View Full Version : am i selfish?

doug webb
01-10-2006, 11:39 AM
I have always allowed family members to use my shop and tools. Now one has decided to go into the woodworking business building and selling " quickie" projects like plant stands and small wall shelves. He decided this since he had my tools and shop availabe to him. I am disabled and live on a limited income. It has taken more than ten years to accumulate the few tools I have. During Christmas he broke one of my clamps on one of his projects and laughed when i suggested he pay for it. I have never charge d him or other relatives for the material or supplies used in their various projects. I have absorbed the cost of the tools and their repair/replacement. His decision to go into business using my tools and shop was not discussed, but rather announced as fact...."this is what i am going to do". I told him that he would not be allowed to use my tools to do this and he was very surprised and seemed to think i was being selfish and unreasonable. He could not understand any wrong with his idea. My decision is firm but i welcome your opinions. thanks..doug

Jeff Sudmeier
01-10-2006, 11:50 AM
I think that he needs to get a clue! Someone that would break another's tool and not replace it doesn't deserve to use your tools.

Run not walk away from him using your tools! :)

Jim Becker
01-10-2006, 12:07 PM
I applaud your decision...it was the correct one for so many reasons including common sense, LIABILITY (both personal and financial as your insurance coverage might evaporate due to the business, even though it isn't yours), etc. Further, anyone going into business needs to account for the cost of going into business...including tools, space to work, materials, overhead and insurance. It's his responsiblity for ALL of that and more. Kudos to you.

Bottom line...you are NOT being selfish. You are looking out after both yourself and your family member in a loving way. IMHO.

Mike Leone
01-10-2006, 12:12 PM
Absolutly not. Your more then generous letting family use your tools. Its one thing to use your tools its another to abuse them. How do you break a clamp?

Steve Clardy
01-10-2006, 12:13 PM
Sounds like it's time to lock the doors.

Dennis Peacock
01-10-2006, 12:21 PM
Folks like that don't deserve to be in anybody's shop.!!!! Good decision.

tod evans
01-10-2006, 12:31 PM
ya done right!........02 tod

Anthony Anderson
01-10-2006, 12:50 PM
You have done the right thing. When he laughed about breaking your clamp, he signed his own "eviction notice" from the shop. At least he could have shown some regret. Show him how to put a business plan together and/or go to the bank with him to apply for a small business loan, advise him in which tools to buy, and what not to buy. Be a mentor, not a bottomless pit generosity. He will appreciate it in the long run and you will most likely have no regrets. Assuming that this is something that you would want to do. Family members can definately use my shop, and tools, but have to pay for their owm material. Unless it is the parents then they pay double (just kidding, they get it for free). But I don't have that problem since they live too far away. Although you mention that, in the past you have paid for the repairs/replacement of tools they have broken. You must have one destructive family. No offense. But it is made clear, from the outset, that people must pay for the material used and any tools damaged before they use borrow a tool. Regards, Bill

Dave Anderson NH
01-10-2006, 1:17 PM
Hi Doug, Your decision is not only reasonable, it is prudent. I'll go out on a limb here and make a harsh judgement about your relative. The kind of person who would laugh at a reasonable suggestion about replacing a tool he broke, tell you and others what he has decided without asking permission, and generally be that arrogant, is also the kind of relative who would sue you should he do something stupid in the shop and give himself a serious injury. I would generate a guess that this person does not either have many long time friends, or have the respect of those he has managed to retain. The polite name a person like this is a "taker". I wouldn't venture to give my completely unvarnished opinion since this is a family oriented forum.

My apologies for being so negative, but this type of behavior irks me to no end.

Bill Grumbine
01-10-2006, 1:23 PM
Hi Doug

Good for you and for your decision! I do run a business, and while from time to time I invite people over to use my tools, or help them with a small project, if someone needs some serious time with the machines or shop, they pay. Period. My business is not a charity, nor is it a subsidy program for someone to make some quick money at my expense.

But I wouldn't even let this guy back in the shop if he promised to pay. There is too much that can go wrong, and with what you have already written about him, you would be the one left holding the bag, and not just for broken tools. Imagine if he or someone else got hurt, him from working in the shop or someone from something he made with your tools and wood. Guess who would be at fault? He sounds like he would have no problem blaming you. Stick by your guns!


John Miliunas
01-10-2006, 1:27 PM
Doug, I think Dave A. covered it quite well and I wholeheartedly agree! Personally, if it were my shop, he wouldn't as much as see the inside of it, much less use it or any of the tools within!!! :mad: Oh, and this is coming from a guy who has pretty much written an open invite to any Creeker to visit his shop! :) Sometimes (often, I'm afraid), relatives are THE worst!:) :cool:

Ted Shrader
01-10-2006, 1:29 PM
Doug -

That was absolutely the right thing to do. It seems to date you have been more than generous in sharing your tools and shop and I would encourage you to continue that policy to those who use it only occasionally and only for recreation.

