If you want to start a crafty business, these wood lathe projects that sell well are the sort of thing that always make the Etsy bestsellers list and sell like hotcakes on Facebook groups.
Everyone is looking for unique items for the home or for gift-giving occasions and nothing beats a handmade wood turned item.
Although there are tons of awesome wood projects that sell, wooden items made with a lathe are great because they are quick and easy to produce for a profit.
Wood lathe items also make it easy to scale up your business and somewhat “mass” produce items to build up your inventory.
Below you will find 25 fun woodturning ideas to make and sell for a profit. Most are perfect for beginners to get started with a woodworking business.
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Wooden bracelets are one of the easiest wood lathe projects for beginners. You can make them in just a few minutes and they look awesome unfinished or stained.
Most Etsy sellers offer wooden bangles in lots of 5 or 10 depending on the thickness but you can play around with designs and colors to see what sells best.
Kitchen Wooden Utensils
Wooden spoons and other kitchen utensils are a fun lathe project to make. Everyone has at least one wooden spoon in their kitchen and quality handmade ones make great gifts for bridal showers and weddings.
Wine Bottle Stoppers
Bottle stoppers for wine are one of the best wood lath projects for beginners to get started on selling their crafts.
You can produce a bunch of bottle stoppers in an afternoon.
They are the perfect gift to pair with a nice bottle of wine!
A really good quality pepper mill is one of those really adult things that people like to have when they get their first place or get married.
They are also one of the best selling woodturning projects on Etsy and go for around $30-50 when made with quality wood.
Although pepper mills are not a wood lathe project for beginners, it can be worth the time to learn how to make them and to purchase a kit for making them.
Succulents are all the rage and these tiny planters a cool wood turning project to do. You can experiment with different types of wood and planter shapes and sizes.
Hand Turned Wooden Bowl
A wooden bowl is one of the first projects many wood lathe beginners try and for good reason!
A quality bowl for fruit or for the coffee table looks amazing.
If you are looking for a bunch of wood lathe project ideas to do easily, you can switch up the sizes of bowls, make sets and bowls for all kinds of uses.
Tea Light Candle Holder
Candle holders are another lovely wood turning project for craft fairs and Etsy. They are not too expensive to make and sell well because they are a lower cost gift item to buy.
You can make different sizes and shapes and even consider adding engraving with a CNC machine.
Wooden pens are a really special, unique gift idea to make with a wooden lathe. You can purchase pen kits for all different kinds of wooden pen so the World really is your oyster.
What about pen turning profitability?
Well, I did some research on how much money you can make with wooden pens and I came across an interesting Reddit thread where people mention how much they make from pen turning.
One person made $3000 without craft fairs or Etsy!
Wooden egg cups are very modern and appeal those who love the Scandanavian look.
If you want to make wooden eggs too, you can create fantastic Montessori Rainbow eggs.
Pen Holder For The Office
If you get your hands on some quality wood like walnut, you can make some really cool wood lathe projects.
Another easy take on the hand turned wooden bowl is a small receptacle for pens and pencils.
They can also be marketed as make-up brush holders.
Wood Salt Cellar
A beautiful handturned wooden salt cellar is a relatively simple wood lathe projects to try.
Like bowls, you can repurpose these lidded wooden containers in many different ways (for spices, buttons etc).
Wooden Razor handle
Here is a truly unique hand turned wood project! A wooden razor handle makes a wonderful gift for him.
Wooden Christmas Ornaments
Christmas ornaments are really hot sellers in the run up to the holidays when everyone is looking for some unique gift ideas.
Hand turned Christmas ornaments are easy to make in bulk from cheaper woods and they turn a great profit.
Attach a simple eye hook to the top of your ornaments for hanging and consider staining or painting them in order to offer a variety of finishes to your buyers.
Spinning tops are a classic children's toy that helps develop motor skills in your kids.
You can make them with natural wood and treat with an oil such as linseed or beeswax.
These unique toys are safe for children and there are no worries about lead paint or toxic plastics.
A simple jewelry or keepsake box is one of the best wood lathe projects for beginners.
Wooden keepsake boxes are an easy item to quickly produce and sell.
List them in your Etsy store making sure to add tags for all their various uses so that you appear in the search results.
Wooden drinking vessels such as goblets are a great project to get started on your lathe.
You can test out various shapes and sizes on different woods.
I noticed that some Etsy sellers list their wooden goblets in unfinished wood while others offer a variety of food safe finishes.
Offering different colours and options is a good way to create several listings out of one item and to upsell your customers with personalizations and upgraded finishes.
Rolling pins made of a wood such as maple are one of the hottest items on Etsy.
Bakers love a quality rolling pin and they make wonderful gifts.
French rolling pins like the ones shown are great for pasta, pastry and lots more.
