If you have really good equipment to do it, and it's super easy, just make sure you cover your cost (price of bushing/time spent). On the other hand, if you do bushings entirely by hand (like me), then you need to charge enough to cover the labor involved.
Sooth-I do not believe that you can charge a customer more because you do not have the equipment. That is backwards thinking. Think of how you would react to a car mechanic who tells you: "Sorry Sooth, but this job is going to cost you three times what the well equipped shop would charge because I only have a hammer and a monkey wrench."! The way it works in the business world is that you invest in the training and equipment and then you can reasonably charge say $20.00 or more an hour giving your customer good value for his money. If you are not willing or able to make the investment then you may only be able to charge $5.00 an hour because you can only accomplish one-forth of the work in the same time frame as the well equipped shop. You cannot expect your customer to pay more because it takes you longer than it should.
In my area, $3.00 a bushing is reasonable and as V noted, a flat rate for cleaning and oiling each train is added to that (plus the cost and markup of any other replacement parts) Regulation is part of the cleaning and oiling overhead.
Sooth-You can charge whatever you want. My point is that you are, in all likelyhood, overcharging your customer in your market. You will soon go out of business! This assumes that you do not have a corner on the local market . In that case you can charge your example $10.00 an hour or more for hand bushing and spring work. If you are rebushing a 124 ST that needs 20+ bushings that would come to $200.00. Add clean, oil and regulation flat charge of say $200.00 for the three trains: total charge $400.00. Total man hours 30 hours because of lack of tools.
Stay with me here.
Now over the next couple years, you invest a percentage of your profits in tooling. You are now able to do the same job in 4-5 hours.
The only trouble is that nobody in their right mind around here would pay $400.00+. That fact dictates you purchase the special tooling first and pay for it as you go.
(all numbers are for the purpose of the example only)
I also note that this is hypothetical in your case as you are not doing professional work. For anyone who is though I believe the model stands.
I recommend including some bushing work in your Clean, Lubricate & Adjust (CLA) price. My base price to overhaul a two or three train movement includes rebushing three pivot holes. If additional pivot holes need repair, the price is $5.00 each. Should the hole be severely worn and require relocating center, the price is $10.00. Most movements I come across rarely need more than six pivot holes restored. By building minimal repair work in your basic overhaul price, it isn't necessary to get approval if you find a couple of worn pivot holes.
When I give a customer a price for working on his clock, I don't normally break it down to parts and labour. I will tell him if his clock needs bushings and cleaning (basically an overhaul job). Once I quote a price, I very seldom go back to the customer to tell him it will cost more because I didn't see a broken gear, or broken pivot. Most customers don't know bushings from corn flakes, so they only want to know that I can fix their clock, and how much.
Well, I know it's easy, but recentering the worn holes takes a while. Then reaming the hole also takes a while. Actually pusing in the bushing, and broaching it to size is the easy part.
Keep in mind that I've only bushed ONE clock (which is now keeping excellent time, and striking properly).
I think it took me about 3 hours to do 6 bushings in the movement. That includes finding the original centre, marking the plate (with a black marker) around the original hole, recentering the worn hole with a file, reaming, bushing, and broaching the hole (for each one).
I wouldn't ever charge "more than a pro". I believe I'd actually charge much less.
I was quoted 260.00$ CDN for overhauling an Ogee clock movement. The movement was clean (by myself), and only needed a few bushings and new trundles. I thought 260 was absolutely rediculous. This was a price "without seeing the movement" over the phone, from the only known clock repair place within 100 miles. But still.
Then there's the man who cleaned my time and strike wall clock. He did an excellent job, and charged me 100$. That was a much better price, in my mind.
Sooth, you are well on your way to not needing to farm out your clocks for repair. You are right that $260 for an ogee movement is too much, by about $100.00. But $100 to clean a Time and Strike might not be enough, unless it is only a dunk clean. Polishing pivots and pegging bushings turns this into 3 or more hours work, if nothing else turns up like bushing work, or trundles.
Sooth...you spoke of repairing very worn pivot holes. Thanks to an engineering friend, I now use an endmill to recenter worn holes. I wrote a brief how-to procedure in an earlier thread. Here's the link if you're interested.
That's a very interesting read. One comment though, or maybe two. How much are those milling bits, where can you get them?
And doesn't this take just about the same amount of time to do as just filing the hole by hand? Filing might take 5 minutes or so, and I expect this takes at least a few minutes (to fit centering bit in the press, clamp plate, fit drill bit, and then drill).
I did learn one really good tip out of your post that I had not thought of: chamfering BOTH sides after using the reamer. I've only done ONE movement, so it's not so bad. I will know for the next time, I'm sure it looks a lot nicer that way.
