Turning a woodworking hobby in to a profession

Doug Magrath is a one-man business and a model for transforming a hobby into a money making venture.

  • Turning a woodworking hobby in to a profession

    After a successful career leap from the office to the workshop, Doug Magrath delivers advice for earning a living in woodworking.

  • A passion for accomplishment

    Doug found a passion for turning, a sense of accomplishment, and an entirely new career in his wooden bowls.

  • Multiple bowls from one blank

    To maximize his resources, Doug uses an Easy-Core pivoting tool that allows him to salvage the waste wood inside a bowl and turn those pieces as well.

  • A time to dry out

    Doug places about 300 bowls in this kiln for six to seven weeks, producing one-of-a-kind masterpieces.

  • Wholesale is where the sales are

    To make his bowls profitable for retailers, Doug wholesales them at 50 percent of retail value. He also wholesales wood utensils made by his friend Tom Pinches.

  • Signature savvy

    Each one-of-a-kind turning bears Doug's signature, hometown, the date it was completed, and the wood species from which it is made.

  • A one-man production shop

    Doug takes on every step of the production process, from selecting his wood to packaging and hand-delivering his finished products.

  • Creativity in production work

    Natural-edge bowls, like these two pieces, allow Doug to challenge his creativity. About one-sixth of his overall production currently consists of decorative pieces like these.

  • From scrap to saleable

    "It's putting a piece of firewood on the lathe and taking a piece of art off," Doug says.

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