Turning Archive 2008
>I agree with Bill and Ron and some of the other responses. You need to have a contract that states what you are willing to do with what wood, what you can and cannot guarantee, and for how much. Anything else, and these things will be back to haunt you for months (years) to come. There really are customers who it is best to send to someone else. They aren't worth the time and effort.
If nothing else, there are 2 things I have learned from years of doing custom architentural turnings. You are now dealing with the 1st and Bill had to deal with the 2nd. Remembering them now will keep you out of a lot of trouble later
Don't pay any attention to what the customer says in the beginning about the differences in form between multiple turnings, or that warping, cracking, or dripping sap would be acceptable. They are acceptable only because they haven't happened yet. I have yet to meet the 1st customer who didn't complain when the wood started acting like wood, regardless of what they said in the beginning.
Never deal with a customer who has an Architect in the picture without being able to talk directly with that architect for all design and product approvals. A good Architect isn't stupid, they do understand wood and its characteristice. A good architect also has a contract with their client in which they have made performance guarantees for products, materials, and services. Architects don't like having clients purchasing materials on their own, and later holding the Architect responsible for their performance.
It isn't any different from the home buyer furnishing special lighting fixtures or windows, and later blaming the builder when they fail.