The Effect of COVID-19 on the

The Effect of COVID-19 on the

Aug 25, 2023Drew Kramer

A Global Pandemic v. Woodworking (hint: they don’t go together well…)

The COVID Pandemic has definitely been rough for a lot of small business, forcing them to shut their doors, layoff employees, or just go out of business completely. With the lack of jobs (due to layoffs), it has already made it difficult for the retail industry because many people are shopping from home (online), and not visiting stores in person. This makes it really difficult for the retail industry to survive.

With online shopping becoming more popular, I launched a website (the very one that you’re reading this on), to sell my products. With the stuff that I sell, most of it’s small and easy to ship directly to a customer, but not all of it. This recent custom cabinet build (in the picture above) was our biggest project yet! it featured 2 units – one big cabinet to hang dog leashes, and other longer items in, and one set of 3 smaller cabinets with an exotic butcher-block style countertop on it. For my first time doing cabinets (as part of a custom order), I am very pleased on how they came out. They were super heavy, and required two of us to carry them to their final resting area, but definitely worth the time and quality that went into them. They even have slow close hinges on them!
One of the biggest things with woodworking, and any custom work industry, is the quality of the piece and the time that goes into it. Like I mentioned in other blog posts, you can buy a $35 cutting board from Amazon (and it may be perfectly fine for you), but for the same size cutting board from Planeta Woodworking, you may be paying upwards of $100. This is because of the time that it takes to make a cutting board. you have to dimension the rough lumber that you get from the saw mill/lumber yard into dimensioned, straight boards. Then you have to cut the individual strips, glue and clamp them (for 24 hours – until the glue completely cures), then surface and dimension them again (with end-grain boards you have to cut and glue multiple times = multiple days), and finish them. The quality of one of our boards v. one from Amazon is very different. Most of the time with cutting boards from Amazon, they are made in a production facility that solely focuses on the clock rather than the quality of the piece. This means that you could get a board with weak glue joints, and gaps, which when moisture reaches those – your cutting board can be demolished. On behalf of Planeta Woodworking, I can say that we will not sell a cutting board with gaps, weak glue joints or even dents in the wood. We have a dual quality control system that involves two people who check the piece for errors, or defects before it is given to the customer. We also cover all cutting boards with a 1 Year Manufacturers Warranty that covers any problems that the board might have had due a problem in the manufacturing process. While this does not cover wear and tear, it provides an extra layer of protection on our products beyond the quality control process. We want to make sue that you have the best experience possible with our products. You do not get any of this on Amazon – when you buy a cutting board. If you have any problems with your Planeta Woodworking Product, Please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to help you in any way we can.
With the insane recent increases on lumber prices due to effects with the pandemic, we have been forced to increase our prices on newer stocked products. Basically, the lumber industry is in high demand now because of the spring season – that’s when many people choose to build houses – so the demand for lumber is higher than other seasons (like normal), but the pandemic has forced many of the smaller saw mills out of business, so now only the very large industrial ones are able to harvest trees and mill them into lumber. These “big guys” (as they call them) are only looking for big harvests (that would make them money), and all of the smaller harvests – that the normal smaller mills would look for are going un-harvested due to the lack of smaller mills that are still in operation. The creates an overall shortage in lumber, and with the demand very high nowadays, the basic principal of supply and demand says that prices will increase. This increase is unlike any other, it started back in the beginning of 2021, and is expected to last well into 2022. Prices are up almost 188%. For the average hobbyist, it may not be as much of a problem, but for small businesses or someone like me who uses hundreds of board feet in a matter of months, it’s really not looking good, especially for the price of custom work, and finished products. We have also been forced to reduce the number of days that we can stand behind the price of an estimate because of this. We can only hold a price for 10 days, because after that we have to re-evaluate given the changes in prices. See the chart below for a running trend of the lumber prices and how much higher they have been as a result of the COVID Pandemic as opposed to other years.
Like always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us any time, and we look forward to working with you on your next project. Remember, “You Name it, I’ll Build it”

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