PDA

View Full Version : What to charge for this machining job?



tmc_31
12-22-2010, 12:21 AM
A fellow asked me to do a little machining project for him. Cut 50 - 1" "biscuits" from 3" round A36, Drill a 7/8" hole in the center and thread to 1"-8tpi.

Then he wants me to drill a .2770 hole 3/4" deep and thread to 5/16"-18tpi in one end of a 6" by 1" rod threaded to 1'-8TPI (X50). The tolerances on this are pretty loose as they are height adjusters for metal building columns.

Since he is providing all the materials, I thought I would slice off the 50 biscuits in the band saw (I have a little 4X6 Clark) then chuck them in the lathe, face both ends, then drill the 7/8" hole and single point the 8tpi threads. The lathe is a 1340.

Then I would chuck the threaded rod in a collet on the lathe and bore the .277X3/4" hole and then hand tap the 5/16X18tpi thread. I would use the lathe to start the tap straight. These rods are medium carbon steel, quenched and tempered as in a grade 5 bolt.

The question is,,,, what would be a fair price for this work? Again, he is going to deliver the materials to my shop.

What say you gentlemen?

Tim

AEP
12-22-2010, 12:47 AM
A fellow asked me to do a little machining project for him. Cut 50 - 1" "biscuits" from 3" round A36, Drill a 7/8" hole in the center and thread to 1"-8tpi.

Then he wants me to drill a .2770 hole 3/4" deep and thread to 5/16"-18tpi in one end of a 6" by 1" rod threaded to 1'-8TPI (X50). The tolerances on this are pretty loose as they are height adjusters for metal building columns.

Since he is providing all the materials, I thought I would slice off the 50 biscuits in the band saw (I have a little 4X6 Clark) then chuck them in the lathe, face both ends, then drill the 7/8" hole and single point the 8tpi threads. The lathe is a 1340.

Then I would chuck the threaded rod in a collet on the lathe and bore the .277X3/4" hole and then hand tap the 5/16X18tpi thread. I would use the lathe to start the tap straight. These rods are medium carbon steel, quenched and tempered as in a grade 5 bolt.

The question is,,,, what would be a fair price for this work? Again, he is going to deliver the materials to my shop.

What say you gentlemen?

Tim

I would say you have 1 hour in bandsaw cutting, if you can cut off of 2 rods.

7.5 hours in facing and threading. You will start off slow and build speed to average 10 minutes per piece. I would thread after facing the second side.

That totals 8.5 hours @ $75.00 per hour = $637.00. Have him supply a good machining material. If he supplies you with a tough material the price goes up.

At this price I would include the cost of the wear and tear on the taps.

Just my thought,
Andy

tmc_31
12-22-2010, 12:57 AM
Thanks Andy,

My bandsaw is not that good, but who knows, maybe it will work better with a new blade!!

Tim

winchman
12-22-2010, 01:52 AM
All those 1" biscuits with the hole in the center sounds like something for a plasma cutter and 1" plate followed by a punch operation on an ironworker.

Is there anyone around you could farm the work out to?

Gently
12-22-2010, 01:55 AM
That totals 8.5 hours @ $75.00 per hour = $637.00. Have him supply a good machining material. If he supplies you with a tough material the price goes up.

At this price I would include the cost of the wear and tear on the taps.



What! even BBB machine doesn't charge 75.00 an hour, but I live in West Virginia I guess we just aint that sophisticated! Hourly is a pain, I charge by the lot/job. Granted I know the cost of everything as far as consumables, but.... Jeesh 75.00 an hour?

Maybe some one will take it at that price....but I would have one less customer if I even though about that per hour, 25.00 to 30.00 maybe...but 75!!!!
WOW.

John Stevenson
12-22-2010, 03:52 AM
That totals 8.5 hours @ $75.00 per hour = $637.00. Have him supply a good machining material. If he supplies you with a tough material the price goes up.

At this price I would include the cost of the wear and tear on the taps.

Just my thought,
Andy

Tell me why the customer should pay full commercial rates to someone who has to knife and fork it because they don't have the equipment to do it in a reasonable time frame ?

