Reply by John Smith

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Posted on Wood Working As A Business

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John Smith

1969 posts in 640 days

#1 posted 12-31-2017 12:50 AM

by “woodworking” – do you mean furniture and what-not ?

I opened a custom wood shop in St. Marys, GA in 1985 doing furniture repair
for military members that had furniture damaged in shipment. (that was pretty lucrative).
I made an attempt at custom gun cabinets, hutches, display cases, etc. It just didn’t hold my interest.
in 1989, i switched gears to pursue my passion. hand carved wood signs for main entry gates to private subdivisions and tee markers for golf courses. I built a 2500 square foot shop with a 10ft ceiling, central heat and air.
when I joined the social media craze, my business exploded…... had to hire 6 people to keep up.
after 10 years of doing that, it became a JAY-OH-BEE – JOB and wasn’t “fun” any more.
I scaled down to just me and all my business was internet based – no local work any more.
I shipped signs all over the country and the world from Japan down to Puerto Rico and beyond. I was GLOBAL.
made a ton of money – sold that place, moved to another bigger place, built another 2500sq.ft. shop and it took off.
dabbled in restoring antique wood boats – that was fun. did tons of mahogany and teak work on private yachts.
I became a woodcarving instructor in 2000 and traveled around the country for 5 years giving carving seminars
to sign shops that was willing to pay for my skill. (that alone was probably the most rewarding for me).

once you find your “niche” – life becomes meaningful. if you are good at something, and you like it, you should
gather all the professional tools you need to make it happen and pursue your dream.
if you have a chance to attend some training seminars – GO – no matter the cost. education is priceless.
I was fortunate to attend some 3-day workshops given by Norm Abram and Tommy Silva in 1990.
I learned more about woodworking from those guys than most average guys learn in a lifetime.
I did learn (very quickly) that Timber Framing is NOT my thing !!!

so yes, I have made a very comfortable living doing “woodworking” in several different venues.

[and “wood working” is considered one word – not two. “woodworking”]. if you want to be professional
“woodworker” – decide just exactly what you want to do – don’t start off Helter-Skelter and get nothing accomplished. define your skill – make a plan – set some goals. take photos of your projects as you improve.

best of luck to everyone that wants to pursue the craft.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

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