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Thread: pro

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Winchester Ky.
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    pro

    Just wondering how many wannabees are out there. You know wanna new tool, wanna a new shop and wannabee a pro. Would like to hear how many want to do woodworking for a living and how many made there dreams come true and how they managed to make it work for them. I know I would like to start a small shop when I retire. I have several areas that I like to do. Would like to incorporate all of them into one type of business. I have always loved woodworking,making 18th century longrifles and hand forged knives. I have been making a few 18th century style country furniture and chest. I have made a few sets of hand forged hardware for some of my chest. But for now I still have to work for a living so I just continue to try to improve my skills and learn. Any other stories, I would love to hear from your experiences and ideals. How did you get to fulfill your dreams?

  2. #2
    Myself, I am not a pro so maybe this is not what you want to hear either.

    I am not sure I am all cranked up to be a pro so I can make a living at it, but I would like to think that I think outside the box and do some very custom, very unique projects. Building a train shaped cradle for my daughter for instance, or building a heart shaped crib complete with lovetails instead of dovetails. To less of an extent, my highly detailed wooden models could be included as unique as well.

    I guess my frustration with woodworking is that some of these very unique woodworking projects go largely unnoticed.

    If my dream was to become reality (and please don't laugh too hard), it would be to build that heart shaped crib, complete with lovetails and heart shaped spindles, and then donate it to the Make a Wish Foundation for auction. I think with that sort of exposure, a winning bid would be high and thus a dying child's final wish could be granted, the winning bidder would have one of a kind item, and I would get the recognition for building something high end and unique.

    Typed out it sounds arrogant, but I put a lot of time and thought into what I do, and the handwork stuff like this requires is pretty skillful. I guess in this respect I am just the starving artist who wishes to be discovered. If I could help a child out via my style of woodworking, it would be my holy grail of woodworking.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    It is an interesting question, and one that I'm sure many of us think about from time to time.

    Recently, with the >> Aparto Renovation << I've been working sort of as a carpentry job, but I've not quit my day job.

    I think if I were to do this full time, I'd have to be a lot more cut throat on pricing etc.

    I do worry that doing it full time would take all the fun out of it.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    Mar 2008
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    Winchester Ky.
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    Travis that sounds like a great ideal. Maybe someday it will come true for you. Just stay on course and see. Stuart I know that I could never make a full time living at my hobbies. That is why I am going to wait till I retire so I will have something to pay the bills with. I really admire those who have the courage and most of all the talent to be suscessful at woodworking. I admire thier work and skills.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
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    i too have had those thoughts, i am previusly a builder and that got helped along later on by taking a second job in the printing industry, which had good benifits,, the guy that i used to be partners with is struggling to keep his head above water. and its not becasue he isnt good. i have built my slef a shop to help me out in two ways, releive sterss from the job and to give me a fall back plan, and i have been fortunate to have meet and got to know some real pros..they arent rich by no means and there best thing they all say is they enjoy going to work.. to look at going pro for a second income like you mentione is good to keep you active and can make you some extra cash possibily..but to pay for the medical cost and insurances probally not. so in my case i can be ajack of all trades sorta and can still enjoy the craft.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Central (upstate) NY
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    The closest "pro" aspiration I have is to maybe someday generate a hobby income from pens and bowls. Need a lot more practice before that starts happening, and there's some flatwork needs to get done before I start turning more.

    On the other hand, I do dream of starting a meadery, but I'd want to start part-time while still being employed by someone else full-time. I've started recording costs in my brewing logbook to try and help figure out a minimum break even amount to cover all the silly licenses. I think the best way for me to go is to learn to tap maple trees (I have three in my yard) for sap to boil down and sell at least one thing of syrup a year and also make at least one batch of maple mead each year. This way I could qualify as a "farm" and thus for the reduced "farm winery" license. Anyhow, this is sort of drifting off-topic, though it is a different hobby-to-business dream.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Bellingham
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    I think what most people here are discussing is not working as a woodworker, but working for themselves. No one is saying, I want to quit my current job and go work for a giant cabinet or furniture shop. No, I think what I am hearing is a dissatisfaction of working for someone else. That is a whole different subject than, "I am in the wrong field and should be in woodworking".

    Personally, I am not interested in making woodworking a career for the main reason stated by Stu, it would take the fun out of it, because of the pressure to feed myself by it. Travis brings up a good point about being a professional may prevent you from really doing what you want because the client is king and you need to make what sells. Of course there is the best reason, I am too slow and I would starve.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
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    like what has been said here so far, creativity isnt designed to be mass produced. and mass production is where most make there money.. the turners out there are a great example..they do some fantastic stuff but the average joe or joanne wont pay for the uniques, just the 1.50 salad bowls that are mass produced and dont have the creativity in them. the same thing can apply to flat work too..mass produced cabs sell faster than custome stuff..and in todays tight market..the dollar goes to the best value for the buck not nessacarrly the best product.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Floydada, Tx
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    1,941
    I have had my own biz for two years now. Most of the money comeing now id from makeking reproduction moldings for cabinet makers. This I would say is about 70% of the income about 20% is from furniture repairs and/or refinishng. The last 10% is from furniture I make for others. If you want to do this, the best thing would start knocking on doors of places where you plan to sell this stuff. You will need a few good sources to get you going.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    oswego county , upstate n.y.
    Posts
    280
    hi ken

    personally i would never take my hobby and turn it into a buissiness . i think it would take all the fun out of it, having to meet deadlines and everything else on the buissiness end of a shop. i have turned out a few pro quality pieces, but if it was work i would probably starve to death at the pace i work at
    what are you building today ??

    GRIZZLY

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