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Ralph  Allen Jones

A lady came my to shop today;

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When we take an old heir loom that has been setting in an old barn or shed for years and we turn it back into a beautiful piece of furniture again and the clients are so happy of the way you refurbished it, they tell others and this is how you build a business. I no longer have to advertise except for my web site on the internet. The kind things you do for folks does have good returns. www.ralphjonesworkshop.com

 

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46 minutes ago, Ralph Allen Jones said:

When we take an old heir loom that has been setting in an old barn or shed for years and we turn it back into a beautiful piece of furniture again and the clients are so happy of the way you refurbished it, they tell others and this is how you build a business. I no longer have to advertise except for my web site on the internet. The kind things you do for folks does have good returns. www.ralphjonesworkshop.com

 

Ralph, one of my wife's favorite rockers came from a local thrift store.  She came dragging this chair home like a puppy from a refuge center and it looked like it had been through a bar room brawl.  Three of the five back slats were broken and the chair needed some love.  In its time, the chair had been a nice piece and after a lot of work and love, it has been restored to its former glory.  From a worldly standpoint, I spent too much time on the chair but it brought joy to my wife to have it restored so it is priceless.  There may be a sermon in that chair too. 

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A few of you mention that your retired, well not all of us are retired. I'm not retired, I've been pretty much a blue collar skilled worker all my life, and I have some very strong feelings about where things have been and are headed, and it's not good. You cannot expect people to be interested in work where there is very little to no compensation in it, especially when they have to invest so much in to time, tools, machinery, and shop space just to get started. People are getting to be terribly greedy and rude to the point of being personally insulting. I use to have a lot of pride and a really strong and passion for woodworking for close to 30 years, and dust collection for about the last 10 years. In the last couple years I've been losing interest to the point that last year I didn't do much at all. 

Edited by CharlieL

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11 hours ago, Ron Dudelston said:

You know DAB, sometimes it isn't all about the bottom line.  If someone brought in a family heirloom wanting repaired, I'm just enough of a sap to fix it even if it cost me money.  Guess I'm a Renaissance man.  By the way, those jobs have a way of bringing in business in the long run.

 

i don't have a business, i have no intention of starting and running a business.  i looked into it, and quickly decided that it wasn't viable.  assuming that i could find customers willing and able to pay what i would want, i saw no point in then turning over more than 1/2 my money to various gov't agencies for the privilege of working 8-10 hours a day.

 

yeah:

 

FICA - 15.3%

Fed tax - 25% (i have other income sources, so any additional would likely kick me into the 25% bracket, and everything i made in my shop would be taxes at this next marginal rate)

State - 5%

local gross receipts tax - 8.2%

 

total - 15.3 + 25 + 5 + 8.2 = 53.5%

 

not to mention the paperwork burden i would have to absorb.  tracking expenses - lumber, consumables, travel, shipping, advertising, shop and tool depreciation, all that unpaid time to track all this stuff for the benefit of gov't.

 

forget it.

 

i'll just do what i want to do.

 

if the finances and paperwork burden change, then i may revisit this idea.

 

As Sam Maloof described in his book long ago, very few woodworkers can make a living by their hands and what they produce in their shops.  they either don't make money, or make money by selling plans (see Norm), conducting classes in their shops, or teaching woodworking in a local school.

 

if you want to make money, you need to first sell the project, then make the project, and make sure you have charged enough to make a profit when you are done.  there is no point in making 40 little things, and then spending your weekend at the craft fair hoping to unload them for less than the cost of materials and table fee and travel expense.  you may as well just give them away and go home.

 

 

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1 hour ago, CharlieL said:

A few of you mention that your retired, well not all of us are retired. I'm not retired, I've been pretty much a blue collar skilled worker all my life, and I have some very strong feelings about where things have been and are headed, and it's not good. You cannot expect people to be interested in work where there is very little to no compensation in it, especially when they have to invest so much in to time, tools, machinery, and shop space just to get started. People are getting to be terribly greedy and rude to the point of being personally insulting. I use to have a lot of pride and a really strong and passion for woodworking for close to 30 years, and dust collection for about the last 10 years. In the last couple years I've been losing interest to the point that last year I didn't do much at all. 

 

on the old wood forum, more than once someone would visit Matt's shop, or another for profit shop, inquire about an item being made just for them, a sketch might be produced, an estimate or quote given, and the customer would then have a financial heart attack.

 

"why so much?"

 

well lady, this project will take me 2 weeks of my time.  how much do you make in 2 weeks?  you will be paying for all the materials and consumables, as well as a fair rate for 2 weeks of my expertise.

 

go hire a lawyer for 2 weeks.  paper is pretty cheap, so is ink, but the expertise to put the right words on paper is what you are paying for.

 

or you can go to the lumber store, buy the needed lumber, a few tools, and do it yourself while you take vacation time from your job.

 

your call.

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19 hours ago, Ralph Allen Jones said:

further stated that our work in repair and restoration is becoming a thing of the past and I informed her that when I am no longer here that it would be even harder to find someone because no one wants to learn the trade anymore.

  

   I know the issue of repair has come up before ( broken spindle, chair, table) and the ideas for a solution vary.

 If you are asking if we would be interested in following a blog I for one would be.

   The many treads on these sites, from a simple box, scrolling, turning a bowl, or finishing has given me the confidence I needed to go into the shop and try to apply what I've read and move my skill level up one notch. I'm no designer, there are failures, but there is less trial and error.     One of the advantages of the internet is meeting the people that do this work in the basements or out buildings that you would have never met otherwise. The talent and ideas are endless. Would I do it as a business, no. Make something that I think someone would like or use, yes.

 For me the satisfaction of making it makes the difference.

 

  Ralph, I downloaded this from your site in 2003 and have made several for different projects but if the knowledge isn't passed on it's just lost like a good cookie recipe that Mom use to made, you have to start from scratch.

 

sled.gif

Edited by DuckSoup

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6 hours ago, DAB said:

go hire a lawyer for 2 weeks.  paper is pretty cheap, so is ink, but the expertise to put the right words on paper is what you are paying for.

 

I was talking to a guy at the woodworking club last weekend.  He's a psychologist (PhD, not MD).   He said he does some contract work, $475/hr, 4 hour minimum.   No office, no advertising, probably go and talk to someone for a while and write up a report.

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1 hour ago, kmealy said:

 

I was talking to a guy at the woodworking club last weekend.  He's a psychologist (PhD, not MD).   He said he does some contract work, $475/hr, 4 hour minimum.   No office, no advertising, probably go and talk to someone for a while and write up a report.

Sure looks like he has it figured out.

Herb

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i used to do engineering.  a few years ago a former employer called and wanted to know if i could attend a meeting that was local to me.  hour drive each way, hour long meeting, hour to write up my notes.  sure, $125/hour.....hello?  'but you are just going to a meeting'  yes, dear, i'm going to a meeting about a subject that i'm an expert on.....'ok, we'll pay that'

 

after taxes, i pocketed about 1/2 that.

 

or, i'll stay home, not cancel my dental appointment, and you can fly someone in at a greater expense.

 

they haven't called since then.

 

custom woodworking?  sure.  want to guess how much?  8 hour minimum.

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