Charging for Design Drawings
Here's a long thread presenting some strongly held and well-articulated views on design drafting, bidding, sales, costs, and how to charge for design work. October 13, 2010

Debt, Planning, and Financial Security for a Woodworking Business
How to get off the treadmill and build wealth. May 20, 2011

Economics of Sawmill Operations
This thread takes a close look at some hard numbers for logs and various sawn lumber products, and teaches some valuable lessons about how sawmills can make money, or lose money. September 6, 2010

Profit Percentages
Here's a long and thoughtful discussion about profit — how much is typical in cabinetmaking, and how to go about increasing it. November 23, 2012

Charging Enough to Stay in Business
Seasoned cabinetmakers give a newcomer some hard-nosed advice on how to price his work realistically. October 15, 2009

Employee Overtime
There's an up side and a down side to working (and paying) employees overtime. Here, owners and workers discuss the management of labor hours. October 25, 2006

Don't Quit Your Day Job
Starting a woodworking shop? Don't quit your day job. June 23, 2006

Bidding Wars Heat Up
In a tough economy, price undercutting can get extreme. Here, a cabinetmaker's anecdote sets off a long discussion of price competition and reality. August 11, 2009

Working Too Hard and Still Broke
A cabinetmaker asks for advice on getting out of the hole he's in, and gets a ton of good feedback. January 9, 2008

Pricing Example: a Simple Cabinet
A simple pair of free-standing cabinets, with a long discussion on pricing, bidding, and relating to a competitive market. July 5, 2006

Calculating a Shop Labor Rate
What shop labor rate will enable this cabinet shop turn a profit? Here's an extensive and detailed discussion of setting a realistic value on labor time. March 4, 2006

Wholesale, Commercial, and Retail Pricing
Cabinetmakers discuss the idea of using a tiered pricing model to reflect volume, complexity, and customization of the job. July 12, 2012

Survival Strategy: Raise Your Prices!
Believe it or not, some woodworkers are successfully adapting to the downturn by increasing their prices. June 22, 2010

Rates for custom milling
An extremely detailed look at different systems of charging for custom milling. May 30, 2001

Customer Deposits and Payment Schedules
A heartfelt and sometimes heated discussion about setting payment terms, including initial deposits, for a cabinet job. February 27, 2013

When Will I Be Rich?
A young cabinetmaker wonders when (if ever) he will be "well off." Well, young feller ... April 29, 2012

Production Tips, part three
Part three of three from Woodworking International Magazine, offering proven ideas for increasing efficiency in production shops. 1998.

Making Money on Custom Installs
How can a 2-man operation stay profitable on cabinetry installations? A discussion of costs, pricing, planning, and time management for installing custom work. July 27, 2008

Business Financing, Credit, and Cash Flow
Pay as you go, or borrow to grow? This thread looks at both sides, and supplies some sage advice. December 2, 2006

Kitchen Cabinet Pricing Comparison
Cabinet shops compare price estimates on a basic kitchen job, and discuss the factors that influence their prices. June 5, 2006

Lumber Tally: Rough Versus Milled
When you buy dressed lumber, the quantity is tallied based on the rough board footage, before milling. The "rip-off" percentage can sometimes confuse the buyer. September 27, 2012

Employee Bonus Incentives
Most employers in this thread believe that bonuses for employees don't work. June 4, 2012

Bidding Wars on a Nice Built-In
Another lost-bid case study: Custom cabinetmakers discuss pricing and negotiating strategies for a custom Cherry entertainment center job. August 11, 2009

Managing a Late-Paying Customer
Advice on handling a good customer who has slipped disturbingly far behind on payments on his account. December 1, 2010

Calculating a Shop Rate
An extended discussion on the math and reasoning behind setting a rate for shop work billed by the hour. July 30, 2009

Starting a cabinet business
Pros give pros and cons involved in starting a new cabinet business

Production Tips, part two
Part two of three from Woodworking International Magazine, offering proven ideas for increasing efficiency in production shops. 1998.

Shop Drawing Time per Job
How long does it take to prepare shop drawings for a cabinet job? Here's a thorough and detailed discussion of that question. November 15, 2011

Furniture Pricing: Wholesale and Retail Markups
A heated, but detailed, discussion of cost and pricing practices in the furniture trade. April 24, 2006

Developing Sales Skills
Overcoming fear of sales, and implementing a sales strategy for your woodworking business - June 18, 1998

Last-Ditch Business Survival Tactics
When your back is to the wall, it's time to take radical measures. Here's some advice for a contractor who's up against it. October 13, 2008

Door Pricing and Outsourcing
Here is a long thread about door pricing, kicked off by a cabinetmaker who gets sticker shock from a door vendor's bid. July 25, 2010

Categorizing Expenses to Track Job Profit
A cabinetmaker struggles with the problem of defining "cost of goods sold" and "expenses" — not for tax purposes, but to track the profitability of individual jobs. April 3, 2012

Charging for Cabinet Design Work
Cabinetmakers discuss how they price the design phase of a job — and get paid. March 12, 2009

Pricing Kitchen Cabinets
Price by the foot, or by the box? Cabinetmakers discuss the pros and cons of different estimating and pricing methods. May 20, 2006

Gross Sales for a Small Shop
Business owners discuss reasonable sales projections for a start-up cabinet shop. February 17, 2006

Portable sawing rates
Methods for charging, plus more on the business of sawmilling. January 21, 2002

Partnerships and Other Ways to Share Shop Space
The pros and (mostly) cons of partner-run businesses. October 27, 2009

Furniture Manufacturing to Order -- Wishful Thinking or Reality?
Coordinating the delivery and processing time of serial production with the individuality of made-to-order production. March 18, 2001

Pricing a Multifamily Cabinet Install Job
Cabinet installers talk ballpark numbers and hard lessons. December 19, 2009

Quality and Price for a Basic Bedroom Built-In
Here's a long business and technical discussion on how to build a modestly-priced armoire and entertainment center. July 28, 2007

Selling Factory-Made and Custom Cabinet Lines
When you offer both your own custom-made cabinetry and a less expensive line of factory cabs, pricing and selling strategies become complicated. Here's a long and thoughtful discussion. January 19, 2011

Choosing to Accept Credit Cards
Shop owners share experiences with taking payment by credit card. April 6, 2007

Getting payments from general contractors
Woodworking pros trade tips on getting payments from general contractors. June 27, 2000

Starting Out as a Furnituremaker
Making custom furniture is a very tough business, and most craftsmen who try it fail. August 29, 2006

Methods for Pricing Cabinet Work
After years of estimating cabinet costs box by box in detail, you may have enough data to start taking short-cuts. October 2, 2007

Pricing a Nice Built-In Cabinet
In this detailed thread, a cabinetmaker learns that he is way, way under-pricing his work — and picks up some good business tips. August 22, 2007

Borrowing for Equipment Purchase — Good or Bad?
Shop owners discuss the promise and peril of debt financing. March 4, 2006

The True Cost of Overtime
When you back out overhead, time-and-a-half wages for overtime hours may work out to a wash. But not always ... October 2, 2007

