Won the battle

I once had a commission from an architect to build several dining tables he had designed for clients. He saw himself as the next Frank Lloyd Wright and the three designs he gave me were obviously take offs of Wright’s designs.


It’s a dreaded word in any shop. Having to remake part or all of a project is the worst-case scenario. Forget any hope of profit. You will be lucky to break even.

Getting customer approval

Over the years, there have been many times where I’ve needed to come up with a quick fix for one thing or another.


I just finished a project that I have been working on for almost six months. Not for profit, but as a labor of love.

It’s better this way

When I set up my first shop, it was because I wanted to make things out of wood. And for many years, that’s what I did – one piece or for customer at a time.

Low man on the totem poll

It is said that a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. So it is for a business.

Get it in writing

Many years ago a lawyer friend told me that if you don’t get it in writing, you have nothing. If someone refuses to sign an agreement, you can bet they don’t intend to keep it.

Where did it go?

Many years ago, I was building a desk and needed a large ogee edge detail for the top. Obviously a shaper job but I had no cutters that size.

Yes, they’re a must

In a reply to my last post, it was suggested that “a preliminary, or more formally, presentation drawing can be a real problem solver …” and this is unarguable. Improvising is not something you do on someone else’s nickel.

What keeps me going

Most of my projects have been one-off designs, often based on an idea that just popped into my head. While I know how to make it work, I haven’t always factored the budget correctly.