded, and as a result, this saturation has meant that crafters in some parts of the world have become a dime a dozen, which means that its buyers will often go elsewhere if they feel like they can get something cheaper unless you specialize in a particular craft or give them good value for their money, which means more work on your part.
The crafting scene can also be inconsistent at times. It is for this reason that many crafters are skilled in multiple disciplines to ensure that they’re able to make their bottom line and put some money in their pockets. While demand for wood crafts is consistent, this doesn’t mean that the particular line of products that you offer will line up with the flavor of the week.
Diversification is extremely important to those who intend to do wood crafting full time, this won’t only save your business when things die down, but it will ensure that you’re always busy and always discovering new markets from which to make a potential profit.
Now, wood crafting can be a tough occupation overall, and it can get really labor-intensive if you’re fulfilling orders day in and day out, so it can take a bit of a toll on your body if you’re the kind of person that’s used to typing away on a keyboard all day.
It can also be expensive if you decide to pursue wood-crafting on a professional level, between tools, lighting, cleaning supplies, specialized equipment, and even watching your power bill go up, there are loads of overheads you’ll need to cover to ensure that you’re able to pump out the volume and quality of crafts that will allow you to turn a profit over time.
What Are the Wood Projects That Sell the Best?
Whether you’ve studied business economics or just watched some videos on YouTube to educate yourself on basic business practices, you probably know that investigating your market and getting to know what sells instantly gives you a heads up on what you should implement in your new business. This begs the question; how do you get your hands on wood projects that sell well? We thought it might help your new business venture to give you an idea of what wood projects sell best, and how wood projects that sell well differ from others that tend to be a bit stagnant.
Household items are one of the wood products that sell well. There are loads of household items that are relatively easy to make because they require very few specialized tools to mock-up, cut out, and eventually assemble and decorate. These are also validly usable in people’s everyday life, and if you get the pricing of your items right, these could end up being wood products that sell consistently and generate an income. Let’s have a look at some of these DIY wood projects and why they sell as well as they do.
Wood Base Clocks
Time is something that affects us all, we use it to schedule our lives, and if you aren’t working from home these days it ensures that you don’t get a stern talking to when you arrive at work an hour late. Although most of us use our smartphones as our primary timepieces, household clocks are handy to have around, plus if they’re made to look really nice, they have a way of bringing a space together.
Wooden clocks have become extremely popular in recent years as we move away from overly metalized aesthetics towards technology that seamlessly blends in with the natural environment.
These clocks can be made in pretty much any shape you can think of, and clock mechanisms can be purchased for next to nothing, so if you find the right target market you could turn these wooden clocks into a formula for printing money. They’re also the ideal small woodworking projects for beginners looking to build some capital for their small businesses.
Wooden Charging Station
We mentioned previously that there’s a trend to make technology integrate seamlessly with our natural environments, and a good illustration of this concept is how both wired and wireless chargers are now being made and sold in wooden options. Everything from tablet holders to mobile phones and wireless earphone charging stations has been made to fit into these little wooden display cases that provide an overall softer look and feel to the conventionally drab device charging aesthetic.
The best part is that it’s really easy to make these little furnishings, using some basic shapes and a little bit of creativity you can create custom phone, tablet, and/or headphone charging stations that will make your customers feel like they’ve had something custom made for them (you can do this too, of course). Once you have your basic designs worked out, you can alter them and make themed docking stations, or integrate generic wireless charging technology into them for added exclusivity, which you can then increase your asking price for.
Workpieces like these can be targeted towards older customers and millennials alike, ensuring that you always have a broad customer base for your products. Don’t forget that these charging stations can be themed or customized for occasions if you feel like doing some commissioned work, just ensure that you watch out for copyright infringement laws and don’t bite off more than you can chew either!
Wooden Wine Rack
Whether you’re a drinker of wine or not, it’s easy to appreciate the beauty and intricacy custom wine racks tend to have. Wine racks are used all over the world and they typically have a style that represents the culture and aesthetic of the country and time they’re made in.
