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Does anyone here sell plan sets or drawings online?

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  • Does anyone here sell plan sets or drawings online?

    Something I have been wanting to do is offer up some drawings I have for tools and fixtures I have built that folks in our hobby might find useful. Not trying, and I seriously doubt I would get rich doing this, but it would be nice to recoup a few dollars for my time doing this.

    So are you doing this and if so what service to you use and how do you like it? I have seen stuff on Ebay and bought some off Etsy, but I would like to know what the pros and cons are before jumping in.
    I just need one more tool,just one!

  • #2
    I believe Paul Alciatore is doing so on homemadetools.net, it seems he's been at it for a while. Really nice plans, too.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, I am doing that right now. As you seem to already know, you are not going to get rich at it. So, the problem with it is finding a way to do it while keeping the price down and also making a dollar or two from each sale. There is one other aspect of it that may not be completely apparent and it is a nasty word: ADVERTISING. People are not going to just come to your sales page, YOU have to get them there.

      I looked into a number of ways to do it including E-bay, Amazon, and somehow hosting my own sales site. All come with their own drawbacks. Amazon wants a large percentage of the sale price and when I checked, some of that had to be up front. E-bay will take less and will wait until a sale has completed to collect anything. I could not find any web hosting where I could either do it for free or not pay until sales were made. And then there is the matter of the payment. As far as I can see, there are only two or three real ways to go: 1) have your own credit card payment set up. 2) User PayPal And 3) Use the payment system from whatever site you set up with. Both #1 and #2 have expenses associated with them, either before hand or at the time of the sale. Either way, you lose another percentage of the sale price. $$$$$.

      I do have a couple of items up on E-bay but they are slow movers and I did not want to go that way with the sale of project plans. If I put anything else on E-bay I want it to be a fast moving item.

      What I did finally find was another BB where a section is devoted to just this kind of sales: plans for projects. They do not charge anything and only take a percentage of any sale after it is actually made. And they have the payment means already set up and operating: there is no additional fee either in advance or at the time of the actual sale. This site is the HomemadeTools.net and the sales board on that site is Tool Plans For Sale.

      https://www.homemadetools.net/forum/tool-plans-sale/

      The third sticky post there describes how to submit your plans.

      I have presently have seven different "plans" for sale (or free) there. Here is one of my offerings there:

      https://www.homemadetools.net/forum/...913#post102836

      When I found that site I converted a number of my articles that were previously published in one of the Village Press magazines into a for sale plan there. I also added some others that I had written but not found a home for at any publication. In one case it was a wood project that I could not find any wood working magazines that were interested. Apparently most, if not all the wood working magazines prefer to use their own, on staff authors.

      The moderator of the Homemade Tools site does do some promotion of the plans that are listed there. But I also look for opportunities to promote my listings. Often when I am on one of the BBs that I frequent, I will post about one of my projects there. And if you look at my postings there you will see that I have taken the trouble to promote my other listings with a photo and a short description below the description of the subject item of that listing.

      As for results, I can say this; you are not going to get rich. With seven listings I have seen months where I got only $10 or $15. And on others perhaps $45 or $50. But I am constantly looking for more projects to post there. And I am constantly looking for ways to promote them because every time I do that, sales do increase. One thing that I do not like is there is no feedback as to which of my plans were actually sold. All I see is the amount of my share of the sales in my PayPal account.

      Paul A.
      SE Texas

      And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
      You will find that it has discrete steps.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am curious, did you buy one? If so, which one and did you build it? I don't get much feedback from the board.



        Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
        I believe Paul Alciatore is doing so on homemadetools.net, it seems he's been at it for a while. Really nice plans, too.
        Paul A.
        SE Texas

        And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
        You will find that it has discrete steps.

