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DAB

'Could You Make This?' - Message From A Friend

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so i get a message this morning, with pic attached, from a friend, asking "could you make this?", and the pic shows several wine bottle/wine glass holders.

 

a simple piece of wood with a hole in the center that goes over the neck of a wine bottle, and then either 2 or 4 slotted holes on the perimeter that hold upside down wine glasses.

 

and the pic also showed these with some pretty CNC or laser engravings (i don't have either), and the price tags were between $20 to $25 each.

 

now i've seen these in other settings, and it turns out my wife has one that someone sent her long ago (holds 2 glasses, looks like it was made from Koa wood from Hawaii).

 

now to answer the question, "could you make this?" - yes, i'm pretty good at copying from a picture.  but the underlying question is "would you make this for me for not much more than I can buy one for" - and to that, the answer is no.

 

not worth my time.

 

ours:

 

and i don't even drink wine, so it's never used here.

fullsizeoutput_109e.jpeg

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1 hour ago, DAB said:

"would you make this for me for not much more than I can buy one for" -

 

heard that a time or two...

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awww, c'mon...

 

they think, "hey, he's retired, he likes working in his shop, surely he can spend some of his life/time designing and building something just for me, i'll pay for materials."

 

but if they are say a lawyer, you would never approach them and say "hey, you like doing lawyer stuff, could you draft up a will and POA this weekend in your spare time, i'll pay for the paper?"

 

you aren't paying for the materials, you can buy your own lumber, same as i have to.  

 

when you ask someone to do something for you, you are asking them to give you some of their time, their skill, their expertise, their hard won knowledge in return for nothing.

 

now, if i decide "you need a wooden bowl for your birthday", that's different, as it is I who is initiating the action, and I have decided to give you something that I made.

 

shoot, i've made things and gotten stiffed even on the materials cost.  that's the last time they ever got something from my shop.

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exactly...

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similar to this old story:

 

one day, a rich, proper lady is driving thru the deep south, trying to find a friends house, and she gets lost and then her car starts making odd noises.  worrying, and not knowing what could be wrong with her car, and not wanting to get stranded in an unknown area, she sees a little gas station with attached repair garage and pulls in.  out comes the owner, dressed in his best greasy overalls and trucker cap.  "can i help you ma'am?"

 

"oh yes, i'm lost and my car is making very odd noises, could you help me?"

 

"let me take a look."

 

he opens the hood, looks around, sees a loose vacuum hose, re-connects it, and the engine sounds right again.

 

"i'll get you a bill"

 

he comes back and hands her a bill for $500.

 

"$500? that's outrageous !!  I demand an itemized bill!"

 

"ok, hold on"

 

he comes back with a detailed bill that reads:  labor - $2, knowing what to do - $498, total - $500.

 

did i mention he was still holding her keys?

 

she huffs, and puffs, and angrily pays him his bill and storms off, never having asked for directions.

 

do you know the moral of the story?

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14 minutes ago, lew said:

I have noticed there are two professions that must deal with this phenomenon- doctors and computer/electronics technicians. People are always asking for free advice. 

People are always asking for free EVERYTHING, from anyone they think they can get it from.

While:

In the military "can you come show our militia group how to rig radios" "it's your duty; after all WE paid for your training"

While installing siding "as long as you're here can you fix XXX?"

In the art business "can you frame a picture for me?"

As soon as they know I can do scroll work: "If I wiggle my butt, you know, cute like, can you make me a custom piece for production prices?"

Every single job I've had, there have been those who seek to get a "special", nope to all of them.

 

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when I retired and shut down the shop..

amazing how many ''friends'' disappeared...

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DAB, my fav' version is George Washington, who was a surveyor.  Plus other things.  A friend (see, it's always a friend!*) wanted him to survey a property.  George worked for a couple hours, drove some stakes, set some pins, ran some string, gave the guy a bill for $100.  "Friend" demanded an itemized invoice.  George:  "For stakes, pins, strings, $2.  For knowing where to put them, $98".

 

*and this was before Zuckerman.  Whatever.

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I have had friends ask me if I can make, or repair, something for them.  They know full well I am just a hobbyist, not a professional.  I respond by saying maybe,  but you have to so some legwork first.  Sometimes, it is "Take some pictures of what is broken, and I'll see if it is something I want to get into".  Other times, "I'm not too good at replicating something from a picture.  Find me a set of plans, and we'll talk."  That has always been the last of the conversation. 

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I had a brother-in-law (my wife's little sister has since divorced him) who I helped fix his fixer-upper, spent a lot of time down there working on his house. As an example, I was going to night school at that time to get my engineering degree and would do stupid stuff like stop down after the last class, which let out at 10:10 PM, and put skim coats on the drywall in his living room. Anyway, he wore out his welcome after a while - another long story - but still tried to get me to do stuff for him. He called me at work one day - his conversations always started with, "How much would it cost to....................?"  He had bought some used French doors and wanted to install them in the doorway between the foyer and living room but they were too short and so needed to be extended, or maybe a transom built over the top. Did I mention I was at work, and not having a particularly good day? I quoted the "non-family" price - he'd paid for nothing up to this point so probably thought that was the family price - and there was silence on the phone for a good few seconds. Then he told me he'd get back to me after he talked it over with his wife - the subject never came up again.

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This used to come up with my pharmacy techs regularly. One asked me how much I would charge to do a coffee table and I told her 600 knowing that 10/hr would not pay for that. When I showed pics of my double tower entertainment center someone wanted to know how much to make one . Now this is something it took me 11 months to complete so i said 5000. Yes it does work.

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i designed and built our kitchen several years ago.  it took about a year from start to finish, had some health related delays along the way.  i kept careful track of what it cost, and the cabinets - lumber, hardware (pulls, glides, etc) ran just about $7000.  16x11 kitchen, including 44 drawers and 13 lazy susans, and a 30" deep island with matching drawers (16).

 

so if someone came to me and asked for something similar, if i liked them and wanted to take it on for the next many months (sounds like work), i'd start quoting somewhere around 80k.  assume 7k direct costs for materials, that leaves 73k "paper profit", of which about 1/2 will go to various gov't hands, that leaves me with about 37k for likely 4-5 months of work.  ok mr. new kitchen, how much do you make in 5 months?

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I got an e-mail from a guy today who is looking for someone to build two or three kitchen cabinet drawer replacements two or three times a year.   I am telling him that set up time is going to be a killer.   I've referred him on to companies that custom-make drawer boxes, likely banging them out by the thousands on CNC.

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