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Forum topic by yooper posted 12-20-2010 11:37 PM 1467 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View yooper's profile


215 posts in 2251 days

12-20-2010 11:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor

Just a word of praise for the pros on this website – Wow. After spending 6 hours making a “simple” country self, trashing my basement, using just about every tool I own, and only having to make one piece twice, I am exhausted. I am amazed that anyone can do woodworking for a living and earn an income. Good job, and I have continued respect for what you do. Now, I need a beer to get the sawdust out of my throat. Jeff

-- Jeff, CT - keep calm and make sawdust

13 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


15486 posts in 2430 days

#1 posted 12-20-2010 11:43 PM

I agree with you Jeff, the guys that do this for a living are special folks indeed. A winterly welcome from another Nutmegger … is that what they call us??

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3316 days

#2 posted 12-20-2010 11:57 PM

It’s called “learning from your mistakes”. After about 20 years, it becomes easier…..

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4166 posts in 2280 days

#3 posted 12-21-2010 12:38 AM

woodworking for a living is a career that I would never change.
One of the LJ’s said that if you enjoy what you do and earn a living, you stop working. Or something like that.

That sums up how I feel. When I do production items and I feel it is getting monotonous, I just read the thank you letters from customers. Then there are the one off’s where you take a piece of wood, meditate on it then bring out the beauty that Mother Nature has made. It is such a privilege to create something from it.
My favourite is getting a sketch from a customer with a complex brief. I get to look out wood for the project, yes sounds crazy but I select first then I design around four factors that will influence the final piece.
Then the customer thanks ME, it is the other way round for me. I thank the client for giving me the trust and opportunity to make that piece.

Ok it is not all a bed of roses.
However I’ve never been out of work. I’ve brought up a family. I’ve always sold everything that I make and I’ve a full order book.

I never go into the shop if my mood aint right. I would rather get out look at nature and fill my heart and head with inspiration.

Cheers Jeff you deserve a beer or two.

In a chilly and snowy Scotland, it is a beautiful time of year, then again every day that I wake up is a wonderful time of the year. The alternative is …................

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2495 posts in 2530 days

#4 posted 12-21-2010 02:52 AM

My best treat this year was when patron visited, and I got to watch him work on his box for Mr. Morinaga. When the Pros have done this so many times it is like their hands have muscle memory. The beauty just flows out of them. Awesome to watch and difficult to describe. But it makes you feel like a kid again.
If you ever get the opportunity to observe a Master Woodworker, jump on it.
When it is over and you return to your projects, you find yourself doing things you didn’t even know you were learning.
Have a third beer on me. lol Rand

View shipwright's profile


7095 posts in 2222 days

#5 posted 12-22-2010 08:52 AM

Thank you. I for one after 30 years building custom wooden boats can say It was never really “work” and if it had ever stopped being fun I’d have been gone. Remember – everybody’s good at something. Some of us just chose woodworking early.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View DrAllred's profile


137 posts in 2247 days

#6 posted 12-22-2010 11:32 AM

6 hours to build a shelf, not bad, I would also take 6 hours with all my power tools in my shop it would take me 5 hours building jigs and templates, then 1 hour to build the shelf. But then that is the way I do things just in case I want to build a second one.

Keep up the work and one day you will also get it down to a science.

-- David, Mesa Arizona

View plantek's profile


312 posts in 2223 days

#7 posted 12-22-2010 04:09 PM

DrAllred… your spot on.
Like I’ve heard/read before (I think on this site) “If you spend $100.00 for tools and supplies to make a $10.00 picture frame… you might be a woodworker”.

-- If you want it and it's within reason... It's on it's way!

View patron's profile


13524 posts in 2765 days

#8 posted 12-22-2010 04:29 PM


if you take $10 worth of tools and supplies
and make a $100 frame

you might be a woodworker

just don’t drink $90 worth of beer

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Puzzleman's profile


410 posts in 2368 days

#9 posted 12-23-2010 01:45 AM

Charliet, People will pay good prices for quality product. The job is to find those people. Not only do you have to sell your product, you have to sell yourself. I do this full time and have just had my best year yet. In fact my sales have gone up every year. It takes work to do it but it sure is fun (to me).

Yooper, making jigs and setups is very time consuming but they do help alot when making another item. You can pull the jig down and knock it right out. Look at making jigs as an investment in future jobs and it makes more sense. Another thing to do is to review your processes in making the project and determine what worked and what didn’t. This will help the next time in whatever project you tackle.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2274 days

#10 posted 12-23-2010 05:56 AM

Back to Yooper’s OP: Thank you for the words of respect and understanding. I am a professional. Just today, before I read your post, I was working and needed a 3/8” roundover so I pulled the PC D Handle router from the rack of many, checked the label to be sure it was the 3/8, did my rout and wrapped the cord and put it back. Then I pondered how long it has taken to get to this point (17 routers I think it is). Years and years, and sometimes the decision to buy one more router was an agonizing one, feeling I couldn’t really afford it, and sometimes it was a reward for a particularly difficult of efficient recent run.

One of the gifts I happened to be born with: I’m an introvert (I love a day of being by myself and on task in the shop) and, contraindicated, I love to be in front of people (so if I need to go look at a job or visit with a client, it is a welcome moment). That combination has helped me succeed.

Now to shift gears: I appreciate amateurs, and that is why I taught classes in my own shop for years. (see B above, too). It isn’t the arrogance of showing off my knowledge, it’s the privilege to pass on to someone else what I’ve learned, sometimes with very high tuition, sometimes by sheer dumb luck, sometimes because a mentor took the time to show me something important (I’ve had several very important mentors through the years).

My request of amateurs is that you be patient with me. I am sometimes quick to answer a query and I think my tone might be a bit Know-It-Allish or condescending. Don’t let me get away with that. Remind me of all the times I said yes to a job request knowing that I didn’t have a clue, went to the shop, and proved it.

But keep asking. I might be of some help sometime somehow.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2274 days

#11 posted 12-23-2010 05:57 AM

Oh, and I know, “Say yah to da UP, eh?” and I’ve seen the milk cartons. Pretty good for an introvert from Oregon.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2364 days

#12 posted 12-28-2010 09:21 PM

Just to make it international, I also say thank you, all the way from Africa! After 20 years, I’m still learning….

Making sawdust for a living is not just a job for me, it is a way of life….

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View nate22's profile


453 posts in 2299 days

#13 posted 01-18-2011 05:09 PM

I have my own business and it is a lot of work but at the same time fun to. Like a couple of the others said it’s not all a bed of roses. You always have that one customer once in awhile that isn’t happy no matter how good you make the furniture for them. At least for me the good customers over ride the bad ones so it’s not that bad. And so far with me my sales have increased every year. But it is something that I wouldn’t change for a different career though.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

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