Contemplating doing some local shows, or maybe e-bay...

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Blog entry by sandt38 posted 06-20-2010 07:19 PM 1079 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last year (July 2009) I was diagnosed with stage 4 (terminal) colon cancer. I had metastasis to my liver and lymph nodes. The doctors told me to get my final affairs in order, and that I might not live through the end of the year. Well, clearly I have managed to stay here a bit longer then expected. Thanks to the good Lord for providing me with the people I needed to beat the cancer back, and the attitude that was required to help it all come together. I was told by my oncologist that there were 2 things I needed to survive this, God and a great attitude… Thankfully I have both in my life.

Surviving this really made me open my eyes to a few things. The one that really pertains to us here at LJ’s is that I need to do what I really enjoy before I am unable to enjoy it anymore. So I had a dedicated shop built in my back yard, and wired it all by myself. I decided I am going to spend more time woodworking. But I do have a small issue with accomplishing this…

My wife was laid off last year. Oh yeah, we really had a great year last year, I ruptured 3 discs in my neck, she got laid off, and I got cancer… Anyways, while we do have a little money set aside, we had my cancer, and inability to work for 8 months, which took a chunk, her being laid off, which led to a huge reduction in income, and we pay for her to go back to school to get her degree in medical administration with a focus on medical billing and coding. So needless to say, we don’t have a lot of money sitting around for me to play with right now.

So I have decided I think I want to start making money doing what I enjoy, so I can play a bit more. I make enough for us to pay the mortgage and the bills, and to eat, and put some away… you know, everyday living expenses. But I don’t want to take from that for fun. I have looked into doing woodcrafts for income that I can stick back into my shop. Money to add new tools, a really nice wood stock, and upgrades to the shop that I want in there. I was thinking of building simple silly things like snowmen, reindeer, and Santa cutouts for the lawn which I know sell well, butcher blocks and cutting boards, little keepsake boxes, humidors, and maybe getting a scrollsaw and doing little ornaments for the tree, and similar little things.

Those of you who do this, could you offer some tips and advice? I have looked at local flea markets (even our Super Flea) and don’t see as much as I expected to see there, but maybe these things are really needed there and there just aren’t locals who do this, do they work for you? I have seen stuff on e-bay, but aside from maybe the blocks and boards, I don’t know that it is worth it, for cheaper stuff I mean, with all the fees and such.

Thanks for looking and i appreciate any information and/or advice you are willing to provide a fella just wanting to play a bit more with his wood… hehehe…

-- Got Wood? --- Somewhere along the way the people in Washington forgot that they are there to represent the people, not to rule them.

5 comments so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3727 days

#1 posted 06-20-2010 09:34 PM

I hope you get better, God is the only one that has the last word.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3324 days

#2 posted 06-20-2010 10:12 PM

Thank you for sharing your story. You and your wife have had quite an upheaval.

I do similarly what you are considering. I do finish type woodworking for rest and recreation – although my profession is in construction – woodworking of this nature is a hobby…but I do sell pieces to cover my expenses for wood, tools, hardware….etc.

What I do is make the things I enjoy making….and I try the interesting new things I see online or in the wood magazines (I really enjoy the challenge of trying new methods). Then friends and neighbors see them and ask if I can make one for them….the word gets around and I get orders for other things. I charge the cost of the materials, my time…and a little bit to cover the wear and tear on me and my machines (some for the effort)....(it also depends on the customer – friends and family of course do not pay more then costs and lots of times get it for free as gifts).....I also turn alot of crafts from my lathe and those sell quite regularly…one of the big ones I get alot of requests for are potpourri boxes, hollow vases….candle holders….Pens, Pencils….etc. The one thing I have learned over the years though is I do not expect things to sell or do any marketing…I just let them sell themselves….that way I will never think of woodworking as anything more then fun.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 3037 days

#3 posted 06-20-2010 10:44 PM

sandt38; you are not lucky but blessed by God himself. going from stage 4 to living another year is beyond amazing.
must be a reason for you to still be around. tell your story. sounds like reggiek has the right idea for you to at least get started. God bless you and your family on this fathers day…

View woody57's profile


650 posts in 3481 days

#4 posted 06-21-2010 02:27 AM

Thanks for sharing that wonderful testamony. My hope is that God will bless you further in your woodworking endever.

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View WWilson's profile


106 posts in 3117 days

#5 posted 06-21-2010 03:29 AM

Sir you are in inspiration and we should all stop and thank you for reminding us that we need to focus on the important things in life.

My suggestion to you is to check out your local Farmer’s Markets. I have had some success selling cutting boards, small boxes, and the like. I also have a friend who does very well with turned bowls of all kinds from basic utility to beautiful fancy ones.

Selling at these venues is usually cheap and people are looking for “hand made” items there.

I wish you and your family all the best in your recovery and may God continue to bless you!

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