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nosuchhounds

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In my current employment I get a fixed 2 weeks off every 5. These are currently spent learning and building basics as well as general other tasks (childcare, general housework etc). Ultimately i would like to come away from the job im in at the minute, its not satisfying although well paid. Ive always enjoyed working with my hands and had previos roles in theatrical carpentry and manufacturing technician. I am attracted by the cabinet making, built ins side of the trade. Would a professional joiner/cabinet maker be adverse to being contacted regarding a chat with them, look around what they do and quite possibly a bit of labouring? I dont really require payment so i suppose that would work in my advantage! Ive messaged a few in the last and they were quite stand offish. Its a hard field to get into for me as i cant afford to become an apprentice at 35yrs old with family and kids

Appreciate any help and feedback
 

Yojevol

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I'm not surprised at your experience so far. When I retired I wanted to improve my DIY skill base to a furniture making level. I went on an excellent furniture making and design course for 2 years. On that course there were 3 categories of student:-
1. School leavers looking for a start up in the industry.
2. In-betweeners in their 30/40s looking to escape the rat race for something more rewarding; sound familiar?
3. Oldies like me looking for a fulfilling retirement,

The 1's and 2's looked for job experience without much success. The 2's soon became disheartened realising that the chances of making a go (sufficient to pay the mortgage) of it were slim. The 3's were happy men (and a woman).

Well, it's feedback but not much help.
Brian
 

nosuchhounds

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I suppose its the addage of its no longer a hobby when it becomes a job
 

johnnyb

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2 weeks off in 5.....well paid. blimey can we do a swop.
seriously if you want it you will manage.
I remember being friends with some coppice workers. I said " how do you survive? they said I decided that's what I'm doing and that's that. children and mortgages be blowed!
 

nosuchhounds

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Its a tough one but you can go through life just earning but not rich in satisfaction, or you can take the money and feel youve never achieved

I like to think work should make you satisfied, proud and tired. This is coming from my current position though we're im basically paid well to work unsociable shifts (2 x 64hr weeks back to back) and with a fair amount of responsibility but little hands on work.

Grass is always greener i suppose but thats why i wanted to chat to people in the business. See what is possible
 

Ollie78

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This is tricky. As a one man band I can skirt certain things but as soon as you have someone working with you / using your workshop, then your responsibility level goes up as does insurance and all sorts of stuff. I was asked by someone if I could help out a couple of young people who wanted to get a bit of an idea but it worried me on case anything happened. I am sure it's unlikely but not impossible.
I guess a "visitor" is a slightly different thing ?!

Ollie
 

JDW

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In my current employment I get a fixed 2 weeks off every 5. These are currently spent learning and building basics as well as general other tasks (childcare, general housework etc). Ultimately i would like to come away from the job im in at the minute, its not satisfying although well paid. Ive always enjoyed working with my hands and had previos roles in theatrical carpentry and manufacturing technician. I am attracted by the cabinet making, built ins side of the trade. Would a professional joiner/cabinet maker be adverse to being contacted regarding a chat with them, look around what they do and quite possibly a bit of labouring? I dont really require payment so i suppose that would work in my advantage! Ive messaged a few in the last and they were quite stand offish. Its a hard field to get into for me as i cant afford to become an apprentice at 35yrs old with family and kids

Appreciate any help and feedback

You've contacted a few - contact all of them I your area, you never know. Perhaps research the ins and outs (insurance etc) first.

Do you have any cabinet work you could do at home? I'm going to start building a portfolio with home projects - built in wardrobes for example. Any friends/ family that could do with some work doing?
 

pe2dave

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This is tricky. As a one man band I can skirt certain things but as soon as you have someone working with you / using your workshop, then your responsibility level goes up as does insurance and all sorts of stuff. I was asked by someone if I could help out a couple of young people who wanted to get a bit of an idea but it worried me on case anything happened. I am sure it's unlikely but not impossible.
I guess a "visitor" is a slightly different thing ?!

