043 Using Your Sawmill to Create a Niche Product with Nick Thrane from Thrane Axe & Sawmill Co

Thrane Axe and Sawmill company is all about axe restorations, making blanks for people who want to curve their own handles and making wood wedges.

HOW THE BUSINESS STARTED.

In the beginning, Nick had never used axes before and was curious of where to buy. He found old ones from different marketplaces and started collecting them. It reached a point where he felt as though he was hoarding them and he slowly began selling. Because he was frustrated of buying factory made handles which only fit certain size axes, he started Thrane Axe & Sawmill. He knew there are so many different axes and sizes of the eye where the handle goes in and that’s why he decided to start making his own. He would buy wood and cut it himself using an lt10 sawmill but he’s now upgraded to a powerful hydraulic sawmill.

He’s been in business for about 4 years now and the reception has been great. The wedges have been selling so fast because no one else makes the variety of wood types, of wedges.

ROLE THE SAWMILL PLAYS IN THE BUSINESS.

The Sawmill plays a big part in producing the wood to make everything for the business. It helps to cut different thicknesses of wood that might be impossible to buy anywhere.

MARKETING & GROWING THE BUSINESS

Being a very niche product, it’s quite tricky to get the word out. Mainly, he pays for keyword searches and advertising through Google.

Nick has found it challenging to grow the business because of up and coming competition. They creep up fast and sell products at a cheaper price. Currently, he’s trying to build the inventory of dry wood which he’ll use in future. This gives him unlimited options as to what he can do.

WOOD SOURCING

He gets his wood wherever he can locally because there are a lot of rules and regulations if you go to other states to transport ash logs. But mostly, he gets Ash trees in Maryland along the railroad, or a canal, or a river, and also a lot of people contact him when they have logs.

HOW HE STAYS MOTIVATED

As much as it can be hard, he really tries to motivate himself. He tries not to get up early because that makes him more tired. He makes sure to eat a good breakfast, drink coffee, and take his dog for a walk. This helps him kick start the day and keeps him motivated.

FUTURE PLANS

He’s been collecting logs which have now piled up and he needs to air dry them to use them later. Also, he knows a lot of places with ash trees and he would like to cut as much as he can since he foresees it’s about to get scarce.

LINKS MENTIONED

Website: Thraneaxeandsawco.com

Instagram: @Thraneaxeandsawmillco

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