So you think you can go pro ? :) #9: Hens and Biddies

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Blog entry by sawblade1 posted 06-13-2011 06:01 AM 1211 reads 2 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Watch Out Lest ye get your finger smacked by Murphy's hammer Part 9 of So you think you can go pro ? :) series Part 10: Deep thoughts about a woodworking business »

Good evening LJ’

This weeks subject is about bidding or Job cost not only from a professional standpoint, but from a hobby point if you want to build or asked to build cabinets :)
One of the most annoying things I hate to do is bids for a cabinet(s) a lot of work from design to final finish choices
One of my secret weapons is a free cabinetware program it will take you about 4.5 hours to learn and set up but will save you countless hours in headache of bidding :) I will post a link at the end of this blog.

OK you just downloaded this software got asked to build a cabinet vanity, got your bid, and cut-list in your hand, Ready right? Slow down !! Now that you have your biddy in your hand make sure you keep it away from the hens. What are the hens? Well anyone knows that a hen will peck at the ground till there is nothing but dirt left especially if there is not a whole lot left. Well sometimes customers, shop inefficiencies, and time will pick away at your shops profit. (This economy really brings the hens out )
Here are the three biggest hens


You seemed to have found the Ideal customer right? Well that depends upon where you found them I found mine at a rummage sale basically. Low end flea markets, community yard sales, and fairs are bad Ideas to begin with. They are loaded with hens that pick at everything from material cost to your labor. Sometimes you don’t always find these hens until they are in your barnyard :) They could be great customers cash paying, energetic, and helpful but then comes the delivery day, one spouse likes it the other don’t ( they both agreed to the terms of the bid) and they want a discount. Standard business says don’t But here is a twist FEED THE HEN Give a discount but not too much, a little peck will hurt but not as much as the clucking of a angry hen or customer!!!! Future jobs will bring a higher price as you know the hen will need extra food, and you will learn to identify hens in the future :)

Shop Inefficiencies

This is another hen if you don’t keep it in the coop will peck away at your profit bag :) One good example was when I went to install drawer guides. As a hobbyist taking 1/2 hour installing and adjusting pair is fine but In production work it won’t fly A drawer guide jig will bring it down to 45 seconds per side!!! Cost? 25.00 Without one? 1/2 hour @ 35.00 = 17.50 2.5 hours = 87.50
Who is gonna pay NOT THE CUSTOMER BUT YOU !!!!!
Other inefficiencies range from not having cut-lists to machine problems these vary from shop to shop so start looking to coop these Hens :)


This is the biggest Hen of all that will eat away without you even thinking about it. Time is money :) Now before passing judgement on this subject let me explain. Per say you are doing a 10’x10’ kitchen well developing a drawing, materials list and Cut-list can eat up precious time this is the reason a CAD program like e-cabinet systems will save you big time Although limited will save you countless hours of work at your cost :)
Covet your cut-list it is your guide to make all of the parts right the first time!!! As far as installations are concerned. Feed the hen again I f the job will take less than 15 min just do it for free but if it seems the barnyard is large then you must get more seed and charge for the installation the cost should be equal to your shop rate or less, LESS ? Yes less you don’t have any real overhead ie: electric, tools, Etc. so charge less Feed the hen :)

If you keep all of the hens in the coop they won’t be eating up everything. As we all learn biddies are baby chickens, that turn into hens and we all know the fate of most chickens :) Do well and your biddies will grow and feed you well as a woodworker Next week I will be starting part one of Production tips for wood workers Pro or amateur.

P.S. I would like to see how many smart aleck LJ’s can make this threat a good laugh too :)

Here is the link for the Cabinet ware program

-- 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

1 comment so far

View rance's profile


4255 posts in 3123 days

#1 posted 06-19-2011 05:06 PM

These are very good threads and great reminders. Thanks for posting and please keep them coming.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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