WOODMASTER HALL OF FAME — Top OWNER SUCCESS STORIES from the Woodmaster Molder/Planer Blog

Mike W. had never run a molder/planer before. How'd he get the crazy idea he could manufacture his new home's flooring and trim himself and save thousands in the process? By reading Woodmaster Owner Stories. He read...he learned...he ran his own flooring. And, yes, he saved thousands of dollars doing it.

Mike W. had never run a molder/planer before. How’d he get the crazy idea he could manufacture his new home’s flooring and trim himself and save thousands in the process? By reading Woodmaster Owner Stories. He read…he learned…he ran his own flooring. And, yes, he saved thousands of dollars doing it. Read full story

You may be visiting our Woodmaster Molder/Planer blog for the very first time, or you may have read every one of the 40+ stories we’ve ever posted on our molder/planer blog. Either way, we want to share our TOP STORIES with you. These are not just our our most popular, most read stories. They also represent the breadth and diversity of our Owners.

Some woodworkers in our Woodmaster Hall of Fame bought their Woodmasters to speed production and increase quality. Many bought them so they could increase their woodworking incomes. Some are in it to save money by making flooring and trim for themselves. Some have a lifetime of woodworking experience under their belts. Others are relatively new to woodworking. Some bought a Woodmaster because it’s made in America; others found it was a practical and affordable alternative to industrial molders and planers.

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But all these good folks have at least three things  in common. First, each one is a dedicated, hands-on woodworker who is deeply involved in this age-old craft. Second, each of these woodworkers is ingenious and highly talented in his or her own way. And third, every one of them shopped around, considered all kinds of equipment options, and ended up choosing Woodmaster. Below, you’ll find excerpts from their stories. Simply click on the “READ FULL STORY”  link at the end of each story and you’ll go immediately to the full stories on our blog. Enjoy reading!

Bill & Andy McQuatters — EVEN IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY

Bill McQuatters, right, started a woodworking business with his son, for the benefit of his autistic son's long range future. Andy handles the work well and "he works all day long," says Bill.

Bill McQuatters, right, started a woodworking business with his son, for the benefit of his autistic son’s long range future. Andy handles the work well and “he works all day long,” says Bill.

Bill McQuatters and his son, Andy, have started a busy and profitable business with help from their Woodmaster Molder/Planer. Bill tells his story. “Andy is autistic, but I describe him as special. While I was employed, Andy went to sheltered workshops but when I retired, I kept him home with me. Keeping him busy, with a purpose, presented quite a challenge. I worried about what would happen to Andy after my wife and I die. Today, we’re building a business and a future for my son with God’s help. Andy and I are making a living with two Woodmaster Molder/Planers set up as gang ripsaws. We make stakes for construction, surveying, and nurseries. Even in today’s economy, business  has just exploded.” READ FULL STORY…

 

Larry & Chris Perkins — SELF-EMPLOYED FATHER & SON MAKING GOOD MONEY — UP TO $100 AN  HOUR

The Perkins family took a couple hard hits recently. But they've bounced back: father and son run a woodworking shop together now and knock down some good money.

The Perkins family took a couple hard hits recently. But they’ve bounced back: father and son run a woodworking shop together now and knock down some good money.

Adversity hit the Perkins family of New Philadelphia, Ohio pretty hard over the past few years. First, Mrs. Perkins passed away. Then, the local steel mill closed down. There went Larry Perkins job — the one he’d held for over 30 years. The Perkins are a close family and son, Chris, had a bright idea. “I had a Woodmaster 718 Molder/Planer I’d bought a few years earlier,” Chris told us. “Dad was looking for other work and I started thinking we could put the Woodmaster to work.” Now they work together and are making good money. “Being a small operation – just me and my dad – we can afford to have low prices. We have a nice niche.” 3 Star Molding is two men and two Woodmasters — Chris’s original 718 and a 712. “When we started, we saw we were going to need another Woodmaster. Dad will run wood through one Woodmaster and I’ll flip it and run the other side through our other Woodmaster. Then we put it on the forklift, wrap it up, and load it on the trailer.” READ FULL STORY…

 

Elizabeth Floyd — SHE’S PLANNING HER RETIREMENT INCOME WITH A WOODMASTER 

Elizabeth Floyd has plans to develop her burgeoning woodworking business into an income-generator for her retirement. She does beautiful work!

Elizabeth Floyd has plans to develop her burgeoning woodworking business into an income-generator for her retirement. She does beautiful work!

