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How much for the box????

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A

Anonymous

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Hi all

Well, I have been asked by 3 people to make and sell to them a houndstooth box :shock:

My main concerns are:
How much do I charge? The first box took 5 hours just to cut the joints!
Do I really want to make more than one of any design? Probably not.

But then there is money involved here and it would be nice to make something that someone really values and wants

I might be tempted to try selling various box designs online or in a local nik-nak shop if I go ahead with the three and find the experience pleasant :?

What do you reckon?
 

Les Mahon

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Tony,

I make hand carved bowls for sale in a craft shop, but I have made none yet this year as I am bored with making small simple designs that sell! I have a couple of larger ones that I am working on at the moment that I will put in, but I will put relativly large prices on them to reflect the number of hours that take (about 8 hours each, not counting the chainsaw time to get the wood originally)

To me it has been a source of extra tool money for the last few years, but as you say making the same design over and over is ot what I want to be doing, and the amount of money involved has been small.

Just my few cents worth, though it is probably wrth making the three and seeing how you feel after????

Les
 

Shady

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Hmmm: speaking as a complete amateur:

Many of the people in your position whose stories I've seen comment that this can very quickly turn from relaxing hobby fun into pressured drudgery.

Soo, assuming you're not intending to give up the day job any time soon, I'd be inclined to come at it from 2 aspects:

Firstly, do I like/know these people enough to want to do something for them at, realistically, below the market value of my skills?

Secondly, get them to understand the time and costs involved: why not get them to pay for the raw stock, so that you're clearly showing the cost of (say) 5 hours work?

In my experience, I prefer not to go commercial in any way with friends... leads to ex-friends. If they ain't friends, hit them with a sensible figure, and if they're still interested, why not give it a try?
 

gidon

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Tony

If you know them well - I would ask them what they are willing to pay. You may be surprised.

It really depends whether you want to make money from making them or just cover you costs with a little extra for your time? And do you really want to make 3 boxes the same - good practice but may get a little dull.

Cheers

Gidon
 

Pete W

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Not much to add, but to put it a little differently...

If they're friends, charge the cost of materials plus a little profit. This way you're simply exchanging a bit of time for tool funds.

Otherwise, working out a 'fair' price can be difficult. I've seen many people operate a simple '2x or 3x cost of materials' policy.

But I wouldn't spend much time thinking/worrying about it :).
 
A

Anonymous

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Thanks for the initasl repsnses; very useful :D

I think you've identified the third problem - these are close friends :? (who have offered to pay for the boxes rather than me asking for payment)

By the way, 5 hours is only to cut the joints, total time for box is quite a bit more with careful stock prep by hand and there are the rebates, tops and bottoms + the handle to make
 

jasonB

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Depends on if it is just a hobby or you are making a living.

I would be looking to charge £125.00 just for cutting the joints if it took 5hrs. Let alone cost of timber, prep timber, hardware finishing etc. You can see why some of the boxes by makers like Peter Lloyd and Andrew Crawford sell for several thousand pounds.

If just a hobby and you get the cost of a new tool or the materials for another project out of it you may well be happy with that.

Making three the same will reduce production time if they are done in a batch, maybe with different woods. If that is too monotonus then slight variations to size, proportion and lid design may make it more interesting.

I feel the only way to get a realistic price for small boxes, turning, etc is to sell them in gallaries as art, the average buyer at a boot fair or craft stall will not want to spend what you would need to ask if making a living from it.

Jason
 

Chris Knight

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Tony,

I'd be inclined to make them as gifts for close friends - or just possibly to circle something in a catalogue and say "when it's my birthday..."
 

beech1948

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Tony,
Assuming you mean to create a profit ( its a good thing by the way not a bad thing) then the calculation is:

Overheads
Space+rental+electricity+water+gas+telephone+heating+lighting+cleaning+compliance with regulations+Health and Safety+tools+replacement tools fund+wood+new tools fund+salary+PAYE+NIC+corporation tax+your hourly rate+mileage rate+vehicle cost+vehicle replacement fund and all the other little bits I probably forgot

to which you must add at least 25% and preferably 35% net profit

GOD!!!!!!! who would be in business
 

Gill

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I'd suggest you err on the side of being expensive rather than being cheap to start with. It's easy to lower your prices if the market baulks, but almost impossible to raise them if the work isn't financially viable.

Gill
 

Bean

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Tony having been down this very route with a local shop at Christmas believe me it was a relief when I had finished. 6 Boxes all the same, the first was interesting but the 2nd and 3rd........................... well you get the picture. For close friends I swap or do as chris has suggested.
Be on the look out for the craft shops as they want cheap goods to sell at elevated prices, I have come to the conclusion that Galleries are the best outlet.

Bean
 
A

Anonymous

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Tony

As a rule I don't charge friends for work I do. It is true, they soon become ex friends when they find out how much your time is worth. What I usually do is ask people to buy the raw materials, then buy me consumable items in lieu of payment. I find that folks will buy loads of smaller items if you give them a general idea of what you use regularly.
I sometimes 'barter' my time with other trades too. I recently did a sitting room out with new skirtings, facings and pass doors while my horrible artex ceilings were being skimmed by a plasterer friend.
It works for me

Tom
 

Philly

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Tony
At Yandles Gallery they had some boxes for sale-they were going around the £150 mark. They were good quality (although us woodies were picking holes in them :lol: ) but no better than you would make-so consider that as a starting figure :wink:
Cheers
PhillyFourSides :D
 

tim

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Philly,

DId you get any photos?

Not even going to ask if you bought anything!

T
 

mudman

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Tony,

I subscribe to the old saying "Never do business with friends or family". It can get very ugly/uncomfortable just because of small silly things.

Personally, I would be glad to have friends of mine give a home to a piece I had made and would hopefully cherish. I would be likely to just charge the cost of materials and then enjoy the making. But five the same? Not sure I would enjoy that so much. Maybe you could make five different ones?
 
A

Anonymous

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To be honest, this is not business with friens. I was asked if I would sell a box to them, not specifically make one for them - if you see what I mean :?

I would normally give these things away to friends or family but the houndstooth takes such a long time and requires care and dare I say it, a little skill, to make and so I am loath to give these away

My post was realy asking how much to charge if it were say in a shop rather than to the friedns who asked (who will probably pay me with wine etc.)
 
A

Anonymous

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Thanks Chris


I think this is rally aimed at starting a business though. I have no wish to 'give up the day job', just idle dreams of making a few quid to build up my wood stock (to the level of Jorden's :shock: :lol: )
 
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