So Little Experience, So Many Commissions

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Blog entry by Eric posted 04-08-2008 09:28 AM 941 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Somehow word has gotten out about my interest in woodworking. Who knows what message people are getting, though. “So they tell me you’re a carpenter,” they say, or, “I hear you’re good at woodworking.” Um, no. But regardless of my actual skill level, it doesn’t stop people from asking me to do things for them. I’m actually backlogged with projects, most of which I’m doing for free. It’s also giving me good experience, for which I’m thankful. Here’s what I have on tap:

  • Fix two benches, a bookcase and two cabinet doors. I finished it this morning. Compensation: A couple hours in a nice air-conditioned room.
  • Build a frame to support a sofa cushion. It’s supposed to have two, but only has one. So I’ll reverse-engineer it and build a matching one. Compensation: a dozen pine bed slats (4” or 5” wide).
  • Repair the wooden arm of a large sofa. Done.
  • Build/fashion a chalkboard for the church building of a minority indigeous people in the highlands. I’ll just be using a sheet of plywood and some chalkboard paint, and figure out something nice for the frame.
  • Construct a plywood “boat” (2-dimensional) with an oar to be used in a figure skating routine. I think I’m going to turn this one down. Too weird.

Oh yeah, and I might want to actually build something for our own use, too!

-- Eric at

6 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3845 days

#1 posted 04-08-2008 11:45 AM

Hi Eric,

It is wonderful that you are using your gift for woodworking to help others. This is what having a skill is about in the long run. It is a different matter if you have to support your family and maintain a home with your skills but even then it doesn’t hurt to help out others.

Besides the experience that you are getting from these projects will prove to help you in the long run.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3823 days

#2 posted 04-08-2008 11:56 AM

Good luck with you new projects. I hope that it turns into profits for you both financially and in experience

-- making sawdust....

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4270 days

#3 posted 04-08-2008 02:50 PM

Thats how it starts buddy, before you know it, word of mouth puts you to work full time and please don’‘t work for nothing. Your time, no matter your skill level is worth something. Good luck carpenter/ repairman. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4012 days

#4 posted 04-08-2008 04:32 PM

You could say , “if I only had a nice shop and some power tools, you want to supply one?”.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3797 days

#5 posted 04-08-2008 05:28 PM

Hi Eric

You are getting exposure and experience on every job you do. By helping people you will recieve your pay someday!

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Freddo's profile


85 posts in 3720 days

#6 posted 04-17-2008 02:48 PM

Hey Eric,

I had NO experience when I started woodworking. What LumberJock “could have” had experience when they first started? None! Just keep on working with wood and blessing those you are helping out. Experience and skill come when the “wood meets the tools”. You will be fine. And, if a project seems “too weird”, this may be an invitation for an exciting project (stretch yourself). I recall an entertainment center I had to build in stages because I could not fit it all in my shop at one time. Challenges help us GROW!

Have fun and be safe.

-- God bless! Freddo (Northern - NJ) Our Creator designed us to create - so use WOOD!

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