Completing a second M40 grenade now:
This is how projects grow on you. Originally I wanted to make one grenade, in order to learn the lathe. But to get the one, I had to fashion a decent drawing. And the drawing is good enough to want to share it. And if it is shared in the form of an Instructable, then I get another free class....in some new machine I'll then need a project to learn on!
And to make the Instructable, I need to document a build:
I just snapped pictures at the lathe while I was building, so the lighting is far from optimal. And I've still got another couple of hours to finish this one, plus more hours finishing the instructable itself, for which I've been drawing a lot of diagrams in addition:
I also started a thread over at the RPF, and one member has already enquired whether I intend to do a run.
At this point, I'd have to say I don't know. On the technical side, I do not feel I am doing finish-quality work yet. There are things I don't understand, and worse; my suspicion is that getting a really good, mass-produced look is something that takes a whole new level of skill; the skills of having done this for years, not for weeks.
On the merchandizing side, the second one looks to be taking about seven hours. Which includes photography. With a few tweaks and tools and the increased efficiencies of producing several at a time I think I could get that down to under five hours, but you also have to fold in the surrounding costs; materials purchase, transport, organizing the work slots, etc.
When I break down my current work I get different numbers. By hourly, it is ridiculously low to work the run of a show -- as low as six bucks an hour (depending on whether you fold design and run together, or split the fees and time). On a per-service basis, about forty bucks a service, and that lines up fairly well with going out, doing four hours of work, going home.
On either of these hourly estimates, the construction price per grenade, with materials, comes out between $60-$80. Since I already had my fun building one, there would of course have to be some profit involved. Include shipping costs too, and I doubt I could provide one to anyone else for much under $125.
Which is something to think about, but I have other paying work at the moment. I am not exactly hurting for hours. Hurting for work that pays a decent rate per hour, on the other hand...!
Oh; the new holocron pieces have been lased. Now I just have to assemble the thing, and finish programming.