Log Scales, Log Size, Kerf Thickness, Lumber Yield, and Profit
The estimated yield using one or another log scale may differ from the actual board footage of lumber sawn from a load of logs, for a variety of reasons. Here's a close look at how different scales, different logs, and different saws affect the yield, the price, and the profit. April 20, 2011

Pricing Basics
A skilled cabinetmaker gets help with his weak area: pricing and estimating. October 3, 2011

Markup and Profit with Expensive Materials
Should a cabinetmaker apply the same markup to very expensive lumber as he applies to his usual materials? The question kicks off a long and thoughtful discussion of markup, overhead, and profit. March 21, 2012

Payment Schedules and Stategies
Another discussion on the topic of down payments, progress payments, and final payments. November 30, 2009

Kitchen Pricing for Newbies
So this guy's trying to figure out how much to charge for building a kitchen for a relative. Naturally, it's all relative. But beginners could begin to grasp the basics of pricing from this discussion. June 8, 2008

Furniture Manufacturer Direct Sales
A furniture manufacturer gets some well-informed and thoughtful advice on how to structure a direct sales operation so as to survive tough market conditions that are destroying his multi-step dealer sales volume. December 27, 2008

Shifting to a Lower-Priced Cabinet Market Segment
A cabinetmaker gets feedback on the idea of targeting smaller and less expensive jobs. November 29, 2014

Whether to Go Out of Business
Facing slow times and scary financials, a cabinetmaker seeks advice on whether to call it quits — and if not, how to turn things around. July 27, 2008

Negotiating Prices with Customers
In custom finishing work, there comes a time when you have to draw a line. March 9, 2010

Seeking Success in the Cabinetmaking Business
This question from a struggling cabinetmaker provides a good opportunity for some education in the basics of business success. September 7, 2013

Just Been Under-Bid — What are the Lessons to Learn?
The "other guy" may be installing, err, inferior work. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't take a close look at ways to cut your own costs. December 2, 2006

Markups, Profits, and Customer Perceptions
You shouldn't show customers your numbers — but you sure better understand them yourself. May 20, 2006

Pricing Puzzles (The Case of the Custom Corbels)
How do you explain to the customer why one-off woodworking products are so expensive? January 15, 2008

Payment Terms and Extending Credit
How far should you extend credit to a new or existing customer? Opinions vary. June 4, 2012

Buying a Woodworking Business
Here's a long thread full of thoughtful advice on how to assessn the value and prospects of a cabinet business that is for sale. June 8, 2008

Pricing and "Profit"
A question about how to price several small jobs leads to a discussion about the difference between the wages you pay yourself and the profit your company earns. August 28, 2010

Credit Cards, Profit, and Sales
Here's a spirited and detailed discussion about whether a cabinet shop should accept credit cards as payment. May 15, 2011

Another Cabinet Pricing Survey
Cabinetmakers from around the U.S. quote ballpark prices for a generic cabinet project, and discuss costs and markets. April 9, 2008

Payroll as a Proportion of Costs
Cabinetmakers help a colleague analyze his labor costs and compare the office, shop floor, and installation shares of it. May 12, 2008

Managing a One-Man Shop for Income
A solo operator's question about reasonable income expectations kicks off a long discussion of wise management practices. October 3, 2006

Managing Growth as a Start-Up Cabinet Shop
In its second year, this small shop owner's cabinet business is starting to take off. Here, he gets advice on his next steps.October 19, 2011

Labor Rates and Profit
A lively discussion about how to value various skill levels of labor in pricing woodworking installations. December 2, 2006

Start-Up Advice for Businesses
It's the same old story: A skilled craftsman (and new solo businessman) just figured out he's been making three dollars an hour. Guys who have been there and done that chime in with advice and encouragement. December 14, 2005

How Much Money Do I Need? - Part 2
A hard look at the financial end of starting your own woodworking business - June 18, 2000

Breaking Out a Bid
If you break a bid down into different pieces of the job for a client, shouldn't each piece cost more? April 4, 2011

Learning from an Under-Pricing Mistake
When inexperience leads a good cabinetmaker to under-price a nice kitchen, he tries to make up for it on a time-and-materials island — but the ensuing sticker shock strains his relationship with the customer. Older hands point out the lessons he should draw from his mishap. December 2, 2006

Making Money as a One-Man Outfit
Experienced woodworkers and business owners share some excellent business advice with a solo operator who's struggling to get organized and make ends meet. May 26, 2011

Economics of Sawing for the Tie and Pallet Market
Ties and pallets typically get sawn as byproducts when producing higher-grade lumber. But in a down market, it's tough to sell any part of the log at a profit. September 6, 2010

Competitive pricing
Establishing a pricing system that will bring you plenty of jobs and profit. November 22, 2001

When the Customer "Cherry Picks" Your Bid
A cabinetmaker bids on a whole house project, but only gets part of the job. What's going on, and how should he respond? February 6, 2010

Value-added pricing: Why? -- Because you're worth it!
We all fear "those guys in their garages, doing work for cheap." But we really have nothing to fear at all.

Bidding Wars in Perspective
Seeing another company's low-ball bid starts a cabinetmaker thinking. December 26, 2006

Financing Big Equipment Purchases
Don't look for long-term loans — equipment should pay for itself inside of five years. January 22, 2006

Charging for Finish Samples and Color-Matching
Matching a customer's finish sample introduces complications. Here's how some cabinetmakers manage the process and the costs. August 19, 2008

Doing the Front-End Math
Jon Elvrum provides a process for making the transition to the 32mm system.

Pricing, Productivity, and Profit
An inexperienced cabinetmaker asks for help ball-parking a project, and kicks off an interesting discussion about how long it should take to do stuff. February 27, 2015

Material Markup, Overhead, and Profit
A cabinetmaker gets a basic lesson in some business fundamentals. June 2, 2009

Construction Factoring and Accounts Receivable Financing
A growing cabinet business has run into cash flow problems, and is considering working with a "factoring" outfit. Fellow businessmen advise the owner to think twice. November 19, 2005

Keys to Profitability for a Small Shop
A ton of advice from experienced business owners about marketing, money management, planning, and other business fundamentals. December 1, 2010

Pricing per square foot
Pricing work by the square foot, and why not to do so

Buying Equipment Versus Leasing
Comparing the advantages and disadvantages of leasing or purchasing shop equipment. February 6, 2010

Software for Tracking Shop Time and Materials
Business owners discuss spreadsheet and other software solutions for keeping track of job inputs. December 26, 2007

Talking Budget with a Client
Most clients won't come right out and tell you how much they have to spend. But there are ways to find out what ballpark they're in. February 16, 2012

The Business of Chair-Making
A cold look at the hard numbers for furniture building. Between rock-bottom overseas competition at the low end, and popular established competitors at the high end, it's hard for a small shop to find a profitable niche. April 21, 2011

Pricing a Built-In Bookshelf
Another tour through familiar territory: How much is this bookcase worth? And should neighbors catch a break? November 26, 2007

Detailing Costs and Markup in Commercial Work
Commercial contracts often require documentation and place a limit on overhead, profit, and markup. This means you have to learn to appropriately modify the way you present job costs and profit in your bids and invoices. November 23, 2012

Should I Cut Prices to Boost Sales?
Another take on the age-old question of whether a cabinet business should cut prices when sales are slow. August 12, 2007

Mulligan Stew: Random Observations -- and Ideas on Management
A bunch of different stuff that owners and managers of woodworking business should think about. 1998.

