This is a question I ponder frequently. How do you know when you should take a project on yourself, or when you should raise the white flag and just purchase the item from a store? This goes for house furniture as well as shop furniture and jigs. Judging from the many emails I receive asking this exact question, I know I’m not alone.
In November 2009, I wrote an article for Popular Woodworking Magazine that talks about this exact topic. Taking some influence from Nicole’s Glamour magazine, I constructed a quiz specifically for woodworkers. Answer the questions honestly, and you should end up with a reasonably objective result that tells you whether you should build or buy.
For those who might be wondering, this is an older article from the archive, but I now have permission to distribute the article and the worksheet directly. I felt it was worth re-posting.