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Randolph
12-26-2016, 01:11 PM
I have read, and sometimes participated in, this forum now for several years. I always enjoy reading the posts although sometimes I don't agree exactly with the viewpoint. There have been many discussions about how to set up a machine shop; how to find good machines; how to load and transport them; and all of the many facets which must be considered when setting up a shop. Whether it be a hobby shop or a full-fledged shop to serve the public.
But I don't see many posts about the other end of the process --- about how to close down and sell out a shop. And that part of the process is just as important as the beginning, although sometimes more painful.
I have attended Cabin Fever for over 10 years and am always interested in the auctions. I have sometimes even bought things at the auction (which my wife usually wonders about!) but there is a poignancy to seeing there, a 9" South Bend lathe, or a carefully maintained Bridgeport mill, and you can see from the condition of the machines that they were once treasured and appreciated.
I have now reached that Other End. I am getting to the point in my professional life, largely because of my eyesight, where the quality of workmanship is deteriorating and I am thinking now of selling my shop and its machinery.
I have had a good run. My first exposure to a welding machine and an engine lathe came not long after WWII ended. I still have 10 fingers (a couple of them look a little funny!) and it is just time.
I know that there are others who are experiencing this and I wonder --- how do you deal with it? Maybe there is someone who knows some method for taking machinery with us! I cannot imagine Heaven without an HVL or a Bridgeport!

bborr01
12-26-2016, 01:31 PM
I told my wife that if/when something happens to me to call a local auction service and have them sell everything in my shop.

Brian

danlb
12-26-2016, 01:42 PM
My instructions to my wife will be to allow my neighbor to have what he wants, then sell the rest through whatever means is easiest on her. None of my equipment is fancy nor expensive except in the aggregate. Yeah, I have tooling that must have cost thousands, but there is no real market for a garage full of old imported machine tools.

I'm not worried about giving any of the stuff to my kids; I got into machining long after they moved out.

tyrone shewlaces
12-26-2016, 01:47 PM
Depends on your situation, i.e. if you already know someone you want to leave your shop to.
Otherwise (which is where I'm at) Brian's way is the direction I intend to go. I have no kids, little family and no friends. Certainly nobody I already know who I figure would be a "good steward" of my machines. Nobody has interest nor knowhow for it. I have advised those tasked with the disposition of my possessions when that time comes to just have an auction, be done with it and let the chips fall where they may. If I reach the point where I want it gone before I am, then I may sell a few things off via craigslist or the like, then have an auction myself for the remainder. This decision will be the result of feeling like I won't likely use the stuff anymore and I could either use the freed up space for something else or just not having to look at the clutter anymore. One thing is for sure for me - I'm not too awfully sentimental about my tools & machines anymore (I kind of used to be) and every year I become less and less attached to any of it.

I figure there's nobody on the planet who has my specific interests or needs regarding my particular, specific collection tools, so ultimately the best thing is for all of it to be scattered to the winds so several parties can benefit by either hoarding or using it.

Paul Alciatore
12-26-2016, 02:19 PM
My wife is already worried about all that "stuff" in the garage (shop). I haven't finished setting up the shop yet, but I plan to photograph all areas and tooling. Then I plan to create a paper album for her with the various tools and supplies shown by their location. I plan to state what goes with what and provide perhaps the amount I paid for it and what I think it may be worth. I will suggest that she post here on this BB to give the guys here first choice and suggest a low price to you guys. Then, her choice, local ads, auction company, E-bay, or whatever.

That's my plan. I hope I can complete it.

Doc Nickel
12-26-2016, 02:49 PM
This subject has come up before, and all of the above is basically the full gamut of answers.

1) The wife/kids/trusted neighbor just calls an auction company to get rid of the lot, lock, stock and barrel.

2) The wife/kids sell everything as a lot, usually at a discount.

3) The wife/kids sell everything piecemeal, which usually leads to getting the best price per machine, but they wind up stuck with tons of leftover debris- scrap material, hand tools, workbenches- that have to be garage-saled or thrown away at the end.

