Working in Stages to Increase Production

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Working in stages to increase production in the best way to handle making multiple pieces at once. Not only does it cut down on production time, but it also increases uniformity. When you make several pieces at once, going through the process logically by working in stages is the best way to go.

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How to Work in Stages to Produce More

working in stages to increase productionI recently made a series of small wall plaques for six of my friends. They were Christmas gifts, and I had to make them quickly.

With most of my gifts, I typically get the idea for what I want to make late in the season, so time becomes an issue. My fault, I know.

However, by working in stages, I am able to crank out several pieces in a lower amount of time. The beauty of working in a logical manner when you are making many of the same thing is that you cut down on setup time.

When you make a cut, route an edge, or apply a finish, you have to set up for the process. This takes time, and when you work in phases, you only have to invest that time once. 

If you want to see a nice wall hanging sign project, by DIY Established Sign is a fun build that is great to sell or give as a gift.

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Working in Stages for Uniformity

working in stages to increase productionPerforming each operation on all pieces before moving on also has another benefit. Since you set up the tool once, everything you send through it will have the exact same treatment.

Even on a good table saw, or a good router table, if you had to set it up each time before a pass the results would vary slightly.

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When you do something by hand, there is always some variation.

When you set the tool once, and then process all the pieces with the same setup, you are going to get the same result on all pieces. Not only do you save the time, but you crank out projects that are uniform in size and appearance.

Batch Processing Your Wood Finishing

working in stages to increase productionIt is not only the milling and building phases that can benefit from working in stages. If you are finishing many pieces with the same color, applying it all at the same time helps.

I used a stain called Kona for several projects this Christmas, and was able to finish all of them as the same time. This means that I only had to get my protective equipment out, and set up the area for finishing one time.

After the one setup, I was able to finish all of the wooden pieces. This is probably the quickest and easiest way to finish multiple items. Also, since they all dried at about the same time, I was able to apply the clear coat to the whole batch at once.

Every project has logical stages. All you need to do is break it down. For woodworkers making gifts, or making items to sell, batching your pieces makes perfect sense. It will cut down your production time, which will increase your profit.

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Also, it will help ensure that your pieces are uniform. This becomes important when people come back to buy the same thing. They expect it to be the same as the last time. If you work in stages, you can get a dual benefit, and have a better experience woodworking.

If you have any questions on Working in Stages to Increase Production, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Also, please share my work with your friends online. It helps me reach more new woodworkers, and share my love of the craft. Happy building.

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brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

  • 20 Years Experience in Woodworking
  • 7 Published Books Available on Amazon
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