Just curious if anyone else built/ wired/ created/ repaired for a 9-5. And how you got into it.
I started out restoring antique chris-crafts with my Dad when I was 12 years old. He let me sand them before he varnished them, and taught me how to use power tools and such safely. When I was 16 he started paying me to help him, and it eventually turned into a full-fledged job making 12 bucks an hour. After a few years we partnered on the business of restoring andtique wooden boats of all kinds, and then I was sharing in profits of the 30-40k range every 9 months. Not super great for the work involved but it did feel good to get a check for $32,000 or so every once in a while. We also tackled cabinetry and custom framing and architecture - for example, at one point we constructed two 14 foot tall pillars out of mahogany with an octagonal shape that tapered at the top, and then coated it with Walnut burl (black) veneer. I've also tackled a custom wine cellar and staircases, etc - for mansions. Those pay out accordingly as the job dictates - materials, hours, complexity, etc.
Unfortunately, due to the poor state of the economy, no one can really afford much custom work, or a wooden boat for that matter. Just for an example, a 17ft. Chris Craft Runabout is usually a 9,000 hour project, and we gotta get paid, and still buy materials. My dad is the only one still working in this business but I will move back to it if it's profitable again. I did not feel it was right that he had to give me a cut after losing his house and having to move into a 2 bedroom apartment. So he squeaks by with a 42ft project in the shop with very little funding at the moment.
For now, I work doing odds and ends in facility maintenance - Minor electrical, minor plumbing, minor painting/signage, and major carpentry. Also every day for about 4 hours I work on a wooden roller coaster. Company policy prohibits me from saying where I work or what I do exactly (I do not want to say anything that is a company secret on accident), but basically I change steel track, tighten bolts, and climb a wooden beast and repair boards,etc when needed. There are 4 of us that work on it daily. Sure does teach you to respect heights too...
As a hobby right now, I am rebuilding and painting old 1930-1955 bakelite radios and collecting weird atomic era stuff. I just like it. Also ATM I am making a Rocketeer helmet, because I felt like it - literally. Out of fiberglass, by the way.
What's your story? Even if you're not a "professional" (paid to do it)