Maslow Home Maslow Community Garden Newsletter

Anybody make money with a Maslow?

Has anybody had any luck or experience with making money selling furniture/art/etc made with a Maslow?

I am contemplating trying making a few of my designs (furniture) and selling them for starters at a farmers market to test interest, pricing etc.

Wanted to hear from others in the community about their experience.

I hope you only sell your own designs and not the OpenDesk designs you are looking for.

Please keep this is mind:

Thanks for your concern @WoodCutter4, but as you can see in my original post I explicitly said “my designs”.

Sorry but every one of your posts on this forum, until this one, is looking for OpenDesk files that are no longer available to the public. 3 minutes after your most recent request for those files, you create this topic about making money off of furniture.

I’m sorry, but have I broken some community rule(s) by asking this question in succession of my other post?
I’m not sure why you are making assumptions about my intentions with so little information to go on…

2 Likes

I would suggest Etsy.com if the items are small enough to ship easily. You will have a much bigger audience than a few hundred people at a fair.

I think it is absolutely a great idea to supplement the piggy bank :slight_smile:

In the past I have even used etsy to research what sells well. No point in making unicorns if no one buys them.

Etsy also does google advertising for you, of course they charge a fee but I think it is reasonable.

It’s been brought up before in the forums that perhaps making the templates on the Maslow then cutting/tracing by hand using a guided bit could speed up the process of multiples of one item are to be made. It’s an interesting concept. The Maslow does the hard work once then you simply trace it over and over. I haven’t done this but I always have it in the back of my mind when I want to cut multiples of something.

I’ve been able to land a few jobs with my Maslow. At this point, the base kit has been paid off. I’ve made an aluminum body panel for a generator, plywood templates, and some furniture for people in my area. I’ve avoided doing anything like etsy because the form factor of what I do is hard to sell online and ship. It’s much easier to take on local work, so I can deliver it to my clients.

I could probably get more work for it, but I haven’t really marketed my services.

1 Like

I’ve used this method with the Maslow and can confirm it is much faster than having the Maslow cut everything. I usually cut my templates from 1/8 to 1/4 ply, which takes much less time than trying to go through thicker material.

1 Like

Thanks all!
That’s interesting feedback about templating.

I would think that it kind of kills the productivity of a CNC, if only the template gets cut out by it.
I build furniture today and kind of why I have been wanting to experiment with a CNC is the automation aspect.

Modifying my designs to be CNC friendly, has also been a challenge.

In my mind I imagined,
Setup your CNC, go to bed, wake up … profit :smiley:

I love the automation aspect of it myself. I have set up my machine to cut out parts, and while it’s running I’m in the shop getting other things done. It’s almost like having two of me going, although the Maslow is admittedly a slower me.

Sorry to be the one to say this, but it is a bad idea to leave your machine running unattended. There are enough risks with running the Maslow that it can be a real safety hazard to leave it all by it’s lonesome. By being in earshot of my machine, I’ve caught it a few times before it broke something. At best, it ruins the part, at worst it destroys the machine. I’ve even seen some reports here on the forums of fire being caused by the machine.

2 Likes

Good point @MeticulousMaynard, sorry for my naivete :slight_smile:

1 Like

No worries, I just wanted to point that out before you ran into any problems. :wink:

Thanks all!
That’s interesting feedback about templating.

I would think that it kind of kills the productivity of a CNC, if only the template gets cut out by it.

the maslow is a rather slow CNC, that’s why using it to make a template and then
manually cutting with the template can be faster if you are making lots of
fairly simple parts.

In my mind I imagined,
Setup your CNC, go to bed, wake up … profit :smiley:

please don’t do this with a maslow, if something goes wrong, you are left with a
spinning bit in contact with wood. We have had at least one person start a fire
this way.

David Lang

I may be mistaken, but I’m not sure it would be wise to leave even large scale industrial machines running over some regular human oversight. The issues the maslow faces aren’t that different from commercial machines, although perhaps they have enough internal tests and safety cut-offs to shut themselves down automatically, but I suspect given variability in materials and bits there are still situations the pro machines can’t detect either that are dangerous and require humans to be present to react.

