So, I finally made the transition from Hawaii to the East Coast, and in about 4 weeks I will move into a small twin in the Mainline area outside of Philadelphia. I have been going back and forth: Should I shut down & sell off my wood or should I rebuild a new shop to keep dabbling in occasional woodworking. I decided to give it another try, but there will be a few changes - and I will need some help.
Compared to the previous years, I will take on less custom orders and focus more on making what I like and hoping to sell the occasional piece. Chasing the time to fill orders had turned this from fun into work, and my health situation had kept me from staying on top of things in the past. The new situation will be very different:
- I have a new job and a life situation that I am very happy with, and while there is never a good way to predict what the 'black dog' depression might do, I have a much more positive outlook right now.
- I can set up a wood shop in my basement. This not only saves me from driving 8-12 miles to the shop after a full work day while clinically depressed - as it was the last years in Hawaii - it also keeps the overhead down a little bit.
- I am on a 9-month contract, ie I have a lot more time and flexibility over the summer to dedicate time to woodworking.
- I will limit custom orders so that for those orders I do take on, I expect the turnaround times to be faster than the ridiculous wait times I had in the past.
- I still want to make wa handles, but I know there are a lot of makers who have recently entered the scene, so people have alternatives. That is fine with me; with the lower overhead I have less pressure to sell things (in Hawaii I needed to sell about 100 handles per year just to break even), and I can play around more, trying out other things.
With all that said, I need help with setting up a new shop, ie I need to raise funds to buy some tools I either did not have or left behind because moving them from Hawaii for $3/pound would have been stupid... Here is what I am offering:
- I will accept custom orders for wa handles for a limited time.
- If you pre-pay the handles by April 15, each custom handle will be either $40 off (ie $95 for a 'basic' handle design made from premium materials) or you pay the regular handle price and I will cover rehandling and return shipping.
- I will only accept a maximum of 20 custom handle orders in this run to make sure I can finish them within a 'reasonable' time frame.
- The way my summer shapes up, I hope to set up the new tools in the new house by mid-May at the latest. Mid-May / after the ECG I will be traveling to Germany to see my family, first time since 2013, expecting to return around June 10. After that I can spend a significant chunk of time in the wood shop, and I guarantee that the handles whose design has been decided on by the end of April will be done by August 20 or I will reimburse 50% of the price. I honestly expect to be done earlier, but I have been off before, so there is a bit of a safety zone in this.
- I will be generous - within reason - regarding the pricing, and all materials are fair game with two exceptions: 1) For this specific run I would like to limit it to handles without metal spacers; 2) I would like to limit it to materials I already have available - and that is a ridiculous number of options...
- If you are interested, please send me a PM and we can start talking about details. And if you need design ideas, please look at the threads in this section and the picture gallery.
All the funds raised will be invested in tools: My new landlord agreed to me setting up a wood shop, but asked that I set up a dust collector. I also need a new drill press, a small compressor, and a disc sander plus a few other small items. Selling 20 pre-paid handles should cover most of that; if there are fewer pre-paid orders, I will hopefully wing it somehow, but the more I can cover, the less stressful this would be...
I know that there are others now who offer similar products, and I am aware that during my health struggles I have probably lost the trust of people who waited for a long time to get things from me - I am still in the process of cleaning up some of the last few messes I caused. All I can say is that I see major changes in my life situation, and I will approach this with much more energy and focus than I have had in a long time.
This pleases me
Sounds like a good plan, hope this all works out well for you
Thanks everyone. Looks like there is some interest, I received a few PMs but some said they are thinking about 'a few', so I don't have specific numbers, yet. I will get back to everyone after work today. Just one small thing: if you are ordering from outside the US, that is fine with me but please keep in mind that there may be added shipping costs.
Can you rehandle an old frogecraft carbon to one of your Wa handles
I don't see why not. It's a bit of extra work to grind the tang down for a wa handle, but once that is done it's the same process.
Originally Posted by MyScarGo
I'm in for two if there is still space.
I'm in for one (1) if at all possible Stefan - let me know. I will pre-pay for mounting and shipping.