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Scrolling For A Living ???

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  • Scrolling For A Living ???

    Just A Thought . Does Anyone In Here Scroll For A Living ??? I've Never Done A Major Show Like At The Smokies In Tenn. But I Do Ok In The Little Ones. I Have Been Thinking Of Giving It A Shot. Truth Is I Would Never Be Able To Keep Up With Product If It Took Off But I Could Do Enough To Suplement My Income With A Part Time Job. I Guess I'm Just Burnt Out On My Job And Am Looking To Do What I Really Love. Any Thoughts ? Tks, Rain Man

  • #2
    Rain -- I have had a saw shop as a living and the best I can say -- unless you are alreaDY RICH -- ARE SUPERMAN --IN PERFECT HEALTH - sawing full times Does cause severe health problems- I would suggest you just enjoy as much of this fine art and still keep your job as is humanly possible- I have had times that if there were 4 of me there wouldn't be enough hours in a day to get it all done. My family has even been put to work doing a lot of little things that need doing but yet takes time - es. sanding--tracing--painting ect. and still I wasn't fast enough on some things to do it proper. If you don't want to work on any given day or just want to go to the lumber yard-- that is taking time away from your saw-- saws are very demanding and a very jealous lot- they don't like to share you with anyone. But on the same time I have found that my shop has kept us off welfare- food stamps and that dredeeded repo man-- it even kept us afloat when the hubby was injured and couoldn't work.
    Now I love my sawing and I will fight to the last breath my saws right to run and I still control it.. But as far a dependable for a living -- well I wouldn't --- if it isn't fun anymore the burn out will show and resentment will set in...

    what wotks for some does not always work for others. This is just my experience with my shop '


    • #3
      Rain Man,
      As far as scrolling by itself for a living, can it be done? The short answer is yes. Of course, now the qualifiers.
      My wife and I are fortunate enough that she can stay home with my children. One of the primary reasons for this is that my scrolling business replaces the income she would otherwise bring into the household. It provides a decent second income. That being said, 99% of my time scrolling is business related. I've made 1 piece for myself in the last 3 years. I make 2 gifts a year for 2 of my nieces. I work on my regular job approximately 55 hours a week (including my 2 hours of commuting). I spend 20 - 30 hours in the workshop and another 5 - 10 hours designing a week. There are days where I just don't feel like doing anything, but I have to force myself to keep at it. I've spent weeks getting ready for fairs where my work day started at 5:00AM and ended at midnight only to go to the fair and make a few hundred dollars. I am slowly developing a small following of customers who seek me out at fairs, and this is my third year of doing them. Is it easy? Nope, but for me it is worth it. Would it be possible for me at this point to do this full time, yep, if I wanted to work 100+ hours a week. You also have to be willing to cut stuff you don't particularly care for, and sometimes a LOT of it. My love is extremely intricate scenic/portrait type cuttings, but these sell for quite a bit of money and not everyone can afford them. As a result, I find myself cutting simple little projects quite often that I can offer for $10 or so. Boring as heck, but they sell.
      A few of the key things I did early on was that I made sure everybody knew that this was a business. While I do give family a discount, nobody expects anything for free (nor does anyone get anything for free).
      This isn't meant to discourage you at all, just to let you know what to expect should you decide to pursue this. I have absolutely no regrets about the path I've chosen. One other thing to be aware of in my case is I also build custom made furniture and antique reproductions. These don't come very often but when they do they are quite a bit of money.
      Scrollsaw Patterns Online
      Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671


      • #4
        Kevin -- I had to take a second look at your post -- yeap --you said SECOND income -- I was refurring that you can but barely make it your Sole income. Rain didn't say if his wife works but he asked could he support his family on just his scrolling - I stand firmly behind ''Not as Sole income" -- there are both good times and hard times in sales and in the time you can spend working and without the extra cash flow for a family I still say make it a very profitable second income for yourself and family but rely on other money coming in as well.


        • #5
          I certainly agree with Sharon

          unless you are alreaDY RICH -- ARE SUPERMAN --IN PERFECT HEALTH - sawing full times Does cause severe health problems- I would suggest you just enjoy as much of this fine art and still keep your job as is humanly possible-
          I would never recommend anyone giving up their day job and expect to make a living at scrolling although one in a million have actually succeeded with it as a family affair. Cost of fuel and overhead and tool replacements and repair parts on tools and escalating prices of wood and accessories etc have reduced the profits considerably over the years. Peolpe don't want to pay any more now for our finished projects than they did ten years ago yet our expenses are sometimes making it hard to even break even.
          I am not trying to discourage you . I am just stating the facts as I see it for my particular area. Perhaps you live in an area that would make it economically viable. But that would just be temporarily for local sales until you reached a saturation point for your area for local sales. I would not recommend doing it full time unless you had some real good solid contracts in place where you knew you would be able to make a decent profit. You would also have to be prepared to work at it 10 to 12 hours a day.

          Over the years I have been approached to do contact work for thousands of pieces of boring repetitive cut outs but when it got right down to how much they would pay against the wear and tear on my equipment (and me) and the cost of the wood they wanted me to use , I turned down every offer like that when it came my way.

          If you decide to go full time I wish you all the best but I would never recommend anyone jump into it full time without knowing the pro's and cons.

          The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

          Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .


          • #6
            Scrollong For A Living

            Your Right Sharon, I Wasnt Too Clear . My Wife Has A Job And Does Ok . I Figure If I Could Bring In $20,00 A Yr With My Work I'd Be Fine. I Only Have Been Doing Aboyt Two Shows A Yr And Did Around Five. I'm Just Burnt Out In My Job And I Love Scrolliing. You Can See My Work In The Gallery-slabs Are What I Like To Do. Tks Again, Rain Man


            • #7
              I have been scrolling full time, for over 10 years now, working for an individual with plenty of work to do. I don't own any of the equipment, so there's no investment cost for me.

              I'm paid on a per piece rate, cutting on average about 900 to 1000 pieces a day.
              I average about 6 hours work a day. I can work as little as 2 hours and sometimes more than 12, just depending on how the orders are coming in.
              Right now, were picking up for Christmas, so I'll be busy dancing those blades until a little past Thanksgiving

              If I make $2000 a month, thats pretty average
              I'm not rich by any means doing this, but I'm real good at it and its really pretty easy work.

              Never seen a blade that wouldn't dance!!


              • #8
                The way to make a small fortune scrollsawing is to start with a large fortune!

                There's a fine line between woodworking and insanity, I'm just not sure which side of the line I'm on!


                • #9
                  I am glad you see the point I am trying to make -- I can't believe William even agreed with me --lol.. Just next time you want a good swift kick into reality -- holler here first -- I 'll even kick you barefooted so it won't hurt..loll



                  • #10
                    Try ramping up 'til you are going to enough shows to actually CLEAR $20,000. When (if) you do, then you could think about quitting your other job. You might still want to work part-time - especially for the perks, like insurance and whatever. Self employed means it is all on you, with no safety net (except maybe your fully employed wife).
                    If you decide to scroll only part time. maybe it will be enough to make up for the cruddy job that you are burnt out of.
                    Whatever you do, good luck!


                    • #11
                      Tks Alland You Too Sandy. I Am Burnt And I Love Scrolling. I Have A Lot Of Investement In My Hobby And I Hope To Retire Doing It. Maybe Not Now But Something To Look Forward To. I'm Sure I'm Not Alone In Wishing I Could Do It Full Time. Lol Tks Again All. Rainm Man


                      • #12
                        You're absolutely not alone!! Reality is sometimes just crud!!
                        Hang in there, my friend!


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