-Jeff

This is true. I’m a machinist, so I run 3 and 5 axis CNC mills on a daily basis. While these aren’t “high-end” machines by any stretch of the imagination, they are orders of magnitude more expensive and sophisticated than my beloved Maslow. I certainly trust the machines more, but I still don’t leave them running after I leave for the day. It’s just safer that way.

If I were hogging out a large pocket and my roughing end mill broke, my finish tool would most certainly crash on the material left over after the previous tool broke. If this is an aluminum part, I either break the finish tool or I gouge my part up enough that I have to scrap it. If this is something hard to machine like 304 stainless, I could burn out my spindle.

Now, certain manufacturers, like Haas, claim that they have enough brains that you can get an extra cycle each day by running after you go home. I would guess that, if one of those were in the previous example, it would alarm when it detected a huge increase in load like that. Probably still loose the tool/part, but it’s better than damaging the machine.

1 Like

Lights out manufacturing! The risk of slagging down the work, machine and/or plant vs the cost of at least a security guard trained to hit the big red button when the magic smoke escapes. Plus it’ll be harder for somebody to hitch a chain to your 20 ton machine and drag it to the scrapyard behind their pickup.

At home you’re the guard and the argument continues on whether or not your insurance for our non UL (CSA, etc) listed gadget will cover the damage, then there’s the whole smoke/fire fatality thing. 3D printers have the same issue, and have started fires with bad results.

Remember the early 3D printer days when getting rich from your cheap 3D printer was a common but rarely attained dream?

I’d suggest starting with a Maslow if it passes the cost of getting it and the business going (lost time) vs big iron almost plug and play evaluation. If you’re successful then the time saved and production increase is worth the big bucks to upgrade to a faster and more powerful machine and add phrases like 3 phase and vacuum table to your vocabulary. If not it’s still a nifty hobby gadget

2 Likes

When I get a call asking how long will it run non stop before it breaks down. I support hobby class machines. I direct them to “Lights Out Machines.” My analogy is trying to replace a car with skateboard to do a cross country trip. To reply to the original question, yes. In my case the knowledge I gained on the Maslow has become my career. I think if you just enjoy watching things cut you might come up with a design that could make money. The people I have seen make money with it aren’t trying to. It’s just one tool among many. For instance I know someone making sets for film and TV with it. I didn’t buy a hammer and start analyzing how often I use it and what my return on investment is. I do know a professional wood worker, he makes chairs, tables and custom furniture. He has no automated tools, he is not interested. His products are feeding him and his family and it is his skill people are paying him for. My point is this sounds a lot like I bought a 3D printer. Now I want it to pay for itself by printing products how do I do that?
You are actually asking multiple questions that we can’t answer. The implied question is how do I make something and sell it. On top of making the thing you have to find a market for the thing and you have to run a business. You can be excellent at 2 of the 3 and suck at one and you will loose money. I have seen at least 50 users that are making money with the Maslow but not as a direct product. Making signage that marketed other services such as their maker space will translate to money. My only advice is if you are passionate about it you will find a way to make money at it. If you are not passionate about it, you will not.

Doing anything you are not passionate about for money is ultimately unrewarding.

Thank you

7 Likes

There is a long blog post out there about making money with a CNC by a company
that makes boat kits. He started with a ‘cheap’ ($10-20K) machine years ago and
was talking about his latest machine (where the vaccum pump cost almost $40K)
and has two 4x8 tables, with an employee dedicated to removing parts and loading
the next sheet on one side while the machine cuts the other side. It goes
through multiple carbide router bits per day.

try to find it (it’s been posted on the forums multiple times) but Brandon is
right, most people making money with their maslow are using it as a tool to
support their business, not hanging out a shingle “will cut for money”
(although, if you have the ability to ship things cheaply enough and good enough
designs, you could even do that)

David Lang

Instead of cutting a template Have you ever tried cutting an 1/8 into the final piece, to mark your cut line with maslow, and then finishing it off by hand?

1 Like