There is a reason that commercial shop charge $75 per hour and that's because they have bought machines than can cut 30 blanks in a short while, lathes that can punch that 7/8" drill thru in one pass and power tap them.

A.K. Boomer
12-22-2010, 05:07 AM
Totally agree with SJ an Gently --- 75 an hour is out of control, keep in mind that your not the only one with some simple machines and there's guys out there that would do that job for a fraction of the cost,


Whats it worth for you to have some independent work in your shop on your own time instead of doing nothing but maybe thinking about a tight economy,
Then keep in mind all the other little shops where he can go and what some of them might charge,,,
Talk about it in detail with him ahead of time --- The goal? come up with a price that makes you both happy and if it goes a little easier than expected cut him a little slack on the agreement ------ that goes a long way for repeat business...

SJ's right on the money - you can't charge a premium if your not set up for total production so hourly rate is unfair to the customer, doesn't matter how hard your working if your carving the part out with a pocket knife...

There's nothing worse than staring at all your idle equipment because youv priced yourself out of the running... even worse than working for peanuts...

gda
12-22-2010, 05:21 AM
You don't have to single point the threads. Sunday I power tapped some 1"-8 stainless 2" deep on my lathe (clausing 5914). Your 1340 should be able to handle it - at least try - it will certainly be faster.

BTW, the CNC operators where I work could program the job in 5 minutes and the machine would make all 50 pieces in less than an hour.

You may want to ask the guy is he quoted fro a shop, and then see if you want to undercut that rate.

Davo J
12-22-2010, 05:24 AM
You could always get out all the gear you need and have everything set up like you would for doing a production job as well as some scrap, then make one of each part and see how long it will takes you.
At least that would give you an idea of how long it will take and you will be set up ready to go if he accepts your price.
With the time for cutting stock, I usually cut one, then reload it while I go working on the lathe doing the first part, that way their is no time for cutting other than walking over to reload it.
Boomer has some really good advice above, so their is no use me repeating it.

Dave

oldtiffie
12-22-2010, 05:56 AM
I'm surprised the OP had not worked out a schedule of rates/costs as an indicative cost-guide for quoting before he even took a job on.

I wonder if the potential customer was "bid-shopping" and already had competitive quotes from other commercial or "hobby" operators?

If he is a "business" and is registered for tax purposes he is going to claim your costs in his Tax Return.


Then he wants me to drill a .2770 hole 3/4" deep and thread to 5/16"-18tpi in one end of a 6" by 1" rod threaded to 1'-8TPI (X50). The tolerances on this are pretty loose as they are height adjusters for metal building columns.

If that job was in OZ those adjusters would have to be specified and/or designed by a Registered insured professional Structural, Mechanical or Civil Engineer as they seem to be structural elements.

I agree with John Stevenson and A.K. Boomer

I am not in any position to tell or advise you what to do nor what not to do.

Tread your own path.

j king
12-22-2010, 06:36 AM
he cant afford you..no one can if you are doing it the way you want to do it.Sorry but you arent equipped to do this job competitively.

I would put a length of bar in lathe. Steady if you have one then face, drill, chamferand tap hole then part in lathe.probably10-15 min each for larger parts. same steps with small parts. You dont bore for a taped hole like that and it would take forever single pointing.


I would guess the guy thinks since you have a machine you would be thrilled to make him parts CHEAP..

MotorradMike
12-22-2010, 07:41 AM
Tell me why the customer should pay full commercial rates to someone who has to knife and fork it because they don't have the equipment to do it in a reasonable time frame ?

There is a reason that commercial shop charge $75 per hour and that's because they have bought machines than can cut 30 blanks in a short while, lathes that can punch that 7/8" drill thru in one pass and power tap them.

I love those phrases you come up with!

I wouldn't take on a job like that because my tools aren't up to the task. I might make 1 though, out of Aluminum, so he could check out the fit before going to a production shop. I'm not a machinist, I just use the tools to facilitate building prototypes, jigs and fixtures.
Seems everything I do takes forever.
Good thing it's fun.

airsmith282
12-22-2010, 08:01 AM
move to canda youll be paying the pro shops alot more then 75.00 per hour for that job,

time is money,true but ware and tear on the tools, cost money, time is money hydro cost money, if you have to heat the shop thats money, plus you gota make a profit, on top of all that even as a homeshop

i work at home my self yes i live in canada ,

if people dont like my prices i tell them goto a pro shop pay double or more, plus plus plus,

they do and then they come back and i do the job

my shop rate for a job like this would be the same 75.00 per hour

tools time hydro heat skills are NOT FREE
i also do small engine repair and am cheaper then the pro shops and i might add better.
custom panting body work, bicycle repair iam 3 times cheaper for computer repair then any shop any where ,sandlbasting,and this spring ill be offering a new skill level in painting offering airbrushing.plus light to medium welding, as welll as repairing electronics equipment.. i also help friends to house renos..

now you still want to bitch about 75.00 and hour..iam thinking not

big job
12-22-2010, 08:06 AM
Sorry but I got all I can do just to get $20 hr.stock provided, and that also
includes welding and set up. Sometimes a case of beer will do just fine.:confused:

Carld
12-22-2010, 08:10 AM
Sawing them off and facing them is the only way you can do it with your lathe. You need to cut 3 pieces then start the machine work as the next part is being cut off.

You need to face both sides of each part and then drill and power tap the 1-8 thread. You can power tap it by using a T handle tap wrench with a live or dead center in the end of the tap at your slowest speed.

Between the facing of the part and drilling and threading the saw should have cut another part and stopped. Before you tap the part set up another cut.

If you want to know how long it will take YOU to do the job use some scrap and make two parts and time it. Hardly anyone works at the same speed so how fast I can do it is not relative to how fast you will do it.

The more of them you make the faster you should be getting.

Your a home shop so I don't think you should charge over $30 per hour and if he is a business you will have to turn the job in on your taxes as extra income. You don't have to use a business name, it's just extra income on the tax form. Don't give anyone a business name, just use your name on an invoice to him. If he pays with a check, which he will, and it has your business name on it the bank will not deposit in your personal account, you will need a business account and you DON'T want that.

gary350
12-22-2010, 08:21 AM
I would cut the rods into 12" long pieces then face both ends in the lathe then drill the hole part of the way down the center. Probably 2 rods will be enough. Since your saw is not so good as you mentions drilling the hole first will me less metal to saw.

Next I would cut the ends off of each rod that will give you the first 4 parts. Face the rods then cut off 4 more parts. Keep facing the rods and cutting off 4 more parts until you have 50 parts.

Next face the other side of the 50 parts. Then do the rest of the work. This seems to be the fastest way to make the parts.

It is not always easy to quite a good price. You can do an experement time your self facing a part, drilling holes, deburr, sawing the part off the do the math then add an extra hour or two for set up and clean up, etc.

John Stevenson
12-22-2010, 08:51 AM
I'd pick the phone up and order 50 laser cut blanks.
That's half the work done straight away. Chances are for what they are being used for you can live with the laser cut OD, now you are just down to drilling and tapping.

Luke55
12-22-2010, 09:03 AM
There is my rates
1- close friends= good time
2- friends and neighbors=$15 to $25
3- unknown= They had to be close with no1 and no2

SVS
12-22-2010, 09:28 AM
$75/hr. is fine if you're EFFICIENT. $5/hr. is high if you're not.

I'd forget the saw...just makes incovenient hard to hold pieces.

Put the longest possible bar in the lathe. Use tailstock and center for first two steps, then go to the steady rest.

Part 1/2" deep at every part increment.

Use a chamfer tool on every corner. Threading tool would get each joint in one stroke.

Start drilling, tapping, then parting off and work your way down the bar sliding the steady as necessary. No need to face if you part it correctly, and parting off is easy when the center is gone.

Final op is light countersink on each side in the drill press, and maybe a trip past a wire wheel.

On my manual machines I'd call it three hours and end up around $3/piece. This job begs for a turret lathe. probably pump them out at 30 seconds per piece.

rockrat
12-22-2010, 09:28 AM
What is the going rate in your area? I hate to say it but when it comes to price, it all depends.