Wine racks are also one of the few scrap wood projects that sell well, which makes them accessible to those who can’t get their hands on fresh wood all the time or have some leftover wood they’re looking to repurpose.
Besides being easy to make and not requiring any complicated nuts and bolts, they’re an awesome way for you to display any bottles you’re proud of in a classy and elegant manner. These can be sold online, or you could ask someone at your local winery to display and promote your wooden wine racks to any would-be customers.
Furthermore, keep in mind that even though this falls into the category of scrap wood projects that sell well, ensure that your wood is structurally sound to avoid forfeiting your newly displayed bottles.
Wooden Mug Holders
Whether you love a freshly brewed cup of coffee in the morning or starting your day with a relaxing mug of tea to get you in the right frame of mind before you start your day, we can all agree that a mug that holds just the right amount of your favorite drink is one of the few pleasures life has to offer that essentially everyone can enjoy.
Something that we don’t think about often is where we store and display our mugs, which makes sense considering that all we really think about is their function. If you are interested in displaying your mugs or making some mug holders you can sell, you’ll be happy to know that they’re easy to make and that they’re small wood projects that sell well all over the world.
Wood Craft Coasters
If you’re looking to cut your teeth on some small wood projects that sell like the wooden mug holders we mentioned previously, why not give wooden coasters a try? They’re the ideal beginner DIY woodworking projects because they can be customized really easily, be made in really large amounts, are a great gift for any occasion, and are usable in everyday life.
These can be made in mass, or you could make customer coasters by integrating things like resin, acrylic paint, photographs, trinkets, food coloring, and even other materials like metal and/or plastic. If you’d like to set your resin coasters apart from the rest, you could include a holder with each purchase to give your potential customers some value for their money, plus these holders make excellent small DIY woodworking projects.
Wooden Cutting Boards
While most of us don’t think twice about the boards we prepare our food on, they are an essential part of everyday life for those of us who love to cook, and even if you don’t like to cook you’re still going to need one for the odd occasion where you (begrudgingly) have to. There’s no escaping the need for a stable surface to cut things on, so why not make one of your own and make some money while you’re at it?
Cutting boards sell like hotcakes, and they have the same versatility and room for customization that things like coasters and wooden signs do. One of the bestselling types of wooden cutting boards right now are ones that are coated in resin, this allows you to create river patterns, insert designs, and create custom looks all while ensuring that your workpiece is completely food safe for all of your potential customers.
Wooden Serving Trays
While making wooden serving trays are very similar to making wooden cutting boards, they do have raised borders with integrated handles to ensure that you’re able to carry things without them falling off the edges. You could think of these as simple additions to your initial cutting board design, which means you don’t have to come up with an entirely new design if you decide to sell these.
Serving trays typically fetch a slightly higher price compared to cutting boards because they serve a less practical application and are viewed more as orate decorations. Knowing this, you could use custom designs and cut out to make your serving trays unique and more desirable to potential customers. Serving trays are considered to be wood crafts that sell well but don’t move quite the same volumes that things like coasters and cup holders do.
Wooden Stove Covers
Typically, if any of us picture stove covers, we usually picture those little metal saucer-like things that sit on top of our stove burners when we aren’t using them for cooking. The concept of a large wooden board covering your entire stovetop then might sound a little silly considering that stoves are usually a really strong source of heat.
This being said, the single-piece wooden stove top trend has become extremely popular in recent years, especially to those looking to cultivate a rustic aesthetic in their homes.
These are really easy to make too – just look up the most common dimensions of stovetops sold in your immediate region and make a really big, really thick cutting board to sit on top of them.
Wooden stove covers sell really well. Just ensure that you remind your customers that these can be flammable even though this should go without saying. If you’re a stickler for safety (as all of us should be) you could add a relatively thin layer of epoxy resin to the bottom of your stove covers to ensure they’re fire-resistant.
Wooden Spice Racks
These are great if you’re looking to make your house feel a bit cozier. Spice racks are an awesome addition to any kitchen setting and ensure that you always know where all of your spices are and exactly how much of them you have left. They also have a way of bringing a space together, so it should come as no surprise that these tend to sell pretty well both in-store and online.
