LumberJocks

All Replies on Project requests from family and friends

  • Advertise with us
View nwbusa's profile

Project requests from family and friends

by nwbusa
posted 01-22-2013 10:03 PM


19 replies so far

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

1234 posts in 772 days


#1 posted 01-22-2013 10:39 PM

Mess up a few projects for them, and they’ll leave you alone. Just kidding. I think.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Tokolosi's profile

Tokolosi

673 posts in 1103 days


#2 posted 01-22-2013 10:45 PM

It takes about 5 minutes in a shop with a saw in hand before someone will come along and say something like:

I have this old wood chair with a broken rail, think you can look at it for me?”

I still consider requests by family and friends as compliments. So I generally do them. Unless its not worth the time (I dont reglue particle board) or the money (going to cost more to fix than replace). If Im asked to make something that friend/family will be using as a gift then money will be changing hands. Even if its just the ”family price” which covers material and beer. If I have made you something but you want another because you liked the first piece (or her sister wants one too or want a matching set or something) the same rule applies.

And if you really need it in a hurry then go get it done elsewhere. You are getting it free/cheap so you can wait. Im not in my shop because I’m bored. I have my own stuff I’m working on.

You better like my design/wood/finish choice. OK, I do (begrudgingly) accomodate here as best I can.

You are allowed to say ”But I can get it at (insert retail store name here) for less than $XXX” only once. After that I hope they still have stock in the veneered particleboard of your fancy.

No you cant ”just use my tools and make it yourself”. I dont have that kind of insurance.

But that is just me.

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View JesseTutt's profile

JesseTutt

811 posts in 858 days


#3 posted 01-22-2013 10:48 PM

I would ask for them to pay for materials and a little to help with shop costs (utilities, blade sharpening, etc.).

It could always grow to the point where you can use these projects to buy that next tool you need.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View RogerInColorado's profile

RogerInColorado

306 posts in 702 days


#4 posted 01-23-2013 12:26 AM

If I ask it they can cover material and they say yes, I’m willing to proceed. If they ask how much do I think that will be, I sort of double (or triple) what I think it might cost. if they say yes to that, then I proceed. If they think that’s too much, I get to go back to what I was doing before.

View whitebeast88's profile

whitebeast88

3601 posts in 938 days


#5 posted 01-23-2013 02:21 AM

i sell a few things here and there and use the money for my habit,err hobby to keep buying tools and to build my wife’s projects.that way a lot less money comes out of the budget.

plus it gives me a little more experience each project i build.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Wiltjason's profile

Wiltjason

56 posts in 710 days


#6 posted 01-23-2013 02:45 AM

For family I do it for what ever material I have to purchase, for friends who knew me long enough to know,my dad, its material+ 10%. Friends that haven’t known me that long I find the most expensive lumber price I can find and quote them that price for lumber

View Wiltjason's profile

Wiltjason

56 posts in 710 days


#7 posted 01-23-2013 02:48 AM

Oh and I also tell people, don’t come to mecause you think I can do it cheaper, come to me cause you want it forever

View DaveFFMedic's profile

DaveFFMedic

67 posts in 914 days


#8 posted 01-23-2013 03:06 AM

I too try to discourage family and friends from hiring me to do work for them. I use all the same excuses as mentioned before. If they persist, I try to work out an agreeable arrangement. Sometimes its materials x 2.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11505 posts in 1437 days


#9 posted 01-23-2013 03:16 AM

I’m in the same fix. I just traded my brother a “candy machine” that took me 3 days to build for some crappie filets.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15795 posts in 2966 days


#10 posted 01-23-2013 03:20 AM

I think it’s been pretty well covered here. It all depends on the situation. We all have certain people in our lives for whom we are happy to do most anything they ask of us. Then there are always those who abuse a relationship because they are cheap and/or lazy.

When confronted with a request I really don’t want to take on, I just tell the truth: “This is my hobby and I make things I feel like making for the fun of it. What you are asking me to make sounds too much like a job, and I already have one of those.”

