I have had a full-time job in the medical field for 25 years, and have a good nest egg built up. Years ago I did general construction and I've done hobby woodworking throughout my adult life. I would like to learn cabinet and furniture making from a professional.
In order not to burn bridges, I may be able to work five hours a morning at my present job, and three to four hours an afternoon in a shop until I know that cabinetmaking is the direction I want to take.
Would it be reasonable to ask a cabinetmaker for a job with those limited hours? I could offer low wages (maybe no wages) and no benefits for a time (six months?) as a way to get my foot in the door. There are no schools around; your suggestions or alternatives would be helpful.
The approach you are taking is right on track. I have a small (six man) manufacturing company that fabricates wooden aircraft components. My most-recent employees are a retired military doctor and a retired physicist. Both have always wanted to "play" in a woodworking shop.
When work becomes pleasure, it ceases to be work.