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yves

How much time?

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I want to offer a potential client to punch and drift 5/8" round holes in 3/4" square bars (both ends of eight 48" bars, 16 holes)

I want to charge what it is worth, not more not less.

However, being a beginneer, I cannot expect clients to pay for my "apprenticeship".

My question is this : How much time to punch & drift with a hammer, a 5/8" round hole in a 3/4"square bar heated in a coal forge. It took me 40 minutes to do it today. How far off the mark am I?

I'm pretty sure I take way too much time and I would like to charge the time it should take. I'll pay for my apprentice status.

Thanks,

Yves

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I would not think it would take any more than 2 heats to punch and drift a hole by hand. I guess if I was feeding a few bars into the fire at a time and not having to wait for one at a time to heat up It may take 2 minutes per hole. So I guess about 32 minutes for all of them. Probably would need to add in some time for coal fire lighting, shoveling coal, ext. Also cutting the stock to size so maybe 1 hour billed time for everything.

I think a more experienced smith could do it in less time. But this is probably what it would take me.

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It is very hard to tell what another should charge... With out watching your work and habits it is hard to tell how long you will take to get up to speed, so I suggest you pro-rate your hourly labor cost to adjust for the beginner status you are in compared to the others that may be bidding against you at full rates and more experience/tooling.

Start looking at minimum wage for your area, plus cost of steel and fuels for a starting point. If that figure is not worth your time and efforts, you can just pass on this, or do it anyway for the experience and reference. Remember you should get faster as you do more of these.

If you decide this is a good number, present it to your client. If after seeing the clients reaction, you decide if he seems adverse to the cost, let him know you are willing to negotiate. Do your best and you will have nothing to fear. Just remember not all placed bids are accepted for anyone, in any business.

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I would not think it would take any more than 2 heats to punch and drift a hole by hand. I guess if I was feeding a few bars into the fire at a time and not having to wait for one at a time to heat up It may take 2 minutes per hole. So I guess about 32 minutes for all of them. Probably would need to add in some time for coal fire lighting, shoveling coal, ext. Also cutting the stock to size so maybe 1 hour billed time for everything. I think a more experienced smith could do it in less time. But this is probably what it would take me.


I would suggest "would not think" and "Probably" should be established first before committing to advising a time to a beginner not knowing how much of a beginner, what tools and facilities are available, free issue materials, degree of accuracy required etc.

I agree with Mr Sells advice here.

There are a lot of unknowns, quote what you are happy to do the job for and explain your situation to the client

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I would not think it would take any more than 2 heats to punch and drift a hole by hand. I guess if I was feeding a few bars into the fire at a time and not having to wait for one at a time to heat up It may take 2 minutes per hole. So I guess about 32 minutes for all of them. Probably would need to add in some time for coal fire lighting, shoveling coal, ext. Also cutting the stock to size so maybe 1 hour billed time for everything. I think a more experienced smith could do it in less time. But this is probably what it would take me.


I would never advise anybody to try and charge for a job based upon the quickest possible time to do the job . one hour for 16 punched 13mm holes through 18mm bar including cutting deburring and heating et al.....in a hour....by hand?
most experienced smiths I know work steady .......
5 minute jobs (as you imagine them) often take half an hour or more when all is said and done .
charge for the time it takes you to do one in the hope that doing 16 will speed up the process a little (or a lot).

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I would suggest "would not think" and "Probably" should be established first before committing to advising a time to a beginner not knowing how much of a beginner, what tools and facilities are available, free issue materials, degree of accuracy required etc. I agree with Mr Sells advice here. There are a lot of unknowns, quote what you are happy to do the job for and explain your situation to the client


I do this work every day, so yes I know how long it would take me. I don't have it timed with a stop watch but I know how long my heats are and how many it takes me. And if you read his post he asks how long it takes other people. And that he is a beginner and would like some type of reference. I simply answered his question.

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I would never advise anybody to try and charge for a job based upon the quickest possible time to do the job . one hour for 16 punched 13mm holes through 18mm bar including cutting deburring and heating et al.....in a hour....by hand? most experienced smiths I know work steady ....... 5 minute jobs (as you imagine them) often take half an hour or more when all is said and done . charge for the time it takes you to do one in the hope that doing 16 will speed up the process a little (or a lot).


Just like I said above. I don't see why people are so quick to just want to chew out other people. I did not say anything rude or ugly, I answered his question simply

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I do this work every day, so yes I know how long it would take me. I don't have it timed with a stop watch but I know how long my heats are and how many it takes me. And if you read his post he asks how long it takes other people. And that he is a beginner and would like some type of reference. I simply answered his question.


