Would you have paid?

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I had two panels bigger than the largest planer I could use for free, so I paid a lumberyard $20 to sand them to 3/4". I have bought about $1500 of wood from them in the last 8 months.
When I went to use them I found one didn't lay flush with the 3/4" frame it was next to. Measuring it, I found it was 0.02" oversized. (The other one is probably oversized also, but since it is not next to anything, it doesn't really matter.) I took it back to the lumberyard, a half hour drive. They said their DC was down, but they would do it and call me when it was ready.
A week later I called them. It was done, they just hadn't called me. At this point I was a bit angry; not only had they done it wrong the first time, necessitating two extra drives out there, but then they don't even bother to call me.
When I picked up they tried to charge me again for the work.
Was I justified in refusing to pay? It seems to me that 3/4" is 0.750", not 0.770", and it should have been done right the first time. Am I over-reacting?
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not
Probably not, but look at the entire picture.
What is the standard tolerance for wood planing? I have no idea, but it should have been mentioned before they started. Better to be over size and correctable than under and have a total loss or more difficult fix. Lesson learned is to check when you pick the work up.
The lack of communications internally is all too common. Yes, I'd be annoyed also.
Overall, it was a poor experience, but not something I'd hold a grudge forever. If they are a good supplier otherwise, hold on to them and be cautions next time around. Ed
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not
Their initial error was less than 3%, which without a specification is within normal limits of error. If you had specified say -0 +0.0075, <1%, they probabbly would have quoted you a higher initial cost. Greater precision invariably means greater cost.
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The wood was initially 13/16, or 0.81. They took it to 0.77" instead of 0.75". So their error was about 30%. Ever try to put a tongue and groove together that is off by 0.02"? That is not so terribly precise. Nor was it cheap; I paid $20 for a job that took less than 10 minutes.
I concede I should have measured it before taking it home the first time, so some of the inconvenience was my fault; but they still would have tried to charge me.
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No, you did not tell them how much to take off, you tokd them how much to leave on. Tolerance remains at 3%. All dimennsions have a plus or minus. They erred on the plus side, which was god for you.

is
Yes, that is cheap. Stop by my shop and you will pay a minmum of $100. Machines run at $200/hour plus material. That 10 minutes was the machine time I'd bet. Not the time you took in the office, taking the part to the shop, bringing it back to you etc. Today, cheap labor is $50 an hour with a minimum of 1 hour. Skilled labor is $70 to $100, professional $150 to $250.

so
You don't know that. Chances are right on the spot they would have just fixed it and all would be happy.
We do things for customers at no charge at times because the expense of billing is more than the cost of the operation. There is a goodwill factor also. Another consideration, was the person that wanted to charge you aware that it was a fix, not a first time job? Ed
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a
$250.
For a woodworking shop that is undoubtedly true. I used to run a factory. When someone came in asking us to plate or mill something small, we simply declined. It really didn't matter what we charged, it wouldn't have covered the disruption. However... in the 20 times I have been there I have only seen one of their machines in use once or twice. So the $20 represents pure profit. Their posted rate is $60/hour; I don't actually know how long it took them, I just figured it wouldn't have taken me more than 10 minutes if I were doing it on their machine.
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machine
the
with
covered
their
them,
none of this matters anyway. either they or you should have specified the tolerance. the fact that this wasnt done is/was the crux of the problem. all else is a result of that not having been done.
randy
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their
them,
It was not pure profit. The guy that did the work earned a wage, even if it was 1/6 of an hour. The machine used electricity and you used up some of the consumables. Small as it is, you used some of the life of the machine. They are paying for the machine to be there for your convenience also, both in the cost of the machine and the space it takes up.
That twenty bucks is a little contribution to overhead and maybe a tiny profit. Ed
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Hmm...I wonder how much Conn. teachers pull in by the hour, and whether that is considered less than skilled or professional. <big grin>
H, who is not trying to reopen what was probably a silly misunderstanding, but couldn't resist. I do enjoy most of your posts.
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$250.
These are rates charged by the employer, not earned by the employee. Yes, a teacher would fall into the professional category and if the school board operated like a business, they should charge in that range if a teacher was subbed out like a welder or plumber.
CT teachers, though, are some of the highest paid in the country. I know a couple that were going to retire a few years back but the wages and later pension benefits went up so high they elected to stay to cash in. One case in particular though, this was to the detriment of the students. Like every other occupation, some should not be there. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Well, if you factor in all benefits, utilities, facility costs, management costs and all of the other overhead built into the above quoted skilled and professional labor hourly rates I bet the teacher rate is right up there. In my district it costs about $11,500 per child for education (this is the cost those hourly rates would need to cover). Our average class size is about 22. (That is the class size, not the student/teacher ratio. The student teacher ratio is about 15 due to all the specials). Thus the classroom teacher with 22 kids at $11,500 each is "billing" the taxpayer about $250,000 per year. At 176 actual student days and at about 5.5 instuctional hours per day (or 968 instuctional or "billable" hours per year, this doesn't include luch or "study halls" just like the enginner doesn't get to bill his lunch hour) it works out to around $258 per billable hour. I realize that the teacher clearly doesn't see anything like $258 per hour worked, but the mechanic, accountant, or the engineer do not see anything like their billable hourly rate either. They all have to cover overhead, vacation, training hours and everything else in their billable hourly rates.
David Hall
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<1%,
is
so
Tolerances/errors are always referenced to the required dimension, in this case the error is 2.66%. I am curious if the yard would have been interested in doing the job if you had specified say 0.75 +- 0.005", calibration on those machines isn't precise and depends on the grit on the machine.
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you
The large sander I have used has no calibrations at all. You put the wood in, and lower it until you hear it sanding. Then you lower it a half a turn each pass until you have the right thickness. No problem at all getting to within a few thousandths.
They didn't go beyond the 60 grit they used to cut it.
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<1%,
you should get a job working for politians with a spin like that one <g>
randy
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They did it wrong...pure and simple.
I would have bitched, too.
Ya done good!! lol
P.S. Just be careful who you bitch to...and who you talk to. Employees usually don't care about the reputation of the company...and often don't express the true sentiments of management. Make sure you talk/bitch to someone in authority...someone in management.
Have a nice week...
Trent
What do you call a smart blonde? A golden retriever.
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I wouldn't pay, but you were irresponsible to not have checked when you picked them up.
--
McQualude