        Comment


        • #5
          Now that I think of it, I do believe our own Brian Rupnow also sells plans for his engines, but I don't know how he does it -- either directly or through a third party.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
            I am curious, did you buy one? If so, which one and did you build it? I don't get much feedback from the board.
            That kinda sucks about the feedback. I was looking strongly at the quick change tool post, and I do seem to remember long ago when you actually developed it, and I was following along online. Unfortunately I've had to wait on many purchases, being beyond broke. I do plan to get them when I am able -- along with a bunch of steel and other metals. For now, I have to scrounge. (medical bankruptcy)

            Comment


            • #7
              You should also know that project was published in our sponsor's magazine, the Feb-Mar 2010 Machinist's Workshop
              https://secure.villagepress.com/stor...oup/319/page/4

              The last time I checked, that back issue was still available on the Machinist's Workshop web site. When I post about that article here, I always include that. I also include the availability of a revision that I made after publication in Machinist's Workshop but before the latest revision that was created for the Tool Plans sale. That, revision B, is available free on my Drop Box site. You can download it and see if you want to proceed with the project and hopefully, buy the latest version. But there is absolutely no obligation: this download is completely free.

              https://www.dropbox.com/s/dxj9jv20ji7043z/QCToolPostRc.doc?dl=0

              So go ahead and download it and see if you like it. And if you do decide to build one, then you can decide about purchasing the latest revision. That latest revision includes, among other things, what I consider a major improvement in the cutoff tool holder. I did a complete review and rewrite before offering that latest version for sale.



              Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post

              That kinda sucks about the feedback. I was looking strongly at the quick change tool post, and I do seem to remember long ago when you actually developed it, and I was following along online. Unfortunately I've had to wait on many purchases, being beyond broke. I do plan to get them when I am able -- along with a bunch of steel and other metals. For now, I have to scrounge. (medical bankruptcy)
              Paul A.
              SE Texas

              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
              You will find that it has discrete steps.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                So go ahead and download it and see if you like it. And if you do decide to build one, then you can decide about purchasing the latest revision. That latest revision includes, among other things, what I consider a major improvement in the cutoff tool holder. I did a complete review and rewrite before offering that latest version for sale.
                Thanks Paul, but I would actually rather buy it when I'm able to, especially since you put all the work into it, and since it was published (congratulations!) (yes, I knew it was in the magazine)
                I'm expecting an insurance payout coming my way, so things will ease up soon. It seems the insurance companies always wait till you've already been destroyed before they give you a nickel.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I give them away free.
                  Precision 123 block dimensions before finish grinding.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                    Yes, I am doing that right now. As you seem to already know, you are not going to get rich at it. So, the problem with it is finding a way to do it while keeping the price down and also making a dollar or two from each sale. There is one other aspect of it that may not be completely apparent and it is a nasty word: ADVERTISING. People are not going to just come to your sales page, YOU have to get them there.

                    I looked into a number of ways to do it including E-bay, Amazon, and somehow hosting my own sales site. All come with their own drawbacks. Amazon wants a large percentage of the sale price and when I checked, some of that had to be up front. E-bay will take less and will wait until a sale has completed to collect anything. I could not find any web hosting where I could either do it for free or not pay until sales were made. And then there is the matter of the payment. As far as I can see, there are only two or three real ways to go: 1) have your own credit card payment set up. 2) User PayPal And 3) Use the payment system from whatever site you set up with. Both #1 and #2 have expenses associated with them, either before hand or at the time of the sale. Either way, you lose another percentage of the sale price. $$$$$.

                    I do have a couple of items up on E-bay but they are slow movers and I did not want to go that way with the sale of project plans. If I put anything else on E-bay I want it to be a fast moving item.

                    What I did finally find was another BB where a section is devoted to just this kind of sales: plans for projects. They do not charge anything and only take a percentage of any sale after it is actually made. And they have the payment means already set up and operating: there is no additional fee either in advance or at the time of the actual sale. This site is the HomemadeTools.net and the sales board on that site is Tool Plans For Sale.

                    https://www.homemadetools.net/forum/tool-plans-sale/

                    The third sticky post there describes how to submit your plans.

                    I have presently have seven different "plans" for sale (or free) there. Here is one of my offerings there:

                    https://www.homemadetools.net/forum/...913#post102836

                    When I found that site I converted a number of my articles that were previously published in one of the Village Press magazines into a for sale plan there. I also added some others that I had written but not found a home for at any publication. In one case it was a wood project that I could not find any wood working magazines that were interested. Apparently most, if not all the wood working magazines prefer to use their own, on staff authors.

                    The moderator of the Homemade Tools site does do some promotion of the plans that are listed there. But I also look for opportunities to promote my listings. Often when I am on one of the BBs that I frequent, I will post about one of my projects there. And if you look at my postings there you will see that I have taken the trouble to promote my other listings with a photo and a short description below the description of the subject item of that listing.

