Woodworking Business #1: Experiences in the Woodworking Business

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Blog entry by billb posted 10-30-2010 03:36 AM 1241 reads 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Woodworking Business series Part 2: Speculation or Contract Jobs »

I haven’t been posting on this blog lately but I really enjoy reading LJ. I’ve learned a great deal from lots of interesting people and I’ve decided to share more often. I spent over 20 years in the woodworking business but right now I mostly spent my time as a network administrator or writing and publishing. Nevertheless, I keep my hand in with a number of projects, the most recent pictured on this blog.

While I really enjoy woodworking and feel fairly competent at it, my best skills are in the business end. I have been motivated recently by Jim Hamilton’s blog about getting started in the business. He already has excellent business skills so his blog has been leaning toward the woodwork and the tools. I appreciate how he has managed without debt and really enjoy his writing. Since my posts will lean to the business end, it may provide a good balance that some will find helpful.

-- Bill, Austin, Texas,

7 comments so far

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3104 days

#1 posted 10-30-2010 04:50 AM

Bill, with my bride and I taking the oath to “Be Out Of Debt From Here On Out” years ago I have to say I too have enjoyed his blogs as well. Of course folks who say stuff like “You will always have a car payment” or “You need a credit card just in case of an emergency” most likely won’t agree with most said. I can say it is a nice breath of fresh air to see Jim blogging like he does about what he does.

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View a1Jim's profile


117126 posts in 3605 days

#2 posted 10-30-2010 04:55 AM

I would be in big trouble given the economic climate if I had debt . I agree with both of you.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3921 days

#3 posted 10-30-2010 06:28 AM

I still think he isnt coming clean and telling the whole truth. I enjoy reading his blogs but some how, some way, some where…........................he just doesnt sound like a “greenhorn” and his shop doesnt look “greenhorn” or “newbie”

its just my gut talking and I’ve learned to trust it.

A1Christian Jim might not agree but so what

His God loves everyone

I spent over 20 years in the woodworking business but right now I mostly spent my time as a network administrator or writing and publishing. is that an oxymoron?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2916 days

#4 posted 10-30-2010 01:14 PM

I look forward to reading your insights into the business end of things.

On the “debt free” topic, I am a retired financial planner, and that was one of the hardest lessons for my clients to learn. As an example, the difference between buying a new car every three years (as many people do) on payments versus saving up and paying cash for the cars results in a savings of over $50,000 over a person’s adult life. That is some serious coin!

I’m retired now due to a disability, but the old brain still reacts to certain phrases like an old fire horse does to the bell.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Mario's profile


176 posts in 3424 days

#5 posted 10-30-2010 03:02 PM

I´m eager to catch your woodworking business advice, there is so much to learn about this. Thanks for sharing.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7604 posts in 2828 days

#6 posted 10-30-2010 03:22 PM

Bill- Thanks for the kind comment! I am also eager to learn from your experience and would enjoy reading your blog- sonds like you’ll have no shortage of others who will be following too!

As for the debt issue- I always liked Dave Ramsey’s slogan about how the paid off mortgage is the new status symbol! I don’t have mine paid off yet, but I bought this house CHEAP two years ago and will have it paid off in just a couple more years. At 32 years old, that is quite a source of pride for me. Plus I have never had a car payment in my life, which has been a real help in tougher financial times. (I live in Michigan where recession is the name of the game these days- so you have to watch your expenses very closely if you are going to run your own business.)

Anyway, I’ll be reading every entry in your blog so get writing! :)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View billb's profile


113 posts in 2972 days

#7 posted 10-30-2010 05:45 PM

Thanks for the positive comments and I plan to put up another post today. I am confused by the comment by Moron. I assume the first part of the post is referring to Jim but it definitely confused me. As I read it, Jim has spent two years putting together his shop and while he admits to lacking woodworking experience he clearly has the skills necessary to glean sufficient information to put together a working shop. Plus, he obviously has considerable business acumen. I would not consider him a “greenhorn’.

As to my statement regarding the work I do now, I can’t understand why it would be an oxymoron. I did leave the woodworking business after over twenty years to pursue my interest in computers. I got my MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) certification and am now the network administrator for the Hyatt in Austin. I also own and operate a small publishing company for which I write books and I have published books for three other writers. I hope that clarifies it a little more. Even though I left the woodworking business I still love to do the work and have a small shop behind my home. It’s not the 1400 square feet that I left behind but it is adequate for my needs now.

The no debt thing is an important things to me and after many years I have managed to pay off my mortgage and our cars are also paid for when purchased. I do use a credit card for the points. I pay everything with that card and get points. Last year those points paid for our airfare on a vacation to New York City. But there is no interest since I pay it in full every month.

Thanks again for the comments

-- Bill, Austin, Texas,

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