Whipping up a list of what is, where-is, and what-goes-with really only helps with the last one, and is a waste of time for the first two. Even just a what-goes-with list is a waste of time for the auction guys, since a lot of them will intentionally separate parts- like extra chucks away from the lathes, mill vises away from the mills, etc.- specifically to force bidders to bid on additional lots, to drive up the overall take from the auction.

Lists like that also require regular upkeep, and if given an "estimated value" of each machine, can go obsolete in short order. Speaking locally, a few years ago, demand was such that any machine tool posted on Craigslist had about a 3-hour lifespan before the ad came down. Now there's stuff on there that's been listed for half a year without moving. If the wife goes by the list and won't dicker or budge, she may be stuck with the machines.

Doc.

JCHannum
12-26-2016, 02:51 PM
This ties in with another thread, it is something we, or our family must face one day.

I have accumulated my "stuff" over the course of many years and moved it twice by myself. I no longer have the ability or the desire to move it a third time, nor do I have the desire or time to sell it piecemeal. My things will be offered to my children first, what remains will go to a local auction house who will come and drag it all to their facility for auction.

1-800miner
12-26-2016, 03:59 PM
I do believe that if one of our members passes on there should be an exception to the "no sales allowed" rule.

Doc Nickel
12-26-2016, 04:11 PM
I do believe that if one of our members passes on there should be an exception to the "no sales allowed" rule.

-Is it too early to call "dibs!" on John Stevenson's shop? :D

Doc.

1-800miner
12-26-2016, 04:22 PM
I heard the Old Tiffie inherits that shop

Frank K
12-26-2016, 04:24 PM
I've told my wife to call the local trade high school when I'm gone. Tell them they can have it all BUT they have to take it ALL. Anything they don't want, they can dispose of as they see fit.

projectnut
12-26-2016, 04:39 PM
I have read, and sometimes participated in, this forum now for several years. I always enjoy reading the posts although sometimes I don't agree exactly with the viewpoint. There have been many discussions about how to set up a machine shop; how to find good machines; how to load and transport them; and all of the many facets which must be considered when setting up a shop. Whether it be a hobby shop or a full-fledged shop to serve the public.
But I don't see many posts about the other end of the process --- about how to close down and sell out a shop. And that part of the process is just as important as the beginning, although sometimes more painful.
I have attended Cabin Fever for over 10 years and am always interested in the auctions. I have sometimes even bought things at the auction (which my wife usually wonders about!) but there is a poignancy to seeing there, a 9" South Bend lathe, or a carefully maintained Bridgeport mill, and you can see from the condition of the machines that they were once treasured and appreciated.
I have now reached that Other End. I am getting to the point in my professional life, largely because of my eyesight, where the quality of workmanship is deteriorating and I am thinking now of selling my shop and its machinery.
I have had a good run. My first exposure to a welding machine and an engine lathe came not long after WWII ended. I still have 10 fingers (a couple of them look a little funny!) and it is just time.
I know that there are others who are experiencing this and I wonder --- how do you deal with it? Maybe there is someone who knows some method for taking machinery with us! I cannot imagine Heaven without an HVL or a Bridgeport!

I'm a few years younger than you and I know that day will be coming. Hopefully it will be far enough in the future I can let things go peacefully. In my case disposal of the machinery will not be a problem. Well actually there might be the small problem of prying my cold dead hands off of them. Other than that there are several other much younger shop owners in the area that all love old iron. If they're not interested there are still plenty of hobbyists that will be waiting in line drooling for the day one of us old timers calls it quits.

The nice thing about selling or giving things to these guys is you know the iron will be saved from the scrappers for at least another generation. I'm the second or third owner of most of the machines in my shop. Even those I purchased new in the 1970's are considered antiques by today's standards. To me the history of the machines is almost as important as the machines themselves.

The oldest is a 1916 lathe my wife's grandfather made a living with for over 40 years It was given to him as a retirement present by his employer. Other machines that date from the forties came from a local ordinance manufacturer and carry the approval of the war standards board. Still others from the 50's came from my former employer when the shops shut down. I worked with some of the guys that knew them when they were new, and made many a part on them. The "newest" machines came from a local high school. A couple sat languishing in storage for many years before the school district finally decided to find them a new home.

