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Any other full-time woodworkers here

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johnelliott

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I do this stuff for a living, I won't say I'm a 'professional' because that word is often confused with competent and similar words. Never-the-less I do manage to make a living at it. I used to make complete kitchens, in hardwood, but now I mostly make and fit replacement doors and drawer fronts to existing kitchens.
I did try offering bespoke furniture, but six months of very little work soon convinced me that I was barking up the wrong tree. Now, doing kitchens, I have at least an 8 week waiting list.
Trying to make money doing this stuff certainly changes your perspective, mostly to do with things like time, quantities, speed etc. Deciding whether or not to change blades is a good example. Having them reground is cheap, but the time to replace and reset them is expensive, so as long as the planer doesn't seem to be struggling I leave them in.
Anybody else here a full-time woodworker?

John
 

Manny

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Hi John

I'm self employed, I trained in joinery then did a year at Rycotewood college (hand made furniture) and on completion I was planning on furniture making but didn't get any where, partly due to the recession, that was 20 odd years ago. Then left woodwork only to return 12 months ago and am now doing mainly carpentry, installing kitchens, repairs etc. anything that pays basically.
I think it's a completely different kettle of fish trying to earn a living at it - I keep meaning to do some real woodwork but just haven't the time.
 

Aragorn

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Hi John
May have mention this to you before...
Up until a year ago I was a full time woodworker - I took pretty much any carpentry job that came my way including kitchens, and have been fortunate enough to have done a good deal of furniture making (fitted and free-standing) for customers on commission. This lot kept me going for around 10 years.
A year ago I finished training in my newest profession (acupuncture) and now split my time about 50/50. My motivation to add in a new career to the woodworking wasn't based on being able to earn a living or not - I just wanted to be a acupuncturist as well!
At times it's been hard to get to the end of the month, but somehow good work always seems to come along when you need it!
 
A

Anonymous

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yeap i butcher wood for a living. along with alsorts of building work.

i think a couple of my projects are in the gallery.

oh i've got myself booked up until about christmas now!!
 

Chronosoft

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I own a fish and chip shop and thankgod I am good at it cos i would starve if i was a woodworker - i also write bespoke software which is about as badly paid as woodworking is at since india came on stream with its £2.50 an hour programmers.

Ah well - at least good ole fish n chips pays the bills - just don't have enough time for woodworking :(
 

Keith Smith

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I can only agree it is very hard to make a decent living out of bespoke woodorking. I frequently give quotes for people then they to go off to IKEA :( .

I also do some carpentry and fit the odd kitchen to keep the balance sheet healthy. But costs are rising particularly insurance, and there are so many rules and regs flying out it is getting to the point I am wondering if it is worth it.
 

Cutting Crew

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Hi John,

I'm a full time woodturner, a fair amount of my time is spent teaching and demonstrating to others, I also test and evaluate tools for woodturning manufacturers. The teaching and demonstrating side is something few woodworkers mention, is it not an option?

I belong to a group of craftsmen that covers a wide range of crafts including a number of furniture makers, two of these I know are in the process of setting up courses and training at their own workshops.

CC
 
A

Anonymous

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Was on the dole for 18months then someone down the jobcentre made me realise I had a skill but wasn`t using it. They helped me setup a buisness and three months down the line doing very well.

Luckily I got a bit of inside info, ALL CARE HOMES have now got to have Rad. covers fitted. SO much work I cant really cope. On average there are 100 radiators per home . It now it takes me an hour to make one for an average of £50 each.

A great line if you need the work, there must be 100`s of carehomes out there !!
 

Alf

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Welcome to the forum, koolwabbit. :D (Luckily I don't think we have an Elmer Fudd amongst the membership :wink: )

Encouraging to hear a good news story about new regulations for once; congrats. 8)

Cheers, Alf
 
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