Woodworking Relativity

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by miles125 posted 10-27-2007 06:32 PM 1195 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Is it just me, or does anyone else have a large extended family that wants your woodworking expertise at a bargain basement cost? There are times when i envy the guy who produces the upper part of the valve stem actuator that only fit a 12 foot tall Caterpillar tire. I bet practically nobody calls a brother in law like that for a “deal”!!!!

Not that i don’t enjoy making things for the family (and friends), i just can’t charge them enough. When i do, i’m likely to get that look that says “Hey, i thought we was family”. Oh well, i guess i should just be glad to have sought after skills and chalk it up as a price to be paid.

Maybe i’ll move my shop back into some deep hidden woods, and start passing out fake business cards at this years Christmas party to inform everyone i now work for a mobile colonoscopy clinic headquartered out of Somalia.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

15 comments so far

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4087 days

#1 posted 10-27-2007 06:51 PM

Good luck on that last thought, Miles. I will have to pass on a visit to your new digs, having already given to the cause shortly after my 52nd birthday. LOL.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4013 days

#2 posted 10-27-2007 08:36 PM

Actually, I would take it as a compliment to your fine work. But I too have recently fell victim to my sister-in-law to do all the trim moulding in her bedroom. So what I did was include her into the project. She got to go to the store to buy the lumber and she gets to do all the staining too. Actually, my wife “volunteered” me for this, so it’s rather like being thrown to the dogs.

Have fun!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3962 days

#3 posted 10-27-2007 08:50 PM

Ah, the family. I have come to the point where if they cover materials I’m happy. I do it when I have time and if they want it by a specific date, then they become a regular customer. Fortunately for me, my family has been pretty good about covering materials plus some.

-- Working at Woodworking

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 3903 days

#4 posted 10-27-2007 10:49 PM

i have often wondered why my friends and family wouldnt pay me more than some jack leg they found in the yellow pages after all they already know me and know ill do a good job at a fair price hmmm…....

View Dekker's profile


147 posts in 3903 days

#5 posted 10-27-2007 10:55 PM

Miles, in case anyone calls your bluff, you should instead say ObGyn instead…

-- Dekker -

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4029 days

#6 posted 10-27-2007 11:05 PM

LMAO Dekker! Well i was gonna make my selling point a groundbreaking colonoscopy procedure that involved a tube down the throat. Sorta like those oil change places that no longer take the oil plug out. HEHE

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4087 days

#7 posted 10-28-2007 12:24 AM

ROTFLMAO. Just please don’t make me drink anymore of that Go Lightly stuff (Rectum? It nearly killed ‘em – sorry old joke)

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4350 days

#8 posted 10-28-2007 01:03 AM

Yeah… when I was in school, my mom would be happy to slip a hand written “coupon” for babysitting, dinner out and what not into a birthday card. The second I graduated with a degree in Graphic Design it seemed everyone crawled out of the woodwork for me to create custom designed coupons, invitations and such, always family, always, “oh, tonight could you…” Nothing hard, nothing groundbreaking, just lots of freetime given up on what days ago wasn’t even necc… – after putting in my 8-5 at the computer, and while everyone else was down watching TV! Funny what powers and changes of consciousness a slip of paper (or faux sheepskin) can bring about in family members.

I’ve been trying to come up with a good answer when people ask “what do you do.”

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Buckskin's profile


486 posts in 4011 days

#9 posted 10-28-2007 02:50 AM

Sure I would love to do that for you, but do me a favor and have 911 on stand by. Some of what you want can get a little tricky and we don’t want anymore loss of property or appendages than necessary.

Thats my story!

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3919 days

#10 posted 10-29-2007 02:04 AM

I’m with Russell. I ask them to pay for the materials and tell them I’m Sllllloooooowwww. I’ll get it done in m own timing. If they need it by a certain time, then they need another woodworker. I make a living based on deadlines and my woodworking is meant to be a relaxing hobby. I don’t need anymore stress with a deadline from friends.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4111 days

#11 posted 10-29-2007 03:49 AM

People ask me: “Are you a doctor or a lawyer?”

To which I reply: “Yes”

When they next say “Haha. which?”

I say: “Proctologist”

Do you think we get this humor from inhaling sawdust?

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4423 days

#12 posted 10-29-2007 04:01 AM

The problems for all of us. I get asked to write software programs for people. But not a lot anymore. I’m retired.

-- 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 Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3897 days

#13 posted 10-29-2007 04:30 AM

Me too, what you all said! I’ve been clear with my family that my woodworking is my job, and I have to pay the bills first. If I had a store, they couldn’t expect to get free merchandise from me. The deal is: they can cover materials and I’ll do it when I get to it, or they can pay for my time and I’ll put them in the schedule. I’ve had takers both ways. Those who are willing to pay get a bid from me, sign a contract, and put down a materials deposit just like my other clients. However, I give them a “friends and family discount.” That way they can 1) see what the project would normally be worth, 2) see that they are getting a great deal, 3) allow me to earn a living. Most of my family like the idea that they are getting a deal, while also helping support my business.

-- -- --

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4148 days

#14 posted 10-29-2007 04:49 AM

If it’s any consolation, being a computer professional can be worse. A good party discussion is trying to figure out which profession is guaranteed to result in no requests for uncompensated help. Still haven’t come up with one.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View ChrisBabayco's profile


67 posts in 3951 days

#15 posted 10-29-2007 08:23 AM

I am a chemist and usually people will not ask for favors, or any more questions after their initial revulsion is overcome… since I started woodworking however all bets are off, now my family and friends all need things, a few are even willing to pay for the materials.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics