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Author Topic: Advice needed on sawing job  (Read 2723 times)

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Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2013, 12:53:46 AM »
I wasn't sure how to post this, then I remember a conversation I recently hand with a broker.  Most of the time, I am compensated for my labor base on a unit of production, as is tradition.  It does not matter the value of what I am sawing, only its difficulty.  The tree is doing most of the creative process and all I am doing is revealing that. So a White Pine is worth less than a Black Walnut, when I am acting as a sawyer, I only concern myself with the work.  Yes I could make it better or worse, depending on my talent, but all in all the value is from the wood's own inherent beauty and what we as humans place on it.

Now if I split a rock and fashion a stone beam, then carve a scarf joint in that beam, I am working in concert with my tools and the material.  The value is in the creation of my talent as a carver and timber wright and I will be compensated accordingly.  The stone was free, or nearly so, compared to the value of the finished product, which came mostly from me.

Fair, and bargain I never really have considered those elements.  I look at a current market, what is charged for a unit of product; then render that unit if it can be done consistently and accurately, at that market price.  I'm not being terribly creative, just working and producing something. 

This post thread is about a commodity that has way too many variables to consider in a unit fashion.  Consequently, an hourly rate must be charged, then the product will have a value including what I had to charge for it.  I have done reclaimed oak that was way easier to mill than some vintage hemlock with hard knots and tight grain.  In that case the hemlock was more expensive than the oak for the client, because the unit of product cost more to create.

I hope that all made since. :-\
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Offline Solomon

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2013, 06:47:32 AM »
I'm thinking the beams won't be quite 10X10, depending on what he wants for lumber, and how clean the boards need to be will take a few cuts for sure, they will most likely be bowed, I am thinking the best He can lood for is an 8X8,  it will take some wrangling fighting the twist and bow, I would charge board footage, it should go fast, and he will be happy, he just should'nt look for too much extra in my opinion,
Just to throw a number out, he should be happy with a $1000 dollar bill, I have to say where else can you by this type of material for 500 bucks a thousand,   no where,                  By  Solomon;I was thinking that $1000.00 is about right.  I have a customer who owns a small lumber yard. He gets $125.00 a piece for 16 ft 8x8s  not treated and not dressed.  Over 16ft around my neck of the woods the price goes up substantially.  You do the math.
I agree whole heartedly , before I read the above post by Drobertson,
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Offline stumpy

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2013, 10:00:49 AM »
Jay, You said; "if you know your craft, you don't charge by the hour,". That's a pretty bold statement that I take exception to.  I DO know my craft and I know how to run a business, and I charge by the hour!
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Offline Bandmill Bandit

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2013, 10:30:02 AM »
Jay, You said; "if you know your craft, you don't charge by the hour,". That's a pretty bold statement that I take exception to.  I DO know my craft and I know how to run a business, and I charge by the hour!

Yes stumpy you are bang on. I too know my craft. BUT practising ones craft ALSO requires knowledge of your market and the Clientele one serves. If i am cutting for a farmer that has lots of good logs or a some one that is a forestry contractor then things are very different.

BUT to date the majority of my mobile business has been acreage owners that moved out of the city and drive back to the city every day to sit behind a desk. They LOVE the hourly rate because they can see the approximate bill at the end of the job. AND most of what I cut for them is salvage of some type and they feel like they are doing their part to keep "good" lumber out of the landfill.

Even farmers and forestry people in this country prefer and expect an hourly rate because EVERYBODY that does any kind of contract work that touches the oil patch in any form has a stand by rate that is the minimum hourly rate. In this part of the world around here. Once you leave your yard for the job site the clock starts to tick and it dont stop till you arrive back in your yard. Some charge milage starting at a $1.00 a Km and up.   
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Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2013, 11:15:15 AM »
Hello Stumpy,

As of this entry, 12 of us have said hourly-me included, and 4 of us have said by the board foot.  This is the advice we have offered to 123maxbars.  This is our advice, based on our individual experiences.  I have my experiences, and from that I explain my position.  I make no effort to offend anyone, and apologize if it does, that is not my intention.

I stand by my words, "If you know a craft, you charge by the unit," be it a knife, a painting, 60 feet of dry laid stone, 1000 square feet of timber frame structure or 1000 board feet of lumber.  That is my position, it's not meant to offend anyone.  As was pointed out to me on another post and off line, if a client brings you 10 logs to mill and you tell them you charge $50/hour plus others set fees, but the bill won't go over $1000.00, then you have given a metric of measure.  However, when I'm bidding and someone states they charge $50 per hour and leave it nebulous with no ceiling to how much they will charge, I take umbrage.  I've given a set amount, but what a client often hears is $50, not understanding that the bill will be much more, often more than mine.

