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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been running a lot of long STL files. Some of which are over 8 hours start to finish on the cnc. I need to know what you charge, and how do you calculate the price. Most of my work is fairly small, from 8“ x 22”, to 12” x 24”. My cnc work area is 34” x 34”. I am tired of selling myself short.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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My shop rate, including CNC time, is $50 per hour. Sometimes I charge that, sometimes I don't. Because I'm so OCD and detail oriented I may spend three hours on something that I know I can do in one hour if I don't try to make every piece end up looking like I'm building a $10.000 guitar.

Often I'll charge by the piece; ya' know the kind; there's just no way I can charge my full shop rate on some jobs so I just take my best guess on what the piece is worth and go from there.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My shop rate, including CNC time, is $50 per hour. Sometimes I charge that, sometimes I don't. Because I'm so OCD and detail oriented I may spend three hours on something that I know I can do in one hour if I don't try to make every piece end up looking like I'm building a $10.000 guitar.

Often I'll charge by the piece; ya' know the kind; there's just no way I can charge my full shop rate on some jobs so I just take my best guess on what the piece is worth and go from there.

David
Thanks for your input.
 

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This is kind of how I do it too. I can get very detailed in the sanding / finishing that if I charged my true time I would have to sell a 12 x 24 sign for $500 LOL
All my one off custom pieces get a price tag based on my design time and machine time. I just did a 12 x 48 sign that was almost 5 hours machine time. Design time was not too much and finishing was easy. I sold it for $125 to a good friend but would have normally sold it for $200 minimum.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is kind of how I do it too. I can get very detailed in the sanding / finishing that if I charged my true time I would have to sell a 12 x 24 sign for $500 LOL
All my one off custom pieces get a price tag based on my design time and machine time. I just did a 12 x 48 sign that was almost 5 hours machine time. Design time was not too much and finishing was easy. I sold it for $125 to a good friend but would have normally sold it for $200 minimum.
Thank you for your input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am thinking of making some nice shelves with a space below for coat/hat hooks. I will be designing some this week, and will show after I complete one. I will be using different themes to accommodate different interests. All the pricing help is appreciated.
 
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Theo
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Whatever you can get. And what sells well in one town, may not in the next town.
 
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You'll never get paid for your time when doing 3D carving, because they just take too long. So all you can really do is charge as much as the market will bear.
Basically, I'd say follow what David said.
But if you are doing this for a living, you shouldn't be doing jobs where you are not making any money. And if you are serious about making money, there should be a profit margin above and beyond the hourly rate.

And be sure to charge for your materials + 25% markup.
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Here's a link to an easy pricing calculator. It's far from perfect, but it will help you get a handle on your actual costs and give you a suggested price. You may have to join the CNC Workshop Academy Business Information Facebook group, but that's easy. Log into Facebook
 
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What the customer will pay should have little relationship to how long it took to cut or material costs if you select the right customers . The round sign is 36” diameter MDF (~$20?), 30minutes, the “finicky” cutout (the only CNC work) was maybe 5 minutes out of some leftover 1/2” Baltic birch. The negotiated prices in the photos. These were both custom versions of the client’s own logos.
397245
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Depends on the machine, actually. You can't charge a professional rate using a hobby machine. The cutting speeds vary too much. For instance, I can do 4 or 5 24" round Polish Eagles on my Avid in the same time frame as it takes to cut 1 on the Probotix. But....the selling price is the same for each piece, no matter which machine is used. Being able to reuse files over and over brings the cost to produce down. And you can make money doing 3d carving with a good machine. Might not be a lot, but it can generate a profit.
 
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Are you making an hourly wage + profit, or is your time free? :)
Ger, being retired, I cut and finish whenever I want, or don't want to. A little here, a little there. When in full swing, I run the Avid (for 3d and bigger stuff) and Probotix (for text signs cause it's so slow) at the same time while finishing. I have stations set up for each finishing stage and when it all comes together there can be a lot of product put out, for a one man operation. Now, could I pay someone a decent wage, benefits, etc and do it? No. But I don't want a full time business with all the headaches, and marketing. I retired from that. I just want to keep busy enough not to get bored and do something I think is fun. My files (especially the Polish Eagles which I have sold a ton of) are set up so that I can make most anything at a moment's notice. I do this because I want to, not because I have to. It has just grown on it's own so I'll just ride it til whenever it dies, or I do.
 

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If you are doing it to make money then charge as much as you can. If you are doing it for a hobby then price it accordingly. When I make things on the lathe I oftentimes give them away at garage sales. If I don't give them away for free I'll charge maybe $5 bucks or so for a bowl that might take 2 hours to make. If I'm doing repair work like installing a hot water tank I might charge the big bucks like $50 dollars or so because solder is so expensive these days. I can understand why a professional has to charge $300 for the same job. There is something to be said about not counting the cost of your labor. If you like what you are doing then charge enough to buy more equipment say a new router bit and keep on doing what you like to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I want to thank all of you for the information. I am currently "out of business". Had a fire in the garage and lost all my woodworking equipment. Hopefully I will be back up and running in June.
 
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