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  • Pete

Quick wins and big decisions.

As promised this next blog instalment is much quicker and will be much shorter.

This week I've continued the work on the printing bench, we are in the final stages with everything now getting painted. Hopefully, it will be assembly next week and then all done.

The signs are good!

Last week I had a request for a simple sign from one of Chloe's school friend's mum (does that need more punctuation?). The request came in via the website, which is great as at least having a website is working a little bit.

Even a simple sign has thousands of possible options, so I offered a range of choices to the customer (probably too many to be honest). Everything from size and shape, to timber type and finish, borders edge profiles, attachment type not to mention what is actually on the sign! If they are decisions I have to make I may as well ask the customer for their choice although often the answer is "I don't mind" or "whatever looks best".

Anyhow this request was for a simple "Grandad's Workshop" in oak in a similar style to one in the gallery.

So a bit of oak was selected cut to size and thickness sanded. The design was finalised and carved using a V-bit for the text, border and edge chamfer.

The sign was then flipped over and recesses cut for the mirror hangers which make a very neat way of hanging these signs.

Some finish sanding and 3 coats of danish oil, followed by a quick buffing on the polishing mop and then finally a coat of renaissance furniture wax.

Ready for delivery on Tuesday morning.

I have also been working on adding some simple items to my online shop, however, as with the above sign, the problem is most items I can offer are very customisable which is difficult to manage via an online shop front. Keep watching this space though, I will launch it soon with some standard products and options for further customisation.

Whilst I was working on this sign I also decided to finish up a couple of other projects that had been sat around for a while.

This is a fridge mounted bottle opener that I made as a gift for a friend back in December but with Covid, it never really got finished and delivered. I used a couple of colours of mica powder in epoxy on this one and the silver black really didn't turn out as I wanted, leaving the image a bit tricky to see the detail of. However, there wasn't much I could do other than start over, so I decided to sand, oil and polish it and see how it works.

It actually came up very nicely but the text and image are quite subtle.

Ready for delivery tomorrow but obviously I need to do a bit of product testing first!

Big opportunity, big decisions...

The other thing that's been keeping me busy, well my mind at least, is a big opportunity that has just popped up.

I have always been a pretty risk-averse person, spending 8 years in my first job and then 10 years in the next one. Taking voluntary redundancy in 2019 was a big decision stepping into the unknown. For the past 10 years I have been dreaming of making ukuleles but the sensible risk-averse me always found other things to do. The past few months I've been moving forward in that space but still only really playing at it with nothing more than pocket money on the line. Well, the chance to become serious has just come along, a turn-key ukulele making business is up for sale.

It is a great opportunity to buy a headstart into exactly what I want to be doing, with an existing product, an order book and stock. The downside is, understandably, it is not "pocket money" and would require serious commitment to making it work. It would put us in a position we have not been in before, actually relying on my daydreaming to pay the bills!

So lots of thinking to do, lots of "man maths" required (like real maths but clearly over or under egged to make the result fit!). The battle of the risk-averse sensible me vs the daydreamer. I think I need to do some more product testing on the bottle opener!

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend everyone!

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