So you want to go pro #13: "The Price is Right" ?

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Blog entry by odie posted 01-17-2008 08:45 PM 1855 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: You Wanna a Piece of Me ? Part 13 of So you want to go pro series Part 14: The Customer ... Nuff Said »

Well, one more bowl turned and one more blog entry to write. And believe me, this is a good time to write this. It’s 4 degrees outside and 34 degrees in the shop. This topic is coming to a close. There are only a couple left to do I can think of, unless you have questions. Hell, there must be a couple of questions in Turlock. This is a tough topic to tackle. Say that 5 times really quick. Your pricing structure is this entries topic.

The first component of any price structure is the cost. What raw goods do you have in this work of art? You have wood plus 10% to 20% waste. Don’t forget your waste. 20% is a good figure. I give my customers a little break and charge 10% because I turn pens and make very small boxes with a lot of the waste. And don’t forget ALL of your materials that went into that, let’s say, “box”. Things like hinges, felt, felt dots on the bottom, finish, and glue are included. You will have other costs such as sandpaper you used.

With wood I have a little bit of a quandary. I use about 20 different wood species in my boxes. Some boxes, I make about one hundred a year. Each specie has a different price. I charge the same price for the same box with different woods (except for a few $$$). So, what do I do? I average the costs of the woods with a little twist. I use maple about 20% of the time, so the price of the maple counts for 20% of the average. And I do this with all of the species, and I came up with $7.52 per board foot. So, figure out your board feet used ( +20% ) x $7.52 and that’s your wood cost. And the disclaimer … your cost of wood may differ.

For my big jewelry boxes I use Beall round hinges. They’re $27.00 at Woodcraft. I buy mine directly from Beall at $16.00 each plus $8.00 for shipping 10 of them. If you are keeping score, that’s $16.80 spent for hinges for each jewelry box. I just saved my customer $10.20 on his purchase. I also save like gangbusters on sandpaper. At the hardware store sandpaper is about $1.00 per sheet any more. That’s F—-ing ridiculous to charge that much for sandpaper. I buy mine from Econ Abrasives at about $.17 per sheet if I buy 50 or 100 sheets. Look around, you can save big bucks if you try. And open a wholesale account with your wood supplier and don’t pay sales tax. Your customer pays the sales tax not you. On my large jewelry boxes I use 6 coats of spayed on lacquer. I pay about $27.00 for a gallon of lacquer and about $13.00 for a gallon of thinner. I can put six coats (mixed 50/50) on eight boxes with that at $5.00 per box. And so on, and on, and on.

Hot damn here we go … what is your time worth? This is the toughest question of all. When I worked for the telephone company five years ago I was worth over $25.00 plus benefits per hour. Now I live in the business owner world. Things sure have changed. This hourly figure will be different for everyone. I add $9.00 per hour to everything I make. That is the minimum that I work with. Somethings I make $20.00 an hour. Remember my little trick of not making only one of anything in my inventory? It takes me 60 hours to make my bigger jewelry boxes. If I make four of them it takes me sixteen hours each … see how I can save time? I hope this helps you.

for a good time ... click here

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

3 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35295 posts in 5743 days

#1 posted 01-18-2008 06:12 AM

Great Odie.

I’m having a good time. Are you. Did all of the snow melt. It’s 42 here today. It snowed about 45 million flakes, and they are all gone.

Great blog. Thanks.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 5282 days

#2 posted 01-18-2008 01:51 PM

Very good information here. Particularly when you’re talking about materials cost; sandpaper and finish cost money and are too often overlooked in pricing. I noticed you did not mention tool wear, though that calculation can drive you nuts. Once again, good information.

-- Working at Woodworking

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5503 days

#3 posted 01-18-2008 02:38 PM

again .. an excellent blog!!!
a wealth of knowledge and you share it well; to the point; easy to read; informative.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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