What would you charge?

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Forum topic by mfike posted 09-28-2009 02:21 AM 1765 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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100 posts in 3693 days

09-28-2009 02:21 AM

I was at a trade show last weekend and sold a few projects that I had built. I was trying to hand out as many business cards as I could hoping for future business. I got an email from a woman I met there saying she wanted a dining table and chairs made from maple. She gave me the link and wants to know about how much this would cost her. She’s not opposed to some changes if needed, but she wants that basic design. I looked around online and found a site that priced this set at $1000. I told her that I would be happy to build it, but it would be significantly more than Ashley. She said she understands, but wants to know how much. So finally the question. How much should I charge? I know this is not an easy question and there are a thousand variables to consider. I’m just looking for some ballpark figures here. Thanks for any help.

14 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18290 posts in 3703 days

#1 posted 09-28-2009 02:57 AM

Is this for fun and adventure or to make a living?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View cajuncypress's profile


19 posts in 3190 days

#2 posted 09-28-2009 04:45 AM

I guess it really depends on the tools that you have in your shop, but if I had to come up with a figure based the way my shop is equipped, I’d have to say ballpark $1,800.

-- A.K.A. The Wood Ninja (Silent but Dusty)

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4152 days

#3 posted 09-28-2009 05:25 AM

I’m a hobbyist. I don’t do this for a living. I don’t even buy a whole lot of furniture. My off-the-top figure for good quality furniture would be somewhere on the order of $700 per chair, and at least $1500 for the table. I may be way high, but seems to me that well engineered well finished quality products from a U.S. manufacturer are going to run that or more.

Especially since the main reason to get them from someone who’s going to build them for you rather than buying them from a shop that turns out lots of them is that there are going to be tweaks in dimensions.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View russv's profile


262 posts in 3196 days

#4 posted 09-28-2009 06:08 AM

Remeber one thing, what ever price you charge, make sure it’s enough that you won’t lose interest half way through.


-- where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3498 days

#5 posted 09-28-2009 06:36 AM

I agree with Mr Lyke about 4000-4500 But they better be nice.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18290 posts in 3703 days

#6 posted 09-28-2009 08:03 AM

Being a hobbyist your life doens’t depend on it ;-)) Add up your materials, put labor units on all the steps, price your labor as you see fit, allow for expendibles (overhead =15% most businesses) + profit?? = total

I wouldn’t ball park it, you will come up short :-((

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View rustedknuckles's profile


160 posts in 3778 days

#7 posted 09-28-2009 02:36 PM

Ball park, $500 per chair, $1200 for the table.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3312 days

#8 posted 10-02-2009 05:03 AM

I think russv put it best. Materials cost you can figure up front, but the labor will need to be enough so you don’t lose interest half way through. I’d rather lose the sale up front then realize half way through the project that I screwed up and underpriced it and end up hating every minute spent trying to finish the job.

-- John @

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4126 days

#9 posted 10-02-2009 05:17 AM

The studies, research, and bids I have done say that I cannot sell a chair for less than $1500 each. The table I would price at no less than $3500.

The last dining set I bid at $13,000. I did not get the job but I am glad that I did not take it for less.

I back Huff’s sentiments.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View mfike's profile


100 posts in 3693 days

#10 posted 10-02-2009 06:50 AM

Thanks guys, some good points.

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4032 days

#11 posted 10-02-2009 07:02 AM

Todd is close to reality on this one.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Timberwerks's profile


360 posts in 3188 days

#12 posted 10-02-2009 01:28 PM

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 3391 days

#13 posted 10-02-2009 01:39 PM

Don’t be afraid to say “No”. I think everyone knows what I mean. Just because someone wants you to make something, doesn’t mean it’s something you want to do. My biggest mistake as a hobbiest is saying yeah I can do that and (like the other comments) whising the whole time I was working on something I wanted to do instead.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View jcsterling's profile


462 posts in 3612 days

#14 posted 10-02-2009 02:53 PM

I would say somewhere around 7000-8000 for the set. Don’t set the precident that you work for peanuts…it’s not worth your time.

-- John , Central PA , on facebook:!/pages/JC-Sterling-fine-furniture/104430802928776

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