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View McFly's profile

How to start charging for cutting boards?

by McFly
posted 07-31-2016 12:41 AM


21 replies so far

View jwmalone's profile

jwmalone

769 posts in 1088 days


#1 posted 07-31-2016 12:47 AM

Whatever the market will bear.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View bobkberg's profile

bobkberg

439 posts in 3459 days


#2 posted 07-31-2016 01:15 AM

I remember a contractor who was a friend of my dad’s. Whenever his workload increased too much, he’d raise his price. Worked like a champ! He had plenty of work, and a moderate waiting list.

I’d recommend setting an hourly charge with a minimum of 15 to 30 minutes. Meaning you charge them for 15 minutes of work whether or not it takes that long. When they interrupted you, they probably caused you more than that in lost time doing something else.

If it looks like it will take longer, then apologize in advance: “Gosh, I’m sorry, but it looks like I’m going to have to charge you $X for that”.

Or just: “OK, that’s going to cost $X.00. Is that all right with you?”

Make sure that you get their approval in advance – that way, there are no surprises for either party.

-- Bob www.singularengineering.com - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View McFly's profile

McFly

273 posts in 1413 days


#3 posted 07-31-2016 01:19 AM

Good answer.

View McFly's profile

McFly

273 posts in 1413 days


#4 posted 07-31-2016 03:25 AM

I think charging between $0.25 and $0.50 per sq inch is reasonable depending on size, pattern and species. Guess I’ll see what the market bears.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30349 posts in 2724 days


#5 posted 07-31-2016 03:44 AM

It will really depend on type of wood and complexity of the design.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1381 posts in 1202 days


#6 posted 07-31-2016 05:10 AM

If you are making end grain boards, they take a lot more work to build than edge grain boards. I make some that have an inlay and that requires a lot more time plus a CNC router. Complex 3-D patterns can take days just for the glue to dry multiple times. What I am leading up to is can you post a picture or at least description of the boards? I think you will get better answers.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2705 posts in 3308 days


#7 posted 07-31-2016 11:26 AM

Jwmalone has it right. What ever the market will bare.

If you want to earn $ making wooden items you could figure out what you need to make them and if they do not sell, stop making them and make something else. In my case I sell my small crafty items rather cheaply because I AM going to make them and have two options: Sell them cheaply or burn them. Easy decision for me.

-- No PHD just a DD214

View McFly's profile

McFly

273 posts in 1413 days


#8 posted 07-31-2016 12:41 PM



It will really depend on type of wood and complexity of the design.

- Monte Pittman


My patterns are still fairly simple, Long grain boards made by edge gluing strips.

Lumber is mostly premium hardwood with some exotic accents.

This one is my largest yet @ 20×20x2.5”.
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/226474

View McFly's profile

McFly

273 posts in 1413 days


#9 posted 07-31-2016 12:42 PM



If you are making end grain boards, they take a lot more work to build than edge grain boards. I make some that have an inlay and that requires a lot more time plus a CNC router. Complex 3-D patterns can take days just for the glue to dry multiple times. What I am leading up to is can you post a picture or at least description of the boards? I think you will get better answers.

- ArtMann

I’m just a simple guy making simple boards. No cnc/3d router for me here. Just a jointer, planer, saw and a sander.

View McFly's profile

McFly

273 posts in 1413 days


#10 posted 07-31-2016 12:44 PM

Here’s a link to my projects page.
http://lumberjocks.com/McFly/projects

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2770 posts in 2576 days


#11 posted 07-31-2016 09:33 PM

I would suggest you search the net for cutting boards, see how they compare to what you are doing – end grain, exotic woods, etc, and use those prices to average a basis in determining your charges for a completed board. After that, see how long it takes you to make one, deduct the cost of lumber, then divide the remaining money by your hours of labor to determine your hourly income.
This should pretty much let you know rather quickly if you want to go into production.
Good luck.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1381 posts in 1202 days


#12 posted 08-01-2016 04:12 PM

If you are making end grain boards, they take a lot more work to build than edge grain boards. I make some that have an inlay and that requires a lot more time plus a CNC router. Complex 3-D patterns can take days just for the glue to dry multiple times. What I am leading up to is can you post a picture or at least description of the boards? I think you will get better answers.

- ArtMann

I m just a simple guy making simple boards. No cnc/3d router for me here. Just a jointer, planer, saw and a sander.

- McFly

Your pictures look nice. You mention stepping up your game a little. You don’t need any more equipment than you already have to create some really fancy glue-ups for cutting boards. It just takes more time and careful machining. If you do that, a much larger price is warranted.

View McFly's profile

McFly

273 posts in 1413 days


#13 posted 08-01-2016 04:22 PM



I would suggest you search the net for cutting boards, see how they compare to what you are doing – end grain, exotic woods, etc, and use those prices to average a basis in determining your charges for a completed board. After that, see how long it takes you to make one, deduct the cost of lumber, then divide the remaining money by your hours of labor to determine your hourly income.
This should pretty much let you know rather quickly if you want to go into production.
Good luck.

- Oldtool

That Is my plan. Heck, that’s almost verbatim what I jotted down yesterday. Great minds think alike!