With more and more people cooking from home and exploring their culinary side, you could knock out a few of these and turn a decent profit in no time. Spice racks are easy to make, take very little material to create, and can be customized with ornate designs, pyrography, some tasteful touches of paint, and anything else you think would appeal to your target market. Spice racks and even wood spice containers are wood crafts that sell particularly well.
Another thing that pretty much everyone needs and uses but is often overlooked when it comes to wood craft ideas to sell. Although it might seem like there are difficult to make because their shapes aren’t what you can achieve with conventional wood cutting tools, all you really need it’s a basic understanding of carving and some practice to get started.
These are excellent wood craft ideas to sell, especially if you enjoy making more detailed workpieces, and they sell really well because they’re readily usable in our everyday lives.
You could make pretty much anything that comes to mind from wooden spoons to egg flippers and spatulas, or you could make things like salad forks, chopsticks, and even measuring spoons! The possibilities and design variations are only limited by your imagination and don’t hesitate to throw food-safe colorings in there if the mood takes you, after all, exclusivity tends to fetch a higher price compared to generic cutlery.
Generally speaking, most of us have wooden furnishings in our homes. This makes sense considering that wooden furniture is fairly cheap, plus the materials are readily available and that many furnishings are generally easy wood projects to sell. This being said, let’s have a look at some wooden furnishings that are simple to make happen to be easy wood projects to sell whether you’re looking at woodworking as a full-time or part-time endeavor.
Wooden Shelving Units
Regardless of who you are or where you’re from, the chances are that you need a shelf of some kind for your home or office. Humans like to organize things so they’re easy to find and readily available, well, some more than others but that’s the general consensus. Shelving units are a good way to make money because people always need them, and they’re typically replaced and/or repaired quite often.
Making shelving units is a relatively easy task and will ensure that you always have work on your hands. All you need to do is make a reinforced rectangular frame which is done with some nails, screws, a saw, and the wood of your choice. You can then sell these shelves pre-assembled or in easy to assemble pieces, plus you can offer different trim levels like plain, stained, or painted wood variations of these workpieces.
As we mentioned previously, most people have an inherent need for things to be organized and/or categorized in the interest of convenience and ease of access, and although shelving is great for large to medium-sized objects, desk and wall organizers are better suited for smaller items like keys, mail, receipts, coupons, pens, and other odds and ends that would otherwise end up collecting dust in your junk drawer.
Wooden organizers sell really well in a time where more and more people are working from home, and they’re really easy to make too. All you need is a medium-sized board and smaller pieces to cobble together some little compartments either with a good adhesive, nails, or both. You can create wall-mounted organizers or desktop ones, both of which are handy, easy to personalize/customize, and easy to sell.
While you could try your hand at making the kind of desk that you’d find in the office of a corporate CEO, we think that you might find more success with simple, minimalist desk designs for your immediate customer base. Everyone needs a good desk, regardless of their profession, and that’s why desks are one of the best-selling wood crafts on the market today.
You could make desks from basically any kind of wood too, whether it be solid wood, engineered wood, heartwood, sapwood, light wood, dark wood, you name it and you can probably fashion a desk out of it.
Making a desk is pretty self-explanatory, but in case you’ve never done it before there are loads of YouTube tutorials and woodworking books on the market to point you in the right direction. Offering minimalist desks, desks both with and without drawers, desks of different heights and sizes will ensure that you reach the biggest market possible, and in turn, maximize your potential to make a profit.
Wooden Clothing Hampers
The best way to ensure that your new woodworking business is successful is to pander to the biggest market you can initially and then narrow down what your customers base’s specific likes and dislikes are. The best way to do this is to fulfill everyday needs, and since everyone needs a place to store their dirty clothing (not your bedroom floor or the chair that you never use), clothing baskets are a great idea.
The best part about these is that all they consist of is a wooden frame and either a removable lid or one with a hinge which most of them are sold with these days. You can make these out of different woods and price them according to their worth, you can also integrate them into shelving units, offer them in different shapes and sizes, and customize your designs for commissioned workpieces.
