Saturday, May 22, 2021

Start-up Costs

Starting up is always an investment. If you're going to do good work, you really need a dedicated space that meets your needs. So, after my return from my apprenticeship in Germany and the School for Book Conservation in Ascona (read about my "path" starting here), my father and I built a bench in two parts with storage and other features. We got my set-up this going as quickly as I could to keep my bench skills up and earn some $$ while looking for a job as a conservator. VERY important to work with others at this early career stage for professional development and mentoring. Then, of course, I needed supplies, some equipment, ... My father, as was his habit, kept track and made sure I did as well. While the dollar amount is no longer available, I recently rediscovered this pie-chart he made to remind me. 

Pie (and other) charts, the bane of my existence. 🙄

Set-up was for bench and equipment like vacuum pump and home built suction box; travel for the MARC train from Baltimore to DC and Bookmakers, then owned by Gus Valetri. That was in a tiny office space in an old DC office building; subscriptions were Designer Bookbinders, Institute of Paper Conservation, IADA's Maltechnik-Restauro, Abbey Newsletter, Guild of Book Workers, ...; books, well you can never have enough of them, but I started small (and enjoyed the 40% discount from working at the campus bookshop part-time); photo documentation equipment; supplies included papers, board, leather, dyes/pigments, hand tools.

The benches as first set up in my childhood basement.

Here, the 2-part bench with flat files and storage on one side, light table / paring surface on the other half. I still use the benches and presses... The press on the bench served as the model for the Arnold Grummer Quiknip, a great press for those starting out that will give a lifetime of service. The flexibility to break the benches down in their component parts made it easy to modify (read bring them down to a more normal desk height) due to changes in mobility..., something I describe in Bookbinding and Adapting to Life Changes

When taken apart, the bench with both halves and drawers
could fit into the back of a late-1980s sub-compact.
Above my first car! Same color/style, too. It gave me 6 years of
very reliable service, despite its reputation.

I still keep track of expenses and income, but it would not be prudent to tally all that up, especially for the books... 

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