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A short time ago (a few days), I commented on a blog about selling and what to charge for hand made/custom made items. It started me to thinking about what's so out of whack with our society.

We basically live in a disposable or throw away society where people think the "IKEA" store and "Rooms To Go" have quality furniture. The heirlooms we pass on to our children are probably not something we purchased, but rather something we were fortunate enough to inherate from our grand parents.

After all, we worship athletes and are willing to give them millions of dollars to play a childs game on an adult level, while teachers, firefighters, and police officers work two or more jobs so they can afford to work their chosen profession and provide for their families. People are willing to pay for entertainment and something that is quick and easy to put together out of a box, rather than buy a piece of hand crafted solid wood furniture that took a craftsman many hours to build.

People are willing to spend several hundred dollars for one afternoon at a football game, but cringe when the price of a new sofa is over $200. Fast and easy to assemble seems to be the way things are today. My grandfather who passed away in 1955 was a carpenter. He built houses using a hand saw, hammer, hammer/hatchet, level, framing square and twine. No power tools that were portable. He had a shop with a few power tools where he built stuff for fun. When each grand child turned 7, he gave them a desk made from cypress or cedar and unfortunately he died months before it was my turn to get a desk. My cousins all still have those desks.

As far as where this is going, well, I'm not sure. If I'm lucky enough that someone likes what I have made then I will charge whatever the market will bare. I'm not greedy, but I do think my time is worth something. If I make something and it doesn't sell, then I'd rather give it away to a friend or family for them to enjoy. Woodworking is not a cheap hobby, or profession and I think that the craftsmen and women that I've seen on this site deserve whatever they can get for the beautiful work they have done.

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Comment by Gene Maiorano on May 18, 2010 at 10:53am
The man has a gift for expressing a lot of peoples sentiments, mine included.
Keep it coming!
Comment by Jens Jensen on April 16, 2010 at 9:13am
I would have to agree on Build More Heirlooms,The finish on there was good old tung oil .In fact I should rub it again its been many years since last done.
Comment by Steve McCullough on April 15, 2010 at 3:52pm
Those are great looking chairs and I hope you signed and dated them. No more use than they get weekly, they should last for centuries, not just a few years.
Comment by Pete Ticknor on April 15, 2010 at 1:40pm
The chairs I made for the church will serve them for years. Real wood and real heart went into them. The first time I saw them in the church I knew I had done a good job on them. The first was for the Pastor then they wanted two more. These I made for cost of materials only.
Comment by Steve McCullough on April 15, 2010 at 11:31am
Beautiful piece. Maybe our battlecry should be "Build More Heirlooms"....
Comment by Jens Jensen on April 15, 2010 at 10:49am


This dresser was built by my Grandfather in Denmark and my father used it for many years and II ended up with it in the60's.Trouble was it had been painted so I started working on it for a long time. The drawer joints are all hand cut dovetails.
Now you don't even see this type of furniture in the recycle stores (IKEA or Wally world) that carry press wood or veneered furniture. Look at drawer fronts all hand cut wheat pattern sure you can see a slip of the cutting tool but that makes it realistic and shows that man is not perfect like a computerized machine set to do mans job. Enough said pass your heirlooms down
Comment by Kim C on April 14, 2010 at 8:17am
I totally agree! Instant gratification has ruined our society!
The time and heart put into woodworking is appreciated by very few. When we started remodeling our house I had a yard sale and sold every piece of junk we had (imagine my husband's wide eyes when he came home). I decided I would rather have it out of the way and start fresh with quality items. (I did keep the good stuff) It may be 5 years before it can all be replaced but at least my two kids will have something when I am gone.
Comment by Robert J Guidry Sr on April 13, 2010 at 8:52am
I also agree with you. I only make things for family and friends. If someone complains about being expensive, most of my work is for materials only, I tell them that real wood is not cheap. If they want cheap go to WalMart and get pressboard.
Comment by Shawn Gerardy on April 13, 2010 at 8:37am
A-M-E-N!!!! Wow, finally someone thinks like me. Very great point... I agree 1000%.

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