I was in Dayton Ohio back in '89-'90. Everyone had a small machine shop in their garage. One could get all sorts of stuff done cheaply. Here now in Columbus Ohio it is a bit different. Most of the manufacturing is gone and even though they are still around, machine shops are a bit harder to find. The price to have things done here is a bit higher.

I give a price per job. I study the job and decide what I would want for my trouble including power, tools, general maintenance, profit etc.

First time out? You may fall short of what you want to do the job again. Thats ok, its called learning. But never give anything away. Barter, trade or agree to a favor of some sort.

I also will not gloss over a job that I lost margin on when the customer comes in to pick it up. As we settle up I will let them know that it took me more than initially calculated. I will not demand more money for the current item because I feel that an agreement is important to customer relations, but I will fish around for anything extra. This also lets the customer know that this same job in the future will not be the same price.

If they don't want to pay what you are willing to take for the job, then you either have to
1) decide to undercut the cheap guy and take your lumps
or
2) let them take the item to another place.

Again, here where the shops are few and far between I know what it costs to get things done at the other places and I am comfortable charging less. I let the ones who complain about my prices take the stuff elsewhere. They always seem to come back with an excuse for why they have returned.

So test the waters in your area a bit and see what floats. If nothing else, take a sketch of something around to the shops near you and see what they charge.

rock~

atty
12-22-2010, 10:12 AM
If nothing else, take a sketch of something around to the shops near you and see what they charge.


That's what I did on the last production job, and the spread among the local shops was absolutely amazing. The shop with the highest overhead, most employees, etc. was the cheapest, while the one-man shop was off the charts. Both shops were well equipped for the job. All in all, it served well to adjust my expectations and give me an idea of where I might land in the mix.

vincemulhollon
12-22-2010, 10:16 AM
The tolerances on this are pretty loose as they are height adjusters for metal building columns.

If hes doing what I think he's doing with those, who's paying the liability insurance should one crack in half or the threads strip off under a heavy load?

The dude with the money is going to get sued, and your lathe obviously is worth more money than his pipe wrench, so you can see who is going to end up as bagholder.

The dimension tolerances of the commercial ones might be loose, but the metallurgy might be tight...

Kind of like the truck ramps I bought a while ago, they're built to a whopping 1/4 inch tolerance, but the steel is not hard, very tough, and most of the money probably goes to their liability insurance co rather than their machinists.

At least go cash payment only and wipe your fingerprints off em.

gnm109
12-22-2010, 10:28 AM
If hes doing what I think he's doing with those, who's paying the liability insurance should one crack in half or the threads strip off under a heavy load?

The dude with the money is going to get sued, and your lathe obviously is worth more money than his pipe wrench, so you can see who is going to end up as bagholder.

The dimension tolerances of the commercial ones might be loose, but the metallurgy might be tight...

Kind of like the truck ramps I bought a while ago, they're built to a whopping 1/4 inch tolerance, but the steel is not hard, very tough, and most of the money probably goes to their liability insurance co rather than their machinists.

At least go cash payment only and wipe your fingerprints off em.


...and remove all traces of DNA....I saw that on CSI. :)

Willy
12-22-2010, 10:33 AM
...and remove all traces of DNA....I saw that on CSI. :)

You would really have to love your work if you had traces of DNA on it.:D

goose
12-22-2010, 10:42 AM
$500


500 / 8 = $62.50 per hour,

The price would reflect a good days work plus some cushion.

I think that your original idea of cutting blanks and facing them is the way to go, cutting off in backgear on the lathe would take forever.

I'd never waste my shop time for $20 or $25 an hour, certainly not for a small job. And I don't work for beer either.

And order more than one tap. ;)


Gary

DR
12-22-2010, 10:58 AM
No buyer in their right mind would offer work like this to a shop equipped so poorly to do the job as the OP's. From what we know of his shop he could easily have a half hour in each of the 3" pats.

The buyer also would be crazy to not get a quote per part, rather than an hourly rate.