Sooth - you can save some time by buying the adapter for a hand drill which allows you to use the reamers made for reaming machines at MUCH less cost. Three reamers will take care of 90% of the bushings you do. You still have to find center (as you are now), but the hole is fast and perfect every time.
All you have to do is watch that the cutting stays in center, that and hold the handle perpendicular to the plate.
I use masking tape over the old bushing hole and mark an X with sharp pencil and straight edge.
After cutting the hole and push bushing in. I peen new bushing in place with sharp pointy chisel. You have to or eventually they pop out.
Then use cutting broach to get the hole pivot size. I use my caliper or micrometer to guage the pivot and area of the cutting broach which matches (+ slack) of pivot size. Blow it out and use apropriate sized smoothing broach.
I use a toothpick cause I don't have any more pegwood. Not really sure it does anything.
I do my bushing by hand; no reamers or stuff, just files and broaches. Generally takes me about 15 minutes per bush (being but a newbie). Never had a failure so far. In my limited clock repair bidness, I charge $5 per bush. That on top of modest fees for disassembly cleaning & lube; no freebies. Customer don't like it, he's free to take it downtown.
Hey Sooth. Maybe your right. So your saying there is also a small taper. I'll have to remember that.
But I'm not totally convinced that was the problem.
Although, Ive seen pleanty other post here where people advise peening in place.
I think it kinda makes sense just to go ahead and peen it in place. Why rely on a semi dependable friction fit when you can tighten up with a couple of whacks.
I seen one post here recently where guy makes suggestion to use a small ball bearing to peen the bushing.
As long as the inside is flat even with plate, cups on outside, bushing hole is proper, then I see no problem.
Ok. So your saying I can tighten up the friction fit by not cuttin past D of hand held reamer.
Can you check out this link of mine? old ref::http://nawcc-mb.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5746044581/m/4731065751/p/4
See if I am on right track. I can understand not turning handle past cutting blade portion of reamer to ensure that burs are not doing more cutting to the hole. But not sure about where the D is or where I should stop.
Interesting post. I'm kind of in the middle between Sooth and some of the pro's out there. I do my own repair work and once in a while someone will get my name and ask me to repair on of their clocks. I'm not in it for the money, so my charges are based on what I thinnk my time is worth with my limited experience.
I have the basic hand tools, and I can replace a bushing in 10-15 minutes. When someone asks me what I charge to repair a clock, I give them a price and explain that it includes cleaning, oiling and bushing if needed. Most often, I come out OK, but I also explain that if there are other problems I didn't see, I will call and let them decide if they want me to go on.
There are two other clock shops in my area, one is excellent, the other mediocre. Both charge about the same. I try to keep my fees close to theirs because I'm not out to undercut them. If I run across a clock that appears to be in bad shape, I will refer the customer to one of the other shops. Seems to work out for everyone.
Kiwi; No, Im using KWM reamer with handle. Not broaches.
But I think I get your point, Maybe I should stop reaming when cutting edge ends. (I take that to be the fattest part of the D). Although, the bushings I have are specific to the reamer size, to be a friction fit.
I think, maybe it's as simple as Sooth said, doing it from the inside face of the plate, instead of from outside face of plate. As both of you agree on this point it must be the standard way.
(Dang thing didn't come with instructions.....).
Which I figure if there is a minute taper which favors push in one direction, might make all the difference. I wish I had a bushing to do now....
Sooth...the advantage of an endmill for VERY WORN pivot holes is finding center. Normally, a portion of the original hole is still visible. The centering tool allows the plate to be positioned so the endmill will cut a hole concentric to the original. When hand filing to offset wear, I'm always asking is that enough. Ten minutes is all it takes to locate center and bore the two holes so it's ready to receive a bushing. Realize, this is only done on severely worn holes. Otherwise, the KWM reamer is capable of producing a fine hole. MSC industrial supply and other industrical tool suppliers stock these products. I believe they were about $4 - $5 each. These suppliers also have drill rod, brass stock and a lot of other neat materials for the person using a lathe. The expensive part is the Bergeon style plate holder...about $100. Sears imported Drill press - under $100. But, since I'm trying to do three movements per week, anything which speeds up the process is OK with me.
Which bushings do most of you use when rebushing plates? Do you use the German or the American? The difference in price can be staggering if you look at it. If you buy larger packs of 50 or more they will cost approximately .20 cents. 10 packs of German made bushings can be as expensive as $1.50 per bushing. I guess this would also dictate how much people charged as well wouldn't it? These approximate prices are before shipping!
Just another point to ponder.
By the way, I include 2-3 bushings free in the cost of a disassembly and cleaning. Anything more than 2-3 I charge $4-5 per bushing to cover the labor. I rebush and clean the movement by hand.
so far I just fis clocks for my self. but the main clock place here charges for a couple of bushings and new springs about $250 and gets away with it and people grip about it . if it was more they would give him the clock probably