Throwing in the towel #1: Bagging it...

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Blog entry by Myron Wooley posted 07-20-2009 11:16 PM 2026 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Throwing in the towel series Part 2: Clearing my shop (and my head) »

We’ve had enough. After trying to survive on hit-or-miss work for the past year, we are done. Dead broke, retirement gone. I’m going to get a job in my old field and make furniture in my spare time.
At least I still have my health and a really cool shop!

-- The days are long and the years are short...

18 comments so far

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3243 days

#1 posted 07-20-2009 11:26 PM

Sorry to hear that Myron. As you say, at least you have your health and a shop full of cool toys! You also have a job lined up, which is also pretty good these days.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3523 days

#2 posted 07-20-2009 11:56 PM

California is a hard place sometimes. Things are really up and then things are really down and seldom are they in a normal state. Hang in there and keep your imagination alive and your eyes open for opertunities.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View John 's profile


253 posts in 3399 days

#3 posted 07-21-2009 02:13 AM

Myron, Don’t feel bad. After over 30 Strong years in Construction, I had to get a job more in tuned to my inviroment. I really don’t mind now that I simplified my life and now I have the advantage to say no to jobs I don’t want. If I can’t do it from my shop, I don’t want it. Economy is bad right now, not the first time, certainly not the last either. By the way, which valley do you live in?

Just looked at your profile. You’re just north of my family in Chula Vista. I almost bought a house in Temecula before I came here to Bakersfield.

-- John

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4215 days

#4 posted 07-21-2009 03:15 AM

Probably a case of unlucky timing more than anything else. That’s the story of my life when it comes to finances. Keep a good attitude and everything will work out. When you have your health, you have everything.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

794 posts in 3829 days

#5 posted 07-21-2009 03:15 AM

I can’t imagine making a living from my woodworking. Even if I was significantly better and faster than I currently am I still couldn’t see it as more than supplemental income. I have great respect for those that try to make a career out of this hobby.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View TimF's profile


31 posts in 3237 days

#6 posted 07-21-2009 03:54 AM

Hey Myron, Don’t be too hard on your self. I’ve taken a number of classes with people that are in the woodworking business. They all say the samething, with the exection of one. It’s almost impossible to make a living building furniture. The one exception builds replicas being sold at high end auctions for the original owners of the piece. He is paid from the auction house. You have a shop your happy with. Enjoy your hobby and if you can make some spare change enjoy it. Tim

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4397 days

#7 posted 07-21-2009 04:57 AM

Myron Sorry to hear it. Good luck in your new employment.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4096 days

#8 posted 07-21-2009 06:25 AM

I always feel the shockwaves when I read something like this.
Good Luck.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#9 posted 07-21-2009 06:34 AM

Hey Myron
I feel for you and hope your change in direction helps you to a quick financial improvement. best wishes

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4157 days

#10 posted 07-21-2009 03:54 PM

I send my best wishes—hoping that the silver lining from all this will be FANTASTIC

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3976 days

#11 posted 07-21-2009 05:07 PM

HI Myron;

I hate to hear this. Todd put it well, about feeling the shock waves. None of us are immune to this, regardless of knowledge or experience.

I certainly wish you the best.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3645 days

#12 posted 07-21-2009 05:24 PM

Sorry to hear that Myron, but it seems like you have the proper attitude to handle it. like you said – good healthy contributes to good thinking, and that leads to more possibilities down the road.

just another bump that needs to be passed.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View RBWoodworker's profile


441 posts in 3349 days

#13 posted 07-21-2009 05:53 PM

Jeez.. Ya.. Like tom said..I feel the shockwaves all the way down here in So. Cal..I have been trying to get a woodworking/cabinet business off the ground for about 6 months now and its like trying to use a house for a kite..just so hard to do..I basically had to rethink my entire approach and while I love to make Maloof rockers that are dead on identicle to Sam’s.. No one buys them.. I was told to build stuff that people can actually use..the rocker is stricktly a luxury item and NOT a necessity.. So I am trying with things that people would want and my tv lift and stuff.. But hearing about those that are hanging up their apron..just really hits me hard.. Hang in there myron..THINGS WILL GET BETTER

-- Randall Child

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3283 days

#14 posted 07-21-2009 07:14 PM

Sorry to hear it. This economy is really taking it’s toll. Good luck, whatever you do. Just don’t give up woodworking altogether. Now that would be miserable.


View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3739 days

#15 posted 07-21-2009 07:31 PM

Sorry to hear it as well Mike – Don’t know you ‘old field’ hopefully it is doing better in the present economy.

I cannot imagine trying to be a small business owner in California these days both with the economic and political climate of late. Seems it would be easier to push a rope uphill.

With everyone pinching pennies – it is hard to convince someone who needs a dining table that the 349.99 table with 6 chairs is the wrong way to go… sure it will only last a few years, but if there is a big ‘hole’ in your dining room and your not sure about your job security, the long term view is pretty fuzzy.
I long ago concluded that furniture would not be self sustaining, only a potential supplemental income.
To make it (during good times) it seems you need to be a cabinet shop – that also does some fine furniture in order to have the inventory turn-over and volume to sustain a business, but until the economy inproves that is a tough road as well.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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