As autumn leaves brighten in color, woodworkers are inevitably making their way back to the woodworking shop in their basement, garage or outbuilding to resume the work they love: making practical and beautiful things out of wood.
In these troubled economic times more than ever, possessing woodworking skills and the tools necessary to exercise them can help enrich and enliven a woodworker's life. Besides the joy and satisfaction that comes from creating something by hand, the opportunity exists to supplement your income by concentrating on practical projects that your local marketplace needs. Tables, chairs, shelving units and cabinets never go out of style and everyone needs them. Woodturning projects make excellent gifts, and everyone will be looking for unique gifts to give this holiday season. Woodcarving is great for this too.
We welcome your suggestions for specific project ideas that your fellow woodworkers around the country might use to generate income locally or save money on gifts that would otherwise need to be purchased. If you have some project ideas to share, please describe it by posting a reply to this blog entry.
The latest issue of Wood News Online, our monthly woodworking magazine, features an excellent article by Doug Bittinger that kicks off a series on taking the plunge into full-time professional woodworking. Whether woodworking is a hobby, a part-time moneymaker, or full-time occupation for you, Doug has some thoughtful ideas that are worth considering.
Here is a link to the full October issue of Wood News Online. An excerpt from Doug's article follows below:
Taking the Plunge into Professional Woodworking
by Douglas Bittinger
I cannot say that I know anyone who was going through life with no woodworking experience and simply said to themselves "I think I'll become a professional woodworker," signed up for some courses to learn what they needed to know, and then went looking for a job as a woodworker. Not to say it doesn't happen. I just don't know any.
All of the professional woodworkers I know discovered a talent and desire for woodworking and nurtured it. Some discovered it while young, some not so young, but they found it. Some got into it out of necessity: they wanted things they couldn't afford to buy and decided to make them. For others it started as a relaxing hobby. At some point they said, "You know, it would be great if I could make my living doing this instead of [whatever]."
If this thought has breached in your brain, let me issue a caution: When you take a hobby and turn it into your occupation, is ceases to be a hobby. Along with this change come responsibilities that weren't there before. Your hobby becomes your JOB.
If you possess certain capabilities and resources, it can indeed be a rewarding and fulfilling job, leading to a more pleasant life style. If not, it can turn into a stress filled nightmare. What are these capabilities?