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Tips - Techniques & Useful Information

All of us can benefit by operating our Hobbies / Businesses with more organization.
This is a post from IFORGEIRON.com, by Glenn Conner.

Running it like a business

What do you do to keep your cost affordable? How do you run your smithy in order to keep costs under control? Take your next project, what ever is next in line, and track every item that is used in making that project.

1. Time on the computer finding the idea for the project you want to build, (30 minutes),

2. Design time figuring out how you want to build it (the sketch etc), the materials needed, etc (60 minutes at least)

3. The trip to town to get the materials ($0.50 a mile)

4. The cost of the materials

5. The time on the road and the time to unload the truck and put the materials in the shop.

6. Now comes the actual labor part.

7. The time you worked on the project, from when you opened the door to the shop until you closed the door of the shop (lights on to lights off). This may be several days so keep count.

8. The cost of the consumables you used, welding rod, sand paper, grinding wheels, abrasive belts, all the consumables. Estimate the cost of each item and write it down. (welding rod at $2/pound so $2, grinding wheel $1 each, etc.) Use the cost total replacement cost of that one item, and yes I know you did not use all of the abrasive wheel but still count it as if you did.

9. The trip back to town to get something you need or forgot, the cost of the item, the time and the mileage.

10. What ever you used to finish the project, paint, wax, oils, etc and the cost of the rag or brush you used to apply the finish. For our purposes, purchase the roll of paper towels, box of rags, etc. and use that cost.

11. Now that we have the project finished, add the cost of packaging, shipping, and the time involved in getting it ready to ship (lights on to lights off). Add the cost of the roll of sealing tape, the cost of the box, the cost of the foam peanuts, etc.

12. Add the cost of the trip to town to mail or send the package out, mileage at $0.50 per mile and your time. (No you can not count the time you have to wait till you receive the check in the mail)

Minimum wage is about $6.00 per hour so multiply your total time by 6.

Now add up all the numbers. Calculate the mileage cost, miles times $0.50 per mile. Calculate the total time, drive time and actual shop time, times $6 per hour. Total up all coats on the project. Your total for this project is ? (enter your total here)

Sit down for this one, the total you just calculated is the COST of the project. You have not paid rent on the building, the electric bill, the phone bill, the computer internet bill and a whole bunch of other bills that you will receive in 30 days. This does not include the cost of the tools, replacements for anything broken etc. That cost will have to be added in also.

What do you mean "You can not charge that much for that item, or people will not pay that much". Sit down again as that is YOUR COST, you are not making any money, just paying costs, and not even breaking even as most likely we have overlooked something in the process. IF you only charge the amount calculated, you are taking money out of your wallet and giving it to the fellow buying the item.

Now that we know the true cost of that one item (project) we come back to the original question.

What can we do to keep your cost affordable?

How do you run your smithy in order to keep costs under control?

Eliminate waste Design or redesign projects to use multiples of the total length of the stock size.

For instance 20 feet of steel can be cut to

5 feet (4 pieces)

4 feet (5 pieces)

40 inches (6 pieces)

30 inches (8 pieces)

24 inches (10 pieces)

20 inches (12 pieces)

16 inches (15 pieces)

12 inches (20 pieces) etc.

When you cut multiples, there is no waste. This has the advantage that if you need a 12 inch piece you can use a 24 inch cut or a 4 foot cut and still have no waste.

If you need a 16inch piece, cut a 4 footer and get 3 each 16's.

If you need a 15 inch piece, cut a 30 and get 2 each 15's.

If you need a 8 inch piece, cut a 16 and get 2 each 8's.

If you need a 36 inch piece, cut a 5 foot piece and get a 36 and a 24

Combinations of cuts should cover most lengths you need, with zero waste.

Make life easier

Clean off the work table so there IS a place to work. Put the tools back where they belong. Build storage racks for hammers, tongs, etc, build a point of use holding table for tools or whatever that gets in the way on the work table. Turn on some music, the kind of music you enjoy.

Again Thanks to Glenn Conner & IFORGEIRON.com

IFORGIRON Used with permission

If anyone else would like to use the material contact IFORGEIRON

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