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    I’m currently working on a single 2-drawer night stand project. Simple design. It’s been a month long project, and I estimate I have about 60 hours into it, with about 10 more to go. With this project, I’ve looked for ways to increase my efficiency, such as gang marking and cutting, and not worrying about fully marking my dovetails before cutting (which has worked fabulously :)). But I’m not rushing the process. Just a bit each day, and seeing the piece slowly form. Working on my precision (but that doesn’t really change the timeframes much).

    I know speed can vary based on the workers’ experience, available tools, complication of the project, etc. I’m curious many hours others invest in particular projects.

    Jim Allen

    Hi GfB, I can certainly identify with what you are saying about time to finish a project. The most important thing is that you take enough time to do quality work. Speed will come when you become more familiar with working with your hands. This reminds me of tying fishing flies. When I start a new pattern it takes a couple of minutes to complete a pattern but after a while I can tie 50 – 60 in an hour. I think the same thing applies to woodworking projects. Most of my time on a new project is thinking what I will do next and how I will do it, not in the actual measuring, sawing, planing etc. Like most things speed will come naturally as you progress your skills. Like I said previously, quality of work is your first goal. –Jim

    Jim from the mythical State of Jefferson – Oregon side


    quality of work is your first goal.

    I’d say the first goal is enjoyment of the craft. You can be the best craftsman in the world, but if you don’t enjoy your work, what’s the point? I wouldn’t be building at all if I didn’t enjoy my shop time.

    And I certainly do enjoy my time out there. I don’t want to rush the process. It’s fun seeing a project “become”, however slowly.

    I was talking to a friend about just this subject yesterday. His point was, given the amount of time spent, what would you sell the thing you built for? My response was that it would be in the multi-hundreds. But so many people don’t see the value of something you built in your shop; they see it as similar to what can be bought at Ikea for $100. They don’t understand the value ascribed to your hard work. So what to do? You tell them to shop at Ikea!

    P.S. Second, surely would be quality. The pursuit of the betterment of your skills.

    Jim Allen

    GfB, The enjoyment part is a given. If I didn’t enjoy the work I wouldn’t touch it.

    Jim from the mythical State of Jefferson – Oregon side

    Michael Schoenfeld

    Price is relative but not definitive.

    I have gone through the pricing process in a variety of entrepreneurial endeavors, from products to services, and helping others due the same. there is a common miss perception that you are competing with “Ikea,” to name your example. While a large number of consumers want the “Ikea” price there are also a large number of consumers that get all their furniture used and an equally large number of “people” (big difference between consumers and people who buy quality) who want and look for high quality and will pay for it, the trick is getting you product in front of them with the features they desire.

    Case in point; I can buy a compact four door car for a few thousand dollars, or a luxury four door Bentley for hundreds of thousands of dollars. They both have four doors and get you from point A to point B, however each has a buyer with specific needs, tastes, purchasing power, and perception of value.

    Don’t ever underestimate what your product is worth to the right person, finding that person is the more difficult challenge.

    Starting out you may be competing against the small four door consumer but with time and work, like Paul, you can sell to a “Bentley” customer. I have known some individuals who can sell directly to a “Bentley” customer base at the beginning of their endeavor, but they have also taken substantial risk to do so, and are few and far between. Paul has built his reputation over decades, there is no reason any of us new comers to working wood can’t do the same.

    Hope this is useful info