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  1. We have three separate businesses. Two are service businesses and s-corps, which means a lot of things but aren't really relevant for George N.M.'s OP. The third business is an LLC for our apiary and lavender farm. Products created or this business (honey, beeswax stuff, lavender essential oil and hydrosol, cutting boards and other woodworking items, and soon metal stuff) may or may not require us to charge sales tax for retail sales because of state and local (county and city) regs. For example, we do not need to charge sales tax for honey, but we do need to charge sales tax for lavender essential oil. We handle this by figuring out our pricing, adding the sales tax and rounding, and paying the sales tax out of gross. Yes, this makes making change easier (though most people use plastic now, so we use Square) but mostly it helps the customer. We get a lot of people wanting to buy our products as gifts and they have a budget, say, $20 per person. That's two jars of honey, or a jar of honey, a bottle of hydrosol, and a bar of handmade beeswax soap, or whatever combination they want. They know what they're spending as well as what they're getting. No one has balked or argued or anything, ever. We make it very clear through signage what everything costs, we don't haggle, and we don't discount. That allows us to focus on giving samples and answering questions, which we get a lot of because we're beekeepers and everyone has an opinion about bees. This is also very much on brand for the business. We have a state UBI and federal tax ID numbers, and if we're selling at an event in a city that requires a city business license, we get one. Hope this helps. P.S. With the two s-corps, we each operate one and may or may not add a PITA percentage when asked to estimate or bid on something, and that depends on the project, the project manager, how busy we are, how much we want to do the project, etc. You don't usually want to come right out and say no, so you ask for an outrageous amount of money. The problem is when the client says, okey-dokey and you're stuck doing a project you really don't want to do. But that's another story for another time.
  2. Lots of great points here (I'm with Kozzy and Frosty in both outlook and experience, FYI), but I'd like to add something... It's okay if you mess up your asking price the first time. Estimating is hard. It's a skill and you have to learn how to do it. The good part for you is that you're confident you can sell what you make whether this deal falls through or not. Over time you'll learn how to do it. And honestly, while you should know your costs (time+materials+overhead) you may then want to consider that your quote should be based on what the market will bear. If your customer wants wants wants they are asking you to make and is willing to pay considerably more than your costs to get it---and feel good about it---that's near where your quote should be. It may cost $14 to make the thing but your customer maybe ready to shell out a hundred times that because the experience of commissioning a piece is worth it to them. This is another one of those areas where you'll have to learn what that dollar amount is. A lot of it is based on demand, brand, and all that crap, but it's also based on who your customer is and what they want out of the deal. A fire grate, sure, but obviously they're looking for something else, something intangible or they'd be going to the fireplace store to buy. They're coming to you for a reason and once you figure out that reason, it will help you price out your work. In the meantime, good for you---feels good to have your work in demand. And worry less about screwing up your first estimate. If you screw up your fifth estimate, well, maybe then you should start worrying. YMMV
  3. Got it, thx edennis. Okay, as of today I have to finish the floor (sandset pavers bcz I had 'em) and do the wiring, then spend some time in the space to be sure where I think the forge should go really is where it should go. And I have to set up the other metalworking tools like my metal spinning lathe and then get confused about why I can't use it properly and ask Frosty a zillion questions about it. If I didn't have fifty-five billion other things to do, the Hut would be done all ready. OTOH, I have remained uninjured. Huh. Probably shouldn't have said that last bit.
  4. Pr3ssure, I recently asked a similar question regarding the Uri Hofi side-draft design on another thread. Like you, I'm thinking about the best way to move air out of a shop where I'm forging and I'm pretty sure I'll be building a side-draft style chimney. My needs are determined by several things, not the least of which is 1) the ease of installation/repair/adjustment and 2) the amount of rain that will come in. I live in a very wet sorta place, so if I can avoid going through the roof, I'll do it---roof penetrations are to be avoided because no matter how well flashed, they will eventually leak. It's not just the rain or snow, the sun will rot any rubber and many of the mastics used to attach or flash. The metal roofs also expands and contracts and will work loose any screws or other fasteners, leaving a bit of gap for water. Ease of install is another aspect I'm considering. I do not like going on a roof, especially one with only purlins and no sheathing because if anyone can step through roofing, fall, and make a sickening squashy sound on the floor below, it would be me. I can run stovepipe with wire because I know how and I have another neighbor who used to install woodstoves for a living and I can ask for help if I need it. If I need to replace or remove, or I want a larger diameter or better material, I can do that without going on the roof. And if I were using a space that wasn't mine, I'd be sure to set up something I could quickly take down should someone decide I don't belong there. It's also a lot easier to cover a wall than to cover a roof. Either way, best of luck with your endeavor.
  5. JLP, this is interesting info---thank you. I'm going to need some metal cutting saws for the Wonderhut and I've been looking around to get an idea of what kinda money I'm going to be spending. I have an HF 14" El Cheapo that actually works well enough for what I'm doing, but I've been considering both a small(ish) bandsaw and a carbide-tipped chop saw. I use a lot of carbide-tipped tools in woodworking but haven't yet in metalworking. I'm sure I'll be back on this sub-forum with more questions in the next couple months but I appreciate your perspective. And please notice how I said nothing during the early debate about the differences between "baited" and "bated," not even commenting on how, when it comes to "bated," some people are masters. I feel I've really grown as a person.
  6. Chelonian, I have a little Lincoln 140 MIG welder that I adore. Seriously. It's cute and it works very well for me. It runs on 110 and doesn't need shield gas (though I can hook up gas if I want). I learned to MIG well on an HF special my buddy gave me and when I killed it, I bought the Lincoln. I'm lucky because I have two neighbors who are welders by trade who were very free with the commentary as I was welding up projects. Yes, they pointed and laughed, but I've gotten pretty good with the little Lincoln. I also took a 1-day class on basic welding that let me try different types of welding and welders, and that was really helpful. One thing I learned is that I suck at is striking an arc with a stick welder. Whatever the talent is to get that to work, I have the exact opposite talent. Even the instructor was like, "Yeah, how's about you go back to practicing with the MIG welder." The Lincoln 140 I have takes reels of flux-core wire. A piece of advice---get good wire. Crappy wire makes crappy welds and is annoying. Also, follow the chart on the inside panel regarding the correct use of wire for the material you're welding. Accept that you'll be really bad at welding because, like playing the ukelele, you have to practice. And then you'll get the hang of it. Get a decent angle grinder and decent wheels because you'll be grinding a lot. Buy a good welding helmet, leathers, and respirator---Jody on weldingtipsandtricks.com gives very good advice about PPE and everything else welding. HF is not the place to buy that stuff, though Northern Tool has some good gear for not too crazy an amount of money. You can use shielding gas with these small MIG welders. My welder neighbor said you get better welds, but you should still use the flux-core wire. You can use the weld mix (argon and CO2) or just CO2. I'm going to try just the CO2 because I already have a tank and I have to weld up some workbenches for my new shop. Welding is useful and fun. It's also messy and dangerous. My neighbor literally set himself on fire last summer using his MIG. Two weeks in the hospital, skin grafts, it will take him another 9 months to heal. He has to wear Lycra to help prevent scar tissue buildup and he has chronic pain from nerve damage. He's getting better slowly and he was outside working on a new welding table last Friday. Hope this helps.
  7. Trevor Colin, are you planning a propane forge? If not, may I suggest a charcoal forge based on Charles Stevens's JABOD (Just A Box Of Dirt). A JABOD has a lot to recommend it---low cost and uses a lot of basic skills, such as digging clayey dirt, sifting clayey dirt, and building with clayey dirt. You can build one quickly and be forging the same day. Fuel can be coal but to make it easy, get some lump charcoal from the grocery store (not Briquettes---that's the wrong stuff) that's actually made from wood. You can also use coal---like from a mine---but I'm not familiar with that fuel. There are a ton of people in the Solid Fuel Forges subforum, though, who use it and can guide you. What's nice about charcoal is that it's fairly easy to find and if you don't use the whole back, you can grill up some dinner. JABOD forges are fun, and you get a real sense of how and why forges work the way they do. And you and the grandkid will find out really fast if blacksmithing is something you want to pursue. Then if you decide you want to build a propane forge, there are a lot of threads on design, build, and safe use of these types of forges here.
  8. BartW, that is a very good likeness. Thank you. I think I have a little anvil fever. I like the shape of this one---a brutal beauty. And if I were to make an offer, I'd check it with a ball bearing test and I wouldn't offer the asking price as I don't want it that much and I'm not quite sure how the seller has valued it. There's another 300# south of me that was priced at US$3,000 and is now down to $1,000 and still dropping. There's a Fisher +300# that is priced at US$1,700 I know is going to Longview that looks nice as well. Rojo Pedro, you make a good point about the weight. I've looked at the Kancas, but honest, BIGGUNDOCTOR got it right---I planned on buying a Nimba Titan because they are a weight I can deal with and the company is over on the peninsula in Port Townsend---I was on the peninsula yesterday. Oooo, I wonder if they'd give me a tour. Nobody Special, I may be interested in a northern-ish Sound group. I'm pretty spoiled---my neighbor is a blacksmith and I'm like the son he never had. PM me and maybe we can email discuss or start another thread here? Luckily, my anvil fever is a mild case, and I haven't checked the couch cushions for spare change or arranged to sell a kidney on eBay to get the cash for a purchase. I think I caught anvil fever because buying an anvil means I've completed the Wonderhut and I'm done with my shop build. Which I'm not.
  9. BigGun---he's asking US$2,300. Dang it, you guys. I KNEW I shouldn't've brought it up here because my birthday was last weekend and now I want it. And I named it and that's always a mistake. Swaptober is in Longview at the end of the month and we're debating going (and by "we" I mean me and my fiscally responsible self)---my fantabulous spouse has already said she's looking forward to going, which is a lie, but she really is that nice and I really am that spoiled. I thought maybe something would follow me home from Longview that I got a screaming deal on and instead, I keep going back to look at this one.
  10. Thomas Powers, the owner gave me the 2" face thing. So I see---that's something built into the mold, not added later. Got it. I've looked at some images on the intertubes to get a sense of the maker. I doubt I'd buy this anvil as it's really big (for me) and he wants serious dough. I'm just curious as to who made it, etc.
  11. Anyone have any thoughts about the maker of this anvil? I know I don't have enough to be sure (and there's no way to get more info as of now), so I'll accept wild guesses and pure speculation if that's all ya got. This is CL local, seller says it's German (though he may mean German-style?) made in the 1940s, and cast steel with 2" face. He doesn't know the brand. I can add images of the face that he's put up, but there aren't any pictures of the bottom that I can get to easily. The face looks---fantastic, she says as a newbie amateur whose knowledge of anvils are primarily from Road Runner cartoons. I keep returning to the post on CL, though I think this is about 200# more than I was thinking of getting in an anvil. But I kinda like it. If it was mine, I think I'd name it Conan (as in barbarian not as in late-night-show host). Or maybe Sechs Bieren (Six Beers), which is how many I would have to drink while I sit down to recover from moving the thing. Any insight appreciated.
  12. DanielC what kind of crucibles do you use? I really enjoy your threads, btw, especially with the images. And after following your posts, I watched a video of Pendray making and talking wootz and Damascus (he uses busted beer bottles) and actually understood what was going on and why.
  13. I built a forge from a deceased propane grill (a JAGOD-Just A Grill Of Dirt) and wrote about it here. These forges are not hard to build because Charles R. Stevens in his JABOD (Just A Box Of Dirt) threads has already broken down what you need to do and how to do it. He did such a good job, you'll follow the steps and think, "There is NO WAY this is going to work." And then it works because Charles obviously did his homework. At the end, you'll have a forge and an understanding of how forges work conceptually, so then you'll start rebuilding your JABOD/JAGOD to work better. There's very little money involved and a lot of opportunities to get your hands literally dirty. Even if you decide you want to go with propane, a JABOD is an easy, fun, and effective way to get started. Oh, and put your location in your profile---there's a chance one of the cranky old blacksmiths who post here will say, "Hey! I'm like three miles from you. Are you that person who always puts their garbage cans out the day before the garbage truck comes by? Dang, you're annoying. Now come on over here and I'll show you how to blacksmith the right way, not like all those other people."
  14. Thanks, IF&C. How often have you had to replace the chimney pipe? And what sort of material is it?