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$500 for a tool chest?

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 235 days ago 966 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12strings

362 posts in 886 days


235 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: tool chest

On the lostartpress blog, the Conn. School of Woodworking is selling a Tool chest built by Chris Schwartz at a recent class…for $500.

http://blog.lostartpress.com/2013/08/23/hey-buddy-wanna-buy-a-tool-chest/#comments

My question is, is this reasonable? It seems a bit high, considering that the materials probably cost around $100. (I could be wrong on that). Am I missing something, or is that just a reasonable mark-up for the time and effort involved, especially when it is being marketed to a sub-set of people who could very concievably build one themselves?

Any input is appreciated.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!


21 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1249 posts in 1310 days


#1 posted 235 days ago

I wouldn’t assume it’s too high without seeing what’s going on in its interior. It probably built pretty well but sure is ugly.
JB

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WayneC

11996 posts in 2599 days


#2 posted 235 days ago

A designer could probably sell it for more than $500 as a coffee table these days. Ugly is in.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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12strings

362 posts in 886 days


#3 posted 235 days ago

He specifically states that the interior is blank…no tills or dividers…It’s basically a large box with a lid, albeit a dovetailed box with skirts, and a sturdy, Mortise & tenon & raised-panel lid…

I have actually build one of these myself…and would feel guilty about selling it for $500, especially with the interior dividers unfinished and especially to another woodworker who could build one themselves.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View JustJoe's profile

JustJoe

1554 posts in 540 days


#4 posted 235 days ago

Maybe it’s not marketed to “users”. There is a class of collector who buys Bridge City or LN, or some of the nosebleed-high stuff just to polish and put on a shelf. Could he be marketing it to them?

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

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12strings

362 posts in 886 days


#5 posted 235 days ago

Perhaps so, and perhaps the fact that he built it brings a higher price than the piece itself would go for on its own.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3489 posts in 830 days


#6 posted 235 days ago

on the bench is the tool chest that they make and sell…

but in the background, against the wall, is the tool chest they actually use…

:^)

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View crank49's profile

crank49

3245 posts in 1472 days


#7 posted 235 days ago

Matt, you mean the red and chrome one?
I had noticed that as well.
In fact, that red job is the chest I’m wanting, and $500 would just about get it.

-- Michael :-{| Diapers and politicians both need to be changed often; and for the same reason.

View Tim's profile

Tim

910 posts in 463 days


#8 posted 235 days ago

Seems like a fairly reasonable price for something handmade. We get used to the Ikea prices and so do clients/friends/family so we forget that handmade should cost a lot more. This probably takes a couple days to make, especially since it’s not done in a production run so $100 materials cost leaves $400 and 15-20 hours to build it means $20-25 per hour which is a reasonable and maybe low wage for skilled work. I think it would still be reasonable if he could make it in half that time.

Just because a hobbyist can afford to give away their labor for free doesn’t mean it isn’t worth that much.

View Puzzleman's profile

Puzzleman

307 posts in 1446 days


#9 posted 235 days ago

Remember that an asking price is just that. You can put any price on your work. Whether you can sell it is another story. A products worth is whatever you can get someone to pay.

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

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4094 posts in 794 days


#10 posted 235 days ago

I would probably agree with Tim. Is it a reasonable price? I think so. Is it worth it? Well that’s an entirely different question, and the answer depends on the individual answering it :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

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Jorge G.

1483 posts in 977 days


#11 posted 235 days ago

Maybe it’s not marketed to “users”. There is a class of collector who buys Bridge City or LN, or some of the nosebleed-high stuff just to polish and put on a shelf.

All of my BC and LN tools are bought to be put to use. I buy them because they work exceptionally well with no fuss.

CS is not “famous” enough for me to buy what is basically a big box for that kind of dough. Besides I do not see the usefulness of a box that when filled with tools will weight a ton and require a forklift to move. Somehow it seems to me that this defeats the purpose of a traveling tool chest.

-- "It is what you do with what you know that matters" - James Krenov

View Dallas's profile (online now)

Dallas

2685 posts in 989 days


#12 posted 235 days ago

12strings, if the quality of your chest is the same quality or better than Chris’s, why wouldn’t you want to sell it for the maximum profit you could?
The only reason I can think of is that you are not sure of your abilities and feel that you are worth less than you are.
If you want to sell for IKEA prices, learn to do the work on an assembly line.

If you want to sell for hand crafted quality, make them one at a time using the best techniques you can.

The till’s and dividers and drawers are let for he user to build because what you need is not what I need so we all have different requirements.

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

View 12strings's profile

12strings

362 posts in 886 days


#13 posted 235 days ago

Thanks for the inputs.

I do not begrudge someone getting compensated for their time and skill. I realize that if I want a period replica chest of drawers built by Adam Cherubini, It’s going to cost 8-10k, and that’s fine.

It’s just hard for me to think that way when my normal course of thought (necessitated by tight finances) goes something like this: “I could make that, so I’m not going to pay good money for it.”

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4094 posts in 794 days


#14 posted 235 days ago

“I could make that, so I’m not going to pay good money for it.”

That would be the answer to the “worth” question :-)
(for the record, I would agree at this point in my life)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

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12strings

362 posts in 886 days


#15 posted 235 days ago

Dallas, My tool chest is not quite as well-built as this one, (though it is dove-tailed for strength)...I built it for my own shop use, not to sell. I have sold a few items, at low prices, I’m sure, generally about double material cost…but only to friends and family, and I warn them that given the time demands of my job, wife, and 2 young children, It will probably take 3-4 months to finish ANY project that is not dirt-simple :-)

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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