Reply by mindbender29

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Posted on Special needs son and woodworking.

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7 posts in 1158 days

#1 posted 09-01-2017 11:35 AM

I am very sorry for not responding to you folks in a timely manner. In the past 9 weeks I left my stable job in order to help my dad with his window cleaning business that has been around since 1992. He is 72 now and having health issues and needed help. Due to his health issues he has lost some clients so I needed to make extra money in order to be able to support my family and help him so I took a job at a large company (I won’t mention the name) unloading planes. I was getting up doing that at 2a.m in the morning till time to go to wash windows with dad. Long story short I started having terrible pain in my neck and shoulder culminating in major pain in my neck and shoulder as I have been working. I have no insurance so a cash trip for an Xray revealed a blown out disk in my neck and then a trip to the surgeon that had rebuilt my shoulder after a wreck 20 years ago to find out there was not a lot to be done short of crazy expense. So I ended up having to move on from unloading planes and leave my dad with the business. My middle son will be out of school soon and he will be able to step in and work with my dad and help him so it will all work out.

As for me I am doing better since not moving the neck and shoulder in the same motion over and over and over all day so these are great things. I took a job last week down the road from my house at a local restaurant that we clean the windows for. I explained my situation to the owner that I have known for years and he needed a bus boy and worked out the money end of things with me. I am about to turn 40 years old in a few weeks and I am a now a professional bus boy!! I will not get all super spiritual here but I am a Christian and I have strong believes. But I will only say I am happy with all this change. I am not making tons of money to say the least but I have a great schedule, I actually enjoy my job because I get to meet new people and make there time at the restaurant pleasant. I am not making tons of money but it is enough to pay the bills. I am also now at the very bottom and I have the world opened up to me as far as what to do next. The owner is very open to working with me since he has been having issues with help and he knows the situation with my son. I would not have put myself in this situation but God did and I am seeing some great things coming from it.

Now with all that being said I went to a local custom door maker and talked to him about his scraps. He has been loading me up with tons of free wood. He throws away dumpsters full of oak, walnut and other woods that are cut offs. I have been getting tons of pieces some up to 3 feet long by 8 inches wide. Due to the situation at work I was not going to spend the money to buy a bunch of tools but with some side work and some sales on Craigs list I was able to come up with money to make sure I can still fund my sons work like I promised him all those years ago. I was very happy the other day to go out and do some side work with him and earn some money staining a cabinet for someone when I was off. I see the value in how all this is turning out. I hesitated to still think about spending money but like someone told me “You are investing in your son”. I think there is wisdom in that and since I will not be taking out of the family budget or saving for any tools I will move forward with getting him up and running.

As you guys know I was looking to buy a table saw but since I am getting all these cut offs and I am where I am with life I am thinking a small cheap table saw to be able to cut off the bad parts of the wood I am getting and a quality scroll saw is the trick. I know the market is flooded with scroll saw work and it is an easy thing to do and with CNC machines. Is there a market for a young disabled guy trying to keep busy? I was going to make book cases and bigger things but I think I have changed my mind. I think if I start a FB page and simply tell my sons story and why we are doing what we are doing then he can make small projects and sell them. If we make large things he is limited to local sales but if we do small things then he can mail projects to people. Now there is no fantasy here on my part that we will make tons of money. The point is if we are getting free wood and can make small items that sell for $5-$50 lets say then there is almost all profit in this for us since we are not paying for material. My wife’s family is huge and loves social media so she will handle that end of it.

We can do a DBA under my name and money that comes in will simply go to fund more projects. As long as I can keep him, let him see that people are liking what he is doing then he will be great. He has no concept of money except that it lets him buy things he wants. So if having a little business that is a DBA under my name lets me take care of any expense, fund more projects and keeps me and him working on things together then I think it is a great thing. A few years ago we had a slab leak and one bedroom never got flooring put back down so it is just plain concrete. So we have a bedroom that can be made into a work room with a scroll saw, table and shop vac system for dust collection and work bench. He also did some clay work in art class so I will make him a table in there that he can work on things on his own with his mom when I am not here. We can have a great little makers area to build things during the winter and be ready for spring craft shows that come around in our area. In the mean time we can put stuff on the FB page and see what is selling and what things are not.

I will buy a small Dewalt table saw to do the cutting I need. I have a miter saw station set up already that will remain. I have some small things I will buy but the main thing I need is a scroll saw. Now I am very familiar with this since it used to be my hobby but I will ask advice of those that may have more experience in the past few years. I always loved Excalibur saws over the three Dewalts I have owned but since they are gone I need some wisdom. This time I want to go with a Hawk or a Hegner even tho it will eat up more of my budget. Since we will be using this saw to make small things to sell I want to have a quality saw to eliminate the issues that are found in some of the other brands. I am open to what one out of those you guys would go with so I can decide and place an order. I also would love any recommendations to a niche maybe you see we could get into that would help us fund things faster. Any suggestions on this would be helpful.

So the questions I would love to have your opinion on.

1. Is there a place in the market for what I am trying to do?
2. Is there a story to be told that makes this more valuable than just buying something that was made on a CNC machine or in China at Walmart?
3. What small projects could we work on to find a niche?

Thank you so much for all the responses and again I am sorry for taking so long to get back on here but I have had a lot on my plate with this injury and work deal.

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