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Average Shops (not VS. but compared too) Production shops

by steve6678
posted 659 days ago


36 replies so far

View mloy365's profile

mloy365

433 posts in 1765 days


#1 posted 659 days ago

I agree.

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

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kizerpea

746 posts in 1002 days


#2 posted 658 days ago

I agree…the biggest tool i have is a 34”band saw….just because i wanted one ..got $1000 invested….would like to have a 20” planer..other than that…i,m good…O a bigger table saw to ..old tannewitz or oliver…

steve

-- IF YOUR NOT MAKING DUST...YOU ARE COLLECTING IT! SOUTH CAROLINA.

View Rileysdad's profile

Rileysdad

110 posts in 1913 days


#3 posted 658 days ago

As a snowbird who enjoys woodworking, I have two shops. One is a basement shop with all the machinery. The other is strictly hand tools. I enjoy working in both. The machinery lets me tackle larger, more practical projects; while the hand tools allow me to hone skills I enjoy using. It’s taking advantage of what each approach offers.

-- Measure twice, cut once, buy extra stock.

View huff's profile

huff

2804 posts in 1920 days


#4 posted 658 days ago

Steve,

I understand what you’re saying; I’ve owned both and it’s a different ball game in each. Working in a 7,500 sq.ft. shop with 6 other craftsman with all the equipment you could think of was a great learning experience, but I never enjoyed the atmosphere. Having to wear ear protection every minute you were in the shop because of all the equipment running at the same time. Saws, planers, jointers, shapers, routers, sanders, dust collection, compressors, spray booth fans and so on. Never ending. Just much more of the production atmosphere, even though we were a custom shop, we had 5 to 7 projects going at any given time.

I personally have enjoyed working as a one man shop alot more. If there is a noise in my shop; I’m making it. No distractions, no 7 different machines going at one time. I sometimes miss having the capabilities of using some of the large equipment, but overall, I just enjoy going to my little shop now and escaping to my own little world of saw dust. I actually feel much more creative working by myself…........but then again, that’s just me and how I like to do woodworking.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 921 days


#5 posted 658 days ago

I can see evolving as a woodworker to one of those shops. Right now I’d feel out of place and not very creative in an advanced shop. It would be all about the tools and not about what I want them to do. I think we need to get comfortable with our tools before we can go to the next level. You always feel a little intimidated by a new larger tool than what you’re used to, but it fades and pretty soon you’re comfortable with it. The big production guys are just comfortable with the big stuff. We should all end up there.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1618 days


#6 posted 658 days ago

Comparing the 2 is difficult, when each is in itself is a different creature.
Both have their pro’s and con’s to them.
While the average shop as a general rule has what it needs to handle most tasks in one form or another. Its not bound by the need for large specialized machinery as in the production shop. With the average shop not being bound by the need for mass production of a project. You have more personalization in the shop, which provides an inviting atmosphere and allows for more personal creativity.
Whereas the production shop is equipped to mass produce allowing for a poor atmosphere and no creativity. The production shop can be a valuable asset to the average shop for those odd jobs that a production shop can do quickly for us.
For me the average shop would come out on top with atmosphere and creativity having the highest comparison to the production shop.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View huff's profile

huff

2804 posts in 1920 days


#7 posted 658 days ago

That’s the beauty of this hobby/business we call woodworking. I used to shop every new tool and couldn’t wait to either get to use one or buy one for my shop. I believe that’s why I enjoy LJ’s so much. The talent I see here is so awesome. Here is one woodworker that has always amazed me and you have to read his profile and look at his projects to truly understand that it’s not always about how big our shop is or how many big tools we have that make us a great woodworker. http://lumberjocks.com/projects/73916.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2799 posts in 1878 days


#8 posted 658 days ago

When I walk into a production woodworking shop, I get the impression that skill level is not present (although it probably does); that wood flows in at one end and comes out the other end as a finished product with little human involvement in the process other than pushing wood into a machine and retrieving it and pushing buttons. I don’t see craftsmen standing over workbenches pushing planes or scrapers. The goal seems to be; use as little labor as possible. In fact, I’m turned off by production shops. I appreciate the home workshop for what can come out of it utilizing skill, not machines with all the whistles and bells.

View teejk's profile

teejk

1208 posts in 1319 days


#9 posted 658 days ago

MrRon…as much as we think our “hobby” machines are expensive, I’m guessing my entire shop inventory didn’t cost as much as a single machine in a production shop (that’s why I laugh when I see posts about not being able to balance a nickle or having .0001 run-out on a TS). It does force one to be “creative” at times (keeping safety first in mind of course). To me that’s more than 1/2 the fun.

View Raymond Thomas's profile

Raymond Thomas

180 posts in 853 days


#10 posted 658 days ago

I have only been in two full production shops and I was in awe of the “power” of everything that was going on but it was a big distraction to my mind. I think my woodworking will always be at the hobby level. Few power tools, lots of hand tools, and plenty of quiet times to enjoy the wood I have at the moment.

-- Raymond, Charlotte, NC -------- Demonstrate the difference!

View steve6678's profile

steve6678

438 posts in 695 days


#11 posted 658 days ago

Me too, I have been in a few, and I was intimidated by the size of the machines.
I also found that it was way too distracting and chaotic. I like to work alone, working with others would cause me stress and frustration. I like a neat, tidy, orderly, organized shop, and area. The shops I have visited were messy because of all the commotion and different attitudes towards picking things up, putting things away…and so on.
I enjoy my time in my shop…although I do it for a living, I do things on my time, my schedule, and my nit-picky-cleanliness-OCD, ha ha ha.
Thanks

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

612 posts in 944 days


#12 posted 658 days ago

Aren’t you guy comparing Apples to Oranges.

A production shop is a business with the intent to make money for the owner and it provide jobs so people can feed their loved one. It also good for the economy. We need all the jobs we can muster up in this country nowadays.

Hobby shop = fun, relaxation. Production shop = serious business thus apples and oranges.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View steve6678's profile

steve6678

438 posts in 695 days


#13 posted 658 days ago

I am not…guy.
I am simply saying the majority of production shops lack any personal feeling for woodworking.
I make a living in my shop, I know how to feed my family, I pay taxes, and I am the owner.
I think you mis-read, mis-understood, or missed my meaning.
guy

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

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steve6678

438 posts in 695 days


#14 posted 658 days ago

Is addressing someone as “guy” an Alaskan thing? Where i come from it’s kinda derogatory…

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

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AlaskaGuy

612 posts in 944 days


#15 posted 658 days ago

First of all I missed the s on the end of guy and it should have read guys( I would have though you could figure that out but I guess not) . Second addressing a group of males or females it is quite common to use “guys or gals”. It is only derogatory in the minds of those who are alway looking for a fight.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View steve6678's profile

steve6678

438 posts in 695 days


#16 posted 658 days ago

I never mean to offend or dis-respect any others.
I sincerely hope I can continue to raise topics, have discussions and not cross signals, or unknowingly make a statement that may upset.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View eaglewrangler's profile

eaglewrangler

59 posts in 1172 days


#17 posted 658 days ago

I worked in a bigger cabinet shop, the boss saw my furniture pics and said only hobbyist had time to do nice work. It takes a week to learn all the tools, then mind off. I hated it there. Did high end store interiors, hospitals, some on site work, but it was very boring. Most home building is as well. Even in the million dollars plus homes there was a custom mantle or vanity and the rest was very budgeted. It is rare to get with a rich owner, creative architect and fun contractor, but that is really the only way to make a living in a one man shop.
I think there are some talented guy in the big shops that never get use their skills, complex projects are hard to price out, there are risks that larger companies with higher overhead can’t risk. Sometimes I want those big tools, but if paying for them means pulling the lever on the panel saw all day making lime green melamine boxes.. no thanks

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steve6678

438 posts in 695 days


#18 posted 658 days ago

anyone who wants to arm wrestle…I’m right here, ha

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

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steve6678

438 posts in 695 days


#19 posted 658 days ago

eagle – yup…well said

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

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steve6678

438 posts in 695 days


#20 posted 658 days ago

To all the “same-thing-everyday” production woodworkers: peace, It’s a living.
To me: thank’s for giving me the opportunity to do what I love the way I want to.
To T.V. tonite, Family Guy RULES!
just my 4 cents.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View 47phord's profile

47phord

174 posts in 872 days


#21 posted 658 days ago

I don’t envy the machineary, but as someone who works out of their garage, I do envy them having enough space to move around without constantly repositioning equipment. I always got the same vibe from the New Yankee Workshop. Don’t get me wrong, I love Norm and his show (he’s what got me started on this hobby in the first place), but I always marveled at the equipment he had: a dedicated re-saw machine? That big-assed drum sander? The bench-mounted pocket-hole machine? What hobbyest has stuff like that? One who’s shop is underwritten by a major corporation, I guess.

View Straightbowed's profile

Straightbowed

717 posts in 933 days


#22 posted 658 days ago

I have a 32×48 shop but I mix the big and the tiny, the new and the old ways, what ever it tkes to get the job done

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View steve6678's profile

steve6678

438 posts in 695 days


#23 posted 658 days ago

I used to watch Norm too.
Now I’m watching Tommy mac. But, they both have the sponsors and machines.
We can’t compare ourselves to them.
I (try) to build machines.
Although I won’t go so far as to attempt a Band Saw.
As far as space goes…look at my shop. Small. I nail my back bone all the time getting up and slamming it on the jointer, a bench, the table saw.
I work in a 11’ x 24’ shop area, with a few jut-out’s. I flip things up-n-around-n-back-n-forth and still hit shit.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

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steve6678

438 posts in 695 days


#24 posted 658 days ago

Post your workshop.
Pic’s.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View Tomj's profile

Tomj

204 posts in 1016 days


#25 posted 658 days ago

Try an 11’ by 14’ shop with almost every power tool except a lathe and drum sander (on my list) and a piped up dust collection system. I make it work but basically I want to be able to build what ever I feel like building that day.

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2528 days


#26 posted 658 days ago

Duck Dynasty is my favourite show ever as it is a mix of yuppy redneck back ass country folk who moved in with cityiots.

One is a business, one is hobby, either way you pick it, you will suck at it, if yer heart aint in it.

2 cents

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

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Moron

4666 posts in 2528 days


#27 posted 658 days ago

relegating professional woodworking into the world of “green” woodworking by a stupid sense of “entitlement”, most of which and whom think their shit does not stink and its their wife’s job to clean the toilet so while next time you stand to take a piss in a toilet your wife sits upon ?

when some people talk………..

I know why America is slowly loosing the war

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

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1485 days


#28 posted 657 days ago

In reading the salient posts here I’m concluding that the difference is control.

In one’s own hobby shop: total control. Only self imposed deadlines, usually squishy.

In one’s own one-person professional shop: total control. Sometimes deadlines imposed by others, but moving them or responding to them is still a total-control activity.

As an employee in a production commercial shop you have other positives (based on attitude choice) but very little control.

Another thought:

One commonality that both share is precision cutting of wood. That by itself is a challenge to all of us in all settings, whether it’s hand cutting dovetails or setting up the variables on a CNC router. You’re still dealing with the Six Considerations: 1. Cutting characteristics of the material. 2. Condition of the cutter 3. Angle of the cutting surface. 4. Speed of the cutter. 5. Depth of cut. 5. Rate of feed.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View steve6678's profile

steve6678

438 posts in 695 days


#29 posted 657 days ago

this thread has gone all kinds of different weird directions.

I have a business, it’s a shop, I make money, I couldn’t call it a “production shop” because I make custom pieces and unique projects, always changing.

All I was trying to say is it seemed a little mundane and boring and messy and crowded (people-wise) in a Big shared shop.

Not saying “hobby” or “business”...I have a business but it’s nice and small, someday it will grow, I’ll get machines to satisfy the demand…But I will not go into mass production, employees, and clock punching status.

I will put this thread to bed in my head, ha..that’s a good one Steve, thanks

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

564 posts in 2177 days


#30 posted 657 days ago

I own a large per say production shop and then I own my small personal woodworking shop. The top of the large shop can be seen from our home, my personal shop is a short walk in the backyard of our home.

In the two shops, large and small, I have the same tools that most of you have in your shops at your homes except my small shop is where I build furniture and you all know those “the family and wifey do projects”.

My commercial shop is not a nail gun monkey shop as our 13 year old daughter calls most of the cabinets shops she’s been in with me before. We have no nail guns in the commercial shop. Everything in that shop is traditionally built just like in my small home shop and most likely your shops. .

Most of our employees are in their 70’s and 80’s and have been with us most of their working lives. They learned woodworking before the nail guns, wide format sanders, super glues, etc was introduced into the world of woodworking. They still use hand planes, carving chisels, a piece of glass for a hand scraper, mortice and tenon joinery, handcut and machined dovetails, whichever the customer wants to pay for.

They love the wide belt sanders, the small morticing machine, the planners, the routers and router tables, the ROB sanders. These are the things that makes woodworking simpler and faster for them now but they still will argue the point that a smoothing plane is much better than a wide belt. “good for them”.

