Custom VS Storebought - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
Old School
 
cabinetman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,027
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
Custom VS Storebought

A client provides me this picture of a three legged cocktail table in laminate and wants to know if I can beat the store's price ($1150). Of course not. Where do people get the idea that custom work is less expensive than production work?

I did mention to the client that the table would be a real beauty in wood. He never asked the price.
.







cabinetman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 11:20 AM
Forgotten but not gone
 
TexasTimbers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,677
View TexasTimbers's Photo Album My Photos
I think my response would have been to answer his question with a question:

"Why would you want to pay any amount of money for something that ugly?"
TexasTimbers is offline  
post #3 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 11:24 AM
Scotty D
 
mdntrdr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: IL.
Posts: 4,479
View mdntrdr's Photo Album My Photos
IMO most people can't even see the difference between store bought and hand crafted pieces.

They also have little understanding of the quality or durabillity a custom piece will offer.

Those type of clients are best left on their own.

They'll probably call you when it falls apart though!

Scott.

Last edited by mdntrdr; 03-10-2010 at 11:27 AM. Reason: spelling
mdntrdr is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 11:37 AM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 27,163
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasTimbers View Post
I think my response would have been to answer his question with a question:

"Why would you want to pay any amount of money for something that ugly?"
If you charge enough, well beyond a fair price, a purchaser will come along thinking he's found the Mother Lode and actually pay a ridiculous amount, ugly or not. And that sucker is ubber ugly! I couldn't bring myself to make that piece on principle alone, no matter the amount....well maybe for 5 figures...... If that's a production piece
someone has more money than taste. JMO bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is online now  
post #5 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 11:48 AM
Chester's Gorilla
 
Streamwinner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Oceania
Posts: 1,279
View Streamwinner's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
And that sucker is ubber ugly!
Or "fugly," as my wife would say.
Streamwinner is offline  
post #6 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 12:00 PM
Senior Member
 
dodgeboy77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Bucks County, PA
Posts: 1,768
View dodgeboy77's Photo Album My Photos
It looks like you could drill a hole in the middle of it, stick it on the front of an airplane and use it for a propeller.

Bill
dodgeboy77 is offline  
post #7 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 12:15 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 970
View mics_54's Photo Album My Photos
Its functional too!

mics_54 is offline  
post #8 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 12:16 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,289
View Texas Sawduster's Photo Album My Photos
Broken

I though it was a broken table at first glance.
At second glance I second everyone else, it's damm ugly.

Tools are like guns, You can never have enough.
Where did I put that tape measure???
Texas Sawduster is offline  
post #9 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 01:11 PM
Senior Member
 
Ghidrah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 766
View Ghidrah's Photo Album My Photos
I don't know about ugly, I can't see the entire table only what I think are the legs. You're right Cabinetman I can see those legs in Mesquite, Bocote or Tulip but rounded edges on the legs I can't tell what the post is made of but I like the reflected shine and pattern.

I come across similar situations, in general most non tradesmen don't have a clue what goes into a shop set up for a custom build whether it be conformation or material choice. Large companies, (especially with overseas factories) with purchase power can often supply a product for what it costs me for materials only. Add automation, an abundance of aged and cured stock, prefabbed jigs and repeatable figures for stock.
Ghidrah is offline  
post #10 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
Old School
 
cabinetman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,027
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasTimbers View Post
I think my response would have been to answer his question with a question:

"Why would you want to pay any amount of money for something that ugly?"

I'm using your comment because you were the first one to say it's ugly. Well, it may be to some, but I see it as a paycheck. Whatever the client wants...ugly or not, I don't have to like in order to make it.

As you know, if you're in the custom furniture business, there's little choice in what work we do. It's what gets offered as work. Some of that work isn't easy to make. As a fabricator, I can't doubt my talent. I look at work and say if someone else can make it, I'll figure out how.

So it's sink or swim. Some shops go bye bye because there isn't always that boxy kitchen or bookshelves to do.






cabinetman is offline  
post #11 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 02:17 PM
Forgotten but not gone
 
TexasTimbers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,677
View TexasTimbers's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
I'm using your comment because you were the first one to say it's ugly. Well, it may be to some, but I see it as a paycheck. Whatever the client wants...ugly or not, I don't have to like in order to make it.

As you know, if you're in the custom furniture business, there's little choice in what work we do. It's what gets offered as work. Some of that work isn't easy to make. As a fabricator, I can't doubt my talent. I look at work and say if someone else can make it, I'll figure out how.

So it's sink or swim. Some shops go bye bye because there isn't always that boxy kitchen or bookshelves to do.
You're preaching to the choir. I took your post - or maybe mis-took it to illustrate how some customers have no idea how much is involved, even in the simplest looking projects. I have no lack of understanding what is involved in doing what the customers wants. Have quoted one of my old USCG Chiefs here many times here on the forum "You don't hafta like it Jaynes, you just hafta do it."

Honestly I had no idea you were being dead serious with your post. I read it as if your potential client was a low-baller and you had no chance of getting the job.

Yep we are on the same page you got to take work no matter you like it or not. One of the phrases I have used a lot before giving potential clients an address to see some of my past work to look at is . . . "Remember I was not the designer I just built what I was told!"