I could do those parts and have the equipment to do them somewhat efficiently. I would purchase the material and have it delivered to a local cutting shop. They'd bandsaw cut the 3" material on an Amada automatic saw for $1.50/cut. The cuts would be very accurate needing minimal material removal to face. Face on the CNC lathe including a slight edge chamfer. Drill the tap drill hole at the same time. Tap 1"-8 in the large manual lathe. Less than $10/part including material.

Note, I would purchase the material. In my experience working with customer material can be problems. Usually they want to supply it to save money so they buy the cheapest material they can find which may not be the best for machining.

tmc_31
12-22-2010, 11:50 AM
Guys,

Thank you for all your thoughts. Apparently the customer (who is a friend of mine) has taken this to the pro's and was not happy the prices quoted. He has not seen fit to share those quotes with me so I can only assume he wants a competitive bid from me. He is in business and these parts are part of a for profit job for him, so I don't feel too bad about charging him to do the work. Especially since he has charged me for building some parts in the past ( I also have a business and certainly did not resent him charging me for his efforts). If he just wanted one or two parts to get him out of a tight spot, I wouldn't hesitate to knock those parts out for free, however 50 pieces is a production job in anybodies book.

Given that I am not as well equipped as a professional shop and don't have the experience that a professional machinist might have, it would probably not be reasonable for me to expect to charge professional shop rates. That said, this becomes more a question of what are the parts worth than how long will it take to build them or what kind of a shop rate to charge.

Again, thanks for your thoughts. I value your all of your points of view.

Tim

j king
12-22-2010, 01:02 PM
if he is a good friend ask what would he be willing to pay for them. He knows what was quoted. It will be money for you and since you are doing it part time it is extra cash.

He needs to understand you cant do them as fast as a properly equipped shop but he wont be able to afford them by the hr from you.

I learned the hard way as prob. most have on quoting work.You can never do them as fast as you think you can so you loose money at first till you learn that..

2ManyHobbies
12-22-2010, 01:22 PM
Quote the rods and biscuits separately.

The rods are a spot, drill, and tap job. If you've got a piece of scrap that you can turn to 1"x4" long then cut in half, you have places to put 4 threaded holes to estimate how long it would take on 50 items.

The biscuits depend on your tools and repeatability. Do you have a 1x8 tap on hand? Could your lathe punch the hole required in a single pass? That is probably what you will be competing with or quoting against. If you have to buy a 1x8 tap and drill bit, are you completely boned if one or both of them fail before you get done with 50? Face, flip, face, spot, drill, (bore?), thread. How much time would that take with your current setup? I'd guess a starting time of 7 minutes per piece with the correct drill and a tap maybe getting down to 3-4 minutes. With single pointing and boring, you might be up to 20 minutes for the first one. DRO, stops, QCTP, etc may speed things up as you go.

Once you figure out the tools you plan to use, you can estimate your tool wear (break-even cost if your labor is free) and your working time. Then the question is the minimum wage per hour you can afford to work for.

The other pitfall for your friend is to make sure you get at least 70" of the 3" round for biscuits. If he shows up with 50", he will get a few less biscuits than he was expecting when you factor in the bandsaw wandering and kerf...

jkilroy
12-22-2010, 02:29 PM
Once again, the same noise that is always made when someone brings up a professional question on a forum dedicated to hobby machinist. This would have been a better question over at practicalmachinist.com I do believe. Now how about we have a good "I can't make no money, my boss pays ****" thread right after everyone says "$75 an hour! OMG! YMBFC! WTF!".

My yardman, a true moron in ever sense of the word, makes, by my calculation, about $60 an hour, he has no skill, no expensive equipment, nor manners might I add. He makes the same or more as all the other meth heads cutting grass and guess what, its not like they get more or less depending on how much their mower costs!

If you don't want to be broke then place a value on your time, and don't be embarrassed to make money.

rockrat
12-22-2010, 02:37 PM
Tim, I would still ask you, what do you think is a fair price for the job if you do it in your area with your equipment and his material? This value is what you must have to be happy so that you will work. It may be horribly cheap and you may have to adjust on the next job, no big deal, we have all done that! But you have to start somewhere and make adjustments. You know how you plan to do the job, you already went through the steps.

