View previous topic | View next topic >
Post new topic Reply to topic
M.A.I.L. Forum Index -> Knitting Circle
Author Message

Joined: September 26, 2009
Posts: 500
Submissions: 0
Location: Meridies

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:48 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

I recently had the opportunity to show a jewelry store owner some of my maille (I was wearing a bracelet I'd made, and my wife started bragging about me, and the owner wanted to see more, so I complied). They really liked several of my pieces, and we got to talking pricing (not selling just yet, but this is definitely a step in the right direction). She said that I need to figure out how much time each piece I had took, which threw me. Up until this point I've just been doing things for fun. Throw Invader Zim into the DVD player, get some wire, and go to town. Or put some links together while pumping a groundwater well at work, something to pass the time. The time it took didn't matter to me--it was either maille or Diablo II, and frankly I like maille better. So I've never really thought about it.

So I've been trying to figure out how long some of my stuff has taken. Which got me thinking about something I remember my uncle saying.

My uncle is a mechanic, so whenever my family has car problems we go to him to get them fixed. He can get parts at cost, and we get to help, which is always nice. Anyway, a few years back he mentioned that most mechanic jobs (changing oil, tune ups, changing gaskets, etc.) have an allotted amount of time--you only get to charge, say, two hours, whether it takes you twenty minutes or a day and a half. Obviously, you want to finish more quickly, so you can make more money. I'm not real sure on the specifics (it was a few years ago), but that's not really important.

Is there a way to make something similar for maille? Obviously more complicated variations on weaves would alter the time, but is there a way to make a cheat-sheet for the common weaves?

For example, let's say byzantine takes an hour a foot to go from rings to maille (as opposed to from wire to maille). Full Persian takes similar. Half Persian takes a half hour. Dragonscale takes 45 minutes per foot.

Obviously some of you guys are going to be a lot faster than others. I'm probably on the slow end (doing this to relax and all). However, I think a list like this would be helpful to people just starting to sell stuff.

Joined: April 15, 2002
Posts: 1823
Submissions: 1
Location: Calgary, AB. Canada.

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:27 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Mostly pointless and subjective, I'd say.

The biggest factor by far, is ringcount. And ringcount depends on scale. Time per inch means nothing. Rings per inch does.

The useful metric is rings/hour. Some weaves go slower than others, but, generally, they're all within single digit percentage of each other, so there's not really a point in going weave-by-weave either.

Size and material also play. When I'm weaving the smaller micro, when I get into my groove, I'm weaving 40 rings an hour. My comfortable max when I'm using more workable gauges, is around 100 rings per hour. Faster than that, my quality suffers, and it's not all that great to begin with. I'm slow. Most people would hover around 150-200 rings/hour, I've heard people climb as high as 300/hour when they're in their groove.

Depends entirely on the person.

In general, just setting a price per ring + materials is a pretty accurate measure of time. If you do 100 rings an hour, and want $20/hour, you charge $20 for a hundred ring project.

The more useful metric, perhaps, to be combined with this.. is a rings/inch or rings/square inch calculator. However, that is weave and AR specific. I have plans in the works, in the back of my head anyway. CShake has already mathematically described a couple dozen weaves including AR. Currently that's set up to do a much tougher job.. automatically model, by formula, weaves. As in, you say "Euro, Euro 4, AR 3.5, 20 rows, 30 columns", and it spits out the image at full stretch. Extracting the math from these could very easily lend itself to having a calculator (a table wouldn't suffice, you'd need a live calculator) application that you could spit out "JPL, 20G, AR=3, 18 inches", and it says "562 rings".

Would be trivial to use that result to figure out your wage ($0.20/ring, 562 rings, you charge $112.50 + materials). Or, that could also get thrown into a calculator app.

I did one collect data on a thread over at TRL for what people sold items for, and then looked at the pictures, counted up all the rings, and determined how much they were making per ring. Was all over the map. Some people were making (based on some arbitrary speed I picked), $2/hour, some $200/hour, just by what they were charging per ring.

Joined: October 19, 2009
Posts: 31
Submissions: 0
Location: Boston

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:29 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Hi Dinwar,

I think you'll be better served by sitting down and timing yourself - I don't see a way to create an accurate "general cheat sheet" that will work for everyone. Here are some reasons:

1. Do you make your rings yourself, or do you buy them?
a. If you make the rings yourself, that time should be included in your time total.
b. If you purchase your rings, the TOTAL cost (including shipping, gas $, etc. should be included in materials cost.

2. Weave methods impact time: There are different ways to weave most any weave - some methods are faster than others. Your preferred method will impact the total time.

3. Wire gauge and ring size are critical: A weave composed of rings whose WD is 2.0mm will take less time to complete than rings of 0.8mm WD.

If you poke around, there are some bead sites that list "estimates" for certain maille items - in my experience, these estimates are FAR too long (because they assume a beginner will need more time).

Determining length of time was a bit of a pain for me too, but I finally sat down and created a spreadsheet where I recorded times for different weaves. I ONLY record when I master them so my timings are as accurate as possible.

Just enter a weave start time into a cell and get going. Once you're through, enter your stop time. Be sure to have wire gauge and ring size as well, as these are critical variables. Let's say you created a length of chain 3 inches long. Enter the length, and with a little fiddling, you now have a way of estimating how much time any length will be based on that increment. If you make your rings, enter that time as well - the more info you enter, the better you can estimate true time.

Others may have a more efficient way of doing this - I'm a spreadsheet geek, so I live in Excel Wink But this is at least one method that's worked. It took a WHILE to compile, and I'm always adding to it - but it's been more than useful for me.

To me, timing is VERY important: Having this info helps me figure out how to maximize the $/hour I can secure, when I have the choice to make whatever I wish.

