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Thread: How much do we charge?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    How much do we charge?

    we all have done projects and some were for friends and alot were for family. well there comes a time when we are asked to get something in return from a stranger or not so close friend. so here is a situation. both me and Steve Ash have made a couple of things and we have been asked to do others for some remebursement in the past! we wont go into the past any more than that, but its not all been good or profitable. so here is a project that has been in the past, i have attached 2 pics so you can see what its supposed to look like and i would like to hear your take on how and what to price it at..
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    ok here are the specs, 46" wide. 19.5 deep ,19" high to the seat lid flat.
    materails are red oak- 30Bf....aromatic Red cedar 30Bf,, one 48"continous hinge..finish and consumabils

    the bottom is solid red cedar as is the back and the raised panels, no ply wood anywhere.

    so to those who do this for a price on occassion or regulary what would you charge and hw do you go about figuring that cost? thanks and i hope this will give the rst of us a idea of what our endeavors are worth vrs the art vans of this country!!!
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    For family, it is usually free. Often my son reimburses for materials. For others, I would compare commercial built similar stuff then add a premium for the custom part. Don't sell yerself cheap or it will always stay that way.
    Edit: Forgot to say: Very fine looking chest. Whoever gets it will be right proud.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Inside the Beltway
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    "the bottom is solid red cedar as is the back and the raised panels, no ply wood anywhere."

    Larry,

    Are you asking yourself the right questions? How many hours will it take to make it? Don't forget the time it would take to acquire the materials, even if you already have them on hand. How long will finishing take?

    And consultation... that's a big one. When Doorlink sings a wedding, it looks like she makes a lot per hour... except it doesn't count the many hours she spends on the phone with the bride (or the bride's mother), the travel time, arranging for the musicians, etc., etc...

    And what's the real cost of materials? Again, even if you have them on hand already, what's the real replacement cost? Do you need new tools, accessories (blades, bits, etc.)?

    There's an old saying that goes 'If farmers actually had to use real accounting metrics, no farm would turn a profit.' I suspect that's true for woodworkers as well, which may be why things haven't worked out as well as they might have in your previous experience. Maybe you can make this a test... figure out the actual time to make *the whole enchilada*, from conception to delivery, and the actual cost (including the gas to deliver it...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    The Heart of Dixie
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    Assuming your don't want to do it for free or fun. Figure a labor rate you want to make and estimate the hours it would take. That will run most of them off.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    That is one very nice piece or work Larry

    Not going to find one of those at Walmart

    I guess it also depends on your location, I'm sure the Vaughn could get a lot more for work like that in SoCal, then would be paid in areas of the country that are not so upscale.

    Good luck with it, and do not sell yourself short!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    i guess i am miscommunicating here i will try to clear it up some. i am asking you the family from your expeirnces what would the cost be i know what you are sayin bill completly dont enter me in this picture i asking your price for a total stranger.. and why or how you come to that price.
    believe me i know the hidden costs me and steve both do from the past.. but this is to shed light on the real picture like you hinted at with the farmers..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    That is one very nice piece or work Larry

    Not going to find one of those at Walmart

    I guess it also depends on your location, I'm sure the Vaughn could get a lot more for work like that in SoCal, then would be paid in areas of the country that are not so upscale.

    Good luck with it, and do not sell yourself short!
    I never said i made it! i am still tryin to figure which end of the hammer to use
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,808
    Well, some ballpark figuring, 60 Bft of lumber, say $3 a Bft, is $180, add another $50 for sundries, like finish, the hinge, sawblade sharpening, sandpaper etc, to get to $230, just in round figures for the materials.

    I'd then at least double that to $460 for labour, so safe to say, $700 to a complete stranger Heck I might just make it $750, seeing as your gas prices went up so much

    Who's turn at bat is it next?
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
    Its very difficult to see from the pics but assuming that this is built to "heirloom quality" and is a one off commisioned piece , if you were trying to make a living at it, then I could see a number closer to double what Stu has said - In my market .

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    10,188
    its all dependant upon the market where its sold.

    If you place that piece in a small boutique in lower Manhattan, it might fetch 1800 bucks. (people like names, so it can be called a Steve Ash or Larry Merlau original, if you made it Im talking)
    If it was in the Amish section of Lancaster PA,in a furniture outlet, it might fetch 400-600
    If its for a cheap friend, it might fetch 350 with alot of poverty crying.

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