Saturday, March 17, 2018

prices for boxes???

I got an inquiry from a reader and box maker who wonders how to price the boxes he makes. If you are inclined to sell your work there are many things to take into consideration, and I cannot make suggestions on the suggested price of an individual craftsman's work.

Is it one of a kind, or have you made an attempt to produce larger quantities? Of course boxes efficiently made can be sold at a lower price than your first box in which all your learning was required.

What is the quality of the box you've made? Will it hold up through time? Is it finely finished? What are its unique features? What woods are you using? Does it tell a story that resonates with the folks it comes into contact with?

Where and how are you trying to sell your work? Is it in a gallery or museum store? Or at your local farmer's market? Are you selling wholesale, or direct to customers? Is your time worth something as you sit in a craft show booth attempting to sell your work?

A good strategy is to consider the cost of the materials, the cost of overhead, and the cost of time. Then take into consideration, the cost of selling your work. Even if you are selling wholesale and are not selling direct to customers, there are costs involved. Even if you are selling your work to customers directly through craft shows, there are direct and indirect costs that affect the bottom line on box pricing.

The wisest words on all this are from Otto Salomon, early proponent of Educational Sloyd. He said that the value of the carpenter's work is in the usefulness of the object the carpenter makes. The value of the student's work, on the other hand, is in the student. It is in the growth of character and intelligence of the individual involved. It may make sense from that standpoint, to not worry about selling work, and to bask in the other benefits box making can provide.

Many box makers give their work to those they love. It is a simple thing that pays greatly.
the boxes in the photo are mitered finger-jointed boxes. The finger joints were formed using the new Leigh Box Joint and Beehive Jig that routs both 1/2 in. and 3/4 in. finger joints.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

mitered finger joints...

I have an article on making mitered finger joints on the website at this link:

The mitered finger joint is an interesting technique that allows the use of inlaid bandings on the top edge of a box. It also offers a slightly cleaner look to the top edge of a box and allows the cutting of grooves for floating panels to fit, using the table saw instead of the router.

Please watch for my article on Box Joints Made Easy in the current issue (April 2018) of Fine Woodworking.