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Thread: this is why woodworking for profit for me isnt going to work

  1. #1
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    this is why woodworking for profit for me isnt going to work

    I had to work 8 of 9 days last week and a half, and my days are around 10 hours each, with close to 1.5-2 hours driving time.
    I went out to the garage to put a few coats of poly of a couple of things laying around, but at 8:30 pm, Im too tired.

    Ive had requests for some chairs. I explained that its a hobby, but people were persistent. Its not like there are no outdoor furniture places here.
    But at 85-100 bucks a chair, they know the value.

    One person insisted on handing me 200 dollars 2 weeks ago for 2 chairs.
    I told her and her husband, no reason to pay me in advance, give me a couple of weeks, I ll get on them.

    I got stuck at work, and since sunday, its been unbearable to work outside, and I dont think Ill be out there today either.

    They called me this morning and left a vm on my phone.

    Hi, how are you! Was wondering if we could come pick up our chairs today?
    Talk to ya soon, hope youre enjoying this great weather!

    I havent even cut the wood, I have someone else Im trying to work with since he is interested in some better quality wood, and Im all for working with cherry or the A. Mahogany I bought.

    Now I have to explain to this couple that this is more of a hobby, like I told them, and I havent even had a chance with this heat and work to even think about their chairs..

    I doubt they will be happy.(they wont ask me for their money back, but Ill get the calls every 2 days)
    Last edited by allen levine; 06-10-2008 at 01:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    Believe me, I know from whence you come!
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    I had to work 8 of 9 days last week and a half, and my days are around 10 hours each, with close to 1.5-2 hours driving time.
    I went out to the garage to put a few coats of poly of a couple of things laying around, but at 8:30 pm, Im too tired.

    Ive had requests for some chairs. I explained that its a hobby, but people were persistent. Its not like there are no outdoor furniture places here.
    But at 85-100 bucks a chair, they know the value.

    One person insisted on handing me 200 dollars 2 weeks ago for 2 chairs.
    I told her and her husband, no reason to pay me in advance, give me a couple of weeks, I ll get on them.

    I got stuck at work, and since sunday, its been unbearable to work outside, and I dont think Ill be out there today either.

    They called me this morning and left a vm on my phone.

    Hi, how are you! Was wondering if we could come pick up our chairs today?
    Talk to ya soon, hope youre enjoying this great weather!

    I havent even cut the wood, I have someone else Im trying to work with since he is interested in some better quality wood, and Im all for working with cherry or the A. Mahogany I bought.

    Now I have to explain to this couple that this is more of a hobby, like I told them, and I havent even had a chance with this heat and work to even think about their chairs..

    I doubt they will be happy.(they wont ask me for their money back, but Ill get the calls every 2 days)
    I bolded a major part of the problem. Sedentary folks seem to require 10 - 20 degrees higher temperatures. Active folks, on the other hand, know that high heat is almost worse than too cold for doing stuff.

    Good luck fending them off!

  4. #4
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    Well, that just sucks, I'd seriously give them the money back, and tell them that you are just so busy, and don't feel right about the money thing.

    I'd also not take on any commissions, when you get a set built, phone the people you like and offer them for sale, I'd also make people understand that bothering you about it, will move them to the end of the list.

    I'd also raise your prices
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    High prices do tend to thin out requests. I had all kinds of people ask for a golf club table until I mentioned the $900 price tag. It was such a pain to make that I didn't care if I did another one. Woodworking and welding all thrown in to one project. It isn't hot here, but the humidity is terrible. You shouldn't sweat at 65 degrees sitting in the shade.

  6. #6
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    the lumber cost me approx 21 dollars.
    I had a contractor give me a lowes 50 off 250 purchase so I bought my self a Freud 8in dado set, something I really wanted, a few things for the house, I had to replace some switches and outlets, and I added enough wood to equal the amount for the discount.
    I usually buy wood when I get at least 10% off or up to 25% off.
    PT lumber I get from Lowes or HD is fine.(its 2.97 for a 1x4 PT, cant beat that)
    I timed myself, the last 2 chairs I made and assembled took me 4.5 hours total time working. 6 hours with taking a couple of breaks.
    Id never get rich, but I feel 75 dollars labor for each one is fair.
    It pays for the new stuff I keep buying.
    I went out there today, Im afraid of dehydration, Ive been feeling rotten the past 2 days, and I know its the heat, so I decided again, to come inside out of the humidity.
    Last edited by allen levine; 06-10-2008 at 05:41 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Downey View Post
    Allen, you mean you're only charging $100 for an outdoor chair?

    I'm tempted to tell you you're way undercharging, but since I haven't seen the product, I can't really say that.

    So for a more positive suggestion, perhaps you could build them and sell what you've already built. Hurts a bit at first, but man does it keep your life simple!
    these arent my plans. I have a book about routing, its one of the projects, but for sure its the most comfortable adirondack chair Ive ever sat in.
    Nice contours, Ive posted pics of all kinds of wood Ive used,

  8. #8
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    Question?

    1x4 PT Lumber? Is that pressure treated 1x4's ?
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  9. #9
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    yes, 1x4x8 pressure treated.(marked above surface only)
    the 1x6x8 are 4.97, same price in HD or Lowes.
    HD charges 3.29 for the 1x4x8.(I checked stores in New Jersey, and the prices were identical, even though taxes are different)

    I prefer HD's pressure treated. Its a lighter shade, not that greenish dark stuff.
    Ive had no problems with it in over 2 years since Ive started, and after a few months, I tell everyone to wash the chairs, stain them, and put anything else on it they want to protect it.
    (someone I sold 3 redwood chairs too, redid them last week, its been one year, all I did was Thompsons deck treatment)
    They said the chairs looked great but wanted to redo them anyway, so they purchased a product called Man O War Spar Varnish, (satin finish?), not gloss, and said the chairs looked great. I was happy, they were happy.
    I offer to stain the chairs for the few Ive sold to people after a few months, but will charge 25 dollars each one. The dark walnut and mahogany stains look fantastic on HD Appearence grade pressure treated.

    out here on LI, they compete, so every month I get at least one coupon saving 10-20% of a purchase, sometimes up to 50 bucks, sometimes 100, sometimes 150.
    This brings the cost way down for me, so I try to buy only when I have a coupon.
    Last edited by allen levine; 06-10-2008 at 07:01 PM.

  10. #10
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    Thanks,

    For some reason, I don't think I've seen 1x4 PT at my local HD.

    I'll have to take a look next time I'm in there.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


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