If I'm talking to a client, a layperson to our line of work in most cases, and they ask me how I work and why I charge what I charge, I explain it from my perspective of being in the guild crafts for almost 40 years.  Craft work: sculpture, painting, timber framing, black smithing, ceramics, plaster work, dry laid stone...I could go on...or sawyer, 95% of the time, now and through history, this work was by a unit or metric of production.  Often this work is very expensive, because of the embodied labor and skill it takes to form a portion of clay, plaster, steel, or wood into something. 

There are cases, when all the mitigating conditions will not allow a unit measure, consulting work is one, and, IMO, sawing lumber that has as many variables as vintage wood can have in it.  There are too many unknowns in most cases, and if I can identify them I would give a set price.

Respectfully submitted,  jay
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Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2013, 12:02:44 PM »
Just a general observation... a lot of these threads present a scenario where a member is seeking advice or options on how to handle their particular need.  There are almost 14,000 members on this forum and there will be a lot of different opinions out there.  When we contribute we can let them know what has worked, or hasn't worked for us, and go into detail as appropriate.  The original poster (and other readers) can evaluate the ideas that might work for them. 

When you post a comment that harshly criticizes someone else's method or suggestion then, in my opinion, it ceases to be educational and becomes condescending and dismissive.  After many years of reading posts it seems that those members whose opinions are most respected were the ones who were supportive and informative - not the ones who were bullies.  There is an art to positive criticism.

In my former occupation I learned that people in pain may comply, but they do not learn.  I'm sure that there are many members who read but don't ever post for fear that they may appear to be ignorant or unworthy of asking a question.  Some of the responses they have read may be responsible for that. 

Just a thought,   
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Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2013, 12:16:38 PM »
Thank you Tom,

I will try to be better. I'm just not sure sometimes how to share a concept and reply to a rebuttal.  I'm do'n the best I can, and really like how you explained it, I agree, and will make every effort to have my post be neutral, but informative.

Regards,  jay
"To posses an open mind, is to hold a key to many doors, and the ability to created doors where there were none before."

"When it is all said and done, they will have said they did it themselves."-teams response under a good leader.

Offline torqueporting

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2013, 12:49:15 PM »
Either charging method has its pros and cons. I have witnessed companies charge by the hour and slow way down to boost pay. I have seen companies charge by the unit and speed way up to boost pay (quantity). 

Balancing quality and quantity is the issue at hand while securing a fair deal.

Charge by the hour puts the company in the drivers seat of controlling how much they will be paid. Charging by the board foot places higher risk of mis-judging mill cost but sets a known cost for the customer.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2013, 01:09:52 PM »
Quote
Just a general observation...

Tom, that was well said.

Amuses me too when a few can't just state their opinion and then not feel they have to keep re-arguing and re-defending their opinion. The best I can, I try to give a viewpoint the way I see it, and then let it go. Unless a retraction or a different point of discussion is raised, I move on (or at least think I do  ::) ).
I will readily admit that I don't know everything, but can have my own opinion on many things of which I often pass on as brief as possible for whatever it might be worth.

I like the forum for the different viewpoints so many members contribute. There is a wealth of information.
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Offline Bandmill Bandit

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2013, 02:30:39 PM »
Just "another general observation"!

From a read and following of this thread I think it is quite obvious that each contributor is in fact a professional in the craft/trade.

BUT what I see the most of is that each persons contribution is a result of being tuned into his personal market and clientele!

Each respective post reflects the advice based on that particular knowledge.

SO What is my point?

While all of the advice is good advice and is tried and proven for each contributor, does not mean it will work for you.

YOu need to work through this thread and glean the things you think you can employ in a SIMPLE manner that will work for you. You will make a few mistakes as you learn but at the end of the day you will develop a system that is you and works with you.

JMHO
 
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Offline Nomad

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2013, 06:59:02 PM »
Either charging method has its pros and cons. I have witnessed companies charge by the hour and slow way down to boost pay. I have seen companies charge by the unit and speed way up to boost pay (quantity). 

Balancing quality and quantity is the issue at hand while securing a fair deal.

Charge by the hour puts the company in the drivers seat of controlling how much they will be paid. Charging by the board foot places higher risk of mis-judging mill cost but sets a known cost for the customer.

     Depends.  On a mobile job, if you're depending on the customer to supply the labor, charging by the bf can bite you.  I prefer to charge by the bf.  I think it's more fair.  But too many times I've had a customer "supply the labor" by bringing out a lawn chair for himself.  One fella figured "helping" was standing in the kitchen waving to me out the window.  Or it's the hired hand who keeps getting dragged away from me to go help do this, that, or whatever.  In all those cases the owner gets informed that we're switching to hourly rates.
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Offline scully

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2013, 07:46:25 PM »
Uhm I would charge hourly plus blades ,just a thought.....
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Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2013, 07:53:10 PM »
Uhm I would charge hourly plus blades ,just a thought.....

This is exactly what I would do SCULLY.....and be done with it.  smiley_thumbsup
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