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:: Both Sides of the Spectrum :: #2: Numero Dos

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Blog entry by BenZ posted 2675 days ago 805 reads 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Getting Started :: Part 2 of :: Both Sides of the Spectrum :: series Part 3: Podcast Idea:: »

What to write about??

I went out of town this weekend (trip to Richmond, VA) so not much went on as far as wood working. I did try to convince my mother that the sofa table I promised her I would build should be in the Arts and Crafts style, so I could enter it into the contest here (is a sofa table able to be entered or does it have to be an end table?). She is supposed to get back to me so I may end up trying to build too tables at the same time, a simple one for her and a more complex one for myself so I can begin to play around with new types of joinery, at least for me, and new types of wood (where is the cheapest place to purchase ebony boards?)

All in all this was a pretty typical weekend for me. I say for me because the other employees here at my 9 to 5 (or J. O. B.) seem to find my stories a little “out there”. Let me break this down for you. I have 3 lives, J O B, College, and Wood Worker. On a normal day I wake up at 7 get ready for work, put on the collared shirt and head out to sit at my desk (yippie…). At the J O B I read this, run through that, schedule meetings to talk about and see if we need to schedule another meeting, etc. etc. etc. It is a laid back atmosphere, but in the back of your mind you know the limits in what can be said and done. Then around 5:00 I shut down my computer, get in the car (Audi A4, I freakin love this car and highly recommend them to everyone) and head back home. I will use last Friday as an example, I pull up to my house and see about 20-30 people out in my front yard, there are girls in bikini tops (the weather is finally changing!) guys with no shirts on and everyone has a beer or cup filled with some type of alcoholic drink in their hand. A couple guys are throwing the Frisbee for my pup (she is a bulldog, but thinks she is a Lab) and I glance up on the porch and my buddy in holding the beer bong for this other guy who downs the whole thing in about 3 gulps (not too shaby). Now remember this is maybe 5:30 in the afternoon. I get out of the car still in my khakis and collared shirt and walk straight to my room to change into a T and jeans. I seriously have to shake my head and “morph” back into college mode before I head back out.

I know this little rambling had absolutely nothing to do about wood in any way (except for the fact that the floor everyone is spilling their beer on is hardwood, at least I think it is…), but I really had nothing else to talk about and felt like filling in part 2 of this blog. Let me know if we are supposed to keep these strictly about wood and wood working alone. And if we are then i will make sure and post a disclaimer at the top of each of these ramblings…

Thank you and good day…

Signing Off-
BenZ

-- E.B.Z. Virginia



22 comments so far

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2910 days


#1 posted 2675 days ago

Cheap Ebony…isn’t that an oxymoron.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8711 posts in 2695 days


#2 posted 2675 days ago

If you want to make your living doing furniture, I can tell you it will be a while before you can drive anything like an Audi A4. If you are making that kind of money you better keep your job so you can buy yourself a shop full of tools before you quit.

Start making furniture on the side, start figuring out the business aspect of it, because passion doesn’t pay the bills. If you rely on furniture as your income, you have to approach it from the business standpoint. Most craftsmen lack the business acumen to be successful and to reap the financial rewards of building a bank account along with their reputation and furniture.

Building furniture “on the side” can be great money. But as a legitimate business, with real overhead and operating above board with the IRS, it is a tough row to hoe.

This is a wealth of information that I just downloaded to you.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View BenZ's profile

BenZ

24 posts in 2679 days


#3 posted 2675 days ago

The A4 is an older model that costs less than 10K. Hopefully furniture can afford you such a car.

And isn’t it a shame that a hard working craftsman that labors away day after day and creates art with their hands will hardly ever reach the same earning potential as a guy that sits at his desk and stares at a computer screen for 8 hours… The feeling of accomplishment and pride in your work can only fill the gap so much. Hopefully I can one day find a niche in this field so I can quit my job and fully support myself.

I do own another company at the moment that deals with screenprinting/embroidery/graphic design (IrieDogDesigns.com) that helps pay the bills (not very many of them, but some… like my daily energy drinks, I don’t know why I like those things so much…)

-- E.B.Z. Virginia

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2756 days


#4 posted 2675 days ago

does this relate to woodworking? Well, running through the entire story I see the woodworking gene tugging you to include it more in your day. Perhaps somethings no long “fit” in your life and you want more woodworking in your life??

