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  • Price per pound

    I am a ligit fabricator who has been in business for fifteen years have license and bonded. I recently opened an new shop about 80 miles from my original and started drumming up business. Some of the guys I called on wnat pricing a $/lb scenario I heard that this is common place but have never ran across it before, all previous work I have done I estimated on time and material.I have a general idea on how to quote per pound but would like some more input if anyone has any.

  • #2
    Still going to be different depending on type, a chunk of beam different than complex handrails. Its what makes China great, they can deliver complex fabrications for little over dollar a pound, painted too. A Bud bought a automotive cherry picker from Northern or HF, a folding one, like 200$ and it was flawless. Couldn't even source the materials here for that let alone all the fab and machine work. They didn't skimp on the tube, the thing has a couple dozen bolt holes, lots of effort. For a one off effort the consumer gets a bargain.
    In a specialized fab business its about the time or that its custom. You are still back to square one, it might make someone feel better and an accountant might find it entertaining or simplistic to compare pound prices on certain items, as a small fab guy you still do what you are doing, figure up the cost and offer it up for that price.
    You cant compete lets say with a trailer manufacturer, has huge assets, production and buying power, if you are small biz you are wasting your time. To play in that game I would consider different approach, let them build at pound prices and be a dealer specializing in upgrades, sales, welding additions repairs, hitches, light wiring etc.
    Real experts do have formulas from experience and reference. So much a ton, pound, foot, per weld, by the mile, by the yard, by the box, by the gallon. Maybe even by the day or week?
    Last edited by Sberry; 10-03-2008, 12:05 PM.

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    • #3
      Yep, just like Sberry said, that per pound price is mainly for the high volume, high buying power guys.

      I'm getting welding reels built for us in China right now out of blocks of Duraluminum. Their buying power is massive. For what it it would cost me here for the same thing, costs me 1/10th that cost FOB landed at my shipping dock.

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      • #4
        Kinda off subject, but still about China and what they charge. I have a friend that tears down old mills and factories here in SC and around abouts. He gets all of the lumber and bricks and whatever he can salvage. He will send a load of a good old hardwood lumber to China and have it sliced into veneer and the veneer glued onto plywood (or whatever it is they do) and made into engineered flooring and sent back to him cheaper than he can have it done here.
        Millermatic 212
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        Kioti DK55

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        • #5
          It's all rather unfortunate when you really think about it. We are all looking to make money, and it's tough. My company honestly could not survive with out delegating tasks to Asian companys.

          Now my son is only 4, what happens when he turns 18, what jobs will there be for him, and any of your kids for that matter.

          I'm thinking ahead for him and entered him into a preschool right now to start learning Manduran. Hiis school years will be comprised of learning chinese dialects and Spanish. Just trying to hopefully make his life easier later on in life.

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          • #6
            On topic: I do some of my bids using a "100 weight" or $$$ per 100 weight pricing, (I am a small business less than $1,000,000.00 in 2007) on jobs involving large steel members and simple fabricating. A big job for me might be 30-100 ton of steel.

            (I fabricate for and broker for commercial construction, 1 and 2 story buildings)

            After getting use to it the 100 weight way of thinking works better.

            I know supply of a given steel member is $134.00per 100 pounds, I know that basic fab is about (X$$$) per pound I know that a job has X number of coulmns and beams at X total weight so it ends up to be a simple calculation. $134.00 + $.X per pound for fab x total 100 weight used.

            The calculation stops being effective below (some ?) total weight level.
            If I am working on a project with one beam and two columns I will figure it differently. In that I know it will take longer to handle the material to make just one off stuff.

            Once I can get into making 5+ of any one beam column connection plate, then production increases exponentially, allowing me to lower my cost per pound of fabricated steel.















            Originally posted by cruizer View Post
            It's all rather unfortunate when you really think about it. We are all looking to make money, and it's tough. My company honestly could not survive with out delegating tasks to Asian companys.

            Now my son is only 4, what happens when he turns 18, what jobs will there be for him, and any of your kids for that matter.

            I'm thinking ahead for him and entered him into a preschool right now to start learning Manduran. Hiis school years will be comprised of learning chinese dialects and Spanish. Just trying to hopefully make his life easier later on in life.
            I firmly believe we in the USA will need to take a cut in pay and life style, as China increases it's life style and pay. This will bring us in to parody with the majority of the economic world.

            I am not saying we need live a life style like that of a developing nation(CHINA) because we the USA are the biggest market or China and for them to continue to grow they need our dollar to buy the goods and services they make.

            I think the best place for future growth is in the trades, I have all the work I want in the welding trade and that will not end for some time to come. No mater how well China can fabricate and manufacture things in China they still cant erect, install, or build the new office building from China.

            We need to invest in invention innovation refinement in this country and export that to the rest of the world. We need to be the leader in electronics design, green production, alternate fuels, small community based hydrogen production and distribution(includes community based electric production) new materials development.

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