A few months ago, I got a phone call from my aunt. She told me that while visiting her sister’s house (my other aunt), she was amazed at what beautiful work I did with the set of three nesting tables I made for their 30th wedding anniversary. She loved them so much that she and my uncle wanted to commission me to build them an identical set.
So like any normal person who gets a request from family, money is always an issue. How much do I charge them? Do I give them a family discount? If they really care about me, they would want to pay more for it, for being a woodworker is not always an easy way to make a living.
In the end, I calculated the time plus materials I would need to make their set of nesting tables. Lucky for me, I had made sure to create templates for the original piece- which had an ornate edge on each top. The template had been safely stored on a shelf for some time.
By taking a new work piece, tracing the edge of the template on it, rough cutting it on my band saw and then using my router with a flush trim router bit, I saved a good amount of time. Thus, saving time meaning saving money, I was able to make my aunt very happy by giving her a good price. So, in the end, it worked out for everyone.
I just have to make sure that she doesn’t go back to my other uncle (who paid for the original set) and tell him the price I gave her. He may feel he was overcharged…
The lesson to be learned; create and safe keep your templates; you never know when or if you will need them again!