First commission

First commission
First commission
First commission
First commission

One of my co-workers asked me to build an entryway table for her; she really left it wide open for me to pick the design and size. In some ways she was the ideal client, in that she basically let me build whatever I wanted, in other ways this was pretty nerve wracking, I wanted to build something that she’d like, with very little input from her.

This is what I came up with; made out of walnut and cherry, and finished with Minwax tung oil and polyurethane, as well as a coat of some homemade beeswax paste. If I could do it over, I’d make the main table support angled, rather than vertical; in my original sketches I planned for an angled support but when faced with chiseling out multiple angled mortises, I chickened out and made it vertical.

I was paid $500 to make this; we agreed on the price beforehand, so I knew what sort of budget I had for wood. Overall, there is about $400 worth of wood in the table so with 30 hours of work I made very little, especially when you figure in finishing supplies, shop supplies etc.

Rob, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario


Congrats to the first commission, job well done!

Martin Sojka,

Just getting paid for the material is a step in the right direction


Love the wedge on the brace .
As far as the cost of lumber goes I think you should negotiate a better deal and at $3.00 an hour you are going to starve but the fun part is probably makes up for it .

Thanks guys! Kiefer; yep, I’d starve if this was my job…Up here in Sault Ste. Marie we have more cheap maple than you could ever want or need but walnut and cherry is pretty pricey!

Rob, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

i’m with Kiefer, that’s a sexy wedge. Beautiful table.

-- Alec (Friends call me Wolf, no idea why)

Pretty cool. Your coworker got a premium piece at a bargain price.


Tor and Odin are the greatest of gods.

Very cool. Excellent job

Jeff Vandenberg aka "Woodsconsin"

Starve at $3/hr? Nonsense! You can eat rice and beans for weeks at those luxury wages. And finishing? Psshhhttt… You already had those few ounces of stuff laying around. Don’t deny that. You’re practically living in the lap of luxury from that piece, which, by the way, is quite handsome and should bring you enough referrals to add a neck bone or 2 to your pot of beans. So quit your bellyaching and lollygagging and go create some more beautiful things for sale. ;-)

Losing fingers since 1969

Cool design and wood congrats on your first commission .

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

Thanks guys! Brian; thankfully I still have my day job, I’d get pretty tired of eating rice every meal…

Rob, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

You did a great job! Look at it this way, you were able to make a high-end piece for your portfolio with no out of pocket costs! My last “commission” conversation went something like this – Me – What’s your budget like? – Client – It needs to be cheap, but good quality, ya know?

lol David; “cheap, but good quality” so did you build it out of the good quality particle board?

Rob, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

great work. congratulations on the first commission.