The Furnitology Story

Furnitology Woodworking

Hi, I’m Cody, the founder of Furnitology and the person pounding the keyboard for @Furnitology in the community. I’ve been meaning to write this intro for a few weeks. I’ve received many messages asking how Furnitology came to be, the team behind it, what’s coming in the future, and many other questions.   

To answer the question of the team behind Furnitology, well, it’s just me. I sometimes say “we” in comments, but it’s just me. So here’s a little more about me. 

I’m your everyday run-of-the-mill, middle-aged, balding and bearded, beer and whiskey-drinking husband and father. My wife, Bethany, our three kids, Ella (11), Lucy (8), and Everett (5), and I live in Bothell, WA, a suburb northeast of Seattle.  

I enjoy and am passionate about woodworking. Unfortunately, I don’t get as much time in the shop as I’d like, but I’m sure that’s the same for many. I’m a sports nut and enjoy coaching my kids and rooting for my local sports teams, the Seahawks, Mariners, Kraken, and Sonics. I’m still working full-time while building Furnitology, which doesn’t leave much time for anything else. 

Many of you have asked why I haven’t posted any of my woodworking. The honest answer is, I haven’t had the time to make anything. As I mentioned above, I haven’t spent time in the shop between family, a full-time job, and building Furnitology. I want to be in the shop more as I’m deeply passionate about the craft. The creativity and challenges presented by woodworking give me happiness and fulfillment. That said, I am getting my shop reorganized and ready to go. I’ll post what I’m working on in the future, just like all of you.  

When my oldest was a toddler, I had a side hustle making children’s furniture. It was all done on a CNC, and the setup for that operation required different tools, machines, and setup.  Part of my shop reorganization project is to get set up for traditional woodworking, which will allow me to be more of a hybrid woodworker. I enjoy traditional woodworking, but CNC and the digital transformation in woodworking are fun for me too. You can see a much younger me and my daughters, Ella and Lucy, along with a few of my children’s furniture and toy products in the picture below.  

Ok, enough about me.  Let’s talk Furnitology. 

Furnitology was started back in 2006 by my Uncle, Neil Lamens. Neil spent more than 30 years in woodworking and was one of the early pioneers of woodworking blogs. The name of his blog? You got it, Furnitology. It was through Neil that I first got the bug for woodworking. I built a step stool with Neil when I was eight years old. It was my first woodworking project, and my parents still have that very step stool 32 years later.  

As Neil was building Furnitology, I finished college and found my way. With social media and YouTube becoming more and more popular, Neil saw woodworking shifting, and we began to discuss building a woodworking community. I have all of our emails going back and forth on what Furnitology could become. He would take care of the content, and I would take care of the technology. It was a match made in heaven and became a dream for us. We wanted to shape Furnitology into a woodworking community that would bring woodworkers together to learn, connect and grow from one another and push the craft forward.  

Sadly, just as we began to get rolling, Neil was diagnosed with cancer. He battled with everything he had until September 20, 2012, when he passed away.  

After Neil passed, I was left without my partner and not emotionally ready to move forward. The flame for Furnitology diminished but didn’t burn out. I knew somehow, someway, I needed to see Furnitology through. If for nothing else to finish what Neil started. I had to check the box.  

Let me segue for a moment. I will never come across another person more passionate about woodworking than Neil. If you want a feel for his passion, watch the video below.  

Years went by, Furnitology was idle, but the flame was there and growing. I’d call it a constant yearning to make something of Furnitology. In 2018 I began mentally piecing Furnitology together. I envisioned a social community where woodworkers could share their work, groups to make closer connections, forums to engage in topical discussions, download project plans, on-demand courses, and a blog to share woodworking content and instruction. In my mind, it was a home run, a slamdunk. Not so fast!  

I began speaking with industry professionals and reached out to well-known woodworkers. With Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit taking hold, woodworking had multiple communities. The idea didn’t register. No one thought I’d be able to capture eyeballs, and could I offer all of that in a social community, let alone a mobile app? At times, I was ready to let the flame burn out. The time and financial investment needed to pull off an app 100% for woodworkers would be too great. If no one joined, what would it all be for? Ahhh, but remember the flame, the yearning, the drive to check the box? It was intense, and against all odds, I pulled the trigger and began building the Furnitology web and mobile apps. A few years of researching, designing, building, and testing bring us to today.  

