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Lotta time, little $$

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  • #16
    You guys are right, I had about 2 hours plasma work, 2 hours on lathe/mill, 3hours on the drill (because I miss calculated and had a clearance problem) 3 hours on a screw up trying to use in-stock pipe for main support but it had a welded seam on the inside but put it on bottom thinking it would still work alright....not. Went and bought the right stuff and walah!!! Before the customer left for Florida we went over many different ways of doing the ramp supports that would work the best and as much as I tried to stick to that plan, it seemed to me that I would not support well enough while going down the road. It consisted of the rectangular tube going vertical about 2' in front of the ramp sticking up 2' and then another horizontal connecting the 2. I felt this set up would not support the ramps very well, they would be to wobbly. It was a good design in that the vert tube would drop down to support the trailer as an out rigger while loading. I finally came up with the simpler design and my supprt tube also pins in the front location and the leg will hang vertical for support on the trailer while loading. I just had a lot of time "thinking" this up. Probably had 4 hours welding after the earlier screw ups. That gets me to 14 hours which before starting the project I estimated 10 hours (not to the cutomer) so I was off a bit cause of the problems. Lots of time thinking (although not all in one sitting) I'm sure some of you guys know what I mean!
    Modern Metalworking L.L.C
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    • #17
      time and money

      Around here TEXAS
      I do this and it usually comes out right 2 times material price + 30% plus= time spent + material
      I ve been doing this for about 25 yrs and when I charge just by looking at the job it comes out about the same I have under bid once but it was a Get In the Door step .It should of taken you about 10 12 hours to do that u may need more practice on prototypes .

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      • #18
        I love threads like this. Very useful to know what everyone thinks about pricing.

        I guess in this situation I would charge full price for materials, and full price for time, minus my own mistakes and 'trial and error' time. Sometimes you have to charge for the latter, but we have to be realistic: It's a set of ramps, they've been successfully made for a long time now. Can't really charge for product development/engineering in this case, IMO.

        A guy might have $1000 in materials, time and effort in a set of ramps legitimately, but you can't charge that to someone if you expect to stay in business.

        I like the comment about how much the second set would cost...I would charge a price that was fair to me and the customer for what I'd make another set for.

        -James

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Fat-Fab.com View Post
          Charge for your time.

          My customers come to me with an idea first question is do you have drawings???


          If not I tell them up front that I charge $X per hour for drawing time If it needs an engineer then thy pay for that as well.

          Your customer brought it to you because you had the time to do it right he can pay for the service.

          Way too many craftsman are fearful of charging for, My CPA is always happy to see me because the minute he sits back down he hits the timer, we might not just talk business I still pay and pay and pay.......


          Collect what is due you. You did not go into business to give more of your time away did you?????

          TJ
          I have to agree. Now you may have to argue with him about the engineering side of the job but still time is time.
          The only time you don't charge full price for engineering something is when you know for a fact you will have more identical work in the near future.

          BTW.
          Machine shops charge rates as follows:
          Man hour:
          Machine hour:
          Man & Machine hour:
          Engineering:
          Drafting:
          Certs:
          So you could line item everything.
          That's what I would do.
          Oh and BTW shop rate out here are $65 on the very low end to $100 per hour regardless of the type of labor involved
          Unless he's a very good friend that will repay you some how, Charge him
          Kerry
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          • #20
            Lots of good answers here. All valid. I like Fat Fabs but as was pointed out you did spend way to much time on this. The second time rule would be your saving grace. He's in florida and doesn't know how you spent time reworking and thinking.
            I get in these deals from time to time because I PUSH myself into them. I want to find new horizons frequently. That is what I love about my job. I've been a factory worker more than once and even went back to two different ones in the last 2 years just to revisit slave labor!
            Even if you only charged $500 could you have made that this week at your old job?
            I have a friend I just did a bunch of weekend work for on his GTO and I still charged him enuff that he will only use me when he's serious if you know what I mean.
            As far as it being "worth it" goes...Those mods on a $5000 trailer is worth it.
            If it was a $1400 trailer then you might have a valid point. I see a bunch of people get in business and have too much feelings of guilt for charging enuff. I WAS that way too. My Dad and I had HUGE fights about how I thought he was just plain greedy. Sheesh was I ever an IDIOT!!! You cannot afford to be cheaper than your competition if your work is comparable man!!! I have learned that men love to brag about how much money they spent on something if it is the best...otherwise Cadillac and Lincoln would have gone out of business. I am known as the highest guy in my area and I get my brain picked a bunch but I have outlasted all the old fly-by-nights and a bunch of the good ones But when the work is done they brag that I did it.
            So my advise would be charge him what it's really worth...he'll never know what you went thru ( and don't tell him) and you are now smarter...they don't teach that crap in any school.
            If you do those things and learn from it you will become a fine business man as well as a skilled craftsman. Good luck friend.
            Garry

