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Thread: Suggestions on pricing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Tennessee
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    Suggestions on pricing

    I have a request to do some inlay work, and don't really know how to price the job. It is a raised panel that goes on a main stairway post. 14"x29" of soft maple, the inlay is a bible verse out of walnut. I have done inlays in the past on coasters, cedar chest,ext. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to price this project. Thanks in advance for any assistance.

    Vince

  2. #2
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    Vince, is this done by the word/letter and inlaid individually, or is this to be engraved on one piece that is to be inlaid? Might help if I knew a little more.

    If it's a one-piece to be inlaid, I would charge as I would for a plaque, $xx times number of lines, plus $xx for laser time, plus your overhead and profit, plus any materials (x 3) that you have in it.

    If it's individual letters, or letter groups into words, again charge for your materials x 3, $xx per letter or letter group, then add on laser time, overhead, and profit.

    Sounds like an interesting job.

    Nancy
    Nancy Laird
    Owner - D&N Specialties, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!
    Lasers - ULS M-20 (20W) & M-360 (40W), Corel X4 and X3
    SMC is user supported. http://www.sawmillcreek.org/donate.php
    ___________________________
    It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

  3. #3
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    By the way, where in Tennessee are you? I'm a Vol too.

    Nancy
    Nancy Laird
    Owner - D&N Specialties, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!
    Lasers - ULS M-20 (20W) & M-360 (40W), Corel X4 and X3
    SMC is user supported. http://www.sawmillcreek.org/donate.php
    ___________________________
    It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Oxnard, CA
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    117

    Look Within

    Vince,

    With past experience in doing inlays, you're probably as qualified as anyone to answer your own question.

    According to your past experience, has inlay work been extraordinarily time-consuming?

    When you think about it, among those with laser engravers, I'd say very few perform inlay work.

    That puts you in the driver's seat!

    In short, a one-piece, custom job, such as you've described, isn't a good time to "sharpen your pencil."

    It will probably take longer than expected.

    Certainly worth pursuing though.

    David "The Stunt Engraver" Lavaneri

  5. #5
    For reference, I reckon on between $1 and $2 per square inch to do custom inlay/marquetry work with my laser - mostly around $2. So for your 14" x 29" panel, I'd charge somewhere between $400 and $800 - depending on how affluent the buyer appears to be. Try saying $800 to him/her and see what their expression is, then adjust downwards (say something like "but as a special just for you, I can do it for.....") if you need to. It's all about judging their financial pain threshold.

    Good luck,
    Dave Fifield

    XYZ Laser - 45W Epilog 36EXT, Rotary, Corel X4, Photograv

  6. #6
    I'm with Dave, a one-off custom job that will be the stunning centerpiece of the stairway deserves a hard sell for a high profile job. $600 to 800.00 seems fair. Break it down into smaller jobs parts, set-up, computer time, mock up, etc.

    I charge plenty for my 'catalog' and custom inlay work and have yet to loose a bid.
    "I love the smell of sawdust in the morning".
    Robert Duval in "Apileachips Now". - almost.


    Laserpro Spirit 60W laser, Corel X3
    Missionfurnishings, Mitchell Andrus Studios, NC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Victor, NY
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    1,288

    Inlay Pricing

    Hi Vince;
    Here's something similar- priced at $200 for 10 x12 plaque. Note that the letters in each words are welded together making assembly much easier. Price would be more than double for individual letter version.
    Best regards;
    George
    LaserArts
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    And worth every penny. Nice work George!
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300, 80 watt
    Gravograph IS400
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation
    Dye Sublimation
    CorelDraw X5, X7

  9. #9
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    Dec 2006
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    Corvallis, Oregon
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    That is nice work. I try not to do inlaid lettering less than 1/2" high. Once you have done enough of it, it goes pretty fast. I contour in Corel about .004 to get things to fit right. Using 3M sheet adhesive also speeds things up. It helps to put window screen (aluminum) on your vector table to keep the little bits from being sucked to their doom!

    I have found that a little bit of easy inlay combined with standard raster text sells well and is much faster to do. I get fancy borders from Dover publications and use them. You can do a boundary around a rastered border to good effect.

    Mark
    ULS X-2 660, Corel X3, Haas VF4, Graphtec vinyl cutter, Xenetech rotaries (3), Dahlgren Tables, Gorton P2-3, New Hermes pantographs (2), and recently, 24" x 36" chinese router. Also do sublimation, sand blasting, & metal photo. Engraver since 1975.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Victor, NY
    Posts
    1,288

    Wood Inlay

    Hi mark;
    Good tips- how do you use the sheet adhesive? I use UHU craft glue as water-based glues tend to swell the wood. I don't contour- I use the same text as the raster with hairline outline.
    Best regards;
    George
    LaserArts

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by George M. Perzel
    Hi mark;
    Good tips- how do you use the sheet adhesive? I use UHU craft glue as water-based glues tend to swell the wood. I don't contour- I use the same text as the raster with hairline outline.
    Best regards;
    George
    LaserArts
    Hi... I use a 3M product (467MP adhesive) that is adhesive only (no carrier) that has a release liner on both sides. I buy it in sheets from my sign supplier (Sun supply in Portland, Or.) Just peel one side, adhere it to the back side of your veneer, roller it down with a veneer roller, then vector it as usual. The result is a ready to apply veneer cutout with 100% glue coverage. After assembly and rolling of all of the pieces, I give it 3 or 4 coats of rattle can lacquer with very light sanding after the second coat. This allows lacquer to get into the joints between the pieces and acts as an adhesive for the edges. Be sure to do the rolling, the adhesive requires it. Thumb pressure is not enough!

    With this method, you can store the pieces until you have everything ready to mount. You can check the fit before adhering them.

    Mark
    ULS X-2 660, Corel X3, Haas VF4, Graphtec vinyl cutter, Xenetech rotaries (3), Dahlgren Tables, Gorton P2-3, New Hermes pantographs (2), and recently, 24" x 36" chinese router. Also do sublimation, sand blasting, & metal photo. Engraver since 1975.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
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    Thanks too everyone for all the input on this subject!! i bid and got the job, I will post some pics when I get the project done..Thanks again

    Vince

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