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I Forge Iron

jwilson645

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About jwilson645

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    Male
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    Birmingham, Alabama

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  1. Thank you. I had never worked with 3/4" material before so the added heating & beating time combine with making all of bends match up, it just took way longer. I am used to making things and then selling so guesstimating is something that I must work on. I figured I was more likely to have a return customer if I stood by my quote instead of trying to squeeze him for more money.
  2. Completed the fireplace grate project and delivered it to the client. This was a lesson in shorting myself on hours when I did the estimate. Took me 3 times as long as I quoted but I stood by my quote. Live and Learn. Client was VERY happy with it and tossed me a few extra $$$ as well.
  3. This weekend was work on a custom fireplace grate for a customer. This is 3/4" square. It's the largest I've worked with to date and has been quite a workout for my forge and my arms.
  4. Great advice from everyone. Thanks all! I decided that I am going to build it, figure out the hours I have in it, price and then show the customer. They were ok with that. If they want it, fine and if they don't, that's fine too. It gives me more experience and another project to add to my gallery.
  5. This is actually just a side gig for me and I work a fulltime job in accounting. However, like blacksmithing, there are specialized areas and neither taxes nor job costing are mine. LOL Once I retire in 10 more years, I want to be a fulltime blacksmith so I am setting the ground work now.
  6. Being a standard size fire place, I decided to go ahead and build it then we will discuss pricing once I know how much time I put in it. If he doesn't take it, I'm ok with that. I am pretty sure it will sell to someone else and if it doesn't, it was a good practice and I can repurpose it or chop it up to make other things. You make a good point, Thomas. I got my material costs and added 25% to that and then estimated my hours based on my hourly rate. I never considered the electricity, finishing, mortgage. I'm still new to selling so I appreciate the input.
  7. I have recently had requests for commissioned work and it scares me to death. I have been blacksmithing for 5 or 6 yrs but only really serious since March 2019. It's what I want but the pricing part of it turns my stomach because I feel like there are other smiths that can make things much better than me and so I don't know how to price my labor. I don't want to put it too low and take away from other smiths but I also don't want to put it too high and lose out on a sale. How do you quote a price for something when you have never made it and don't know how long it will take you to make it? My current delimma is that i was asked to quote a build on a fire place grate with specific dimensions/stock size and scroll work. I took a wild guess and on the time and am crossing my fingers.
  8. Thanks Frosty. I appreciate it. Those were the first 2 I made. There is a 3rd one that has a much better face, IMO.
  9. Just a couple of pieces I've made recently
  10. Are the pickets solid or hollow? Do you also make the baskets?
  11. I started out with a chunk of railroad track but any slab of steel, stone or whatever will work to get you started. Take your time and don't buy the first one you see. I had my mind set on not paying more than $2-3.00 a pound for one. After looking at a bunch of junky ones for a year or so, I bought a 180lb Fisher at the Alabama Forge Council conference at Tannehill for $325 3yrs ago. That's $1.80(ish) a pound if you're keeping track. There are alot of people out there selling them for $5, $6.00 per lb and more in "antique stores", Craigslist, etc. I feel like you're better off buying from someone that has actually used one than from Joe off the street that has seen them used on Forged in Fire. .02
  12. I haven't posted in a while but have been lurking. Recently finished our gas forge and got to play with it some yesterday. My wife needed some single bottle wine holders for a display and couldn't find any to buy so that gave me an opportunity to play. Whipped up 3 of these yesterday and have 7 more to go.
  13. WOW, such a heart wrenching obituary.
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