Nothing quite beats gallivanting on my Friday lunch hour to some choice estate sales. On seeing a local one recently, it looked intriguing, and I knew i had to stop there. It was on a stretch of highway notable for it’s steep climb up a mounting, and frequent closing during inclement weather.
Upon arriving, I noticed the jointer. It didn’t even register on me that it was in the ad, as I had come seeking axes and possibly a dresser, but there it was. A beautiful, clean Delta 654 hunk of metal. Not a project restore, not a basket case, but a working, ready to use machine. I flagged the fellow down and asked him how much. 75$. For this:
Instantly a devil popped up on my left shoulder sporting an apron and a box full of rusty planes, and an angel on my right armed with a broom and dustpan.
Devil: Buy it. Buy it NOW. Jesus, you shouldn’t even need me here for this!
Angel: You can buy it, but there’s no room for it. none. your shop is so full it’s almost unusable.
I had to concede the angel’s point. I’m suffering form a severe case of full shop syndrome.
Devil: It’s clean! You’ve never bought a tool that wasn’t rusty or needed massive restoration to work before. And you won’t even have to take the guilt trip from your wife since you still have birthday money for it. Christ, it’s got the original stickers still mostly there from 1944!
While the devil was chattering in my ear, I looked at a large treadle base for my watch maker lathe. It needed so much work though that I would be retired before I got to use it. And it would just be another piece of crap i’d have to move the next time we did.
Looking around a bit more, I decided to pass on the joiner and the treadle wheel. I knew I didn’t need either, no matter how much i wanted them.
Later that evening, as I was in the shop, The devil popped up on my shoulder again.
Devil: You know, that jointer would have made short work of those 5×5 maple beams in the corner that you need to square up.
Angel: Doesn’t matter, there is no place to put it!
Devil: You could sacrifice something… say your 4 inch craftsman jointer and the scroll saw you haven’t used in 5 years.
Angel: He’s got a point there. And that delta was SEXY.
I told both of them to shut up, cause I was going to bed and it was probably gone already. That night I dreamed
of planing forests of wood into dimensional lumber.
At 10 this morning I caved. Borrowed the truck from my parents, drove through the wind/rain storm , figuring The sale would be closed but now I HAD to try. I passed down tree limbs in the road, and a power crew working desperately in the trees to get the electric back on.
And there it was. tarps rigged over the piles of merchandise, and one brown tarp near the work-shed hiding a familiar lump.
A brief discussion of price and it was packed into the truck, heading towards it’s new home. I had to clean the tables with some 0000 steel wool and denatured as they had gotten wet, but it’s flawless. I’ll probably order some new knives, and i’m going to be listing the 4” on craigslist.
I guess it was fate :D