Wednesday, July 29, 2009


So, there's been a small whirlwind of activity lately. Things at the shop were very slow. Blame my inexperience as a business owner, lack of ability to market appropriately, or anything else you like, the truth is, the shop was struggling as an enterprise. And I needed to find a way to bridge the financial gap, so to speak.

Three weeks ago Tuesday, I found an ad on craigslist for a job that sounded interesting. I emailed, not really sure what I thought of the idea. Wednesday I heard back. Thursday I interviewed, and Friday I agreed to start the following Monday. The job is work with composite materials, building a prototype of some new green power generation equipment in a nearby shop that's part of a boatbuilding company. I don't know what I'm allowed to say, if anything, about who's who, what's what, etc, though I'll have to ask about that if I'm going to be able to say anything about it moving forward. The work is interesting at times, and not at others. It's kinda like woodworking in that regard. There's a lot of work cutting fiberglass cloth, which is itchy work. There's the layup, which is done dry in our case. And then the whole thing is vacuum bagged, and infused with resin. I'd done some vacuum bag work in school, but never anything like this, so I was intrigued. And I'm hoping that some of it will be useful in my furniture.

The work day at the boatyard starts at 6 and runs until 2:30 in the afternoon, which gives me enough time to go home, shower off the itchies, and bomb out to my shop before the rush hour crowd arrives to park their cars on the highway. So I have the time to work in the shop. For now, I'm trying to figure out what that means. Lacking the ability to gauge my schedule at the moment, I've utterly thrown out the idea of commission work. I don't like open-ended schedules, and I don't like to commit myself to a project if I don't know when it'll be delivered. So, I'm pondering thoughts of working on things for myself, and/or small production run projects, so I can work both on production techniques, and on sales.

One of the other nice things about the boatyard job, the current project is a prototype, and assuming all goes well, we'll be moving into a larger scale production phase in due time, so I'll get to help set things up and get them going. I'll be part of a production machine that does require a human hand. And I'll get to learn a lot about composite work in the meantime. And hopefully some of that experience will transfer over to the furniture shop, too.

So, that's what's been going on with me. There are still projects in the works, but they'll be slow-moving for now. I have the occasional afternoon for the foreseeable future, since my weekends have all been occupied with various things for the next month or so. Once my girlfriend is back in school full time, I expect my schedule will loosen up a bit. But for now, I'll be taking my time, and trying to get things re-positioned in my life while I adapt to the current arrangement.

Thanks for reading so far, and I'll try to keep things coming at a reasonable enough rate that the blog is still interesting, and readable. I know there have been some long interludes in the past while I got things moved around, but I want to keep things in the shop going a lot more, I'm sure, than you want to read about them.