With any business or job you must be able to answer this question about yourself first.

Take the following question and comment as neutral as possible and think about it. Find an answer.

What do you want for the work he is asking you to do?
If you cant answer that question your not yet ready to start this type of work. Do more research and try again.

But never give up!
rock~

Fasttrack
12-22-2010, 02:40 PM
Tim, I would still ask you, what do you think is a fair price for the job if you do it in your area with your equipment and his material? This value is what you must have to be happy so that you will work. It may be horribly cheap and you may have to adjust on the next job, no big deal, we have all done that! But you have to start somewhere and make adjustments. You know how you plan to do the job, you already went through the steps.

With any business or job you must be able to answer this question about yourself first.

Take the following question and comment as neutral as possible and think about it. Find an answer.

What do you want for the work he is asking you to do?
If you cant answer that question your not yet ready to start this type of work. Do more research and try again.

But never give up!
rock~

Exactly what I was just typing. You beat me to it and said it better!

I'd like to add, though:
The other question you have to ask yourself is: "how bad do I want or need the job?". If you don't really care about doing the job and you're just looking to make a little cash on the side, then feel free to quote high. If he refuses and you lose the job, it isn't a big deal. You might warn him first, though, that since you are not setup to do this kind of work the quote is going to be high so he doesn't think you are trying to gouge him.

rockrat
12-22-2010, 02:46 PM
Exactly what I was just typing. You beat me to it and said it better!

Thanks! Even a blind squirrel......


I'd like to add, though:The other question you have to ask yourself is: "how bad do I want or need the job?"

That was always somehow answered by the money question for me.

"$5000 to cut you a piece of 1"x1"x1/8" mild steel angle 12" +/- 1" long? No problem"

rock~

RB211
12-22-2010, 03:00 PM
I'd rather over charge and not get the job than to way under charge and be stuck doing something you end up hating not making enough to survive...

darryl
12-22-2010, 03:12 PM
As soon as I read 'adjustors for building columns', I figured it would be best to stay away from a job like that. I don't mind making a bit of money with my home shop, but that one sounds like the liability would not be worth it. I wouldn't take it on, personally. But otherwise, this is between you not knowing how long this will take, not knowing how the customer supplied material is going to machine, and not knowing what the repercussions might be- vs your friend not wanting to pay going rates for one phase of a construction job. If he won't tell you how much he's been quoted, he's probably just using you. You'll give him a price, he will know it's less than half the cost otherwise, and you'll spend time beyond what you figured in order to complete the job, probably break a tap at your own expense- and the liability will come down on you. Don't think the authorities won't be able to find out who did the work- all kinds of people are looking for suckers and somebody to blame- Personal opinion only, but I'd say this is a can of worms.

gnm109
12-22-2010, 03:41 PM
No buyer in their right mind would offer work like this to a shop equipped so poorly to do the job as the OP's. From what we know of his shop he could easily have a half hour in each of the 3" pats.

The buyer also would be crazy to not get a quote per part, rather than an hourly rate.

I could do those parts and have the equipment to do them somewhat efficiently. I would purchase the material and have it delivered to a local cutting shop. They'd bandsaw cut the 3" material on an Amada automatic saw for $1.50/cut. The cuts would be very accurate needing minimal material removal to face. Face on the CNC lathe including a slight edge chamfer. Drill the tap drill hole at the same time. Tap 1"-8 in the large manual lathe. Less than $10/part including material.

Note, I would purchase the material. In my experience working with customer material can be problems. Usually they want to supply it to save money so they buy the cheapest material they can find which may not be the best for machining.


You've gone beyond the call of the question to take sides with the customer. According to you, the OP not only can't do the job, he should do it for nothing if he attempts it.

Not only that, you say you can do it better. You should get the potential customer's telephone number from the OP and offer him free shipping, too. LOL.


What a great website! :D

RussZHC
12-22-2010, 04:26 PM
Simply put, I would not be capable of this in a home shop.

