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Hi all

I've been subcontracted to make 3-4 different sizes (diameter wise) scrolls....about 100 of each size. The biggest material would be 25mm x 10 (or 12mm) thick....smallest would be 25x6. They would fit into gaps about 100mm wide and only the two biggest would flow (be joined) to longer pieces of metal...the smaller scrolls will be mounted with rivets to the big scrolls. The biggest two sizes would most likely get snub ends or fish tails. Making them isn't my main problem....its quoting on how much to charge. I have about 6 weeks to make them all so the Contractor can install them into his work. 

Any advice on how to charge?....per unit/100 or entire batch?

I still have a few days to consider the pricing and would appreciate any and all help

Thanks on advance



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Too many unknowns to give a solid answer, maybe if you ask yourself some of the following questions, it might lead you down the appropriate path. You probably know all this already, but seeing it in front of you might help.

Is this a one time deal or can if lead to repeat orders? Any chance he will need to order just a few more to finish the project after you have completed your batch? If so, you should be upfront with pricing for extras.

Is the material something you buy in bulk and always have in stock, or do you need to special order it? Do you get a price break from the supplier if you buy it in bulk rather than one bar at a time?

Assuming you are going to make 100 pieces of each item, how many will be in the individual batches for you to process in a cost effective manner? Will you make 10 at a time, 20, 50 or all 100 parts together? Setting up to run one at a time is not as efficient and will ultimately cost you more per piece than if you run them as a batch.

Do you already have the tooling you will need to make multiple, identical pieces or will you have to build that? Will the cost of the tooling get amortized over the whole lot or just absorbed as an operating expense?

I would approach it as estimating how long it takes to run a "batch", multiplied by your hourly rate, and add in tooling costs amortized over the total quantity, plus material costs and finishing/coating if required. Give him pricing based on your production batch lot (10 pieces for $$$). That way, he can buy the multiples he wants, and if he comes back for some spares or replacements, you are covered to make it worth your while to setup and run a small batch.

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I have a couple of general thoughts as well. It would probably take me longer to do the ends than actually bend the scrolls, assuming I made a jig for bending ( and with a batch of 100+, a jig would be the 1st thing I did.)  Second thought would be I'd want to do these on a gas forge vs coal. That way I could have 3 or 4 in the forge heating while I was working on one and I wouldn't have to worry too much about burning up things if I got distracted for a minute or 2.

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Have you worked out how long it will take you? @an hourly rate,The cost of material? Add the two together and multiply by 2.4 and you shouldn't loose too much!

Early on most will UNDERCHARGE. 

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Do you have a bandsaw where you can stack up a bunch of pieces and cut them at one time?  Do you have a large gas forge where you can stick 20 pieces in and go get a cup of tea?  Do you have a powerhammer where you can forge out the ends fast and easily?  The jig to bend them is fairly easily built.

The costs depend a lot on how you are tooled; all hand work will be a lot higher!   (OTOH a big job can start paying for tooling up!)  (Another issue of doing them by hand is keeping them all similar otherwise the 100th will be different from the 1st.---in fact you may want to factor in a couple for prototyping and getting your "system" down)

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As some above have mentioned, make a scrolling jig for fast, repeatable work.  Here are two I use a lot.  Search around, you can find myriads of jig designs to use.  I made mine from 3/8" x 1" bar stock and angle iron for clamping in the post vise.  In the picture with two scroll jigs, the one on the left is a "normal" (for lack of a better word) jig, the one on the right is patterned after the Golden Mean or Golden Ratio.


Scrolling jig with scrolls.JPG

Scrolling jigs.JPG

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