14 Best Things To Make On A Wood Lathe And Sell

things to make on a wood lathe and sell

Woodworking has been around for centuries, and the things that can be made with a lathe are endless. For this article, we are going to show you the best 14 things you can make on a wood lathe and sell!

If you’re thinking about starting your own crafty business, browse this article for some of the types of wood lathe projects that almost always make the Etsy bestsellers list.

People are always looking for one-of-a-kind items to spruce up their home or give as a gift. Wood turned items are unique, beautiful and can be made by anyone with basic woodworking skills.

Hand-carved items are great because they’re inexpensive and can be produced with a wood lathe quickly. Hand-lathed wood items are excellent for scaling your small business to a larger production.

Things To Make On A Wood Lathe And Sell

wooden pens


Pens are a saturated market when it comes to the number of people who manufacture and sell them, so one challenge is to create something that might not be feasible at a factory level. One idea for your lathe that may not be possible on mass production levels is personalization.

Sell premium-quality pens to the gifts market. People will pay more for unique items, making this a profitable business venture.


One technique of selling is to include vases when you are also selling other products, such as a gift.

Chess Pieces

chess piece

Woodturning chess pieces are another one for the premium market. These unique gifts can be shared with friends and family, as they will appreciate something that is handmade and of such high quality.

It takes around 10 minutes to make a single piece, so woodturners often charge per order rather than by the hour for this type of job. Chess started to gain some popularity in recent years so this is another plus when trying to sell these.


Bowls are the most popular thing to make, by our research. Most households and individuals want bowls in their houses.

One option is to create a design that impresses the viewer from afar. I always enjoy supporting craftsmen, but it’s easier to sell items when they are not similar to ones you can buy cheaper in a store or catalog. So think how could you improve your bowl?


Making spoons and other wooden kitchen utensils are usually a big draw. People want them all the time, so it’s likely someone will buy yours. You’ll find money in this area comes from making higher quality ones. Most grocery stores carry cheaper low-quality spoons so clients will be interested in seeing something with better quality.

Wooden Apples

So far all of these items have been practical but don’t forget about decorative items that you can create with your lathe.

They are an interesting item and not everybody is selling them. Consider adding them to your list of Things to Make on a Wood Lathe and Sell.


Turning rings with a wood lathe can be very profitable. As with other items on this list, it is up to you to find your own take on the project. What do you as a woodturner bring that others may not? Look at different types of wood for color, texture, and more in order to attract clients and maximize profits.

Candle Holders

candle holder

Wood candle holders are a lovely project that you can sell at craft fairs and on Etsy. Not only do they sell well, but the low cost of making them means you have less to lose if they don’t sell.

A wood lathe is a machine for shaping solid pieces of lumber. A CNC machine can also be used to engrave the candle holders.


These days, few people have any knowledge or appreciation for goblets. Sure, the ones who can appreciate such things will love your creations. However, that only makes up a small portion of the population that is still willing to buy them at all. If you want to make these and sell them, I would not recommend doing it until someone’s contacted you and commissioned such a thing.

Bottle Stoppers

One of the simplest projects for a wood lathe is making a decorative bottle stopper. This requires beginning-level turning tools and can be learned quickly.

baseball bat

Baseball Bat

For the wood lathe enthusiast, one of the most exciting things to make from logs is a baseball bat. As there are fewer moving parts than other items on our list and it can be made by beginners, I believe that this would be an optimal first project for any new wood lather!


When starting up your woodworking business, try to make toys. The easiest route is one that you can rely on a tried and true product. The best approach? Use a common toy as inspiration for yours so you don’t have to come up with something entirely new. What’s the name of your favorite toy from childhood? Think about how it could be personalized?

Read: 9 Unusual Wood Turning Projects That You Need to Try


Puzzle blocks and other intricate pieces are great for more experienced woodturners. With patience and practice, you’ll be able to create puzzles people will fight over! I would recommend starting off with simpler projects before diving into something more complicated.

Christmas Ornaments

Unique, handmade Christmas ornaments are a hot seller leading up to the holidays.

Making and selling hand-turned Christmas ornaments is easy for most woodworkers to do in bulk from any type of cheaper wood. Consider installing a simple hook on top of your ornaments for an easy way to hang them. You can also use different stains and paints in order to offer more variety to your buyers.


There are so many options to consider when it comes to what you can make on a wood lathe and sell. One option that should be a no-brainer is jewelry, as there is a small upfront cost involved – most people have materials laying around the house all ready for this project!

Woodturning for profit isn’t as simple as just choosing the right wood and turning it out. In order to make a profit with your new hobby, you’ll need some creativity to develop lasting products. Think about marketing to kids or adults who already collect this kind of art in order to have long-time customers. You can also use social media to promote your products online.