Got a kid brother question. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Got a kid brother question.

I got a kid brother, when i say kid he is 28, and quite honestly he is a very decent woodworker. Unfortunately he has no tools to work wood with or truck to move materials with. Being the loving brother that I am I have offered up my shop for him to do his own projects with a couple of conditions, 1 you break it or dull it you buy it. 2 keep your project out of my way. Thus far rule 1 & 2 have been heeded and all is well in my world.

Until this last project. He has hired out to build a bar for a "client" and I have apparently financed his shop and mode of transportation of materials. I am feeling a bit walked on at this point and after consulting with my wife about my feelings on the matter, she hits me with the "if it was my sister, I would be OK with it". What are your thoughts, I love my brother and love to be in the financial position to offer him to use what I consider a nice woodworking shop. That said there seams to be a crossing line as thin as "for hire" that bugs me. Am I wrong here, and if I am not how do I make him see the difference between building for himself and building for a "client".

The other caveat is he is getting married in a few months and wants to use the proceeds from the bar on his very expensive 3 week honeymoon to Greece. Part of me says this is kinda a wedding gift from me, the other aspects says in my head, if you can't afford the three week honeymoon maybe its time to re-think where you go. Help me, I don't want to explode on him (which seams to be my proffered tactic) and ruin what relationship we seam to have.
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post #2 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 01:06 PM
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You need to discuss with him the fact that using your shop and transportation makes you a defacto partner in this and he needs to think about what your share of the profits are going to be. If he's good about this it may turn into a winning combination for both of you.
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post #3 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Good advice Gary, my problem here is my shop I would rather keep it a hobbiest shop. Seams like there are too many liabilities in the buisness aspect of it.

One other interesting aspect about him that will kind of hit on the political side (which we tend not to discuss as we both get frustrated). How can I say, he views and lives life from a "Communal" stand-point, such as I have the equiptment, I am not using it at the moment, there is no reason he shouldn't be using it in its off time, seams only fair.

I think I just need to tell him no more for hire stuff and hope he gets it, otherwise I am going to change the locks.
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post #4 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 01:21 PM
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First lets see did you say he could use your shop for his personal projects or was it more general as in You can use my shop as long as these 2 rules are followed. If this is a one time thing and he had a chance to make a little extra money to help with his honeymoon what harm would there be in letting him do it. Now If this came up again then I would say you should have a discussion ith him about it.

It all boils down to what kind of relationship you have, what you actually said the conditions were, Is he abiding by those conditions, what his intensions are andif this is a one time thing can you live with it.

I am a generous person and would not let this bother me unless it was effecting my ability to work in my shop or drive my truck. If it happened again I would then probably discuss what he was doing and let him know it was a problem and why. I seem to have a better relationship with my brother then you sound like you have in your 2nd post.

Last edited by rrbrown; 04-20-2009 at 01:25 PM.
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post #5 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 01:23 PM
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Heh, yeah I see your point. Wait'll he buys his first high dollar piece of gear and see how communal he feels about it. I've seen a few about faces at that point.
Just make sure he is able to finish his commitment, that would be a killer for your relations with him.
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post #6 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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See Richard, that's where I am torn, doing commercial work was never discussed as I never thought about it with the hobby aspect of it in my mind. I think that is what bothers me about it is the presumption, it just bothers me that he has just taken it upon himself to go full tilt in this regard. I really cannot describe him to you, but I seriously think the kid thinks he has a right to stuff, if know what I mean. I don't mean to make that sound harsh, but lets say you have a cheeseburger, and you are done halfway through so you set it down. He is the kind of guy that will pick it up and presume that your going to let that cheeseburger go to waste and consume it cause its his right.

That's kinda how he sees this shop, from what I pick up. I am not using it to make money, so why should he let that opportunity go to waste. I think were talking two different world views, and that is why I am trying to do this as softly as I can, as our relationship is, not rough, but fragile.
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post #7 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 01:38 PM
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Try this,

Well I know it wasn't mentioned before but your using my shop for buisness kind of bothers me. I know you started this job and can use the money so finish this job, but no more unless its for your own personal projects. I hope you understand.

Last edited by rrbrown; 04-20-2009 at 01:47 PM.
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post #8 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrbrown View Post
First lets see did you say he could use your shop for his personal projects or was it more general as in You can use my shop as long as these 2 rules are followed. If this is a one time thing and he had a chance to make a little extra money to help with his honeymoon what harm would there be in letting him do it. Now If this came up again then I would say you should have a discussion ith him about it.
This is basically what I was thinking. I understand and I wouldn't like my sister (no brother) bringing in a commercial job either. IF IT WERE ME, I would let this one go and not make a big deal out of it.

BUT, I would be telling him not to do that again. It's wasn't part of the rules you laid out up front but you never expected him to be using YOUR tools for commercial work. It was presumptuous on his part too. But I wouldn't make a big deal and damage the relationship. Just make it clear your don't want that going on again. Personal projects only.
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post #9 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate1778 View Post
I think that is what bothers me about it is the presumption, it just bothers me that he has just taken it upon himself to go full tilt in this regard. I really cannot describe him to you, but I seriously think the kid thinks he has a right to stuff, if know what I mean. I don't mean to make that sound harsh, but lets say you have a cheeseburger, and you are done halfway through so you set it down. He is the kind of guy that will pick it up and presume that your going to let that cheeseburger go to waste and consume it cause its his right.
Seems like this isn't really about the job. It's about something much more long-standing, probably historical, about something you don't like about your brother and/or times in the past when he's done similar things to you.