Our cabinets cost more than the average cabinet shop mostly because of more handwork in them and more hand detailing, not machined work. The large machines speed up the work compared to many more hours of handwork so a new kitchen will be more affordable for the average income family now.

Instead of spending many hours on a drafting table now we use CAD programs to design and make shop drawings. Our 2 oldest daughters spend most of their working days drafting cad drawings and making sure our customers are happy. Our 16 year old twin daughters work three days in the shop and two days in the office learning each end of the business. The 13 year old daughter works in the shop learning the “how to build” cabinets and learning Autocad from me at home in the evenings. When she reaches the age of 16 then she’ll be working like the 16 year old’s are doing now. There has to be a starting point in everyone’s lives to be able to one day manage a business knowing all the in’s and out’s of the business.

To me, as much as I love woodworking, the commercial shop is just what it is…a production shop that pays our bills. My small shop in our backyard is like a breath of fresh air to me, and my daughters that love it also…a long way from the stresses of all the big machines running and having to deal with the general public at least 8 hours a day.

My wife made a statement to us one night during a cookout on our back deck…reckon where our country would be without all the mom and pop businesses, and thank God for our husbands small backyard woodworking shops! They’re outa our hair and not under our feet when they’re in their shops making sawdust fly!

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

View steve6678's profile

steve6678

438 posts in 695 days


#31 posted 657 days ago

Thank’s Bruce…well said, and I applaud your business practices.

There’s a difference as to what you do, and what happens elsewhere.

Good luck to you and your family.

peace

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View hoosier0311's profile

hoosier0311

355 posts in 660 days


#32 posted 657 days ago

Never been in one of those big prodcution shops, but I think it would be interesting to see. For my own personal shop I like the “smallside” Big enough to move around in but not big enough to get lost in. My shop is my space to do what I like in. Probably do stuff “wrong” all the time, but I still enjoy my time out there. It isn’t just a wood shop. it’s where I fix my lawnmower, the vaccum cleaner, grandkids bikes, and sometimes I just hang out there trying to figure out what I did wrong ( unless she comes right out and tells me)

-- I'm only deaf in one ear,,,,,I just can't hear out of the other one., Denny, Indiana implant, living in PA

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steve6678

438 posts in 695 days


#33 posted 657 days ago

That’s awesome (.)

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View Bieser's profile

Bieser

175 posts in 669 days


#34 posted 653 days ago

In the process of working on my garage shop, I had these very same thoughts while surfing the net looking for ideas. I want my shop to be able to inspire me and feel personal. It seems like if I worked in one of those places it would be uncomfortable and I would have a hard time feeling creative.

B

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

962 posts in 1325 days


#35 posted 653 days ago

There are three distinct types of shops represented here on LJ’s.

One is the hobbist shop, maybe you make some money doing it, but it’s not your main income. This is a nice relaxing way to woodwork.

Two is the one or two man custom shop that pay’s your bills but you are still in control of your time and style of working.

Three is the production shop where I agree that personal satisfaction from woodworking is not the focus, making money for the 40 employees is.

I have been in all three situations in my career. I started with number two, but as life happend and kids were born I moved into number three, in order to make enough money to support my growing family. Now that I’m older and I don’t make any money from woodworking, I’m moving into number one, where I am very happy to do projects for people I love. In 30 years I’ve only kept two or three things that I built myself, everything else is in somebody else’s house. Now, everything I build wil be in my house or with a loved one. This is the happiest I’ve been with my woodworking in a long time.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

564 posts in 2177 days


#36 posted 653 days ago

Sam you’ve pretty much hit it on the nail head. I’m not far off from retiring and I know I can walk out the door of our big shop leaving our family business of 66 years in good hands with our daughters.They know dad will be only a phone call or short cart ride away from them if they need my help with more or less my experience.

The small hobby shop is the backbone of woodworking and woodworkers. If you took our small shops away from us it would be a boring world and costly for our friends and loved ones when they had to go and “try to find” a sure enough homemade built out of “real wood” anything.

I think most large successful shops were built on the knowledge of the owner’s early beginnings in a small woodworking shop in their yards. It’s those early beginnings of “how to” in the small shops at home that have put woodworking where it is today…a major industry all over the world.

I’m certainly looking forward to spending a lot of my days when I retire where my roots are in woodworking…a small woodworking shop in the backyard so I can build and give to my family and friends.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

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