Country Lore: My Custom Molding Business Thrives

When remodeling work wasn't available, this reader found he could still earn a solid income making and selling custom molding.
By Mike Crowder
April/May 2010
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Making custom molding can be a main business or a profitable sideline.

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When the economy went bad, my remodeling work really started to taper off. I had some oak lumber on hand and decided to turn it into crown molding and try to sell it on Craigslist. It was gone the first day! I posted another ad for the molding and again sold out within the day. It just kept going from there. In the last year my home-based custom molding business has grossed over $96,000!

To make the molding, I use a Woodmaster 718 Planer/Molder, which cost me just under $2,000. My bread and butter is crown molding. When that took off, I added almost two dozen other trim profile options. A year after I bought my first 18-inch planer/molder, I bought a second one. I set it up as a dedicated ripsaw, and now if I need one more piece, my ripsaw’s right there.

The folks I bought my machines from say you can turn a $5 board into $75 worth of molding, especially if you’re making curved molding — and that’s been true for me.

You don’t need a personal website to sell your wood molding online. Here are some online sales venues you can use:

  • Craigslist is a free online classified ad site.
  • eBay is an online auction site. Small fees apply.
  • Woodfinder is a searchable database of wood suppliers. A membership fee is required.

Mike Crowder
Pittsboro, Indiana

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