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Thread: Very First Carving & A Few Questions

  1. Default Very First Carving & A Few Questions is my very first project off the machine (Not including the first two tutorial plans and some practice shapes).

    This is right off the machine. Has not yet been sanded or cleaned up....I think it turned out pretty well, as I just carved "normal" on pine. Didn't quite cut all the way through on the outline, so needs a little TLC (board was a hair thicker than the pattern(was being safe on my first cut through)). Size is 11" x 18"...project from "Little Red Woodshop" with my lettering and sign details

    Anyway, the questions...
    How would you all finish this when it comes to painting/staining/etc ??
    Also, what would you sell something like this for $$$ at a small town craft show (We are definitely not Chicago or LA LOL !!) We have a small lake community with a fair amount of fishing tourists, as I thought I could sell these at our local craft market.

    Thanks Much,

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TRL Bass Sign on Pine.jpg 
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    Last edited by Brad Wardman; 09-19-2011 at 06:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Benton County, Missouri


    Really nice pattern and sure came out nice. I'll have to look at getting that pattern for up here on Truman Lake When it comes to painting, you are the artist. I gave up on pricing, makes no sense to me how to charge. Good Luck and Great Job on the first carve!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Mebane, NC


    Great job Brad!

    Finishing is kind of a personal thing, I personally would stain a fairly light color, maybe Golden Oak, and paint the lettering black...and possibly gold for the filigree.

    As for pricing you need to take in a few things into account. Wood cost, finish materials cost, and time which should include carving time and finishing time...The amounts that you charge for the labor should reflect the area that you're in, and what the market will bear.

    On normal carve this probably took about 90 minutes to carve. If you use the method that I've outlined the finish will cost $3-4 for the supplies. I would guess that you'll spend an hour on sanding and another on the finishing process. Depending on the type of pine you probably have another $5 in wood costs. If all of this is accurate, this would leave you at $9 in hard costs, plus 2 hours full labor and 1.5 hours carving time. I would probably ask $25-$35 and see how they sell!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Onset, Ma


    Reel nice, ,clean, and sharp lines. Welcome Aboard ! Capt Barry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Goodman, Missouri


    Nice work Brad, are you thinking of the Branson crafts? I have always thought the CW work would sell well in Branson, and Harrison area. Yet all around Table rock is a good area to sell crafts.
    Using Designer 1.187, STL importer, Center line, conforming vectors, scanning probe/PE, and the ROCK chuck.


  6. Default

    Thanks everyone for the welcome, praise and any finishing tips. Looks like we have a fair number of MO folks here as well !! I am in Shell Knob, we have our own little tourist area here....don't think I want to deal with Branson for quite some time LOL. This is just a hobby for my Dad & I, so recouping costs and making a few dollars is all we are looking for.....not trying to live off it.
    Thanks again everyone....working on a practice run of Colt grips right now....will post pics of the sign once finished.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Northern Colorado



    Great job on the first carve! Great advice for the others. One thing you might try/do is a combo of some just stained and some with painting. Give them a little bit of an option to choose from. You will soon find out what the best direction to go to based on how they react and the comments you recieve.

    Happy carving!
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  8. Default

    Brad ... that turned out really nice. one thing that I might have done was ad draft to the pattern and the letters. As far as the finishing it is a matter of personal preference....

    I would put a little paint on the sign (help show the detail in the fish), then do a little sanding and then stain it a medium color ... the antique look.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Sacramento Ca


    Brad, just thought I would throw in the way I price my signs. I go to fairs and make the the signs on the spot with my CW and hand routed. A little hint the small communities are gold mines! But that doesn't mean jack the prices up! I price my signs by the board foot starting at $25.00 for simple basic signs to $65.00 for commercial signs. Just in case you don't know how to figure board feet, which I am sure you do! But anyway you take the thickness times the width times the length divided by 144.

    I always use the dimensional size, just like they sell it at the lumber store! Even though a 1" by 12" is really 3/4" by 11 1/2" I pass on how it was charged! However I do try to offer true dimensions for my signs, by cutting boards to size or gluing them. Back to pricing I take in consideration the design time, pattern cost and the carve time and material needed.

    I will set a base price and then offer options. I.E. For your sign it has raised lettering and for me the bass is fairly simple to paint so the base would $40.00 a foot. Then I will add $10.00 for paint and if you bought the pattern as a special request I charge the price of the pattern plus $5.00. Otherwise if I own the pattern it would $15.00 for the bass. Then I charge $10.00 for the finish. I bet those reading are asking why not raise the per foot price to cover the options? Well for me I give the choice of buying a natural sign that the customer can paint and finish the way they want and all you do is carve the sign! This is pure profit and you are a good guy by selling it for a good price! Then the 2nd option is unfinished I do everything except for clear gloss saving $10.00 and the 3rd choice finished. This being the complete sign that will cost the most.

    As I said, the more detailed the more per foot, even though the CW is carving the sign you are doing the finish. In my shop I hand rout also, but I price both ways the same. With your project I am not sure if you used the rollers? With my sign I do not, I use only redwood and refuse to waste 7" of material for each sign! Plus I have no room for sleds and never had any issues! But if you do use the rollers I would charge for the extra 7". So instead of 11" by 18" I would calculate 11" by 25". Plus if you are using 2" material it will double the board foot, so I add for the extra cost of the material rather then double the price. For example a 1" by 12" by 24" is 2 board feet, 2" is 4 board feet. I just can't charge double because of 2" material, so I add cost of the material. So if it $3.00 a board foot a 1" by 12" by 8 ft would be $24.00 and 2" $48.00. So I will charge $24.00 more for the extra 1" and not double the price.

    Using your 11" by 18" the board foot is 1.375. That would be $40.00 times 1.375 =$55.00. Then $15.00 for bass, $10.00 for painted raised letters and $10.00 for finished for a total of $90.00 plus tax! Now for a natural $55.00 and unfinished $80.00. I have a sign I charge $100.00 that is 12" by 24" rough and 11" by 20" finish I call the cabin sign (see attached) It is not a real difficult sign, but it takes 2.5 hours to carve and another hour or so to finish. So the time my CW is being used for this sign I can carve 2-3 simple signs close to the price of this one. So I charge more for this sign.

    To finish this sign I am a big fan of leaving a wood background! So I would paint the border and the raised letters and a natural background. I do a U-tube video on my finishing methods along with how to make chop trim. The first show how to make chop trim into finishing.

    Anyway I show how to use a 3" trim roller cut down to 1" and paint the raised letters. For the I would use the slop in paint method, well not too sloppy! I would paint the recessed inside green not worry if the raised is getting painted. Once the whole bass is a base real green, I would let dry and come back with a darker green and add detail and continue with black until finished. Trying to be detailed and precise will take too long. Layer painting is the best method for me!

    Well if you ever need any help PM me and I will give you my phone number and will be happy to help!


    PS Sorry I thought I had a video on trim roller method. It is in the Tips and Tricks
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Goodridge.jpg  
    Last edited by Ike; 09-20-2011 at 02:39 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    New Windsor, MD


    That's very helpful information, Ike.

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