Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Professional Woodworker?

As a hobby woodworker and blogger, you may note that at times there is a break between posts.  My intention is to post every week, but occasionally life gets in the way.  No apologies, but an explanation of how I work.  Perhaps someday I can become a full time hobbyist, but not yet.

Notice I did not say professional woodworker.

Having been a professional musician, I know what is required of a professional craftsperson.  I would like to keep wookworking fun, and be able to do what I want to do.  I have no ambition to do this as a profession.  As a professional, there are deadlines, compromises of all sorts, and when someone pays you for a commission, it may not be what you want to do so much as what the customer wants.

There are many out there who do this, and I think it is great, don't get me wrong.  I want to do things my way, for enjoyment's sake, on my own (slow) pace.

At least for now.

OK, less soapbox, more woodworking:


  1. My sentiments too. I like making what I want, when I want, and moving at a pace I want. I tried the pro thing and it sucked the life right out of my desire to work wood.

    1. Hi Ralph,

      I think you said it best. I have nothing against professionals, and I would love to make a living at it, but I would want to do it my way.

      What do you do when someone says they will pay a bunch of money for something, and they want it sooner than you feel comfortable? Take the money and make shortcuts, or don't take the money and go hungry?

      Right now I am having a blast working wood, making my own mistakes, and taking my time. I don't have to use biscuits and I can complicate things way beyond what would be a reasonable amount of labor to pay for, as my labor is cheap on my own projects. I can't imagine it any other way for me.

  2. I agree.

    I changed the roof on our barn toghether with an apprentice carpenter. I told him that I had always wanted to build a house the old fashioned way, with through mortises and timberframing joinery. He couldn't even pretend that it could be interesting. His response was that a metal fastener was quicker and just as strong. Perhaps he is right, but it wouldn't be as satisfying for me to do it that way. The same goes for the other parts of woodworking. There was a quote in an issue of WWM. I can't remember by whom, but it goes like this:
    What I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me.

    1. Perfectly said.

      I would love to be a professional woodworker if I could do it with no compromises. So, as soon as I figure that out, I'm outa here!