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FNR Designs produces a wide variety of custom machined parts and pieces in our shop in Geary, NB.

Contact us at designs@farnorthracing.com

A Guide to Commissions

FNR Designs is happy to take on custom commissions, be it a new spin on one of our existing designs, or something wholly new that you have dreamed up. Given the wide range of possibilities (and our extensive manufacturing capabilities) it is difficult to provide a precise "menu" of prices for custom work. Every piece provides its own unique set of challenges, and with that, the labour required to realize your vision varies widely.

With that said, there are a number of rules of thumb that apply to all custom work:

Pricing Philosophy - In general, there are two ways to price out a project, "Hourly Rate" or "Book Value".

Under the "Hourly Rate" scheme, the customer pays for materials and consumables, and everything else is charged by the hour. This is the fairest way to charge for us, but there is an incentive to drag out the work (to create more billable hours) and a customer runs the risk that a given job is more labour-intensive that was first estimated, and so winds up being prohibitively expensive.

Under the "Book Value" scheme, there exists a price book that states that a given project takes a given amount of time, and that (plus cost of materials) is what the job costs. If I beat the "book time" I make more profit; if I don't, the price is capped to what we agreed upon. Accordingly, there is an incentive to work faster / more efficiently, and there are no customer surprises.

I want to work to "Book Value".

Unfortunately, there is no "book" (like there is for auto repair shops) so I have to work out my own "Book Value". That means I look at all the elements below, and quote you a price based on my estimates of how things are going to go.

When we agree on the price, that is what it costs. If I have under-quoted, that's my problem.

Cost of Materials - You cover the cost of all materials used, be they raw materials (wood, metal, 3D printing filament, etc) or sourced components (hinges, bumpers, screws and other hardware, etc.) We don't apply markup to materials, but material costs will include any taxes and shipping costs we incur.

Digital Work - For laser work, this is the labour used to convert your digital artwork to a format and layout suitable for the laser. Depending on the source file, this can range from trivial to heavily involved. If you are a digital artist, we will review your supplied artwork for issues and steer you on how to rectify it yourself so you can save a little here. If we are making a design from scratch, the cost of putting together the design depends on its complexity. Vector art (ai, eps, svg) are best but we can sometimes make raster formats (jpg, png) work.

For CNC work and 3D printing work, this covers the effort involved in 3D modelling the part(s) and programming the toolpaths needed to drive the machines - again, the more complex the part, the more time involved, the more expensive the work.

As far as actual pricing, we are still sorting out a pricing scheme. We are trying to avoid a direct hourly rate and instead develop some sort of easily-understood programme based on complexity that is fair to both you and us. Base price (perfect vector art that needs little tweaking to be laser-ready) is $20 CAD and goes up from there.

Material Prep - This mostly applies to wooden projects, where we have to take raw lumber and shape it into a form suitable to feed to the laser or the CNC. Usually this is resawing planks out of hardwood stock, gluing them into panels, and the planing and sanding needed to form them into perfectly flat & smooth panels. We are working hard to figure out ways to speed this process up (and thus drop costs) but we won't compromise quality in the name of speed. If your project uses birch plywood or veneered plywood, these materials are laser-ready out of the box so this charge does not apply.

Machine Time - For any process that requires machine time (Laser, CNC, 3D Print) we charge a setup fee and then a machine fee by the minute of operation. Exact values are still being determined at this time.

Finishing - Most of our wooden products we finish with boiled linseed oil as it produces a nice satin finish that is very easy to apply and doesn't run, sag, or attract dust while curing - which makes it very inexpensive as it is a quick process and provides little opportunity for things to go wrong. Inset painted detail normally requires a laser or machine-cut mask that we remove after painting the cut areas. For intricate work, removing the mask can be very time-consuming and the price will reflect that.

Ferrous metals we generally powder coat as it is tougher, looks better, and is cheaper than paint. Aluminum and 3D printed parts are normally left as-machined. Any desired finish can be achieved, but the more difficult it is, the more it costs.

Deposit - Once we have agreed on a price for an item, a 50% deposit is required to get started. This deposit is non-refundable if you change your mind (it is to protect us from being ghosted). If we cancel the project, for whatever reason, we will refund the deposit in full. If after starting the job we discover we have misquoted and the project is more expensive than we thought (usually because it is more labor intensive than our estimate) we will honour the quote and eat the cost.

Shipping - You will cover the actual cost of shipping. We ship Canada Post, as they provide the best balance of service and cost.

Timelines - As of the moment, we still have day jobs, so work happens on weekends, evenings, and days off. This means it gets done when it gets done. If a hard deadline exists (like a birthday) we will try to make it, but we cannot promise delivery dates. What we will do is send you regular progress updates so you can see your commission take shape and feel comfortable that the work is being done.

With all this said, we take pride in our work and love bringing new ideas to light. We will do our best to see that you are completely satisfied with your commission.

Contact us at designs@farnorthracing.com and let's get started!

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