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Customer Project suggestion and opinion. How can I do it better.

by Resurrected
posted 03-05-2011 04:39 AM


39 replies so far

View lew's profile

lew

10025 posts in 2407 days


#1 posted 03-05-2011 05:02 PM

I’d change suppliers for the drawer slides-

http://www.cshardware.com/IWProducts.m4p.pvx?;productsno_tree?cat=4031112

Using the edge banding is an economical way to conceal the edges.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#2 posted 03-05-2011 06:06 PM

Yea I found them cheaper too. About $12. But after shipping and handling I was shot again. He gave me the go to make the cabinet. Now I’m trying to find a way to reduce the cost of the material. By the way your link goes to a login in window and will not load up quickly so it times out. Thanks for trying

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View ScottN's profile

ScottN

259 posts in 1331 days


#3 posted 03-06-2011 01:09 AM

I would suggest upping your hourly rates to min $30 an hour.

Try this and see what you come up with.

http://bridgewooddesign.com/estimator/index.htm

-- New Auburn,WI

View lew's profile

lew

10025 posts in 2407 days


#4 posted 03-06-2011 04:22 AM

Sorry about the link- try this http://www.cshardware.com/

Not sure where you’re located but I just got 2 sets of 18” full extension, 100 lbs, mounting brackets front and back plus screws for $7 and change- for shipping.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#5 posted 03-06-2011 04:59 AM

Need 20inch and I want to know where you get them $7.00 slides. Is that a pair or just one. I found some today for 14.58.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View wseand's profile

wseand

2232 posts in 1693 days


#6 posted 03-06-2011 06:13 AM

I don’t see you really reducing your cost by much, is 4 or 5 dollars going to make or break the project. Does the customer not have the cash or is this just you trying to make it cheep as possible. 150 bones seems like a good price to me. I can’t stand making anything with ply, can’t you find some cheep hardwood to make it out of. I am sure I could find some descent hardwood for the price of the ply. PC Maple, Alder, even some Cedar would look 100xs better than ply and you don’t have to hide the edge. Just my .02 cents.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#7 posted 03-06-2011 06:19 AM

Tried that. The guy almost didn’t do it, He was also alittle upset when I said I am doing it for peanuts already and could not go any lower. Sometimes I don’t call the shots. If a customer hauls a piece of ply over to your shop and says make me this do you tell him no, cause its lowes plywood. Your not going to get much business that way.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2545 days


#8 posted 03-06-2011 06:30 AM

tough spot

I would give them their money back.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3386 posts in 1846 days


#9 posted 03-06-2011 06:38 AM

I’ve never found any “cheap hardwood”...no such thing as far as I know. Some projects are alot easier to build with ply and quicker too. You don’t have to go through all the hassle of glue-ups to make panels, etc. There are some though that just won’t do with ply….depends on the project. I assure you I can make a plywood project, and make it look just as good as any hardwood project I’ve ever built….just take a look at a couple of my projects and you’ll see what I mean.

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#10 posted 03-06-2011 06:45 AM

Yea I agree Rick. Lew gave a good site for me to get slides. I can get two sets for the price of one. So thats money in the pocket. I actually think it won’t take me but 3 hours to get it done though. ( I don’t count dry time for glue) I’ll sit back and have a couple while waiting.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2195 posts in 2198 days


#11 posted 03-06-2011 07:07 AM

Let me preface this with, though I have a lot to learn, since founding my cabinet shop I have learned a lot and love being able to offer good advice. I think you are paying too much for your materials, no doubt. The price you quoted for drawer glides I could get blum tandom soft close undermounts. Look for KV true track 100 lb ball bearing. They are around 5.00 per pair for 22”. I pay 33.00 per sheet of 3/4 UV one side birch. Just a little more then you quoted for 1/2 sheet. I pay 19.00 for 1/2” Baltic 5 X 5. I pay 16.00 for full sheet of 1/4” UV one sided. You need to find a hardwood supplier, stay away from lowest, HD. Those stores are just good for occasional purchases.

Some online suppliers for glides, hardware, etc… WWW.hdlusa.com. Google “hardware resources”. Both of these are great sources.