When someone says wooden lamps it’s easy to imagine really intricate works of art that have been carved by hand by master crafters who have decades of experience. In reality, you only need a few basic woodworking tools to make a wooden lamp out of either a solid block of wood or a few pieces of wood you have laying around. It’s important to keep an open mind when working with workpieces that incorporate light, as other materials like resin, glitter, and even stencils can be used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your workpiece.
If you’re worried about the electronic component of these, don’t be. You can purchase a complete circuit with a ready-to-go plus from most hardware stores or online from sites like Amazon. All you need to do is integrate these units into your wooden lamps and get creative about hiding excess wiring if you’re not comfortable trimming them on your own.
Wooden Coffee Tables
People disagree on lots of things these days, but we feel like the one thing we can all agree on is that a wooden coffee table just makes any space better. Even if you aren’t an avid enjoyer of coffee, it’s easy to see why they’re one of the most purchased woodwork items not only in the US but all over the world.
Coffee tables are really easy to make, and because everyone generally has their own styles and preferences when designing these, yours will undoubtedly be unique and therefore fetch a decent price.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to designing wood coffee tables, everything from the legs, to the frame, and even the tabletop itself can be swapped out and even replaced with different materials like solid wood, resin, glass, plastic, and even metal if the mood takes you. Coffee tables have five primary components, which means they aren’t overly complicated to fabricate, so ensure that you consider these if you’re thinking about getting into the wood crafting game. Their role as a focal point in an interior also means that a beautifully designed and expertly made coffee table can be sold at a premium.
Wooden TV Stands
If you’ve ever had to purchase a Tv stand you know that finding something that’s practical and fits your personal taste can leave you scrolling the internet for hours, or if you’re a more hands-on shopper, you might find yourself looking through endless isles of mass-produced entertainment units at your local Walmart. That’s why custom-designed TV stands seem to be all the rage right now.
Customers who are by the means will more often than not pay top dollar for custom designs with specific design features like drawers, patterns, layouts, and shelves being par for the course. This doesn’t mean that generic designs are off the table (no pun intended) as there are just as many people who are looking for a simple yet effective design. TV stands are pretty much more intricate coffee tables in terms of design, so they’re an easy project for beginners and professionals alike. Unless of course you plan on introducing a cool feature like a tv lift, which is easier to do than you may think.
Wooden Bed Frames
We mentioned previously that the best way to ensure that your wood crafting business is successful initially is to hit the largest target market possible. This means fulfilling people’s everyday needs, and no matter how much or how little you do it, everyone needs to sleep. Bed frames take a certain amount of experience and skill to make well, but if all you’re looking to make is a basic design with some added flair, there are tons of tutorials and crafting books to guide you on your journey.
If you’re going to be making wooden bed frames it’s best to make some headboards to go with them too. Even if you aren’t selling them as a pair, you should keep some on hand on the off chance you’re able to upsell your customers at the point of sale. Headboards can be a bit tricky to do well and will require some craftsmanship on your part to have any real aesthetic impact.
Wooden Jewelry Box
If you’ve ever been to a craft fair, or literally just scrolled through Pinterest, you’ll see that both custom-made and vintage jewelry boxes are really popular. This comes as no surprise, after all, why wouldn’t you want something special to store your prized possessions in?
Basic jewelry boxes are just that; a box with a hinge and little compartments inside designed to neatly store all of the jewelry inside. They’re easy and inexpensive to make, plus they sell really well if you’re willing to invest some time and effort into their design.
Generic jewelry boxes can bring in consistent profits. With the right wood treatment, basics skills with a pyrography pen, a decent adhesive, and some artistic vision, you could potentially see huge profits by creating custom designs. However, take the time to look up some decent and eye-catching design options before you get to work.
While there are loads of things that people need every day that could sell really well if you made them, sometimes we want things for the simple reason that we want them. Home decor can make a house feel like a home, and besides, why shouldn’t we make our homes look and feel the way we like? Here are a few items you could make to liven up spaces and sell for a premium.