                    As for results, I can say this; you are not going to get rich. With seven listings I have seen months where I got only $10 or $15. And on others perhaps $45 or $50. But I am constantly looking for more projects to post there. And I am constantly looking for ways to promote them because every time I do that, sales do increase. One thing that I do not like is there is no feedback as to which of my plans were actually sold. All I see is the amount of my share of the sales in my PayPal account.
                    Thanks Paul, did not know HT had a forsale section, that might be a viable outlet for mine. For marketing I was planning on using my Youtube channel for that. I haven't had much time to work on it, but that's one thing I am going to try to improve later this year. One of the plan sets I bought on Etsy were the belt grinder plans Jeremy Schmidt has. Some of the things I have are fairly complex, so a video showing construction details is in order.

                    P.S. I like the tape dispenser, genius!
                    I just need one more tool,just one!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would be very interested in how you use YouTube for promoting them. I think that all efforts that bring viewers to any of the plans there will benefit all of the others so I may copy your efforts and hopefully help make that board more well known. I have not made any videos yet and really want to get started with that.

                      As for construction details, I have relied on drawings, photos, and a text description. In other words, my offerings there are exactly what you would see in a magazine article. But videos would be a nice addition to both ways of distributing them.

                      That tape dispenser was made in response to a real need combined with absolutely horrendous prices for the simple ones in the office supply stores. Until I retired and wanted one for home use, I never realized just how much they ripped people off for them. In case others are curious about what we are talking about, it is a dispenser for the 2" reels of tapes like masking, clear "Scotch", and the many other types that are sold in widths from 3/4" up to 2" or more. I needed one where I could easily tear off accurate lengths and I wanted one that would look nice on my or any desk. It was a wood project with a few metal parts, most notable being the bat handle nut made from a facet handle. Here is a photo:

                      Click image for larger version

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                      Originally posted by wierdscience View Post

                      Thanks Paul, did not know HT had a forsale section, that might be a viable outlet for mine. For marketing I was planning on using my Youtube channel for that. I haven't had much time to work on it, but that's one thing I am going to try to improve later this year. One of the plan sets I bought on Etsy were the belt grinder plans Jeremy Schmidt has. Some of the things I have are fairly complex, so a video showing construction details is in order.

                      P.S. I like the tape dispenser, genius!
                      Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 06-14-2020, 08:06 AM.
                      Paul A.
                      SE Texas

                      And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                      You will find that it has discrete steps.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Nice looking tape dispenser, but I'm not seeing just how the tape is cut/torn.
                        I assume that takes place at the front edge. I can see what appears to be maybe a thin layer of plastic, but it looks to be below the top edge of the wood, rather than above for cutting.
                        Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I sell the full plans and machining instructions for this device called a Morthwyl, a very handy tool in many situations.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Bented… That just wasn't nice. You made me snort my coffee. Atleast I was able to aim away from the keyboard before I exploded from laughter.

                            In all seriousness though, I've been thinking about putting together a modestly complete set of metric tools to complement my Imperial tools. Is there any chance you plan to publish a set of plans for 25/50/75 blocks in the future? I'd like to have a matched pair so I would need two sets of plans.
                            Last edited by Bob La Londe; 06-14-2020, 11:44 AM.
                            *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bob La Londe View Post
                              Bented… That just wasn't nice. You made me snort my coffee. Atleast I was able to aim away from the keyboard before I exploded from laughter.

                              In all seriousness though, I've been thinking about putting together a modestly complete set of metric tools to complement my Imperial tools. Is there any chance you plan to publish a set of plans for 25/50/75 blocks in the future? I'd like to have a matched pair so I would need two sets of plans.
                              It is far easier to make metric tools then inch tools, this is exactly why most of Europe adopted the metric system of measurement, the lazy buggers.

                              1.0204081632653061224489795918367 X 2.0408163265306122448979591836735 X 3.061224489795918367346938775510

                              The metric system eliminates 20 numbers on the right side of the period when expressed in inches.
                              25 X 50 X 75 is much easier to achieve.

                              To answer your question sans humor, ask the grinder operator how much material they would like left on the tool for finish grinding, this will be dependent on material and any heat treating operations after roughing.
                              Last edited by Bented; 06-14-2020, 12:49 PM.

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