I use face frame to hide my plywood edges. I minimize stile widths to around 1 1/4” in order to achieve a full overlay look.

Do not build cabinet boxes out of solid wood. There are plenty of good reasons not to do it this way.

Really it is very difficult to make any money building one box, but I do give everyone a bid no matter how large or small the job, the job you speak of I would have bid for 175.00 then I would have explained my pricing schedule and hoped the customer chooses someone else.

By the way, I have over time developed an Excel document that allows me to input LF, then all accessories such as drawers, doors, and a ton of other cabinet related items. As I change quantity, the total updates. Makes bids easier and very accurate.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#12 posted 03-06-2011 07:35 AM

I started that but found mine to be a bit inaccurate so I need to go in a fix the excel sheet. I like the idea of materials times two. Thanks for the info Jerry I’ll go check your sites.

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View ScottN's profile

ScottN

259 posts in 1331 days


#13 posted 03-06-2011 03:05 PM

flyforfun I like the prices your paying for your sheetgoods and have given me mission to search for a better source.

I buy 99% of my hardware from hdl. flyforfun are you a hdl distributor?

-- New Auburn,WI

View cornflake's profile

cornflake

36 posts in 1342 days


#14 posted 03-06-2011 05:19 PM

another way to hide plywood edges if the pieces are to be painted is to use a mix of water and wood glue make it thin. paint it on all plywood edges it drys in half an hour when you paint the piece the edges will disappear.

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2195 posts in 2198 days


#15 posted 03-06-2011 06:02 PM

Hey Scott, I would love to be an hdl distributor, that would be cool. Lewis and company would be the main competition and they are not that great. The plywood I get is great quality, most of the cabinet shops use it in our area because of quality versus price point. I shop in San Antonio. I think if you look in the next closest major city near you there should be more lumber distributors to work with.

I think for base cabinetry around here you should get around 175 to 200 per foot, and the given dimension of 25 by 13 is about one foot.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#16 posted 03-06-2011 08:01 PM

Now remember guys he is after all going to paint this with regular paint. All yea I went my lumber mill and bought their plywood though. Hate the thought of him painting it.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View therookie's profile

therookie

887 posts in 1479 days


#17 posted 03-11-2011 05:16 AM

he might paint it but I would use some edge banding to cover up the edges because doing it in hardwood is not feesable in my mind.

-- http://aewoodworks.webs.com

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#18 posted 03-11-2011 06:08 AM

I won’t worry to much about the edges on the bottom and back. Sides and front only.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#19 posted 03-19-2011 04:29 AM

LEW is the Man. Great advise on where to go to get slides. I saw there price so I bought a extra 4 sets to have on hand.

Thanks LEW your the kinda LJ that makes LJ’s great.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2545 days


#20 posted 03-19-2011 08:14 AM

what’s your time worth ?

take the amount of time you spent, every second and keep count of internet time, driving time, talking time, wife time, kid time….............just “time”.

take every dime you spent on materials including gasoline, lunch, the bag of chips, the soft drink, the paper

find a way to take a percentage of your overhead that is somewhat remotely accurate

and see if you made a profit ?

and then the most difficult part…...........be honest with yourself cuz its an awesome hobby, albeit an expensive one, but its a f*^&#@ to make a buck at it: )

LGs is what you make it ”_,)

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Moron

4666 posts in 2545 days


#21 posted 03-19-2011 08:15 AM

LJs

typo :)

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2545 days


#22 posted 03-19-2011 09:15 AM

why would anyone pay out of their pocket, for inventory to have on their own shelf, that some one else has already done so….........just in case?

makes no sense to me

the only inventory I like, is what no one else can buy

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#23 posted 03-20-2011 05:37 PM

Moron Someone who wants a business would. You are obviously not interested in making a buck if you don’t stock extra. (Just don’t go over board) I buy screws, dowels a thousands at a time, gallon of glue, stain, anything that will store and those little things I always seem to be running out of. Shortly here edge banding. Just realized from lews site I can get almost 250 feet of edge banding for the price I paid for 50 feet. Obvious to anyone that this will adventually lead to profit.

