I have a few questions, and I may have more. Santa Claus brought me a 1000mm X Carve for Christmas (I was wicked good last year)! I have yet to put it together because I needed a home for it (land is cleared after 40 hours of work last weekend), and plans are in the making for a workshop. But, I thought I’d throw it out there. How do you guys price your signs? Do you factor in difficulty, details, cut time? Love to hear thoughts on this, and I’m sure I’ll be hitting some of you up for advice and guidance in the coming months!
You can start here. There are some other threads on the forum concerning pricing of your work.
This is the age old question for all wood workers. There are several schools of thought.
First, you need to account for materials. This is going to include wood and paint/finish.
Next, account for consumables. ie. bits, sand paper, waste board, etc.
After that comes equipment cost and utilities. The cost of the equipment is based on how long before you regain the cost of your equipment. Also, how much does it cost you to make the project (power for machine, dust collection, sander, etc).
And this is followed by your time and your machines time. How much is your time worth? How much do you want to charge for design, setup and finishing. And while you may not be working, your machine is, so how much is that time worth?
It is a complex and difficult formula. Right now, for my X-Carve, it is difficult for me. Most things are first time tries. Mostly, if I get an order for something new that I am not sure how well it would turn out I might not charge as much as I would later simply because it is a learning experience for me and it may not be my best.
Dave, from Make Something or the Drunken Woodworker, on YouTube suggests not charging an hourly rate, but a daily rate. Only problem is that a daily rate may not work when your machine is running for 12 hours and it takes 2 to 3 days to finish a sign.
I am interested in what you come up with and what others have to say.
Thanks, Larry! I was unable to open the link (expired I think), but I appreciate it
There is another local place that has a BIG CNC machine. I can’t compete with them, and don’t intend to try! I live in a log home community and intend that most of my business will come from locals looking for address/home signs, ect. There will be a huge learning curve I’m sure, just looking for ideas on how to give a quote without actually knowing how much time something will take? Perhaps I’m asking this question prematurely. When you load a design into the software, does it show cut time? I’m meticulous about finishing as well. I’m doing a cedar chest right now with at least 3 coats and waiting 24 hours in between. I’d love to have some kind of set guidelines. I also have a vinyl decal business, and that’s pretty simple. I charge height+width divided by two, plus $2 unless it’s something ridiculously detailed or time consuming, and give discounts for bulk orders.
Depending on the program you are using it will give you an approximate time. I have used both Easel and V-Carve Pro and both have given me estimated times. I have not paid attention on how accurate it is, but I should.
There is a side note. If you import g-code into easel, it will not give you an estimated time. I just tried a new program that just generates the g-code for 3D carving and the program does not have time estimates, so that is always a surprise for me.
Thank you! That could be very useful when giving quotes!
Could be. Both of the links in that thread are broken, but I was actually just referring to the info in the thread.