My Woodworking Hobby – Introducing

I’ve been doing marketing for a looong time, and during that time, I’ve adopted lots of interesting (to me) activities.

One that has been constant in my life in some form has been music. But another has been woodworking.

This is something no one knows about me, really because I don’t talk about it. It’s just something I do. Same with working on cars. And knowing all the tech I do. And a bunch of other stuff I generally just don’t talk about. I just learn it and do it and constantly, and consistently, try to get better. That’s how you do it. That’s how I’ve learne dguitar and languages, and a whole host of things.

In fact, either I don’t mention these things to people or, more likely, I won’t mention any of them to anyone. I might write a blog post about it, but that doesn’t get many hits. Most of this kind of stuff is for me. Anyway, you probably get the point.

SO: The reason for my sudden interest?

Well, I have two 3D printers. Neither is working, but only because I’m waiting on parts from China. And that is no joke anymore. My printer is going to be out of warranty by the time the parts get here. And they’re just sitting here looking at me, idle, which is driving me crazy! Never stop creating…right!

The problem with this machine is that I replaced the motherboard before flashing the firmware onto it. And Ican’t find a way to do it afterwards, which is crazy! I’ve tried every slicing program out there, and there’s nothing. If yu know of a way, please let me know. I’m about 1 step from uninstalling the motherboard, flashing it, and REINSTALLING it. And yes, I like the Grateful Dead.

Anycubic Mega S
Anycubic Mega S. “Never Stop Creating” until you crash and need a part from China. Note the 3 extrusion motors back there. All failed, likely due to me, but parts sent, no questions asked.
Anycubic Vyper
Anycubic Vyper. Waitng on a new motherboard on a slow boat from China. And why yes, I do have an obsession with my daughter Cecelia.

Anycubic is GREAT and I recommend them highly, for most new/beginner models. Budget-friendly, and their service is great considering the language and time zone obstacles. And now, a much more noticeable time lag from China since Biden took office. Everything, if it can even be found, can now take months to get here. Used to take days, if a few weeks for something high in demand. In fact, I have things coming from China that I still didn’t know if I’m getting or not.

My Anycubic S needs firmware, as discussed. My Vyper needs a motherboard which is somewhere in China right now. They’re sitting here idle. (Note – as I was writing this, I received a message that I’m getting the new motherboard today!)

I had enough of the niggly, naggy little (big, in fact – I’ve changed the motherboards on both and the extrusion motors 4 times, as seen in the above photo.)

So I broke down and got a Prusa Mini Plus/Pro. And I am psyched. It will be here in a few days after waiting for a month for them to print and assemble it. Prusas are notoriously expensive, but for that cost you are privvy to a LOT of features that aren’t available anywhere else. The lessons, support, and it seems like each time I get on their website, I discover something new. It’s an ecosystem, in other words, which others don’t focus on. Just selling machines.

I’ve wanted a Prusa for a long time now, despite hating their atrocious orange and black color scheme. It’s one of those things that’s so bad, it becomes part of the mystique. The bright orange reminds me of either something from American PPE or a contraption from some wildly dangerous setting, like construction hazards or hot oil in a fryer. That’s why I was relieved to be able to get it in black, which I will accentuate with red. I have a lot of filament waiting to be used.

a plethora of filament
A plethora of filament. There’s more behind this pile. And yes, that’s a laser engraver next to it all, which I haveon my “next” list, in the form of a CNC routher and laser engraver. Maybe together, maybe separate. I’m leaning separate.

I’m already planning for what I’m going to make and add to it and am just thrilled. It’s not the bigger MK3S+ and certainly not the ultra-huge XL. I don’t need that. Same as a resin printer- they seem to be mostly for people who print monsters and D&D stuff and want/need a high level of detail. What I’m printng mostly are tools and toys.

I’ve begin taking tests to get my certificate and almost just couldn’t be more excited. My daughter’s 7th! birthday is Monday, the day before this arrives, and I think I’m more excited about it than she is, which is awfully excited. I have so much good stuff to give her for being such a precious child to me! I’ve been doing my best to wrap them all. And I’ve had a watermelon togive her rolling around in my car for over week. She LOVES watermelon – always has. I’ve seen her eat almost a whole one in one sitting.

Me and the monkey on my back
Me and the monkey on my back.