Starting a business (even a side business) with your tools - what gall!

Good move on your part,

Cecil Arnold
01-10-2006, 1:44 PM
Doug, the selfish individual in your story is not you. This person neither respects you or your property. Were he not a family member I would say distance yourself from him. Being that he is a family member I think you may need to explain to others that he is the cause for the shop lock out.

Keith July
01-10-2006, 1:45 PM
The "business" will be short lived. No tools, no planning, no way.
Doug, stick to your guns you don't need this pain.
Good Luck

Chris Gregory
01-10-2006, 1:52 PM

Everybody has covered it quite well, it is very generous to let friends or family use your workspace and tools. This arrogant bugger seems to lack any appreciation and perhaps a broken clamp is the cheap way out of this situation. Good on ya!

Lee DeRaud
01-10-2006, 2:05 PM
Anybody, family member or not, who pulled that on me would need medical assistance to extract the pieces of the broken clamp from various orifices.

Selfish? No.
Incredibly restrained? Absolutely.

Ken Fitzgerald
01-10-2006, 2:24 PM

Dave Anderson spelled it out pretty well! This selfish idiot would be the one sueing you should he get injured while in your shop using your tools! The only selfish person is the idiot you were describing!

Tyler Howell
01-10-2006, 3:52 PM
What they said!

John Bailey
01-10-2006, 4:00 PM

I think I'm correct in that everyone on this site would've already bought you two replacement clamps before you found out about it, if they had broken something. The fact that he put pressure on you, by making you bring it up, puts him at the bottom of my list. The fact that you had been so generous in loaning your hard-earned tools in the past, puts you at the top.


Vaughn McMillan
01-10-2006, 6:34 PM
As is typical for "users" like your relative, he's tried to put the guilt (and the blame for his certain upcoming failure) on your shoulders. You did the right thing, and should stand your ground firmly.

- Vaughn

Bruce Shiverdecker
01-10-2006, 7:32 PM
Stick to your guns, Doug.

Some people are CLODS!


Frank Chaffee
01-10-2006, 7:35 PM
You did your family member a great service by banning him from your shop. Allowing (and thereby encouraging), him to take advantage of others w/o investing personal responsibility would only help to lead him further from the creative goals he is seeking.

Be proud of yourself! You are truely giving.


Ken Fitzgerald
01-10-2006, 8:59 PM
Doug.....Just tell him that you don't want to be so selfish as to share his glory when he does so well with his business and therefore you are allowing him to purchase his own tools and workshop!:D :D :D

Doug Shepard
01-10-2006, 9:03 PM
I think I found a picture of your problem guy

Send him packing.

Ron Jones near Indy
01-10-2006, 9:08 PM
Sounds like it's time to lock the doors.

Change the locks if needed! This was a wise decision on your part!

Wes Bischel
01-10-2006, 9:46 PM

I also think Dave A. hit the nail on the head. Even if you were as rich as Bill Gates, you still did the right thing. It's about respect - his lack of it and your respect for yourself and other family members that treat you and your belongings with respect.

If he and other family members or friends can't understand this, then for the price of a clamp, you have gained a wealth of knowledge for a pittance.


Jim Dunn
01-10-2006, 10:35 PM
Doug, seem to me he fell farrrrrrr away from the family tree, if he is in fact blood relative. Your decision is the right one. If it causes family conflict, so be it.


doug webb
01-11-2006, 12:32 AM
I want to thank all of you who responded to my question. It certainly makes me feel better about my decsion. I regret that this came up at all as i don't like feeling like the bad guy.I visit several other forums but this is the only one I post on. I lurked several months and became more impressed with the folks here at SMC. So thanks again for the support you have given me concerning this. doug

Mark Carlson
01-11-2006, 12:46 AM

You are not being selfish. I agree whole heartly with your decision.


Charles McKinley
01-11-2006, 5:35 PM
Hi Douglas,

If anyone in the family has a problem with it tell them to pony up for shop space and tools for this "Person."

Tools cost money, consumables cost more and more everyday, and there is a lawyer hiding under every rock. There is no reason to lose everything you have let-a-lone a clamp the oaf wouldn't replace.

I think you have saved yourself a lot of problems.

Kevin Herber
01-13-2006, 8:30 AM
Share this thread with him. Maybe he will get a clue. Bravo for your courage. It is easy to let that type person take advantage, especially if they are related.