Reply by bauerwood

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Posted on What in your mind constitutes custom woodworking?

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22 posts in 3214 days

#1 posted 07-01-2011 05:24 PM

Great topic! In my opinion the word custom is/has going/gone the way of the “you’ve tried the rest now try the best” or “At Jim’s Custom Cabinets our customers are our most important asset!” My point being that the word has been thrown on to every crap cabinet shop’s sign and trucks that it has lost all meaning.

If you think about it only a portion of custom woodworkers can live up to the title. Let’s say you’re hired to build a “custom” wine rack, if you’re like me the first step is to get dimensions and hit the drawing board. Now here’s where the custom woodworkers really shine, if you draw from only your mind and create a product without doing a google image search for “custom wine racks” then I’d say you can sleep a bit better knowing you’re a real custom woodworker.

That being said there’s nothing wrong with taking ideas from other people, hell look at Normy, he’s made a damn career out of replicating others work.

What I have found works so much better than telling a potential client that you’re a custom woodworker is to tell them you are classically trained craftsman; now this only works if you have the skills to back it up, because if every hack started saying that and then threw together some plywood and poplar crap and rubbed some Home Depot Minwax on it classically trained craftsman will go the way of the “custom” woodworker.

So to summarize, let’s all just let the hacks have the word “custom” and all its tarnished glory. Soon enough it will be like a scarlet letter on their business cards.

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