|Forum topic by ErikF||posted 10-19-2015 11:55 AM||1567 views||0 times favorited||25 replies|
10-19-2015 11:55 AM
A few years ago I started entertaining the idea of making a living off the wood industry. I envisioned a one man shop putting out one-of hardwood furniture pieces. I read all about the struggles of the trade and even posted a few topics about it on here.
I don’t build furniture for a living but everything that I do throughout the day revolves around the world of woodworking. I’m writing this to encourage anyone wanting to be full time in this industry. I’m also writing this because since Nov, 2014 I don’t feel like I’ve worked a single day even though I “work” seven days a week. It’s a blessing.
What I do:
I sell hardwood- like most woodworkers, I’m always looking for deals on Craigslist. It started with “that’s cheap! I bet I could resell that if I was patient”, and it worked out. I now have a couple full truckload orders being prepped to ship out. I found out that the best deals are at the source (foresters and land owners) and now go to them when I need trees.
I sell slabs- when I moved home I saw a giant log of ash on township land. It was too big for them to move when the tree was taken down due to the ash borer so it was destined to rot. A few phone calls, a trailer, and a winch from harbor freight netted me that log for free. It scaled out at 934 board feet and I had to find someone with an Alaskan mill to pay for milling service. I now have a log/slab inventory that keeps getting bigger.
Logging- this is my newest development. Spending time involved with the sale of timber and woodworking has allowed me to make educated assessments of trees. I knocked on a few doors and am now doing a selective cut of mature black locust and cherry. QS black locust anyone?
Things aren’t always roses and Popsicles. I work a lot, I don’t have a guaranteed paycheck, hazardous environment, and a growing overhead. So far this month I’ve had to drop $900 alone on tires. Everything I could consider profit has to go back into the business.
The good! The $900 of tires kept my equipment and trailers going. Work doesn’t feel like work. I get to pick out the most prime pieces of wood for myself! I save a lot of trees from being wasted. Most people I talk to on a regular basis have similar passions and interests. I’m outside a lot. My daughter comes to work with me when things aren’t going to be unsafe. I don’t have a boss. I work with my hands.
I hope someone finds this information useful.
-- Power to the people.