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My brother and I made a couple sets…
and no, we did not make a profit.

I saw a furniture set about 10 years ago in Minneapolis that I loved, but it was priced astronomically high. Like all naïve hobbyists, I thought, “I could make that for 30% the cost!” Years and years later when Martin was visiting Fresno, I convinced him to try to make it with me. We had a client lined up to buy the set you see above, so we decided to make two sets. Immediately getting into it, I realized why those originals were priced so high.

The planks are IPE wood. The wood is gorgeous and strong and built for outdoor use, but it ain’t cheap! Each plank on those sofas was over $40 alone, and we needed a ton of them. I think we spent about $1,800 on the wood, tons on the metal and hardware, and then another thousand on powder coating the metal frames that my brother welded up. It was a blast to make these with my brother, staying up late and wrestling with and figuring out the mistakes – and I still have the other set at my house. But to break even on these things, after all the materials and tons of labor, turns out they’d be about as expensive as that other place was selling them. And Fresno doesn’t really have the market for a $4,000 patio set – but damned if they don’t look classy in my little backyard.