I wish they had woodworking rental places

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Not tool rental, but a place do do wood working. It seems that to have a very good shop, you need to spend between 5K and 10K on power tools, plus the space.
I could see a good business model for someone to open up something like this. Put a lot of good equipment in it and charge people by the hour to use them. I realize there would be a lot of wear and tear on blades etc, but it could be factored in. You would be responsible for your own hand tools, or could rent a set for extra $$ as part of the service.
The business could even sell stock items such as decent lumber and hardware. Of course, there would need to be adequate room for people to store their project stuff (large lockers / storage closets?).
Yes, insurance would be pricy and you would have to worry about people abusing the equipment, but employees that monitor the progress and verify that proper safety wear is being worn as well as safety practices are exercised can help reduce those costs. If a vocational school can do it with teenagers, surely insurance for adults would be affordable.
The business could even get a price break from an exclusive vendor, say Grizzly and be a showroom for their equipment. It probably wouldn't make sense to get top of the line equipment since most of your target audience would be beginners to intermediate. The experts would own their own equipment and probably wouldn't do as much business with the place.
Plus, there would be opportunity to offer classes and the like.
Do these exist anywhere?
Jeff
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net (in snipped-for-privacy@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com) said:
| Not tool rental, but a place do do wood working. It seems that to | have a very good shop, you need to spend between 5K and 10K on | power tools, plus the space.
| Do these exist anywhere?
I've thought about doing something like this on weekends. BYOW :-)
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You're trolling, right? No?
Well, the model has always been interesting but almost in every case such ventures have failed.
I think the biggest reason is that there aren't enough people to try to keep it open. There are several WoodCraft stores that allow you to rent time on their equipment, but they are in the business of having a retail shop FIRST. Not as a ed center.
I do know that several schools have "private lesson" capability which is an open shop with an instructor nearby, but it can be expensive. One in our area is $75 per hour. If you are doing something simple, then it might be worth it, but if you're doing anything that requires a lot of different operations, you will rack up the dough.
Here's something to consider. Woodworking is a vast hobby. You can do it with simple hand tools to immense powertools. Anything is possible.
I'd do the following:
1) Search out your local adult ed. Often there is woodshop class. One HS near us has 3 nights open.
2) Look for a woodworking school and see if they have private lessons.
3) Look for a community college, etc. and see if they have furniture making or cabinet making course. Sometimes under Industrial Arts.
4) Check your local woodworking club.
5) Buy what you can and see if you can work around that. Perhaps all you need is just a circ. saw, and some hand tools. Buy used equipment (Craigslist, local classified) if you want some powertools. No - room - perhaps a portable workbench with handtools might be the only way to go for now.
If you live in BayArea (SF), there is a place "Sawdust' (I think) that is trying this.
Good luck!
MJ Wallace
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Not trolling; honest question.
You're probably right about the demand. I didn't know that people have tried and failed with it. I guess it would have to be in a market where there are a lot of wood workers. North Carolina would be a start (furniture areas).
Thanks for the detail you listed in your response.
Jeff
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It's worth noting that Wooden 'N Works here in ToonTown also sells tools and hardwood.
I've been here 11 years and they've been around all that time.
djb
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The biggest problem with this sort of thing is getting insurance coverage.
Try any local colleges or high schools that offer woodworking courses. Often you can sign up for a course and with the teachers consent, work on your own project. They mainly want to know you can use the tools safely.
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On 16 Nov 2005 15:07:03 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@onebox.com wrote:

Woodcraft's headquarters store in Parkersburg WV recently closed their membership shop that they rented out for users. Apparently even the sales to the users and the fairly high fees couldn't justify the labor and insurance costs. They had to keep an employee in the shop whenever it was open and that employee had to stay in the shop, not also mind the store. They still have the shop and equipment, but it is now only used for "Woodcraft University" lessons and maybe some demo of some equipment.
Dave Hall
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Could you provide any more details about this? I live in Oakland and would love to check it out.
Damian
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damian:

Always do a "Google" first (Sunnyvale, woodworking, school).
Popout - http://sawdustshop.com /
MJ Wallace
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snipped-for-privacy@onebox.com wrote:

mentioned a few days ago. Nice shop area.
Dave
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snipped-for-privacy@onebox.com wrote:

Well I did Google sawdust bay area, and sawdust san francisco.. anyway thx.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Yup
http://www.woodworkersclubnorwalk.com /
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Wow, thats perfect. I wish they had one here in Louisville. I hope they continue to have good success.
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We have one here in Saskatoon, Wood 'N Works. Last I checked it was $25/hour to rent shop time except for their huge resaw bandsaw.
I took a turning class there a whaile back, they do regular seminars.
djb
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They exist - heck, I teach at one. Check out http://www.originalwoodwork.com/doit.asp . I teach in the Calgary franchise, with 6,000 sq. feet of space. I traded teaching hours there for do-it-yourself time, and have since moved on to a part-time paid position.
Your observations (and most of those in the rest of the thread) are spot on. Yes, it's difficult to make sure that everyone is safe. There have been accidents (never on my watch). We have the students sign waivers, as you would do for any other activity associated with risk. I haven't heard of any of our franchises having legal issues in relation to that, but that could be also due to being in a less-litigious culture.
It's also difficult to keep up with tool maintenence. The tools get a _huge_ workout. As someone who is slowly building my own workshop, it's interesting to see the stress test that the machines go under, and which components fail first - I've eliminated several possible personal purchases based on observation alone.
On the whole, I think that the shop is successful and popular - the Calgary franchise has been around for more than half-a-dozen years.
Dudley
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I chatted wiith them at the wood show here in Saskatoon a couple of years ago... they were looking for an investor to open here but it hasn't happened yet.
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"Demosthenes" wrote in message

You're most likely right ... as "waivers" don't do much to contract away liability down here. the cost of liability insurance would likely be a big factor in the success of that type of venture.
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That's excellent, thanks! I didn't know they had one up here in Edmonton. Although their hours kind of suck (10 am to 4 pm), but what the heck.
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"Demosthenes" < snipped-for-privacy@groundzero.ca> wrote in message
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

think it's Sunnyvale, CA). You have to join their club which kinda sucks--you can't just rent by the hour. the shop IS nice though. for those desperate to work some wood, it beats nothing at all. They also have a store front with a few pieces of equipment and a bit of neander tools, all over priced.
Dave
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Yes, anyone remember the guy in New Jersey that opened up about a year ago? He had a web page about it. After the opening he has not posted so I have no idea how it is going.
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