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Thread: One Off or Multiples?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    One Off or Multiples?

    I rarely build more than one of anything.

    My friend rarely builds just one of anything.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    I go both ways. For some of the things I make on my CNC to sell, I leverage the convenience of having things setup and run multiples pretty much universally. For most other types of projects, it's one-off or sets of something. It really depends upon the project.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    OK, I'll bite.

    I would say you are a one off, and your friend is a multiple...
    Too much to do...Not enough is too short!

  4. #4
    Woodworking is a hobby for me so all one offs that I design. I'm too slow to make any money do it lol.

  5. #5
    The most time in any project is in the set ups and design time (also known as figuring out how to make a cut). If you cut multiple pieces on any set up you save the setup time and it only costs you the actual cutting time. Cutting multiples works especially well when making toys.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USNR(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Upstate NY
    A friend's father used to make little houses for his greatgrandchildren. Now that he is gone, she wanted me to make 2 more. I made 4 because it wasn't any more work and I didn't want to have to make more in a few years.
    So, make multiples whenever reasonable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Michigan, USA
    Thinking about things I've made over the past couple of years, it depends on the type of project. Most furniture is one-off or pairs (if it's going to be used as a pair, like end tables). Most "gifty" stuff - cutting boards, kitchen trivets, tea light holders - it's multiples. As others have said, it's not much more work to make a batch vs. just one - and it's nice to have some small gifts in stock. Sometimes with these type of things, I'll make a batch up to the ready-to-finish point, and do the finishing as-needed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
    Like Jim, if it’s a paid job off the cnc, the more the merrier (within reason). Everything else is one off, maybe two depending on the job.
    Please help support the Creek.

    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
    - Steven Wright

  9. #9
    I've had more than a few instances of some small design flaw making itself known after making pieces for multiples. So it's one off or "prototype" first then backing up and starting over if i want multiples

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Upland CA
    I made Lincoln Logs for a new grandkid with hundreds of pieces once. The wife liked it so much she said 'make 17 more sets'. By the time I was done, I estimated I had made roughly 27,000 cuts with my new Unisaw. A generation later, the groove on the table from the miter gage is still there. There were so many small single spacer pieces they almost filled a big trash can.

    Note: On the other side of the coin, this is the same wife who nowadays wants every door, drawer, and shelf in a kitchen to be custom sized.
    Last edited by Rick Potter; 04-20-2019 at 6:07 PM.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  11. #11
    As a hobbiest I usually do one offs if a unique/sophisticated design. (furniture for the house)

    But for gifts it turns into multiples mode. Picture frames, boxes, etc... big batches at the holidays. One time I helped my stepfather build a toy chest for every grandchild, that was 11 or so toy chests - each a different wood combination but all the same design so we just cranked them out.

    Chairs dont count. Bookcases dont count. They are supposed to be sets.

    But I enjoy the original one off creative work more than churning out replicates. (and part of that fits my working style better, gravitating to more hand tool use over the years than churning out replicates on automated equipment/dedicated fixtures). But for me it is a hobby and I only give pieces away...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    I agree with most respondents. If it's furniture it's usually one off. For other stuff like napkin holders or cutting boards I usually make a batch. It takes longer to set up the saw than to make multiple cuts with one setup. Then I have a closet full of gifts for special or not so special occasions.

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