ScrollSaw Information and Resources #65: Calculating Material Cost

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Blog entry by jerrells posted 11-13-2014 02:24 PM 1546 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 64: Magazine Subcriptions Part 65 of ScrollSaw Information and Resources series Part 66: American Girl Furniture patterns »

I am sure that this issue has been beaten to death but I wish for one more try.

When calculating material cost do you calculate the actual material required for the project or the amount of material you will need to purchase?

Case in point. I build doll furniture but that really does not matter. I calculated the actual material needed and came out to $11.00. I calculated the material required to purchase and would need to purchase $30.00 to have enough. Now I always know I can and will use the rest on some project but I am wondering how each of you approach this issue.

Thanks for your thoughts.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

3 comments so far

View kepy's profile


293 posts in 3079 days

#1 posted 11-13-2014 03:15 PM

I have always calculated the actual material required for the project. I have never purchased just enough material for one project so always have some on hand. For example, I am working on a project that involves small cutouts of 1/8” Baltic Birch. I always buy it in 5×5 sheets and am now working on the second order from one sheet and may have enough for a third order. Don’t think it would be fair to charge for the whole sheet 3 times.

-- Kepy

View SteveMI's profile


1158 posts in 4100 days

#2 posted 11-13-2014 03:57 PM

I agree with Kepy, but you also need to add a percentage to cover loss in material. If solid wood there can be knots, stains or splits. With plywood there can be voids or objectionable grain matching. You are not going to always get 100% usage. With solid wood it is usual to buy 10% to 15% above the exact amount needed to allow for that.


View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3810 days

#3 posted 11-15-2014 11:49 PM

I agree

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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