Elizabeth Floyd is planning ahead for her retirement income. “I work full time but do woodworking on weekends. When I retire, I want some income and if things go well with woodworking, I might retire earlier than planned. I’m the kind of person who sticks their toe in the water before jumping in. I want to see if there’s a market for my style of woodworking, and see if it would support me.If someone’s thinking of getting a Woodmaster, I’d tell them I have no complaints. It’s a quality piece of equipment that’s well built. The company is good. READ FULL STORY…

 

IT’S TIME TO BUY AMERICAN

Earl Bryam asked Mrs. B to step in for the photo he took. "It's hard to find equipment that's not made in China," he says.

Earl Bryam asked Mrs. B to step in for the photo he took. “It’s hard to find equipment that’s not made in China,” he says.

We trust you know it already, but just in case you’ve missed this fact: a great deal of the woodworking equipment you’ll find in discount catalogs and on the shelves at big box stores is made in the Far East. Overwhelmingly, manufacturers in this part of the world build equipment to lower quality standards and with lesser materials than you’ll find in premium USA-made equipment. Read several short stories by Woodmaster Owners who say, “I want to keep my money in America.” READ FULL STORY…

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ADVERSITY IGNITES BUSINESS SUCCESS — Update on Andy’s Place

Andy McQuatters with the three Woodmaster Molder/Planers in the shop he and his dad operate in Florida, "Andy's Place."

Andy McQuatters with the three Woodmaster Molder/Planers in the shop he and his dad operate in Florida, “Andy’s Place.”

In the year or so since we posted Bill McQuatters’ first Woodmaster story on our blog, his business has grown dramatically. Here are the how’s and why’s his business is booming — and an inspiring update on Bill’s autistic son, Andy.

 “My son, Andy, is autistic and I started ‘Andy’s Place’ in Sanford, Florida to provide for his future and to give him a meaningful place to go every day. I started this five years ago with one Woodmaster. With the blessing of new business came the necessity for more equipment and now I have three Woodmasters. Business is booming and I’m looking into growth opportunities.

 One contract pays 60% of overhead

Business is great. In the first quarter of this year, we did more dollar volume than we did all last year. We added another full time employee and a part time employee. It’s really booming.

We’re making a product of accoya  wood that will end up at Disneyworld here in Florida. That wood is a very exotic and expensive. The company we supply really, really likes what we do.

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Bill and Andy do some serious production with their Woodmasters. Behind Andy are stacks of stakes they manufacture, stacked and ready to go. Andy hand signal says, "This is the second of our three Woodmasters."

Bill and Andy do some serious production with their Woodmasters. Behind Andy are stacks of stakes and other products they manufacture, stacked and ready to go. Andy hand signal says, “This is the second of our three Woodmasters.”

We just contacted a plastic pipe manufacturer that packages their pipe with what they call a band board. They demand oak for strength – 1” thick actual by 2” wide actual by various lengths from 16” to 40”. We’re using one Woodmaster as a gang rip saw to cut 2” wide blanks, and another Woodmaster as a molder to cut a groove they require.

We’ve got a contract to produce a truckload of wood a month for the pipe company. That job pays 60 – 65% of our overhead. That and the job for the company that serves Disney are our big contracts. But we’re continuing to make silt fence stakes, and stakes for surveyors.

 Working in pennies & seconds

When you’re producing stakes, you’re working in pennies and seconds. The margins are thin, thin, thin. It’s tough to make a dollar. Any time you don’t hear some wood being sawn, you’re losing money because every second counts.

Production Line

God skilled me with the gift of organization. It’s just the way I think. I imagined our Woodmaster planers as a production line as clear as day. I said, ‘Do you realize if we line them up, we could do twice as much in the same time?’

We set one Woodmaster in place, lined number two behind it, and finally number three at the end of the line. With thousands and thousands of board feet to plane we would feed lumber in number one. As the lumber came out it went directly into number two and likewise directly into number three.

For example, to make 2 x 4’s, we rip a blank out as 2-1/4” x 4-1/4”. The first planer brings one side down to 2-1/8”. We flip it over and put it through the second planer and it comes out 2”. Then we stuff it in the third planer on a third side and it comes out 4-1/8. We put it through again and it comes out 4”.

Multiple machines save all the time of setup. We set up just one time. We start at one end of the shop with a rough board, and end up at the other end with a product ready to ship without ever touching the machine. You know yourself that if you set a machine at 2”, then at 4”, you’re forever getting it back to 2 again, to get it dead on.

Back to the pennies and seconds. With three Woodmasters, we set each up to rip the most common jobs. Now moving from production of flag stakes to hubs or silt fence stakes is just a matter of choosing which Woodmaster is set up for the product.