Them supplying the material would cause me the most concern, esp if as someone stated they bring such a precise amount there is no wiggle room for mistakes...it will take some reps to get into rhythm and what happens when your "stride" is broken either by the material or breaking the tap say?
All of what Darryl said...though I think if I had to tackle this I would do what John suggested and farm stuff out to production shops...the end result, I am guessing, will be right near what his given quote was.

Mcgyver
12-22-2010, 04:51 PM
why all the talk/concern about material? the OP said it was A36....what, you think he might show up with a piece of 3" rebar? :eek: I mean not much else you're going to get cheaper that A36, right?

You guys that would part them off in the lathe, can you tell what tooling you'd use for that? I've not done 3" in a single pass, but then again i'm using HSS that wanders and jams and snaps...I wouldn't might upgrading and wondering what tackle will easily and squarely part 3" diam material

Willy
12-22-2010, 05:29 PM
Apparently the customer (who is a friend of mine) has taken this to the pro's and was not happy the prices quoted. He has not seen fit to share those quotes with me so I can only assume he wants a competitive bid from me.

I would think your friend, if he is indeed a friend and not just an acquaintance, would shed a little light on what his quotes were. He should realize that you can't do this for nothing either and should not begrudge the fact that you'd like to make a buck as well. If the two of you decide that you can't do this job competitively then so be it.
It sounds to me that he is using your friendship so that you will low ball the quote because you are friends.

Why is it that the public has no problem when it comes to forking out fifty bucks at the vet's office to get Fifi's nails clipped, but get all bent out of shape when they see a machine shop charge $75 or whatever per hour?

The majority of people have no concept of the expenditure involved in equipment, tooling, setup time, and general shop overhead. They just assume it all takes 5 min. while using a B&D hand drill!
I see this all the time as well. Once in a while if I have time or a customer is waiting, I'll take the time to show them what's involved, and so far each of them to a man has walked away with a better understanding of the time, money, and knowledge that is required to complete a machining procedure.

Edited for grammar.

RussZHC
12-22-2010, 05:49 PM
Gotta say I DID miss the A36 in the OP but that does bring up a point of "contention"...for the HSM just how does one tell what material one gets/has...I mean from a supplier?

If one has a fair bit of experience I assume you can tell to some degree by the way material machines/acts while machining...but as a home shop, I may buy a very small amount and at some point a chunk of steel is a chunk of steel...I get why its important, strength, weldability, etc. but question the degree of certainty.
Yes, trust is involved yet buying $500 a year and being POed likely causes a lot less concern than if you add another couple of zeros to that number.

914Wilhelm
12-22-2010, 06:05 PM
1. Figure out what you can charge per part and bid it. Make the parts and learn the economics of your process. The most you will lose is time and tool wear. The most you will gain is experience.

2. When you deliver the parts have client sign his acceptance and acknowledge that parts were made to his specifications and there is no implied warranty as to the fitness in their ultimate application and that all design and engineering requirements are per the customer. (someone here should have some similar legal mumbo jumbo boilerplate you can copy for your receipt)

jdunmyer
12-22-2010, 08:04 PM
Mcgyver asks:


You guys that would part them off in the lathe, can you tell what tooling you'd use for that? I've not done 3" in a single pass, but then again i'm using HSS that wanders and jams and snaps...I wouldn't might upgrading and wondering what tackle will easily and squarely part 3" diam material

I use a cutoff blade that has a carbide insert that's 1/8" wide. If it's decent material, I'll engage the power cross feed and drip a bit of Tap Magic in the groove while it's doing its thing. I've often parted 3" diameter in a single pass. Some material, especially certain stainless steels, will part like butter, with the chip curling up very tightly, getting to be about the size of a quarter before breaking off.

However, if the material is hard or some aluminums, bets are off. No power feed, watching things, and listening to the sound of the motor groaning. I tried a recent aquisition of Mystery Metal from the scrapyard that seemed to cut "fair" with the parting tool, but generated enough heat that the Tap Magic smoke drove me away from the lathe.

For reference, I have a 19" LeBlond lathe with Aloris CA tooling. Dunno what size the OP's machine is.

wierdscience
12-22-2010, 08:35 PM
Sawn from bar,I wouldn't worry about facing them,it ain't going into space it's leveling a building.

