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I'm horrible at estimating how long something will take. And when I finish a project, I usually have no idea how much time I spent on it, which is probably why I stink at estimating project time.

I was walking out of the garage at an estate sale when I saw one of these hanging on the wall:
Product Rectangle Gesture Clock Gadget

The "salesman" in the garage said they couldn't figure out how to get it off the wall, so I could have it for $25 if I could remove it. I told him it would be $10 worth of effort on my part, so I'd give him $15. I found a small stack of unused time cards and he was nice enough to throw them in at no charge.

I need to get a vintage time card rack now to hang next to it.

My wife thinks I'm nuts. My son (he's 22) loves the concept. One time card for each project, so I can track multiple projects. It won't improve my estimating skills, but it adds a bit of fun to life.

The only problem is now I want a different time clock. I want the one we used at my first job back in 1978. I'm not sure what kind that was, but I think I'll know it when I see it. So far I haven't seen a picture online that reminds me of that one.
 

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Termite
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I can almost figure a set of cabinets and installation within a 3 day window.. refacing by tge job and remodels, you never know on installation...

When I worked at the furniture company , sometimes they would ask how long it would take and sometimes they told me how long it was gonna take..:cautious::cautious:
 

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The Nut in the Cellar
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I never gave it much thought over the decades of building things as a hobby. A couple of years ago, someone on a forum wondered how to price their work and it finally occurred to me that I had no idea how many hours I put into things. About five years ago, I set about making a new entertainment cabinet for our new living room, so I kept a log of all the shop time I put into it. When it was finished, I had logged nearly 750 hours on the piece. I quickly realized that I would starve to death if I had to rely on my woodworking to support me, let alone my wife also.
 

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Termite
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Shops have it easy. They know the pricing on the basic things to be competitive. When I worked commercial, the owner says I break even on basic cabinets by the foot. I can underprice the cabinets, but I kill em on the custom reception desks and extras. A lot of shops that competed scratched there heads and bailed on the custom stuff or lost the big job because they wanted good money for both... ..
 

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I'm horrible at estimating how long something will take. And when I finish a project, I usually have no idea how much time I spent on it, which is probably why I stink at estimating project time.

I was walking out of the garage at an estate sale when I saw one of these hanging on the wall:
View attachment 441334
The "salesman" in the garage said they couldn't figure out how to get it off the wall, so I could have it for $25 if I could remove it. I told him it would be $10 worth of effort on my part, so I'd give him $15. I found a small stack of unused time cards and he was nice enough to throw them in at no charge.

I need to get a vintage time card rack now to hang next to it.

My wife thinks I'm nuts. My son (he's 22) loves the concept. One time card for each project, so I can track multiple projects. It won't improve my estimating skills, but it adds a bit of fun to life.

The only problem is now I want a different time clock. I want the one we used at my first job back in 1978. I'm not sure what kind that was, but I think I'll know it when I see it. So far I haven't seen a picture online that reminds me of that one.
I just use a blank calendar on a clip board to keep up with the time I spend on a job. I have a time clock I could use but I often work elsewhere than the shop.
 

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For run of the mill jobs, I know roughly how long a job will take, how much the materials will cost, approx. how much it is worth on the open market and I charge accordingly. The last part of that 'how much its worth on the open market' is a big factor. Some jobs are very profitable. If it is not profitable, I wont do it. Just because I am retired, I don't charge less. I do however, do some charitable work. Living in a 55 and older community, there are some that are not as fortunate as others.
 

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@Woodworking Wolf
When I was new at woodworking I didn't know how to price anything So what I did was go to furniture stores every opportunity I had. That also included when out of town visiting. Walk through the whole store and look at everything. Do this a lot more than several dozen times. After a while you will have accomplished 2 things. The first thing is an accurate value of a particular piece of furniture. The second thing is that will help you with designing furniture. There are always pieces you like and think "if it only had this one thing different. It would be perfect.".
After that, it's a matter of whether you think you could make it profitably.
After you build enough pieces, you will know how long it takes measured by days or half days rather than hours.
Also, when new, we have a tendency to think we are faster than we really are. So initially, if you think something will take 2 days, it may really be 4 or 5. When I was new, it took me a while till I figured out that after all my calculations, it always took me exactly twice as long. I then adjusted my prices accordingly. It takes time and experience to build and to estimate.
 

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Termite
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High end furniture rarely repeats itself. Restaurants like Chilli's, Outback, etc will oder custom pieces but want one in all new stores for the year which could be 3 or could be 30. You have to match their colors and make samples to send to their headquarters for approval.

In some cases you get a single piece that will not be copied like a casino restaurant..
Wood Circle Rim Varnish Auto part
Wood Rim Kitchen utensil Table Varnish
Leg Shorts Wood Flooring Floor
 

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Termite
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One day one of the salsman came put and asked me about a cat box. It was 3'×3'' 6-7' tall made from melamine and laminate for Petsmart. I told him their a large company and it would be a good deal of work if they put them in all their stores. I said send it thru the CNC, build it send it as a sample and then you'll know what you'll have in it. I later asked how it went, he replied " I just told them $2000 and didn't hear back.. A fool. Take a look at how many Petsmart there are...

Pizza Hut offered us the table and seating contract. They had me laminate the table. I told them they needed post form laminate but they didn't want order it and used the thinner laminate. It was wavy from contact adhesive. Never got a call back..
 

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Egg Spurt
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I never gave it much thought over the decades of building things as a hobby. A couple of years ago, someone on a forum wondered how to price their work and it finally occurred to me that I had no idea how many hours I put into things. About five years ago, I set about making a new entertainment cabinet for our new living room, so I kept a log of all the shop time I put into it. When it was finished, I had logged nearly 750 hours on the piece. I quickly realized that I would starve to death if I had to rely on my woodworking to support me, let alone my wife also.
Ha! Don't go into the auto body repair business. Insurance companies dictate the time it takes and if you run into snag and it takes ten extra days you work for free for 10 days.. Other than getting poisoned everyday and having to buy my own once in every million years use tools...That's why I got out.. Along with about 73 other reasons..
 
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