Best way to purge old equipment, tools?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Site Feedback forum

Forum topic by daisyblue posted 01-30-2013 09:35 AM 2517 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View daisyblue's profile


24 posts in 1972 days

01-30-2013 09:35 AM

Let me start first by apologizing for asking this here if it is not the right place. (please delete if need be – feelings won’t be hurt, I’ll make a copy) But with all the internet researching I have been trying to do, I get a lot of this site coming up and I thought I would give it a try. I will do my best to keep this as short as possible and hopefully not sound too incompetent in doing so. Ready or not…...Here goes…

The history:
Several years ago I inherited through family several old wood and/or metal working equipment and tools—belt/disc sanders, jointers, planer, shaper, bandsaws, drill presses, scrollsaws, bench grinders, electric motors, power tools, hand tools, vise grips, anvils, drill bits, files, taps & dies, logging and wood type hand saws, axes, axe heads, unused/new axe and saw type handles, old hand augers, log turners, chain saws etc. Also, if you were looking for an old nut, bolt, washer, screw or some strange looking little thingy, I probably have that too. But the archaeological dig into 5 gallon buckets and a multitude of jars may seem daunting to most, me included. Hopefully you get the idea of what I’m up against.

The history of these items I am not 100% on, other than about the original owner who they came from. This person was a machinist, who I do know recieved some type of patent credits? for things he made (got certificates an attaboy and about $25, but who he worked for actually holds the patents) He also had 2 adjoining home shops, one was for metal, the other for woodworking. He made a lot of things himself from wood, iron, steel, aluminum (homes, furniture, car/truck/tractor parts etc.) If they couldn’t make or repair it easily, then they bought it. From what I remember about the shop setups when I saw them in the 70s through the 80s, I am pretty sure everything I received was mostly for the wood types of use, I remember a big metal lathe thing I use to see him working with metal on and I know I don’t have that, I was told it was hauled off to a junkyard just to get rid of because noone there knew how to use it. I believe the home shops were originally set up in the 50s to early 60s.

The condition now is one of my main concerns. When they were in use I know these items were treated very well, I remember how the tools/equipment he used, when he was done, would be meticulously cleaned/oiled/sharpened etc. and put in it’s own special place and noone was allowed to touch them after they were cleaned until the next use. I don’t believe any of the remaining offspring/relatives ever had anything to do with it. My guess as to the last time he was capable of using these might be as late as the early 90s but if so not much by then. So they have sat uncared for before I received them, and since I’ve had them they have mostly been sitting in an old airy (no chinking) log home and it’s root cellar because we didn’t have anywhere else to put them to give them any type of shelter. So they have been collecting dirt, dust, rust etc. in the jars, boxes, buckets, and toolboxes that they were all apparently tossed in when they were given to me.

The Question/s:
I was offered some money from someone that said they just wanted it all for scrap, but I passed since they weren’t in the way at the time just sitting in there, and have noticed some mysterious disappearances since, one being the huge anvil that was being eyed. (a lock now added to door) And, not knowing any better at the time, quite a few saws that were ’just junk so just going to paint them’ But I’m now in the slow process of purging these items because the building is going to be dismantled soon. (I also may have slight PackRat/Hoarder tendencies—please don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret) Anyway, I didn’t know much of anything about this stuff so I began researching to find out what some are called and used for. (a very long process when you have absolutely no clue, but learning something new every day without knowing how long it will be retained) In doing so I have noticed not much interest/value in complete machines, but more often in parts from them. I’m guessing they already have them and are wanting some original parts for theirs. Being new to this, and to see if anyone might be interested, I just sold a few smaller items on ebay, (shaper cutters, collars, plumb bobs, starrett parallels, saw tooth setters, berylyco non-sparking tools etc.) I’m really not wanting to do the craigslist thing. (scarey stories) So the question is really mostly about the larger pieces I guess… if I would be better off just to sell them in pieces, part them out? (not sure of the terminology for doing that) Some of the brands are: Craftsman Delta Rockwell DeWalt Porter-Cable. (there are about 12 or more of them) The smaller things I was thinking ebay and/or maybe a yard sale. What do you think the best route to go would be?

Addional Note:
Not looking to make a fortune, but also don’t want to get screwed, I’ve got a bucket of those. I would prefer these things being put to good use and I just don’t believe that all this stuff is just “junk” as I was told, I think a lot is usable/salvagable or maybe even collectible to some. I don’t plan on trying to clean them, other than maybe wiping/brushing off as best as I can because, I’m just guessing here, spraying them off with a hose or scrubbing them in the dishwater with a brillo won’t be such a wise choice, apparently oil and grease are a good thing for some of them. I think the actual cleaning would be better left to someone that knows how to do it correctly.

