What do you do for a living? - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 1084 Old 10-30-2006, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Welcome everyone. Don't be afraid to jump in with whatever questions you may have.

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
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post #22 of 1084 Old 10-30-2006, 09:57 PM
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stone house rebuilder

I retired in December of 2004 and immediately started on one of the family houses which hadn't had occupants for thirty years. Built in about 1835, it has a solid foundation, roof and beams, but the rest had to go. The first winter was a struggle to get windows and doors built; then came the flooring in the spring. Last winter it was kitchen cabinets, a great way to spend to cold months. At the moment I'm scrambling to rebuild the rest of the upper floor (rafters and studding, glass and board).

One of these years we will move in.

I buy my white pine studding from a local farmer with a pto-driven sawmill. He cuts my material to order from entire trees stored in a beaver pond. If I want nine foot studs, no problem. Fifteens? how many?

The wood is understandably heavy and wet, but it remains very straight as it dries and doesn't get sticky with resin the way green pine normally does.

Has anyone else worked with wood from submerged logs?
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post #23 of 1084 Old 10-31-2006, 12:48 AM
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I own a cabinet door shop. I love working with wood, but it seems i have less and less time for it because I take care of everything on the "business" side of getting everything done. I really stress customer relations which is rare in the business (you know if you deal with a lot of these companies they probably dont even know your name) but i feel that it is important to keep up with all your customers. I also try to give the lowest price possible so i charge what they are worth (unlike other places) but anyways, i really like working with wood when im not "taking care of things". I like making HIGH QUALITY pieces, using exotic woods (which is useually left over lumber from our high end jobs) I have a lot of experience in the area, i started out trimming then a cabinet shop/specialty woodworking. I hope this site becomes more of a pro-woodworking site, on other forums some of the hobby folks ruin the site by just being . Not saying anything bad about anyone, if they are serious its ok but on some particular sites (which i will not name because i dont know if woodworkingtalk would like that) post jokes and comical movies all day, ruining the site for people really interested in woodworking. Im going to see how it goes, hope to see more of you guys.
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post #24 of 1084 Old 10-31-2006, 07:15 AM
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Wow... I feel a bit out of place.

I'm a web designer. Every once in a while, I get to un-ass myself from my desk and go refinish something. This last spring and summer, I put in new floors downstairs (all by myself ... I'm really proud of that).


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post #25 of 1084 Old 10-31-2006, 07:40 AM
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I am a self employed remodeler & cabinetmaker.
I worked for a for a local remodeling company for 17 years & did woodworking on the side. I have been self employed for the last 14 years.

Last edited by Chris R.; 11-01-2006 at 10:55 PM.
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post #26 of 1084 Old 10-31-2006, 08:45 AM
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Well after working for 45 years I decided I'd had enough. After a few years of screwing around I became an automechanic cause I loved racing cars. After 20 years of that I went into computers and after 20 years of that I just quit. I was 58. What I didn't tell you was that My grandfather made his living building furniture at the turn of the century and beyond. At 12 my father turned me loose on a table saw, jointer and router. I have been in love with building furniture and repairing and restoring furniture for the last 51 years. The LOML still works and has 5 years to go before she quits. I have a small business that I do what I want when I want and make a bit of $$ to pay for tools and materials etc... I do about 25% building new, and the rest repairs and restoration. My biggest issue is that my shop is only 500 sqft. I need about twice that plus a finish room.

Good Luck
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post #27 of 1084 Old 10-31-2006, 09:48 AM
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Home Improvments and Remodeling ... wood working is a hobby and something that I truly love to work with
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post #28 of 1084 Old 10-31-2006, 03:39 PM
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Guess I am another wood non-professional here. I am a Plumber/steamfitter/welder by trade. Working in my shop is my relaxation. Not doing anything fancy yet and am acquiring tools as the budget allows. Read a lot of Woodworking books and try some of the easier stuff. I have been very satisfied with most the stuff I have made. I know I will ask lots of questions here.

If you have never made a mistake, you probably haven't done much.
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post #29 of 1084 Old 10-31-2006, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Majakdragon View Post
I am a Plumber/steamfitter/welder by trade. .
I was a 3rd generation (L.U. 65, Decatur Il.) plumber/pipefitter/welder. I worked for one company from day one of my apprenticeship for 12-13 years and started my own plumbing/welding shop and did hot water heat...then it turned into a home improvement business with an electrician buddy of mine. We did plumbing/heating/electrical service and kitchen/bath remodels. I got TOTALLY sick of the service work, but there just is not much new contruction around here so between service and additions and remodels I stayed busy.

I bought a sawmill because I was building my own house, the rest is history. I closed the plumbing shop and started custom milling (not portable, just here) and what woodworking I could manage with my limited experience. I never did really like the plumbing trade all that much, I was good at it and made good money, but I got to a point in my life that I decided to do something that makes me happy...making sawdust is that thing. I would not say I am making a great living in the wood business, but getting up every morning and looking forward to what you do for that living is priceless as far as I am concerned.
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post #30 of 1084 Old 10-31-2006, 06:25 PM
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Grew up in construction, went to Tech. high school, went into business after high school roofing and siding, then into Framing business for twenty something years, meanwhile spec building thru the 80's and 90's. Started buying Iron and trucks while spec. building which brings me to where I am today. Excavation manager for a Modular Home building co. Love woodworking when I get the time.
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post #31 of 1084 Old 10-31-2006, 06:56 PM
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its been a long hall

Started wooking in cabinet shops when i was 17 ,i was lucky to have worked side by side with some good cabinet makers (bosses).learned quite a bit from each one.working as a cabinet installers helper taught me an awful lot,learned all the basic carpentry skills,at which point i decided to expand my horizons (and my wallet).Started taking on some work for the weekends.I then decided to work for myself full time,pay scale wasn't moving with the times.My first job was a renovation for the owner of one of the largest bus companies on long island(which i happend to know of as a friend).after about a year i decided to do more, i met an owner of a local fence company who recomended i start installing fence and railings,he's been feeding me work ever since.I've learned the hard way to take advantage of winter = indoor work and summer = outdoor work.Now i try to schedule most of my indoor work towards the colder months and take advantage of PVC railings & fence,decks,windows sidding ect in the summer months,for the most part it works out.don't get me wrong i do freeze my B-lls off on outside winter jobs once and a while.Its been 20 years now and i guess i'm doing something right (i don't live in a cardboard box yet).Its been a long hall.