View McFly's profile

McFly

273 posts in 1413 days


#14 posted 08-01-2016 04:25 PM


If you are making end grain boards, they take a lot more work to build than edge grain boards. I make some that have an inlay and that requires a lot more time plus a CNC router. Complex 3-D patterns can take days just for the glue to dry multiple times. What I am leading up to is can you post a picture or at least description of the boards? I think you will get better answers.

- ArtMann

I m just a simple guy making simple boards. No cnc/3d router for me here. Just a jointer, planer, saw and a sander.

- McFly

Your pictures look nice. You mention stepping up your game a little. You don t need any more equipment than you already have to create some really fancy glue-ups for cutting boards. It just takes more time and careful machining. If you do that, a much larger price is warranted.

- ArtMann


I meant I wanted to try adding the curved ribbons – still haven’t nailed that process down yet and maybe do an end grain board to see how it goes.
Making board that are more complex will certainly command a higher price than simple slabs with a 3/8” roundover.

View Puzzleman's profile

Puzzleman

417 posts in 3330 days


#15 posted 08-01-2016 05:02 PM

I would suggest that you track your time and materials to determine your true costs.
There is a blog post here by Huff that discusses really well how to price your work.
(Search for Huff and go to his blog)

Now if the market will bear more than what you determine to be your minimum price, by all means sell at the higher price. As you make more complex boards, you need to take into account the extra time and tools to make them.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler, http://www.hollowwoodworks.com

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

606 posts in 1848 days


#16 posted 08-01-2016 08:25 PM



Here s a link to my projects page.
http://lumberjocks.com/McFly/projects

- McFly


I get $60-65 for long grain boards like what you have on your project page. $90. and up on my end grain boards depending on size and complexity of the glue up. Thats based on a board measuring around 12”x17”.
There are alot of articles about how to charge for your time. My uncle is a welder. On side jobs he would charge material cost times 3 for iron gates and such. I have another friend who owns a wood shop. She charges around $60/ hr plus material cost. I know the pros are looking at all the overhead of tool cost, shop rental, etc.
I’m a woodworker by hobby, and figured $30/hr. when I started. And then I adjusted my fee sometimes, when it took me 2 or 3 times longer to complete a project than what my professional friends would take. I have been at it long enough now that I need to figure out a real hourly rate that I can stick to.

You can’t forget to look at the market you live in too. Small town with not alot going on, good luck getting $60 for a cutting board.

-- John

View becikeja's profile

becikeja

991 posts in 3199 days


#17 posted 08-02-2016 12:06 AM

You need to believe in your price point, or no one else will.
If you price too low than many buyers will consider your product inferior.
If you price to high, than you won’t sell any.
Price as a hobbyist and that is what your customers will pay.
Price as a professional and see what your skills are worth.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View DirtyMike's profile

DirtyMike

637 posts in 1288 days


#18 posted 08-02-2016 12:30 AM

I would suggest you make only end grain cutting boards unless you have request face grain. The amount of time required to make end grain vs face grain is minimal and they will look better longer. There are several cheap tricks to make end grain cutting boards look way better than your competitors, that is where you win.

View Jon Hobbs's profile

Jon Hobbs

147 posts in 1090 days


#19 posted 08-02-2016 08:58 PM


Whatever the market will bear.

- jwmalone

True dat. Also consider – what’s it worth to you? Once money enters the equation, things change. Friends, relatives, and neighbors that wait patiently for freebies become customers that have demands. Delivery schedule, design, quality level, etc. People will think the exchange of money entitles them to place all sorts of demands on you. It will become a bit of a headache. What amount of money will make it worth it to you to tolerate that headache? If the market will bear that number, great! If not, you may want to stick with giving things away for free, if, when, and however you chose to do so.

-- Jon -- Just a Minnesota kid hanging out in Kansas

View bigblockyeti's profile (online now)

bigblockyeti

5741 posts in 2106 days


#20 posted 08-02-2016 11:29 PM

If you can get $.50/sq in. for long grain cutting boards, that sounds pretty good IMHO. I target $120 for 12” x 18”-20” end grain cutting boards cut at 1 3/8” thick. Fairly simple layout, primary species typically used are: hard maple, cherry, walnut & purple heart. The real work is in getting the long grain glue up very flat before cutting and gluing, then flattening the end grain which can be very laborious even when glued up well. I don’t have a drum or wide belt sander so I have to work through the grits using a hand held belt sander then switching to a ROS. Edge features add another step and more $$ if that’s what someone is looking for. Do remember you might have people try to talk you down, but you’ll very, very rarely have someone try to talk you up from your asking price.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Robert's profile

Robert

3394 posts in 1866 days


#21 posted 08-03-2016 04:10 PM

McFly there’s now way to answer it without know what type of wood, artistic aspects, how long it takes to make one, etc.

I guess you could ask people how much they would give you, then double it.


I remember a contractor who was a friend of my dad s. Whenever his workload increased too much, he d raise his price. Worked like a champ!
Ha, that reminds me an older man in the same business I’m in said he wanted to slow down so he raised his prices.

Business boomed more than ever!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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