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Forum topic by shopdog posted 12-07-2011 03:07 PM 2105 views 0 times favorited 72 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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shopdog

562 posts in 2203 days


12-07-2011 03:07 PM

I just finished a built in bookcase job, and I’ve been paid…so this thread is just to give me an idea of how others price similar jobs. I’ve been building these type of projects for 20 years, so I’m not a newbie…just curious. I figure with so many talented LJ cabinetmakers, we could help each other with price estimating.

Here’s the Sketchup…it’s 11.5D x 80”w x 96”H, birch veneer ply, pre-primed finger jointed pine face frame, 1/4” MDF backs.

and the site

The install took 2 days, and I did it alone. It was staightforward…
Installed a level sub base (screwed to floor)...floor was off by 9/16” side to side
Set the 6 boxes on the base (3 lowers and 3 uppers) I can’t handle 8’ high boxes in my shop.
I fastened a cleat to the wall about 7’ up, and screwed the upper boxes to it. It is super solid.

Then I added an outside piece of ply, and scribed it to the wall and base molding
Added the faceframe, scribing the right side piece to the wall and base. Ornamental base, but easy enough.

It wasn’t floor to ceiling, no electrical outlets, so that made it easier.
I filled all nail holes, screw holes, and caulked it to the wall…and sanded. It’s ready to paint, but I didn’t have to paint it.

Logistics weren’t bad…3 miles each way (Brooklyn traffic and Brooklyn parking)
Small elevator to the 3rd floor.

It took me about 5 days from initial meeting to completion. Entirely done alone, except a friend helped deliver.

Here’s the finished project

So, what would you charge? Just curious.
I’ll tell you what my price and expenses were later on.

Thanks for reading all of this…

-- Steve-- http://www.urbanexteriors.biz


72 replies so far

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1687 days


#1 posted 12-07-2011 03:20 PM

This should be interesting, it might even give me an insight as to why I’m constantly driving around with the fuel light on!

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ryansworkshop

35 posts in 1085 days


#2 posted 12-07-2011 03:41 PM

$1500-$2000. Maybe a touch more because of location. NYC

Also, five calendar days or five working days. If five working days, you need to shave sometime off. Not to nit pick, just seems like a little to long.

-- A small shop has it's pro's and con's. Never big enough, but easy to clean.

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shopdog

562 posts in 2203 days


#3 posted 12-07-2011 04:10 PM

Ryan,

That’s 5 working days. That includes 2 site visits/meetings, shopping, and Sketchup.
Remember…Brooklyn traffic and problematic parking.
It was 2 full days installing.
I did the entire job alone, and I have a small basement shop.
I can’t imagine doing it any quicker, but if I charged your price, I’d find a way to do it in 2-3 days :-)

-- Steve-- http://www.urbanexteriors.biz

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Jorge G.

1526 posts in 1193 days


#4 posted 12-07-2011 04:26 PM

It all depends on the tools available Ryan, if you had a CNC this would be a 3 day max job and of course the price would be $2000, gotta pay for that CNC. For a shop like Steve’s I think a 5 day turn around is reasonable. I would still go at least with the $1000 charge though. This is a shit load of dadoes to cut and screw. So how much did you charge?

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

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a1Jim

112486 posts in 2295 days


#5 posted 12-07-2011 04:31 PM

$1200-$1600 depending on type of material.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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ryansworkshop

35 posts in 1085 days


#6 posted 12-07-2011 04:39 PM

I have a small shop too. Under 200 sq.ft. No CNC either. You asked, I give it my best shot. Yes, on the traffic.

I just looked a the images and shop (sketchup). Took a guess, based on me and my costs. An off the shelf unit that size goes for around $1000 with no delivery fee. So, it being custom made, delivered and installed, I based my price on that.

-- A small shop has it's pro's and con's. Never big enough, but easy to clean.

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mtenterprises

832 posts in 1410 days


#7 posted 12-07-2011 04:47 PM

Price depends upon the neighborhood NYC price, yea you can get that. Niagara Falls price…... no one could afford to have it built here. Honestly.
MIKE

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

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shopdog

562 posts in 2203 days


#8 posted 12-07-2011 05:04 PM

@JGM…no dadoes…all screwed butt joints. No glue. Backs aren’t rabbeted in…just glued and 1.5” 18ga finish nails. Just basic stuff. I could make it fancier, but my client base wouldn’t pay. They are 99%ers.

@ mike…there’s a lot of $ in Brooklyn, but my client is a single, working woman

-- Steve-- http://www.urbanexteriors.biz

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shopdog

562 posts in 2203 days


#9 posted 12-07-2011 05:11 PM

I could post the price now, but I don’t want to affect the pricing.
This post isn’t a gloat, or a how-to blog…It’s all about what we charge for our work, and hopefully to get comfortable asking for more…
or to let us know why we aren’t getting those jobs that we overbid.

