It depends on your style of work. Depending on your skill and experience, woodworking can potentially be a fantastic career choice for many.
The majority of professionals will tell you that a good career will mean spending more time with your family. Some also tell you that you are unlikely to earn a salary large enough to cover all your basic needs.
On the other hand, the few professionals who do find a job as a professional woodworker (a.k.a. “hobbyist”) will tell you about the incredible satisfaction that comes from being able to take on an entire project at your own pace—and then seeing that finished product come together in front of you, with no matter how many times the saw had to be rotated.
Professional woodworkers tend to love their craft and are proud of their work. The majority of craftsmen will tell you that they appreciate the job when they do it for their family and friends, regardless of whether a job earns them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
However, there is no doubt that if you work for yourself as a professional woodworker, you will need to make some sacrifices to maintain the level of satisfaction you would have if you worked for a professional.
For example, most woodworkers will say that getting the skills and tools that are necessary to become a professional woodworker will take at least several years to acquire. While it may be true that you’ll have to spend time and money learning more about hand sawing, how to make the work even better, and what you need to understand to be a successful woodworker, the money you’ll save from learning as a hobbyist will translate into extra money in the long run.
So, what kinds of skills are best for a professional woodworker?
The first thing that makes an entry-level woodworker a “good” woodworker is his ability to hold and operate a saw—and that’s important for a number of reasons.
The basic woodworking skills that you’ll need are for opening and closing the stock and for moving wood. You’ll need to be able to make long cuts, especially on planks and joists.
Being able to take woodblocks into a lathe and lay them flat on a lathe is invaluable for a good woodworker. Most woodworking books will teach you how to do this, though it will take time, practice, and lots of hard work to learn the proper hand tools for making wood in this manner.
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