Value-Added Processing -- for the Sawmill
How to make sawing, drying and other processing operations profitable. March 22, 2001

Markups for Hardware
Should you charge for knobs, pulls, et cetera based on a markup formula, based on a fixed price, based on labor factors, or what?September 3, 2011

Charging for Design Work
A shop owner spends many hours designing a proposal, then loses the job. Now he asks: how can I make sure I get paid for my time, next time? September 27, 2012

Ballpark Numbers: Materials, Labor, Overhead, and Profit
Business owners compare notes on their numbers. March 11, 2009

Figuring Wholesale and Retail Pricing
To determine sustainable wholesale pricing, start by knowing your costs cold. May 24, 2010

Re-Negotiating an Equipment Lease Near the End of the Term
Is it worth trying to modify the payment schedule in the late months of a long lease of shop equipment? June 7, 2011

Estimating and Pricing Commercial Work
Big, complicated jobs are an opportunity to make or lose money through the accuracy of your estimating. Here is some advice on coming to grips with the details that determine your costs. October 23, 2007

Components--Not Cabinets
A longtime adherent of the system process of cabinet manufacturing makes his case for componentizing. 1998.

What to Do When a Customer Bid-Shops You
Pros give advice on handling the situation where a customer asks a cabinetmaker to price-compete with a low-ball bidder. (Note: The good guys won this one.) February 17, 2006

Making Money with a Sawmill Business
Plan with a focus on high-margin production, and you might make money — not just wear out a saw. January 14, 2008

Getting Started
Three basic tips for getting a new woodworking business off to a healthy start. 1998.

Payment Schedules in Commercial Cabinetry Work
When it comes to deposits, progress payments, and final payment, commercial work is a whole nother world. Here's the voice of experience on bidding and contracting those jobs. August 7, 2006

How to Avoid Three Profit Robbing Procurement Mistakes
Don't step over dollars to save pennies, says a management expert. April 15, 2006

Bidding on Big Commercial Jobs
Advice about organization, level of detail, and covering yourself in working up and submitting a bid for a large commercial project.September 17, 2014

Bidding on Builder Cabinets with No Details
Cabinetmakers discuss how to talk money with a builder client who supplies no drawings or specifications. August 13, 2007

Calculating Delivery Charges
Woodworkers discuss how to set rates for delivering and installing products at a distance from the shop. August 12, 2014

Marking Up Materials
Woodworkers discuss how and why they mark up materials costs in their estimating and billing. May 6, 2009

Was a Teenage Woodworker
Pros encourage a 14-year-old who wants to be in business to go for it. October 3, 2006

Pricing a Small Kitchen
A question about how to price an example of kitchen cabinetry leads to thoughts about pricing methods and design rendering. February 26, 2007

Systematic Takeoffs for Commercial Cabinet Jobs
Here's some detailed advice on conducting a businesslike takeoff for creating a cabinet bid, with some useful, comprehensive lists. July 13, 2010

Deposits and Design Fees
Cabinetmakers describe how (and how much) they bill for design work. June 23, 2006

Setting an Hourly Rate for Edgebander Time
Shop owners discuss how to charge others for the occasional use of their equipment. October 11, 2007

How to Play 'The Circle Game'
Bad economies are inevitable. Here's how woodworking businesses can prepare. 1998.

Ramping Up When You Need Workers
When the work starts to roll in, you need help — but employees are expensive. Here's advice on optimizing the cost of help as you increase production. September 3, 2014

Recognizing Income in QuickBooks
Advice on how to apply accounting methods that keep your profit and loss statements in step with your cash flow and the value added to your materials inventory. August 28, 2010

Shop Cost, Distributor Markup, Retailer Markup, and List Price
A door manufacturer looking to work with distributors and retailers wants help figuring out how his production cost tracks through multiple markups to a realistic retail list price. April 21, 2011

Deposits and Payment Schedules for Cabinet Jobs
Cabinetmakers share their views on schedules of payment for custom cabinetry. March 18, 2006

Cargo Trailer or Box Truck?
Cabinetmakers discuss the cost, benefits, and practicality of buying a trailer or box truck for hauling cabinets, materials, and equipment. November 20, 2005

Cost, Overhead, and Profit: A Pricing Example
A conversation about how to price a small cabinet job sheds light on different philosophies regarding costs, markups, and the path to a life of contentment. November 15, 2010

Contracts and Collections
Owning a woodworking business is great, provided you remember it is a business. How to contract carefully, and get paid. 1998.

Preparing for Bad Times
Bad economies are inevitable. Here's how woodworking businesses can prepare. 1998.

Need a Bigger Shop ... Lease or Purchase?
There are good reasons to buy the space you need instead of leasing — if you're ready to take the plunge. December 27, 2010

Milling for shares
Sawyers discuss the practicality and profitability of share-cutting. March 4, 2002

Volume Pricing for Store Fixtures
How can a woodworking shop bid low enough to get high-volume orders and still make money on the work? March 12, 2009

Charging Hourly Rate for Incidental Work
Cabinetmakers and installers discuss how to charge for small extra tasks performed on site. June 4, 2012

Price and Quality — Sawing Oak Boards for Dump Truck Beds
Sawing for a utility market like truck bed liners carries its own set of economic calculations. Here's a practical business discussion that delves into the pennies and the board feet. May 23, 2007

Turning to the 'Pros'
One in a series, looking at the relationships between woodworking companies and the businesses they deal with. 1998.

Linear Foot Pricing for Beaded Inset Face Frame Cabinetry
Pricing by the foot isn't a way to do business, but it's interesting to check out the different numbers tossed around in this thread — and the photos of the kitchen in question. October 11, 2012

Profits, Bonuses, and Debt
This interesting discussion considers the significance of a Christmas bonus in the context of company financials and taxes. February 27, 2015

Finishing Prices
Calculating pricing for finishing services

Commercial Work, Payment Terms, and Cash Flow
A commercial millwork shop owner who usually bills weekly considers whether to take on work with monthly billing and possible payment delays. Here's a good discussion about the risks you take when you change the way you do business. November 23, 2012

Can You Relate? -- Legal and Accounting
A closer look at the accounting and legal professions, and their value to woodworking businesses. 1998.

Pricing Finished Versus Unfinished Cabinetry
Thoughts on breaking the cost of finishing out of the cost of a cabinet job. March 26, 2010

Tracking labor time
Keeping a record of labor time per operation in your shop. October 24, 2001

Collecting from Clients
Sometimes it can be pretty tough to get that check. January 26, 2008

New Year's Resolutions -- Or: Leaving a Paper Trail
You can learn a lot from the paperwork a job generates, especially if you're careful to generate plenty of it. 1998.

