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About JustAnotherViking

  • Rank
    Senior Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Northern Ireland
  • Interests
    Mostly Motorcycling and Metal (The ear splitting, guitar screeching kind, and the stuff that you can heat up, hit, grind, and make into all kinds of exciting creations)
  1. How Much Per Hour!! (What is you shop rate)..

    Since we can see differing opinions of what a 'successful business' actually is, it should be fairly apparent that trying to figure out an hourly rate is an even more impossible task. Do you have to pay for medical insurance or does your country provide free healthcare? What is the local housing market like. $200 a month or $2000 a month for rent/mortgage? Do you have to rent shop space, or do you have space on your own property? Are you paying more/less than others for fuel based on local availability? It's a bit like trying to answer 'why isn't my metal getting hot enough'. Hot enough for what? How are you heating it? What size is the metal? What type of metal is it? We could have 30 people trying to directly answer the first question, and giving 50 different answers... all may be valid to their own setup and circumstances, but you can't compare them to give a meaningful conclusion or advice for others to follow. We would need some sort of universal scale so we can offset the relative living costs... comparing your hourly rate to mine wouldn't work. We'd need to compare yours to your local cost of living, and then the same for mine... that would then make the information more valuable and useful to others in yet another area with yet another local cost of living to compare to.
  2. How Much Per Hour!! (What is you shop rate)..

    "What is a successful business?" To me, that's what is causing the biggest divide of opinion on this topic. For some, being able to get by, and put food on the table each night may be their vision of success. For others, it's being able to take an extended holiday at any point of the year, owning your property outright, driving an expensive car, having all your costs covered and not having to worry about saving for a rainy day (perhaps even having employees, or more) Arguing on different approaches to starting a business and how certain methodologies only apply to certain industries still doesn't change the cold hard facts about the extremely high percentage of failed startups... but again, we can likely relate that to your personal opinion of what 'failed' vs 'succeeded' means to you.
  3. How Much Per Hour!! (What is you shop rate)..

    For a younger person starting out, with no real financial commitments or responsibility (mortgage, children, medial insurance, and other costly dependants), I can understand how a 'strategy' (and I use that term loosely) of trying to make a few things and slowly build it up, may produce viable results over a few years. In reality this often isn't the case. What happens during your startup if you have an accident and can't work for a week. What if that become a month? What if your car breaks down and it's your only way of getting to clients? What if you've invested all your time in a commission and the customer doesn't pay at the end... you've turned down other work, and now you have nothing. You need some form of start up capital to see you through any rough times and unforeseen issues. Unless you're fortunate enough to inherit, or save the capital you need to get going, you are going to need a proper business plan, backed by market research to get a business loan. I'm not saying you need to employ a top research firm, and sink all your capital into this, but you will need some form of credible research. Some people hit it lucky and find a market (hammers were given as an example). To the outsider this looks like the person just stumbled across this and were 'lucky' In reality, if you dig a little deeper, there is a lot of time (and money) invested behind the scenes in marketing, research, advertising, and other hidden costs. It's not just a one man (or woman) shop striking gold by accident. They have a team behind them. Researchers, marketers, accountants, and so on... not to mention all the failed ideas.
  4. How Much Per Hour!! (What is you shop rate)..

    So much this. Completely different target markets. If people are complaining you're charging too much, it's likely the wrong person you are presenting your goods too. I wouldn't seek out a talented artist to get the nails and hidden hardware I need to build my shed, but I would be happy paying a fair price for a one off door handle that's prominently on display. It's about adapting to the market, and in this day and age, your target customers could be on another continent, so we need to adapt to the new global market place and not worry about what Frank across the street is charging. Living wages in different parts of the world will obviously have a bearing on this, but that just means working harder to find your niche and marketing yourself better
  5. How Much Per Hour!! (What is you shop rate)..

    I would counter this, in that the shop owner is covering all the overheads... yes they'll be making more than the workers do after all expenses are paid, but they are also taking on the risk. If the number of paying customers is down for a few months in a row, the owner still has the same rent, rates, and wages to pay. The worker has a fixed income and none of the stress. In that example, I would charge the same. You have already established a piece rate for a specific item. Assuming the quality remains, so should the price. You have personally absorbed the cost of the power hammer, and the extra half hour is now paying the hammers wages.
  6. How Much Per Hour!! (What is you shop rate)..

    Very interesting take on it! I think another factor in people deciding what their time is worth is down to how much they invested in their own training. People tend to be most critical of their own work, and as such don't value their own time spend on practicing and learning a craft, particularly an artistic one such as blacksmithing. Flip to another profession where the only entry to it is via education, you can put a direct cost of investment based on university and professional membership fees. That person may have gone into debt over the cost of X years of study. The cost isn't against the time, but the tuition fees. They feel like there is a tangible figure they can justify charging for their services based on what they have invested to get that set of skills. I blacksmith as a hobby, only started recently. I'd give away things or charge very little for anything I make. Definitely operating at a loss, but hope to make a small amount back to pay for consumables down the line. Flip to my profession of software development, my daily rate to customers is billed at over $1000
  7. What Did You do in the Shop Today?

    Today I made a fearsome battle axe .... For barbies. About 2" tall
  8. Seax Question

    Will do. Thanks for the suggestion. Currently working my way through 'The Viking Spirit: An Introduction to Norse Mythology and Religion' by Daniel McCoy (2016) and am waiting on delivery of 'The Viking World' by Graham Campbell (2013), so I shall add it to the list
  9. Show me your Bottle Openers!

    Quality control is extremely important in these matters!!!
  10. Show me your Bottle Openers!

    I attempted doing a corkscrew as you described by winding it around something.... it's now sitting buried in a pile of scrap with other failed experiments I'll have to try following the video myself and see if I can get any closer on a second attempt... likely just using mild as a practice piece as it's easier to work, and what I have on hand (other than some thick coil springs). Back to the topic at hand, the evolution of my own bottle opener attempts (the more successful ones anyway):
  11. Show me your Bottle Openers!

    I came across this earlier today. Higher carbon than mild, but not hardened.
  12. What Did You do in the Shop Today?

    Fixed that for you
  13. Seax Question

    @ThomasPowers I'll do some more reading on the topic. You are likely right, so I'll bow to your knowledge. I don't recall seeing bent examples in any of the museum exhibits I've visited. They were either mostly intact or in pieces, hence my thoughts on the matter. @Daswulf could be an inferior or unfinished blade, so no edge profiling. A quality finished blade would probably have been passed along to the next of kin, and a cheaper sword added to the grave site instead
  14. Seax Question

    I think we're getting our wires crossed. Bent isn't normal. Shattered into pieces is normal. I find this discovery odd due to it being bent rather than shattered.
  15. Seax Question

    From another angle Looks to be very dry, well drained soil. Likely a low acidity too which would help with the preservation.