Anyway, back to the subject: I’ve been setting that WP site up like I want it, and it has become HUGE. And nothing is even on it yet! It’s for that reason I’m considering Squarespace. I know that’s blasphemy, but I need to focus on running a business, not a website. I know how to do that. So time will tell. I’ve even thought about totally bagging that site and making a sub-site here, like (I don’t like having a bunch of little naggly little things all over the place. I like and appreciate organization because it increases efficiency. As an example, my ex-wife is the opposite, and she can’t even function with the simplest of tasks. She loses everything, including my daughter’s clothes. I have had to buy the poor thing underwear because she’s shown up for two months straight with none on. Ridiculous.)

But the waiting has enabled me to do alot in the meantime. I’m also having to rebuild my ENTIRE shop from scratch. I didn’t even have a drill! Everything was robbed, which I’ll leave for anohter time. But that has been fun, sort of, and a huge task. I’ve had to decide between very expensive tools, which everyone serious should have, and budget tools, which get the job done, but with lots of frustrations along the way. It’s a compromise, just as it is with everything.

So, what I’ve gotten is a drill and a pocket jig from China, which surprisingly, is pretty good. I also bought a DeWalt router and plunger (DW618PKB), since that’s going to be my main tool for a while at least. I made an exception against my “expenive tools” decree for this one, because I bought it new off eBay for $140 vs $215+ on Amazon. That’s virtual theft.

And after watching countless hours of YouTube videos, I’ve narrowed the search for all else this run down to a few crucial items, and Amazon’s Prime Day is July 12, which is also Tuesday.

Ironically, my Prime membership expires on Monday, which makes me think I purchased it way back when for $99 for Amazon Prime day. The cost has gradualy risen over the years, but is now $139.00. That’s starting to not make economic sense, and as such I changed my subscription to Monthly for a cost of $14.99. The don’t want to cross that $15.00 threshold! hat adds up to $150/year, but I can cancel it or resubscribe when I need more stuff. It’s going to take a little while for me to get set up so that I’m selling. I need to build prototypes and photograph them so they look sexy.

So, here’s what I’ve got in my cart this far, holding it for Amazon Prime Day next week. The wait is killing me, but I’m interested to see if there’s any difference in price. I don’t see how, but I’m patient if nothing else. Notice the newest entrant into the woodworking space: Amazon with their Denali brand.

Somthing to note is that Amzon isn’t making the items, of course. China is, and so far the results are negative on their (WAY oversized) ratchet set. For less than $14 for a 48 tooth saw(most are 40) I’m willing to give it a shot:

Amazon Brand - Denali 7-1/4-Inch, 48-Tooth Metal-Cutting Circular Saw Blade, 5/8-Inch Arbor, Opens in a new tab


HARDTWERK Zen Japanese Pull Saw Foldable [Kataba] 9.5 inch Japanese Saw Hand Saw (SK4 Carbon Steel) for DIY & Woodworking - Pull Saw Wood Saw, Opens in a new tab


Best price

SKIL SRT1039 Benchtop Portable Router Table, Opens in a new tab


Best price

WORKPRO Bar Clamps for Woodworking, 6-Pack One-Handed Clamp/Spreader, 6-Inch (4) and 12-Inch (2) Wood Clamps Set, Light-Duty Quick-Change F Clamp with 150 lbs Load Limit, Opens in a new tab


Best price

SKIL 15 Amp 7-1/4 Inch Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser Guide - 5280-01, Opens in a new tab


MNA Router Bits 35 Pcs Set, 35 Pieces 1/2 Inch Shank Router Bit Kit. American Router Bit Set Complete Set., Opens in a new tab


Note: there seemed to be NO difference between the MNA router bits and the KoWoo brands. In fact I think they’re manufactured by the same firm. I plan on removing the logo fromt he clear plastic which will yield them indistinguishable.

I spent a LOT more time picking these items than I normally would due to this being a business, and not a hobby or solely for the pleasure. I enjoy it so much that I plan to do it full time, if my talents will support that, and I think they will from what I’ve seen on YouTube. I’m still applying for all sorts of jobs, but honestly, I’m burned out on marketing after so long, and the task of finding a good job has only gotten harder as a middle aged white guy.

Note: I don’t believe everything I see online. Almost none of it. There are a lot of edits and things that go unsaid online. So I take it all with a grain of salt, and with a skeptic’s eye. After watching a few videos and choosing people I feel are giving it to me straight I’ll follow their advice. To some extent. Nothing is perfect for my needs, which is something else to consider.

I’ll be making lap boards, like the ones I had on boardig school. Everyone had one. They’re awesome, and for some reason, are expensive and hard to find. Although the student store at Woodberry was packed with them. They sell for at LEAST $35, up into the hundreds. It’s crazy. So that’s one thing. Here’s my prototype:

lap board
Lap boards for sale! Notice the soccer field and other experiements.

The width/thickness is 5mm and the size is 31 inches by 15/16 or so. That seems like it wouldn’t be any trouble to reproduce repeatedly, but it’s trickier than you may imagine. Here’s why:

The size and the handles. Tying to cut something 31 inches over and over can be done with a large CNC table. But that would cost thousands. That’s out, for now. Same with the handles- it’s a snap for a LARGE CNC machine, but not so for one that’s in my budget. So I’m going to have to be scrappy, which I’m known for. Or should be.

The thing with this design is it’s tried and true. It’s as basic as can be, but optimzed. The way it surround the user, and the handles aren’t back behind you, but pushed out where you can reach them with no effort. It’s strong, but light. It can be coated in washable marker paint so you can write on it and erase it. No one else does that.

So, what I’m planning on doing is trying a variety of things and seeing what sells best and is easiest to reproduce in HIGH quality. I will not ship anything I wouldn’t be proud of using myself. That’s a promise. More will come on that, perhaps even video, once things begin to take shape, which should be next week. A video would be much more useful than a super-long post like this? What do you think? Leave a comment below and don’t forget to Subscribe! Barf.

But that of course isn’t all I plan on building. By a long shot. But I have been assembling a list of high-margin items, that I’m interested in. Speaker stands is another one whose margins are off the charts because people who spend a lot on audio, want EVERYthing to be top-quality. When you sitting there listening to your favorite song, what are you doing with your eyes? Either closing them or looking at how nice your audio setup is. I have a high-end audio system, and I do it, so I know. And I’m subscribed to lots of audio links, like the McIntosh group on Facebook, which illustrates what a feast for the eyes audio equipment can be.

But the height on a speaker stand is 24 inches. At least, the boards going from the base up to the “platform” for the speaker is. That’s a little more reasonable than 31 inches, but still. Same deal. But I don’t need a CNC router for these. Just a saw and drill, really. I have countersink bits, amazingly. Some of the randown, and small, ites that weren’t lifted by the thieves, who shall remain nameless in this post. I know who did it, though because I was told they would while they were there. Amaznig.

So, what else will I be making and selling on Etsy, which I should have mentioned I will be doing and have set up a shop on Etsy? You’ll notice some other items I’m thinking of making, such as vinyl album dividers. $114 for a set? That’s criminal. I’ll outsell them easily on price alone.

My Etsy shop for! I’m going with an octopus/kraken theme because I love them. They are uniquely smart animals.

That can be done with a smaller CNC machine, which I’m looking at. But Etsy is the place to be right now. They have about a $5billion market cap the last I checked, which means they’re pretty solid, even with the outrageous infaltion rate applied. Which is anothe rreason I’m out of the Marketing game. The salaries are coming down, and no business is going to include a “raise” to deal with the inflation rate. It’s stealing in a way. Another thing is I can write off depreciation of my hard assets like tools on my taxes! That’s something no one on YouTube has even mentioned. Not really surprisingly, considering the stock of men, and lady, that pursue woodworking. They generally don’t have an MBA or think much about it. Another thing that makes me stand out and unique in this game, because I do.

I almost forgot: a speed square. I honestly am starting at ground zero. I even need draftsman pencils because mine were taken. Ridicuous.

So far I’m in about $500, which I can make up with just a few sales. Not bad for starting a busniess. And from there, the sky’s the limit. At least 6 figures, if not more. The trick is, I’ve learned by running my own ittle businesses, to do what you enjoy, and not make it into where you’re managing employees, and running the business, and not remebering why you started in the first place. It was the same with marketing. I could scale it up easily, but it would change the entire nature of the firm. Which forgets the important things in life. I’m now 53 years old, which is a lot different than 26 years old. A LOT. And those years started out great, but dwindled into a life of misery in 2010, which I’ve spent as much time trying to escape. Anyway…

I just got an announcemtn that my motherboard I’ve been waiting on for over a month will be today! Finally. We’ll see if this does the trick. If not I have no idea.

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