Archive for the ‘Wood turning’ Category

A lesson in business from an 11 year old…

1 November, 2008

I’m trying to keep it all in the family, and it seems to make sense, at least to a degree.  You see, in an effort to take a part of my woodworking business to the internet, I decided to pick up a pen turning lathe, a bunch of kits, and some padauk and rosewood.  Good start, then I could get a feel for it, and perhaps hone my business skills.  I shared all this great thinking with my bride, who thought it was great thinking and was therefore intrigued by the whole idea.  Little did I know…

I turned about 8 pens, and then she came out to the shop and said, “Teach me.”  Okay, sounds very cool.  Pen turning is great fun, but I really enjoy case work which I could get back to if she were turning.  So, I gave her a crash course, and before long her pens looked as good as mine.  Or, at least as good as mine.  Okay, I can handle this, I must be a pretty good teacher.  Soon, my lathe was our lathe, and once in awhile I get to use it.  While she is at work, that is.

This afternoon she brought my 11 year old son out and taught him how to turn pens while I was working on another project.  He learns very quickly, and he got to finish his first pen and pencil set, made out of padauk with “rhodesium” hardware.  Since he’s left handed, I teased him about making the set upside-down.

As I’m merrily banging away on this casework, my son starts asking my bride why we are doing so many.  One of the reasons I love my wife so much is because she’s easily able to expound on the inner workings of capitalism and supply-side economics, which my son got a working lesson in as the chips flew.

After he was finished with his set, he brought them over to show me.  “If I sell some of these for you, can I get a commission?”  I like the way he thinks, at such a young and tender age.  “Sure, of course you would.”  “Well, Dad, how much?”  “Well, Son, it would have to be a percentage of the net.  Do you know what the net is?”  “Is that the total profit?”  I don’t know where he got his grasp of things.  Not from me — I still don’t have all this figured out.  “Exactly.  How does 30% of the profit sound?”  “How does 50% sound, since I am helping make the pens?”  “Okay.”  He dickered, I lost.  Go figure.