Are we having fun yet?

I don’t do a lot of polls in this blog – the format isn’t quite right for it – but I’m doing one today. The question is straightforward: How is the economy doing for your shop; specifically, are things getting better?

Yeah, the economy’s been bad. Professional woodworkers (and professional woodworking writers) have had a rough time of it for a few years, and still are. But are things beginning to turn around?

Speaking for myself, things are still tough. But I think – and I’m knocking on wood here with my fingers crossed (yes, it’s somewhat painful but hopefully more effective) – things may be changing. At least, they may have hit the bottom. On the down side, the bottom is a lousy place to be. On the plus side, things can’t get worse; they can only stay the same or get better.

So which is it?

Take a good, hard look at how things are going for you, and let me know what’s what. Plain and simple, are things getting better for you professionally? If not actually on a track that you’d describe as “getting better,” have things at least begun to level off? Are you seeing signs that might mean a possible turnaround in your professional future – maybe you’re not seeing extra cash in your wallet today, but you’re beginning to smell the signs that just might indicate that things are about to change?

These signs may not even be positive in a literal sense. Perhaps some of your potential customers are taking more time before saying no to a proposal or bid, instead of just turning you down immediately. Like I said, the signs may not be positive, but at they may be signs nonetheless that customers are considering buying again.

So, what say you?

Do you have a feeling that things are about to get better for woodworking, or are at least getting ready to turn the corner for the better?

Till next time,



  • Doug says:

    The thing is: every time I think that laying face down in the muck at the bottom of a pit is as low as I can go, the bottom gives way and I slide down a few feet more. At this point, our shop is mothballed (thank goodness we paid cash for our equipment as we bought it!) and I’m playing jack-of-all-Trades, taking on any odd-job I can snag from ditch digging to barn building to keep the mortgage paid.

    But, it does seem like the rain has stopped and the sun may be breaking out up above. I am hopeful that we will be able to begin the climb back up the pit soon. I’m not sure why I feel that way, I can’t say I’ve seen any real signs of economic recovery… maybe it’s just desparate hopefullness!

  • I’m not sure if it is signs of recovery or symptoms of last man standing syndrome, but I can’t keep up with the recent demand of quality residential custom jobs coming my way. Unfortunately, woodworkers serving my geographic area have been dropping like flies. A few times people said they had other woodworkers slated for projects but they went under so they had to find someone else. But as a whole, my calls have increased for both new and repeat business to the point where I am biting off more than I can chew now which can be just as stressful as waiting for the phone to ring.

  • Douglas says:

    The economic toll isn’t effecting me much…but then my woodworking is more of just a hobby so I can generate a few extra bucks each month. Luckily I don’t need to rely on it to keep me going and to pay the bills<):o}

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