Depends on how you account for labor. I just make an oak dining room table
using wood I bought for about $50 and $10 worth of supplies. I expect it
would retail for about $1,000. Now, if you figure in the 100 hours of labor
I put into it...
I just completed an ellipse jig that cost me ~$20 to make. A
commercial one of similar size is around $160. I came out ahead on
If you look at www.furnituremaker.com, you'll see that Mr. Peart is
charging a lot for his work. I'm sure I could copy one of them for a
sum significantly less. It might take me a lot longer to make one
than he does, but still...
Be fair, it doesn't really matter. Knowing you built something from
scratch, knowing its an original "Who-ever-you-are" work makes it
almost priceless and worth it!
So what if you lose a bit money on it, the enjoyment (and frustration)
put into any project makes it a one off.
Long live the woodworker!
On 25 Oct 2006 00:13:24 -0700, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
The alternatives to a woodworking hobby would also cost money and some
might hurt your relationship.
Woodworking results in lots of personal benefits that one can't put a
price on, plus the results are almost always useful and beautiful.
Turning is one avenue that results in awesomely good looking results.
Can't put a price tag on the sense of accomplishment.
But I speak as a hobbyist, not a pro. It's different when WW puts
food on the table and clothes on your back. Same sense of
accomplishment but more urgency.
Sometimes... If you work for yourself. But when it was paying my
morgage, I had to do a lot of work I was not happy with, because
someone else was calling the shots. Along with the urgency, it robbed
a lot of the sense of accomplishment to know that I had to use
inferior materials or weak joinery to keep my job.
Thu, Oct 26, 2006, 3:58am (EDT-1) email@example.com (Prometheus)
<snip> I had to do a lot of work I was not happy with, because someone
else was calling the shots. <snip>
Oh yeah. My last military commander wanted me to design a
desk/work station for processing. No prob, how does he want it? Oh,
just do it your way. No prob. Came up with a design that would be
perfect. He didn't like it. OK, how does he want it? Oh, just do it
Went thru that crap 7 (seven) times until he finally approved the
design. Apparently he had a plan in his mind from the very begininning,
yet expected me to read his mind. Spent plenty of hours one it, and
ended up with a little fancier finish then the original desk, with all
its original deficiencies, and no gain in efficiency. work space, or
anything else. Extremely frustrating. Pretty much SOP with him.
It's not hard, if you get your mind right.
- Granny Weatherwax
In the UK wood is wasted,travelling around the area I live in will get me
an abundance of wood.
It might be old wardrobes,demolished houses with wood beams to be had.
But at the end of the day it can be recycled to make furniture.
On Wed, 25 Oct 2006 12:40:47 GMT, "The3rd Earl Of Derby"
I love that recycled wood. It's way better to do that than send it to
some landfill or a chipper.
I've recycled a couple of waterbeds. Some of the moldings in my house
are made of the rails from them. Some still await use. None go to
waste. Even the corner posts I couldn't use for a project are serving
time keeping stuff off the floor in the garage.
Yep, the wardrobes I'm on about are the very old type most of them where
made of mahogany,walnut and are still usable wide 7'x2'5" pieces.
However even the melamine wardrobes of today is still usable wood.
Take the 15 glass panelled doors for instance,the sides are made 1 5/16 x
4" of redwood and can still be salvaged for projects.
Sheesh! me pay for wood ya must be joking. lol
On Wed, 25 Oct 2006 07:15:03 -0500, "Charlie M. 1958"
Well, you don't really have to sneak. I've got a lot of free lumber
by asking homeowners if I can have the old stuff I've replaced at
their request when working at jobsites. It's usually pine, but you
can still build things with it. Turning blanks are always free for
the asking, in my experience, and hardwood can be bought in bulk from
a sawmill if you're willing to work with domestic species (birch and
maple cost less than knotty pine in my area) and let it air-dry in the
But that's not the real issue- I think you really can do it for a
fraction of the cost, even buying lumber from the lumberyard. A lot
of guys toss up the "If you pay yourself minimum wage" argument, but I
don't buy that. You don't "pay yourself minimum wage" to work on your
own house- you earn equity and enjoyment. Same with the furniture.
If you can build a desk for $200 in materials that will last the rest
of your life, you have to count the equity of knowing that you won't
have to buy another one of those ever again- and your time was free,
because it was for yourself and you enjoyed it. So maybe you could
have bought a $200 desk at the furniture store, but for that price,
you're not comparing apples to apples. You get a $200 desk made out
of particle board and plastic veneer that will fall apart if you move
it after the initial assembly. Go that route, and you'll be buying
plenty of them over time. Or you have to rank it against the one made
of (for example) solid quartersawn oak at the furniture store- if you
can even find one. At a conservative guess, I'd imagine one of those
goes for at least $1600.
All I can think is that most of you folks' time is somehow worth much
more than mine is. I couldn't work enough overtime in five years at
my current pay scale to furnish my entire house with someone else's
handmade furniture- but I could do it all in a year, without OT, with
the tools that are already bought and paid for in the basement. If it
weren't for them, all my furniture would be particle board, and most
of it wouldn't be able to do even the modest job assigned it.
It's a bargin from my viewpoint.
Thu, Oct 26, 2006, 3:52am (EDT-1) firstname.lastname@example.org (Prometheus)
<snip> But that's not the real issue- I think you really can do it for a
fraction of the cost, even buying lumber from the lumberyard. <snip>
You said it a lot better than I could.
I never could understand someone figuring in the cost of their
labor in making something for themselves. Woodworking must be the only
hobby where people do that.
It's not hard, if you get your mind right.
- Granny Weatherwax
On Thu, 26 Oct 2006 10:22:34 -0400, email@example.com (J T)
Nope- I've seen the same thing going on in metalworking forums, too.
But the funniest pay-yourself scheme I ever heard was from a carpenter
I worked with a while back. Here was his plan-
He was going to build his own house. Good idea so far. He had
already bought the land and owned a home. Still no problem. But
here's where it became rediculous- he didn't like working in the
cold, so he planned to sell his house and move into an apartment, take
a six month leave-of-absence during the peak of the construction
season, and pay himself $25 an hour with a loan from the bank.
Somehow, this brilliant plan was going to make him a lot of money in
his mind- after all, he'd be earning $25 an hour! (He was making $14
an hour at the time, and that's what he'd be going back to later)
If that isn't a recipe for bankruptcy, I don't know what is. Anyone
with a bit of sense would just have built the thing after work and on
the weekends- like everyone else I've ever known who built their own
Don't know how it worked out for him, because after I heard that
jewel, I stopped talking to him immediately. Couldn't say if complete
insanity is contageous or not, but I didn't want to risk it.
Fri, Oct 27, 2006, 5:09am (EDT-1) firstname.lastname@example.org (Prometheus)
<snip> But the funniest pay-yourself scheme I ever heard was from a
carpenter I worked with a while back. <snip>
I've got to admit, my jaw started dropping while I read that.
If it can't kill you, it ain't a sport.
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