I will say it as I see it

Back in 1998, I started my clock making business. I worked very long hours for very little return. I did this until 2010, upon which I said to my wife that I need to get a job to make proper money. During that time, I never fully gave up on making clocks. Anything I made from them was extra money in my pocket. Besides me now working and making clocks, I studied 3d. I learned 3ds max, AutoCAD, inventor, Photoshop, illustrator, premier, word and excel. I became proficient in them all and couldn’t land a job to the lack of work experience and self-confidence. I stopped making clocks in 2017 and started the magazine. Now in 2021, I started woodworking professionally again, hoping things have changed and that I would make a decent living out of it. This is my life in a nutshell.

I’ve been hand tool woodworking since my early 20s. In 2010, I bought machinery for the first time. They lasted 12 months in my shop before I realised I never needed them to woodwork; I fell for the marketing garbage, like most of us do. I paid a hefty price for it because I lost money on the sales. In the meantime, I’m up early every morning, working every day in my shop, sawing, planing, chopping, gluing and cursing and I’m no better off than I was when I started in 1998. Actually, my skills have improved since, but this freedom I’ve read countless of times and getting off the conveyor belt hasn’t come to fruition. I cannot say there’s no money in it because there could be for you, but there’s no money in it for me. Does this mean I’ll give up? No, how can I give up the craft I love? It’s like when you’re trying to have a baby for years and then your doctor tells you she can’t have children. Would you then leave her? Well, not if you love her, and that’s the same with my craft.

I’m saying as I see it. There’s no money in the craft. There’s plenty of enjoyment and a good physical workout but actual money to where it will give you a normal life, UHM no. But there is for those who teach (popular teachers) and those that sell books and sell tools, but you to actually get something back from what they sold you, um, nope.

The internet is full of so many lies from the largest corporation to the smallest guy. People find a niche and then exploit it and the vulnerable fall for it. When people tell you not to go to university and get a degree, kindly tell them to piss off. That degree can land you a well-paying job that would support you and your craft, and now you have the best of both worlds.

Maybe in the USA you could make something out of the craft. Heck I know people who have made money from the stuff they’ve made there, but here in Australia it’s a hard sell to make it.

Don’t worry, nothing is changing here. I will continue to post like I always do because I want to pass on what I learn and what I know. I’m just venting.

5 thoughts on “I will say it as I see it

  1. Thank you for your post. In my mid 40’s, I wanted to evaluate what the last act of my career would be. One approach was sticking to what I was doing. The other possibility was to move into woodworking. After 6 years of woodworking (and now in my early 50s), I’ve decided to keep it as a hobby (a serious one) and to keep my day job. Probably the two biggest drivers were reading writings from Nancy Hiller and listening to the Against the Grain podcast. I don’t feel bad about this decision. I still get plenty of woodworking done and I get to make what I want vs. what a client may want.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Someone told me once the best way to make a small fortune in woodworking is to start with a large fortune. Unfortunately that’s true. We have become a “lowest price” culture where handmade quality is not valued. “When it breaks I’ll just buy another one.” It’s so sad that there is no appreciation for quality or craft.

    Liked by 1 person

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