That table wouldn't be easy to build whether solid or laminated but it would definitely be fun. Building it would probably impart some level of like-ability to it, but I still don;t think I would ever like the design no matter if I built it or not. Not a knock on you or the original designer at all.

I could dig out and post some 15-20 year old pictures of some junk I *did* design that I . . . . well, would not post.
TexasTimbers is offline  
post #12 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 06:13 PM
MD Custom Furniture
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Friendswood, TX
Posts: 86
View Gorp's Photo Album My Photos
Some people to not realize how much goes into building custom furniture. They do not know you have to figure out how to build it, buy material, tire wear, liquor and more liquor.

I had a client that I built a 50 foot long check in desk that was made out of oak. She did not like the oak look on the front and she had me cover it black laminate. In the end I put on the laminate and bit my tong. They did pay extra for the change though.


Gorp is offline  
post #13 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 10:09 PM
Senior Member
 
wooddude9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Vista,CA
Posts: 136
View wooddude9's Photo Album My Photos
Boy that looks like a mistake I would of made from the old drinkin days.But ugly or not ,how hungry are you and could you make it. The challenge is take the concept of what they see and try to find a way to build something close for the same money maybe. Buts that just what I try to do and it works fairly well for me.
wooddude9 is offline  
post #14 of 18 Old 03-11-2010, 08:50 AM
Senior Member
 
thekctermite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mission, KS
Posts: 537
View thekctermite's Photo Album My Photos
Taste aside, the customer has a very light grasp on reality if they have the audacity to walk into a custom shop with a photo of a piece of production furniture in a store and expect the store's price to be beat by the custom craftsman.
thekctermite is offline  
post #15 of 18 Old 03-11-2010, 09:17 AM
Senior Member
 
Itchy Brother's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Looneyville,California
Posts: 2,357
View Itchy Brother's Photo Album My Photos
Just goes to show ya the "Masses are asses"They will gladly pay $1000.00 for a room full of pressboard,Plastic laminated furniture and look at you like your crazy cause you want $250.00 for a solid hardwood custom made coffee table.Itchy
Itchy Brother is offline  
post #16 of 18 Old 03-12-2010, 11:43 AM
Senior Member
 
mmwood_1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: corvallis, Oregon
Posts: 1,247
View mmwood_1's Photo Album My Photos
I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt in that I don't think most of them are asses. I think that mostly, when people are clueless about comparative costs, it's simply that. They don't know, don't have a clue. That's the entire point of their inquiry. To GET a clue. Beyond that, there are some retail industries that regularly mark up their inventory 1000% over wholesale costs. So perhaps they thought that such things applied to the furniture stores also. It doesn't, but it's not such an idiotic possibility. It's just unfamiliarity with the field. The few times when I've been approached by people with a similar query, I've told them that on average, custom work will be about 35% more money than a store-bought item of similar design, but will usually be built significantly better just as a matter of course.
mmwood_1 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to mmwood_1 For This Useful Post:
Old Skhool (03-12-2010)
post #17 of 18 Old 03-12-2010, 01:19 PM
Senior Member
 
Ghidrah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 766
View Ghidrah's Photo Album My Photos
Just listen to some of the wacko adds on the tube, Bob's, Bernie and Phil's, (NE) quite often they offer complete bedroom or living room sets for less than I can purchase the stock let alone mill it. Has to be done over seas.

2 1/2 yrs ago when we finally coughed up for a new water bed, the old one was over 19 yrs old. New mattresses don't measure the same as really old ones so we needed a new frame too. Plus I wanted to raise the matress off the floor considerably higher than the old one.

Some of the wood and metal frames offered at "Bed or Rest" were nice and were anywhere from $1000 to $1600. The mattress, liners and heaters cost something like $1100 on their own, big diff from when the 1st mattress, liner and frame was bought and built. I bet all total I spent maybe $350 total.

I built and trimmed our platform out of Oak and Mahogany with drawers, 2 heating pads instead of one (spreads the heat out more evenly and allowing for a lower temp settings). Our frame is nicer insulated, and much more solid than offered in the stores. By the timwe I was done I had spent just over $1000 on all frame mat but have a superior platform.
Ghidrah is offline  
post #18 of 18 Old 03-13-2010, 01:27 AM
Senior Member
 
clarionflyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: columbiana OH
Posts: 702
View clarionflyer's Photo Album My Photos
Just Realize!

A lot of the folks I meet, haven't even heard of mahogany or popular. How would they know? Some are rich, some are poor. It's wood, right? It doesn't seem to matter.
It's not intelligence, it's education.
That's what you're up against, Cabinetman.
clarionflyer is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Custom milling Daren Forestry & Milling 9 10-13-2009 06:52 AM
Custom Closets wdkits1 Project Showcase 9 09-18-2009 12:36 AM
My custom Railing Ratt Project Showcase 4 06-25-2009 01:52 AM
Custom fireplace unnamedny Project Showcase 8 06-23-2009 10:24 AM
Custom countertop JP Sinclair Project Showcase 10 03-31-2009 04:16 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome