For those who have occasion to price their woodworking projects, there is an
EXCELLENT, _very in-depth_, article on estimating/pricing furniture projects
in the December 2006 of "Woodwork" magazine.
Well worth many times the US$4.99 price of the mag.
If you do any commission work you owe it to yourself to seek out and buy a
copy at the earliest opportunity. You will not regret it, guaranteed.
I agree that the article was good. The estimate for a hand dovetailed
drawer really made me laugh. Frank Klausz in his dovetail video said
that he estimates 20 minutes for a hand dovetailed drawer. This
article said you should estimate 8 hours. I suspect that Klausz's
estimate is like the programmers who say, "That'll take 5 minutes," and
then work through the night finishing.
A funny thing about the Klausz video. People assume that since the
action is taped that it's edited for time. If you'd ever seen Klausz
cut a dovetail in person, you'd know that his 20 minutes means 20
minutes - and the dovetails are immaculate. I don't understand how it
could take 8 hours to cut the dovetails on a single drawer unless
someone took a lengthy beer break in the middle of the job.
I'll make it a point to get the magazine and read the article.
Yeah, for Klaus to do the handcut dovetails is taking 20 minutes, and you
can bet I would be tickled to sub out the work to him for just the dovetails
at that estimate.
But you can also bet that _his_ charges are based on much more time than
that for a complete and _fitted_ drawer, which is what the article's
estimate is based upon.
The article estimates for the first _machined dovetailed_, or finger
jointed, drawer as 1.5 hours, and 1 hour for each subsequent drawer, fitted.
That, like everything else in the article, falls well within my experience.
That does seem like a very reasonable estimate for an experienced
person. It probably takes me 1.5 hours for each drawer, if you include
the time of fussing with the slides, etc. (My skill level is probably
below most of the posters here).
Well, ol' Frank's been doing this a while. If I started in right now,
I'd be lucky to live long enough to get the sheer number of shop hours
he has already.
I also recall that he typically does his dovetails wider and few than a
lot of people. I may have misunderstood the comment I heard.
I took one of his (Frank Klausz) classes a few years back and I still have
the autographed set of DTs he did for the class. (drive by gloat) Anyhow,
one of his funniest one liners was something like this.... "after 10 or 15
years of full time wwing, you'll be a pretty good beginner"
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