LumberJocks

Help me out Jocks

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by RussellAP posted 674 days ago 946 views 2 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 920 days


674 days ago

In a few hours I will be making an estimate for a local restaurant who wants a couple butcher blocks. I haven’t yet seen the installation so I have no idea how thick he wants or needs it to be so giving an estimate on lumber isn’t easy. I’m thinking I can get two usable pieces out of each board though, so I priced it out then cut it in half as far as lumber.
Here is what I have.
Butcher block material estimate.

Hard Maple $4.20 BF

Block one,
72.5” x 10”
6 boards at 6.5ft min.
39 BF
$163.80

Block two,
26” x 48”
15 boards at 8.5ft min.
127.5 BF
$535.50

Material Estimate. $699.30

What is a fair labor price?
I;m thinking something around 6-7 hundred.

I did mark up the wood from 3.99BF for waste and transport, I’m charging $4.20 BF for it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.


29 replies so far

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 920 days


#1 posted 674 days ago

I found a place where I can get the lumber for $3.39 BF straightened and lined out.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View skeemer's profile

skeemer

94 posts in 998 days


#2 posted 674 days ago

I have not done any woodworking for hire, but I can offer the following suggestions. Estimate the time required from start to finish, and whatever hourly rate you believe you are worth (if this is a hobby I would imagine this would be less than your full-time rate at work). Markup this rate to cover maintenance/wear & tear of your tools (overhead), then add in any delivery costs.

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 920 days


#3 posted 674 days ago

Skeemer, I’m trying to start a business. I don’t work outside the home. I’ve never done an order like this, but I think it’s straight forward enough to get it done. I’m thinking I’ll start at $700 so I can negotiate.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View skeemer's profile

skeemer

94 posts in 998 days


#4 posted 674 days ago

Also, when you determine your price and/or hourly rate, consider whether you will claim this as taxable income, and know whether the restaurant is putting this on their books as an expense (as opposed to the owner paying cash out of pocket).

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 920 days


#5 posted 674 days ago

Doesn’t matter because I haven’t made enough to file this year.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2933 days


#6 posted 674 days ago

Checkout this blog for a fairly good explanation that may help you.

Woodwhisperer

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2869 posts in 1121 days


#7 posted 674 days ago

Russel, just a few words from an old guy.

You’ve been doing a lot of cedar, planing, ripping, cross cuts, surfacing, etc. Are your blades up to this task, and if not, how much is it going to cost you to replace or have them sharpened?

Even if they are up to the task, you need to amortize the cost of replacement and down time.

Then there is labor. How much time do you think it’s going to take. Consider time for transport, shopping, replacement of bad wood, replacement of machine parts, etc.
I charge $35/hr, then add 30% to the bid for labor overage. When it takes longer I have a happy customer because it didn’t cost any more.
Materials: Don’t count on them meeting your needs. Allow 6%-20% for things that don’t quite go right. Order more than you need and if any is left over you can make a nice doodad for the customer, (They’ll think it’s cool!), or not mention the extra and the customer will be happy because there was no unplanned cost.

Construction:
I personally don’t like edge grain boards, I would do 2” end grain, with 2”x2” blocks. Glue up all the pieces with alternating grain, (fewer problems down the road that way), Make them as long as you can and once glued up, cut them off in blocks of 5 for the 10” at 1’ long, then glue those up. Once those are done, cut those pieces into 6” chunks and glue them up, and so on.
You will need to make allowance for the kerf of your blade and for whatever it takes to flatten the piece.

Yes, it takes longer, but will look better and last longer and be better for the knives the cook uses.

It’s the extra touches that will make a happy customer.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 920 days


#8 posted 674 days ago

Dallas, these will be 5/4 boards.
What I had planned to do is to cut them to size, join the ends and plane both sides 1/32 or a bit more. Then glue them up with titebond 3.
This guy doesn’t want anything fancy.
I thought about throwing a couple strips of walnut in to give it some character, what do you think about that?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1603 days


#9 posted 674 days ago

I don’t know how you worked out the timber, but 26×48 x 2 = 1.5 cu/ft = 18 board ft. + 1/3 for waste = 24 board ft. If you make it an end grain block, you’d get that out of 2 off 2” plank – 10’ x 8”. (2 inch thickness)

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 920 days


#10 posted 674 days ago

Jonathan, that’s not a bad idea at the moment. My shop is tore up and is likely to stay that way till I find a buyer for some drywall I’m trying to get rid of.
I called and they quoted some nice prices. I may just do that this time around seeing I have such a mess going on. I’m having them quote me maple and maple/walnut combo.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

712 posts in 2253 days


#11 posted 674 days ago

There are a number of places that sell these already finished cheaper than you can make them. Make sure your material price is for Rock Hard Northern Maple and not Soft Maple.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1792 days


#12 posted 674 days ago

I was going to say the same thing, renners. The calculations are a bit off there. Even if the 2nd block is 3” thick, that’d compute to only 26 BF of stock. 35 BF would be plenty to account for possible waste.

I would still do these edge grain. Profit goes down the drain with end grain (your costs and times go up) and its doubtful your client even knows the difference. Make sure he knows the difference and be sure you hire out a thickness sander if its end grain.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1484 days


#13 posted 674 days ago

You might find out what they’re going to be cutting on the boards, Russell. If it’s bread in sight of the customer, that’s one thing; if it’s raw meat or vegetables, that’s another. Or sliced prime rib, another (blood groove).

My general policy for pricing:

raw materials cost (which includes wastage, 20 – 35% or more) times 125% (for handling)

drayage of raw materials at shop rate.

shop rate x hours estimated to do the job (my shop rate includes overhead and tool maintenance)

profit ranging from 14% on up, depending on a lot of variables.

The big red flag for me was this comment: “I’m thinking I’ll start at $700 so I can negotiate.”

I strongly urge you to set your price and present it and if it isn’t accepted, walk away.

If you have to walk away:

You’ll still have your pride.

You have incentive to move crisply on to the next opportunity.

You may get a call back to fix what the lower bidder did. At that point, you’re in complete control.

If you negotiate:

You send the message that you walked in with a jacked-up price.

You head will be hangin’ low during the entire build.

You will not do your best work.

I am not making this post lightly.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Don W's profile

Don W

14891 posts in 1202 days


#14 posted 674 days ago

I’m going to agree with Lee on this. Figure your price, set your price and make money or walk away.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 920 days


#15 posted 674 days ago

Well, I went in with a $477.00 cost and shot him an estimate around $950.00 and left with a check for $500.00 which has been cashed and deposited.
Now I order the boards. It should take 4-5 weeks.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

showing 1 through 15 of 29 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

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase