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Author Topic: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?  (Read 1847 times)

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Offline WoodenHead

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I've been milling and selling lumber (as well as flooring, T&G, etc.) full time for about a year now.  Slowly, but surely, I've been gaining clients.  And the momentum seems to be continuing.  But... I've been offered the opportunity to get back into the work force (and I didn't even apply).  My wife and I like it that I'm self employed, so that I can stay close to home and help with our two special needs children (severe autism).  However, the opportunity is tempting.  Electrical engineering pays much better as a career.  ;)

So, I was wondering if any of you have both a full time job and regularly mill as well (either milling for others or selling lumber).  How do you make that work?

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 08:51:49 PM »
Would it be a fare question to ask if either job has medical insurance for your family?

That's what I'd think about first.
The older I get I wish my body could Re-Gen.

Offline Sawdust Lover

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 09:03:58 PM »
Woodenhead, I have been running a woodworking buisness for 12 years. T wo years ago I bought a sawmill and started selling lumber to woodworkers. I am like you and am selling millwork and flooring now as well. The woodworking and milling buisness makes me just as much money as my full time job as a construction superintendent. But it doesn't pay my insurance. It is very possible to do both just dont overload yourself on the sawmill end. Take what you want and sell what you can but keep your day job. And if things get slow who cares you still have your day job. I have 4 children so it does get a little stressfull sometimes to juggle everything but I'm always home and the kids like to help around the shop and mill. So yea its possible but be ready to work! And take your wife out to dinner once a month.

Offline WoodenHead

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 09:17:10 PM »
Good point David.  Here in Canada, medical care, for the most part is not a worry.  Our two special needs kids are well taken care of in regards to medical and dental.  For our other kids it is a consideration.

Being able to work from home has been invaluable for my wife.  And ironically earning less has actually benefited our two autistic children in terms of available support programs.

Thanks Sawdustlover for your words of wisdom.       

Offline GDinMaine

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 11:04:55 PM »
9
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Offline m wood

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2013, 04:45:45 AM »
woodenhead, the first thing i thought of was what david said too.  I have always had to balance the need for med bennys along with net income from that 40 hr/week gig, vs. the desire to build into a self employed, self sustaining business venture.  however, your reminder of the Can health system skewed my calculation :D.  there are times I wanna move just a little farther north  :-\ :).   BTW,  my day job has been working with special needs adults (young and not-so-young) for many years now, including a lot of involvement with the mysteries of autism.  Good luck in your decision, its a biggy!  personally, my mill is supposed to just pay for itself and eventually/hopefully assist in a bill or two (namely, NY property tax).  anyway...

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Offline Leigh Family Farm

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2013, 08:17:56 AM »
I recently was offered a career move as well but the benefits of my current job kept me here. The pay was 50% more but the health coverage was almost nonexistent. Is there any way you can do consulting electrical engineer work? It might bring in a more steady income but not require a full time commitment. Just and idea...
There are no problems; only solutions we haven't found yet.

Offline WoodenHead

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2013, 12:52:44 PM »
Good idea Kilgrosh.  I was doing that about 4 years ago until the need dried.  It is a little tough to find an engineering position in this particular area since most industry has left.  I would move, but I have a number of things that tie me here.

Actually as I was speaking with my prospective manager we discussed a transition period (until the end of 2013) where I would work on contract as I transition out of self-employment.  Travel may become an issue for our family (several days required at least once a month).  If I do accept, my wife and I would like to keep our business alive to some degree as a backup.  In fact, the hope is to establish ourselves a little better over time.  But as a couple of you have mentioned, the time has to come from somewhere and I'm not sure yet how to manage that (if I can).

Regardless, I have the sawdust bug and the mill will not be idle.  Nor will all the other stuff (buildings, kiln, 4 sided planer).  We have too much invested!   

Offline drobertson

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2013, 02:31:54 PM »
the only draw back to working out of the house and then milling on spare time is the sacrifice of family time. Health insurance is available, just depends on the plan and company, you could always catch up if needed, with the other job, being up front with employer's is critical, most have great understanding,  I too went back to machining for a good friend doing a start up machine(job)shop, and glad of it, I too like being around the house, doing my thing, our kids are all out of town and in school. so it's just me and the dogs, weigh out the best options, and  will be praying for you, decisions don't always come easy,   david
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline francismilker

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2013, 04:40:42 PM »
Good point David.  Here in Canada, medical care, for the most part is not a worry.  Our two special needs kids are well taken care of in regards to medical and dental.  For our other kids it is a consideration.

Being able to work from home has been invaluable for my wife.  And ironically earning less has actually benefited our two autistic children in terms of available support programs.

Thanks Sawdustlover for your words of wisdom.     
It won't be for long here in the good ol' U.S.A.  Our illustrious leaders in Washington are trying to steer us all towards welfare so that if a person don't have it, they can have part of everyone else's! 8)
I'm sure those that lost their lives fighting for freedom in past wars didn't do it for people that are too lazy to work and expect a handout.