There are many stories that go along with the old iron. Most of them tell of the skill and pride in workmanship of one or more generations that precede us. While I may not be as skilled as my predecessors in operating the machines I do love to use them. I can listen all day long to the unique sounds of each machine and think back to when they were considered a vital part of our economy. I'm a believer in heavy industry, hopefully there will again come a time when dirty hands from hard work will be worn as a badge of pride and accomplishment.

Baz
12-26-2016, 04:57 PM
I think Paul A's list is at least a good effort at keeping things in line even if an auction house deliberately splits things. So often 3 jaw chucks come up on ebay without the outside jaws then some know nothing garage trader tries to sell jaws divorced from their chuck, or parts out the top and bottom halves of a topslide separately.
There are many significant optional extras that are way out of production and rare, but also rarely identifiable by the novice / hack. I picked up a handle to my mill, unique to that design, no other bids, never seen a repeat and it so easily could have been binned. Opportunities can be lost, not for the quick buck but for preservation or completion of a machine.
In our club it is common for the main items, lathe etc to be sold for the widow and the small bits to be given to the club to benefit club funds. Otherwise some rat trader will give bottom price for the larger stuff, clear the rest " to help her out" and make an easy thousand on the small stuff.

flylo
12-26-2016, 05:17 PM
-Is it too early to call "dibs!" on John Stevenson's shop? :D

Doc.

I just want his toolchest, empty is fine.

Mcgyver
12-26-2016, 05:23 PM
I think I'd rather give it away. The auction house makes it easy on our family, but those guys are often sleaze balls and the big thing is it fails to account for the value of the collection. What I mean by that is if you added up the market value of everything I have, you couldn't replicate it tomorrow even with 2x the cash. Its taken 25 years of hunting, searching, watching classifieds, making, networking and reconditioning - there is huge value, albeit difficult or impossible to monetize, in that. Giving it away preserves that value to who ever you give it to.....with the promise to pay for forward. The wrinkle in the plan is there may not be young with enough space for a dozen lathes, 5 mills, all kinds of grinders, every kind of welding, microscopes, electronics, watchmaking, 23 tool boxes and it goes on and on and on

enginuity
12-26-2016, 05:53 PM
I think I'd rather give it away. The auction house makes it easy on our family, but those guys are often sleaze balls and the big thing is it fails to account for the value of the collection. What I mean by that is if you added up the market value of everything I have, you couldn't replicate it tomorrow even with 2x the cash. Its taken 25 years of hunting, searching, watching classifieds, making, networking and reconditioning - there is huge value, albeit difficult or impossible to monetize, in that. Giving it away preserves that value to who ever you give it to.....with the promise to pay for forward. The wrinkle in the plan is there may not be young with enough space for a dozen lathes, 5 mills, all kinds of grinders, every kind of welding, microscopes, electronics, watchmaking, 23 tool boxes and it goes on and on and on

I can help your with you problem :). Did you want me to stop by this weekend? :D

If you have the money giving it away is something I would do when I'm older and couldn't use the tools anymore. There is no point in having the nicest casket, and giving it to younger folk (like myself lol) keep the hobby alive. I mean this seriously. Of course if you needed the cash, sell it, or give it to your kids if they are interested. But if they aren't interested, there are many younger people that would take the equipment and use it.

Just don't put a ad on kijiji and say free stuff! Not only will your email server crash, I think some due diligence in who you are donating the stuff too would be advisable.

Mcgyver
12-26-2016, 05:56 PM
lol. hopefully its not a practical matter for some time and nots going to be on kijiji. Depend if one of the kids or siblings kids expresses any interest

John Stevenson
12-26-2016, 06:13 PM
-Is it too early to call "dibs!" on John Stevenson's shop? :D

Doc.