In any case, you'll have a few options. The first is to tell him how his actions make you feel, which is likely the one you'll have to get to anyways if this is long-standing. The second is to recognize that you can't control your brother's character, and any attempt to try to control his character or otherwise change him is not only futile but may likely harm the relationship. Third, you can set boundaries for yourself. After all, they're your tools (ETA: I'm willing to bet you'd feel very different about all of this if your brother simply asked you if this job would be okay). Probably a combination of these options would work out best. Just my .02.

Regarding some of the suggestions above, I'd recommend against trying a "how do you like it" approach and I definitely recommend against transforming your relationship into a business relationship.

Last edited by Streamwinner; 04-20-2009 at 03:12 PM.
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post #10 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Good advice, I am just going to have to sit down with him as we drink my beer and have a chat. I love the guy, and maybe feel the need to let him use my shop cause quite honestly I wasn't the nicest big brother to him coming up.

Other than this he has been good as gold in the shop. When he dulls it he takes it up and gets it sharpened, he puts money in the "Wood jar" when he uses some of my stock. I guess its just the presumption that bothers me. Oh well, there siblings so I got to love em.
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post #11 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 03:22 PM
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Those are some Winning suggetions Stream!

I'm in the camp that says Business is Business, If you're gonna do Business in my shop then a fair cut would be: fill in the blank______$ Brother, dear, your share of the heat, light, water, wear and tear, amoritzation is a % of the "profit" which is fill in the blank_____$ OR.... you could say "Brother, let my Wedding gift to you be_____fill in the blank. It ain't gonna be easy, but it's not worth a family feud either. What about a litte between us men contract which spells out any of the above. Sweet and Simple. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #12 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 03:38 PM
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I see (and understand) your predicament, but at the end of the day, people are more important than things. And at the end of your "day", that's how people will remeber you. Just something that I try and keep in mind in my life (but it's hard sometimes!). Hope you get it worked out!

I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.
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post #13 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rrbrown View Post
Try this,

Well I know it wasn't mentioned before but your using my shop for buisness kind of bothers me. I know you started this job and can use the money so finish this job, but no more unless its for your own personal projects. I hope you understand.

I like this approach best. It's to the point. If he can't understand this, change the locks.

Red

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post #14 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 05:00 PM
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sounds a little like a father son relationship. My kids borrow stuff and its theirs until I come looking for it after I have wasted time looking for it at my place. Frustrating but it is just part of being familly. Commercializing your shop for his own profit, and there probably wouldn't be a profit after the overhead figured, is overstepping in my book. I think he would understand that if discused logically. Dean
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post #15 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 06:13 PM
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Being your younger brother, I suggest a full nelson, a noogie, and maybe a heavy duty wedgie.

Well, that's what my older brothers would do to me, anyway.
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post #16 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 07:09 PM
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To paraphrase my favorite author:

A conservative thinker may do anything except that which is legally forbidden; A liberal individual may do nothing except that which is legally permitted.

Judging from your comments, maybe commercial work needs to be forbidden.
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post #17 of 25 Old 04-20-2009, 08:46 PM
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I happily offer my brother the use of my shop 24/7. He is the only brother I have and we have always been a very close knit family all of our lives. I also had a lifelong friend that did some limited woodworking and always was borrowing tools. I did not particularly like lending tools and it use to aggrivate me whenever he asked to borrow something.
He died about 4 years ago and I always try to put in into perspective of how completely trivial it was of me to not share my tools. Tools can easily be replaced. How easily can you replace your best friend or brother?????

Who Dat...Every step of any project should be considered your masterpiece if you want the finished product to reflect the quality of your work. Have a nice day, unless you have other plans! "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."
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post #18 of 25 Old 04-21-2009, 03:23 PM
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Nate,

Interesting dilemma. Here's how I'd handle it. Let it go this time, but after he gets back from his honeymoon, sit down with and talk it out. Let him know that you feel like he's abused your good nature. Also let him know that he can still use the shop but if he does it for hire, you get to charge him something for his time in the shop. A "rent" for the time he uses your shop in profit projects, if you will.

I think this will still allow you the "brotherly goodness" of allowing him free use of your shop without making him feel jilted and also without him walking on you.
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post #19 of 25 Old 04-21-2009, 06:57 PM
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I agree with Frank. I don't want to say "you worry too much", but "you worry too much." Heck, if I had the opportunity to spend time with my brother in my shop,,,, I'd buy the beer! If he takes care of your tools and reasonably tries to stay outta your way - what's the harm. I also agree with a previous post that suggested waiting to see how he would feel about his first big tool purchase. See if he will spring for the next special tool you need.
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post #20 of 25 Old 04-21-2009, 07:44 PM
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just tell him you didn't expect he would be running a business out of YOUR shop when you offered him to use it.... and that once he is married and all that is behind him, you feel like there should be some compensation - like covering the cost of blades and knife sharpening, etc.... and that you expect him to perform regular maintenance on all the machines to keep them in good working order.
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