Some of you have a lot of experience at this so thought I'd approach it a different way. If I said the back is hardboard, the top is paneling, the sides are toe kick, and the neck is a shovel handle, how much would you charge to slap it all together? 

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Ha ha, I don't think I would take it on, and you possibly could not afford it if I did.

Taff

Just read a woodworker's opinion on this:

1) Put a value your time - at least $50/hour (you're an artisan with hard-won knowledge)

2) You put in a 10-hour day when you're working so: $500 per day for your time on a project.

3) How many can you build in 10 hours?

4) What did the material cost?

5) ($500/Number of projects completed in a day) + material = Cost to buyer 

Of course, you can refine this number by asking how much time you actually spent before you reached a point where you had to watch the glue dry, etc. 

I think the formula works better on small part production than finished instrument but maybe this will give you a place to start from...

All too true Glen, I also consider cost of power,running machines, light, heating, or in my case cooling and at times dehumidifying. Also advertising, travel, phone etc., It might be a hobby but it has costs. But then so does fishing, trap shooting, motorcycling etc. with those though I don't have to deal with the tax man. 

Taff

A few other common formulas are these:

1 - keep track of your material costs, then multiply by 4.
2 - keep track of your material costs, and your hours. Materials + $10/hr.

But there are factors such as:
- are you an established luthier with customers or just getting started?
- what will your market bear? check the competition.

For me, those two methods usually produce similar results. I take that and then look at my customers and competition. I'm not at a place where I can charge a premium yet.

Your time is definitely valuable, but at the same time you can't waste time obsessing and expect someone to pay for it.

Nice work, good luck!

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