            www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
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            • #21
              lotta time,little money

              **** I wish I had a puter 20 years ago and this site was available,I would have learned a lot from the expericenced people in this trade.Because it's just not all about welding but everything else pretaining to it.

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              • #22
                I usually charge $70/hr and .75 cents/kilometre and a 5%consumable surcharge(wire,rods,discs,oxy,ect...) and a 25% mark up on steel or aluminum.When you get your truck fixed at the shop you pay for parts,bolts,labour,oil,computer scan ect.Nothing is free.If it is a job that you know you wont be able to charge all your hours,i usually tell them that i will do it but if i get a call out,that takes priority and usually offer them a flat rate plus materials.
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                • #23
                  I also find this an interesting thread since I often find myself in a similar position trying to determine the charge for a job. I like the idea of what it would cost the second time. This seems like a more than fair way since the customer doesn't pay for "head scratching" time. BTW, I do a lot of that but know that it's something that might not be fair to the customer to charge for. Let me try to clarify that. If it's a job that is common, such as ramps, then I would try to bill what I feel like is a reasonable amount based on what I think the job would cost on average if others did it with the same quality work. My girlfriend and I are always discussing what the charges should be when I say something like "I spent too much time". She says to charge for it and I say "I can only charge so much for such and such". I do good work, but also realize that certain things are only worth a certain amount and it doesn't matter how much time is involved. I probably do a lot of jobs too cheap, but I try to be fair and sleep good at night.
                  Jim

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                  • #24
                    I agree with jim-tx on the head scratching thing..lol.I do alot of that also but dont think it is fair to charge for it.
                    Trailblazer 302
                    Suitcase 12vs
                    spoolmatic 3
                    victor journeymanx2
                    esab multimaster260
                    esab handy plasma 550
                    Makita grinders
                    Lathe
                    21cfm honda compressor
                    f350 superduty 4x4
                    Lots of bills lol

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by swyman View Post
                      You guys are right, I had about 2 hours plasma work, 2 hours on lathe/mill, 3hours on the drill (because I miss calculated and had a clearance problem) 3 hours on a screw up trying to use in-stock pipe for main support but it had a welded seam on the inside but put it on bottom thinking it would still work alright....not. Went and bought the right stuff and walah!!! Before the customer left for Florida we went over many different ways of doing the ramp supports that would work the best and as much as I tried to stick to that plan, it seemed to me that I would not support well enough while going down the road. It consisted of the rectangular tube going vertical about 2' in front of the ramp sticking up 2' and then another horizontal connecting the 2. I felt this set up would not support the ramps very well, they would be to wobbly. It was a good design in that the vert tube would drop down to support the trailer as an out rigger while loading. I finally came up with the simpler design and my supprt tube also pins in the front location and the leg will hang vertical for support on the trailer while loading. I just had a lot of time "thinking" this up. Probably had 4 hours welding after the earlier screw ups. That gets me to 14 hours which before starting the project I estimated 10 hours (not to the cutomer) so I was off a bit cause of the problems. Lots of time thinking (although not all in one sitting) I'm sure some of you guys know what I mean!
                      I would split the miscalculation hours with the client( 3 hour drill/3 hour main support) so 11 hours instead of 14 (but also charge a fair price for materials that you had onhand) Also maybe put a service ad on craigslist (free) with a few pics of jobs you did.
                      Millermatic 210

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