Best of luck!

Joined: March 12, 2003
Posts: 3058
Submissions: 74
Location: Tawas City

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:27 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

i keep a log of projects. how long each took to make with ring size(s) and counts. size of the project and materials. and the sold price with the caculated sale price. keeping a log can make the math faster latter on if you make changes to somthing.

my log entrys look somthing like this

ProjectName|Material|OverHead|Time|RingSize|RingCount|OtherMats|direct Price|wholesaleprice|RetailPrice|SoldPrice

made up example:


Timeing your self is the best way to go. set your self a price per-hour, think of it as an emplyees wage. if your making $15 an hour and the pice only takes you 15min. then you attach 1/4 your wage to that pice.

Also if you do any shipping. remember to count this in to the coast of you items. this includes gas if you transport it to stores your self.

Overhead is also easaly over looked (not by me ..Razz) and a good way to kill your buissness b4 you start. Overhead includes all coast assosiated with tthe production of you items. this can include but is not limeted to: wire, rings, storage bins, price tags, saw blades, lubericants, jumprings, drill, your work table, eta any comsumable items as well as all equipment and tools needed for operation.

maille Code V2.0 T8.3 R6.4 Ep.f Fper Mfe.s Wsg$ Cpw$ G0.25-2.5 I0.5-30 N31.31 Pa Dacdjw Xa27g37w1 S94

Joined: July 25, 2008
Posts: 844
Submissions: 0

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:56 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Rember you also need to count duration.
Some people can weave supper quick for 5 minites but a 6 hr day yealds different numbers.
Working with harder metals can effect the duration as well.
Stainless takes longer then aluminum.
In 14 guage I can spend 8 hours working in aluminum but only 3 hrs working in stainless. Mostly because I have to take more breaks and my hands can only take so much abuse.

Joined: September 26, 2009
Posts: 500
Submissions: 0
Location: Meridies

Reply with quote
Posted on Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:10 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

I've started timing myself. And the idea of keeping a written record is a good one--something I've never considered. I haven't previously because as I said, the time was spare time anyway. Not like I was planning on making money while watching Burn Notice--I just wanted to make a pretty pair of earrings for my sister's Christmas gift. The money thing is the game-changer, and I've started being a bit more aware of my time since then.

And I knew that this wouldn't be simple. At minimum, you'd need weave, length, and ring size (though ring count would take size and length into account). The material I didn't consider, but that's a good point--also, I've found that wire diameter can play a role (in that it's easier to bend 17 gauge wire than it is 14 gauge wire).

The overhead thing is one that I'm going to run into trouble with. Most of the pliers I've used in maille have been my standard stuff, things bought for work on the car/house/etc. Storage bins are clear plastic bags at the moment (though I'm considering mason jars, and rigging up some sort of storage system with them). And the price would have to be distributed over a number of pieces--ie, you can't put the full price of a pair of pliers into every piece, when a pair of pliers is good for many pieces.

Joined: March 27, 2009
Posts: 1015
Submissions: 4
Location: Southeastern Minnesota

Reply with quote
Posted on Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:14 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Dinwar wrote:
And the price would have to be distributed over a number of pieces--ie, you can't put the full price of a pair of pliers into every piece, when a pair of pliers is good for many pieces.

Yep. That's the thing with overhead. It's just a little bit extra added into all of your pieces.

Joined: September 21, 2009
Posts: 65
Submissions: 1

Reply with quote
Posted on Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:50 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

You could measure your actual time, overhead and materials, and charge a living wage for yourself. If you're trying to make a living on it, that's definately what you should do.

However, if you don't really stay focused on the task and let your attention wander from time to time, and you are not trying to live off your earnings, then counting rings is probably the best way -- so many rings equals a mythical hour of your time. Multiply your mythical hours by your wage, add in materials and that many hours of overhead, and you've got a starting place for the price. Adjust up or down if you feel you or your customers would be getting taken advantage of if you made 10 or 20 of them for that price.

I followed one of the pricing threads a while back, and it seems like the maillers who were the fastest but also produced very quality work were claiming 150 rings per hour as an upper limit.

Cost of materials is either ridiculously low or astronomically high. Its easiest to round up to the nearest $5. Then adjust from there as you see fit.

Overhead, well, that's a judgement call. You need money from the sale to compensate for wear and tear on tools. If you dedicate a space for mailling, you need compensation for that too.

I made a watch band. 300 stainless rings. Took me about 2 weeks of 4-6 hour evenings to work it all out, teach myself how to make the buckle and attachment, and make the piece. The weaving alone took 2-3 evenings. As I work it out, I should charge around $85 for it. That smells about right -- I wouldn't feel like committing harakiri if I had to make 10 or 20 to sell, but I'd certainly never make a living unless I got way faster. If I were to add my actual time, we're talking closer to $500 -- no way that's even close to a reasonable price.

I shoud also add that I don't feel $85 is overpriced. The piece could be made better and would probably support a higher price if it were. Realistically, it probably needs to be made better to support even the $85 price.

I need to add that this is still just an academic exercise for me, since I've not sold any pieces yet. However, I do have friends suggest I try to sell something I make from time to time and I like to know why I don't. Maybe I should make up a dozen and try to sell them on Etsy or eBay or something Smile See how I feel about my pricing after it meets the real world Smile Have to replace the diamond blade on the Ringinator first though so I can saw up a pile of those odd sized rings I used (I killed it doing an experiment). Oohh.. overhead.

Post new topic Reply to topic
Jump to:  
Page 1 of 1
All times are GMT. The time now is Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:15 am
M.A.I.L. Forum Index -> Knitting Circle
Display posts from previous: