How much should I charge

Messages
67
I work for a Hardwood lumber company. We specialize in exotic lumber, Domestic Lumber Tools and supplies for woodworkers. Often people come in needing things done like re-sawing, Glue-ups and other odds and ends. These are often woodworkers that do not have the equipment to do it them selves or contractors needing things. What would be a decent charge for the following if I take it home to the shop and do it.

Resawing?
Panel Glue-up
Planing a board
Straight Line Rip


Greg
 
Messages
2,323
Location
Houston, Texas
Hi Gregory,
I think you need a basic minimum charge whether it be the cost of 1/4 of an hour labor fee ( check out the fee at a fair mechanic shop at 50.00 75.00 or more per hour) or a full hour fee if in fact you are in the shop already. Don't sell what you do cheap or people will think what you do is pure labor, minimum wage. Sure, you can "Robin Hood'' people but consider the time you are doing their work as hourly, plus electicity, plus the mortgage of that portion of your "shop" for that period of time, plus the the insurance on your vehicle and your health insurance for that period of time, applied to a number tagged on for use of your equipment and the cleanup afterwards. The amount of time it is worth for you not to be with your family for that period of time to do their work and clean up and all of a sudden you are worth more than you imagined. These are considerations that keep people in business, OH YES, I FORGOT, ADD IN PROFIT... Plus all the extra time you spent talking to them and handling their material before it got to the saw. You already owe me $50.00:rofl: Be fair, be good, love one another.
Shaz
That number can only be decided by you.:)
 
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Ed Nelson

Member
Messages
1,486
Location
Charlotte, NC
Are you doing this for the store or on the side? Is there no store policy set? My suggestion would be to allow x number of cuts at no charge. This is good customer relations and people will remember that. after x number of cuts are done, I would think an hourly rate would be the easiest and fairest way to handle the situation.
 

Art Mulder

Member
Messages
3,383
Location
London, Ontario
...for the following if I take it home to the shop and do it.

Greg,

Seems to me that it would be more practical for the business to put some tools in their shop and do it right there.

It isn't something I would want to take on as a side business. Those are some of the more boring and time consuming parts of this hobby! In a shop they could justify buying some beefy tools, that would do this job much faster than you would at home (ie: a home lunchbox planer is going to be slower than a large stationary model)

I've seen a number of places here that charge 25 cents a board foot for planing. I've never seen someone offer re-sawing, but again, that shouldn't be that much time involved if you have a decent big bandsaw there. The panel glue-up though... that requires a lot of work. You'd need to be very careful to figure out the time involved before coming up with a price.
 
Messages
67
To clarify. No this is not being done by the store. We do millwork at the store and our charge is $100.00 per hour. However on a daily basis someone comes in and needs something outside of what the store offers. Example a guy buys a board of 8/4 Zebrawood and wants it resawn into two 3/8 pieces, and bookmatched. He or she saw it done on some DIY show but does not have the tools or know how to do it. Or someone wants some board cleaned up to 1/4 inch which our huge double sided planer cant do but my planer and drum sander can handle. So these are all things I would take home and do for a side fee.
On a side note their is no issue with the store as I am the General Manager. Just wondering what you feel these different services are worth. I am not advertising or offering these services but it helps to be able to quote a price if someone needs it. I often farm out a lot of work to local woodworkers. I may do this on my own or even work up a price list that the store could get a cut if we farm the work out to someone else.

Greg
 

Frank Fusco

Member
Messages
12,737
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Tough question. A lot depends on whether you are trying to make a decent profit or are providing a good will service with only minimal profit. Consider, you have to haul, do the work and, maybe, deliver. Plus your machinery must be amortized. Also consider what happens if you make a mistake and mess up their wood. Off the top of my head, I would suggest $50.00 an hour, not counting hauling, with a $20.00 minimum. e.g. one board planed, five minutes = $20.00. Let us know how it works out.
 

Bartee Lamar

Member
Messages
499
Location
Alpharetta GA ( Metro Atlanta)
Just a word of caution. I did my 1st serious resaw on a piece of 8/4 cherry to get a book matched top. It warped alot!! People MUST undertand that resawn 8/4 will warp since you have changed all of the internal stress.

This will happen over a day or so, then they will be unhappy and be coming back. You will then need to be ready to run the lumber thru a jointer and a planer to get back to a usuable piece of wood.

Also the difference in shop temp and humidity can change the board once you are finished with it.

If I am wrong on this, I hope someone will correct me.

As for charges, I think Frank is on target. It's your equipment and time, do not give it away.
 

John Dow

Former Member (at his request)
Messages
535
Just a word of caution. I did my 1st serious resaw on a piece of 8/4 cherry to get a book matched top. It warped alot!! People MUST undertand that resawn 8/4 will warp since you have changed all of the internal stress.

This will happen over a day or so, then they will be unhappy and be coming back. You will then need to be ready to run the lumber thru a jointer and a planer to get back to a usuable piece of wood.

Also the difference in shop temp and humidity can change the board once you are finished with it.

If I am wrong on this, I hope someone will correct me.

As for charges, I think Frank is on target. It's your equipment and time, do not give it away.

To some extent with table tops and panels captured in a rigid carcase frame, you can use other structural elements to compensate for bow and warp, but it is a case by case sort of thing and best avoided when possible. It is pretty alarming when your nice piece of 8/4 turns into two potatoe chips, and thats a good thing to consider when resawing for someone else.

