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Thu, Apr. 8th, 2010, 02:09 pm
Quick one for once

As I just wrote on my Facebook thing, I've come to realize that I thrive on challenge and uncertainty. This thought was brought about by my work today. I'm staining wood which is vastly more difficult to do (properly) than one would think. I'm not even talking about doing it as meticulously as I do most things, I'm just trying to get it to turn out decently.

A list of things I'm having to learn all at once, with no guarantee that any of it will lead to steady income:
1. How to use a table saw
2. How to rout different types of wood
3. Getting consistency between different molding runs
4. How to stain and otherwise finish wood
5. Knowing the properties of different woods
6. How to go from talking to frame shops to having them actually show my samples and buy stuff
7. Pricing my work
8. How to market my work
9. How to set up a shop with very little space

Numbers 3,6, and 7 are proving to be the most difficult and time-consuming so far. Number 3 is the scariest one, as I cannot expect to do this for very long if I can't get consistency between runs. I have to be able to make a particular profile of a certain color, sell it to a store, and then make the exact same profile of that color three months later. I'm getting better at it but it's quite difficult when you're talking about 32nds of an inch, 64ths in some cases.

As I told my mom yesterday, little things become apparent, like measuring. It isn't just "pull a tape measure and look" by any means. I use a ruler when I can, have to make sure it's flat and straight, and then I have to factor in the width of the damn marks on it! A pair of marks on my ruler add to be about a 32nd of an inch. That's just for length. Every bit on my router has to be set to a certain depth, which is another source of error, along with the setting of the fence, though that is more forgiving.

In other words, it's tough, but I absolutely have to have a challenge (or two, or a hundred) in order to feel right. I could take the easy way like most people and get a normal job but I wouldn't be happy. I'm not happy that I'm not making real money from this now, but these things take time, and I AM happy with the work that I am doing right now.

Speaking of such work, I'm going to get back to it now.