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wrote:

Only to the extent that you can't expect quality in almost MOST things in this modern world. You have to check.
Its a shame.
Have a nice week...
Trent
What do you call a smart blonde? A golden retriever.
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In very short time, the humidity in the air can make a board swell that much. I have seen it happen over night.
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Most tapes, and even many machinist's rules, don't read in 64ths of an inch, so it's hard to understand how you measured the wood. Or expected the lumberyard to. And did you ever try to read the thickness of a piece of wood to a 64th with a tape or a rule?
Oh, wait, you used a micrometer or a set of vernier or dial calipers. Did you expect them to do the same? That's not woodworking, it's metalworking.
If you wanted the pieces to match within .02", there's an easy way to do it. Woodworkers do it all the time. You just run all of the pieces - panels and frame pieces - through the planer or sander at one setting.
You asked them to sand thepieces to 3/4". They did, within normal woodworking tolerances. Try matching up two 3/4" planed boards of two different species, or from two different lots. You'll probably find much more variation than .02". I'd bet on it.
I probably wouldn't have charged you for the second pass. On the other hand I might not have run them a second time - I just might have explained to you that you were asking for something that a normal mill would not do, and handed you back your first $20. And explained to you that if you really wanted all the pieces to match that closely, you had to bring them all in and run them together. Again, they didn't do anything wrong the first time. You were angry because of the driving - hardly their fault.
Taking off an extra .02" with a scraper would have been a few minutes work.
Get some opinions from a few more millwork companies. Tell them you need some thickness planing or sanding done, and that you'll be in with your micrometer to check their results. Expect a few laughs.
Again, I'd probably have refunded your money or done the second pass free. On the other hand, they just may have been thinking "What if I end up at .74" by his micrometer? Will he expect me to replace his panels? No thanks..."
Just my opinion, though. I work both wood and metal. Metal often to .001", very occasionally to .0001". But not wood.
John Martin
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inch,
If he was using something that was graduated in 64ths, how could he say with any certainty that it measured .770 (1/64=.0156)?

Probably with calipers. They are becomming very common in woodshops, both home and professional.
>Or expected the lumberyard

See above.

Don't know about him but I have. I'll garantee my measurements to +/-.003.

you
Yes.
No. See above. Hobbiest woodworkers tend to get very hung up on doing things the way they did 100 years ago saying that that was real quality. Professionals take advantage of modern technology like anyone else.

it.
and
woodworking
No. For work of this kind, within a 1/64 would generally be considered max deviation. They didn't make that.
Try matching up two 3/4" planed boards of two different species,

Out of the mill, I'm sure you would. They are not concerned with final use.

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