I’d like to keep a few sheets of ply and extra hard wood on hand . Can’t figure out where to store them yet.
Again gas, time, quanitiy discount. All money that can be still charged out to the customer.

Buying material by the project only leads to higher material cost, fuel cost, time spent getting it, Time on the internet, Time spent away from the kids and wife. Which ultimately could have been profit. And quality time with the family.

And I just got another job for a 3 drawer cabinet. I bid this one out correctly, since I never done any work for him before.

Break down
Woodcraft or box store cost per pair of slides $17 my ney price 8.00

3 sets needed. Woodcraft or lowes $51 dollars
New Price (Thanks Lew) 24 dollars since shipping and all was paid for by the last project.

So I think that explain the logic.

Oh well have one set left.

Utimately I won’t start making money right off. What business ever did the first year or two. But the tools are being bought the shop is being upgrade and the building material inventory is growing at a little less than breaking even.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2545 days


#24 posted 03-21-2011 02:00 AM

do what you like : )

I make a deal from the get go, so I get rock bottom prices be it one sheet or 50, 1 pair of guides or 50 so I can keep my money in my pocket, not on a shelf.

Cheers

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View rhett's profile

rhett

699 posts in 2319 days


#25 posted 03-21-2011 02:38 AM

I have to agree with Moron.

Learn to bill properly and get accounts with proper companies.

Over time you will have leftovers from previous jobs that were paid for by previous customers, not bought by you upfront. Spending capitol on “maybe” jobs only decreases your bottom line.

-- It's only wood.

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#26 posted 03-21-2011 03:16 AM

Rhett what you said is exactly what I’m doing. This customer just paid for the next. I saved myself 20 dollars shipping and handling on this next 3 drawer I’m making that I will still charge the shipping and handling on.

Learn to bill? I’m really confused that you even do this for money.

Most of the stuff I have extra of is from a job already paid for.

Most big places stock what they use alot of. Saves time and money. I do the same. Cause I plan to move out of my back yard shop and down to the main strip in town. Then I’ll start selling the extra slides and screws and all.

Keep your route and I see it as a hobby not a lasting business.

In al reality I asked how you would mask the edge to strike a good conversation. Not to ridicule a way of business. If this is what you desire i can I can do this.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#27 posted 03-21-2011 04:40 AM

I apologize all I went back looked at what I asked And rhett and Moron are in line.

Sorry guys. But in all I think your wrong.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View rhett's profile

rhett

699 posts in 2319 days


#28 posted 03-22-2011 01:14 AM

No need to apologize.

A bit of advice though, you may want to listen to others who have been doing what it is you are trying to do instead of telling them they are wrong.

I haven’t worked for $10 an hour in over 25 years. When you are good at what you do, you don’t work for a few bucks over minimum wage, you politely tell the customer to go elsewhere.

-- It's only wood.

View Resurrected's profile

Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#29 posted 03-22-2011 02:51 AM

I agree, but some of these ladies and gentlemen I did 10 dollar jobs for are my PR group which got me this new job. Any one I do this for I always tell this is not my price and do not tell people I work for this much.

This new job I figure I’m around 25 dollors a hour. No its not 35 or 50 but I live in a small town.

The not buying extra stuff to have on hand. This still bugs me. I tried to look at it in different ways and can not think of the logic behind not having a small inventory. Still way confused on this.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3386 posts in 1846 days


#30 posted 03-22-2011 07:46 AM

Hi Res,

I have to agree with you on certain aspects of this thread…. I too live in a small town, and most of the folks here are elderly and most are on a fixed income. They want quality furniture and things built for their home, but just can’t afford to pay $30—40 an hour… So I try to work with them on price, but not go in the hole myself…..And people in a small town talk, and word of mouth has gotten me more jobs like that than anything else…I figure I’ll loose a little on the labor, but hopefully gain more customers, and help them too…

As far as keeping extra materials and parts on hand….. I agree with what you’re saying. I always buy extra sheets of ply, hardwoods, drawers slides, and any necessary items just to have in case that next job pops up. Folks around here usually like the oak or cherry items, ans some like walnut….So I try to keep plenty on hand for just that reason….I live about 15 miles from town, so it pays me to have it on hand, instead of having to go in and gather it all up for a job….Some small items I may have to pick up at the hardware store, but not often….With plenty of screws, table top fasteners, hinges, etc., I’m usually ready for whatever comes along…..It’s wise to have it on hand, I think instead of chasing all over town for it…..just my opinion…...