Not at all as I'm doing the same operation or planning it at the moment, not to pack in but seriously downsize.
I'll post more on this tomorrow as it's been a fraught day, as after a 6:00 am start and early doors set off to visit the Delectable Debs the bloody Ford Transit grenade engine fitted to the Donald decided to deposit half it's innards all over the M56 motorway.

So dumped it at the side of the road, rang Debs who was only 1/2 hour away and we went and had a very nice early lunch and a coffee. Then she dropped me back and two breakdown relays later got delivered back home at 5:00pm

KiddZimaHater
12-26-2016, 07:21 PM
I think the Evil Auction House would be the easiest way to go.
I've already told my wife, "If I die, sell everything!"

There was a local Machine Shop auction here in San Antonio a month or two ago.
Father started the Company after WW2.
He passed away about a year or two ago, and left the biz to his son.
Apparently 'Jr." didn't want it, or couldn't handle it.
EVERYTHING went up for auction.
5 CNC's all the way down to bins of nuts and bolts.
Let the auction House handle the headache.

john hobdeclipe
12-26-2016, 07:28 PM
My wife and I have two plans for disposal of the tools and machinery.

The first and hopeful plan is to reach the point where, as the OP stated, I realize that the time has come to give up my toys. In this case I'll lean toward Craigslist and/or eBay to dispose of most of the larger machines in an orderly manner. If I were to do that, starting today, I would make a good profit on the equipment. But we never know what the situation will be when I decide to sell out.

The second contingency is that I die and leave her with a shop full of stuff she knows little about. To cover that possibility, I have already shown this mess to a local auctioneer, whom we both trust, and told him that if I croak, he'll have the pleasure of selling all this crap. And he knows that in the filing cabinet I have folders of literature for most of the machines and major tools, and there is also a pretty complete list of everything, including serial numbers, our purchase price, what it should typically sell for, etc. And we have a couple friends who are knowledgeable about woodworking and metalworking stuff who could help sort things out.

Also, at my wife's suggestion, I have begun a labelling project, thus:

Everything that belongs with the Emco lathe has a red paint marker circle on it somewhere conspicuous.

Everything that should be sold with the mill has a blue circle.

Everything that goes with the surface grinder...you get the idea.

This information is also written down along with the machine list.

And now, just to leaven all this morbidity, here's this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ancm8rOAC2s

wierdscience
12-26-2016, 07:59 PM
If you have time to sell and you are downsizing,the best way to maximize profit is to sell it off one piece at a time to locals.Few auction companies will net you much and selling the business as a whole is usually difficult and may take years.

From experience-
Any machine home shop sized-put it on Craigslist.Just list one machine at a time,when someone inquires,tell them about the rest you have for sale.

Small tools and tooling-Ebay by far.

Just don't do like a friend did and sell off everything.A year later he was shopping for a lathe,mill and welder.Seems he was used to having them at his disposal and the first time he needed to fix something,well there he was empty handed.

thaiguzzi
12-26-2016, 10:26 PM
I heard the Old Tiffie inherits that shop

LOL.

gambler
12-26-2016, 10:27 PM
wow, the machines are nothing. you guys have KNOWLEDGE, you all could make a space shuttle engine in your garages, and you talk about the machines.
how about instead of wondering how to dispose of your stuff after you die, you get off your buts and mentor someone. then you will have someone to leave it all to, someone who will know how to use it all.
I know, not easy, like building an engine from scratch(right?). but doable. find that person. pass it all on. it's your chance at immortality.:) I mean this in a nice way.

thaiguzzi
12-26-2016, 10:33 PM
My boy will get everything.
The shop HAS to stay together. No machine tools can be sold seperately. Everything is intertwined and fits different tools. Mill and lathe run either 3 or 2MT. I have lots of 2 and 3MT tooling inc MT collets (2 and 3) collet chucks etc. Lathe has 3C collets. T&CG has 3C collet holding amongst others. I have home made 3C sq and hex holders. The HV Rotab has 2MT and threaded fixtures for taking all the lathe tooling. The shaper has a table extension to take the Rotab and tailstock. etc etc. Everything interconnects. It's all very modular. It MUST stay together to be appreciated, weather that be by my son or who he sells it to.

rdfeil
12-26-2016, 10:56 PM
I like Gamblers response, but do not have the time or calmness to mentor a younger learner. I tend to do things my way which is not the way to teach someone new to the hobby or trade. I have a friend who will get the first greb at everything if I break the last tool unexpectantly. I trust him to help the wife and be more than fair to her as she knows nothing about the machine shop nor the electronic shop. My friend can and will use both. He has key access now and never abuses the privalage. He has been told of my wishes as has the wife and both are fine with it. This way everything has a chance to help somone I value and hopefully my friend will pay it forward to someone he values and so on......

KIMFAB
12-27-2016, 12:01 AM
My back is now shot for the third time and at 72 I have finally given up. Sold my DSG lathe for only $1500 but it was to a neighbor who is young enuf to still lift the work and chucks unto it.

My son finally has a place big enough to handle most of the other things and will take most of it when I cack.
I picked up most of it from buying from widows and defunct shops for reasonable prices so I'm not too worried.

I've gotten my pleasure out of it and it's time to move on. Will probably sell off a few of my compressors and shop vacs tho.

Seastar
12-27-2016, 09:32 AM
Well first of all, unlike you other Pu$$ys I don't plan on dying untill my machines are totally worn out.
Let's see, the three lathes are all from around WWII so that gives me about another 75 years till they have doubled in age to about 150.
That ought to be enough to trash them and me.
The mill is younger so I'll need to work it harder.
Bill

John Stevenson
12-27-2016, 10:41 AM
Because I have moved from the family home where I lived with Ower Gert up to her death 3 years ago I now have a far smaller place to live.
My daughter now has the family home as it fits her young and growing family but my workshop is still on the premises.

So to vacate this my plan is two fold.

To build a small workshop at the new house 20' x 12' or 14' at max and populate this with a manual lathe and mill, a CNC lathe and mill, CNC router, laser cutter and hand tools. All of this is available at the old workshop.

Second phase is to move the larger equipment that i need for day to day work into the premises of my best customer. This will be the big TOS lathe, gear hobber, Blidgeport, welding machines and all necessary attachments.
This will give me a completely cost free workshop, no rent, no electric in return for still doing their work as needed but it will still be paying work. I also get to be a key holder as use it as needed.
When i have finally had enough of working for a living I will just walk away from it all, they have paid for all this equipment time and time again.

On the home side i will have this small shop literally just outside the back door [ the UK is very tiny ] where I can play, no pressures, just do what I want and when I want. What will happen to this side of the operation later on hasn't been worked out.
Depending on who goes first it will be up to the Delectable Debs or my son, both who know that is what.

This house will eventually finish up with my son so he may want to just take it on and pass the problem further down the line.

In the meanwhile as all this is being organised I am going thru cupboards and boxes and sorting out all that 'useful' stuff what WAS going to come in handy one day and selling it on.
Things like the dozens of machine vises that haven't been used in 10 years or more, if ever ?

NOTHING will be moved to either place to sort out later. If it hasn't got a defined purpose or place then it gets sold on or scrapped.

So far I am in credit at the scrapyard to 235 and this is just junk, the old fork truck that didn't run, loads of jigs and fixtures I cannot even recognise and if I can the job and / or customer has been long gone.

One thing I have found is that as you get further in to doing this it does get easier.

I'm 69 next month and in good health so I don't have to do this except for the change of premises but it is like a new page opening up.

For the first time in my life I will be able to build a workshop and finish it out inside knowing where everything is to go and not move in until ready.

In the past it's been build a shop and grow into it and lather move shop but need to be working from day one so it never gets planned or layed out correctly.

Black Forest
12-27-2016, 10:58 AM
That is the easiest question to answer on this forum ever. Just call Flylo. Problem solved.

flylo
12-27-2016, 11:45 AM
Thanks BF but I'm downsizing also, just keeping the 12'x56' heated shop in the hanger & one of everything except 2 mills & 4 different size lathes as I'm putting in a smaller gunsmithing shop in the house as winter is brutal on me anymore. Losing your health & mobility is real a b*tch. I tell my wife I'm leaving her "man bait" cause if #2 doesn't like tools he's not worthy or welcome.

fixerdave
12-27-2016, 02:08 PM
Long term, my plan is to move my shop into a stepvan. That will take some painful downsizing (even considering my small shop now) but it makes moving and storage easier. It will not be a mobile shop, just movable with a few days prep. With that, I figure I'll be able to enjoy what I have for as long as possible, and when I kick it can be sold as a package. My wife won't get near what it's worth for it, but at least there won't be piles of stuff to sort through, and it won't cost a lot to keep or be in the way so she can take her time selling it. And, who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and my son will want to keep it for himself.

If I kick before finishing that, then I've told my wife it's all junk. I've put maybe $20-$30k into it (it's the little stuff that adds up) but she'd be doing good if she got $2k out. I've done an estate sale for a friend; it is a huge amount of work. Unless you have someone to do it for your family, for free (or for some of the tools), then that pile of stuff in your shop is near worthless. Either a professional will come in and make a living out of selling it for what it's worth or a bunch of amateurs will come in and get some tool gloats. Either way, the family gets pennies on the dollar. That's just the way it is.

You can do the work yourself, sell it before you die, but then you might not die when you expect to. And, what are you going to do with the money? Go on a cruise? I'd rather play in what's left of my shop. Write it off; life's easier that way.

If you want to worry, worry about all those piles of junk. Your family is going to have to PAY someone to deal with that. Be nice, get rid of the junk while you can. Anyway, I keep telling myself that. Might start someday.

David...

John Stevenson
12-27-2016, 02:22 PM
If you want to worry, worry about all those piles of junk. Your family is going to have to PAY someone to deal with that. Be nice, get rid of the junk while you can. Anyway, I keep telling myself that. Might start someday.

David...

Too right.

All those piles of "it will come in useful one day " never do

I have done a couple of estate sales for dead friends and will not do any more.
It's an immense amount of work, usually with a lot of traveling and somehow you always finish up the villain of the piece even you you do everything for free and take nothing.

Time is better spent sorting your own rubbish so you can appreciate the better quality stuff you have left.

Often time you think you are helping but just get kicked in the ribs for your trouble.

I had a big steel rack outside under sheets with approx 3 tonnes of decent known steel on it.
I offered this for free to anyone who wanted to collect and sort what they wanted, saw available if they wanted it cutting for transport.
Seeing as the UK is so tiny I though that I'd be inundated.

Four people came to collect and took a few lengths away. Did this two or three times on different forums and got nothing after the initial 4 people rush.

Rest of the steel and the racks went down the scrap yard.

Seastar
12-27-2016, 02:38 PM
I notice that most of you plan on your wife outliving you.
That's an interesting take on life.
My two closest friends lost their wives in the last few years.
Both died of cancer.
I guess most women outlive their husbands.
My wife plans on outliving me. She tells me that all the time.
She says "stop that or I'll kill you"
Bill

Mark Rand
12-27-2016, 02:55 PM
I had a big steel rack outside under sheets with approx 3 tonnes of decent known steel on it.
I offered this for free to anyone who wanted to collect and sort what they wanted, saw available if they wanted it cutting for transport.
Seeing as the UK is so tiny I though that I'd be inundated.

Four people came to collect and took a few lengths away. Did this two or three times on different forums and got nothing after the initial 4 people rush.

Rest of the steel and the racks went down the scrap yard.


Bugger, I missed that! :confused:

I spent twelve weekends sorting out Dad's stuff. 450mile round trip each way. Had to buy a Transit van to cope with it. It was a lot of work for a small workshop and cost me far more than I inherited. But at least I know that the stuff which was usable went to good homes and the rest of it was disposed of without problems for Mum.

I'm in the process of writing a will with SWMBO and need to consult with the offspring about which, if any, of them might want to keep anything in exchange for doing the executor work. I really want to make a list of the major items and how to describe them on EBay etc. 30-40 years of hoardiing might almost pay for the wake.:D

flylo
12-27-2016, 03:32 PM
3 or 4 years ago I had ostiomyolitis, blood poisoning & MRSA & pretty much was given up for dead but recovered so after the ordeal I asked by 2 grown sons what they were going to do with my stuff if I had died. They said get steel dumpsters & a trash dumpster & hire kids to bin it all, made me wonder if Tiffie was in the US in '88 & '90 LOL, just kidding I think:confused:

John Stevenson
12-27-2016, 03:53 PM
Bugger, I missed that! :confused:



Well it's your lucky day as there is about 4 tonnes on the inside steel rack that needs to be disposed of.
For you I'll even deliver it once I either get the Donald sorted or a new one but you will need to come and sort out what you need.

Mark Rand
12-27-2016, 04:14 PM
Well it's your lucky day as there is about 4 tonnes on the inside steel rack that needs to be disposed of.
For you I'll even deliver it once I either get the Donald sorted or a new one but you will need to come and sort out what you need.


I'll go for a Donald's worth! Let me know when I should come up. Any day except Wednesday the 4th of January (triply booked then...).

regards
Mark

HWooldridge
12-27-2016, 04:25 PM
Watch "American Pickers" long enough and you'll eventually conclude that everybody loses in the end...nobody has figured out how to take it with them. Makes me wonder about the old Clovis guy who had 1,000 obsidian points put aside for posterity then his wife only gives birth to daughters...<LOL>

I'm a member of a local group who bands together to sell off estates from members or other shops where an owner died suddenly and had no plan for his/her tools. We recently staged an auction for an old shop that had not been used since the 1960's and some of the tools brought what I considered to be premium prices. I have four grown sons but none of them have ever been overly interested in my shop so I told the wife to divide up my general mechanics tools and sell the big stuff at auction...the sooner, the better.

RB211
12-27-2016, 08:03 PM
Long term, my plan is to move my shop into a stepvan. That will take some painful downsizing (even considering my small shop now) but it makes moving and storage easier. It will not be a mobile shop, just movable with a few days prep. With that, I figure I'll be able to enjoy what I have for as long as possible, and when I kick it can be sold as a package. My wife won't get near what it's worth for it, but at least there won't be piles of stuff to sort through, and it won't cost a lot to keep or be in the way so she can take her time selling it. And, who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and my son will want to keep it for himself.

If I kick before finishing that, then I've told my wife it's all junk. I've put maybe $20-$30k into it (it's the little stuff that adds up) but she'd be doing good if she got $2k out. I've done an estate sale for a friend; it is a huge amount of work. Unless you have someone to do it for your family, for free (or for some of the tools), then that pile of stuff in your shop is near worthless. Either a professional will come in and make a living out of selling it for what it's worth or a bunch of amateurs will come in and get some tool gloats. Either way, the family gets pennies on the dollar. That's just the way it is.

You can do the work yourself, sell it before you die, but then you might not die when you expect to. And, what are you going to do with the money? Go on a cruise? I'd rather play in what's left of my shop. Write it off; life's easier that way.

If you want to worry, worry about all those piles of junk. Your family is going to have to PAY someone to deal with that. Be nice, get rid of the junk while you can. Anyway, I keep telling myself that. Might start someday.

David...

Why don't you take your current shop and put it in a container? Containers are easy to move on a flat bed or container trailer. Obviously this would make it easy to move the entire shop at once, as is, little to no prep. Not something you'd want to do all the time, but if you're planning on moving down the road, might be a good solution.



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fixerdave
12-27-2016, 08:19 PM
Why don't you take your current shop and put it in a container? ...

I considered that, but then there was this 17' Aluminium box stepvan in the local classifieds, propane powered Grumman... been mine for a while now. Of course, it ended up being full of junk before I got to do anything with it. Sigh... someday I'll start taking my own advice.

I expect it will be significantly overloaded by the time I'm done. But, if all goes well, it won't get more than a 100km on it before I die,

David...