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Forum topic by kolwdwrkr posted 02-09-2009 08:18 PM 1344 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2821 posts in 3013 days

02-09-2009 08:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Okay I have to say that being out of work and unemployed is getting old, and I’m starting to think my problems are going to get much bigger. I keep pondering the idea that maybe I could pass my knowledge along. I have most of the essential tools to woodworking, especially for the basics. I know I can’t be an acredited class but people will definately get some knowledge. I was thinking about teaching INDIVIDUAL classes. One on one maybe for 2 hours a day for 3 days a week per individual. I could fill up my week with different students. Teach the basics to marquetry, carving, tool usage, basic cabinet making, box making, etc. I wouldn’t have insurance (I realize this could be a problem) but I will make a waiver stating that I am not responsible for any injuries incured. It would also state that I’m not a licensed school. You know, cover my bases. If anyone asks I could simply say we are two friends sharpening our skills for future employment. I’m unemployed and this is my hobby type of attitude. I won’t be at this house much longer but if I got some students right now maybe they would follow where I was forced to move and I could continue teaching and be able to make my rent.
Any thoughts are much appreciated. Keep in mind that it’s not a legit business. I just need income to get back on my feet and am having problems getting work. Seems as if nobody is hiring and if they are they are hiring cheap labor. I’ve established that I can’t pay rent, child support, etc off of minimum wage. I guess I can get a bicycle and ride to visit with my daughter. hmmm. But shes a long ways away..hmmmm. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

26 replies so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6819 posts in 3402 days

#1 posted 02-09-2009 08:37 PM

Hi Kolwdwrkr;

This may not be a bad idea. You could post some notices on community bulletin boards at shopping centers etc.

You might also approach a local Woodcraft or Rockler store , as they pay pretty well for outside instructors to come in and do seminars. I’ll be doing one myself shortly.

Local neighborhood papers have inexpensive advertising space you might be able to take advantage of as well.

Just some thoughts;


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3013 days

#2 posted 02-09-2009 08:54 PM

Thanks Lee for the encouragement. I am also concerned with the size of my garage. I don’t have a nice work bench. I guess those are the little things I can fix later if I decide to jump into this. How much should I charge for something like this and how? Should it be hourly? David Marks charges 650 or more per day I believe. I know I’m not that well known. I was thinking $100 an hour. My jiu jitsu instructor charges 125 an hour. Where do I fit in? What’s reasonable?

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3316 days

#3 posted 02-09-2009 09:08 PM

you can charge what the market will bare.

it’s easy to increase prices without loosing too much business but when prices drop it just looks bad on you so why not start at 25 an hour? or 300 per day, which ever is less?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3823 days

#4 posted 02-09-2009 09:10 PM

Are their any schools that have woodworking classes. Maybe you could walk into something there.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View lew's profile


11266 posts in 3178 days

#5 posted 02-09-2009 09:44 PM

Karson make a great point.

In your location there is probably at least one vocational-technical school and plenty of high schools- maybe even community colleges. Most schools run evening adult classes. More often than not, the daytime instructors are not too interested in teaching adult evening classes so the schools are left to enlist professionals from the community. You do not need a teaching/college degree for these types of classes (at least here in PA).

Also, schools are always looking for qualified substitutes. Requirements will vary from state to state but that might be another way to use your skills.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 2894 days

#6 posted 02-09-2009 10:10 PM

You can have all the waivers you wish. It will not keep anyone from suing you and your home owners insurance company which won’t pay because you were operating a business which will mean if you don’t have a business license you’ll be in trouble there also since to get a business license you’ll have to have liability insurance. Unemployed will pale in comparison to being homeless because some one sued you and got a judgement for everything you own.

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3414 days

#7 posted 02-09-2009 10:46 PM

Post your services on Craigslist and see what happens. Good luck (and perhaps sell the truck and get a Vespa)

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View 8iowa's profile


1540 posts in 3184 days

#8 posted 02-10-2009 12:36 AM

Highland Woodworking in Atlanta ( ) has evening and week-end classes. Check out their web site and you can get an idea of how much instructors charge in similar circumstances.

Marc Adams in Indianapolis started out a couple of decades ago, broke, but with a lot of skill and ambition. Now he has one of the premier woodworking schools in the country.

Good Luck

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 2981 days

#9 posted 02-10-2009 01:34 AM

I heard on the news where more and more people are reverting to Community Colleges in these hard times and the colleges are having problems finding enough instructors. Sounds like you are on the right track and I would dido the above comments. Good luck man and hang in there.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 3500 days

#10 posted 02-10-2009 02:02 AM

Just to expand on the comunity college\vocational school idea.

If they do not have a wwing program in place you may be able to go in with an idea and course outline (one you developed yourself) for them to think about. If they do not have the tools you could propose a more limited hand tool course, wwng basics, how to sharpen, etc Something where the student would bring the tools and enthuaism.

I think you have hit on a good idea . . . a very good idea.

Oh . . . and remember . . . those people who will be attending your classies will probably be a little short on cash as well. Keep your prices reasonable. In addition . . . this would be a great marketing tool for you when things get better.

Good luck and keep us informed.

-- BLOG -

View Shopsmithtom's profile


787 posts in 3618 days

#11 posted 02-10-2009 02:27 AM

There are a lot of things to consider regarding your idea. Some of the concerns you need to have were touched upon above, but many are simply beyond the scope of this forum.

While this might seem like a silly statement, there is much truth in it. Your woodworking skills are probably the least important factor in doing what you propose to do.

With that said, if you have an interest in digging into this, feel free to send me a private massage, and I can put you on to more sources of info that you might find helpful. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View Grumpy's profile


21459 posts in 3274 days

#12 posted 02-11-2009 02:30 AM

Keith, too bad I live a long way away. Would be interested myself.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Grumpy's profile


21459 posts in 3274 days

#13 posted 02-11-2009 02:31 AM


-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View jm540's profile


150 posts in 2842 days

#14 posted 02-11-2009 02:55 AM

get a buisness liscence and operate at a loss for five years. I have heard of way to many electricians that have do side work for cash. Then find the IRS with its hand out because the customer that was glad to take that cash deal 1099 em.

-- jay Rambling on and on again

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3013 days

#15 posted 02-11-2009 03:27 AM

Jay, I’ve been working at a loss for five years already! So do I win something? LOL No that’s why I went out of business. I’m a licensed General contractor. I am finding that having owned and opporated my own shop, as well as having a nice website and good referalls is hurting my ability to get a job. I believe that people are thinking I may want to much money or that I would try to take over. Both observations are probably correct. LOL. Anyhow, I was to stupid to pass the Law Enforcement test so I’m looking for more avenues to pay my child support and bills. I may go and take the test again at a different location, maybe just take it until I pass. But then it’s still 6 months or more to get hired on. And if I’m to stupid to pass the entry test how am I going to pass the P.O.S.T. training and all it’s tests? HHHMMMM. Interesting.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

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