I started out in Jan 1983 fulltime in my own workshop and have learnt a lot!
I make honing guides and tools to aid marking and measuring for woodworkers.
Heres a few random jottings that I hope will help others.
As Ashley Isles wrote many years ago in UK ‘Woodworker’ magazine you have to make as big a gap as possible in the difference between money in and money out. Its as simple as that and many housewives would make excellent businessman in their ability to juggle a limited income, but for the small craft workshop you also need the spark of inspiration, an excitement for new ideas and the ability to follow thro to completion.
Never get carried away with excessive fixed costs, these are the costs and expenses that will bleed money, variable costs on the contrary need only be incurred when work is flowing; but again thrift and caution are paramount. Any fool can spend money, you have to make it ‘stick’.
I am lucky, I am a toolmaker and can tool up at minimal cost to launch another of my woodworking hand tools, if toolmakers time were factored in then viability would be much reduced. I am also lucky in that I enjoy my work, tightening tolerances and achieving an even better result to me are great fun, I can ‘show-off’ to myself.
My workshop is very much a ‘craft workshop’, my main machine tools are a Bridgeprt milling machine, Ward 1A capstan lathe (with flat belt drive circa 1940) and my Dads 1953 Myford engineers bench lathe. I have lots of other stuff but that is what i spend most of my time on. Each machine is ‘much modified’ and tweaked to give me better results than most users can obtain.
I am lucky in that i enjoy my work, I think that shows in the finished product, the work of a man pushing it that bit further.
Right now at Aug 2013 I have new larger rollers for my no.2 honing guide and really think these are a winner !
Heres my workshop blog …. http://richardkell.livejournal.com
and heres my sales website for my honing guides …. http://richardkell.co.uk
-- richard kell:toolmaker