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View BenZ's profile

BenZ

24 posts in 2679 days


#5 posted 2675 days ago

MsDebbieP – you have been very positive with your remarks not only for me, but for others as well and I would just like to say: Thank You. It is positive people like you that this world needs more of. Thanks

Thats all – hope you have a good one

-BenZ

-- E.B.Z. Virginia

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8711 posts in 2695 days


#6 posted 2675 days ago

I certainly hope that you did not take my comments as acidic or negative, it is just the reality of it. Your comment on other business tells me you are an enterprising individual. This aspect needs to be combined with your craftsmanship to be successful.

Ok, I have to admit I thought the car cost more than it probably did.

Any way, the information I gave is truthful and upfront. The people that seem to pursue this profession cannot be deterred, it is a passion. They – we cannot help ourselves. But if you want to rely on it more heavily as income, it has to be approached from the proper angle.

I know of many people, including myself, that acquired their tool collection from income other than furniture, and then made the leap. It helps keep your debt burden lower. During that time you can mature as an artisan while you have solid income. It is a business that you have to build just like any other.

I am not stingy with info, I lay it all out. I hope it helps others, because others have helped me climb the learning curve. I am also aware my info is not inclusive of all there is to know.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2756 days


#7 posted 2675 days ago

thanks BenZ :)

Todd – you are one of many individuals at LJ with “a wealth of information”. I can’t even begin to describe all that I have learned about woodworking, about decision-making re: changing careers (to include more woodworking) and, well, that only touches the surface!

We are all here to learn or what would be the point of participating!! Some of it we treasure, some we discard, and some we store for future reference.

I am in awe at EVERYONE”s expertise.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View jpw1995's profile

jpw1995

373 posts in 2893 days


#8 posted 2675 days ago

I have also thought about ultimately making woodworking a career. What scares me is the thought that I may not enjoy it as much if the stress of having to rely on it to make the house payment becomes too overwhelming. I would love to do woodworking full time, but I don’t want it to feel like a “job”. Does that make any sense?

-- JP, Shelbyville, KY

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2756 days


#9 posted 2675 days ago

Well you do not have to make woodworking a full time career if you don’t enjoy it that way. You could to it part time, as a side business, and keep your job. After awhile you should get a feel which way you want to go, part or full time with woodworking.

As for me, I do worry about the mortgage since I do not have a large or steady income yet. But years of savings and preparation have allowed for that. If you want it bad enough, you will find a way to do it.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2756 days


#10 posted 2675 days ago

I was talking to Karl, of “Karl’s Woodworking” in our local village and we were talking about getting out of a stressful job and into something less stressful – i.e. woodworking
And he said, “Hah.. that’s what I thought when I started this business. But it’s a business and it is stressful!!”
Maybe you need to have a partner who enjoys all the business end of things, leaving you to just do the woodworking. Win/win/win. (third “win” is the customer)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View jpw1995's profile

jpw1995

373 posts in 2893 days


#11 posted 2674 days ago

That’s kind of what I had in mind, Bill. I’d like to try it as a part time occupation, but my current job won’t work with that schedule. I think I’d have to find a 20 hour a week type of job to supplement the woodworking income. All I know is I’d rather be in my shop that at my desk, and that feeling will eventually convince me to take the plunge.

-- JP, Shelbyville, KY

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2756 days


#12 posted 2674 days ago

“leaps of faith” are good. Sometimes it is smart to do some planning before the leap (perhaps having some extra funds in the bank to fall back on)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View jpw1995's profile

jpw1995

373 posts in 2893 days


#13 posted 2674 days ago

Kind of like a controlled leap…. or a leap with a with a safety harness.

-- JP, Shelbyville, KY

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2756 days


#14 posted 2674 days ago

an intelligent leap.

let’s wipe out the “fall back on” and the “safety harness” terminology which both indicate a fear of failure. We WILL be successful.

So the financial security is to SUPPORT the woodworking leap of faith. Yes. Positive Thinking!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View jpw1995's profile

jpw1995

373 posts in 2893 days


#15 posted 2674 days ago

You should charge money for that kind of advice. Where do I send the check?? :-) You sure are a breath of fresh air, MsDebbie.

-- JP, Shelbyville, KY

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