So, I’m open to any opinions anyone may have for me on this. It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time!

-- Patience..... it's always there waiting for you.

23 replies so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3138 days

#1 posted 01-30-2013 01:28 PM

My suggestion, take five tools at a time, photograph them, post them here for an opinion on what you can get from them. Try to be able to answer some basic questions like “do they run?” I am assuming by the names you are giving of the manufacturer, these are power tools. If they don’t run, I wouldn’t do the parting out on your own. If a switch is bad or the motor is shot, folks would much prefer replacing these than putting it all together again.

As far as horror stories go, I personally do not feel craigslist is any more dangerous than posting an ad in the paper or having a garage sale. Interaction with people poses its own risk. More times than not, the worst you are going to encounter is some person who wants a better deal than you are willing to give them. As far as collectible goes, I wouldn’t look to gain much because of “age.” What most woodworkers are going to look for are old machines with cast iron for the tables and more solid construction. From the sounds of it, you have some tools that could be scrap in a yard or brought back to life by a woodworker. While the tool’s fate may be better if put in the hands of a woodworker, I would not expect the gain in profit to be much different. If the tools are in bad shape, there will be a great deal of elbow grease that will need to be applied to make these tools useable again. If they are rough, they are not valuable as is.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View DIYaholic's profile


19623 posts in 2704 days

#2 posted 01-30-2013 01:29 PM

There are several options. Your time and effort could be the deciding factor, in how you proceed.

You could do the parting out of pieces parts, but it could take years or even decades to rid yourself of everything. (though this has the potential of being the most “profitable!”)

You could offer groupings or “complete sets” of items, on CL or eBay.
ie; router, router table and all associated fixtures, jigs and router bits.
All hands tools: hand saws, planes, chisels and the like.
I think you get the point.

You could also find a local non-profit, that teaches, uses the items. I would say local school, but “Industrial Arts”, seem to be discontinued in many schools.

Do you have a trusted friend or aquaintance, that could put some value to the items quickly, as you have many varied items. This would give you an idea as to which items to concentrate on prioritizing for selling at the proper value. Hence, saving you valuable time researching. A local wood working club could also provide some knowledge or help.

The best thing to do is send everything to me!!! It’ll take all the pressure off of you. Lol.

Please, don’t scrap that good “Ole American Iron” and that includes the smaller bit & pieces, that would be sacrilege. Much from the past is better made than today’s counterparts!!! If only the tools/machines could speak of what they have been used to create, the story would be great!!!

You should include some pictures and your provide you genearal location.

Good luck in your decluttering adventure!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2872 days

#3 posted 01-30-2013 02:23 PM

David’s spot on here. Pictures on this site will get you honest and accurate appraisals. I think you should reconsider Craig’s List, it’s free, easy to use and folks wanting to buy the things you are selling constantly look there. I suggest you never post your address, phone number or email in an ad. Delete ads promptly when the item sells. Try not to lower your price until the buyer is in front of you with cash in hand . Ask folks to respond (via CL email) with their phone number. Delete email responses without a name or phone number. They are either spam or clueless and will waste your time or worse. Good luck. -Jack

View stan3443's profile


301 posts in 2304 days

#4 posted 01-30-2013 02:27 PM

I would call an auctioner he could give you an idea what the local market is at auction . tools always go well,and less work on your part

-- If your not supposed to have hair on your face......why does it grow their

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2036 days

#5 posted 01-30-2013 02:41 PM

If you dont have a local auction house, call a couple real estate agents, they can put you in touch with an auctioneer

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3314 days

#6 posted 01-30-2013 03:13 PM


There are a lot of woodworkers here that love to find old tools to restore/refurbish and put back in service. (Power and hand tools). Trying to sell all this one piece at a time will take forever and you will still end up with a bunch of stuff left over. An auction may be a way to go, but that at best is also a crap shoot.

1. Since you don’t know a lot about the equipment you have, do you have a friend or acquaintance that you could trust to help you out.

2. I see you are from Virginia. Is all this equipment somewhere that you could hold some sort of sale yourself and people could readily find?

3. Are you or do you know someone that is pretty good with the computer?

4. Have you ever considered holding a sale yourself? (maybe with the help from a friend or two).

5. Here’s the reason for all the questions; If you picked a date this spring (when you could count on the weather being a little better) and advertised a “One day Sale Only!” Advertised this in as many places as possible (free) you may be surprised how much traffic you could generate and how much could be sold at a fair price for both sides. (buyer and seller).

A few years back, I decided to downsize and get rid of a lot of equipment and tools I no longer used or needed. There was a bunch of stuff that I had collected over the years that pertained to not only woodworking but also a lot of tools like tap and dies, drills, calipers, mics (machinist type things). My wife spend some time on the computer and had the sale listed in something like 11 different sites that promotes yard/garage sales and such. (I didn’t even think of Lumber Jocks or other woodworking sites at the time), but it was unreal the number of people showed up.

I was exhausted after the first two hours, but sold almost everything by noon. The amount of money we made that morning, I didn’t really worry about what was left over. I gave some away, and took the last remaining to the recycle center.

One day over and done with. Being in Virginia (depending exactly where), you have a large drawing area to pull from. You would be surprised to see how far people will travel to a sale, especially if advertised right!
BTW. we had “0” $ invested in the advertising.

Just an idea.

Good luck and feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

-- John @

View helluvawreck's profile


31427 posts in 2896 days

#7 posted 01-30-2013 03:20 PM

If those anvils have not been abused (badly chipped and rounded over or improperly repaired) they are probably easily gotten rid of at a decent price. Other blacksmith tools in reasonable shape as well.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View johnstoneb's profile


2944 posts in 2202 days

#8 posted 01-30-2013 03:29 PM

If you have as much and varied equipment and tools as it sound like get ahold of an auction service. If one of the buildings is going to be torn down soon. You need to move things in a hurry. An auction is the way to go and you will find the true worth of the items at auction. The auction serviced will inventory and know what the items are used for.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3678 days

#9 posted 01-30-2013 03:37 PM

I would do my best not to scrap those. the old tools are sometimes better quality than many newer equivalent tools made today (today companies are trying to cheap out on materials and costs and it shows in many cases).

I would start by photographing all machines and groups of smaller hand tools and tool boxes (machinist toolboxes can generate some good numbers too). auction houses that will take the lot for you are a good alternative if you don’t have the time/effort to see to the sales of all the individual items yourself. is a good place to post old tools at reasonable prices which might suit your situation fairly well and can keep the sales local (as opposed to online auction websites which might add packaging and shipping efforts).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View daisyblue's profile


24 posts in 1972 days

#10 posted 01-30-2013 04:51 PM

Thanks for the responses!
Randy…HAHA on taking the pressure off, but I think this stuff may need lots of TLC to get them back to their glory days.
Stan and Joe…I’ve been given an auctioneers number, just haven’t called yet. Wanted to see if I could do something myself first.
David and Jack….Here is a couple of grouped pictures I have. I’m not able to get to this stuff easily by myself, so I need to wait for when I have help to do other pics later. I’m not sure how these will show up since I had to reduce the resolution/pixels to make the file below 5MB to upload.

Thinking I might consider learning how to clean these things up, at least cosmetically, the right way.

-- Patience..... it's always there waiting for you.

View ToddJB's profile (online now)


7995 posts in 2159 days

#11 posted 01-30-2013 05:04 PM

If you were in my area I’d love to have that Radial Arm Saw and Disc/Belt Sander. This stuff is gold for those wanting to restore older tools. In Denver on Craigslist I’d sell for these prices:

Bandsaw $175
Disc/Belt Sander $150
Big Scroll Saw $75-100
Jointer $90-110
RAS $150

If those papers are original manual’s/warranties/receipts you can get substantially more for the machines… I might even suggest ebay or for that stuff.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View ToddJB's profile (online now)


7995 posts in 2159 days

#12 posted 01-30-2013 05:10 PM

Actually I might be interested in some of those papers… in the back there is that the manual for a shop master scroll saw?

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View daisyblue's profile


24 posts in 1972 days

#13 posted 01-30-2013 05:22 PM

Todd… No it’s not a manual, it’s the envelope thing that I’m guessing that may have come in…haven’t run across anything specific to that in paperwork I have found so far. If and when I do, I will let you know.

-- Patience..... it's always there waiting for you.

View Jeff's profile


440 posts in 3224 days

#14 posted 01-30-2013 05:32 PM

As many have said it depends on how much time and effort you want to put into it. Easiest thing to do is call Habitat or Goodwill to come and pick it up. At least you’d get the tax break.

View ToddJB's profile (online now)


7995 posts in 2159 days

#15 posted 01-30-2013 06:09 PM

The easiest is to have the junker pick the stuff up for scrap and take his money. The most financially beneficial is parting out on ebay.

What I would do is I’d put the full machines up on craigslist, and just be clear in your posting (cash, no spam, no flakes, you load yourself), or send if off to an auction, but the auction will take a cut. Then sell all identifiable small parts and pieces on ebay and get a bunch of flat rate boxes and charge the exact shipping that the flat rate boxes costs.

This method would result in, I think, over a $1000 worth depending on what is all there.. it’s still a little hard to tell from your pictures. Which to me is worth it.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

showing 1 through 15 of 23 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics