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Forum topic by FHG1 posted 02-26-2021 04:02 PM 244 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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41 posts in 3019 days

02-26-2021 04:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pricing

Hi Folks,

Not too sure where to post this question, but I’m sitting here having a cup of coffee and thought this might be a start. I was recently asked to flatten a walnut slab. The only thing I had to do the job at the time was a router. So after material to build the jig/sled, purchasing the bit and extension I was ready to go.

The slab is about 6’ long and approximately 22” wide. It had a wicked bow and slight twist. After shimming and all the prep work I was ready to go.

I figure I put in about 16hrs. of work (flattening and sanding to 100grit. So here’s my question:

How much do I charge?

Any help on this topic is gratefully accepted.



-- AnthonyG, Brockport New York

5 replies so far

View Rich's profile


6779 posts in 1645 days

#1 posted 02-26-2021 09:57 PM

You can’t include the time to build the jig—nor the cost of the tools—unless they agreed to that up front. So the real question is how long did you spend doing the actual flattening? Given the size, I can’t imagine you put in more than a couple of hours. Figure out what you want to charge for an hourly rate and go from there.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View firemanben's profile


1 post in 48 days

#2 posted 02-27-2021 09:07 AM

Is it right to charge tool costs to a specific job, aren’t they part of the hourly rate to cover annual tool costs

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2897 posts in 1218 days

#3 posted 02-27-2021 12:48 PM

I had a guy do a CNC job for me and he said he was going to charge me for the bits (it was in the contract) because the bits were of a non-common specific profile.
when I picked up the project, I asked for the bits and he refused.
with the hackles raised on both of us, I said: YOU CHARGED ME FOR THEM – so he deducted the price of the bits and I was on my way – never to return to his shop again.
so – be careful how you word the contract – best if in writing and signed by both parties. (before the job is started).

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View FHG1's profile


41 posts in 3019 days

#4 posted 02-27-2021 01:18 PM

Thank guys,

Thank you for your advice.

Rich- I wasn’t planning on charging for the jig set-up, but thank you for clarifying. I truly appreciate knowing I was on the right track.

I’m only charging for my time and consumables.

Thanks guys.


-- AnthonyG, Brockport New York

View controlfreak's profile


1986 posts in 657 days

#5 posted 02-27-2021 01:45 PM

You don’t need line item the charges for bits or other tools needed. I often have a line item for misc. hardware & materials or just fatten up the labor to cover the cost. A generic “tooling” to cover wear and tear on motors tools and new bits could easily hide the bit cost. You never know, you may break a bit or burnup a router. God forbid find an old nail in the tree. Unless you are upfront that there may be additional charges the customer will not likely accept them. I am not in the woodworking business but in mine I never line item anything in a estimate. If I did they will start shopping prices on the internet to shockingly discover that I mark them up to add profit and overhead. It also opens up your whole pricing structure when they show it to a competitor and say “can you beat this”. I list all I will do & provide, along with what is excluded in a single bottom line number. While at it you may want to specify the difference between flattened and sanded. ” final thickness is governed but how much material needs removal to achieve a flat surface”

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