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Industry & Trends

A Business Built on Woodworking: Mike at Coffey Custom Builds

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April 19, 2022 | Bill Esler

Coffey Custom Builds is an El Dorado, CA custom furniture business founded by Mike Coffey. His shop produces heirloom quality furnishings, custom doors, built-in cabinetry, as well as signage in wood, plastics and other materials.

A table by Coffey Custom Builds.

“What started as a hobby to keep myself busy between my newborn son’s naps, quickly turned into a passion, and I decided to turn it into a career,” says Coffey. “Taking a rough piece of wood and making it into a usable and beautiful finished product is rewarding in ways I can’t describe. Seeing my pieces live on in someone’s home or place of business gives me a sense of pride and it is truly an honor.”

Coffey says he sources lumber as locally as possible, working with several urban logging companies that salvage material from trees that come down due to safety concerns or from clearing work done by local utilities or housing developments. Not far from El Dorado National Forest, he has plenty to work with.

Coffey cuts dovetailed components on a Swift model CNC from Laguna Tools (IWF Booth B6730).

In addition to his custom furniture projects, Coffey has a sizeable online following, to whom he also sells woodworking templates and unique add-ons for tools, such as a large-size acrylic base plate for DeWalt trim routers, or this zero-clearance insert for Festool Kapex saws, made in walnut (which he recommends), or white oak, maple, walnut, sapele or cherry.

A zero-clearance insert for Festool Kapex saws is available in walnut (recommended), or white oak, maple, walnut, sapele or cherry.

Woodworker Ethan Abramson interviewed Coffey about to the business behind Coffey Custom Builds.

Listen in as woodworker Ethan Abramson interviews Mike Coffey at Coffey Custom Builds, a custom furniture firm based in El Dorado, CA.

So many times we hear about people who love to make the furniture and then have to learn the business side once they get going, but Mike is the opposite. Yes, he loves the woodworking side as you will hear, but he is someone who had their business plan in place and then started to learn the furniture trade as a secondary step.

Now Mike is somewhat of an outlier in the furniture business. He got into it because, he says, because he actually likes the business side of the industry.

Follow along as Abramson talks with Coffey about what attracted him to the business side of furniture making, his views on customer service, and project organization, when to buy new tools, and much more.

You can meet Ethan Abramson and Mike Coffey and other woodworking personalities at the IWF Woodworking Influencers Lounge (Booth A10620) sponsored by Shaper Tools, and located adjacent to the IWF Network News (Booth A10618).

We’ve included pros here who will make scheduled appearances at the IWF Woodworking Influencers Lounge Hall A Booth A10620. Many influencers have let us know they will be attending the show, and it’s an opportunity to meet up with them at the Influencers Lounge.

Emcee: Ethan Abramson | Building Your Furniture Brand
TUESDAY, AUGUST 23
1:00 p.m. Ramon Valdez Fine Furniture | Ramon Valdez
1:30 p.mJonathan Katz-Moses | KatzMosesWoodworkingShop
2:00 p.m. Fulton Fine Woodworks | Ronnie Fulton
2:30 p.m. NolanBuilt | Nolan Thompson
3:00 p.m. 3D DIY | David Miao

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24
1:00 p.m. IzzySwan.com | Izzy Swan
1:30 p.m. ToolGirlsGarage.com | Sarah Listi
2:00 p.m. CountryTables.com | Daniel Wellens
2:30 p.m. TheWrightEdge.com | Doc Wright
3:00 p.m. KJ Sawdust | Keith Johnson

THURSDAY, AUGUST 25
1:00 p.m. The Wooden Maven | Char Miller-King
1:30 p.m. Alabama Woodworker | Huy Huynh
2:00 p.m. Coffey Custom Builds | Mike Coffey
2:30 p.m. MarktheBuilder.com | Mark Robertson
3:00 p.m. Woodshop Mike | Michael Poorman

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