Carbon Fiber Cut Rates - What you can expect

Carbon Fiber Cut Rates - What you can expect

Since I announced my decision to no longer cut carbon fiber frames I have received a great deal of feedback from many of my current customers asking me to reconsider this move. I have read all the emails and spoken to quite a few of you over the telephone and in person and have come to the conclusion that I will go ahead and cut carbon fiber frames again. The difference is that I will place some very important stipulations on the cuts so that I can avoid wasting everyone's time. 

Price Breakdown:

  • Shop Time = $90.00 /hr
    • Setup - calculated per sheet cut and total sheets and change-outs
    • Cutting - calculated by total area per piece plus total depth plus feed rate
    • Finish - if the parts are cut and cleaned without sanding, there is no finish fee added. Sanding will add an additional fee. 
  • Material Cost - varies but can be calculated at cost plus shipping. there will be no markup on the material cost.

Design and Inspection:

  • You may choose to have me review your drawings and determine if there are any potential errors. This comes at a rate of $35.00/hr. and will include any final changes that I need to add to the drawings in CAD. 
  • You can choose to just have me cut what you send. Be very careful. You will receive a proof and once you say go, the cut will begin (after you pay of course). Any errors, measurement issues, or other unforeseen problems that were approved will be your responsibility.

Tool Selection and Sizing:

  • So here is the breakdown. The smaller the bit, the higher the price. It is pretty simple. Larger bits decrease cut times while smaller bits increase cut times do to slower feed rates, less material per rotation, and so on. Smaller bits also tend to break much easier so any jobs that require the use of smaller bits will cost more to complete. Here is a breakdown of the bit sizes in mm:
    • 3.17mm
    • 2.0mm
    • 1.5mm
    • 1.0mm
  • These are the only bits I will use (for now). The first one will be perfect for most jobs and will allow for screw hole size that is ideal for an M3 screw. Anything smaller than 3.2mm diameter will require the move to a smaller bit. When you make your angles and inserts, please remember that you must account for bit size. If you are unsure about what this means, just ask me and I will explain in greater detail. 

Sanding and Finishing:

  • As most of you already know, I do all this work by hand. I do have routers and cnc's that will cut the material but I am directly involved in the final cuts, sanding, buffing, measuring, and cleaning. Most of the cuts done can be hit with air from an air compressor and they will clean well but not be super smooth. Wet sanding with 800-2000 grit paper will accomplish the smooth finish rather well. This can be done by you or it can be done by me. If you do it, you will save some money in labor and to be honest, you might be completely fine without sanding them at all. If you want me to sand the parts before shipping, there are additional fees for this. You will be quoted that information when we review the pricing. 

China Comparison:

  • This is pretty simple. If this conversation comes down to "well I can get it done for $20.00 in China and you are charging $25.00" things will not end well for us. I don't live in China and I don't care what they are charging there. You want it cut in China. Go to China. You want the cheapest labor, go to China. You want to nickel and dime me? Go to China. Please. Go. I don't have time to argue about a "one cut wonder" that you are bringing to me.
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