Article: the lost art of English joinery

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It is a bit of an advert, I just found it interesting and thought some here might also.

Obviously, what they also do in that article is pretty much make traditional joinery something for the wealthy. Does that mean traditional joinery is no longer attainable by the average earner? Probably, yes...

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>Does that mean traditional joinery is no longer attainable by the average earner?

Not if you do it yourself!
To be honest, I absolutely despise the poncey, namby-pamby "look at how special I am" joiners who spin a pretty yarn and charge you four times as much for a piece of work than anyone else would, and if anything the quality would be less because they spend more time filling people up with BS than actually doing good work.

It's not a jealousy thing, I couldn't live with myself if I were constantly ripping people off and bigging myself up all the time. You shove wood in one end of the moulder and pull it out the other end, don't tart it up and pretend it's anything more than that :lol:
I think quite a few joiners would be capable of such work, and one or two posters on this forum specialise in refurbishment and repair to such joinery, even to the level of using original methods and period tools. There are also a few who have demonstrated their ability to make and fit high-end kitchen installations, too. However, not many joiners get the chance, because clients with the budget for the time such work takes are not that common. Also, settings warranting such work are not that common either - there's a reason the advert was placed in Country Life and not in Suburbanites Weekly.

The average Joe could afford to have such work in their own homes, but only if they do it themselves - and that implies being prepared to take the time to teach themselves. It would be something of a labour of love, and if starting from scratch, it would be a long term project.
The average charge in the states for someone who works as a joiner and finish carpenter is about $500 per day. There's a whole lot of cost in that.

Someone buys the materials, does the design, installs, etc, deals with non-paying customers and legal disputes.

Here, as there, the folks who are successful are often fairly shameless and very proud of their work and quite often, they think they are better at their work than others and hold themselves and their work in pretty high regard.

The guys who get into business and think they're going to be fair and just get by with a decent wage don't last long.

On the same note, you often get people here in the states (and there, i'm sure) who have a six figure pay and benefits package and think that it's OK for them to, but a trim carpenter who charges $60 an hour is out of line and totally greedy.

I didn't watch the video above, but we sure do have a problem in woodworking where the average person loves it as a hobby and pretends in their mind that they'd do it much better than the other successful businesses.

If they're logging in from an apple product (which generally costs twice or three times that of a similar and probably longer lasting PC product), it's worth a chuckle.

All that said, the two biggest long term success measures that I've seen for folks doing work where the barriers to entry are fairly low are:
* being willing to charge enough that they can weather a crappy customer or three (or a lawsuit)
* understanding how important it is to curate a customer list, do work for them and "be on all the time" to continue to grow that list and your reputation

(and ignore the people who yell from the sidelines that someone could do it for $25 an hour and eat a few hours of time and some bad materials).
The reality is:

It is not a lost art. What is lost is the willingness of many people to pay for quality work, but the top 10% of earners now (as then) can and will pay for quality work.

Design tastes change and are currently avoiding complex mouldings etc. But machining them costs no more really than plain mouldings.

It is not very difficult to do much of this stuff, but people need to let go of the samey kitchen magazines, and ikea style flat back furniture and faux "shaker" cupboards if they want something timeless.
many of the 10% who want a joiners work hate to pay. many just want daft fads. panelling alcoves river tables etc.
theres no doubt bigger outfits can and do thrive. but putting upvc in is hugely more profitable because your customers are the 90% remaining. and that 90% are the good middle customers.