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I Forge Iron

thought you might like to see my clock

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Hi Grant. Could you perhaps elaborate a bit on this? I have heard it said many many times now, that you should NEVER turn down jobs, as it helps you stay afloat during down times and that people will go elsewhere. However I'm primarily interested as to the price for work correlation.

Not Grant here but don't turn jobs down just price them higher when you are too busy. If you don't want to do the job price it even higher. If things are slow you can cut your prices to get the work, but if you are not making money in good times you will be losing it in bad. If you are busy with cheap work you don't have time to do the jobs that you either can make lots of money at or really want to do.
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What Grant is saying is simple math, if your were making a part for $50 and you dropped the price to $40 then you'd have to make 5 parts to earn $200 dollars, instead of 4 parts. You may be doing more work, but you you've got to do 20% more work to earn the same money.

I turn down work all the time. I don't weld on cars; I don't build fences; I don't use decorative parts from catalogs. I am trying to make a living as a blacksmith, every time I take a job that does not fit in my definition of blacksmithing I lose that opportunity to do work I want to do. Yes, I might gain a customer by taking that job, but there's a very good chance that customer and his or her referrals will be more work that is not blacksmithing.

I wired some light fixtures that I made for a regular client, an interior designer who I've worked with for years. Then I was asked to wire an existing candle holder, now she wants me to do all the repair and wiring of all her light fixtures. Antique crystal chandeliers are not in my business plan.

If you take every job that comes along, no matter how bad, then people will bring all the lousy stuff no one else will do. That's no way to send your time.

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  • 3 weeks later...

How'd we end up down this path? Determining the perceived value can mean building the perceived value or weighing the customers options.

Much artistic stuff is sold by the artists ability to build value. Much industrial stuff is based on available options. I've done some bending jobs that "had" to be done and I was the only one who could (or knew how to) do it. I've had jobs that turned $500.00 per hour because I could do them and it was still the best option for the customer.

One forging job I used to do a lot was keel bolts for Coast Guard (wooden) Minesweepers. These were 1-1/4 silicone bronze with a 2-1/2" countersink head around three feet long. The yard had been buying 2-1/2" bronze and turning them down. I started making the heads by upsetting the end on 1-1/4" and beating them into a header with a sledge. So, how did I price them? By the 15 minutes it took me to do each one? No, I just determined what they were paying for three feet of 2-1/2" silicone bronze and charged them that! They saved a ton of machining. Perceived value.

I really like that view! :D
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