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Thread: Finish Preference for 3D Work

  1. #31
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    I was not really asking for business advice, but we seem to have found a topic with many passionate views. I have a business I run, and have been doing so for 20+years. This is just something to pay for some upgrades, and because I enjoy it. The carvings is not something I expect to do much of, and is mainly to showcase what can be done. It is nice to have the machine running in the background when I am doing something else. That said, if the return rate on that time is too low I will stop as I am not giving away my time or materials or making something I cannot be proud of. I will have to go out and try selling some things and see the response once I have some pieces ready to the point I want. I am not in a hurry as there are other things first.

    I have done a few more carvings since starting this thread, and concluded it is just going to take a lot more practice to get to the finish to where I want. I have a few now that are respectable, but when I compare them to some really nice carvings that I like, I think they are missing something. I have a stack of different ones to keep trying and I am certain I will figure it out since I am quite stubborn. It is great fun regardless and well outside my normal left brain comfort zone.
    Last edited by Brad Shipton; 06-12-2019 at 2:36 PM.

  2. #32
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    I guess would we should be discussing is how can we educate the public who is used to seeing cheap junk from overseas into seeing the quality of our work, and paying for it? I do nothing unless its personalized or different in some way to make it a a customer focus point. This would apply to professionals and hobbyist alike. I do like my commercial repeat customers!
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  3. #33
    Every response has great points. I have never taken anything away from the "hobby" maker (I hate the term maker more than I hate the term hobby) other than when they sell their work not accounting for their true costs which I have always stated is completely their right (I dont believe anyone should set their pricing) however it is also my right to say that they are #1 lying to themselves with in any regards to profit, and #2 doing a great disservice to the rest of the craft/trade/industry.

    I have operated in the construction world for 35 years. Its nothing new that the individual who always wanted to build things, has always been handy, got recently laid off, fired, downsized, just plain sick of their day job, and has a bucket of tools, is now "in the business". That doesnt bother me in the least.

    My personal perspective on the "hobby" woodworking world is that I pretty much discount the uber low quality and my perspective has moreso been the people that are making astounding, high quality, pieces of furniture because they love to work in their shop nd love wood. That said, far too often they are making bespoke work that has weeks or months of labor, who knows how much materials, and there is no way a "piece" that took two and a half months to build and has some highly figured material and a hand applied and hand rubbed finish, is going to sell for $15,000.00.

    None of that is the issue. But now the issue has seemingly changed and the point is that a "hobbyists" machine doesnt cost them anything. Which I guess could be true in certain circumstances but I would venture to guess just like the endless treadmills, exercise equipment, and the other myriad of household gee gaws, that represent money that could have gone into retirement, college funds, and so on, it is most definitely still costing money on a daily basis. But spending is what makes the world go around.

    The quality I tend to put my effort into observing on a regular basis from those not working "professionally" is far and away higher than we can provide while remaining profitable. The low ballers are always on the radar but they usually burn out pretty quickly.

    My original point was, and still remains, Ted, you made the statement that a machine sitting idle doesnt cost the same as an employee sitting idle. Thats not true. And when you bridge to an "employee" your speaking to business. I dont disagree for a minute that someone (myself included) if I had the spare funds would be more than happy to bear the burden of a machine sitting in the dark in my basement just because it gives me a warm tickle in my tickle area even if I only fire it up once a month. Thats my right. I know a local guy who probably has a quarter of a million dollars in is basement shop that looks like a nascar garage and barely makes a plant shelf for his wife once a month. Good for him. That quarter of a million dollars could be in his retirement account but he is perfectly fine with the amount thats in there.

    He is paying the cost of that idle equipment daily to warm his tickle area and thats fine. But he is still paying.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Shipton View Post
    I

    I have done a few more carvings since starting this thread, and concluded it is just going to take a lot more practice to get to the finish to where I want. I have a few now that are respectable, but when I compare them to some really nice carvings that I like, I think they are missing something. I have a stack of different ones to keep trying and I am certain I will figure it out since I am quite stubborn. It is great fun regardless and well outside my normal left brain comfort zone.
    Every single job or project we do is an opportunity to learn something (or many things) new, whether we seek to do the work for monetary compensation or personal pleasure. It's a very positive thing to recognize that something could be better, different, more efficient, higher quality, whatever.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post
    ........

    None of that is the issue. But now the issue has seemingly changed and the point is that a "hobbyists" machine doesnt cost them anything. Which I guess could be true in certain circumstances but I would venture to guess just like the endless treadmills, exercise equipment, and the other myriad of household gee gaws, that represent money that could have gone into retirement, college funds, and so on, it is most definitely still costing money on a daily basis. But spending is what makes the world go around.
    Do explain to me how it COSTS money when money is not invested? I am dying to hear the explanation for this misconception. Here is something to help those out who seem to be afflicted with the idea that if their money is not EARNING money then it must be COSTING them:

    "cost/kôst/

    verb

    • 1.
      (of an object or action) require the payment of (a specified sum of money) before it can be acquired or done.
      "each issue of the magazine costs $2.25"
      synonyms:



    • price, asking price, market price, selling price, fee, tariff, fare, toll, levy, charge, hire charge, rental; More

    Notice that the definition does not include the concept that if something is sitting doing nothing then it is COSTING. It is not costing anything. Nor is it EARNING anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post

    ......

    My original point was, and still remains, Ted, you made the statement that a machine sitting idle doesnt cost the same as an employee sitting idle. Thats not true.......

    He is paying the cost of that idle equipment daily to warm his tickle area and thats fine. But he is still paying.
    It is absolutely true, you keep conflating COST with EARNING. They are two completely different things.

    The idea that if your money is not invested somewhere it is somehow COSTING you is a sales tactic used by those who would like to play with your money on the stock market. You just have to give them your money because if you don't, it is COSTING you. No, it isn't.

    Someone in this thread got quite insulting stating that I did not grasp K-5 mathematics. That is interesting because that individual cannot tell the difference between COST and EARNINGS.

    Sit down with an accountant sometime, tell him that one of your COSTS is a machine you have that is doing nothing and you would like it listed in your COST of doing business column so you can deduct that COST on your income taxes. See what he says. If you are running a business and you do have a machine doing nothing all the time then it is in fact preventing you from EARNING more because it is occupying floor space that could be productive. Don't confuse COST and the potential to EARN. That is as bad as sales that tell you that you will SAVE X amount of money by SPENDING your money. You are not saving anything you are spending. What you are doing is lowering your COST. But nobody in marketing wants to tell you that it is going to COST you, SAVING sounds so much better.

    Simply put: if you cannot put something in the expense column then it is not costing you anything. Labor is an expense, material is an expense, electricity is an expense, insurance is an expense, etc. A machine doing nothing is not an expense. What number would you write in the Expense column for it? How much it did not earn on the stock market? What if the stock market was in a decline? Would you then list it as an earning since having it prevented you from LOSING money?
    Last edited by Ted Reischl; 06-12-2019 at 7:46 PM.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Reischl View Post
    Do explain to me how it COSTS money when money is not invested? I am dying to hear the explanation for this misconception. Here is something to help those out who seem to be afflicted with the idea that if their money is not EARNING money then it must be COSTING them:

    "cost/kôst/

    verb

    • 1.
      (of an object or action) require the payment of (a specified sum of money) before it can be acquired or done.
      "each issue of the magazine costs $2.25"
      synonyms:



    • price, asking price, market price, selling price, fee, tariff, fare, toll, levy, charge, hire charge, rental; More

    Notice that the definition does not include the concept that if something is sitting doing nothing then it is COSTING. It is not costing anything. Nor is it EARNING anything.



    It is absolutely true, you keep conflating COST with EARNING. They are two completely different things.

    The idea that if your money is not invested somewhere it is somehow COSTING you is a sales tactic used by those who would like to play with your money on the stock market. You just have to give them your money because if you don't, it is COSTING you. No, it isn't.

    Someone in this thread got quite insulting stating that I did not grasp K-5 mathematics. That is interesting because that individual cannot tell the difference between COST and EARNINGS.

    Sit down with an accountant sometime, tell him that one of your COSTS is a machine you have that is doing nothing and you would like it listed in your COST of doing business column so you can deduct that COST on your income taxes. See what he says. If you are running a business and you do have a machine doing nothing all the time then it is in fact preventing you from EARNING more because it is occupying floor space that could be productive. Don't confuse COST and the potential to EARN. That is as bad as sales that tell you that you will SAVE X amount of money by SPENDING your money. You are not saving anything you are spending. What you are doing is lowering your COST. But nobody in marketing wants to tell you that it is going to COST you, SAVING sounds so much better.

    Simply put: if you cannot put something in the expense column then it is not costing you anything. Labor is an expense, material is an expense, electricity is an expense, insurance is an expense, etc. A machine doing nothing is not an expense. What number would you write in the Expense column for it? How much it did not earn on the stock market? What if the stock market was in a decline? Would you then list it as an earning since having it prevented you from LOSING money?
    As I stated above in post #25:
    Its not just about the dollars, its the thought process. The two groups cannot think like. They have virtually nothing in common other than the tools to execute the job at hand.

    I rest my case
    Gary Campbell
    CNC Technology & Training

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Campbell View Post
    As I stated above in post #25:
    Its not just about the dollars, its the thought process. The two groups cannot think like. They have virtually nothing in common other than the tools to execute the job at hand.

    I rest my case
    Sorry, when someone talks about COSTS they should know what they are talking about and not try to tell everyone else that not investing money is somehow costing them. It pays to know the difference between COST, EARNINGS and POTENTIAL EARNINGS. None of those describe the same thing.

  8. #38
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    professional adjective
    pro·​fes·​sion·​al | \ prə-ˈfesh-nəl , -ˈfe-shə-nᵊl\
    Definition of professional (Entry 1 of 2)
    1a : of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession
    b : engaged in one of the learned professions
    c(1) : characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession
    (2) : exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace
    2a : participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs
    a professional golfer
    b : having a particular profession as a permanent career
    a professional soldier
    c : engaged in by persons receiving financial return
    professional football
    3 : following a line of conduct as though it were a profession
    a professional patriot
    professional noun
    Definition of professional (Entry 2 of 2)
    : one that is professional
    especially : one that engages in a pursuit or activity professionally
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  9. #39
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    PLEASE, folks...it's just a discussion that grew out of the question/scenario that the OP posted. There are different points of view depending on multiple factors including business vs personal use...or for some of us, both scenarios. Dictionary definitions don't necessarily serve universally explaining a concept that is clearly complex. How we feel about it in our own personal circumstance bears weight and our community is a diverse mixture of people ranging from a very informal or occasional hobby/personal activity all the way to folks who own and run woodworking related business that generate millions of dollars a year in revenue. CNC is quickly becoming part of that entire spread of user base so there's bound to be a mixture of folks in this kind of dialog, too. In a sense, "nobody" is wrong here, generally speaking...but relative to their own circumstance.

    For me, I primarily bought the specific CNC machine I did to provide and increase business opportunities for my part-time retirement business that grew out of a two decade long woodworking avocation. So just based on that, if it's not working, it's not performing the task I acquired it for. The "cost" to me for non-production is that I'm not getting any return on my personal investment into the business while the machine sits idle. Yes, that's different than the cost of material or electric or other hard costs of doing business, but it's a "cost" to me, nonetheless because had I not made that investment in the machine, the money I used would have been invested in a different way. Then again, I'm also enjoying the CNC immensely for personal endeavors, too. So at least some of my investment in the tool and related was and is pretty much discretionary personal spending. If the machine ultimately pays for at least half of its original investment cost by say, the end of this year or sooner, I'll be a happy camper. I'm a third of the way there with quite a few irons in the fire. In the mean time, I'm learning to build guitars with it for fun. Did I happen to mention that this is complex?
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #40
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    Machinery depreciates. This is a cost.
    Molann an obair an saor.

  11. #41
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    Only if you are operating a business. The IRS will not allow a hobbyist to depreciate machinery.

    I think my point is that a hobbyist incurs a cost when he buys the machine. There is no doubt about that. But after the purchase there is no ongoing "cost" to him. Not investing money in something else and potentially earning money from that investment is not a "cost". It is not earning.

    The word "investment" seems to be misunderstood in this thread. It is used as if when a person "invests" in something they will earn or get a return on that "investment". That is hardly the case. A person can "invest" in something and lose all the money they "invested". "Invest" when it comes to money only means that a person has a financial interest in some type of venture. The obvious example is that one purchases stock in a company (invests), the company fails. The money is gone. Well, not really gone, it is in someone else's pocket but not the investors pocket.

    I suppose an issue with this thread is that if someone who declares himself to be a "hobbyist" but in fact is selling the work that person is actually in business. But just like any business he can run it anyway he wants. If he does not want to depreciate his equipment he is free to do so, just like a person who declares he is running a business may decide not to depreciate equipment. Why someone running a business would do that is beyond me, but there is no law that states a business must depreciate equipment. So what we have here is some business folks telling others who are hobbyists and sell their work that they should be running their shop as a business, or how they feel a business should be run.

    I wonder how all these business folks would feel if the hobbyists started telling them how to run their businesses? There seems to be an attitude among business folks that they are doing everything right, yet these businesses regularly fail.

  12. #42
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    As far as I can tell, the post only insulted one person and that is the original poster. There are times when confronting someone with the truth is the kindest thing you can do, even if it does not make them feel good. When I saw the original poster's photos, I thought exactly the same thing as Brady. Making money using a CNC router is not as easy as buying a machine, learning how to use it and reproducing someone else's creations for money. The guy needs to know that, whether it makes him happy or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Reischl View Post
    Just WOW! Any other group of folks you would like to insult?

  13. #43
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    Deducting depreciation (via IRS) is a bookkeeping 'trick' to entice a company to invest in capital equipment. Deductions & depreciation are not the same thing.

    I am 'in' woodworking as a hobby, so no IRS magic allowed. I buy a new saw, then I sell said saw, now used. I receive less than I paid. This is depreciation. This is a cost.

    Simple concept, but then I'm kinda' simple myself.
    Last edited by Malcolm McLeod; 06-13-2019 at 9:59 AM.
    Molann an obair an saor.

  14. #44
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    Art, we all seem to have a tendency to make assumptions about a posters experience level and knowledge. I am not new to the reality of running a business or using my machine. I could try to express this, but since that is not my intent of the question, I did not see the need to expand upon something nobody would read. Clearly some have not read my comments on the goal of these pieces. The intent of the post was to garner ideas how others are creating a finish that is more appealing than the typical varnish I see so often on CNC carvings. I get the why part most do that, but I am not interested in creating the same. I have looked at endless carvings that have been lightly colored in such a manner to not destroy the wood look, but have nice highlights and shadows. I was simply looking for some tips if some would care to share. This is why the post title did not include, "hey, here's a new idea, please help me with my business plan" I did not fall off the turnip truck yesterday, so I have set out realistic goals for my time demand and what I might generate from this. I appreciate many of the general business opinions expressed by some, but those that took a hard left at Albuquerque fell into the category of TLDR.

    Someone is welcome to start a new thread if you want to debate business principles. I have an actual CPA accountant for my main business if I want to discuss those points.
    Last edited by Brad Shipton; 06-13-2019 at 3:05 PM.

