From a Professional To a Hobbyist

Going from a professional woodworker to a hobbyist is easer said then done, and I am not sure I will ever really make that transition completely. I think in my mind I will always be trying to find a way to make money with my woodworking. Thirty years of habit is hard to break.

The hardest thing I am finding is motivation to do woodworking at all, because in the pass it was always a job that pushed me into the shop. Now I find my self kind of lost in thought, I mean I want to try some new things I haven’t gotten to explore in the pass but I find myself just sharpening my tools or designing dozen of different tables that might sell. It’s like I can’t bring myself to put tool to wood without the promise of payment. Maybe woodworking has been a job for me so long now I am afraid to let myself start enjoying the pleasures of it, and slow down and relax while I build a just for fun. When you do woodworking for a living and if you work for yourself everything you do relates back to money so you lost a lot of the enjoyment when you build and you take on a lot of stress. The pieces that you build are dictated by your customers, the time you spend working on it are dictated by the price you are getting paid for it, and in that there isn’t much room for enjoyment with the exception of job well done and a satisfied customer.

I am hoping with a little time I will find my way back to what brought me to woodworking in the first place, maybe I need to just go with it and follow my instincts and see where they take me. Maybe what my minds telling me is to go back to the beginning and work my way though from there, I purchased Chris Schwarz Workbenches Book and I am planning building a Roubo bench for myself. I also picked up several used planes, and hand saws at some yard sales that I have been restoring back to working condition to start using. I also plan to try different areas of styles woodworking that I haven’t gotten to try in the pass to see if one of them lights some sore of fire in me. I do know I enjoy carving and I have not gotten to do a lot of that in the pass so we’ll see what happens. I also would like to try my hand at making tools maybe make myself a couple of hand planes and my own saws and see where that goes and writing seems to excite as much as any building does so I really want to keep doing more how to articles in this blog not just my thoughts, so you can look forward to seeing more of that. So stay safe



2 thoughts on “From a Professional To a Hobbyist

  1. Perhaps to get incouraged you should make something from your heart for your wife. In making for someone else you can make for yourself. Knowing that you know longer are solely doing it for the money or client may be the difference in personal benefit.

  2. Hi Joey,You stopped by my blog at so I thought I would come check out yours.I am taken aback by this particular article. While I would love to make some money on my projects I do know I could not make a living doing what I am doing, but to hear you say that you have not got heart into your work anymore makes me real sad and I don’t even know you. I am so passionate in this new and unknown love of mine (Working with wood)I would hate it if I ever felt what you say you feel in this article. I think the other commenter here Adam may be onto something. I think hes got a real good idea there. This article sure gave me a lot to think about. I guess I would never make a professional woodworker if I had the ways and means, I love it too much. I personally would be devastated if I lost the spark that fires me. I suppose anything becomes a “job” if you have to do it to survive. Thanks for visiting my blog, I am going to subscribe to your feed. I liked the articles I have read so far. I am going back for more. Good Luck to you!

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