Why Did I Write This Blog About Woodworking and Entrepeneurship?

Gun Cabinet
Black Walnut Gun Cabinet, the First Commission

Why Did I Write This Blog?  I wrote this blog to share some woodworking wisdom gained over the years and also lessons learned from starting my own woodworking business in 2015.

But first, let me give you a bit of backstory.  In 2014 I finished up a year-long deployment to Afghanistan.  We were extremely busy when I was there, but a situation like that gives a person some time to think about their future, especially since we were away from our families.  At that point in my career, I had been in the military for 25 years and was approaching one last assignment before retirement.  With our military pension, I knew we were not going to starve and that there was a golden opportunity to try something new.  I kept thinking “if money was no object, what would I like to do as the next act?”

One of the things I’ve always enjoyed is woodworking.  Ever since my first Industrial Arts class in middle school I’ve enjoyed making things.  Our itinerant lifestyle and postings all over the world have made it difficult to set up a permanent shop and outfit it with quality tools.  We have been in one spot here in Northern Virginia for a while which has enabled me to carve out some space for a shop and to invest in tools.

Another thing I’ve always wanted to do is start my own business, which I did with Traughber Design in 2015.  The commissions have been steady and the business has a bright future.  Writing this blog may help some other budding entrepreneurs out there get started on their dream business.  We’ve learned a lot about things like pricing our work and will share those tips.  In addition, I’m ramping up this woodworking gig part-time as my career winds down.  I’ll share some insights learned about how to manage that transition.

Last, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a special shoutout to Kevin Hanson.  He was the catalyst who pushed me to attempt the first commission, the black walnut gun cabinet pictured above.  The cabinet was from a plan I purchased from Wood Magazine, was a challenge, and great confidence builder.

So that is why I started his blog.  I hope you like it.

9 thoughts on “Why Did I Write This Blog About Woodworking and Entrepeneurship?”

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I have to say that was a very challenging first commission, but a lot of fun to make. Black walnut is one of my favorite hardwoods.

  1. Jerry, I heard about your blog from a fellow acquaintance (Marshall) and read the post about the gun cabinet and saw the picture. Two questions:
    – what other projects have you done, and
    – what type of future projects would you be interested in tackling?

    My mother wants a TV stand/cabinet for her big screen flat TV, but I would rather build it or have it built for her as a gift. Unfortunately, neither my Dad nor I have the appropriate tools (as I just learned); and I want it to be a quality product.

    1. Josh, thanks for chiming in. I’ve made multiples sets of shelves, a small jewelry cabinet, gun cabinet, wall rack, prayer kneeler, corn hole game, kitchen cabinet, cat bed, wooden bowls, wooden pens, picture frames, and several other projects. I’d be interested in tackling just about any project at this point, but keep in mind craftsmanship takes time so we’d have to talk about schedule. The TV stand/cabinet sounds like a fun project. Let’s talk.

  2. I recently retired myself and it amazes me as I hear about all these folks who retire with skill sets that can make them quite rich if they continue on their path in the civilian sector, but completely chose a different path and pursue satisfaction. Glad you found your niche. Hope I find mine!

    1. Ben,

      Great idea! I’ll bet you’d be an excellent photographer. BTW, am planning a blog post about making picture frames which might be up your alley. You could have a mix of pre-made and custom frames in your shop. What timeline are you on for creating your shop?

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