Reply by Mark A. DeCou

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Posted on Should I buy old Craftsman lathe?

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Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4434 days

#1 posted 03-15-2012 06:22 PM

My gut feel is in the $50 range for this area of Kansas. Other places might go closer to $100.
If it was rust free and all cleaned up, maybe $100 at an auction around here.
Most craftsman tools seem to go in the $75-$150 range at auctions around here, no matter what it is, or what it cost originally. Exception is a fairly new table saw with all of the options, and they go for $200-$300.

Craftsman tools don’t bring much at an auction beyond a hobbyist saying “what the heck, it’s a good deal….”
This is the type of lathe that a weekend hobbyist would get as a start into turning. If you like turning, getting something better later would be easy to do, and you could resell this old one to someone else wanting to get started.
I’d probably buy it just to use the motor and gearing for a sanding plate, or something else, even if the rest of it wasn’t any good for a lathe.

Other brands of old lathes are more desirable, but any working lathe is better than no lathe, in my opinion.
You’ll find all sorts of things to do with it once you have it cleaned up and working well.
More than just bowls, you can turn legs and arms for your carvings, canes, table legs, toy parts.
Make an offset plate and turn your automaton gearing, all kinds of things, you’ll be glad you have it.

And, cleaned up, it will never be worth less than you paid for it in that price range.
And just think, with inflation, in a few years it could be worth $1000, and it will “sound” like a great investment, and you can tell your wife and kids what a great investment it was. And when you sell it to the next young guy, you can pay taxes on the “increase” caused by inflation. It’s a great system! Ha.

If money is tight, they would probably take one of your carvings in trade. I know I’d trade for your carvings, and I’m sure others would also. If you are keeping books for a business, you have to treat trades the same as cash on your taxes, but you don’t have to have cash to do it.

Go for it Mike,

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

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