Furnitology launched in early December 2021. A month and a half later, we are nearly at 650 makers in the Furnitology community. We still have a long ways to go, but we’re doing it! There is still a lot to accomplish, but Neil is smiling down somewhere. That makes me happy!  Check the box! 

So what do I want for Furnitology? I want Furnitology to be a community where woodworkers of all skill levels can learn, connect, and grow from one another. I want to push the woodworking craft forward. I want to introduce new people to woodworking. I want Furnitology to be the home of woodworking. Is it a bold, big, hairy, audacious goal? It sure as hell is! Could I fail? Yup! Could WE succeed? Absolutely!  

I firmly believe an app for woodworking that promotes community, education, growth, and friendship can accomplish everything I’ve mentioned. Technologically, most of the features I mentioned above exist today. All will be available by the end of this year, hopefully soon.  In the app today, you can post your work to the community, read the blog, join a group, engage in a forum, and connect and follow others. You should check all of them out. If you want to start a forum topic, please do so.  If you have an idea for a group, please reach out to me. 

Most importantly, engage in the community. That is why we are here. Share your work, like and comment, ask questions and learn from other makers. We are 650 makers strong in the Furnitology community, and many more are joining every day.  

The future for Furnitology will have woodworking plans and courses directly available in the app from the best woodworking teachers. It will take time, but I am talking with those individuals, and a few opportunities are on the horizon. Stay tuned! Most of all, I want the future of Furnitology to deliver value and enjoyment for you. Please comment on this post and tell me what you’d like to see from Furnitology. Furnitology is as much yours as it is mine. Make it what you want. (To comment click the icon at the top of the post)

Now for the question, I am asked the most, by far.  How have I funded Furnitology, and how do I plan to make money?  The easy one to answer is that I’ve 100% self-funded Furnitology. I’ve also put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. How Furnitology will make money in the future, I don’t know.  I have ideas. I am confident that monetization will figure itself out if I can build a valuable product and service that people enjoy. So that’s my focus, to create the best woodworking community there is. However, I won’t lie, I’m chasing a 15-year dream, and at some point, I’d like to work for Furnitology full time.

If I’m going to someday work for Furnitology full time at some point, I’ll have to make money. In the future, there could be a premium subscription offering. I could allow brands and manufacturers to pay for access to the community without giving up privacy or personal information. They’d have to engage in the community just like we all do today. The question for me is how to do these things without tearing apart the inner fabric of what I want Furnitology to be. I’m confident it will work itself out. Today Furnitology is free. Should that change, you’ll be the first to know. 

There is another aspect that I think is pretty cool. Maybe I’ll call it a decentralized woodworking community.  Furnitology is not Facebook, and it’s not Instagram. At most, I have your name and email address. That is all I know about you unless you share more with the community. I don’t have advanced algorithms to learn about you, what you like, what your interest is, how you scroll, how to get you to pause on an ad, etc. I don’t follow you around the internet either. I don’t view you as a vehicle to make a dollar from advertising. I view you as a person who shares a common interest where I have an opportunity to make a human connection through the Furnitology community. 

I want to thank all of you for being here, for taking a chance as an early Furnitology maker.  You will never know how much I appreciate it.  You have allowed me to check the box!  You have played a significant role in enabling me to deliver on something I started with someone very close to me who couldn’t be here to see it through. So thank you, thank you, thank you! 

I’ll leave you with this. All of us have an opportunity to be part of something special. We can push the woodworking craft forward and take it to the next level. That’s all my Uncle Neil wanted!  

See you in the shop!
Cody

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  1. Great post and i like the purpose driving you to get this up and running. Look forward to seeing other makers’ designs and inspiration. I’m new to woodworking but I’ve committed a lot of time and probably way too much money to my new passion. Hope to start selling some creations soon. Cheers!

    Paul

  2. I’m sorry that you lost your uncle. Cancer sucks! Thank you for getting this thing going. I want to be an active member and help in any way I can. Best of luck with this Cody! Keep checking that box. 

  3. Cody – I’m excited to see Furnitology continue! I was fortunate enough to correspond with Neil a number times. He was always happy to to help and give advise.

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