I will let you know that her initial response to my price was NO. She admitted knowing nothing about woodwork, but that she figured on $2000…to which I said no.
I’m glad that you guys weren’t bidding against me :-)

-- Steve-- http://www.urbanexteriors.biz

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DS

2132 posts in 1138 days


#10 posted 12-07-2011 05:47 PM

This just goes to show that everyone is setup differently and that markets will bear different costs.

If I am doing this here in Phoenix with NO finish, they get glue, screws, blind dado joints, CNC fabrication.

$1100 installed.

Job takes 1 hour to mill, 3 hours to assemble half day to install. Unit goes out in three tall sections that are screwed together in the field.

Contrary to popular opinion, the CNC makes QUICK work of this job. 1 hour milling time INCLUDES programming the machine (about 10 minutes with the right software).

Did I mention I would make about a 60% margin?

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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Jim Jakosh

11969 posts in 1823 days


#11 posted 12-07-2011 06:15 PM

In my little shop, with that type of construction, I would not do it for under $1200- unfinished, no delivery. It looks lkie all you had to do was layout the hole pattern and then make gages to hold the shelves at the proper level and screw them in. It seems that it would be very wobbly until you get the back on. If I made it, I would dado in the shelves and use glue and screws. You are going into end grain of plywood or pine which is not the best if there is any swaying before the back gets on. If that is what the customer wants, that is the way you make it. My price was for here in Grand Rapids. In New york, everything is higher, so I’ll bet you can get much more.
Thanks for getting our minds going this morning!!!!!!!
Good luck, Steve…...............Jim

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

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DS

2132 posts in 1138 days


#12 posted 12-07-2011 07:05 PM

I ran this with adjustable shelf where possible and a full 3/4” plywood back.

This optimizes on 5 sheets of 3/4” plywood. (5 at $45/sheet for Paint Grade Birch = $225)
Cutting time is about 40 minutes. ($83 CNC time)
About $35 for shop suppliies such as glue, screws, shelf pins and banding.

The rest is labor to assemble, deliver and install.

I would prefer this in a Cherry wood ply and a dark cranberry stain. This is also laid out to fit my dining room (Left hand vs. right from the OP)

$1100 Paint Grade unfinished, installed
$1600 Cherry wood finished, installed

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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shopdog

562 posts in 2203 days


#13 posted 12-07-2011 07:12 PM

$1100/1200/1500/1600/2000…wow!!!
$2800-3200…getting closer

@ Jim,
I make the boxes in the shop on a big outfeed table. Everything clamped and square. 1 5/8” coarse screws into tight birch ply engrain. Ideal…NO, but quite strong. I glue on the backs and face frame. It wouldn’t take a sledge hammer stress test, but it’ll hold books.
I told you this wasn’t a how-to blog :-)
I worked for a friend in a cabinet shop for years…we had space, great tools, a loading bay, truck, schleppers.
We turned out a lot of nice product…so I know how it should be done.
Now, I’m a one man shop. I’m mostly a deck builder these days, but then I have a skilled assistant.

@DS251
A CNC would make the milling job very easy, but if you charge so little, how you gonna pay for that thing, or even the software for it.

Well, so far I’ve learned one thing…Don’t move to Phoenix or Grand Rapids :-)
NYC is a good place to make money at woodworking.
You don’t even have to be good at it, as long as you show up on time, are honest, and clean up. If you’re good at it too, they will pay, and tell all their friends.

I started this thread because I was wondering if I charge too little. So far, I don’t think so.

-- Steve-- http://www.urbanexteriors.biz

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Jonathan

2605 posts in 1768 days


#14 posted 12-07-2011 07:20 PM

I think this just goes to show that each market is different. I am following this thread out of shear interest, as I have no experience in this area.

I’d be curious to see if anybody else in a more similar market to NYC will chime in here. Maybe somebody in an affluent part of Chicago or Los Angeles, or Boston, or maybe even some mountain towns here in Colorado such as Vail or especially Aspen etc. where the cost of living is closer to Brooklyn?

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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DS

2132 posts in 1138 days


#15 posted 12-07-2011 07:20 PM

Phoenix is a very competetive market.

The cabinet you built is straight casework and has very little labor compared to most custom peices we produce. The trick to making money is keeping a full schedule.

The $83 CNC time is what I would pay to lease someone elses machine. They make a decent profit on the machine at $110/hr. They make money by keeping the machine scheduled.
CNC machines and even software is on a long term lease and cost about what you might pay one semi-skilled laborer each month.

Did I mention I would make about 60%? This for a half to one day’s work.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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