LumberJocks

How to start charging for cutting boards?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Sweating for Bucks Through Woodworking forum

Forum topic by McFly posted 07-31-2016 12:41 AM 1006 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View McFly's profile

McFly

188 posts in 495 days


07-31-2016 12:41 AM

I’ve made some boards for friends & family and now other people are approaching me for them. So how do I shift gears and begin charging for my work?

I’ll need to standardize how I do things a bit more from a size standpoint. Also, WHAT do I charge and how to calculate it? $0.50 per sq inch?


21 replies so far

View jwmalone's profile

jwmalone

769 posts in 170 days


#1 posted 07-31-2016 12:47 AM

Whatever the market will bear.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View bobkberg's profile

bobkberg

420 posts in 2541 days


#2 posted 07-31-2016 01:15 AM

I remember a contractor who was a friend of my dad’s. Whenever his workload increased too much, he’d raise his price. Worked like a champ! He had plenty of work, and a moderate waiting list.

I’d recommend setting an hourly charge with a minimum of 15 to 30 minutes. Meaning you charge them for 15 minutes of work whether or not it takes that long. When they interrupted you, they probably caused you more than that in lost time doing something else.

If it looks like it will take longer, then apologize in advance: “Gosh, I’m sorry, but it looks like I’m going to have to charge you $X for that”.

Or just: “OK, that’s going to cost $X.00. Is that all right with you?”

Make sure that you get their approval in advance – that way, there are no surprises for either party.

-- Bob www.singularengineering.com - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View McFly's profile

McFly

188 posts in 495 days


#3 posted 07-31-2016 01:19 AM

Good answer.

View McFly's profile

McFly

188 posts in 495 days


#4 posted 07-31-2016 03:25 AM

I think charging between $0.25 and $0.50 per sq inch is reasonable depending on size, pattern and species. Guess I’ll see what the market bears.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

22050 posts in 1806 days


#5 posted 07-31-2016 03:44 AM

It will really depend on type of wood and complexity of the design.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

147 posts in 284 days


#6 posted 07-31-2016 05:10 AM

If you are making end grain boards, they take a lot more work to build than edge grain boards. I make some that have an inlay and that requires a lot more time plus a CNC router. Complex 3-D patterns can take days just for the glue to dry multiple times. What I am leading up to is can you post a picture or at least description of the boards? I think you will get better answers.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2389 days


#7 posted 07-31-2016 11:26 AM

Jwmalone has it right. What ever the market will bare.

If you want to earn $ making wooden items you could figure out what you need to make them and if they do not sell, stop making them and make something else. In my case I sell my small crafty items rather cheaply because I AM going to make them and have two options: Sell them cheaply or burn them. Easy decision for me.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View McFly's profile

McFly

188 posts in 495 days


#8 posted 07-31-2016 12:41 PM



It will really depend on type of wood and complexity of the design.

- Monte Pittman


My patterns are still fairly simple, Long grain boards made by edge gluing strips.

Lumber is mostly premium hardwood with some exotic accents.

This one is my largest yet @ 20×20x2.5”.
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/226474

View McFly's profile

McFly

188 posts in 495 days


#9 posted 07-31-2016 12:42 PM



If you are making end grain boards, they take a lot more work to build than edge grain boards. I make some that have an inlay and that requires a lot more time plus a CNC router. Complex 3-D patterns can take days just for the glue to dry multiple times. What I am leading up to is can you post a picture or at least description of the boards? I think you will get better answers.

- ArtMann

I’m just a simple guy making simple boards. No cnc/3d router for me here. Just a jointer, planer, saw and a sander.

View McFly's profile

McFly

188 posts in 495 days


#10 posted 07-31-2016 12:44 PM

Here’s a link to my projects page.
http://lumberjocks.com/McFly/projects

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2375 posts in 1658 days


#11 posted 07-31-2016 09:33 PM

I would suggest you search the net for cutting boards, see how they compare to what you are doing – end grain, exotic woods, etc, and use those prices to average a basis in determining your charges for a completed board. After that, see how long it takes you to make one, deduct the cost of lumber, then divide the remaining money by your hours of labor to determine your hourly income.
This should pretty much let you know rather quickly if you want to go into production.
Good luck.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

147 posts in 284 days


#12 posted 08-01-2016 04:12 PM

If you are making end grain boards, they take a lot more work to build than edge grain boards. I make some that have an inlay and that requires a lot more time plus a CNC router. Complex 3-D patterns can take days just for the glue to dry multiple times. What I am leading up to is can you post a picture or at least description of the boards? I think you will get better answers.

- ArtMann

I m just a simple guy making simple boards. No cnc/3d router for me here. Just a jointer, planer, saw and a sander.

- McFly

Your pictures look nice. You mention stepping up your game a little. You don’t need any more equipment than you already have to create some really fancy glue-ups for cutting boards. It just takes more time and careful machining. If you do that, a much larger price is warranted.

View McFly's profile

McFly

188 posts in 495 days


#13 posted 08-01-2016 04:22 PM



I would suggest you search the net for cutting boards, see how they compare to what you are doing – end grain, exotic woods, etc, and use those prices to average a basis in determining your charges for a completed board. After that, see how long it takes you to make one, deduct the cost of lumber, then divide the remaining money by your hours of labor to determine your hourly income.
This should pretty much let you know rather quickly if you want to go into production.
Good luck.

- Oldtool

That Is my plan. Heck, that’s almost verbatim what I jotted down yesterday. Great minds think alike!

View McFly's profile

McFly

188 posts in 495 days


#14 posted 08-01-2016 04:25 PM


If you are making end grain boards, they take a lot more work to build than edge grain boards. I make some that have an inlay and that requires a lot more time plus a CNC router. Complex 3-D patterns can take days just for the glue to dry multiple times. What I am leading up to is can you post a picture or at least description of the boards? I think you will get better answers.

- ArtMann

I m just a simple guy making simple boards. No cnc/3d router for me here. Just a jointer, planer, saw and a sander.

- McFly

Your pictures look nice. You mention stepping up your game a little. You don t need any more equipment than you already have to create some really fancy glue-ups for cutting boards. It just takes more time and careful machining. If you do that, a much larger price is warranted.

- ArtMann


I meant I wanted to try adding the curved ribbons – still haven’t nailed that process down yet and maybe do an end grain board to see how it goes.
Making board that are more complex will certainly command a higher price than simple slabs with a 3/8” roundover.

View Puzzleman's profile

Puzzleman

411 posts in 2412 days


#15 posted 08-01-2016 05:02 PM

I would suggest that you track your time and materials to determine your true costs.
There is a blog post here by Huff that discusses really well how to price your work.
(Search for Huff and go to his blog)

Now if the market will bear more than what you determine to be your minimum price, by all means sell at the higher price. As you make more complex boards, you need to take into account the extra time and tools to make them.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler, http://www.hollowwoodworks.com

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com