Ollie
Yes, a real concern. Suggest legal advice be sought, some sort of indemnity agreement. If unpaid, that would anull many of the tax and insurance issues.
 

nosuchhounds

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You've contacted a few - contact all of them I your area, you never know. Perhaps research the ins and outs (insurance etc) first.

Do you have any cabinet work you could do at home? I'm going to start building a portfolio with home projects - built in wardrobes for example. Any friends/ family that could do with some work doing?

Yes this is where im thinking of starting. Create a portfolio based on home projects. I have a couple of built ins that i could use as portfolio pieces.
 

deema

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Just a suggestion, go find a building site or three, offer to labour in person for any of the trades, suitably dressed with high viz, safety boots, hard hat, safety glasses in pocket, and dressed for the weather. What your wanting to do is make contacts, build up friendships, form relationships. Butty and coffee breaks are where you want to be. Most joiners would like to be snuggled up in a warm workshop making fine furniture, but have to pay the mortgage by doing site work. It will give you an idea of whether its what you want.
The general public try to avoid paying, find fault with the work, get upset that there is the slightest hint of dirt, noise or disruption, didn’t appreciate the scale of the drawing you did, take your drawing to get it done cheaper, just a complete pain. You will meet delightful people but also the dregs of humanity.
 

TheTiddles

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I think your position is not very unique, although it sounds like we have very different jobs, the grass can appear greener elsewhere, it might be, it might not, one usually finds out after having decided to move, which is the risk you sort of have to make.

I’ve heard a lot of “you could sell these things” over the last decade or so, which may be true, but then I wouldn’t get to make it like that as there are few that could afford it and I’d be a pauper, which (not to sound too prejudicial), isn’t really something I think I’d like.

Perhaps you could find someone who wants something like you want to make (family/friends) then try and make it in a commercial way, as in over a few days to a passable standard monitoring every cost, see if that appeals? It might make you happy, it might well and truly take the fun out of it.
 
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baldkev

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Its not easy to make a good hourly rate.... big outlay on kit and workshop space, materials are high and jobs always take longer than i imagine ( not a cabinet maker, but i do built-in cupboards sometimes )
I often find myself weighing up the cost of a project and thinking 'that's too much' ..... mostly its fine, but i often worry about the billing part! Most of my work is day rate, a lot of my customers don't ask for a quote
 

JobandKnock

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Just a suggestion, go find a building site or three, offer to labour in person for any of the trades, suitably dressed with high viz, safety boots, hard hat, safety glasses in pocket, and dressed for the weather.
But don't be in the least bit surprised if you are turned away, especially from the bigger jobs. To get onto a job run by even a small to medium-sized contractor these days you need to hold a green CSCS "Operatives Card". Not difficult to get, but does require attending a one-day safety training course (mandatory since 2016, around £150 to 200), then passing a multiple choice question test and finally applying for a CSCS card (around £50). BTW, a lot of sites are now insisting on a minimum of S1P lace-up boot - no riggers, safety trainers or lower spec footwear permitted. No card, no/incorrect PPE, no job.

Then you face the fact that except for small contractor jobs the bigger sites tend to sub-contract out the joinery package to specialist joinery contractors, so no cards in guys or directly contracted chippies - and they mainly employ guys on price. Nobody on price wants to spend time discussing stuff with the labourers - all they want their materials delivered to where they are using them ASAP.

Most joiners would like to be snuggled up in a warm workshop making fine furniture, but have to pay the mortgage by doing site work. It will give you an idea of whether its what you want.
In my working life that's not been the case. Look on any job web site and you'll see a massive disparity between the rates a site joiner is paid vs. the rates a bench joiner is on (site rate is 40% higher a lot of the time) and anyone who's worked in both environments will tell you that a lot workshops tend to be very cliquey.
 
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Woodmatt

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Being ever the pessimist and with a few years behind me I would say stick to your existing job and make your enthusiasm into a great hobby
 
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