Lockhart Mill Custom Display Case & Plaque

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Project by shopmania posted 08-05-2011 05:41 PM 1492 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend of mine told me her husband, father-in-law and grandfather-in-law had all worked at the same mill in Lockhart, SC. After looking at a scrapbook of my woodworking projects, she gave me a brick from the torn down smokestack, a commemorative marble reproduction of the mill, a ceramic medallion, key to the city, etc. and said “can you do something with this? I don’t care how much it costs.” Well after a couple months it finally got to the top of my project list. I kinda had complete creative freedom on this, so I just wanted to make it look nice. The other challenge was that the brick and marble model are quite heavy. I know I needed to make something 3 dimensional. So this is what I came up with. It is red oak, stained golden oak, with a lacquer finish. I didn’t have enough room to put all the pictures, etc. on the first thing with the brick, so I made a second pice to go along with it. I ended up finishing and giving it to her on his 79th birthday by accident/luck coincidence. She and he are both thrilled with it. She told me he said when something happens to him, he would like to donate it to the city museum in Lockhart, SC. I was happy she liked it so well.

Question: I have about $75.00 in materials in this project. She asked me what it costs. I asked her for $150.00. I have about 4 hours in it- this was the fist time I had to miter corners in 2 planes to get around the corner from horizontal to vertical, so that probably took longer than it should have. So what should I have charged her? She wants me to do something else for her, and told me I need to reconsider my price (make it higher). Any input? This is just my hobby, not a livelihood, but I want to be fair to myself, too.

Thanks for looking, and for your input.

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

4 comments so far

View Docopac's profile


43 posts in 2028 days

#1 posted 08-05-2011 09:54 PM

Very nice design and execution. As far as charging for your work… you said it was for a friend, in that case let your concience be your guide. If it is for someone off the street then what is your time worth to you? I recently was asked to make something for a friend of mine and when she asked what I needed for it I just told her she couldn’t afford it andsaid consider it a gift then left it at that. If I was making it for someone I didn’t know they would have gone somewhere else because they really couldn’t afford to pay me for the time I spent on it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is… follow your heart.

I don’t see anything wrong with charging for materials but when I make something for someone in my hobby I chalk it up to a learning experience on my part.

-- Docopac (a carpenter in a different medium)

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16796 posts in 2525 days

#2 posted 08-06-2011 10:39 PM

That is really cool! I love oak in that color!

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

View chalk1's profile


8 posts in 1931 days

#3 posted 08-07-2011 05:27 AM

Nice work and I live 5 miles from where Lockhart mill was.

-- Chalk

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 3410 days

#4 posted 10-09-2011 08:18 PM

Good work. Let’s do the math.
(easier to do the math than with $75)
52×40 = 2080 Hours per year.
$20×2080 = $41,600 Income per year gross. $35,000 after taxes (maybe).

Are you an average income wood worker? Then charge $20/hour for your labor.
Materials are cost plus some percent you can figure out in another post.

Good luck,

-- Jim

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