Wooden Wall Signs
Wooden wall signs are one way of ensuring that you always have money flowing in. They always seem to be fashionable, are easy to make, can be made from basically any wood type, and require very little skill to be made well. You’ve probably encountered these even if you know nothing about woodwork in the form of those live laugh love wall mountings that were really popular back in the day (and still are, from what we hear).
These signs can be made to say anything, can be engraved through the use of a pyrography pen, stencils, cutouts, paint, and anything else you can think of. They can also be fashioned into any shape and make great small woodworking projects for beginners and professionals. If you’re lacking in the creativity department, you could look up popular design choices on sites like Pinterest, or attach crafts to them to make them unique.
The themes for these wooden wall mountings are essentially limitless, you can make little cut outs for kids, teenagers, adults, for occasions like weddings and birthdays, you could even fashion them into individual letters, so people are able to create their own custom messages for any occasion. Wall mountings are amongst the ultimate income-earning DIY wood projects.
Wood Log Candle Holders
While practical wood crafting is awesome, sometimes we want things that look pretty and don’t really improve the quality of life but just kind of look really cool and make us feel good on the inside. One of these things is cute and/or rustic candle holders for your living room or bedroom that help set the mood regardless of the occasion.
One of the best things about making candle holders is that they’re not only easy to sell, but they’re really easy to make too. Whether you’re making box-shaped ones or hollowing out solid wood to make integrated holders, there is a good market for each considering how popular the rustic aesthetic has become in recent years.
You don’t even need to purchase new wood to start making candle holders. Both desktop and suspended candelabra can be made with leftover or scrap wood pieces which minimize cost. If you’d like to sweeten the deal for your customers, try ornate designs, pyrography, offering candle holders in sets, or custom personalization with each purchase to carve out your own section of the market.
Wooden LP Holders
If you’re in the mood to cater to the hipster crowd or those who simply have a taste for a better quality of sound, why not consider making some wooden record holders? As vinyl has come back in a big way recently, there is quite a market for unique and more importantly new vinyl storage cases/racks among those who aren’t feeling their grandparents’ old furnishings.
While this is a pretty niche market for those who can afford vinyl, these people more than likely can also afford a place to store them, which means you can look forward to some good money if you’re able to reach that market and consistently sell your custom designs. These are relatively easy to make too, you could use the same design framework as you would design a spice rack and simply use a thicker board on the edges.
The most important thing about record-holders besides their inherent functionality is that they look the part too. Using darker wood stains or varnish will ensure that you cater to the dominant aesthetic of the culture, and in turn, have a better chance of selling your work. It also helps to have a strong presence on social media communities that cater to lovers and collectors of vinyl records.
Now that you know what the reality of wood-crafting is, what you will need to get started, whether it’s a profitable industry, some pros and cons of diving into this type of business, and what some of the top-selling crafts on the market are, it’s time for you to get out there and out your newfound knowledge to the test. Remember to do some market research, ensure that you have all the right tools, and always make your workpieces as unique as possible to carve out your piece of the wood crafting market.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Woodworking a Craft?
Woodworking can be described as many things, including but not limited to a craft, an art form, and a reputable trade for many people all over the world. Woodworking requires patience, attention to detail, the right tools, and some artistic vision to get the most out of your workpieces.
Is Furniture Making an Art?
While many furniture pieces on the market today are mass-produced, making furniture by hand is considered a fine craft, which in itself can be described as an art form. This being said, there are many trades in which the proficiency and expertise displayed by their occupants can be characterized as an art-form. The defining characteristic in furniture making as an art-form is the practitioner’s depth of innovation, skill, and ability to manipulate the qualities of wood.
What Is the Difference Between Carpentry and Woodworking?
What is the difference between carpentry and woodworking? Carpentry is characterized as the practice of cutting and joining timber in order to create or construct things, while woodworking (or joinery) is characterized as the crafting portion of carpentry, where more detailed designs such as cabinets, doors, dressing tables are produced.