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PRICE FOR BULK LETTERS?

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radnurse68
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PRICE FOR BULK LETTERS?

Postby radnurse68 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:22 pm

Got a customer that wants to order letters to sell on rustic wood signs and also to sell by themselves. He wants to give them a rusty look. I will price them for raw letters and with the rust patina already started. They will be 4 inches tall (approx 4x6) and he plans to order from 50-100 at a time. I used the Excel spreadsheet here on the Spider and it comes out to over $9 each for >20 ordered at a time. That's seems too high and I don't think they would pay that. I was thinking maybe $5 raw and $7.50 rusted. Any suggestions?????? That's 0.20 cents per square inch.

Thanks,
Steve
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jawslandshark
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Re: PRICE FOR BULK LETTERS?

Postby jawslandshark » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:53 pm

What thickness are you cutting? I did a lot of numbers and letters, 4 inch in several fonts, 14ga with no cleanup for $ 1.75 each. It was easy money, I even used some scrap I had laying around. I did not get crazy and pierced in the cut and still cam out good with fine cut consumables. If I was cutting 1/4 inch or something that had lower cut speeds the price would probably triple, especially based on steel cost. I am getting ready to run a sheet of block off plates for a company in 1/4 inch and the brackets are roughly 4x5 inch and I priced those at $10.50 each clean.

radnurse68
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Re: PRICE FOR BULK LETTERS?

Postby radnurse68 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:09 pm

jawslandshark wrote:What thickness are you cutting? I did a lot of numbers and letters, 4 inch in several fonts, 14ga with no cleanup for $ 1.75 each. It was easy money, I even used some scrap I had laying around. I did not get crazy and pierced in the cut and still cam out good with fine cut consumables. If I was cutting 1/4 inch or something that had lower cut speeds the price would probably triple, especially based on steel cost. I am getting ready to run a sheet of block off plates for a company in 1/4 inch and the brackets are roughly 4x5 inch and I priced those at $10.50 each clean.

Thanks jawslandshark, I will prob be using 16 ga.
Stephen W. Sparks RN,CRN
Creating Sparks Metal Worx
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Shane Warnick
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Re: PRICE FOR BULK LETTERS?

Postby Shane Warnick » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:11 am

Well, you asked for my opinion so I shall share it.

First off, I Googled and came up with 3 direct competitors, all within just a few miles of your location. I am sure there are probably as many more with a small or no web presence, I only make the point that you aren't in an area where you are the only game in town.

Second, not sure what you are paying for material, but you stated that they are roughly 4"x6", and you were charging $0.20 per square inch. That's still only $4.80 each, so I'm not real sure how you got to over $9 each.

I am also not sure what you are paying for steel, but we are both in Texas, it's closer to you from the ports than it is to me, so I would expect your price would be a few cents a pound cheaper, but again, I don't know your volume, table size etc.

If I was to do one of every letter, out of 14g, not a really fancy font, but not plain vanilla either, I would be at about $2.50 each for clean parts. If they want them straight off the table, probably $1.50 each. That would be no cleaning, no rusting etc. One set, cut when I was already cutting 14g that week.

With just a quick nest, I can get 16 full sets of the alphabet on a 60x120 sheet, on a job such as this, I would push for sheet level quantities. I would give a bit of a discount on material since I only load it once, no keeping up with a drop, and the skeleton gets folded up and goes in the scrap pile.

I would do a discount on the material, and would probably end up around $1.75 each for clean parts, already rusted. So, 416 letters, for a total of $728. It would take roughly 1.5 hrs to cut them all and get them off the table, another 1.5 hrs to get them into and out of the cleaning / rusting vat, rinsed, air dried and thrown into a bucket or most likely a box. I would have max 3hrs time, and $125 all in for cost (material, handling material, solution to rust / clean, electricity, consumables, and a couple of 5 gallon buckets). $200 / hr is more than enough for me.

Now, the upside to this is that it will most likely develop into a long term relationship with this customer, and then, I would cut them out from around and inside other pieces while I was already cutting 14g, which increases the profit margin even more.

I am not saying you can't get $5 raw, or $7.50 rusted, but I can tell you if you are going to submit a bid with that price on it, I would be REAL surprised if you got the job, especially given the proximity of your competitors.

Now, there will be some people say it's too cheap, and that's fine. I also have several direct competitors close, and if my pencil isn't sharp I don't get the job.

It's funny your username is radnurse, I have been a RN for 18 years, I can tell you I make a lot more doing this than I did even when I was working for Medtronic monkeying with peoples hearts.

Shane

radnurse68
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Re: PRICE FOR BULK LETTERS?

Postby radnurse68 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:05 am

Thanks Shane, You always give a very detailed response. I will definitely take your advise to heart. Yea I've been a RN for about 21 years now. I work in an Interventional Radiology lab, hense the name radnurse. I started messing around with this stuff about 3 years ago. I had developed a pretty bad drinking habit and the judge and the State Board of Nursing decided I needed a new habit so I quite drinking cold turkey and started collecting tools. I work out of my existing horse barn/shop so I have very little overhead and do it in my spare time. I have a 5X10 arclight table and I also do most of my own powdercoating. It keeps me busy enough. Basically all the money I make goes back towards more tools or shop improvements. Ironically this customer is in the Dallas/Mckinney area and was referred to me by a mutual acquaintance. By the way you mentioned in your response that you would place the letters in a cleaning/rusting vat, I assume you are referring to an acid bath to remove mill scale and dross or do you put it in something else after cleaning to promote the rust?
Stephen W. Sparks RN,CRN
Creating Sparks Metal Worx
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Linux, Sheetcam, Inkscape, Solid Edge
Hypertherm 85
MIllermatic 175
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"Ridin around having a big time!"

Shane Warnick
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Re: PRICE FOR BULK LETTERS?

Postby Shane Warnick » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:55 am

On thin stuff like this, the dross is minimal, so a strong acid is not needed. I would put them in vinegar if it was me. I would go to Sams or Costco etc, grab a heavy plastic tote with a lid, and a couple of cases of vinegar. Just make sure you don't stack them in there flat on top of each other, it won't pull the mill scale off if the vinegar cant get in there between them. Throw them in, wait 4-6 hours, stir, rinse and repeat. You can make a condom from a trash bag for a magnet for removal, or a c arm cover (sure you don't have any of those around) or do it by hand. Make sure you wear gloves if you go fishing by hand, otherwise the vinegar will etch that orange color right into your fingernails. Or so I've been told :roll: . Once you rinse them, throw them outside in the sun on the concrete etc to dry. They will rust up enough. If you don't rinse them, they will slowly continue to rust every time the humidity comes up, which is more often up there than out here.

Shane
Last edited by Shane Warnick on Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Bobcat320
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Re: PRICE FOR BULK LETTERS?

Postby Bobcat320 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:16 am

For a quick starting point I do the cost of my steel X 5, and it seems to work out OK. If I calculated right this would be in Shane's ball park of $2.50 each with out any cleaning or finish.
Carl
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radnurse68
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Re: PRICE FOR BULK LETTERS?

Postby radnurse68 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:47 am

Thanks Carl and Shane!

Steve
Stephen W. Sparks RN,CRN
Creating Sparks Metal Worx
Arclight Dynamics Arc Pro 12000 5X10
Linux, Sheetcam, Inkscape, Solid Edge
Hypertherm 85
MIllermatic 175
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Kool Koat 3.0 DPW

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