How Much Does All This Cost?

July 24, 2016

It’s been over a week since I’ve been able to work on my Track & Field build because my kids had a hectic soccer camp schedule and now the weather isn’t cooperating again. I’ve been making some minor changes to this site in the meantime, and I thought today I’d do a post on the cost of my build.

When I took on this project, one of the reasons I was interested was the cost. I knew that a relatively rare Track & Field cabinet would be fairly pricey and likely involve shipping costs plus whatever renovation expenses I incurred. The proof is in the pudding as they say so I’ve been maintaining a Google Sheet to keep track of my expenses.

spreadsheet screenshot

Click the image to view my expenses

Expenses have far exceeded what I anticipated. I’m relatively certain that I could have bought a used cabinet and refurbished it myself for about the same cost and had an authentic unit.

The good news is that a large percentage of these costs were tool investments: jigsaw, plunge router, etc. I have to mentally weigh these costs differently because I tried to purchase quality tools that should outlast me and are useful beyond this project. This also means my next project should be significantly cheaper.

I’ve lost money on some judgement errors, like buying gear to go down the wrong path only to end up correcting course later. See my Keep it Simple Stupid post for more on that.

Overall, I’m not regretting my decision because I’ve had a lot of fun on this adventure: scrutinizing youtube videos; playing with the Rasberry Pi; sharing my experiences on this site – all of this has been a great time and I’m still not finished.

While reviewing my costs keep in mind that there are some necessities I already had and didn’t count. My table saw, circular saw and miscellaneous parts are examples of costs you won’t see on my spreadsheet. I included a couple of other sheets to break out the costs of my mistakes and costs for reusable parts. If you’re looking to do a build of your own, it should help you ballpark the costs.

Keep in mind that if you’re reading these as I’m posting them I’m still adding to the sheet as I build.

That’s all for now. Hopefully time and weather will start cooperating and I can get some fabrication done and shared with you.