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How fast/quick are you at building?

I was asked this question recently and I have no idea what my answer is or how to calculate it. How quickly do you think you build?

Here's my thoughts:

The last set I built was 230 pieces and it took me roughly 20 minutes from first to last instruction. 230÷20=11.5 pieces per minute. Compare that to my most recent large moc from idea to completion: 4000 pieces÷600 minutes=6.6 ppm. I guess that means I'm fast with instructions but 42% slower by myself. Not sure how relevant that is to answer the question but how quickly do you think you build?


  • LegoPegasister2015LegoPegasister2015 Member Posts: 139
    Usually for an out-of-box set it takes me about 10 minutes per plastic polybag. Something like a modular with 20 of those took 3 hours. I haven't done enough MOCcing yet to know how that compares, but the last one I did took about an hour with parts to fill 1.5 pick-a-brick cups so that could mean anything.
  • davee123davee123 Member Posts: 864
    I was curious, so I tried timing myself a few years ago.  I timed myself from the second I opened the box until the last element was assembled, including any time to sort pieces, open up bags, and so forth.  You can see the results in this other thread:

    Not really sufficient data points to notice any trends, sadly, but it was enough to get a good ballpark guess.  And it was annoying to time myself and build as quickly as possible, so it's been a while since I've timed myself since.


  • FauchFauch Member Posts: 2,709
    it seems logical that the number of pieces per minutes would be lower the bigger the set is, because of the time spent looking for pieces
  • bandit778bandit778 Member Posts: 2,397
    Ages or as long as possible.
    For me the pleasure of Lego is in the building and seeing it all come together with the varying different build techniques so with sets or builds I have never worried how long it took.
    The only time I try to "speed build" is at the PAB wall as the missus is usually chasing me to get out of the shop because I have been in there to long.
  • snowhitiesnowhitie Member Posts: 3,078
    ^I agree, I am annoyed I'm getting better at it cause then it's done quicker. I like to savour the sets :)
  • mustang69mustang69 Member Posts: 544
    edited April 2016
    I agree with @bandit778 and @snowhitie , I Like to take my time and enjoy the build. If I complete it too quick I get a little disappointed.
  • SalamalexSalamalex Member Posts: 297
    I agree and in order to increase the time spent completing a build I tip all the parts into one pile to sort by colour and size rather than sticking with the numbered bag. 
  • ChrisJThunderChrisJThunder Member Posts: 115
    My AFOL friend on campus gets frustrated with me when I build sets too quickly :P
  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Member Posts: 1,643
    edited April 2016
    I don't understand the idea that people think doing things slowly is somehow more enjoyable. I got fed up with people telling me it about food all my life, and now about lego too. Psh.. I like my enjoyment in high intensity bursts.
    (also, does the slow thing even make sense? I've always assumed that a set or food (or whatever) would give a fixed amount of enjoyment. Doing it slowly would mean you only ever achieved a low level of enjoyment (albeit for a long time), doing it fast therefore means you enjoy it more.) 
  • bandit778bandit778 Member Posts: 2,397
    ^My wife would disagree that speed is a good thing. :)
  • catwranglercatwrangler Member Posts: 1,895
    @MattsWhat It's not that they think it's more enjoyable - for them it is more enjoyable. I suspect what matters is doing it at your own pace. And that might also vary set to set - I built Lance's Mecha Horse slowly because I was encountering lots of new (to me) pieces which I kept pausing to examine, and it was an unusual sort of build for a non-Technic set. Whereas with Mountain Hut I started out slow on the landscape, but found myself going really fast when I got to the upper layers of the cabin walls and the roof. You know that flow has kicked in when you look up and go, "Hey, there's only half a dozen more bricks on the tray to place!"...
  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Member Posts: 1,643
    edited April 2016
    ^I think I just vented about past events rather than the people above.  'Savour your food' was quite a common phrase in my house.
    Anyway, at 600 bricks an hour I get 6 seconds to enjoy each part, I'm good with that long, I've seen most of the bricks already anyway ;)

  • MaffyDMaffyD Member Posts: 3,575

    @MattsWhat - I think your family were trying to be subtle - what they meant was "Don't eat like a pig!" :-) That's what I got from my parents, anyway... even now my wife tells me not to stab at my food. I get fairly annoyed - it's my food dammit!

    Anyway, back to Lego. Sometimes when I'm motoring through instructions and putting brick after brick in place without much of a pause I feel a bit like those people who have world records for Rubik's Cubes - it's good to be skilled at what you like. Other times I slow down in order to appreciate the complexity of the build. The Tumbler was like that, a lot (in fact, 'appreciate' might not be the right word for it sometimes)!

    Anyway, basically, I think it can vary. There have certainly been times when I wish  build could've been a bit quicker, and definitely times when I wish it could've gone on longer (although those times are more during an interesting build, not at the end - by the end I'm too excited by the model).

    I wish I could talk about MOC builds. But I can't.

  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 728

    I'm pretty quick, I just finished a 10179 that I started half way through this sentence.

  • Tufted_duckTufted_duck Member Posts: 77
    I do get distracted if a build has some great work in it. The creator power jet has amazing wings that i spent ages on looking at how the designer got the angle right and then cleanly hid all the framework. 

    I'm also a sucker for a good mechanism so its less about parts per minute for me and more section per minute. If I'm going fast its possibly because I'm not finding anything interesting enough to stop and take stock.

    Doesn't always mean i won't enjoy the final model despite that.
  • rdflegordflego Member Posts: 324
    Thanks to @davee123 I thought I'd time myself building 41141 and I increased to 16.6 ppm. Seeing this change in speed between set sizes I now have to agree that there will be a difference between the smallest and the largest sets. You savour-ers are weird btw but that's probably a good thing.
  • tallblocktootallblocktoo Member Posts: 497
    There are good arguments for eating slower but they don't necessarily have anything to do with enjoyment.  They have more to do with digestion.  As for building each to their own.  I am slow and have never timed myself.  I think I like both styles of building personally.  I like to take my time on some sets.  I have also sat down and tried to build a modular in the least amount of time possible.  
  • DonDon Member Posts: 63
    I suspect my actual speed is about average, maybe a little below. But my overall start-to-finish times are fairly long as I am in the group that does a little bit here and there.

    Lego building is my change of pace from everything that revolves around pixels-on-a-screen, such as work, computer and XBox gaming, iPhone, iPad etc. So I tend to do a varying amount every evening.

    (I watch TV shows the same way - not a binge-watcher by any means, so guess it's a general personality trait?)
  • JudgeChuckJudgeChuck Member Posts: 1,591
    I still haven't finished building Helm's Deep... I started it on Tuesday, IIRC, and did 2 bags that night, 2 on Wednesday and Thursday and none last night, as I was late home from a concert. I'll do another 2 bags tonight, leaving the final bag for Sunday.
    I've been trying to get an Uruk-Hai Army to add to it, but haven't managed to source one yet.

  • DedgeckoDedgecko Member Posts: 798
    I am as fast or as slow as I choose to be.  If I'm building by myself, I'm taking my time.  For me it's a moment to unwind and take a break from the non-stop, frenetic pace of the real world.  If I'm building with my kids, it's even slower, but doubly important, as it's a family experience.  

    To each their own.
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie Member Posts: 1,828
    Never timed myself building anything LEGO, but I do know my pace varies a lot depending on the format of instructions. Printed instructions are usually much easier for me to read, particularly on sets with a lot of dark colored bricks. Seems no matter how I fiddle with display settings, some scans make it very hard to discern the bricks being used for the build. Step 3 in #3826 is an example, very hard to tell which black bricks to use. Wouldn't be an issue from new sets, but I mostly build from thrift store lots.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,836
    Most times with 'new' sets I open to build I tend to take my time for two reasons:
    1)not a contest
    2) with the different shades of colors these days I tend to take it a bit slowly to ensure I'm using the right part in the right place.

    For older sets I have built before, I tend to try to fly through them because I have build them before in the past.
  • MissKittyFantasticoMissKittyFantastico Member Posts: 197
    The most recent set I did was #21125 (Minecraft jungle biome), which is 706 pieces, and took me two and a bit episodes of QI, so... I guess we're around 10 parts per minute?  That doesn't seem very fast, but then, I do take time to make sure all the 1x1s are lined up just so and similar mild-OCD delays, so I guess that's probably right.
  • DonDon Member Posts: 63
    Yeah, making sure the 1x1s are square takes a little time, as well as some of the color stuff being subtle. I don't line up my "Lego" printing though, so in the middle there I gather.

    I usually take one or both pages, stage the pieces for that step, and then build it. If I try to rush that phase I "lose my place" gathering the parts and then something gets missed. :-)
  • FauchFauch Member Posts: 2,709
    I prefer having everything perfectly aligned (1x1, not the logos) than rushing the build. on review videos I always get bothered when I see a piece isn't perfectly aligned or not pushed all the way.
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