My only other bit of input here would be to suggest that you set the prices high enough to discourage nussiance work. Even if this is more or less a favor, someone is sure to come along with a bad idea that they want you to help them execute, and a $50 to $75/hour charge is usually helpful in discouraging them. You can always charge less for easy stuff after the fact without any hard feelings, but it doesn't work the other way around.
 
I would charge the same the store does, $100 per hour, and then as John suggested, give them break for simple stuff. Probably makes sense to charge for pickup and delivery, if offered, separately. I like the idea of a minimum charge, too.

You probably want an order sheet that the customer signs acknowledging that while you will use workmanlike techniques, the end results cannot be guaranteed as wood can be dynamic.

And above all, I would never allow customers in the shop while work is being done - huge liability.
 

Bill Simpson

Member
Messages
1,756
Just a word of caution. I did my 1st serious resaw on a piece of 8/4 cherry to get a book matched top. It warped alot!! People MUST undertand that resawn 8/4 will warp since you have changed all of the internal stress.

This will happen over a day or so, then they will be unhappy and be coming back. You will then need to be ready to run the lumber thru a jointer and a planer to get back to a usuable piece of wood.

Also the difference in shop temp and humidity can change the board once you are finished with it.

If I am wrong on this, I hope someone will correct me.

As for charges, I think Frank is on target. It's your equipment and time, do not give it away.


I personally have a problem with the term Internal Stresses although it is often used by folks supposedly in the know and being a lowly genius and smart arse, I have my own opinion...:D Having said that.... Often these occurances are based on moisture content rather than "Stress" (Stress causes Heart Attacks" But, many woods are not acclimated to their environment properly. Move a piece from storage or a store or a shop or a basement or whatever and then take it to another environment and it will begin to absorb moisture or emit moisture depending on the conditions. But you grab that piece and slice it in half... now the inside is exposed and it has not yet caught up to the outside in Moisture content. Whoa, Bend over backwards..... But If you were to act as if it were a virgin just cut from the tree and sticker stack under some weight and allow the newly cut side to catch up to the older outer side then you can ellievate this problem. These same conditions are used for Hardwood flooring, any materials used in project work, etc. Acclimate the wood to the environment and "Train" it the way you wantit to be. Stacking and allowing air flow as it gets used to the new surroundings... Treat you\r wood like you treat your tropical fish. If you go to the pet shop and buy a new fish, bring it home, you don't dunk it into the tank directly, it will die from the shock of the temperture differences. Same with wood, snatch it from one environment and expose it to another , it takes time to acclimate. :type: Man I took a long time to get to the point. But I hope you understand what I am conveying... Although it has nothing to do with the original query on price for fellow WWers.
 
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Bartee Lamar

Member
Messages
499
Location
Alpharetta GA ( Metro Atlanta)
Bill,

Thanks, good advice.....

I did try to sticker the slices, but waited a little too long. It all worked out. I got to learn how to use my LN Jack Plane.

I enjoy learning from each little thing that I do.

And... from everything posted here....
 
Messages
1,515
Location
Austin, Texas
I don't look for mill work, but when I agree to help someone out (as a favor), like you described, I charge $1 per minute - 10 minutes, $10, for me to use any machine in my shop. They bring the wood, which must be clean. (Occasionally I may also provide a board, but I pick the wood from my stack, it is my choice of average quality... they can't pick through my stock. They buy the whole board, and whatever they don't take becomes mine - I won't store wood for the next time they come back)
 

Frank Fusco

Member
Messages
12,737
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
I don't look for mill work, but when I agree to help someone out (as a favor), like you described, I charge $1 per minute - 10 minutes, $10, for me to use any machine in my shop. They bring the wood, which must be clean. (Occasionally I may also provide a board, but I pick the wood from my stack, it is my choice of average quality... they can't pick through my stock. They buy the whole board, and whatever they don't take becomes mine - I won't store wood for the next time they come back)

Charlie, I believe that is the only way to charge. I have a friend who has given up selling hardwood because he says there was too much waste. He would cut large boards and charge only for what the customer took. The rest often ended up in his fireplace. Another friend has just started the selling of hardwood. He charges for the entire board but will cut (for a price) to the size the customer wants. Customer is free to take it all or leave the short ends. Usually they leave them. Friend puts shorts in bundles and sells again. Now, HE is making a profit.
 

tod evans

Member
Messages
4,982
Location
ozarks
I work for a Hardwood lumber company. We specialize in exotic lumber, Domestic Lumber Tools and supplies for woodworkers. Often people come in needing things done like re-sawing, Glue-ups and other odds and ends. These are often woodworkers that do not have the equipment to do it them selves or contractors needing things. What would be a decent charge for the following if I take it home to the shop and do it.

Resawing?
Panel Glue-up
Planing a board
Straight Line Rip


Greg


greg, i don`t base my fees off anybody elses pricing.....figure out what you need to make per hour to cover expenses/wages and profit and bill in 1/4 hr. blocks of time.....i`d rather have a fellow come back every week to have 4 boards straightlined for 10 bucks as to have somebody come by once and pay 45 bucks and complain to their friends how high prices where.....you`ll be covered up soon enough with actual "work" that you won`t have time to do the piddley stuff for folks so leave as many as possible with a good taste in their mouths....tod
 
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