They are much smaller and lighter than conventional rolling pins which makes them a bit easier to sell online.
If you do want to sell regular rolling pins, watch your shipping costs as they are heavy and awkwardly shaped.
Wooden Tools For Kids
Wooden items for a children's play kitchen or sensory bin (a bin filled with rice or dried corn) make great gifts for a first birthday or Christmas.
Tools can include different sized spoons, scoops and bowls.
You can sell a set of 5 or 10 wooden tools at different prices and in different shapes.
Wooden Bud Vase
Little bud vases for wildflowers or dried blooms such as lavender are an easy wood lathe project that you can make in a variety of sizes and shapes.
Check out Pinterest for ideas and to see what is trendy nowadays.
Lots of people like grouping of three bud vases together, all similar in shape and height.
Honey stirrers are cute and can be made in all different sizes.
They make a great practice lathe project for beginners.
Consider selling sets of 3 stirrers in different size options to boost your profits.
Wedding Bands and Rings
There is a Facebook that I get constantly for wooden wedding rings for men.
They are one of the hottest trends in bridal fashion right now and are amazingly easy to make with a lathe.
As you might imagine, wooden wedding bands not only sell well, but the profit margin is amazing.
Most of the wooden wedding bands I saw on Etsy go for more than $100.
You can create rings out of all different kinds of wood and stain.
For a ring as long-lasting as the marriage, many couples are opting for .wooden ring that is lined with a metal such as titanium or stainless steel.
You can purchase the ring blanks from a craft store or Etsy and then turn your wood with to fit the correct diameter outside.
Sticking to the wedding theme for a second, another great wood turning project that sells great are personalized ring boxes for the wedding ceremony.
You can offer customized messages and linings to boost your sales or keep it simple and offer them plain.
Did you know that by far the hottest selling item on Etsy are beads and jewelry making supplies?
Unique wooden beads are one of the top searches on Etsy and make a really quick and easy wooden item that you can make and sell in bulk with your lathe.
Different sizes and colors will help you stand out from the crowd and rack up the sales.
Hand turned Wooden Candle Sticks
Sleek wooden candle sticks are a fun wood turning project that you can make quickly.
They sell best in pairs and can be made of most kinds of wood.
The candle sticks pictured are made of salvaged wood and look amazing.
So far everything on this list has been a functional items but don't forget about decorative items that you can make with your lathe.
Wooden apples made from an apple tree were the top sellers at a craft fair I recently hosted.
They sold for $10-20 each depending on the size.
How To Make Money With A Lathe
Wood turning is a safe and inexpensive craft hobby that you can turn into profit-making business.
The list above has many wood turning ideas for craft fairs or online marketplaces such as Etsy.
Etsy is a really popular site for unique wooden gift ideas and household items and is the perfect place to start if you are not ready to commit to a craft fair.
Selling Wood Lathe Projects On Etsy
It is so easy to sell your wood lathe project ideas on the Etsy platform. You can be up and running with your Etsy store in just a few minutes and then spend time listing your items for sale.
You can read mytutorial on starting an Etsy store successfully which includes a link to 40 free listings to get started (Etsy charges 20 cent per listing).
Aim for around 20-30 listings before you push your store live and make sure to include detailed descriptions of your items.
Good photographs are also very important in order to showcase your lathe projects. Make sure to photograph your items from different angles and on clean, bright backgrounds.
Final Thoughts on Wood Lathe Projects That Sell
If you love woodworking, there are many easy wood turning projects that you can make and sell online or at fairs.
This is a wonderful opportunity for a side business that you enjoy.
Although most hobby woodworkers do not make a full-time income, it is most definitely possible to make money selling wooden items that you make with your lathe.
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Can you make money with a wood lathe? ›
Selling your woodturning projects can be a profitable venture with a little research and work at the lathe. A few final tips for standing out amongst the Etsy crowd. Invest some time and money to take good photographs.What is the easiest wood to turn on a lathe? ›
So, before heading to your lathe and start handling more challenging woods, learn which timbers are the easiest ones to turn! Some of the easiest woods to turn include
Lathes are commonly used for small projects such as bowls, platters, even pens, as well as furniture parts and cabinetry. Several techniques are used, with two basic turning methods, spindle turning and faceplate turning.What should a beginner lathe make? ›
- Bowls. Bowls are perhaps the easiest starting point compared to other designs on our list. ...
- Jewelry Box. A jewelry box is a project that isn't commonly attempted by beginners. ...
- Jar Lid. ...
- Wooden Bangles. ...
- Ring. ...
- Flower Pot. ...
- Rolling Pin. ...
- Bottle Stopper.
