So you think you can go pro ? :) #11: 12.60 per ft Cherry :( But Then again :)

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Blog entry by sawblade1 posted 10-09-2011 05:13 AM 1390 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Deep thoughts about a woodworking business Part 11 of So you think you can go pro ? :) series Part 12: Bapitizing the cat »

Good evening LJ’s,

It has been a while since I was last on here, not much to talk about been chasing down leads and coming up with some work but nothing big yet !!! Today I was roaming a different Lowe’s and found a queen Anne Leg 19 7/8” in length for only $20 really? found out from reading the carton made in China !!! Solid cherry, Good sanding Job Best of all I didn’t have to make it :) Here is where the line blurs. To make such a leg would cost about $45 from Osborne wood products WTH?? Why? well my friend here is why using a spreadsheet downloaded from This Is Carpentry I will explain. Assuming the Chinese Mfr. got the wood at the price of 7.50 Ft retail of the lumber at $14.50 cost figuring the going wages are .65 an hour And assume two hours production cost of $2 PER Capita for a cost of 3.30 per leg $17.80 total Net cost mark it up to $18.50 with shipping add $1.50 Profit or $6.00 per table assume 100 people buy 4 legs at $19.50 making a profit of $600 up it to 100 stores and profit goes up to $60,000!!!! In this country people don’t want to pay Why? Well figure out The labor cost from My company Impressions woodcraft :) Lets figure if I have one of those fancy automated machines that can whip out one in an Hour ( the Chinese Don’t have One LOL ) Well I may get a break of $1.50 off the wood from buying it bulk Labor cost of 15.00 Per Hour Plus FICA, SS, And taxes total $21.50 or 17.50per (divided in half by employee/company) $32.50 plus add in overhead of $10.00 per hour and it rises to $42.50 add a modest profit of $ 3.25 for a grand total of $45.75 now here is where the kick in the nut’s come Lets say you have a total of $75 of lumber before legs add in the legs from Lowe’s for a total of $80 total $155.00 add in 6 hours Labor at $35 per hour totaling $210 for a grand total of of $365.00 A dollar a Day :) or Going with Impressions Woodcraft’s legs the same table would be $468.00!!!! My Question is it ethical or not to use these legs regularly, Occasionally, or not at all Just would like to hear from my LJ’s and I will post my answer in my next Blog Just thought I would throw the bait out there Goodnight :)

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path [email protected]

4 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35202 posts in 4914 days

#1 posted 10-09-2011 05:18 AM

It’s probably our wood coming back to us with some value added. How do you compete?

-- 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 David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3622 days

#2 posted 10-09-2011 10:06 AM

I may not understand the question, so feel free to correct me if my response seems out of whack to what is being asked…

On the question of ethics in using the legs, I would think that is dependent on how you are advertising it. If your company, for example, is presenting itself as a woodworking retailer of completely manufactured furniture from a small shop, I could see a problem if you are mixing your creations with 3rd party parts, no matter where it is purchased from. If you advertise it as domestic manufactured furniture, then mixing it with imported parts could be construed as unethical. There reaches a point where manufacturing starts turning into assembly.

I would imagine any small shop would have difficulties competing in price, so my assumption would be that the draw to doing business with a local manufacturer would be for quality, support of a local business, physical presence to direct concerns or repairs, or the ownership of a piece of furniture that is unique because it has touches that are handmade. If you were competing in price, I would question the wisdom of purchasing wood, parts, fasteners, etc. from a big name box store instead of a wholesaler. I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on this and look forward to the next post.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23401 posts in 3619 days

#3 posted 10-09-2011 05:37 PM

First of all. I think the Chinese DO have the fancy machines to make these legs. I don’t think they hand carve them. They probably built the machine as a copy of one of USA manufacture like they copy everything else.
Is it ethical to use them? Are you in business to make money? You have to in order to compete. You cannot advertise totally American made but look at a Chevy or a Ford( USA nameplates but built with tons of foreign made parts). You use Chinese TV’s, microwaves, band saws, lathes and everything else so why not a few legs.
The only thing unethical is the value of the Yen. It is devalued by the Chinese and no one is touching that- probably because we owe them so much money.

Get what you need at the best price and put out a good looking and functioning product and make your customer happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View jack1's profile


2130 posts in 4540 days

#4 posted 10-10-2011 02:30 AM

I suppose if you have a client that is concerned with price, you could offer the imported legs and explain that they are not made in your shop but meet (if they do) your standards. Be upfront. It could save a sale.

Side note, I’m sure the Chinese have all the newest machines. They buy on the open market as we do. I.e., Festool, Bosch…

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

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