Lead Generation - Knowing Your Customer -- It's the Key to Quality Leads
You really can’t generate profitable leads if you don’t know what you’re looking for -1998

Sawing Rates by Hour and Board Foot
Charging enough to make money with a portable bandmill. November 14, 2009

Drawing the Line on Free Meetings
After one or two meetings, professionals charge for design work. August 7, 2006

Printing and Viewing Blueprints for Bidding
Cabinetmakers discuss the nuts and bolts of working with digital blueprints, including a look at software that helps with takeoffs and estimating. April 19, 2015

Estimating and Pricing for Finishing
a good finisher who's a poor businessman. July 3, 2008

Quick and Dirty Rough Pricing
Thoughts on how to price before you've learned how to price. December 14, 2009

Fortune Teller: Making More Money in the Wood Industry
Wood Doctor Gene Wengert makes some educated guesses about the near future in the wood products industry, and offers some advice about how wood-based businesses can profit from change. April 15, 2013

Pricing a Furniture Prototype
How do you decide what to charge for designing and building a piece of furniture that will then be mass-produced by others? June 22, 2010

Estimating Jobs for Tire-Kickers
don't give those drawings away any more. April 10, 2008

Pricing for Portable Sawmill Sawing Services
Whether pricing by the board foot or by the hour, make a good accounting of your costs before you set your rates. November 5, 2013

Charging for Edgebanding
A cabinetmaker ponders whether and how to modify his piece rates after acquiring a more productive, but costly, piece of edgebanding equipment. July 12, 2012

Payment Schedules for Cabinetry
Cabinetmakers and installers discuss the terms of payment. February 17, 2011

Cost and Profit Tracking for a Small Shop
Cabinetmakers discuss how to figure out where they make money in their shop operations. February 19, 2008

Markups on Building Materials
Lumberyards charge low markups on basics like wood and drywall, but high markups on accessories, tools, paint, et cetera. June 11, 2012

Pricing Solid-Surface Countertops
To make money fabricating and installing solid-surface counters, be sure to charge for all the incidental costs. September 23, 2006

Pricing For Small Orders
When you make your living with volume production, how do you cope with occasional one-off requests? January 26, 2008

Profitability of a one man shop
Woodworkers share their experiences making a living on their own. October 24, 2001

Consulting Fee for a Retired Cabinetmaker
Coming back to the game to help another cabinetmaker match your work in an existing kitchen ... how should you arrange your compensation? October 25, 2012

Choosing the Right Accountant
Thoughts on what a really good accountant can do for your business. April 4, 2011

Giving "Ballpark" Estimates
Most cabinetmakers agree: They'll buy you some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, but they won't give you a ballpark estimate. August 7, 2006

Start-up portable sawmill business
Advice on establishing a portable sawmill service. January 4, 2001

Stripping and Refinishing Pricing
Stripping furniture is laborious and slow — and so a fair price may create some sticker shock. March 26, 2009

Setting a Shop Rate for Labor Time
Business owners describe the methods they use to value and charge for shop time. November 19, 2005

Contracts versus cost-plus
Some jobs are impossible to estimate. But don't walk away until you've proposed working on a 'cost-plus' basis. 1998.

Pricing for Kiln Drying Lumber
Here are pictures of a drying kiln building under construction, with commentary on how to charge for drying wood with a dehumidifier kiln. December 8, 2012

Spreadsheets for Cabinet Estimating
The time you spend working up a detailed spreadsheet for cabinet cost estimating will quickly repay itself with efficient pricing. April 9, 2008

Should I Break a Large Bid into Pieces for a Customer?
Most cabinetmakers aren't willing to itemize cost estimates. Here, forum contributors explain why. February 6, 2007

How to Charge for Custom Sawing
A discussion of realistic fees for sawing a customer's logs at their location with a portable mill. January 14, 2008

Pricing for Cabinet Finishing
A furniture finisher who would like to branch out into cabinet finishing gets feedback on how to charge for the service. February 18, 2007

Downsizing Anecdotes
Shop owners swap stories of shrinking the business in order to stay profitable (and sane). April 5, 2006

Insurance Work Estimating
You can make a decent buck on insurance work if you estimate in exacting detail. February 11, 2009

Figuring Sawing Prices
Sawmill operators share views on how to charge for their product or service. December 12, 2008

Taking it to the Bank
One in a series, looking at the relationships between woodworking companies and the businesses they deal with. 1998.

The Other Side of Estimating
How good cost accounting keeps your pricing structure 'honest.' 1998.

The Food Chain
Do cabinetmakers have trouble staying profitable because they get paid late in the project? Maybe — but smarter pricing can still help you make money. September 15, 2011

Accounting for Down Payment Deposits
Cabinetmakers discuss the bookkeeping and timely tax reporting issues around up-front partial payments for work to be done. March 11, 2009

Hourly Shop Rate, Overhead, and Labor Burden
Shop owners discuss the factors that go into setting a profitable hourly shop rate. February 11, 2009

Time Needed to Produce Cabinets with a CNC Router
Cabinetmakers compare notes on the machine time and assembly time to make cabinets with a CNC, as opposed to working with a beam saw and line boring machine.May 27, 2014

Life as a Cabinetmaker
"Would you do it all over again?" asks a cabinet shop owner after five years of struggling with business realities. Heartfelt responses prove that building cabinets is no easy way to make a buck. February 21, 2006

Building a Business Plan
One in a series, looking at the relationships between woodworking companies and the businesses they deal with. 1998.

Markup for Time and Materials Jobs
A discussion of costs, overhead, and invoicing practices. October 2, 2006

Starting a Sawmill Business to Supply Stakes
The sawing and drying forum takes a hard critical look at a business proposition. April 20, 2011

Widebelt Sanding Price
Quote about a buck a minute, then work out the Karma face to face, is the consensus. August 28, 2010

Price comparisons and why not
A magazine article shows the great variances in pricing work across the country, and illustrates the necessity of pricing each job based on local markets and shop expenses. March 23, 2002

Quality and Cost for Veneered Cabinet Faces
The cost of veneered panels varies depending on the required appearance and the level of craftsmanship. May 31, 2014

Investing in Fixer-Uppers
Can you make money buying, updating, and selling fixer-upper properties? Yes, but. Here, some who have tried it share what they've learned. February 17, 2006

Pricing to Create a Prototype
You're being promised (maybe) a large order of an unusual product. But what do you charge for developing and producing the first prototype?December 24, 2012

Pricing Out a Bookcase Design
A customer's design based on an existing manufactured product probably can't be made for a cost that's competitive with the original. June 4, 2012

Rates for sawmilling/kiln-drying
Sawyers post their individual rates for sawmill and kiln-drying services. June 27, 2000

Prices for Finishing a Kitchen
A craftsman who usually finishes only his own cabinetry gets feedback on setting a price to finish someone else's work. March 4, 2009

Due Diligence when Purchasing a Company
When investing in an existing company, make sure your accountant gives the books a thorough going-over. March 18, 2006

Panel Processing Time with and without CNC
A CNC shop and a cabinetmaker using conventional equipment compare the labor time used to cut up and bore an entire kitchen. January 1, 2012

Cost of Sawmilling: Renting Versus Owning
A lumber consumer who's renting a mill to make his own wood wonders which side his bread is buttered on. April 24, 2014

"Loss Leaders"
Should you take jobs you don't want in hopes of landing future work with the same customer? December 28, 2005

Possible yearly earnings
What kind of sales volume does it take to support a six-figure salary in a two-man shop? May 9, 2001

Pricing Cabinets
Basic ideas on estimating cabinet construction costs. January 9, 2006

Hardwood Lumber Tallies
Are you being shorted on a lumber delivery? The answer could depend on the fine points of board-foot calculations. April 19, 2015

Charging Walk-Ins for Occasional Cuts on a Saw
Making one cut for somebody who walks into your shop isn't much of a money-maker. So what is it worth? December 28, 2014

Cabinet-Shop Start-Up Obstacles
Pros paint a picture of the difficulties involved in starting a cabinet business. June 23, 2006

Job-Costing in a Busy Shop
How do you keep track of labor hours per job, when workers are always jumping around from project to project? October 25, 2006

Computers: Turbo-Charged Filing Cabinets
With a little effort, computers can make information storage and access a quick and painless process. 1998.

