Apprenticeship is Locked In

18 Jan
I’m all set to start my apprenticeship February 4th. I decided to go with a one-man shop, as that’s what I will have in the future. I want to of course gather valuable info on how a one man shop operates successfully. For the sake of privacy I’ll refer to my future “boss” as Tim Timberland. Tim was very easy to talk to. The hours will be from 10am every morning (sweet!) until 5pm, but he made it clear that he is self-disciplined and expects quality work. He’s a former graduate from the same school as me, and checked my references at the school to make sure I’d be up to the challenge. The work will mainly consist of built-ins and one-offs, as well as helping to complete projects that have been collecting dust.
His shop is located in an industrial building filled with a nice little community of woodworkers, finishers, and other artists- as it turns out this set up is beneficial to all involved. They trade services, shop time, and even client orders. Tim has someone to deliver all of his pieces to client’s homes. This little-big building of peace, love and productivity is literally across the street from Home Depot. Now I cannot think of a more ideal situation- except for the fact that it is also a short 5 minutes from a wealthy community that provides the building with a lot of work and is adjacent to downtown.
Tim’s shop was small, approximately a 24′ x 18′ space, but flooded with daylight. It was all very tidy and stocked with some solid milling machines but an overall modest selection of tools compared to the ones we had at school. That certainly made me feel less overwhelmed at the prospect of stocking my own shop’s equipment.

Going into this a freshly graduated woodworking student I have some concerns:

  • will I be expected to work as quickly as the pros
  • will I be expected to produce flawless work
  • will I be asked to do procedures I feel unsafe carrying out (due to unfamiliarity or due to the nature of the set up)
Once I start my apprenticeship, I’ll let you know how it’s working out.
Hold this for a few secs while I pop across the street for some screws…

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