It all evens out

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When you’re a woodworker, two things happen: People want you to do stuff for them, and people want to give you stuff.

Since everyone I know knows I’m a woodworker, I get asked for help a lot. Sometimes it’s just advice. Sometimes it’s easy-to-do little tasks that they don’t really know how to do but would take me just a couple minutes. (I fixed a jammed nailer for a neighbor just a couple days ago.) Other times it’s larger jobs like doing trim molding in a room for my wife’s cousin, an undertaking I’m involved with now. These are my friends and family, so I’m always happy to accommodate them even when it takes time away from my day.

On the other side of the coin, since everyone I know knows I’m a woodworker, I get offered a lot of stuff out of the blue. It’s usually wood leftover from a home project or remodeling, but sometimes it’s old tools that have been found while cleaning or whatever. I don’t always need these things, but as before these are my friends so I’m happy to accept in the spirit in which it’s given. Inevitably, I find a way to put it all to good use.

When you work for yourself, your working time is precious. Still, I don’t mind taking a bit of my work time to do a bit of work for friends. And when they offer things out of the goodness of their hearts, it seems to me that it makes for a perfect balance.

A.J.

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