Freehand Sign Carving – Demonstration

by Jim on March 23, 2014

GARDEN CENTER SIGN BUILD – Create your own custom lettering templates

With a couple sheets of carbon paper and a bit of practice, this carving technique lets you add a custom sign to your next project. Here’s an overview of the new garden bench sign I created, starting with a paper template drafted on my home computer.

Big shout out to Jim Bartz for sharing this freehand carving method. Using Jim’s carving tactics, you can add almost any style lettering you like to a sign. If you’d like to personalize an upcoming project, freehand sign carving gives you the freedom to create something truly unique.


garden_bench7 - HGF BLOG POST

SELL THIS CUSTOM POTTING BENCH – Here are the full details on the woodworking income project I mentioned late last year.

It took a little longer than expected, but we just put the finishing touches on the new Garden Bench Woodworking Plans. Just like the tack trunk income plans, the garden bench plans covers the steps to design, build and sell this project to local clients.

This design uses pocket hole joints and a custom carved sign technique that I’ll demonstrate later this month. If you’d like to try a fun outdoor project this season, check out the garden bench project at the link below.

Garden Bench Plans


GARDEN CENTER PROTOTYPE – A profitable outdoor project for home gardening fans.

Here’s a quick look at the prototype of the next income project. I’m hard at work on the plans for this potter’s bench and hope to have a full set of plans and sales guidelines available next month. This design incorporates a personalized sign that can be done pretty quickly on the router. The custom design allows you to offer your customers something most gardening suppliers can’t match. The freehand letter carving takes a little practice but is fun to do once you get the hang of it.

I’ll send an update to subscribers as soon as the plans are complete.


How to Build a Pine Sofa Table – Part 2

by Jim on September 25, 2013

CONTINUING THE TABLE BUILD – Our little sofa table is beginning to take shape.

With the legs built, I’ll go over the construction of the table top, aprons and two drawers. This project follows a Shaker design that shouldn’t keep you in the shop for too long.

The dowel drawer guide system goes together pretty quickly and works decent for small drawers like these. And a new Freud blade in the table saw is working out great. If you’d like to get more performance from a portable saw, an aftermarket blade is a good investment.



How to Build a Pine Sofa Table – Part 1

by Jim on August 10, 2013

A FUN WEEKEND PROJECT – Sofa tables can be useful additions to almost any room.

Here’s a versatile project that doesn’t require too much time or lumber. This design features laminated legs and a couple of simple drawers. And the table looks decent without the drawers, if you want to keep things simple. In this segment, I go over the process I use to glue-up and mill the legs.


GET MORE BUSINESS WITH FLYERS – Try these simple tactics to get more customers when promoting your woodworking business with flyers.

I put together a little “Before & After” video that demonstrates the things I’ve learned about creating an effective flyer. With all the online options now, I think an old fashioned flyer is still a great way to promote a local business. If you’re considering a part-time woodworking business, flyers are an inexpensive way to test the waters.


For the latest video in our woodworking income series, I cover the steps I take to build a tack trunk.  Folks have been asking about the materials and joinery for this project, so I decided to put a new trunk together.

Like I mentioned in earlier videos, this is a great project to sell from a home workshop. If you test out this project in your area, I’d love to hear how it goes. So, feel free to leave a comment below.



Quick & Easy Woodworking Clamp Rack

by Jim on October 22, 2012


ORGANIZE YOUR SHOP – If you’re a fan of Jorgensen Pony clamps, here’s little project that will help you tidy-up the workshop. You should be able to knock out the rack in an hour or two. For this design, you’ll need a three foot length of 2×4, 1×3 pine stock, a few screw hooks, screws and chain. And a nice sharp blade helps make those notch cuts go quickly. Glue-ups go a lot more smoothly with the clamps at your fingertips.

If you’ve come-up with a clamp rack design that works well, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below with the details.


AN EFFECTIVE POSTCARD MAILING - If you’d like to try selling that trunk project I recommended earlier this year, here’s a marketing tactic that can help you find some clients.

A postcard mailing is an easy way to reach folks who ride horses. In this video, I’ll go over the steps needed to sell trunks in your area using postcards. We’ll cover list buying, project photography, printing and mailing. Postcards are a handy tool because they’re not too complicated to create and can easily be repeated when you want to generate more business. Leave a comment below if you’re interested in hearing more details about postcard marketing.



Start a Part-Time Woodworking Business

by Jim on March 8, 2012

A PROFITABLE TRUNK PROJECT – If you’ve ever thought about earning some income with your woodworking, here’s a project you might want to try. Over the years I’ve had success selling solid pine trunks to folks who ride horses.

In this segment, I’ll go over the materials and building techniques I used to create this trunk design. This project was one of my most popular designs and helped me buy some great toys for the shop. If you’re interested in building this project, enter your name and email in the blue form on the right and I’ll send you a written copy of all the tactics I shared in the video.