It does get easier

This is a rambler. There was no alcohol consumed during the writing of this and no animals were harmed, but you may want to think about it if you get through this (drinking that is, not harming animals). I have been building furniture professionally for 23 years now and wondered many times over the first few years whether or not I could make a living at this. After about 5 years, I was able to quit my part time jobs and just build furniture. I remember the great feeling that I had when I was able to pay all of my bills and have a bit left over for fun, all from doing something that I really liked to do. There were a bunch of years where I had to make it by way of lifestyle choices that made for very low overhead. Bartering for shop space, then living in that bartered-for shop space, living on a 25′ sailboat(leaking) with only sitting headroom. Having very cold workshops (shops#5, 12, and 13), not being able to hold a plane for a while until the woodstove got going enough. Burning bags of sawdust for heat. Thinking about getting a horse because it probably would not get stuck on the way to my shop (#5). Thinking about getting a tractor because it would need a bit less care than a horse. This idea came from an old man I knew who drove around on an old Farmall tractor because he lost his drivers license. In the end, driving old cars(still). Cars that others are throwing away, sailing old boats that others are throwing away or have already thrown away. Building a house of straw so that I could afford to have a house. And , that house, in it’s simplicity saves money and allows for the building of a workshop with radiant heat (finally). Nothing fancy but this is shop number 14 in about as many years getting to it. To afford that, it is all done out of pocket. No hired help. That was 8 years ago. There is always the thought of adding on, building a garage etc but at least now there is not the day to day struggle that there was years back. When we begin on our own it is lucky that we are strong and maybe not so smart. The struggle was half the fun back then. Now it is great to have time to pick up my son from school every day, take guitar lessons with him, coach his soccer team and be able to save up enough money to travel to Thailand to adopt a little girl to complete our family. Ok, maybe it does not get easier, but it keeps getting better. And here are a couple shots of the last order that shipped off to Ireland last week.


1 thought on “It does get easier

  1. David

    A realy nice post, I feel Like I’m in the same boat as you in term of your begening… I just started alost a year ago at age 37 in a shop that is 10×10 using only hand tools and I love it! I can’t say I’m making money yet but I love to be at home with my 17months old daughter and do some work when I can!
    Thank you for your post, it shows me that it is possible!


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