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Forum topic by DKV posted 06-03-2015 03:34 PM 11712 views 0 times favorited 78 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3940 posts in 2960 days

06-03-2015 03:34 PM

I think it would be interesting to know the following:
1. How many LJ’s are professional woodworkers (carpenters, framers, etc) that make their income from woodworking.
2. How many LJ’s do woodworking strictly for a hobby and work in other career fields.
3. How many LJ’s are retired and use woodworking as a hobby.
4. How many retired LJ’s use woodworking to supplement their retirement funds.

I for one am retired from a technology field and have been woodworking for 10 years and love every minute of it. I give all my creations away to friends and relatives. How about you guys?

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

78 replies so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2825 days

#1 posted 06-03-2015 03:46 PM

I do woodworking strictly for hobby, I’m a software engineer during the day, and pretty much all of my projects are built to fulfill the requests of my boss (a.k.a. wife). Kitchen island, baby gate, kids bed, bookshelves. I’ve been at this around 5 years, but grew up in a very DIY household. I am going to build a bed for my daughter’s American Girl doll, and I’m probably going to mass-produce 10 or so of them. The extras will be sold off to my wife’s online contacts who’ve expressed an interest. That’ll be the first time I ever made a buck at this. If that goes well, I might do small things like that occasionally for her to sell, just to give me some expendable cash to buy tools (currently, my expendable cash for tools is $0, unless a project requires it, which I try to make sure they do, to some extent). If I could sell a few and even buy a new chisel or hand saw, I’d be content.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View jumbojack's profile


1689 posts in 3080 days

#2 posted 06-03-2015 03:52 PM

I retired nearly two years ago. My woodworking ‘hobby’ earns just enough cash to support itself. Usually at Christmas time I will pick a project to sell and that generates enough income to purchase lumber for most of the year. I also have four ‘customers’ that request one off custom furniture pieces throughout the year. Then there is the inevitable chair repair. I am usually out in my shop three or four days a week for 4 or 5 hours.
I am off to repair four maple chairs right now. They were prefinished; even the mortise and tenons so the glue did not hold. Clean and reglue should do the trick.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2960 days

#3 posted 06-03-2015 03:54 PM

Ed, interesting background. I made three American Girl doll cradles for my granddaughters and they loved them. My wife made the bedding and pillows for the cradles. Each girl got to choose their colors. My wife hadn’t sewed for about 40 years but discovered it is a talent that is not lost over time. She also made each girl an American Girl outfit of their choice. I love it when the wife and I can work on a project together.

Jumbo, it’s nice to be retired and able to make money off of something you love doing. Life couldn’t get better for you…right?

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2960 days

#4 posted 06-03-2015 04:05 PM

Over 50 views and only three stories. What’s up with you guys? Shy? Criminal background you don’t want us to know about? Late alimony payments and you can’t let the ex know you’re making money? Participate please…

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View alittleoff's profile


541 posts in 1732 days

#5 posted 06-03-2015 04:07 PM

I do wood work as a hobby and sell a few items at material cost. Lots of things I give to my kids and other family members. I’m retired now, but was an Electrical Contractor since 84. I started doing electrical work in 69. At the time a fellow tried many times to hire me as a trim carpenter, or to train me to be a trim carpenter and work for him. I’ve often wondered if I had took the job would I have been building houses instead of being what I am. I really enjoy building things and will continue as long as I’m able. My son took over my business and has ran it for the last 10 years and could care less about woodwork. But it might change later when he tires of the work he’s doing as I did.

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1678 days

#6 posted 06-03-2015 05:31 PM

3. Semi

-- I meant to do that!

View madts's profile


1903 posts in 2795 days

#7 posted 06-03-2015 05:54 PM

I am a #3 kind of guy.


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View bandit571's profile


23442 posts in 3139 days

#8 posted 06-03-2015 05:54 PM

Worked as a “hobby” for over 20 years, building a LOT of chests, and chest-o-drawers,
Worked for 6 years as a comercial carpenter, mainly foundation work/form work. Only 5 “stick” builts during that time.

Just retired from a factory job last month. Now the wood work is a hobby. Also buy, refurb, and sell old tools.

Sitting at a computer desk that I built, a table for the phone to my left that was from Barn Wood beams. The table to the right of me was also from a beam from an old barn. It holds a small TV, when things get slow on here. Mainly building things for around this house. Even made a Kitchen Island.

Just keeps me out of the Taverns…....too broke, anyway…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1903 posts in 2425 days

#9 posted 06-03-2015 05:55 PM

Full time music teacher and professional guitar player.

Most people consider guitar a hobby, to me it’s my bread and butter.

Woodworking is strictly fun, maybe one day 20 years in the future I could sell something. I simply don’t have the practice to make quality stuff yet

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6604 posts in 3650 days

#10 posted 06-03-2015 06:07 PM

I don’t think I fall into any catagory…..I’m virtually a lazy person..I am retired from the military, and I only do what I want to do, when I want to do it…I don’t build stuff just to be building it. Only out of necessity, like shop furniture, jigs, and things to sell. I don’t build things for free, either. For my family, I’ll build what they want, but they pay for the materials. I have about 6 people that I build projects for, and then I may not go in my shop for weeks or even months. I’ve built furniture for our home, my wife’s business, and a few gifts for the family…That’s it…If you work for free for everyone, you’ll go in the hole, quick….on labor, materials, and time I could be on the water fishing….

-- " At my age, happy hour is a 2 hour nap".....!!

View darinS's profile


716 posts in 3323 days

#11 posted 06-03-2015 06:17 PM

I’m in the #2 category. Unfortunately, since we bought a house, most of my time is spent working on things there and not in the shop. One day I’ll bet back there though (I hope).

-- Rule 40 - If it seems like someone's out to get you, they are.

View Daruc's profile


460 posts in 1588 days

#12 posted 06-03-2015 06:25 PM

Full time Custom Cabinet Shop working out of a 3200 sq ft shop.
Been working for myself, building cabinetry, for the last 30+ years.

-- -

View nkawtg's profile


289 posts in 1707 days

#13 posted 06-03-2015 06:27 PM

#2 for me.

View Oldtool's profile


2785 posts in 2646 days

#14 posted 06-03-2015 06:38 PM

I’m number 3, retired with a hobby. I should start a business though, and either incorporate or become an LLC. That way I could claim my costs as a business loss each year, because I’ve lost money on every project I’ve done. My customers, 3 children with spouses and 4 grandchildren, all “need” something, and always pay with a hearty Thank You. I tried the Thank You payment with the guy at the sawmill, but then he holds out his hand, and not to shake mine.
Oh well, at least im enjoying myself woodworking.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2960 days

#15 posted 06-03-2015 06:50 PM

Rick, you have a great shop for missing time in it weeks and months at a time.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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