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Can We Build 25 Cutting Boards in 2 Days?

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

That's the question we set out to answer this past week! And it wasn't for click bait. It wasn't to sound cool or to get likes online. It was a LEGITIMATE goal that we set for ourselves!! You may think it sounds crazy, but that's okay, because WE DID TOO!

But we wanted it to be crazy. Actually, we needed it to be crazy....

So all of this started with a bit of a thought experiment: We wanted to figure out what the max capacity of our little shop was. Why? Because we knew we'd need a bit of inventory for when we started getting orders for our boards. We don't want to get an order and then make them wait for 2 weeks because we have nothing built yet.

But also, we know that one day in the near future we would like to move into a commercial space. But commercial real estate is expensive. To pay for it, we need a certain number of consistent orders coming in that will pay the commercial space's rent.

But how do you know what that number is and what the timeline looks like?? Also, it feels a little funny talking about getting a commercial space when we've barely gotten started selling things out of our own little shop. It kind of feels like we're getting too ahead of ourselves (that may be exactly what you're thinking right now).

But what's worse? Starting your planning a bit early, and being prepared when the time comes to make a move? Or waiting to plan until it feels like you're "allowed" to and being overwhelmed and behind the curve when the time comes?

This is all of the maple and cherry boards that we bought to build our cutting boards.
Our workbench was JUST big enough to fit all of our lumber as we milled it!

That's the beauty of starting your own business. You're "allowed" to set your own goals and timelines when YOU think it's best for you....not when somebody ELSE thinks it'd be best for you....

SO, we did some nerdy math (and some educated guessing) and figured out that our magic number of boards per week to surpass our shop output, and be able to afford a commercial space was 100/week! Now, we're not going to be building that many EVERY week, because we'll also be building other products at the same time, but we need to be able to do it if we HAVE to.

WOW. 100 per week. Could we even do that?! Is that even possible for us?! Do we need to reevaluate?! Should we start smaller and simply wait a little longer to start planning that big?!

After the shell-shock wore off a bit, we came to this conclusion: The people who get to commercial spaces start planning for one from the beginning.

But we didn't come to that conclusion fully on our own. One of our favorite quotes right now (and possibly ever) is by Robertson Davies and says,

"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend".

We knew that 100 in one week was the goal to reach. But right now we're only able to dedicate 3 full days to the woodworking business, so we needed to go for the PACE of 100 boards per week! Can we (and our little shop) physically handle the pace of 100 boards??

So 100 in 7 days turns into 50 in 3 days....or 25 in 2 days....

Cuz math and stuff.

We cut all of our milled lumber into strips that we glued up to create our cutting board blanks.
Time for a ton of glue ups!

Now trust me, building 25 boards in 2 days was pretty intense. Our backs were sore, our workbench was cluttered, and we had to change our dust collection bag like 3 times. The whole process was a bit overwhelming....

But at the end of the 2 days we had 25 boards READY TO SHIP and 21 boards that only needed one afternoon to be ready to ship. That comes to 46 boards in 3 days!!

We ACTUALLY came within 4 boards of reaching our goal. What sounded crazy at the beginning of the week had manifested itself by the end of the week....

And here's the kicker: had we lowered our goal to only 15 boards in 2 days....we probably would have done 10 boards and thought that 10 was truly what we were capable of.

That's why we needed our goal to be crazy. Not because we wanted to sound cool. Not because we wanted a click-bait-y title for our next YouTube video. But because we KNOW that our minds will want to limit us if we let them. We needed to figure out what we were actually capable of, not what our comfort zones would allow us to be capable of.

Now we know that we, as 2 people in a tiny shop, are capable of producing our max capacity necessary to be able to move into a commercial space. We've made it possible to maintain the goal of moving out of our tiny shop once we've procured enough sales for ourselves!! Now we have no excuse to not go out and make as many sales as possible. We're not allowed to fear a "hug of death", because we've already trained our brains to not be our limiting factors.

This post may contain affiliate links for products we used to create this project! If you’d like to check them out, we do get a small percentage of the sale and they are of no extra cost to you! It all goes towards supporting the content creation of Jennie and Davis. BUT – we do not take tool sponsorships and there were no tool endorsements. Just our honest opinions!

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