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Just Doing My Job

I see you there. I know your footsteps. The murmur of your voice as you pass by. But you don’t see me, do you?

Whatever you need, it’s always there. I don’t complain, though. I know my job. Give ’em what they want. Give ’em what they need. That’s me.

You don’t even notice when things start to run low, do you? I do, though.

I can’t complain too much. I know I’m the most sought after in the entire office. People don’t know why they crave me. Maybe they shouldn’t. Maybe it’s enough to have a need and know where to go to fill it. Maybe I serve a greater purpose that way.

Ah, hell, is a little gratitude that hard, though? Is it so difficult to acknowledge me? Nod your head. Smile. Make eye contact. Anything.

Bunch of ungrateful babies.

No, they don’t notice me until something runs out. Then they’re shocked. Annoyed. Pissed. Even worse, they leave. They run out to get what they need. Damn it, give me a minute, and I’ll get you what you want. Don’t I always? Have I ever really let you down?

Jerks! Run out, see if I care! You’ll be back. Everyone comes back. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But in a few days, you’ll wander mindlessly by with your hand out for what only I can give you.

How do I know? How can I be so damned sure?

Because I’m the office candy dish, that’s why…

If your candy dish, office or otherwise, doesn’t have quite the same attitude as mine, maybe it’s time to o something a little different.

Check out all my wooden bowls on Etsy! Click here to shop.

 

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5 Things You Do When You Buy from a Woodworker

I almost called this “What happens when you buy from a crafter” and while I might technically be considered that for tax purposes, in my mind I’m a woodworker/woodturner. Yes, I make pens and wine stoppers from acrylic but my first love is wood.

I can’t speak for every small crafter or woodworker out there, but if you ever wondered what difference you’re making when you buy from someone’s Etsy shop or a booth at a craft fair or flea market, let me explain.

We talk about shopping local – which I believe in – and buying American (assuming you’re in America, of course). And those things are very good for local communities and small businesses. But there’s also the benefits when you buy from the small artist, the crafter at her kitchen table, or the woodworker in his (okay, my) one-car garage – even if we’re online and across the country from you.

You help me build my confidence.

I turn wood because I love it. Even if I never sold a single bowl or pen, I’d keep doing it. But it’s easy to wonder if I’m really any good especially when examples of people who do it better or more creatively are all around. When someone buys a pen or a bowl, you’re letting me know you think my work is worth paying for. It’s a huge ego and confidence booster – even if I am always surprised when it happens.

You’re showing approval and appreciation for what I do.

I just said I’d do this even if no one bought a thing. I meant that. But buying from me (or another crafter) means you like what we’re doing. You give me the nod to make more, try new versions, and/or keep cranking out more finished products.

You’re helping build a small business.

Right now, the business side of woodturning is what my fiance tells me is a “side hustle” – okay, if that’s what we call it now. My goal is to one day make this my main source of income, especially when I retire. I have a long way to go (Rome and businesses aren’t built overnight). Each time a sale is made, it’s another baby step toward a bigger dream.

You make it possible to buy supplies.

Going into crazy debt to make pens and bowls isn’t my idea of a good time. Each sale means I can buy a few more supplies. The plan for 2017 is to save up for a bigger lathe so I can do bigger and better projects. To save on buying supplies, you’ll see me using a lot more reclaimed wood and finishing projects that don’t require a lot of purchased hardware.

You’re supporting the little guy (or gal).

At craft shows, especially, people tell me I should let my “manufacturer” know they do good work. People assume I’m a vendor selling for a bigger company. Imagine their surprise when I explain that I made the things they see in front of them. I’m one of the little guys just trying to support my habit and build something. Every purchase makes that possible.

You should buy things because you need them, they’re beautiful, or you love them. You should buy from vendors and businesses you believe in, like, or offer the best price. But if you have a choice, buy from a small crafter. You’ll be doing so much more than buying a product.

Shameless self-promotion time! Check out my Etsy shop where I’m adding more items each month. Click the link below:

The Wood Dom

Looking for other small crafters to peruse through? Here are a couple I recommend:

Cardinal Moon Crochet – Peggy is talented and a personal friend!

Tasha Hussy Body – I love her shaving soap!

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4 Things I Love as Much as Woodworking

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and while I’m running around trying to do something nice for my fiancee, and getting over a bad cold, I’m not doing much in the shop.

Even though I’m known as the Wood Dom, and I spend much of my free time in the shop as I can, turning wood isn’t the only thing I love. In honor of the holiday, here are a few things I love just as much – and sometimes more.

Coffee

Don’t talk to me until I’ve had at least half a cup in the morning. And maybe don’t joke too much until I’m on my second cup. I’m known as a grumpy polar bear without it. I also drink a cup at night, sometimes two.

I’m a Starbucks fiend, collecting gold stars through my mobile app and racking up free drinks. Let’s put it this way, we have two bags of coffee beans in the freezer, plans to buy another, a cabinet full of coffee mugs, and one of the baristas I know best always asks, “Another hot white mocha, John?” when I walk in. It’s not so much love as it is an obsession.

Doctor Who

Oh yeah, I’m a Whovian. I have all the most recent episodes from Christopher Eccleston to the last Christmas special, and we watch them over and over again. My love for the Doctor and his companions (Clara is currently my favorite with Amy Pond as a close second) is so well known around here that not a single birthday or Christmas goes by without some little something related to Doctor Who.

The Walking Dead

I’m always watching new episodes a few days late, so I have to avoid spoilers on Monday mornings, but The Walking Dead is another of my loves. Negan is a total asshole. I’m looking forward to Rick getting his bad-assery back (Shhhh, I haven’t seen episode 8 yet!) and…

I can’t wait to see what happens with Ezekiel and his crew.

My Honda Shadow

Okay, so I’m not the type to love too many inanimate objects, and I’ve had my eye on a few different bikes, but my Honda Shadow is my baby. I haven’t gotten to ride much lately, but it’s still at the top of my list. For several years, this was my only mode of transportation – even on the coldest days and the rainy downpours.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the best riding partner a man could have…

Now that she and her boys are in my life, I know what family is supposed to be and what a solid, stable, enduring love should feel like. She already knows how much I love her, and I don’t need a holiday to show it.

So there you have it, a few things (and one special person) I love besides woodworking and turning wood.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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5 Woodworkers I Watch on YouTube

My first lesson in woodturning and woodworking was in a local Woodcraft classroom. After that, once I started practicing and got my own tools, I could pay for more classes or I could do what many people do in today’s digital age – I could learn from YouTube.

YouTube it was. From the beginning, I looked for tips about techniques and tools as well as ideas on what kinds of projects to try. Over time, I’ve found some favorite channels for different reasons.

If you want a little insight into who has taught me some of what I know or you’re interested in woodturning and woodworking yourself, check out these five great YouTubers.

As Wood Turns

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll have seen pictures of my natural edge bowls. Take a look at what Alan from As Wood Turns does with it.

M. Saban Smith Woodturning

Okay, my geek is showing a little here, but the idea of making an ancient shield as a woodturning project is just cool.

RJB Woodturner

Right now, I’m not ready to start making my own pen blanks. (I’m having too much fun taking green wood and making bowls). But this is still very interesting…and something to think about.

Rebel Turner

Repurposed wood and simply beautiful work. Not much more to say. I get great ideas and learn a lot from Rebel Turner. He’s one of my top picks on YouTube.

Mike Waldt

If I’m picking favorite woodworking YouTube channels, Mike Waldt is it. He does great work, and he’s easy to follow and understand. I’m not quite ready for vases yet, but I know where I’ll go for tips and tricks on how to do it.