Millwork set-up fees

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

In operating a millwork shop, I customarily charge a set-up fee for specialty millwork, to cover extra labor hours and materials (such as pattern making, moulder knife steel, wood used for testing, etc). I find contractors unhappy with even a modest set-up fee for custom work. What do other small millwork shops charge for this?

Forum Responses
A fee that I see a lot is $40 - $50 setup and $80 - $100 to do a min run. The min run is 1' to whatever your break is for a lft price. As far as the knives go, usually there isn't a charge if it's a stock pattern (one you run normally). Knife steel ain't cheap. Don't forget to charge for the wood and delivery.

We normally charge a $50 setup for runs under 200 lft. We charge $38 per inch of width on new knives with a $50 minimum, unless the knife is complicated and would need multiple head setups.

We charge $50.00 on orders under 250 lft. We don't itemize it on the bill. We will have two prices for our millwork--one for less than 250 lft and one that's for orders over 250 lft. Under 250 lft is .20 more per foot = 50.00. There has not been a problem since we started "not itemizing it."