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  • Shop Rates

    Is there a flat rate manual like for auto repair, for machine shops. I need help to estimate turning boring milling,edm, grinding ,etc work. Thanks

  • #2
    Here is a relevant thread prom the PM site:;f=1;t=009888
    Location: North Central Texas


    • #3
      Generally, most shops bill their time at 50-75dollars an hour.


      This Old Shed
      EGO partum , proinde EGO sum


      • #4
        Maybe,I figure my time,tools and materials and then add another%15.
        Then I tell the customer that on one-offs straight T&M is cheaper than my fixed price,works for me.

        A man walking down the street is stopped by another man in a streched limo.

        The window rolls down and the man sees that it is his old friend from highschool in the limo.

        He asks him what he did to get rich since the last time they seen each other he was broke.

        He said"simple,I buy and sell things.I by them,mark them up 10% and sell them"
        His friend says"man,you made it on 10%?"

        He says"Ya,I buy something for $100,mark it up 10% and sell it for a $1,000"

        [This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 03-24-2005).]
        I just need one more tool,just one!


        • #5

          If you survey a number of shops in your area you'll have a good idea of the going rate. I always try to charge by the hour + materials and give an estimate as a range of cost($150-$200 for example). This verbal estimate is essential since you want no surprises when the customer pays.

          If forced to quote a job, I guesstimate the number of hours, add material & double the number. Works surprisingly well since I underestimate so badly.

          My material quotes are good only until 5:00 pm the day of the quote. My steel supplier will not guarantee any longer than that & neither can I. Whenever a job involves substantial material cost the customer pays that cost in advance. Customers ALWAYS pick up jobs that they've already paid a portion of.

          My shop rates are slightly higher than average for my area, about 10% or so. I don't want to be know as the low-priced place to go. Neither do I want to drive business away.

          You'll soon figure out who you want to work with and who you need to fire. Hope this helps.

          Barry Milton
          Barry Milton


          • #6
            "I guesstimate the number of hours, add material & double the number"

            That's my method too! I have a saying I use quite often... "It's a 20 minute job, should take about an hour"
            Ed Pacenka


            • #7
              The correct way is to know what your costs are & how long these operations will take on your equipment with the tools you have to work with. Guesstimating is a sure fire way to go broke. That's how the rookies do it & a big % go broke after 6 months. Do it right & monitor your time so you can see if your too high or low & then adjust as you go. If your quotes are 30% too low adjust your next quote by 30% & watch. Doubling the cost of material doesn't make sense - how much work needs to be done is more important then material cost.
              There is a scientific way that alot of engineers use to quote parts & add inefficiencies to see what an assembly will cost to make & then mark up the price to sell. Know your costs before you start.


              • #8
                "Doubling the cost of material doesn't make sense - how much work needs to be done is more important then material cost."

                In some cases this may be correct, especially those involving minimal quantities of material and large amounts of labor. In many other situatuions it works really well.

                Yesterday a customer needed two chain sprokets, four feet of chain & three ball-bearing pillow blocks with 1 11/16" bore. One sprocket had to be bored to 1 11/16".

                My materials cost $187. Charge to customer was $374 (normal retail markup, and exactly the amount he would have paid from Grainger. Grainger's catalog is wonderful to keep on the bench..............)

                Thirty minutes labor to set up & bore the sproket added $25. In this case and many others, especially when working with stainless steels or aluminum alloys, the small amount of work that is done is far less important than the cost of materials.
                Barry Milton


                • #9
                  Another mistake many folks make on forcasting large jobs is using an 8-hr day or 40-hr week. Seldom will you be 100% productive. I don't mean when you estimate a job. This is when you say a job will be complete--Ready for pickup/delivery.

                  In my industry, about 5 hours per day is all you get as far as production. The rest of the time might be getting tools ready, cleaning tools, setup, suit-up (paint), color matching, meetings, phone calls, coffee breaks, parts inventory and other duties.

                  Even the best shops can't hit 70% productivity. Bear this in mind when you "schedule" your "esitmate".


                  • #10
                    You know, for me Ken brings up a good point (not as funny as weirds) that kills me from time to time. I have a lot of experience in shops etc. I know how long (roughly) it should take me to do a job at someone elses shop. What buggers me is I often forget to add in MY cleanup time, bookwork, etc. this easily turns an 8 hour day into 10 hours or more.
                    I really don't agree with toolsrul. There is NO way that you know how to figure every job. I've worked with some really savvy engineers and estimators and they all screw up from time to time. If your jobs are in a small envelope maybe. But in a "do all" job shop you don't know what the variables may be.
                    I do a lot of machine/heavy equipment repair and can say from experience that you better not get too cocky cuz it'll bite you in the ass.
                    Right now I'm in the midst of changing main pins and bushings in a bunch of dump trucks for a cement/gravel company. I looked at most of them, told the guy 7 to 8 hrs per. I was laughing because I knew I could do them in about 4 hours each. Then I met up with "Truckzilla"! Two days and I still haven't got it. Have to use two rosebuds to heat up the ears, have to try to remove horrible rusted bolts to move all the wiring so the rosebuds can do their job, have to put the truck all back together cuz they need it the next day, blew the seals out of a 50 ton portapower trying to push the pins out, a chunk of burning grease flew back three feet and burned the airlines....etc. etc. This job turned into a "by the hour deal"
                    You WIL screw up estimating unless you are 400 years old and have done everything at least once!
                    I have tools I don't even know I own...


                    • #11
                      The best money making tool in shop is a couple of cheap $6.oo stop watches from a discount store.Click it on when you start the job,click it off for interuptions,breaks,etc,and when your done cleaning up AND doing the paper work.Its amazing how that 20 min. job actually takes 35 min. Sounds ruthless but time is money and adjustments can be made to make it a fair price.Ever get a bill from a lawyer??


                      • #12
                        To track how long I am at a job I use this small program:


                        It has a place to put notes etc for each job.

                        [This message has been edited by motorworks (edited 03-25-2005).]
                        please visit my webpage:


                        • #13
                          you have to charge for the time spent cleaning up after the job is done too. i do a lot of large weld jobs and clean up can take an hour or 2. and be carefull of steel prices they are going no where but up. charge the current price even if you had it laying around or a year or it was free. it will cost you to replace it.


                          • #14
                            I used to keep an old time clock handy for keeping time.I gave each job and customer a card.

                            I would punch in and out as needed and never talled it up until the cleanup was done.
                            I always got a good figure out of it and the shop was kept clean.

                            Don't have one where I work now,but I am looking for one.

                            Oh,BTW,on tooling,especially inserts I charge per cutting edge used.Also if I pay $10 for an insert I charge $20,this way I have extra money to expand my collection.

                            It doesn't show much on the customers bill,maybe 5-10 dollars in a $100 and I may not use up an insert or even one corner,but it helps cushion the wallet for those time when you eat inserts right an left.

                            Also remember to charge for things like WD-40,rags even hand cleaner.

                            Oh,and industry pays more always.Remember,
                            you are fixing thier machine,you only have one chance to make a profit.Everytime they turn the machine on they make money and you don't.

                            Then there is the old saying"if you are getting every job you bid on ,then you are bidding too cheap"

                            [This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 03-25-2005).]
                            I just need one more tool,just one!


                            • #15
                              Good idea, wierd...

                              I figure my overtime rate for most work and my Sunday (double time) rate for the rest. Plus material.

                              Andy Pullen
                              Clausing 10x24, Sheldon 12" shaper, Clausing 8520 mill, Diacro 24" shear, Reed Prentice 14" x 34"