"You must become one with the wood grass hopper"
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post #32 of 1084 Old 11-01-2006, 01:33 AM
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Since the 70's I've been selfemployed... Carpentry, remodelling, roofing, additions, etc...snow plowing during winter months, then started doing Decorative Painting in residential high homes, got really good at it and stayed there for many years.

Never left the woodworking really, but about 6 years ago I invested in machinery (the stuff beyond my carpentry tools). 8" jointer, 15" planer, shaper and tooling, two band saws, good dust collection... clamps! Made some very nice peices for some of my clients, all solid wood pieces. Solid stile & rail raised panels and doors built-ins. And of course my finishing skills dovetailed, Some ups and downs there.

Finally I decided to take my acumulate skills, and do a complete rehab of my house. After two years of doing only the basic jobs a week at a time in order to pay my bills and maybe invest in another machine as could be afforded, the rest of the time building a new kitchen, matching and adding more cabinets, milling all new base and casing, new granite floors, new powder room, sky light where ever I could get them to fit, etc, etc, we sold the place for a nice proffit! The whole plan was to move and reinvest and build new construction (after a condo rehab/sale).

The wife is working and I, since May am building every day now. Pretty much working alone (I did have helpers on Saturdays and Sundayslast month). The rough framing is more or less done with a few changes comeing, but I have a felted roof, sides wrapped, doors and windows in. Roof will be shingled in two weeks. When Nicor installs my meeter, I will have heat in the three-car-gararge (shop). In the shop, I will be milling all casings and crowns (4" and 5.5" respectivly, building the kitchen (solid lumber) and all built ins... and especially the furnature pieces with will be used a vanities, Everything will be milled from scratch and made on on site, encluding the upstairs stairs. I have not decided if I'm going to manufacture the interior doors, yet. I'm 55 and I ach like a mutha! I have all of the electrical to do, and some of the plumnbing and all the copper.. and the dreaded insulation and drywall...but you see I know howe to do these things, so why pay someone else? I will post a picture of what I have done this summer and fall.


I want the house to be a show house that anyone can come over to see my shop and workmanship. I just orderd a table saw (bit the bullet) and will be oredering a Willima & hussey moulder or A Shop Fox moulde for my own profiles,Who knows, maybe I can do some moulding runs for builders doing high end homes... we;ll see.

So I have a lot of woodworking to do, and as the house materializes,,, well see:)

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post #33 of 1084 Old 11-01-2006, 06:08 PM
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Mechanical engineer. I design conveyor systems for automobile production. Would love to get out of this business !
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post #34 of 1084 Old 11-02-2006, 12:30 AM
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Howdy, I'm a finish carpenter out in mesa arizona. I am constantly looking for people to network with out here, so if your from the valley, or know some one who is, let me know. I enjoy working with wood, but for me its all about the money. kinda sad to say. I was on ontractortalk.com, but there was too much off-subject talk, and the work is very different here in Arizona compared to back east, where it seemed like 80% of the people were from. I was the king of crown on contractor talk, still do the crown molding, but I've discovered that there is more money in high-end doors, so that is what I am focussing on.

One thing that i would really like to see is a region button, because the work really is so different here in the southwest, especially California and Arizona. Just a thought.

peace out homely!
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post #35 of 1084 Old 11-02-2006, 12:32 AM
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nice to have you here... welcome!
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post #36 of 1084 Old 11-02-2006, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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Welcome Desert Door and Trim. I agree that things are done differently in different parts of the country but as long as they don't try to cram their way of doing things down my throat, I'm always willing to learn something new. If I think it is better or quicker I have no problem with trying it. I don't believe that one person has all of the answers. Well maybe TomR but he'll tell ya.:icon_wink:

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
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post #37 of 1084 Old 11-02-2006, 01:30 PM
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I'm retired now but before I used to build Shell gas stations in the Chicago area,did all the carpentry and plus some.Ken
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post #38 of 1084 Old 11-03-2006, 01:13 AM
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Movie Theater manager
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post #39 of 1084 Old 11-03-2006, 11:25 AM
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Cabinet Making(Woodshop) teacher at local high school. I also teach CAD(AutoCAD 2006) there as well. Thus, I have access to a very nice wood shop and I did not have to spend my money on the tools and machines!!

I have around 25 kids in Cabinet Making every year, I try to limit the class size to 8 per hour. Helping 8 kids on different projects can be trying. I should have lots of pictures to post as the year goes on.
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post #40 of 1084 Old 11-03-2006, 03:35 PM
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Great to see diversity here, as for me,

I'm working on my license in Architecture. Finally finished school, now New York State requires a 3 year apprenticeship.

Trying to start up a custom furniture business on the side for now.

I can't seem to find any furniture in the store that is the correct size/shape/etc. for what I need so I end up making it.
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kitchen cabinets, trim

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