Back to the question, "can it work"..................Sure it can.  As long as a person don't burn their candle at both ends too often and get burned out.  Working a day job and moonlighting as a sawyer is what I'm doing as well as milking cows and it gets old in a hurry if you don't take some time out for yourself and the family.
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Offline WoodenHead

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2013, 06:46:28 PM »
I won't say our medical care in Canada is perfect by any means, but I am thankful for it.  No need to worry about how to pay for a hospital or doctor's visit.  Canadians pay for it though with our higher taxes and higher cost of living.   ;)

Going forward I think I would have to mill and process in batches when time permits.  Rather than advertising my services generally, I am thinking of advertising specific quantities of flooring, T&G, etc. on kijiji (similar to craig's list). 

In terms of purchasing logs, I'll probably have to stay away from species that won't keep for long.  Pine has been most of business up to this point and that will have to change.  I have a considerable amount of pine logs right now (maybe 15,000 bdft international) that I will have to chew through rather quickly somehow.  The 8000 bdft of white & red oak, ash, and cherry will have to wait.

Offline GDinMaine

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2013, 07:23:49 PM »
e
It's the going that counts not the distance!

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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2013, 07:42:39 AM »
Work the real job and keep your best milling customers.Milling is enjoyable if you really don't have to do it to put beans on the table. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline Bandmill Bandit

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2013, 09:55:14 PM »
Good point David.  Here in Canada, medical care, for the most part is not a worry.  Our two special needs kids are well taken care of in regards to medical and dental.  For our other kids it is a consideration.

Being able to work from home has been invaluable for my wife.  And ironically earning less has actually benefited our two autistic children in terms of available support programs.

Thanks Sawdustlover for your words of wisdom.     
It won't be for long here in the good ol' U.S.A.  Our illustrious leaders in Washington are trying to steer us all towards welfare so that if a person don't have it, they can have part of everyone else's! 8)
I'm sure those that lost their lives fighting for freedom in past wars didn't do it for people that are too lazy to work and expect a handout.

Back to the question, "can it work"..................Sure it can.  As long as a person don't burn their candle at both ends too often and get burned out.  Working a day job and moonlighting as a sawyer is what I'm doing as well as milking cows and it gets old in a hurry if you don't take some time out for yourself and the family.

The real issue in the "good ole USA" has nothing to do with medical care or the delivery thereof. The good ole USA will very likely NEVER get a chan to come to a system that is close to the Canadian system be cause of the strangle hold that the insurance companies have on the medical system in the good ole USA.

 The insurance industry is RAPING and PILLAGING all of you down there on a matter that should have certain intrinsic principles entrenched in constitutional law that prohibits free enterprise from become the extortionist racketeering industry that it has become in the USA and other countries inculding Canada. Were the USA system Fails Canadas system excels. where the Canadian system fail the USA system excels. We have universal access to ALL Canadians that is paid for in part by Taxes but in majority by resource royalties that makes the system work here in Alberta and most of the rest of the country thanks to Alberta as well. our problem in this country is that less than 50% of the gross health care budget get burned in the administrative over burden created largely by over paid public health sector unions. i good go on for a while yet but wont. some where between what the good ole USA has and what Canada has exists a solution the can solve this situation and put the insurance industry back to a help full and protective industry instead of a public parasite that will ultimately destroy the medical systems in both countries when all the dust settles.

None of it has to do with the haves and the have nots.

it is about money and the extortion/rackateering, oops I mean insurance industry.           
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Offline WoodenHead

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2013, 07:21:43 AM »
I was reminded on the week-end why working from home has been a real blessing.  My autistic son (Reuben) is a flight risk.  We put up a 5' chain link fence around our house a couple years ago to keep all our kids safe.  Whether he figured out the latch or it wasn't closed properly, he escaped.  He had been gone for about 15 minutes before we realized anything.  We searched the house and yard, but confirmed he was gone.  Our driveway is about 2800 feet long and 1000 feet beyond our house is a small lake.  I jumped in the car and checked our driveway.  I hopped on the tractor and checked out the lake.  My wife called 911 and 9 officers responded.  Fortunately a second check of the driveway was fruitful.  I found him at the highway (2800 feet from home in bare feet) a bit red in the face because when he goes he runs.  I'm still not sure what path he took, but I am thankful I found him.  The 9 officers were called off, but one stopped by to have a chat.  Our house and kids are now flagged in the system in the event it happens again.

This whole event gets me thinking again.   :-\

Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2013, 07:37:02 AM »
Sorry about your stressful experience with your son.
My grandson is also a flight risk and wears an ankle bracelet that helps my daughter keep tabs on him.
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Re: Full time job and milling - Is it possible to make that work?
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2013, 06:58:21 PM »
I have a day job with a 3x3 rotating days to nights schedule.  This allows me saw on my days off.  When the sawing season gets rolling I pretty much work 7 days a week.  I wouldn't give up my day job, but there are times when I wish I could.  Lol.
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