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Is your shop for fun or profit?

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  • Is your shop for fun or profit?

    I just spent nearly my entire weekend in the shop finishing up a hot job for a customer.
    What started out as my little hobby shop to entertain myself and make some doo-dads, has taken on a life of it's own.
    It's turned itself into a business, right before my eyes.
    I started out a year ago making 1 part here, 2 parts there.... then it snowballed.
    Now I'm getting orders of: 15 of these, 20 of those, 10 of those, 12 more of that, and so-and-so.
    90% of my time in the little 'hobby' shop, is now purely for profit.
    Any of you guys in the same boat?
    Or are you still enjoying the freedom of playing with your toys?

  • #2
    Same thing for me... But after my 8hours regular job, I sometime get tired!!



    • #3
      I'd love to make a little money on the side by making things people are looking for but at the same time I don't want to turn something I have fun doing into something that I have to do every night. I hve felt the same about my photography. People keep telling me to sell my nature shots and I won't because I want it stay something that is fun for me to do, not something that I have to do.

      Part of me would be really proud to have people want the things I make though. Once I get into making stuff instead of improving/adding to the machines we will see where it takes me.


      • #4
        I sell stuff out of the shop and would like to do more. I think it adds to the fun, personally. I just have to find some more unique things I could make in what spare time is available.

        Same with our photography - we sell our racing pics and it for sure does not take away any of the fun. Shooting has paid for over $4000 in equipment. Shot over 12,000 pics last year. Shots and sales are way down this year as the economy has really hurt grass roots drag racing. Picture sales are practically zero, actually.
        Merkel, Tx


        • #5
          my shop was put together just for hobby use, but i have started making some things that i sell and i do custom stuff for people every once in a while. I usually enjoy doing the small stuff like that and it helps pay for new tools and more materials to make more stuff.


          • #6
            I limit myself, if it is a challenge then I might spend more time but I limit myself to three or four hours a day. I don't watch tv since it has gone to talking heads or should I say empty heads that can only read a propter.
            I generly have four or five little jobs in process.
            as my friend says, "its great to do what you enjoy and get paid for it".
            Herm Williams


            • #7
              Fun only. And a heck of a lot of that I might add.


              • #8
                I retired 3 years ago and now I have 2 Dyna-Mite 2400's in my garage that I started out using for my hobbies.

                I race remote control gas boats and I make all my own running gear. When I make one for me, I make 25 more to sell. I support the hobby that way.

                Word has gotten out that I have small machines and now some of my old customers have found me.

                I call myself MidDay Machining. I never start before 11:00 AM and I'm always finished by 5:00 PM. If you can live with that, I'll do your work, if not, oh well.

                I have a 37 inch TV with a DVD player in the garage that I also use as a computer monitor ( I like my Law & Order reruns). I will NEVER take a job at 4:00 PM that you need at 8:00 AM. And if I have a good movie, I don't much done.

                I use my machines mostly for hobby use, but I have one customer who has a job that I get to run 4 to 5 times a year and I actually make pretty good money on it.

                I don't look for work, it just seems to find me. All of my neighbors know I have the machines, but I tell them my rate it $75.00 an hour.


                • #9
                  Profit and as a means to an end,usually resulting in more profit.Mucho enjoyment having a streamlined shop.So even if some project isn't a payin gig it sure is nice to get it in and out as quickly/efficiently as possible.When things slow down we pick an area where shop may be lacking and work on that aspect.Or if theres a pc of equip "taking up space",it'll get rehabbed asap and put to work.Constantly working on "flow",even if a pc just got moved.......if it works better because of whatever reason down the line a bit,it'll get relocated.BW


                  • #10
                    fun, but it has paid for itself and sustains itself; making the odd item, buying and selling, real money is involved as in a living, but its actually kind of fun, like a bit of a game, seeing if can trade up and earn enough to build the shop's capabilities without throwing cash at it. Even my recent servo package purchase, which was up there with the most money I've ever spent at one time, came from an paypal account made of stuff I've ebayed. Gives me domestic virtue, "its not costing any money"


                    • #11
                      Mine is for fun but so far I am only having a blast! If I knew what I was doing or could hold .1" I might be a candidate for a machinist
                      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                      Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                      It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


                      • #12
                        My shop is just for fun --- my little suburban town has a bee in it's bonnet about zoning and permits. They busted a little old lady for giving piano lessons in her house for running an unlicensed business....have "code compliance" cars crusing all living in a 3rd world dictatorship....


                        • #13
                          Jeez, I've always been self-employed, and it's been a right smart while since I lost the distinction between "on-the-job" and "off."

                          My idea of having fun in my shop is making tools, parts, and gizmos, along with making tools to make tools, parts and gizmos - all in support of my main interest at work, namely stringed instrument restoration. Retirement will come when I can't stand at the bench any more.

                          Some friends and relatives think I'm basically nutz. They are, of course, correct.

                          Hey, here's my latest "product" I sell for $$ - some steel horseshoe magnets for reproductions of the classic 1930 Rickenbacher pickup as used on this great old Bakelite steel guitar:

                          I make the horseshoes for Jason Lollar in Washington, who makes the pickups:

                          Fun stuff - you bet!

                          Frank Ford


                          • #14
                            LOL...mine better be for fun, 'cause it sure doesn't earn a profit. I do make some items to keep my regular business equipment running.


                            • #15
                              I use my shop for both fun and profit.

                              Originally posted by Video Man
                              My shop is just for fun --- my little suburban town has a bee in it's bonnet about zoning and permits.
                              In situations like this, one just needs to be creative. Like gee officer I'm not being paid to teach they are just using my piano to "practice". Of course donation to help keep the piano in tune will be accepted.