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Old 12-31-2018, 10:56 AM   #1
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Multi-function Euro combination machine by Felder including a sliding table saw, jointer, planer, sliding shaper, & horizontal boring machine. My wife at the time nearly killed me after going out shopping for a contractor table saw and coming home with this...

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Old 12-31-2018, 12:19 PM   #2
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Very nice - but it canít fit in your pocket.
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:48 PM   #3
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How this related to painting was that I had been painting a house and the client wanted a custom built bar, their woodworker having gone MIA. The clients knew very well that I've never so much as cut a piece of framing lumber, yet were insistent on having me design and build it with "my hands". The reason they were insistent on having me do it was that we were having Chinese food for lunch one day, the client's Mrs' fortune cookie reading on one side, "畫家 Painter", on the opposing side reading "It's time for a change". They felt that it was karma, issuing me a rather large deposit on the spot. Ended up picking up the combi along with other equipment and tooling. Fabricated everything out of rough sawn cherry, ran all the profiles, only thing I didn't fabricate was the cherry ply for carcass interiors. The project paid for all the equipment/ materials and there was still a nice chunk of profit on the top. I've attached some not so good pics of it in process w/just sealer on it. The leaded glass upper doors and appliances aren't pictured.

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Old 12-31-2018, 01:33 PM   #4
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Thatís a cool story and the craftsmanship looks every bit as good as some of the custom cabinet shops Iíve worked with. Have you continued to pursue this type of work?

One of my goals this year is to slowly move more into GC or custom wood working. Iím still trying to get my ducks in a row and figure out if pursuing a program at a local technical college would be worthwhile. Or maybe hire on with one of the GCís I work with. Either way, itís a long term goal that Iím pursuing because I know I canít be in the bucket forever. Iím 37.


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Old 12-31-2018, 06:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW Painter View Post
That’s a cool story and the craftsmanship looks every bit as good as some of the custom cabinet shops I’ve worked with. Have you continued to pursue this type of work?

One of my goals this year is to slowly move more into GC or custom wood working. I’m still trying to get my ducks in a row and figure out if pursuing a program at a local technical college would be worthwhile. Or maybe hire on with one of the GC’s I work with. Either way, it’s a long term goal that I’m pursuing because I know I can’t be in the bucket forever. I’m 37.


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One place where you could start is simply by reading. There’s a lot of theory and technical know-how on custom woodworking that you could acquire just by reading and joining woodworking forums. You'd be surprised at how many woodworkers, carpenters, and GC's are lacking in very basic wood and joinery knowledge. As far as gaining hands-on experience, you’d need to define where you want to go with it. Working for a GC won’t expose you to as much in terms of the machinery, joinery, wood knowledge aspects as would working in a small, not too mechanized custom millwork shop.

I had a career lifelong painter of mine wanting to get out of the bucket at your age, having taken a 50% pay cut to apprentice with a Japanese master builder in the art form of Shinkabe joinery, my company having worked along side the Japanese master on a couple of different projects. The joinery techniques were of the highest level, involving building structures/houses without the use of steel fasteners, everything right down to the framing being done with musical instrument grade precision with just the use of basic hand tools. It was both a spiritual and inspirational experience for all of us. My former employee had no regrets with his decision.

I've done a number of custom cabinet, furniture, art, and door commissions since the one pictured, yet have stepped back from it due to life circumstances, just focusing on the finishing for now. I hope to resume some day, having been in the bucket now for 47 years...

Just remember to do what you like and are passionate about, and the money is always certain to follow.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:47 AM   #6
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Thanks for the advice. Itís always helpful to get input from others that traveled down a similar path.

Youíre spot on about apprenticing with a master craftsman. In the coming months Iím going to devote more time and energy to figuring out my future and the next steps.

Whatever I end up doing, I want to do it at a very high level. It will take time develop my skills and knowledge, but it will be well worth it in the future.


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