What do quality factory furniture makers use for a finish these days?

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I woul jump all over that. Traffic is what you will need.
I could get by on $2500 gross sales for a while. Of course then I

And the cost of materials, supplies, tools.
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Leon says...

But it remains to be seen how much she will like me moving into her store.

The coffee table I'm making for my mom has about $100 invested in it if you factor in wear and tear on tools, electricity, etc. Labor is huge though.
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The higher the labor to cost of materials ratio the more money you make providing you are the labor. Price accordingly.
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Hax Planks wrote:

Really?
$500 retail, $250 for you, less tools, rent, heat, labour, materials, insurance, power, advertising, office expenses, accounting, legal, complying with Government safety and pollution regs, and finally taxes.
Forget it. However, if you start a business making coffee tables, and sell a few through your sister, then you might be able to write off all of your tools (and a truck, woodlot, attending tradeshows in exotic locations etc) from your other income (if you are not incorporated, depends on jurisdiction) You might save more in taxes by losing money on the tables!
I'm just finishing a small night table for my daughter. Materials (elm) cost me about $50. Labour, I don't even want to think about it, but many hours, 'cause I'm really slow. Today I was in Borg and saw a completely finished night table, solid wood marked down for $45.
Materials $50 New Table saw $2000 'I love you Daddy'...priceless!
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The most valuable part of anything that you build is that part of you that goes into it. Never sell yourself short.
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Rob Mitchell says...

They may be solid wood, but the quality is still terrible.
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