Time Recording... - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-16-2017, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Time Recording...

Since I don't do production or work for sale, I've never tracked the man hours I've spent on a particular project. When someone asks, I've always just replied x number of months or weeks (start to finish) for the item. Since this new entertainment center is the largest case piece I've ever done, I decided to keep a daily log of the time and activity on it. This has caused me to wonder if anyone else keeps track of the number of hours they spend on a given piece. A secondary question would be what your hourly rate would be, not that I'm every going to actually bill for my time.

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post #2 of 9 Old 02-16-2017, 03:05 PM
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I keep tract of my time however I'm working for a living and if I screw up an estimate I need to know it for next time. In your case if you ever decide to go into business it would help you to know how long it takes to build things. When I got started I just had to take wild guesses. Also building one item would take you more than double the time per item than if you were building multiple pieces. The hourly rate would vary a great deal around the country and the size and overhead of your shop. Employees also raises that rate as they never do as much work as you could and they come with extra taxes, insurance and benefits to pay for. Myself in the Dallas area I charge $50.00 an hour but I have a shop on my own land and I work alone. If I relocated in town where I was paying $2500 to $3000 a month rent for a shop and had help I would have to charge a lot more.
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-16-2017, 03:33 PM
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I don't keep track. Time in my shop is "mental health" time. I tend to answer the same way you do if anyone asks how long a project took. I don't really care how long something takes. Plus, I often have multiple things going on at once and I move between projects. For example, I might as well dovetail the recipe boxes I'm building while I have everything set up to dovetail the drawers on another project since I have to do a lot of putzing around to set some things up in my small shop space.

I've had a few people ask me to build something for them, but I typically refuse (unless it's my wife or kids). I do woodworking for fun and relaxation. Paid pieces seem too much like work.

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post #4 of 9 Old 02-16-2017, 04:16 PM
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I don't keep track of time for woodworking or anything I do around the house. One of my jobs during my career was planning an estimating. So much goes into it I couldn't be bothered now that I am retired. If I thought I was ever going to sell something I would surely keep extensive records that covered any function I could expect including what machine I used.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-16-2017, 04:24 PM
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did that once. way too depressing.

but, for a professional shop, utterly essential.
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-17-2017, 04:53 AM
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Lawyers charge by the minute and have a timing clock beside them. You can see this with Tom Cruise in "The Firm".
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-17-2017, 08:00 AM
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I had a project I worked on now and then for three years. I wished I had kept a time sheet on that. No telling how many hundreds of hours I spent on it.
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-17-2017, 11:13 AM
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I know I'm slow compared to people who make a living at it.
I like projects I can complete in 30 days. If I think it may take longer, it becomes a major decision to start it.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-17-2017, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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When I built our entertainment center and matching bookcase, it took me about 9 months each. I was working for that big computer company with the stripped logo 50 - 60 hours per week, so it didn't strike me then that was a long time.

Side story. These two items were built in my 12'x12' basement shop. At some point, after doing a dry fit of the first one in the shop, it occurred to my feeble brain that I had never considered moving the finished object upstairs. I went to a local appliance store and begged a couple of refrigerator cartons. I used them to build a cardboard and hot melt glue mock up of the assembled unit in the shop. Sure enough, there was absolutely no way of getting the thing up the basement steps and into the family room. That would have been rather embarrassing to say the least. The units were assembled and finished in the garage like kits.

Jim Frye
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