Figured that out a few years ago with acoustic guitars. Couldn't figure out
why guitars cost so %$#@* much, had the opportunity and a one year
assignment to Panama without the family and said "lets give it a try." 8
months, $500 in materials and about 300+ man-hours later, I learned why
acoustic guitars (the good ones) are so expensive, of course a lot of the
time would be better spent if you do multiple items simultaneously, but
Now, if a friend sees mine and asks what it would cost for me to do one for
him, I tell to go to one of the guitar shops find the most expensive guitar
in the place add about 25% to the price. If he is still interested, we will
You're right until you actually sit down and do it, you really have no
concept of what goes into a project (to do it by hand).
The ones I really feel for are the custom cabinet guys. I went to a dental
equipment mfg for a class once, they also make all those cabinets you see in
the dentists office. The guy in the cabinet shop was showing me how they
cut wood. Tell the computer which cabinets set you want, feed in the stock
listed on the stock listed on the screen. The machine cuts and marks all
the pieces and spits them out the other side, takes about 10-15 minutes.
Try that on a table saw!
Just last week a couple of guys at work saw something I made and was sending
out as a gift. The conversation progressed into 'why don't you sell this
stuff." I shoed them a picture of the Tudor bench I made and asked what
they though I could sell them for. They agreed that $275 to $300 would be
good. Then I told them the material was $300 and that labor was probably
20+ hours. Would they pay $1000? Nope.
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