Instead of paying a sawmill to store wood for years, you can take any piece of fresh cut material, even from the firewood pile, and turn it. As
The wood turns easily, is better to turn than pine and sands well. If you are looking for something to finish with paint or a solid stain, poplar works well. Otherwise, it is rare to find interesting grain in poplar.How do you make money turning bowls? ›
Make Money with Your Woodturning Hobby - YouTubeWhat are the 5 best woods for turning? ›
- Reader's Choice - Top Woods to Turn. With so much effort put into such a small piece of wood, turners are very serious about their stock. ...
- Figured Maple. There are several types of figured maple including curl, fiddleback, spalted, tiger, birds-eye, and more. ...
- Walnut. ...
- Cherry. ...
- Boxelder. ...
- Rosewood. ...
- Pacific Madrone. ...
- Red Elm.
Pine is an excellent wood for beginning turners. It is a soft wood and is easy to shape on the lathe. Cutting with a gouge or skew chisel produces a better finish than a scraper when turning between centres. When you are turning bowls you will need a properly burnished scraper to produce a good surface.Is oak good for woodturning? ›
Live oak is a favorite of mine cause it turns so nicely. most all oaks I prefer using for one time turnings. I also use green live oak a lot in demos for turning balls. No dust and scrapes well.
How much does a woodturner cost? ›
An average quality lathe will cost between $600 to $900 with better quality lathes costing about $1,000 – $2,000. Some more high end will go for as much as $4,000. The lathe brands that are popular with woodturners are Jet, Rikon, Nova, and Laguna.How do you make a wooden lathe bowl? ›
How to Make a Lathe Turned Bowl | Build It | Ask This Old HouseWhat can be made from lathe machine? ›
Examples of objects that can be produced on a lathe include screws, candlesticks, gun barrels, cue sticks, table legs, bowls, baseball bats, pens, musical instruments (especially woodwind instruments), and crankshafts.What kind of wood is best for turning on a lathe? ›
Woods such as cedar,
Can you turn any type of wood? Fundamentally you can turn with any type of wood, however it's a good idea to stay away from anything pressure treated.Is wood turning difficult? ›
Watching an experienced woodturner develop and form an exquisite bowl, spindle or other turning from a block of raw wood can be inspiring, and in some cases, intimidating sight. But learning the basics of woodturning isn't difficult.Is it better to turn green wood or dry wood? ›
Woodturning with Green Wood or Dried Bowl Blanks - YouTubeWhat is the fastest way to dry wood for woodturning? ›
The fastest way to dry lumber is by kiln with high temperature and high airspeed. These can dry lumber with a thickness of 25 mm in about 10 hours to a moisture content of 18%. However, if you want to dry lumber to a moisture level of 8%, an oven needs about 28 days to dry.How long do you dry wood before turning? ›
Dry Wood Understanding
Wood will become “dry” by letting it sit for a long enough period of time. A rule of thumb that is thrown around often is one year of air drying time per one inch of wood thickness. A dryer or kiln can be used to reduce the moisture content more rapidly.
- Glass Pebble Magnets.
- Children's Headbands.
- Palette Clock.
- Decorative Champagne Flutes.
- DIY Lace Bowls.
- Flower Crowns.
- Pallet Coasters.
- Velvet Pillows.
What handmade items are in demand? ›
- Laser printed items.
- Wood-burned items.
- Crocheted items.
- Personalized gift items.
- 3D printed items.
- Pet outfits and treats.
- Custom jewelry.
- Printable and digital planners.
Re: Is Holly Wood any good for turning!!!!
Holly tends to be quite hard, and if harvested in autumn or winter, and dried properly, almost white. It has very fine grain, with little flecks in them. This makes it ideal for segmented turning or for finials, also boxes, lids on boxes, knobs, handles, smaller items.
The wood lathe speed rule of thumb is – do not to exceed 1,000 RPMs. One thousand RPMs seems to be a magical point at which bowl blanks either go up or down if they come off the lathe. If the speed is under 1,000 RPMs, then a dislodged bowl blank is supposed to fall to the floor.What is the best wood to make bowls? ›
I have made bowls from cottonwood, soft maple, cherry, butternut, river birch and buckeye. Buckeye is a favorite bowl wood as it carves easily and is light in weight, a characteristic which appeals to the housewife. My preference is cherry because of its interesting grain patterns and the beautiful finish it will take.How do you make a burl bowl? ›
Create a carved Burl Bowl - YouTubeIs wood turning a good hobby? ›
Woodturning is a fascinating hobby and not quite like any other kind of woodworking. Even though it involves a machine and tools, it is a very hands-on process. The wood responds to how you control the tools, and watching the wood shavings fly off a lathe can be tremendously satisfying and relaxing.Is Eucalyptus Good for woodturning? ›
The wood is great for wood turning, however is check prone so care must be taken. The wood will distort as it dries so to rough out oversize, let season, and then finish turn for best results. Eucalyptus is a very strong wood for its density, however the wood is quite brittle and is low in shock resistance.Can hickory be turned on a lathe? ›
Ironically, hickory turns extremely well with very sharp tools, but it does scratch easily, so always sand hickory with the grain rather than holding sandpaper on the turning while the lathe rotates it in the spindle, as the wood scratches easily opposite the grain pattern.Is Cherry good for wood turning? ›
Cherry is a hardwood but it is not as hard as oak or maple; it will scratch or dent if subjected to misuse. But due to cherry's unique colorization process the scratch or dent will color up to match the surrounding wood and will blend in quite nicely.Is Silver Birch any good for wood turning? ›
Re: Silver Birch
Yes it does rot very quickly so perhaps convert and rough turn as much as you can - leave the turnings for a few months to dry and then re-mount and complete.
Is Birch good for turning? ›
Birch is an excellent wood for turning because it's close grained and finishes well. I like to use local wood whenever possible in my woodturning and since our ranch is 140 acres of forest, it seems natural to harvest our own wood for turning.Is Hemlock good for woodturning? ›
On the lathe, western hemlock becomes a turner's dream. It has no resin, no odor, and doesn't impart taste. Use it for anything from chair legs to egg cups!Is walnut good for wood turning? ›
What are the two types of woodturning? ›
There are two main types of woodturning: spindle and faceplate turning.Is teak good for wood turning? ›
These Teak Turning Blanks are great for making bottle stoppers, bottle openers, carving as well as leg, handle and spindle stock. All our turning pieces are inspected & come defect free. Teak is hard with a medium density making it strong and durable. The wood is pretty easy to work with machine and hand tools.Is wood turning difficult? ›
Watching an experienced woodturner develop and form an exquisite bowl, spindle or other turning from a block of raw wood can be inspiring, and in some cases, intimidating sight. But learning the basics of woodturning isn't difficult.How much does a woodturner cost? ›
An average quality lathe will cost between $600 to $900 with better quality lathes costing about $1,000 – $2,000. Some more high end will go for as much as $4,000. The lathe brands that are popular with woodturners are Jet, Rikon, Nova, and Laguna.What can you make with a lathe metal? ›
- Lathe Sanding Drum. Woodworking Jigsaw. ...
- Built a router based tool post grinder for truing up a chuck. ...
- Homemade Indexing Unit. ...
- MILLING ATTACHMENT FOR LATHE CX704. ...
- Homemade Machinist's Jack. ...
- Photos from Engine Turning II Class. ...
- Homemade Dimple Dies. ...
- Machine shop students project handmade C-clamp.
How to Make a Lathe Turned Bowl | Build It | Ask This Old HouseHow dry should wood be Before turning? ›
Kiln-dried wood is dried to an MC of about 8%, which makes it ready for turning. The drawback is that it's relatively expensive. Air-dried wood is less expensive than kiln-dried, but it's usually only dried to about 10% to 18% MC. You'll need to dry this wood further before final turning.
What kind of wood is best for turning on a lathe? ›
Woods such as cedar,
A primary aid to preventing catch- es is to turn with sharp tools. A sharp tool can sheer off those end- grain fibers cleanly and smoothly. However, a dull tool will push, grab, and tear out end-grain fibers.What wood is best for turning bowls? ›
Best wood for turning bowls
The best Wood species for turning above are walnut and cherry. they are hardwoods that have a beautiful finish and do not require too much work during the finishing stages. They don't have a lot of issues with end grain and will not give you too much trouble during the finishing.
A lathe can cost you anywhere from $100 to up to $50000 or more depending on how professional, industrial, and bigger the project is. Well, it's not possible to give you a definite number because there are various types of lathes and different brands in the market.How do you make a burl bowl? ›
Create a carved Burl Bowl - YouTubeWhat can be made with a mini metal lathe? ›
Top (1)5 Best Projects! Mini Metal Lathe - A Year In Review Part 2Can I use metal lathe for wood? ›
The simple answer is yes. You can turn wood on a metal lathe.
' Which means the vibration on your workpiece, which will leave ridged or rough surface on it. A lathe is an excellent machining tool that will help you shaping wood, metal, and a variety of other materials.
Woodturning: An Oval Mulberry Bowl - YouTubeWhat is a MIDI wood lathe? ›
A midi lathe is a small, affordable lathe suitable for turning small wooden objects. These types of lathes are slightly larger than standard mini lathes. They also have more features in common with standard sized horizontal lathes than with mini lathes.How long does it take to wood turn a bowl? ›
This process can take three to six months. Once dried, the wood bowl goes back on the lathe for its final turning. The timing for this again depends on the size and style of the bowl, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Next it's sanded to a fine, smooth feel.