Cost for commercial shop to sand tabletop?

I know I've seen a few posts here recommending that someone look into taking a glued-up top to a cabinet shop to have it run through a big drum sander. Well, I checked out the shop in my town, and the guy estimated $30-50. For 46 x 28 inches, that I told him would be appx 7/8 thick, to finish to 3/4 thick.
Seems awfully high to me? Just wondering if someone else has done this and what they paid. Thanks
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Local shop here (west Los Angeles) quoted me $25 set up and $1 per minute thereafter. For your size and 1/8 inch it seems about right. Have you considered your cost for owning, storing and maintaining a large enough sander compared to paying someone, based on frequency of use?
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I had a 36" X 60" top sanded and was charged $25. He ran it thru the machine 4 times, took about 5 minutes. Basic charge for shop time was $50 per hour so I guess the minimum was 1/2 hour.
Fred
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On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 07:00:49 GMT, "Keith Carlson"

Seems reasonable. 1/8" is a lot to remove by sanding and that needs several passes. It's not a wood thicknessing process, it's a finishing process.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 07:00:49 GMT, "Keith Carlson"

Your info is pretty useless without a location. Different parts of the country have widely varying labor, tax, electricity, and real estate overhead costs.
Here's a retail milling price list for a decent sized millwork shop in my area (the semi-expensive Northeast USA): <http://www.harrisent.com/PLMill.html His belt sander is $100/hr, with a $50 minimum. Keep in mind that he accepts credit cards from retail customers, and regularily deals with the unwashed masses, both of which drive his prices up.
A small shop paid in cash might be cheaper. A shop in NYC or the SF Bay area would probably be much more, while a shop in rural West Virginia would probably be much less.
Barry
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Why not go to your local auctions and buy a used machine? Might only cost you $10K or so...

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The average price for machine usage is is 50 to 60 per hour no matter where you are, This works out to be a fair price, anyone charging more than that is either ripping people off or is using the high price as a detterant.

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On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 06:49:46 -0700, "George M. Kazaka"

Right...
So the price would be the same in an area with twice the national average income, housing prices, etc... as in an area with all of that stuff at half the national average?
Barry
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In my area the cost is ~$1.50/minute with no minimum charge. When the size of the parts I need surfaced exceed my planer, I'll prepare the parts to close the finished size, about 1/16" or less away. You could also save money if you only need to clean up the surface to be smooth and flat but not sanding it to a particular thickness. This works great for tabletops and the like where being a bit thicker or thinner isn't the end of the world.
The last time I was there I used the machine for 3 minutes, and the cost was a little under $5 with tax.
If all these cost others are posting are true, it'd lead me to consider buying a Performax sander. I'd get the convenience of having it in my shop plus there'd be some resale value when I decided I no longer wanted or needed it.
On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 07:00:49 GMT, "Keith Carlson"

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Thanks much for the replies. I did not mention location; I'm talking small town just outside Minneapolis MN.
Lazarus, good point. I did ask him about 7/8 to 3/4, but the 7/8 starting point is just to allow enough material so it can come out flat without going below 3/4. I plan to make 3 of the panel clamps that Kim Whitmyre posted pics of a while back, and if I do a decent job with the glue-up, it may not take much sanding. No reason the top can't be a little thicker than 3/4.
The other thing I'm thinking is to ask the shop teacher at a local HS where I took a community ed class. He may let me use their drum sander for a small donation to the materials fund.
Buying a drum sander is out of the question for me right now. Someday... someday.
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The High School shop might be the best choice for you. In my area you can take a woodworking shop class (10 weeks for 3 hours/week). I haven't taken it, but basically you just show up and use the High School shop equipment. I think it only cost's $60 so that works out to $2/hr. Rather than paying $60 to a cabinet shop to sand your one item you could sand your item plus have another 29 hours, 50 minutes left for other tasks.
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Larry C in Auburn, WA

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LArry, I am interested in this class you speak of...As I stated earlier, I'm also in Auburn and am kind of e-Stalking you. can you let me know where this is?
Thanks!
Fred
fdawg at comcast dot net

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I just did this recently. Here in Chicago there is Owl Lumber. I had a 60 x 30 tabletop that I wanted sanded. It cost me $8. I wasn't concerned about getting to a particular thickness, just getting it sanded smooth.
todd
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