When I was a kid, I’d go to a lot of craft fairs with my mother during the summer, she made and sold Cabbage Patch and other doll cloths and I have many memories of spending the entire day in the hot Sun visiting all these people who sold things I never saw elsewhere.
Something that I learned when I got into the custom business rather quickly is that just because something takes longer to produce, it doesn’t mean that automatically, somebody else is willing to pay more for what was made.
A great example of this was my Big Wooden Wheels…
That took a whole weekend to make and a week beforehand to design, there was so much work involved but other than huge promotional value which was equivalent to over 10 000$US in free advertising for CNCKing.com at the time, it never directly made me any money.
Another great example are some of the works that I’ve done recently using pallet wood here at CNCROi.com.
This literally took me all weekend to make, from breaking down the skid to laser engraving through to extensive sanding.
You’d think it was a 22 minute project but if you multiplied that by two and exchanged minutes for hours, then you are close to real-time involved with it.
Longer Production Time ≠ Higher Resale Value
If I were to go to a flea market with that wooden big wheels and the pyrography world map, I’d be very surprised if I could fetch more than a hundred dollars for either of these projects.
If you run through the time alone, much less the expensive equipment I have in the shop and my “shop time”, I’d seriously make more money working at McDonald’s than taking on these projects.
Like many people at craft shows, I do things because it’s fun and I’m passionate about it and I’m extremely lucky with CNCROi.com to be paid to have fun making stuff for people and companies around the world.
This is an ultimate privilege that I’m reminded of daily when I’m in the shop.
But what I gain from all this work is EXPERIENCE which pays me huge dividends when it comes to making customer projects!
I never went to any school for woodcraft, 3D modeling, CNC equipment in general or just about anything else I do here in the shop on a daily basis, my classroom is me doing projects that I’ve never done before that are interesting and a challenge.
How do you become good at something? PRACTICE!
I get a ton of practice time with customers but it isn’t the same, they have deadlines that must be met, specs that must be adhered to and processes that need to be as efficient as possible.
When I’m not doing client work or sometimes to take a break between jobs, I like to experiment and try different ways of making things without any pressure of whether it will succeed or fail.
So yes, that domino set took a very long time to produce over the course of a week but I learned how to be more efficient when making custom corporate awards during a production run which more than pays for itself when those projects come-up.
I sure as hell don’t need YET ANOTHER NAME BADGE but the experience of making a huge one using a lamacoid that’s notorious to work with has helped me optimize my settings for better results when a client wants that for their business.
So absolutely, all this time spent, at least for me, has been invaluable to help CNCROi.com grow, the fact that I now have a reference library of a thousand videos is amazing when it comes to quoting projects as it’s proof that what the client wants I can do.
The tens of thousands of photographs I’ve taken of the production of these projects also helps me with search engine marketing and many other aspects of CNCROi.com have have contributed greatly towards our growth.
I’ve always believed that life is too short to spend it doing something you don’t want to be doing, CNCROi.com is what I enjoy doing even on my days off and weekend when most of these projects are actually being made which I then share with you over the course of the week.
Whether it’s cutting up a bunch of fish which look absolutely stunning when painted, yes, the above picture is the end result of the blanks I produced in the video below.
Or just making a video solely focused on showing our clients the differences between the various processes CNCROi.com is capable of producing, I’m just always having fun and I really couldn’t think of anything else I’d like to be doing with my time.