Cabinet Installation Business Arrangements
A discussion of piece-rate prices, retainage, and other contract provisions for cabinet installation jobs. February 6, 2007

Estimating the Value of a Business
Thumbnail descriptions of various ways to determine the worth of an existing business. November 19, 2005

Sawing for half
Sawmillers trade their takes and tolerances for sawing in exchange for a share of the yield. August 10, 2000

Is Joining the Cabinetmakers Association Worthwhile?
Some members say that active participation in the CMA has boosted their businesses. May 31, 2014

Finding -- and Fine Tuning - your Niche
How to find the type of work you can do best, and most profitably. 1998.

Bidding Commercial Jobs with Incomplete Drawings
Thoughts on how to account for items left out of the architect's drawings, when bidding on a commercial job. December 14, 2009

Shopping Around for Comp Coverage
By shopping for competing quotes, a business owner got his workers compensation premium lowered. January 20, 2011

Income Goals for a Furniture Maker
How to approach the calculations involving cost, overhead, and labor time for a one-man craftsman business. November 16, 2011

Creative Uses for Scrap
October 26, 2012

Cabinet Pricing Versus Built-In Pricing
A cabinetmaker who does mostly kitchens gets advice on pricing for a basic built-in entertainment center. February 12, 2009

Cabinet Pricing Methods
Averaging several prices, arrived at various ways, may be a workable method. June 3, 2007

Veneered Panels: Buy Or Make?
If you're a cabinetmaker, veneering your own panels is a last resort, not a way to save money or simplify your life. June 11, 2014

Setting up a Chart of Accounts
Thoughts on how much detail to capture in your record-keeping about job costs and business expenses. November 23, 2012

Design Fee for a Kitchen Job
Cabinetmakers discuss how to charge for design work on a new custom kitchen. November 19, 2005

Materials Cost as a Proportion of Cabinet Costs
There's no standard ratio of materials cost to other costs in cabinetmaking — it depends on many factors, and varies widely from job to job. April 10, 2008

Calculating Waste from Rough Lumber
You always lose some ... here's a look at the numbers. December 2, 2010

Considering a Hotel Kitchenette Cabinet Job
A quick look at the pricing and management issues involved in approaching a commercial cookie-cutter job. April 9, 2008

Quantifying the Waste Factor
How much of the lumber you buy becomes scrap instead of cabinets? Shop owners report their observations. December 27, 2007

Obtaining a Supplier Response -- by Writing an Effective Product Specification
Buying and Selling Wood on the Internet: Part 2 March 14, 2002

Calculating Profits and Setting Profit Goals
A discussion of how profit is measured, and how to set realistic profitability targets. February 10, 2009

Doing Your Own Bookkeeping and Taxes
Accounting's not for everyone. Here, owners discuss the pros and cons of managing your own books. February 17, 2006

Pricing Edgebanding Work
There are several factors to consider if you want to know the full cost of applying edgebanding. July 28, 2012

When to hire help?
Considering all the financial aspects and adding up the figures--is it worth it to hire? February 7, 2001

Profitability analysis
Forum participants provide their ideas on the reasons for low profits earned by a particular shop. November 13, 2000

Estimating Sheet Quantities for Cabinets
Advice on "guesstimates" and more precise calculation of the number of sheets needed to build a set of cabinet boxes. September 7, 2006

Pricing for Furniture Refinishing
A discussion of how to set prices for furniture refinishing. April 18, 2010

Shop flow
Enhancing efficiency in the workplace by carefully planning shop layout. January 16, 2002

Whether to Get a Deposit from a Builder Customer
Five out of five cabinetmakers agree — no deposit, no work delivered (with rare exceptions). March 1, 2006

Creating a partnership
Is a successful partnership possible in the woodworking industry? May 9, 2001

Chasing Bad Debt
How much effort is justified in pursuing the unpaid obligations of a customer who has gone out of business? October 3, 2011

Saving and Tracking Receipts
Paper receipts for expenses are a pesky detail that requires attention. September 30, 2010

Raising Prices During Busy Times
Shop owners discuss the strategy of using calibrated price increases to improve profits and cut their work backlog. August 12, 2014

Designing and Pricing Garage Cabinets
Thoughts on how to make money in the garage-cabinet niche. January 11, 2008

Onsite sawing prices
Further discussion of how people charge for onsite, rough sawmilling services. January 24, 2001

Taking On Debt
Shop owners advise a colleague that taking on debt for land and a building is wiser than borrowing to buy equipment. August 5, 2006

“Value added” manufacturing -- five approaches
New ways to improve your product and marketing. March 19, 2001

Understanding Costs and Profit
Is "the money I have left over" the same as "my profit"? Cabinetmakers analyze and discuss the figures from an example job. July 29, 2012

Volume pricing and production
Figuring out what prices to charge for large volumes. January 28, 2002

Dropping your lumber prices -- and why not
Why do customers expect a local sawmill's prices to be lower than the lumberyard's? February 13, 2001

Cost of Shop Drawings
Pros consider perspectives on drafting's share of the cost of a kitchen job. November 26, 2007

Solving "slow-pays"
How to charge a customer who is not prompt with their payments. May 9, 2001

Heavy-duty CNC router recommendations
Suggestions choosing for a good-quality CNC router, offering adequate tech support and training. February 28, 2001

Granite Countertop Pricing
Cabinetmakers discuss the granite countertop market. February 6, 2007

Planing Charges for Rough-Cut Lumber
Sawyers discuss the up-charge for planed boards, and for custom planing work. December 6, 2009

Estimating price of CNC projects
Formulas for calculating how much to charge on CNC jobs. January 3, 2001

Cash Flow Ratio
A brief explanation of the cash flow numbers banks like to see when financing a business or a capital investment. September 27, 2008

Hours Worked Versus Hours on the Clock
Thoughts on measuring how much of an employee's workday consists of actual work in the real world of the shop floor. November 5, 2013

Hourly Shop Rates and Real Productive Time
When you figure an hourly shop labor rate, how do you take into account unavoidable "wasted" time? May 5, 2007

Using Up Scrap Wood
Woodworkers and cabinetmakers share stories about turning their "drops" into extra cash. December 20, 2005

Billing Schedules
A cabinetmaker considers whether to adjust his usual "50% down, 50% on completion" by breaking out installation as a separate charge. February 8, 2008

Cost-Cutting Measures
A short list of quick cost cuts that have helped a small woodworking company stay in business through tough times. June 7, 2011

Database and inventory software
Recommended software for customer databases and inventory tracking. November 21, 2000

Big Box Pricing — Not So Cheap Really
Surprisingly, big box store cabinet prices don't necessarily undercut custom work. February 27, 2015

A retail lumber business?
Tips for success in a start-up sawmill-to-retail business. January 16, 2001

Cost of Grid Power Versus Running a Generator
Generators are a poor deal when fuel prices rise, but commercial power bills can get complicated. Here's a look at how the numbers crunch. March 3, 2006

Moulding Calculator Spreadsheet Program
A free downloadable Excel spreadsheet that calculates the price per foot to charge for mouldings. December 16, 2000

Accounting for Referral Fees
Advice on how to figure "thank you" payments for referrals, and how to enter them into your bookkeeping system. March 25, 2008

Building a joint furniture venture
Advice on beginning a furniture manufactuing and sales partnership. November 7, 2000

Estimating and purchasing software
Recommended reading and computer software for estimating architectural woodwork. February 7, 2001

Pricing a Stump
Woodworkers get a good laugh out of chunks of hardwood log, sold in catalogs as two-hundred-dollar furniture. February 11, 2009

Expanding a sawmill operation
Advice on expanding an existing sawmill operation June 20, 2000

Estimating Labor when Wages Vary
Do you consider which workers will be doing what parts of the work when projecting the labor costs for a job? April 22, 2014

Starting a one-man shop
Advice on planning a new cabinet business. January 28, 2002

Converting MBF Price to Cubic Meter Price
Converting prices and converting volume aren't quite the same process. Here's a discussion. January 31, 2012

Dowels: Best for frameless construction?
The case is made (no pun intended) for doweling in frameless cabinet construction. 1998.

Pricing custom cabinets
Examples of woodworkers' different pricing methods for kitchen cabinets. December 6, 2000

Cabinet Installation Prices
A reasonable per-box rate for cabinet installation can really vary, depending on the complexity of the job. September 27, 2008

Primary processing profit parameters
Some goal guidelines for profitability in kiln-drying operations. July 26, 2000

Estimating Long-Schedule Jobs
Tips on projecting costs and covering yourself for changing conditions when getting involved in multi-year projects. November 4, 2007

Understanding "Schedule of Values" Billing
Breaking job processes down into meaningful parts helps support invoicing in commercial work. February 8, 2008

Calculating a material waste factor
How to determine a wastage factor to be applied when pricing work. November 29, 2000

Estimating formula
Methods of estimating how much to charge for your work. March 20, 2001

Figuring finish prices
Methods for determining how much to charge for finishing work. March 28, 2001

Charging for Edgebanding Service
How much should you charge to edgeband for other shops? February 27, 2013

Cost Per Sheet for CNC Part Cutting
A cabinetmaker looking to outsource parts gets some rough ballpark numbers as of 2007. January 27, 2008

Pricing custom kiln drying services
How to determine what to charge when kiln drying lumber for others. January 3, 2001

Millwork set-up fees
What do small millwork shops charge for set-up on custom runs? March 20, 2001

Deposits and Payment Schedules for Cabinet Jobs
Here's an extensive debate on the reasons for requiring payment from customers in advance of starting work or delivering a product. December 7, 2008

Cabinet doors: to build or to buy?
A roundtable on making raised-panel doors for cabinets, versus "buying them out," opening onto a discussion of the larger issues of tooling and automation. July 18, 2000

Glazing and Distressing: Productivity, Quality, and Pricing
Cabinetmakers and finishers share views on how to estimate and cost out the work involved in distressing and glazing cabinet doors. May 13, 2013

Learning to Price Kitchen Cabinets
Customers are asking a furnituremaker to build custom kitchen cabinets. Now, he needs advice on learning how to charge for the new type of product. February 18, 2007

Adding value to old pallets
Examples of how woodworkers have recycled pallets and other old wood into new products. June 5, 2002

Payback Period for an Investment in CNC Equipment
CNC owners discuss how quickly new machinery can be expected to pay for itself. May 14, 2006

Doors: Outsourcing vs. in-house
Exploring issues of quality control, efficiency and profitability. November 7, 2001

Cabinet Doors: Outsource Or Build?
It's hard to beat the cost of outsourcing. April 10, 2005

Per-Hour Shop Costs -- and Small Business Overview
Understanding loaded per-hour shop costs and what goes into a business plan. March 12, 2003

"X Factor" Estimating and Why Not
Further proof that estimating shortcuts are merely quick paths to poor profits. February 8, 2005

Overhead per employee
Adjusting your overhead when you add workers. September 24, 2002

Career change: Computers to cabinets
Issues that could affect the success of a newly purchased woodworking business. July 29, 2003

Developing a Cabinet Business
Starting up without large equipment and finance resources. January 28, 2004

Taking a Business to the Next Level
A question about equipment investment turns into a thoughtful seminar on marketing, pricing, and finding your niche. November 10, 2005

Six Sigma Strikes
Are the Six Sigma system requests that a customer makes appropriate? November 3, 2004

Six Sigma Observations
Principles for developing efficiency in the workshop. November 3, 2004

Best Ways to Advertise
How to get the word out that you're in business and available for work. November 22, 2004

Business Start-Up Advice
Woodworker asks about a business start-up kit, and gets an earful of wise advice.

Increasing production flow
Presenting to a boss the numbers that prove production flow could be improved. (Business Forum) May 17, 2003

Price sawmilling by the cut?
Pricing by the hour, the board foot and the cut. (From WOODWEB's Sawing and Drying Forum) February 12, 2003

Outsource, or Build it Yourself?
Shop owners discuss the pros and cons of outsourcing doors and drawers. August 29, 2005

Pricing a Custom Piece of Furniture
A custom cabinet-maker asks for input on pricing a specially-ordered free-standing chest of drawers. The discussion covers a lot of ground on estimating, pricing, and the difference between cabinets and furniture. October 19, 2005

Profit Margins
Defining profit and determining how much you should expect. November 22, 2004

Expanding portable sawmill business
A hard look at the pros and cons of expanding a business. October 9, 2002

Pricing a Bathroom Cabinet Job
Pros share estimating tips and pricing strategies. June 22, 2005

Win the Estimating Game
Understanding Costs Means Profit. November 5, 2002

Low-Bid Bottom-Feeder Blues
but this discussion of commercial bidding, corner-cutting, and cut-throat competition is worth a look anyway. November 11, 2005

Project manager compensation
A conversation about PM pay grows into a detailed look at the cost of doing business. December 17, 2003

Cost of Estimates
Getting paid for time spent on a job before you know it's yours. April 18, 2004

Rewarding Employees for Job Leads
When an employee brings in a job lead, what's a reasonable finder's fee? March 14, 2005

Creating an installation division
Setting up a special division to install the product your company builds. July 9, 2002

Figuring labor and overhead
Factoring in all the variables, and ways to learn financial management. July 24, 2002

