Here is a bit of an update on the shop. First, we thank you for your financial support. It has kept us going. The business is essentially three years old and although we are in the red without your help we are closer to breaking even than I thought we would be at this time. Most of our large purchases have been made and we are now having to replace some of the smaller electric tools that have been overworked.
We now have an industrial jointer/planer that has enabled us to do some nice oak pieces, primarily two kitchens. One of the kitchens has a solid oak counter top. A third kitchen was finished at the end of last year.
Other projects include bunk beds (8), beds/dresser combination, shelves, wood boxes for fire wood, boxes for Mark the spoonman (he carves them after we make the box), a shoe rack (everyone takes off shoes when entering a house and this piece was a cupboard for shoes), a cabinet to cover the heating pipes (all houses have heaters with exposed pipes so we made a cabinet to cover them up – and we have another to make next fall) and smaller projects. We currently have orders for a desk, outside bench, picture frames, tea boxes, more shelving and a table.
The encouraging aspect of our work is that we are getting work from referrals. Folks have seen what we have done and have asked if we can make something for them … because they like what they have seen.
This year we are also paying the men above minimum wage. That puts a stretch to our budget but it’s working out OK. I would still like to add workers and possibly have a morning and afternoon shift but finding workers is difficult. Even though we pay above the minimum wage they feel it isn’t enough to make it worth their time. Those who go to Germany or England or Austria make MUCH more than we could ever pay them.
Because of this, we’ve had some transition in workers. Gaby went to England in February where he could earn in one week what would take him a month and a half here. I was sad to see him go but understand why. He came back in May when the situation didn’t work out.
Gaby’s dad, Marin, started to work with us in February. Marin had worked for five years in a large woodshop near here. He has been a good addition to the shop and had a very short learning curve.
I have been able to find sources for kiln-dried oak in recent months, one of the earlier frustrations. However, I can no longer get kiln-dried walnut. Many of the recent projects have been made out of pine.
The downside of this year has been our car/truck died. We’ve used it for three years and it has hauled MANY boards. To meet inspection the ’96 VW repairs would cost 1000 Euros … the car is worth 500 Euros. In the fall we will have to replace it.
We welcome your continued partnership with us in the work of the shop. It is heartening to see how much the workers have learned and it is truly a blessing that we continue to have as much work as we can do working 20 hours a week.
Our tax-deductible on-line donation site (through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries) is available HERE or checks can be sent to Global Treasury Services Church of the Nazarene, P.O. Box 843116, Kansas City, MO 64184-3116 with Tigmandru Woodshop in the Memo line.
Thank you for your interest in this work and for your prayers as we look forward to a summer in the U.S and then a return to Romania in September, 2018.