A first from Lew’s Basement Workshop

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Forum topic by lew posted 03-15-2009 07:14 PM 1428 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View lew's profile


12019 posts in 3722 days

03-15-2009 07:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: paid maple walnut lathe turning kitchen utensil rolling pin

Hey, Hey, Hey!!!

A first from Lew’s Basement Workshop!

Well it finally happened, after all these years of making and giving away “stuff” to family, relatives and friends (?) and donating items to school auctions and charities—someone actually ASKED me to make something for them and finished that request by saying “I’ll pay you for it”!!!

The new boss, at the school where I used to teach, saw the Celtic Knot rolling pin you all helped me conquer and wanted two of them. (I didn’t argue too much when he said he wanted to buy them). Here they are and I think they turned out pretty nice- I know, don’t hurt your arm while trying to pat yourself on the back.

Sorry for bragging but after about 50 years, it is kinda nice.

BTW, since the concept of being paid is new to me, anyone have a suggestion for a price? It takes about .9 bdft (total) of walnut and maple for the blank and about 4 oz of Titebond II glue- everything else is time.

Thanks for looking,


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

16 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4185 days

#1 posted 03-15-2009 07:42 PM

Very nice, Lew!

You are supposed to agree on a price before you do the job! :-)

Seriously, people don’t always realize how much time goes into something like this. So it is hard to say if he really intended to pay you a fair wage for your time, or if he just intended to cover your expenses. Everytime someone looks at one of my boxes and tells me I should be selling them, I tell them something like “Well, okay…. this one has about $40 worth of material and about 8 hours of labor. So if my time is worth a decent craftsman’s rate of $20 per hour, this box would have to sell for $200. Are you interested?”

I haven’t had any takers yet. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4023 posts in 4031 days

#2 posted 03-15-2009 08:04 PM

Ah the vicissitudes of getting what you’re worth in a throw-away society…
Nice looking rolling pins, Lew. I hope there is tool money in it for you!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10367 posts in 3395 days

#3 posted 03-15-2009 08:10 PM

I have no idea of what they should sell for but, they sure are pretty. The time spent in laminating must be huge.
Good job. I’m sure he’ll appreciate them.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3863 days

#4 posted 03-15-2009 08:15 PM

Those are beautiful Lew. You might check the on-line kitchen stores for some ideas on price. I’m not a cook so I’m not sure what these would go for.

Doug—“vicissitudes” – geez are you trying to upgrade/educate us here at LJ’s?

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View lew's profile


12019 posts in 3722 days

#5 posted 03-15-2009 09:00 PM

I had the vicissitudes once- penicillin fixed me up ;^)

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3689 days

#6 posted 03-15-2009 11:59 PM

Gee, I think we need to pay Doug for that 25 cent word!

How much time did you put into making these? Do you want minimum wage or more for your time? Multiply that, add your cost of supplies, should give you an idea of the minimum you need to charge. Retail sales usually keystone items (3 -5 times the cost) to make their profit. Double that and give him a 10% discount for buying two. As it as been mentioned before, the actual cost of your time may prohibit a real sale, so you can discount that as you feel appropriate.

Do an online search on fancy rolling pins and you may be quite surprised as to what they’re worth, although yours are quite unique.

One way to approach him would be to mention how many hours it took you to create the item and that the retail value would be $ – - – -, but I will sell them to you for $ _.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4367 days

#7 posted 03-16-2009 02:25 AM

MMH has a great idea. if he really wants to reward you and he is feeling generous. he might pay you the retail value.


Good luck. They do look great.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4044 days

#8 posted 03-16-2009 02:31 AM

wow…very nice…I think its worth its weight in gold…especially if the guy is an administrator…they make the bucks!! LOl…how nice is he? You said he is your former boss…is there a story there?

I have no idea on cost…i like the idea of minimum wage times 3!!! But that would make it cost prohibiting for the average customer who has no idea what real craftsmanship he is buying (per Douglas’ comment)...

Little doe for the doe rollers…is always good…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View woodworm's profile


14465 posts in 3558 days

#9 posted 03-16-2009 04:26 AM

Very nice pieces! Great creation and great work.
You must detail-out every piece of material used, tool, time, labour and even the cost or power supply plus certain percentage of profit element, before you can decide the price.
Good luck Lew!

When come to pricing (the first time), it’s always hard for anyone who is used to do things for free or just for fun. The first time I was approched by a friend to make 100 pcs of abacus, I calculate the cost of every detail of materials to be used , the labour and time. I did not anticipate any contingency cost. The cost of material increased by almost 30% higher than we projected. Things completed, we received the payment we have agreed upon. The material cost recovered and we got our wage but there was no profit.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View LocalMac's profile


281 posts in 3373 days

#10 posted 03-16-2009 06:42 AM

I was recently reading a book on selling your projects and it suggested that you should charge anywhere from 30-40 percent more than your costs.

-- Don't tell her I'm in the shop!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3640 days

#11 posted 03-16-2009 02:47 PM

Nice work, Lew.

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 3771 days

#12 posted 03-17-2009 12:35 AM

You should be able to get $40 – $50 for the rolling pin.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View lew's profile


12019 posts in 3722 days

#13 posted 03-17-2009 06:50 PM

Thanks, everyone, for the thoughts and comments.

I am going to deliver them on Thursday- will let you know how I made out!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View bowyer's profile


340 posts in 3363 days

#14 posted 03-18-2009 02:35 AM

Congradulations Lew on your first comissioned work. They look great!!

-- If at first you don't succeed...Don't try skydiving

View lew's profile


12019 posts in 3722 days

#15 posted 03-20-2009 03:31 AM

$30 each!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

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