Bidding a Commercial Cabinet Job
Residential cabinetmaker gets advice on pricing a commercial unit. May 4, 2005

Estimating Start-Up Costs
A brand new business owner seeks input on projecting first-year expenses. January 6, 2005

Estimating and Pricing for Cabinet Installation
Cabinetmakers and installers discuss the ins and outs of pricing methods and rules of thumb. September 4, 2005

Business Tips for the One-Man Cabinet Shop
A solo operator's running hard just to stay in one place. Fellow business owners offer practical advice. August 3, 2005

Should I charge more?
Cabinetmakers share their systems for determining pricing. August 29, 2001

Potential of a One-Man Shop
Is it realistic to think a small shop owner can make a decent living? December 9, 2004

Lumber: Quantity or Quality?
The debate over speed or grade when sawing for profit. January 29, 2004

Moving Beyond Drying
A small drying operation wants to invest in planing, jointing, and ripping. March 18, 2005

How to Charge for Finishing
Determining costs and profit on finishing jobs. November 22, 2004

32mm manual vs NBM setups
Will any efficiency be gained by adding high-tech equipment to a small shop? July 24, 2002

Cabinet Refacing
Can it work as a business? Pros share business and tech tips. June 17, 2005

Price Negotiations
Ways to handle a client who asks for a line-item breakdown of your estimate. June 29, 2005

What is value added?
Forum participants give technical and personal definitions. April 2, 2002

Competing with the Factories
Custom quality at a mass-produced price? Pros debate the issue. February 25, 2005

Switching Specialties: From Cabinets to Furniture
Can a one-man business successfully make the change? Owners weigh in on both sides. July 24, 2005

Starting a portable sawmilling business
Advice on making a living with a start-up sawmilling business. June 24, 2001

Installation scheduling
When he can't keep up with the jobs the sales staff hands him, what's an installer to do? June 24, 2001

Cost of Carrying Employees
Shop owners discuss the costs associated with employing help, the value of good employees, and the advantages of going through a temp agency. September 4, 2005

Job costing help
Methods of job costing for an architectural millwork business are discussed.July 24, 2001

Establishing a shop rate
When adding an employee to your business, how do you adjust the shop rate? June 24, 2001

Ballparks, Estimates, Quotes and Bids -- The Fudge Factor
A newcomer to business gets advice on managing uncertainty in the cost of a job. March 14, 2005

Net present value
Making the correct calculations when buying machinery. June 24, 2002

Appropriate job deposits
What percentage of the price on a job is it okay to ask for up front? September 2, 2002

Radius of Convex Wall
Formulas for calculating this measurement. May 19, 2004

From residential to commercial work
What risks are involved when moving into much larger scale jobs? June 4, 2003

Estimating High-End Cab Installs
An installer seeks tips on estimating his time and pricing his services. February 25, 2005

10 hour days vs 8 hour days
Pros and cons of working 4 - 10's versus 5 - 8's. August 13, 2002

Design fee and competing
Should you charge for designs and estimates? It depends on your business focus and your competitive environment. June 12, 2005

Time Tracking for Individual Tasks
Various time tracking methods - from time clocks and paper forms to electronic devices which input to a computer. May 10, 2005

Making decent money
Advice on making a living in the business of contemporary craft woodwork. June 6, 2001

Mechanic Lien Process
Do-it-yourself, or hire an attorney? April 2, 2004

Materials, Labor, Overhead And Profit
Cabinetmakers discuss typical cost ratios. April 10, 2005

Defining "Success" in Sales Rate
If you're getting every job you bid on, you're probably not charging enough. October 4, 2005

Downsizing Considerations
What size operation fits your style? April 10, 2005

How much land for a living
How many forested acres are needed to supply enough timber to support you? June 3, 2003

Charging for estimates
Is it ever done in a cabinet shop, and if so, how? October 2, 2001

Work diversity -- Good or bad?
Should a new business take on everything from cabinetmaking to house construction? June 6, 2001

Cost of Developing Custom Applications
Business aspects of code written to order. April 11, 2005

Output Volume Per Employee
A rough rule of thumb holds that cabinet shops should put out $100,000 per worker per year. In this thread, owners consider the fine points and exceptions. September 4, 2005

Business Plans
Do's, don'ts, pros and cons on perhaps the most basic fundraising tools any business can possess. February 25, 2005

Cost of an employee
Figuring in taxes, worker's comp and more. October 30, 2003

Retail/wholesale pricing
Setting prices based on your market. June 6, 2001

Figuring a Company's Value
How much is a company worth? Perspectives on valuation. March 14, 2005

Waste wood into profit
Sawyers turn wood otherwise destined for the landfill into a business. June 5, 2002

Pros and Cons of Sawing Your Own
A solo cabinetmaker wonders if he should mill his own lumber on the side. March 14, 2005

How To Charge For Design
Getting paid for design work's not easy, but some markets will bear it. April 10, 2005

Workers' Comp for Owners?
February 25, 2005

Pricing and Legalities for Portable Sawmilling
What should you charge, and should you let the customer help? February 26, 2005

Developing shop into business
Adding employees to a small shop, and developing a business plan. September 24, 2002

Sourcing Cabinet Hardware
Pros discuss one-stop shopping for cabinet hardware from various manufacturers. August 29, 2005

Acquiring a Business
A remodeler's considering buying out a one-man cabinet shop. Is it worth it? Owners consider the pros and cons, and offer advice. August 2, 2005

Selling Furniture Through a Gallery
What's a fair business deal when you place your work in a gallery? August 30, 2005

Cash Flow Troubles
Non-timely payment by his main client (a builder) is fouling up a cabinet-maker's cash flow. But otherwise, the relationship's a good one — so what's he to do? Suggestions roll in. November 11, 2005

Shavings for Sale
The always resourceful sawyer crowd discusses the packaging and marketing of wood chips. February 9, 2005

Determining pricing
Finding a balance between fair and greedy pricing. June 5, 2002

The Top 7 Mistakes Woodworkers Make When Starting A Business
A cabinet shop owner explains how to avoid the most common pitfalls of start-up businesses. September 27, 2005

Estimating drafting time
Charging for time spent on job drawings. January 3, 2003

Itemizing Bids
Pros discuss how much detail to provide in a bid breakdown. March 14, 2005

New Equipment: Lease or Purchase?
A shop owner is looking at a major investment in machinery. Should he consider leasing? Experienced business owners weigh in. July 24, 2005

Is a One-Man Shop Practical?
Can a one-man shop succeed as a business? This thread offers half a dozen first-person answers. June 27, 2005

Selling small quantity custom profiles
Dealing with customers who don't comprehend the work and cost involved in the manufacture of custom knives. June 6, 2001

Owner's Compensation
Shop owner describes his business and gets feedback on his numbers.

