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Forum topic by Richard posted 10-08-2010 10:26 PM 1421 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Richard

394 posts in 1870 days


10-08-2010 10:26 PM

A question for all of you woodworkers.

I do woodworking as a hobby and I donate most of my projects to charities, raffles, silent auctions, retirement gifts and ect. Every so often I am approached by people who are impressed with my projects and they want me to make them something for money. Saying how their grandma would really like this. Or how they want this for their wife’s birthday. The funny thing is, I am just a average woodworker.

I decline stating that I am way too busy, (which is a bold LIE, because I tend to build projects which only interests me). And out of the blue, a new charity or project comes up which interests me and I make something for that charity and like Murphy’s Law sooner or later I run into those people who I told them I was too busy. They ask me if I am still busy and if more money would interest me.

How do you guys politely turn these people down, While still remaining friends?

-- Richard Boise, Idaho


33 replies so far

View crank49's profile

crank49

3522 posts in 1719 days


#1 posted 10-08-2010 10:34 PM

I can get interested in pretty much anything with the right price offered, so I don’t know.

Also, now that you have told a fib, it’s even harder to come back with “Sorry, I only do things to donate to charity”

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15801 posts in 2967 days


#2 posted 10-08-2010 10:36 PM

I just tell them woodworking is something I do for fun, and I make things I like to make. I go on to explain that taking someone’s money to make what they want is a whole different ball game, and makes my fun more like work.

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

View Richard 's profile

Richard

394 posts in 1870 days


#3 posted 10-08-2010 10:43 PM

Charlie
Wow! That is how I feel exactly word to word. I have always thought this way deep down and you came up with what I was thinking. I guess woodworkers think alike.

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1864 days


#4 posted 10-08-2010 10:44 PM

have you try with a simpel NO!....lol
I´m not up in that league so I don´t no
but Charlies comment makes sence to say

Dennis

View NathanAllen's profile

NathanAllen

376 posts in 1893 days


#5 posted 10-08-2010 10:53 PM

Maybe instead of money you could ask for some obscure, rare, ultra exotic stock in exchange for doing their project. I’m not talking about a blank from the keel of the Mayflower, more in line with 10bf of clear Madagascar Ebony. This way you’re not charging them money, you get stock to use in a future project and they can decide if they want to pay top dollar, wait for a bargain or don’t need the project done that much.

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

985 posts in 2556 days


#6 posted 10-08-2010 11:43 PM

If I don’t want to do a project for someone I just quote them a price that’s out of their league!

-- Max the "night janitor" at www.hardwoodclocks.com

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1489 posts in 2873 days


#7 posted 10-09-2010 01:55 AM

I’m with Charlie and Richard. My answer on a whole lot of things is “I do these things for free because I find them fun. If I charged my usual hourly rate to do them, you couldn’t afford them. And I’d have to do them on a schedule and do them to someone else’s specs.”

If someone ever calls my bluff, well, I’m gonna rake in some decent dosh.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View Mogebier's profile

Mogebier

170 posts in 1781 days


#8 posted 10-09-2010 02:49 AM

I just tell everyone that I will get to whatever project they want me to do for them when I’m done doing the projects I want to do for myself.
Then I show them the list. The “Master To Do List” that I have had for almost 14 years now. Then they leave me alone :)

-- You can get more with a kind word and a 2 by 4, than you can with just a kind word.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4525 posts in 1823 days


#9 posted 10-09-2010 03:22 AM

I have the same problem with a slightly different twist. I do a lot of work for my church and I am well known within the church by many of the older members. They will approach me with a request to do things in their home which are, essentially, handyman work. I do it if I know them to be rather poor, especially if it is an important project for health or safety reasons.

However, recently I got myself suckered into doing some cosmetic work inside a couple’s expensive RV. There was no health or safety issues and the people who own that RV clearly can afford to hire someone. I’ve got to learn to say “no” in situations like this.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Jesse 's profile

Jesse

105 posts in 1610 days


#10 posted 10-09-2010 07:32 AM

Well, you could always try to flip Murphy’s law around in your favor? Attempt to sell your work and then surely no one will be looking.

View Richard 's profile

Richard

394 posts in 1870 days


#11 posted 10-09-2010 07:42 AM

Jesse
So True! You hear about woodworkers trying to go into business, and trying to find customers that will pay. Maybe I should carry some cards of some of my fellow local woodworkers and steer them towards their direction.

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

View snowdog's profile

snowdog

1132 posts in 2731 days


#12 posted 10-09-2010 01:44 PM

I read here a long time ago and I use it all the time when I am asked to do some wood project for others, “I would be happy to show you how to do it, come to my shop and I will teach you” everyone so far has declined except for my sister and we had a blast working together. This only works with friends and family but anyone else (as long as your polite) really does not matter :)

You could also work out a deal with another lumberjock to do the project and get a commission :)

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2770 days


#13 posted 10-09-2010 02:00 PM

I just say “Naw, I don’t want to do that” .
Frankly, I’m rather fed up with charities.
They are becoming businesses and used by governments to offset their primary responsibilities or tax dodges for wealthy corporations.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

16033 posts in 1615 days


#14 posted 10-09-2010 02:00 PM

Just tell them the truth and they can’t find fault you for anything. It’s your business what you do with your leisure time.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51450 posts in 2229 days


#15 posted 10-09-2010 04:57 PM

I would just tell them that woodworking is a hobby and that you dont do work for hire.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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