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DAB

No profit margin

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So a friend, who i've made something for previously, posts on FB a pic and link to an oval cutting board that overhangs an inside counter in the kitchen.  24x18, maple, available on Amazon for $132 with free shipping.

 

told him that there is no way that me making that for that price is worth me doing it.

 

figure i'd need about 4BF of lumber.  lumber that is 120 miles away (round trip).  so i'd spend about $24 on gas just to fetch the lumber, another $25 on the lumber, and another 3-4 hours making it over the course of a day or two.

 

132-49 = 83, and if i cover shipping, that would be about $30 to me (as i'm not a frequent shipper), so my paper profit is now about $53.  for 3 hours of effort, that's only about $17/hr.  not worth doing it once you factor in the fixed shop costs that should be accounted for to determine the real "money in my pocket" profit.

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Cherry pie.

 

My wife noted an ad for pie cherries at a local orchard.  Cherry pie is one of my favorites, so I made her read the intro of that book I"m reading.  We can buy pre-pitted, cooked and thickened cherry pie filling for a few dollars at Kroger or GFS.  Costco Cherry pies are huge and good, but unfortunately only available a few weeks every year.

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I've sold quite a few things. Done a number of cabinet commissions. Never quit the day job. 

Now, its all for fun. 

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39 minutes ago, John Morris said:

Location and market. While woodworking is not my primary day job, when I do make and sell, I make a very handsome profit.

I have no doubt. 

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Sorry Doug, whether you work past lunch or not, you still have to spend the time needed to keep the gov't happy.

Edited by It Was Al B

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au contraire!

 

not all income is taxed in the same manner.  work is heavily taxed, but capital gains are very lightly taxed (even zero in some cases).  you would be shocked at my fed tax bill last year.  wasn't much more than a pair of nice pistols. 

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Did your friend ask you to build the board or just post the image and price?

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54 minutes ago, Ron Dudelston said:

Did your friend ask you to build the board or just post the image and price?

 

he contacted me and asked.  i told him my price for a certain type and size board, still haven't heard back.

 

and what gets me is that something handmade of wood, if properly done, will be useful and beautiful for decades, but folks would rather spend their money on something very fleeting like a ticket to a concert or sporting event.  all to watch people being paid many multiples of what I or you might make.

 

people like the idea of handmade items, but they don't like the idea of paying for handmade items.

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36 minutes ago, DAB said:

people like the idea of handmade items, but they don't like the idea of paying for handmade items

They do Dab. They will pay. But you gotta go get em. 

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25 minutes ago, John Morris said:

They do Dab. They will pay. But you gotta go get em. 

 

if my supply of groceries depended on it, i'd figure out how to do that.  but thankfully, i don't.  i do woodworking for my own benefit.

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2 hours ago, John Morris said:

They do Dab. They will pay. But you gotta go get em. 

You're spot on, John.  My rate is $30 an hour plus materials.  I'm reasonable and covered up. 

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well, let's see, i still have a nice project i did in 8th grade, and that was about 40 years ago, i've had a fully functional shop in some form since 2003, so you could argue that i've been doing woodworking either 40+ years, or at least 14 years.  not always full time, but working on things as time, money, tools, and inspiration were available.  so i'd argue that if you are only charging 30/hr after all those many years of proving yourself and getting better, you are not charging enough.  that's only 60k if you can work full time all year long.  my plumber charges me 125/hr.  so if you came to my shop with a pile of money and a few ideas, we'd start talking at 100/hr (800/day).  otherwise, i'm quite happy doing my own thing and not being bothered by people looking to pay 10 cents on the dollar.  go to Ikea, they'll take care of you.

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My 2 cents worth is that there are not many business minded woodworkers. most are good at wood working but lousy at marketing and the business end. that describes me,and so many that I have seen try.

Herb

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