Starting a woodworking business
Ideas for advertising, books to read and special considerations when starting up your own business. June 24, 2001

What to Say When You're Running Late
If your schedule slips, how do you break the news to your customer? Here are some thoughts from people who've been there. October 18, 2005

Profit sharing plans
Developing a plan where employee compensation is linked to productivity. June 24, 2001

Red Flags
There are many ways to qualify customers. In this thread, shop owners discuss the tell-tale signs of a job you'd be wiser not to take. June 12, 2005

Converting log volume scales
When sellers and buyers want numbers in different scales, how do you come up with the calculations? July 22, 2003

Solid surface fabrication in-house
Should a 30-person shop be subcontracting its solid-surface work or doing it in-house? April 2, 2002

CNC industry pricing
What goes into formulating your pricing system. September 2, 2002

Resawing Reclaimed Heart Pine Timbers
February 27, 2005

Purchasing Imported Equipment - The Currency Exchange Rate and Cost
The currency exchange rate can have a significant impact on the purchase price of equipment. July 11, 2002

Growing a business
Keeping your mind on what matters in a healthy business, with a nod to Paul Hawken. May 19, 2003

Fundamentals of Estimating
How does a newcomer learn the basics of estimating cabinet work?

Equipment as Collateral for Credit
There are some fine points to valuing your equipment as security for a bank loan. But in any case, banks are more interested in your cash flow, your profitability, and your personal creditworthiness. November 11, 2005

Gene's value-added hints
A bit of wisdom on adding value to your wood products, from Professor Gene Wengert. April 2, 2002

Pricing Rough Cut Lumber
and gets plenty. June 23, 2005

What is the AWI Estimating Seminar About?
An Architectural Woodworking Institute educational presenter provides a thumbnail description of AWI's two-day estimating seminar. November 11, 2005

Five value-added approaches
Professor Gene Wengert presents ideas on adding value to your wood products. April 2, 2002

Business Insurance
Business owners share tips on getting good coverage, and warn about the risks of "going bare." June 12, 2005

Cabinet Cost Versus House Cost
What percentage of a house's price might the cabinets cost? Feedback from various locations. August 29, 2005

Pricing Example: Bath Vanity
An emotional, but informative, discussion of cabinet pricing based on one bath vanity example. September 23, 2006

Can a Beginner Make a Living with a Portable Sawmill?
Experienced sawmill operators counsel a newcomer on his odds of success with buying and operating a sawmill in a tough market — and describe what his life will be like if he tries it. November 16, 2010

Competing on Price in a Tough Market
Cabinetmakers discuss how to squeeze dollars out of an estimate and still make a buck. August 14, 2009

How Much Money Do I Need? - Part 1
A hard look at the financial end of starting your own woodworking business - June 18, 2000 June 18, 2000

One Man, One Kitchen, How Many Days?
Solo cabinetmakers compare notes on the time it takes them to complete a basic kitchen job. April 26, 2006

Dry lumber kiln -- buying your first
Business and technical considerations when getting started in kiln drying. March 19, 2001

Power Cost for CNC Machining
Juice to run the machinery is a small percentage of CNC operating cost, but it's not zero. October 14, 2010

Fine Points of Linear-Foot Pricing
Linear-foot estimating can play a role in sales and bidding, but it's only a starting point. Here's an extended discussion. August 31, 2010

Future of Sawmilling
Here's a long, conversational thread on the economics of sawmill operations and the big picture of the general economy. August 31, 2009

Should a Moulding Mill Bring Sawmill Operations In-House?
Here's a long, detailed, and authoritative examination of a moulding mill owner's proposal to invest in his own sawmill operation. April 20, 2011

Cost of running a CNC router
Choosing the right CNC machine based on projected capabilities and costs. November 29, 2000

An overview of sawmill operations
Sawmill operators swap experiences, "war" stories, and ideas for production profitability. October 17, 2000

Whether to Invest in a CNC Router
Here's a long, thoughtful, and detailed thread comparing the advantages of a CNC router to other efficient setups, and considering whether buying a CNC is a good move for a small shop facing cut-rate competition. September 30, 2010

Metering Shared Electrical Service
A woodworker who rents space and shares electrical service tries to learn how to separately keep track of his shop's power consumption. July 29, 2012

Square-Foot Pricing for Volume Work
When a potential customer suggests a low-ball price for a volume job, finishers chime in with information about the realistic costs of such a project. May 27, 2014

Pricing Custom Cabinets and Trim
Even within one local market, prices can be all over the map. Balancing careful itemized estimating against local market conditions can help you turn a decent profit. August 23, 2006

Production Tips, part one
Part one of three from Woodworking International Magazine, offering proven ideas for increasing efficiency in production shops. 1998.

Pricing Trim Work
Stay away from square foot pricing for finish carpentry. Here are details on how to price by the piece and the joint (and factor in aggravation). June 23, 2006

Price and Quality for Interior Doors
Custom woodworkers have to charge for quality that typical mass-market interior doors can't match. October 17, 2011

Big Monitors for On-Screen Estimating
A discussion of the hardware and software upgrades involved in switching to all-digital (paperless) estimating and takeoffs. April 27, 2011

Pricing Crown Moulding Installs
Estimating and pricing crown moulding work: by the foot, by the number of corners, by gut feeling? February 17, 2011

Cost for Staining Custom Moulding
A small shop does some basic cost figuring for unfamiliar work: an incidental stain job. October 19, 2013

Charging for Short Runs of Custom Moulding
Thoughts on how to price custom short moulder runs when the customer supplies the rough stock. June 24, 2007

Can You Make Money With Wire Shelving?
A quick look at the business side of wire shelving. February 13, 2013

Pricing Lineal Moulding
Tips and advice on setting a per-foot price for custom moulding runs. July 23, 2007

Charging for Trim Work
Pricing advice for a cabinetmaker looking into residential trim installation work. August 31, 2009

Waste Allowance for Running Trim
Suggestions for how to handle the "fudge factor" involved in estimating trim material quantities. August 13, 2007

Pricing Moulder Services
How to charge for machining someone else's material. January 13, 2006

Four Case Histories for Smart Specifying
December 4, 2001

Financial Success in Woodworking
Philosophies and turning points on the path to $100K a year. January 6, 2005

Bid Pricing For Cabinet Jobs
How to figure costs and prices? A start-up cabinetmaker gets an earful of good advice. April 14, 2005

Moulding prices
Pricing product in a small, start-up moulding manufacturing operation. October 9, 2002

Straight-line vs. gang rip
Which is better suited to this moderate operation? June 24, 2002

Itemized Estimates
Should you show item-by-item cost breakdowns to a client? April 10, 2005

Shopping For Shapers (To Make Your Own Doors)
There's a choice of machines, but is it worth it? April 10, 2005

Architectural Millwork Installer Compensation
Owners and employees discuss the wages installers make, and the factors that affect the value of labor. November 11, 2005

Tallying Moldings
Suppliers round off piece lengths in different ways. Are you getting the quantities you ordered? May 29, 2005

Measuring and Estimating Trim Quantities
Tips for figuring quantities and ordering lengths. March 14, 2005

Finishing As A Percent Of Cost
Breaking out the cost of finishing. April 10, 2005

Caught in the Middle with Workers Comp
When a client doesn't pay on time, a business gets stuck in a workers-comp double bind. May 4, 2005

Discounts for Builders
Should a cabinetmaker offer a "contractor's discount" to builder customers? May 4, 2005

Is It Worth It to Buy a Moulder?
A small shop owner gets advice on whether investing in a moulder would pencil out for his operation. October 28, 2014

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