One area that I’m always asked about is how to price pieces we build. (My response is that you need to check prices in your area – New York is going to be higher than Sheboygan, Wis.)
In doing a bit of research into the Dunlap family of cabinetmakers from New Hampshire, John Dunlap left records about his work. At least forty “Tall Case Chests,” many having bandy legs and a deep ornamental gallery above a cornice, are recorded in the cabinetmaker’s account book. In 1784, his “$54 charge” for such an elaborate piece was equal to 23 days pay.
In the United States as of 2011, the average yearly income per household was $69,821. If you consider a five-day work week, there are 260 work days in a year. That’s an average income per day of $268.54. If we take that number times 23, we get $6,176.50.
If you were to build a Dunlap tall chest, you should be able to sell it for $6,176.50. I can tell you one thing: I wouldn’t dream of selling a Dunlap tall chest for that little!
Build Something Great!