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My neigbor asked me to "help" him build a box

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Forum topic by SMP posted 07-11-2019 08:41 PM 442 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SMP

1176 posts in 323 days


07-11-2019 08:41 PM

I’m sure some of the other woodworkers can relate to this story. I don’t even get annoyed anymore, just kind of funny. Anyways, I had my garage open, and table saw out in the driveway working on a hanging tool cabinet build. I hear from down the street my neighbor calling my name((he only really talks to me when I am out cutting wood). He then runs over, and asks if I can do him a favor and help him build a box. He says he is going to be giving someone a gift and wanted a really cool box to present it in. He looks at my rack of wood and says I have some really cool exotic pieces of wood and asks if I can help him for an hour or 2 this weekend (he sees me obviously just starting on my cabinet making the initial cuts of the rough lumber). He says “is building a box pretty easy? You just throw some dovetails on the corners and glue it together?” I told him I was busy as I had just started this project, and he would be best off looking at Etsy if he needed one for next week. I thought it was funny thought that is what the world has come to. People think that making dovetail boxes out of exotic hardwoods take no skill at all and can just be slapped together in a couple hours. It would be interesting to see the cost of what he had in mind on etsy.


16 replies so far

View Monty151's profile

Monty151

69 posts in 259 days


#1 posted 07-11-2019 08:55 PM

Yeah, building a box is super easy. Just slap some glue and dove tails on and call it a day. LOL

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CarlosInTheSticks

376 posts in 789 days


#2 posted 07-11-2019 09:45 PM

He probably wanted to use your wood, your tools, and your hands to build it too, so he could say “I new it was easy”. That sounds cynical but I had a neighbor ask me to help him build a gazebo, he had few tools and little experience, in effect I would have ended up building it and I hardly new the guy and not a penny offered. I gave him contact information for a local prefab outfit.

-- "There are no utopias, chaos theory reigns, anyone who says different is selling you something"

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SMP

1176 posts in 323 days


#3 posted 07-11-2019 09:56 PM



He probably wanted to use your wood, your tools, and your hands to build it too, so he could say “I new it was easy”. That sounds cynical but I had a neighbor ask me to help him build a gazebo, he had few tools and little experience, in effect I would have ended up building it and I hardly new the guy and not a penny offered. I gave him contact information for a local prefab outfit.

- CarlosInTheSticks

Exactly. The last time he spoke to me, he mentioned that I had a lot of cool scraps of wood. He wondered if he could bring his son and some of his son’s friends to do like a camp, and have these little kids use my tools and wood to make some craft projects. I told him my tools were pretty dangerous. He then said if I was going to throw away any scraps of ebony or walnut etc that he would take them.

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CarlosInTheSticks

376 posts in 789 days


#4 posted 07-11-2019 10:03 PM

People are funny man, lord help you if one of those children got hurt, by, by shop.

-- "There are no utopias, chaos theory reigns, anyone who says different is selling you something"

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Knockonit

584 posts in 620 days


#5 posted 07-11-2019 11:21 PM

hehe, i’ve dealt with this my whole life, being a general contractor, my kids friends, my wife’s friends, and neighbors, all want me to loan them something, build them something, help them with something, i used to just do it, assist and help as my time allowed, some even almost insisted, to which now i reply, go on down to the store and buy me a 40 dollar blade, a saw to use it on, some pencils, and i’ll need a c note for the electric bill, it ended there for sure.

not like i’m not a charitable guy, but sometimes they just take it too far, i enjoy sharing what i know, have a couple friends that come over on saturday and we work on things, they learn, and i get some free help, and for that they have use of tools and my knowledge what little there is of that.

as noted people just can’t hep themselves
Rj in az

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pottz

5547 posts in 1402 days


#6 posted 07-11-2019 11:46 PM

yeah got one of those neighbors,he always wants me to build him something although he does pay me,just not enough and wants it asap.the last time i told him i was too busy and couldn’t do it for month’s,so im mowing the lawn he comes up to me and hands me 400 bucks say’s this will motivate you and walked away.he just wont take no for an answer.he’s in his mid eighties so i dont say no, sighhhhhhhhhh!

the one good thing though is he just tells me what kind of wood and size and lets me design it anyway i wont,so im ok with that.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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anthm27

975 posts in 1528 days


#7 posted 07-11-2019 11:47 PM

Yep, I can relate to that, the older I get the more I am learning to say no though.

I did fall for it on this occasion of clock face holder. My friend Peter bought the clock in Russia and kindly asked, can you just put a bit of wood around it? Anyways he got lucky on this occasion.

Anyways Steve , I am glad you can laugh about it.

Regards
Anthony

-- To be a true artist one must stick to their own thought process

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Kelly

2335 posts in 3362 days


#8 posted 07-12-2019 06:01 AM

Having a full shop is a bit like owning a pickup in our youth. All your friends and associates want to borrow it and/or you. A couple times, I said no problem, I just use your Mustang [or what have you]. They forget that rig was my means to work.

Now days, that’s not a problem. Everyone is an old fart, so already has what they need to haul garbage and would pay someone to move them.

There is still the shop and the reason for the sign, which says, THE REASON I HAVE WHAT YOU WANT IS I NEVER LENT IT OUT BEFORE.

As I pointed out to one person, you wouldn’t lend me your ski equipment and I bought this stuff instead of skis and boots.

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Peteybadboy

795 posts in 2367 days


#9 posted 07-12-2019 10:42 AM

That would be a big no for me.

-- Petey

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Bluepine38

3386 posts in 3503 days


#10 posted 07-12-2019 09:52 PM

I am still a sucker for the grandkids who come up to me and ask if they can use my shop to build
something and then wistfully add “and I will let you help me.” Last time it was a five yr old grandson
who wanted to build a rocking chair, but his little big eyed sister was standing behind him, so he
agreed to build two of them. Tools can buy you happiness if properly used. My place is out in the
county at the end of very long driveway, so I do not get many visitors asking to borrow tools or
time.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

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pottz

5547 posts in 1402 days


#11 posted 07-13-2019 02:52 AM



I am still a sucker for the grandkids who come up to me and ask if they can use my shop to build
something and then wistfully add “and I will let you help me.” Last time it was a five yr old grandson
who wanted to build a rocking chair, but his little big eyed sister was standing behind him, so he
agreed to build two of them. Tools can buy you happiness if properly used. My place is out in the
county at the end of very long driveway, so I do not get many visitors asking to borrow tools or
time.

- Bluepine38


the grand kids are the exception,the answer is what ever they want it to be,period-lol.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View SMP's profile

SMP

1176 posts in 323 days


#12 posted 07-13-2019 04:09 AM



not like i m not a charitable guy, but sometimes they just take it too far, i enjoy sharing what i know, have a couple friends that come over on saturday and we work on things, they learn, and i get some free help, and for that they have use of tools and my knowledge what little there is of that.

as noted people just can t hep themselves
Rj in az

- Knockonit

I am a charitable guy as well. I live in a navy town, and most of my navy neighbors are super respectful and i usually help them out, but they are more friends who i talk to about other stuff. And my next door neighbor is a navy widow(afghanistan), and i am always helping her fix stuff around the house, and she pays me with philipino food. And of course familyi help out. I was speaking more of the people who only talk to you when they need something and have no respect for the skill involoved in woodworking.

View rockusaf's profile

rockusaf

76 posts in 520 days


#13 posted 07-13-2019 04:46 AM

Man, you couldn’t take 15 minutes and whip out a custom dovetailed box from some of the “scrap” you have just laying around. Just because paid for on the material and tools and you already had a plan for your shop time. I’m actually a big sucker, I will usually help others without giving much though to what it costs me. I guess that’s an advantage of being a larger, somewhat intimidating guy (according to my wife anyway), people don’t typically come and asks me for favors like that.

Rock

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therealSteveN

3077 posts in 992 days


#14 posted 07-13-2019 05:05 AM

I don’t age relate requests, though the younger ones get shop time quicker, so maybe I do. I ALWAYS say as soon as that conversation starts that I would be glad to help them make their ????? I then give them a few places they can buy wood, and any other supplies “we” will need to get their dream finished. I’d say over 40 years I’ve gotten about 15 takers, and to this day all of them own their own shops, and a few of them could teach me a few tricks. I like that in a day when school shops are shutting down. It’s up to us to move it forward.

Never do I stop the presses, and just start making, that would create a dangerous precedent.

SMP said

“I was speaking more of the people who only talk to you when they need something and have no respect for the skill involoved in woodworking.”

I have to say in that regard I have only had 2 really scumbag neighbors. The rest of the folks we have been fortunate enough to live near have been great. Sharing for the greater good, and caring as if it was theirs. I’ve gotten more than I have given IMHO, but they don’t see it that way. I call that being blessed in neighbors.

-- Think safe, be safe

View OleGrump's profile

OleGrump

309 posts in 762 days


#15 posted 07-14-2019 08:26 PM

Whenever some clodhopper asks you to “help” them, it ALWAYS means “Will YOU do ALL the work FOR me, and oh yeah, PAY for ALL the material, and use YOUR tools….???” Yeah. Right. Don’t stand on one leg waiting for that shit to happen, buddy. Learned that lesson MANY years ago, and haven’t fell for it since then.
And just so you guys know that I’m not just some selfish old fart, I do undertake various projects my Rector asks me to do. He always asks nicely, and qualifies his request with “when you have the time, would you ….? OK. Fair enough. If it’s something I CAN do, I WILL do it, for HIM. (FREE, of course) A few friends also will sometimes ask me if I will make something for them, and will often offer some kind compensation for it. If I can do it, by the time they need it, I usually will. I have accepted dinners, alcohol, tools, and some other items as “payment”, as well as the occasional cash offering.
But I never “help” near stranger, with ANY kind of project, for just the above listed reasons. A good counter request might be “Sure, If you help me move my piano upstairs….”

-- OleGrump

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