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2545 days


#31 posted 03-22-2011 08:51 AM

nothing quite like filling floor space with inventory

then you can learn how to move it, work around it

dont worry about collecting inventory, it will come

the opposite of temptation as it will dissappear

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#32 posted 03-23-2011 02:20 AM

OK finally someone agrees with me. Moron what do you actually do?
Honestly you don’t make sense at all. Your wasting more time running around getting stuff for each job rather than working on it. Clearly my time is worth me not running around. Eventually I hope to have a job every week. But I won’t be able to get the job done in a week cause I either have to wait for the slide to come in or travel two hours down and back on the wekend to get the wood I need. Sounds to me stocking a little inventory is smarter.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2545 days


#33 posted 03-23-2011 02:34 AM

I dont run around anywhere : ) ..............it gets delivered…......for free. In the event I do have to run around I charge for it…......plus gas.

I fail to see why you ask a question if you already have it all figured out : )

Check out my projects,............thats what I do only they are only a small fraction of what I’ve done.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#34 posted 03-24-2011 04:13 AM

A fraction but how much money did you miss out on by waiting for the parts and chargeing the customer for things you already should have. When you could have charge that money and already have had it. Personally this is bad business. I like taking risk And like with the stock market and all. I buy cause I see the potential. Its a calucalated risk.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2545 days


#35 posted 03-24-2011 06:37 AM

I’m employed to make money. This is not a hobby for me, its not a way to make spare change,

When I purchase product for “inventory” its generally done at auctions from fools who filled a warehouse with inventory, or bought a saw mill, or started a cabinet shop…......and went bankrupt.

Then I might purchase product at less then 1 cent to the dollar like buying a 1,000 to 5,000 bfm of quartered white oak FAS or selects and better for pennies a board foot. Sometimes melamine for 10 cents a sheet, sometimes 12×12 beams of solid cherry….and and and. You see, I also see the “potential” and most often when I make these inventory purchases I already have that customer who might wait a year or more, for me to even start the project.

Really resurrected, you are stubborn to a fault which may or may not work to your success but sometimes its better to be quiet and thought a fool, then speak and remove the doubt. Frankly, I dont give a flying &@%# what you do.

Cheers..

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#36 posted 03-25-2011 04:23 AM

Moron OK I finally met someone who is way more full of $HJt than me.

See you at the auction.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View Stormin's profile

Stormin

192 posts in 1441 days


#37 posted 03-25-2011 05:27 AM

I also live in a small town I try to keep extra stuff in my shop.I go into the the city with my trailer and look for deals on wood. Then I buy Birch and Oak plywood in 1/2” and 3/4” usually have 2 or 3 sheets of each I also have various lengths and widths of oak, birch, walnut and pine. I like the idea I can go into my shop and do most projects with out running around getting stuff. I also keep a good supply of screws,sandpaper and other consumables. I will also add I’m not in the wood business it’s just a hobby to me. Just thought I would add my 2 cents Good Luck in your business

-- I started off with nothing I have most of it left

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2195 posts in 2198 days


#38 posted 03-25-2011 06:47 AM

I would say everyone into woodworking for living and for fun keep a steady supply of consumables such as screws and sand paper. But in our shop we do not have effective method of storing units of ply. Ply, no matter how much, takes up valuable floor space. We have a shop in town that is 40 X 50 with additional 20 X 20 space. And cabinets fill it quick. Current job involved 36 cabinets. Space is valuable real estate in our shop.and to me more importantly, ply tends to to bad over time. I have found newly bought ply tends to be better then 6 month old ply that hangs out in the shop. My ply inventory does build up on its own over time but I insure it does not sit long and attempt to keep ply stock low. Just. My 2 cents worth.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

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Resurrected

671 posts in 1343 days


#39 posted 03-26-2011 04:01 AM

Thanks for the info Flyforfun and stormin. I think you two understand. I does save you money in the long run.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

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