Then again I wouldn't make them from bar.Laser cut discs including the 7/8" tap bore followed with a 1-8 EM tap and be done with it.

So far as the price,I would ask him straight up what the best price he got was.It might be something unreasonably cheap and not worth you even thinking about doing.If it is that way the two of you can make a decision quickly and move on not wasting any time.

Paul Alciatore
12-22-2010, 08:42 PM
You said the specs were loose. So why face them in the lathe? Cut to size in the bandsaw - my 4 X 6 does an excellent job with a new blade. Then "face" them with a belt or disc sander. Deburr the edges there also with a quick jig to hold them at 45* while you turn them around. This should significantly shorten the time needed.

Drill them on a drill press. Use a couple of stops to locate them centered under the quill and a quick release clamp. Much faster than a lathe. Tapping is going to be the bitch. I think they could be power tapped in either the drill press or the lathe; whichever has the lowest speed and a reverse.

Wire wheel for any final cleanup.

The rods would be easier in the lathe if you can handle the 1" OD. In a three jaw chuck, either through the spindle or in with a steady rest. Drill under power. For the tapping, a tapping head would help, but it could be done with a crank on the spindle. Drills and taps would be mounted in a tailstock chuck, of course.

I would charge at least the $500 mentioned above.

atty
12-22-2010, 08:42 PM
The majority of people have no concept of the expenditure involved in equipment, tooling, setup time, and general shop overhead. They just assume it all takes 5 min. while using a B&D hand drill!

Good point, Willy. On my job, although he never actually said, I got the distinct impression that my customer was going by the last guy's prices. Problem was, he couldn't find the last guy to do the job again. Gee.......I wonder why? You don't suppose some poor machinist undershot the job, got in over his head, and decided to never take this job again, do you? BUT, here comes the customer with the last sucker's price in mind that this is what it can be done for. It's a difficult preconception to overcome, if he has no idea what goes on in a machine shop.

On the other hand, as 914Wilhem pointed out, there may some intangibles that appeal to you, a la experience, etc. Not that anyone needs a lot of experience making bad decisions. In my case, it was a good customer for other things that wanted a side job done. It was also a challenge for me, as I had never done anything that big, and I wanted to see what I could do. I gained a lot of experienced, paid for some tooling, and learned a lot about charging.

Now all these things don't apply to a professional job shop that already has these things in stock. I'm just thinking about where the OP is in his experience level.

John Stevenson
12-22-2010, 09:06 PM
Then again I wouldn't make them from bar.Laser cut discs including the 7/8" tap bore followed with a 1-8 EM tap and be done with it.

.

Laser cutting the centre hole will shag more taps up than you can afford.
Laser cutting under size and opening out will wear drills like crazy and by the time you have done this you might as well just bung the 7/8" hole thru in one go and have clean parent metal with no HAZ.

Mcgyver
12-22-2010, 09:07 PM
I use a cutoff blade that has a carbide insert that's 1/8" wide.

thanks, thats probably it, I can see the advantaged in that there's only side contact at the tip. my lathe is up to it, but I don't think the flexing hss is.

Rich Carlstedt
12-22-2010, 09:09 PM
I am not getting in the take it or leave it fight, That is an individuals decision.

From a manufacturing perspective however here are some points.
Biscuts
A36 is gummy.
Since they are adjusters, Thickness of the biscuts would be non-consequential. This means surface finish too. If you use your 4x6 saw, you will more than likely spend 30-40 bucks for a new blade.
Production saws, from a metal supplier will give you very good finishes and control thickness to .015" I would give that serious consideration

Rods.
Are you talking about parting off in the lathe ? it may save time.
The .277 tap drill call out is 55% thread. Normal 5/16-18 is an F ( .257-72 %)
Tapping will be much easier and is acceptable practice , since the material is approximately 90 K to 120K Tensile. Be sure this is understood, I lost thousands of dollars over this misunderstanding years ago when a job was rejected, even though the screws failed before the female threads.
Buy a OSG EXO tap and smoke them