  15. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Reischl View Post
    Do explain to me how it COSTS money when money is not invested?
    Money is invested from the get go. Its take from dollars that would otherwise go into savings, retirement, whopper jr.s, cell phone bills, whatever. Its may be taken willingly, it may be taken frivolously, and if you have the capacity to buy anything you wish in good conscience by all means have at it. I have zero issue with someone with a 20 bay garage of exotic cars. Thats their choice. But that expenditure is costing them. Its costing at procurement, and over the long haul. You can argue semantics all you want to feel good about your position but spending money on tiny giraffes is perfectly fine by me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Reischl View Post
    a sales tactic used by those who would like to play with your money on the stock market.
    Its a tactic used by people who realize fully that that money, unless its providing you a reward your willing to absorb the "cost" of (the notion of possessing it, fun, joy, pleasure, just "having" it and that "cost" is acceptable to you. It has nothing to do with profiting from every dollar you spend) it is simply money mis-spent. But my perspective is we here are in the US, thats my point about treadmills and gee gaws. It makes the world go around. Again, there is nothing, ZERO, wrong for me with someone who feels they are in a position to have something that has no bearing on income, profit, investment, ROI, whatever, they just want it. Thats fine. Get it. Have at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Reischl View Post
    stating that I did not grasp K-5 mathematics.
    That was me. Feel free to have at it. Anyone can conflate the general conceptions of cost and earnings and how they interact on an infinite number of economic variables but the fact is still the same. An individual (business or otherwise) with any piece of machinery in their shop that has no need or consequence with regards to that machines productivity easily falls into the slot you've allowed yourself to fall into and think that that machine has no "cost" if it sits idle. Your accusing me of not understanding math and accounting when you are advocating for factories and plants around the globe sitting on idle machinery because "it has no cost"? Are you serious? There is a 15 million dollar stamping plant 40 miles from me that is moving machinery in and out on a daily basis to barely remain in the black. They are not doing this because they "may use that machine one day so lets idle it because its not costing anything". They have acres of dormant warehouse space to park these "free idle machines" most of which are moved for scrap value so they are not moving them to recoup cash. The exact same math applies at a hobby level, it only depends on your station in life. If you have the resources to have the $250K shop that sits in the dark, have at it. But that shop sitting there, in the dark, is costing you. You are paying for the warm and fuzzy of owning it. So you either have the resources to absorb that cost and use it once in a while, or you may use it 16 hours a day. It still has a direct and tangible cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Reischl View Post
    Sit down with an accountant sometime,
    I sit with an accountant who handles my joke of a business quarterly or more if needed and more commonly is dealing with multi million dollar operations and he is THE FIRST one to tell me that a given machine, truck, tool, piece of property, batch of inventory im sitting on, product line, is costing me money and that I should look at dumping it, adjusting it, and so on. He is a welcome check and balance to my propensity to fall into the trap you outline of holding onto things thinking they dont cost me anything.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Reischl View Post
    If you are running a business and you do have a machine doing nothing all the time then it is in fact preventing you from EARNING more because it is occupying floor space that could be productive.
    So now youve come around full circle. So the machine is actually costing you money? It has nothing to do with floor space. You have tied up capital, labor, and any form of investment in that machine. You do that either because you "want it" (lamobrghini, a nice metal lathe which I would love to buy to goof around with, a bridgeport, love to goof around with, maybe a small Haas or Tormach , love to goof around with), but "at my station in life" <-- pay attention to that because you seem to be slow in this capacity... putting money into those endeavors and putting those machines on the floor will COST ME MONEY. It will cost me the cost to buy them, the cost to own them, the cost that that money could have been in my sailboat fund, whatever.

    It matters not. They are costing you money to procure and to own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Reischl View Post
    if you cannot put something in the expense column then it is not costing you anything.
    If you are not able to see that the mere fact of owning the machinery alone puts line item(s) in the expense column thats fine. Owning them is not free. The notion that its free is a delusion. Its not to say dont own them. Buy anything you want with never an intention of profit or earnings. Thats a wonderful place to be. But the mere fact of owning it has a cost. Now when you break into the first step of selling something, the cost really hits.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

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