Business built on referrals

Word of mouth made our business grow and take off. 100% of my business has walked in the door by itself. It’s a miracle, it’s God’s blessing taking care of Andy. We just got a big order and I asked the man why he called me. He said he was talking to some of his friends and they told him, ‘Here’s who you ought to buy your stakes from.’ Referrals are the best kind of business.

It never ceases to amaze me. One thing leads to another. There’s nothing like having been in business five years and get referrals. I’ve done absolutely no advertising and I’m not a salesman.

“People can call me”

I’m still getting calls from the first article about our business on the Woodmaster blog. There have been no fewer than 50 calls. People call, “Hey I’m thinking of getting into the stake business.” I tell them, “Well you better get ready to work hard and not make a lot of money!”

We’re instructed to help other people. I’ve sent pictures and pointers to people who’ve called about starting a Woodmaster business. Anything I can do to help a fellow woodworker succeed, I’d be more than happy to do it. The offer’s still open, people can call me. I can’t say enough good things about the Woodmaster machines.

Update on Andy

This father and son business is an inspiring success on two levels: not just succeeding but growing in today's economy...and providing a long-term job and income for Andy, Bill's autistic son.

This father and son business is an inspiring success on two levels: not just succeeding but booming in today’s economy…and providing a long-term job and income for Andy, Bill’s autistic son.

A miracle happened with Andy. We were ripping 10′ 2×4 southern yellow pine stock into 1×2’s on our Woodmaster. I was feeding and walked away to take a phone call. When I returned, there was my son Andy feeding the Woodmaster. You could have knocked me over with a feather! Andy does not communicate verbally so I never knew he wanted to feed. It was amazing. He fed all afternoon and the big, big smile on his face said he was loving every minute. I was delighted too. Lynn, the man on the outfeed end, got behind and Andy wouldn’t stop. Lynn went home tired, I went home happy, and I believe it made Andy feel happy and very important. His actions said, ‘See, Dad I can do this work too.’

The longer Andy’s works at the shop, the more he likes it and the more jobs he is capable of doing. With his excessive compulsiveness, our stacks of stakes are square, tight, and even. The finished product is professionally packed and the customer’s can see the quality.

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EVEN IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY this father & son team built a successful woodworking business.

Bill and his son, Andy, have started a healthy woodworking business with the help of their Woodmaster Molder/Planer

Bill McQuatters (right) and his son Andy have started a busy and profitable business with help from their Woodmaster Molder/Planer

— And they offer to help you do the same.

While everyone thinks about the economy these days, Bill McQuatters has had to think about it in the short term and long term, too —  what could he do today that would help provide long-term financial security for his autistic son?

It’s inspiring to hear from a Woodmaster woodworker who has met and overcome significant challenges. Bill’s plan is working. His solution is a great example of the drive, ingenuity, and commitment we see in so many Woodmaster Owners.

“My son Andy and I are making a living with two Woodmaster Molder/Planers set up as gang ripsaws. We make stakes for construction, surveying, and nurseries.

“I worried about what would happen to Andy”

Andy is autistic, but I describe him as special. While I was employed, Andy went to sheltered workshops but when I retired, I kept him home with me. Keeping him busy, with a purpose, presented quite a challenge. I worried about what would happen to Andy after my wife and I die. Today, we’re building a business and a future for my son with God’s help.

“Even in today’s economy, business has just exploded.”

I cut stakes for a nursery that wanted some to hold up trees. I cut stakes for a company that makes silt fences for construction sites. Then I cut grade and flag stakes surveyors use. Even in today’s economy, business has just exploded.

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I had a table saw but it’s mathematically impossible to create enough stakes with a single-blade table saw to make any money at all. All the gang saws I’d seen were big commercial saws. Then Woodmaster came along at an incredibly reasonable price.

2,500 stakes a day…easily

I got the wide, 25” Woodmaster so I have 2 or 3 different setups at the same time. I can cut 1 x 1’s on the left, ½” lath in the middle, and 1 x 2’s on the right depending on how I space the blades. I upgraded to their heaviest motors they had for the head drive and the feed drive. We can easily produce a pallet of flags in a day – that’s 2,500 flags.

If somebody wanted to start up a stake business with a Woodmaster, I’d be glad to help them get started, sharing what works and doesn’t work from a production point of view – cutting, pointing, bundling, and shipping. I’d be delighted to do that.”

— Bill McQuatters, Andy’s Place Sheltered Workshop

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