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Wiltjason's profile

Wiltjason

56 posts in 710 days


#11 posted 01-23-2013 03:35 AM

there was a young lady that workewd at the restraunt i use to stop and get coffee at every morning and we got to be friends ( never saw her outside of that litttle restraunt). i knew she didnt have much money and she was telling me she sw some end tables at walmart she wanted to get for her new apartment. i told her to save her money and i built her 2 beautiful mission style end tables out of oak i had left over from other projects. they turned out awesome with dovetailrd drawers, mortise and tendon construction the whole 9 yards. 2 yrs later she redid her living room and sold those end tables for 20$ at a garage sale and bought 2 new ones at meijer. lesson learned lol

View Tokolosi's profile

Tokolosi

673 posts in 1103 days


#12 posted 01-23-2013 03:58 AM

Oh Wiltjason!!! That’s messed up!!! And I think you may just have said all that needs saying about working for free be it for friends or family!.

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View Wiltjason's profile

Wiltjason

56 posts in 710 days


#13 posted 01-23-2013 04:10 AM

tokolosi i was so pissed i could have killed a basket of puppies! lol. now im alittle more selective as to who i do free work for lol

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

1234 posts in 772 days


#14 posted 01-23-2013 04:54 AM

Then there’s the other side of the coin. When I express a need, and a friend offers he (or her) services, I feel obliged to say,”Okay, you’re a professional; I expect to pay you for your services. I’m not asking for something free here.” It just seems more ethical to me to do that. And we always work something out.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1017 posts in 1034 days


#15 posted 01-23-2013 04:59 AM

Great replies from everyone.

Tokolosi said “You are allowed to say ”But I can get it at (insert retail store name here) for less than $XXX” only once. After that I hope they still have stock in the veneered particleboard of your fancy.”

Ain’t that the truth. I was handed a newspaper flyer from a local discount furniture outlet and was asked to recreate a cheap plastic patio storage box, but using far superior materials (i.e. wood) because he “didn’t want to spend that much money”... I couldn’t even buy the plywood for that cheap!

-- John, BC, Canada

View DLCW's profile

DLCW

530 posts in 1402 days


#16 posted 01-23-2013 08:20 PM

I’ve outlined to family members that I would be more then happy to build projects for them. However, everyone has an understanding that they will have to pay for materials (wood, hardware, shop supplies, etc.) and gas to run around and get materials for their projects. I’ve told everyone that I will tack onto the material about 10% to cover utility charges (lights, heat, electricity for machines, etc.) I also tell them that commission projects will always take precedence. When a commission project comes in while I’m working on a family members project, they know their project will be put on hold until I have “free” time from commission projects.

So far everyone has been very happy with this solution. They put skin into the game and realize that I have a business to run first and then I am very happy to do their projects. After all, their friends and extended family get to see what I build and many have ordered commission projects because of what I did for a family member.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - http://www.dlwoodworks.com - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1556 posts in 1262 days


#17 posted 01-23-2013 08:30 PM

For my wife, just about anything she wants…
But getting used is where I stop. In my previous life, (read wifey number one), I made a beautiful basket with an inlaid handle with the words, “Give us this day”, (and on the other side), “Our daily bread”. It was the main present from my ex-wife and me to her mother.
When I presented it to my ex-Mother-In-Law for Christmas, she was stunned and very pleased.

Then my wise-ass brother-in-law, who didn’t own a hand saw, turned to his wife and said, “See, if you would let me buy tools for a wood shop I could do that so easy!”
I felt like throwing it at him, and that was about the last present or request I did. I got the divorce a few years later and never looked back. For those relatives who “Think you can do it??” Go out and buy the tools and start ruining lumber! I know this is not quite what we are talking about, but the memory of that needed to be flushed again!

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View darryl's profile

darryl

1795 posts in 3074 days


#18 posted 01-24-2013 01:03 AM

I’ve finally just started saying “no” and I haven’t been happier. I tell people I do this as a hobby to relax so I build what I want when I want.

Depending on who I’m talking to I will explain how people assume I can build something cheaper than they can buy it at walmart and it just gets aggrevating.

sorry, but no. :)

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1906 days


#19 posted 01-24-2013 01:44 AM

I generally don’t get asked, mainly because they know I have three kids, a day job, and major projects left to complete with the shop time I have. When I do something to break up that routine, it will be something I want to do or something my wife makes me do. ;)

I do get the occasional hemming and hawing when people see something I do, and they mention how they might love to have one or ask how much it’d cost to build one. When I tell them the cost, that problem is quickly solved.

But if time were no objective, I’d pretty much build anything for anyone, as long as they aren’t butt-heads about it.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase