The Side Hustle Thread (split from Bees with AZD)

September 16th, 2015 at 12:55:08 AM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Face
and I just got commissioned to make at least 8 more.


Cool. But where will you get 125 cobalt
bottles? Make no mistake, that's why
they want them. Cobalt has always been
a big part of art. Ever hear of flow blue
china?

If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
September 16th, 2015 at 9:22:17 AM permalink
Face
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Quote: AZDuffman
LOVE IT! Keep it up--get freedom from the daily job one hustle at a time!


Not sure that's my goal. Hustling has some garbage benefits and I get hurt often =) But it's real nice to "find" money here and there, especially when I find it doing stuff I want to do anyways.

Quote: Fleastiff
Congratulations. too me, its not particularly appealing and to my budget it is out of the question, but a bit of word of mouth never hurts. Uses? to line driveways or place near a mail box? to delineate open land as obviously residential so hunters do not fire or cross the land. (its a noticeable "border" signal that woods have ended and homes have begun) as a vehicle barrier, as an intersection marker. to whom would you market them? wives of rural homeowners who fear stray hunters, garden shops, stone and slate stores,?

by the way, do you do anything to the bottles to obtain those colors or just use them as is?


To me, they're kind of silly and not terribly appealing (I have seen full sized trees, like 15' tall. Those are kind of cool). But people want them, and making them is appealing to me. Especially when I'm making way more than my usual $3 an hour.

I always see them in a garden. I guess people like a colorful tree that they don't have to prune. Who knows?

I don't do anything with the bottles, I don't supply them. I know people typically use wine bottles, as they're oftentimes colored. I can also make "sea glass" pretty easily. All you need is standard Elmer's glue and food coloring. It makes a dull, colorful finish like the scratched and polished glass you find on the beach. You'd have to seal it with acrylic to save it from the rain, or water it down and swish it in the inside so it stays dry, but the arts and crafts types I'm sure have a million ways to get what they want.

Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
September 16th, 2015 at 9:35:38 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Face
Not sure that's my goal. Hustling has some garbage benefits and I get hurt often =) But it's real nice to "find" money here and there, especially when I find it doing stuff I want to do anyways.


That is the real thing. Don't need to quit a day job, but nice to not be as concerned if something goes bad there.

Any chance you can give us more background on how you came up with the idea, how you made them, and how on earth you started selling them?
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
September 16th, 2015 at 10:50:04 AM permalink
Face
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The ideas come just by keeping eyes open. Even since talking to you and especially the DIY thread, I'm always looking. If you really look at the stuff around you, you'll more and more say "I could do that". My shed? Completely simple. My car trailer? Piece of cake. The more I saw stuff I viewed as simple, the more I started thinking. My car trailer, for instance, was a homemade job I bought for $1,000. I pass two different trailer dealerships in my day to day, and they have one very similar to mine. Pretty much the only difference is the stores' version has a wood deck whereas mine is the more expensive and durable diamond plate. Their cost? $4,000!!! Four grand? I could build one better for cheaper and still make a tidy profit. Like, a four figure profit. And since I know I could make a big car trailer, I just jabber about it when appropriate. My family went and purchased a bunch of $600 small trailers from Tractor Supply. Like 3 families in my family got one at the same time. I cursed them out for it for not asking me first, and my uncle overheard. Now I'm in talks with him because he was just about to buy one.

Another huge source, and I mean huge, is Pinterest. The girls are all over it for DIY curtains or duvets or other "frilly" things, but there's a lot of Man Stuff in there, too. Picnic furniture made from reclaimed wood, couches made of palettes, coffee tables from raw logs... there's a big market for the rustic, natural look, and there's more ideas on that site than you'd know what to do with. I made a bathroom trinket from an idea there. Was just a 2' piece of 2" x 6" that I sanded and stained. On it, I attached 4 large hose clamps, and used the hose clamps to attach 4 Ball mason jars. Hang it on the wall and you have a rustic storage device to hold your Q-tips, toothbrush, etc. Looks good, matches my motif, and you could totally sell them at a small profit. My house is full of curtains made with fish-printed fabrics and burlap, all homemade from ideas off of Pinterest.

The bottle tree deal started the same way. My neighbor 3 doors down has one in her garden. Ash saw it and thought her gram would like one and asked if it was within my abilities. I took a bike ride, checked it out, and saw that it was as simple as all the other things I see. I detailed the build (not that there were many details since it was so simple) in the DIY thread here and here. She gave it to her gram and she loved it. A few of her aunts saw it and wanted one. They talked about it to their friends and now they want one. One build gifted at one party turned into a word-of-mouth that nabbed me 8 more sales, with a handful more on the fence. Easy game =)

If not word-of-mouth, I'd probably use Craigslist. I've been listing a bunch of random stuff I have around the house to both clean out and assist me in my time of need. No matter how random, how small, or how big, I've been unloading stuff. Old wheeler parts, stuff I pulled off my race car and will never need, my boat, my kid's bike he outgrew... no matter how weird, I got calls and often get rid of it. Who wants one, old, worn out wheeler tire? A guy who got a flat and wants to ride wanted it, and now I have $40 for what was, for all intents and purposes, garbage that would cost me $5 to get rid of. If I made one of something, like a shed or trailer, I'd probably use CL to get rid of it. For the Pinterest type stuff, I'd more shoot for auctions / county fair booths and the like. We have a few around here which attract the types of customers you'd be looking for, and is more for selling in quantity. If I churned out 20-30 of those bathroom storage things, that's where I'd go as opposed to CL / Ebay. Ash's grandparents used to make the rounds when they were a little more mobile, spending the days woodworking and making decorations, signs, trinkets, and other hand made here-or-theres. It was this business that I had on my car for my first race season. They cleared $80k+ a year doing this. My goalie also does woodworking. He made a number of handmade toy chests and hit up a local business. The business bought 3 and now his product is in a local store.

It's a weird game, this hustling thing. The more you get into it, it becomes less "where can I find opportunity" and more "how will I ever choose from the hundreds".
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
September 16th, 2015 at 11:20:32 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Face


It's a weird game, this hustling thing. The more you get into it, it becomes less "where can I find opportunity" and more "how will I ever choose from the hundreds".


That is where I am at. Currently I have a ton of plaster lathe I need to motivate myself to cut to 1' sections and make some rustic planters out of it. I made a few and learned a few things, mainly don't make them too shallow. I started growing comfrey and plan to makes some oil and eventually lotion plus other stuff from it for herbal healing. Seeing the bottle tree thing the second time and seeing the sales might have me motivated. Though I am worried what happens there is my mother puts it in the yard and my dad cuts off access to the welder because she put it in the yard and end of business...........

BTW: what is the procedure to color the bottles?
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
September 16th, 2015 at 11:52:20 AM permalink
Face
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Quote: AZDuffman
Though I am worried what happens there is my mother puts it in the yard and my dad cuts off access to the welder because she put it in the yard and end of business...........


Ha! XD

Well, welders aren't entirely expensive. I have a Lincoln 220 SMAW that I got from Lowe's. It's kind of garbage on light stuff; I have a hell of a time trying to weld 22 gauge steel, like for body panels on a car. But for this app or big stuff like trailer tongues and roll cages, it's great. Was only mid $200. I got my eye on a 220 MIG, also from Lowe's. That runs mid $600 but would be great for all applications.

Keep in mind, these are new. CL, swap sheet, auction... I'm sure a cheap one can be found. Then you can do whatever, no matter how much Pops dislikes it =)

Quote: AZD
BTW: what is the procedure to color the bottles?


Depends what you mean and for what application. To make that matte sea glass look, you need little more than Elmer's, water, and food coloring. Just as in 1st grade art class, just mix enough coloring to get the shade and darkness you want. Drop of red for pink, couple more for rose, a whole bunch for blood, you get the idea. Mix in yellow for orange, typical art class stuff. That pic I linked is just that - food coloring and Elmer's glue. The water I'd use to get the right consistency. Especially if I was painting the inside, I'd want it a little runny so I could swirl it where I wanted, as opposed to having to get a brush and my big hands into a small opening.

If I was doing it for an indoor vase, obviously I'd paint the outside. Water would dissolve it. If I was doing it for a bottle tree, I'd paint the inside. I would suppose you could seal it with something, I was thinking something simple like clear nail polish. You'd lose the matte look and would have to do it lightly so as not to wipe off the glue, but I'm sure there is a way.

You can also "make" actual sea glass with a bit of time and the proper tool. All you need is some sort of tumbler. An actual rock tumbler would work, as would a cement mixer. Hell, you could salvage an electric motor out of a box fan / power drill / kid's Power Wheels, get a bucket / drum / garbage can, add some ingenuity and make one yourself. Just find glass you like, shatter it, and toss it in the tumbler with water and sand. Use beach sand, not fine sand from a pet store nor sand blasting medium. Let it tumble for 24-48 hrs and viola!. Endless supply of sea glass.

It's a little more frilly and arts and crafts-y, but banging out $50 items made of little more than free garbage helps temper any embarrassment ;)





^^^ both Pinterest ideas, btw. The ladies would eat these things up all day long =) Also makes a great gift for mom or significant other, who would love it not only because they're awesome, but because you took the time to make it yourself.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
September 16th, 2015 at 12:23:48 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Face
Ha! XD

Well, welders aren't entirely expensive. I have a Lincoln 220 SMAW that I got from Lowe's. It's kind of garbage on light stuff; I have a hell of a time trying to weld 22 gauge steel, like for body panels on a car. But for this app or big stuff like trailer tongues and roll cages, it's great. Was only mid $200. I got my eye on a 220 MIG, also from Lowe's. That runs mid $600 but would be great for all applications.

Keep in mind, these are new. CL, swap sheet, auction... I'm sure a cheap one can be found. Then you can do whatever, no matter how much Pops dislikes it =)


Heh heh. The big hurdle at my house is not the cash but the effort of a new 220V line. I keep thinking about getting a little HF job or something from CL but so many other tools to want! Meantime there is a half-spoken deal going on. My dad has a pretty good shop set up and the nice driveway to work in. My brother and I have not near as many tools and no good driveways. So we do work there. We get to use the facilities, my mother gets to have us visit, and he gets to watch his kids do work some of which he taught us. My only beef was he would not let me quench the piece I was welding in water!

I may try the bottle tree. I have a weird feeling it would be a hit for parties with friends of a friend in Buffalo.



Quote:
Depends what you mean and for what application. To make that matte sea glass look, you need little more than Elmer's, water, and food coloring. Just as in 1st grade art class, just mix enough coloring to get the shade and darkness you want. Drop of red for pink, couple more for rose, a whole bunch for blood, you get the idea. Mix in yellow for orange, typical art class stuff. That pic I linked is just that - food coloring and Elmer's glue. The water I'd use to get the right consistency. Especially if I was painting the inside, I'd want it a little runny so I could swirl it where I wanted, as opposed to having to get a brush and my big hands into a small opening.


I am thinking JD bottles, which my upstairs buddy empties regular. At the least have some to show a finished tree, at the best sell them for an additional $5 each.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
September 16th, 2015 at 12:41:03 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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edited
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
September 16th, 2015 at 12:43:31 PM permalink
Face
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Quote: AZDuffman
Heh heh. The big hurdle at my house is not the cash but the effort of a new 220V line.


Is there something that makes it difficult? I had to do the same thing, and I was super glad I did it. It was a right PITA working with the thick 12-2 line, don't get me wrong. But it was another in a long line of projects that left me with a huge feeling of accomplishment. And other than the difficulties of threading that thick line, it was otherwise a piece of cake and I now have a legit 220 plug in my garage for welder, air comp, whatever the hell I want.

Quote: AZD
My dad has a pretty good shop set up and the nice driveway to work in. My brother and I have not near as many tools and no good driveways. So we do work there. We get to use the facilities, my mother gets to have us visit, and he gets to watch his kids do work some of which he taught us.


Are we twins? XD My mom just moved 5 minutes away, and her new property has a huge tin barn with concrete floor. I already told her I was gonna use it as a shop for when I build a trailer / next race car / whatever and she said that would be great as then she could make sure I'm fed and would get to spend that much more time with me =)

Quote: AZD
My only beef was he would not let me quench the piece I was welding in water!


Can I ask why? Maybe I'll learn something. I was told never to do that, as it weakened the weld. I mean, I did it for the bottle tree, as load is a total non concern. But trailer tongue, cage, control arms, stuff that has hundreds if not thousands of pounds of pressure, I was told to always let it cool gradually.

Quote: AZD

I am thinking JD bottles, which my upstairs buddy empties regular. At the least have some to show a finished tree, at the best sell them for an additional $5 each.


Know your customer. When I made mine, I displayed it with a bunch of empty BBQ sauce flasks I had. I love that stuff, so seeing that appealed to me more than the "pretty" wine bottles. Grandma, she'd want the bright colors of the pics I've linked. Rough drunks in B-lo? JD might be just the ticket to score an order ;)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
September 16th, 2015 at 12:46:52 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 106
Posts: 10927
I know a guy who goes to scrap yards and auctions
and buy old metal parts from cars and whatever,
and makes yard sculptures out of them. Lots of
welding and cutting torch stuff, he gets hundreds
for them. Been doing it for 20 years. Looks a lot
like these.





If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.