Its not a case of wanting to chew out people, but your intitial post was not exactly realistic. To Quote

I would not think it would take any more than 2 heats to punch and drift a hole by hand. I guess if I was feeding a few bars into the fire at a time and not having to wait for one at a time to heat up It may take 2 minutes per hole. So I guess about 32 minutes for all of them. Probably would need to add in some time for coal fire lighting, shoveling coal, ext. Also cutting the stock to size so maybe 1 hour billed time for everything.

I think a more experienced smith could do it in less time. But this is probably what it would take me. end Quote

I would like to see you try do this task in the time you imply, and hope you prove me wrong.

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You could ask the potential client what they were looking to spend to give you an idea if it is worth your while. As a beginner, remember that even if it is less than you would like to make, it is also exposure and may lead to other potential work and clients. In time little acorns grow into mighty oaks and they start out small.
Just my thoughts.

Mark <><

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I would allow 3 hours, (for a rank newby) assuming you have the right punch, hammer etc which you obviously do as you have stated it took 40 mins to do one. You may do it quicker, good on you, you may take a lot longer, bad dog. At least next time you will know. 3 hours works out to about 11 mins per hole. That seems OK to me.

PS and that is 3 hours from go to whoa, (for in my case an apprentice)including preparing the fire, furnace, etc grinding up the punch in case you have a hole go south on you, getting some slack coal to help in punching, a bucket of water to cool the punch in fixing any holes that you have punched out of centre etc,(all time you have to account for), if I was quoting it as part of a job I would probably allow myself 12 holes per hour, but as a stand alone job you need to figure a bit more time

Phil

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I would drill a 1/8" hole and start enlarging with a pointed drift, There is not a lot of space to find the center of a 3/4" square bar to punch it blind , What to charge? Hourly rate x shop minimum of one hour + materials + costs ( utilities, fuel, etc) = the price below which you will not do the job for less.

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I would agree with John B and Steve here. Even though you are a beginner this a excellent oportunity to get payed to practice and learn at the same time. Right now it might take you 40 min. to do one but as you do more you will get faster and streamline your operation. So figure out what you would be happy making. Just go for it and have fun! ;)

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price it high enough to make them squeal!!you can always come down but never go up,some times if they think the got to you,they will actualy pay a decent wage...but if you break even, you will have gained experience which is a good thing

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Thanks every one.

I changed methods. I slit and drifted a 5/8" hole in a 3/4" square bar yesterday. I got the time for one hole down to 25 minutes. And it was centered.

Going at it again today. I'll probably quote (tonite) 3 hours of work. I do not mind not getting paid for all the time I spend working, the extra time is apprenticeship.

Again thank you

Yves

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I got so deep into the private world of the blacksmith making my hole this morning that I did not realy count the time. It was somethin like 25 minutes maybe less... I hope. Something like twenty odd. But I liked the procedure, slitting with a slitting chisel I made according to the design posted here a few years back by Brian Brazeal (Slitter geometry) and drifting and again my hole was well centered with a little defect on the "bottom". I like doing that work. I'll make a hole a day until I'm happy with the time and the results.

I had not posted that the client wanted me to do the job on 8 pieces of rebar. After reading extensively on rebar on Iforeiron, I told him I would not touch the stuff and that he should not touch it either. Rebar belongs in cement not in his garden and I offered him to do the job on new 3/4" square bar and to charge him 3 hours for the job. And he pays the 32 feet of square bar. From his reaction, I believe I will get it. And when I do, in 2 weeks he said, I'll have made quite a few holes. and yes, Phill K. I will let you people know how low I got the time wether I get the job or not.

I'll post pics of the holes when I have a few more. The 40 minute one is on the top and now its oval... I was upset with the 40 minutes... I upset the bar...

Yves

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Good call on saying no to rebar! That material is no fun to forge, the make up of the stuff is all over the map, some hard some soft, some of it just falls apart. Im glad to hear the job is going well!

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MLMartin,

Have'nt got the job yet. And I'm in bed for 2 days. But I think of cutting time. That's all I think about. I know I'll have to work on my slitting chisel and then hit the drift hard like I saw blacksmiths doing it on videos. I think I was too considerate for the the drift. I'll slit and drift some more to morrow. I believe I can get down to 15 minutes per hole. I'd be happy with that.

And thanks for the encouragement.

Yves

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