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painful topic - when should we let our shops go?

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  • #31
    One thing I’ve started doing is going through all the “it might be useful someday” stuff and discarding it... Way too much has been sitting around for way too long. I never remember what I have so when I could have used some of it, I usually end up buying new... the free space is worth way more to me than the off chance I’ll save a few $ or a trip to a store.

    the likely recipient of my tools and so on is my stepson - and he spends enough time in my shop now that he knows what’s what.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post

      So it's going to be up to me. I'm 68 and feel healthy and I can still lift my mill (rotary?) table and lathe chucks just fine. But that day is coming. My question is, how do I know when it gets here?

      metalmagpie
      I'm a little younger than you are, but think about "that eventual day" as well.

      Don't judge when you should sell out based on your physical ability to lift heavy chucks and other tooling. Get yourself a Skyhook, or other hoist, and enjoy some more years in your shop than you might otherwise.

      I've currently got a project whereby I have to lift a 10in rotary table with a 6in chuck on it, from the flat position, on my mill table, to "standing up". Thank God for my Skyhook! The only hard part will be figuring out how to sling it.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Bob La Londe View Post
        When they find my cold dead body hunched over a machine.
        That's pretty much the way i feel about the situation. On the other hand I don't want to stick my wife with trying to liquidate and move everything out of the shop. To that end I've talked to a dealer I where bought a number of used machines, and a friend who owns a commercial shop. Both are willing to step in and purchase the machines should something happen to me before I'm ready to liquidate them myself. The shop owner is to be contacted first since he's closer. To keep things on the up and up I also have an inventory of the machines along with the purchase price and current value.

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        • #34
          FWIW, I had a senior co-worker at one job who had survived the Depression. He essentially died at 85 yrs old after taking a week off. TIG welding with a pacemaker in, it was cancer that finally got him. It took months before his family finally came and got his tools.
          25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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          • #35
            70 is fast approaching for me, but even though I was in the trade and owned a job shop, I've only had a home shop for a little over 3 years. It is what I really wanted when I went to school to study machining and ended up working in a job shop over 40 years ago. I've been contemplating how to deal with the OP's dilemma. I've decided I'm going to number and photograph all of my tools, then create descriptive files for each with suggested price range, then put it all on a flash drive.
            It's all mind over matter.
            If you don't mind, it don't matter.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by jmarkwolf View Post
              I've currently got a project whereby I have to lift a 10in rotary table with a 6in chuck on it, from the flat position, on my mill table, to "standing up". Thank God for my Skyhook! The only hard part will be figuring out how to sling it.
              I have an 8" indexing super spacer with a 6" three-jaw chuck on it. To lift it from its home on a cart near my mill onto the mill table, I remove the 3 set screws and take off the chuck. Then I can lift the remaining part onto the mill table. To lift the 3-jaw I have an old big T-handle someone gave me once. I chuck it up and then it's easy to lift with the chuck in the flat-on-its-back orientation. If you wanted to rig your RT for a hook, make a heavy eyebolt and chuck it up and put the hook through the eyebolt.

              metalmagpie

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              • #37
                Originally posted by projectnut View Post

                That's pretty much the way i feel about the situation. On the other hand I don't want to stick my wife with trying to liquidate and move everything out of the shop. To that end I've talked to a dealer I where bought a number of used machines, and a friend who owns a commercial shop. Both are willing to step in and purchase the machines should something happen to me before I'm ready to liquidate them myself. The shop owner is to be contacted first since he's closer. To keep things on the up and up I also have an inventory of the machines along with the purchase price and current value.
                Sure, someone will buy the machines. But what about all the rest? I guess it's the 90-10 rule - 10% of the selling effort will remove 90% of the mass of "stuff". Corollary is the last 10% of stuff takes 90% of the total effort to move. Simply grouping things into logical selling units is itself a large job. I do have a spreadsheet which contains my shop inventory. It probably misses stuff

                machine tool accessories
                cutting tools
                workholding
                precision measuring
                layout tools
                material handling
                welding/cutting
                storage/shop fixtures
                hand tools
                hydraulics
                air/pneumatic
                power tools
                pipe plumbing tubing
                mill tooling not sold with mill
                lathe tooling not sold with lathe
                electrical/electronic
                scraping/metrology
                supplies/stock/materials
                shop fluids
                safety / protective gear
                abrasives
                miscellaneous (e.g. Rubbermaid garbage can, shop vacs, mop & bucket, floor squeegee, electric chain saw)

                Some of these categories have several dozen items. Most have at least 20.
                whew

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                • #38
                  Sure, someone will buy the machines. But what about all the rest?
                  Extensive machine shop and precision tools for sale: $100, buyer must take everything. Gone.

                  The $100 is an exaggeration to make the point: is your concern how much you get for it, or not burdening someone with 6 months of work? Unless too frail to use it or destitute, which would bring you greater joy? cash or your stuff?
                  Last edited by Mcgyver; 03-29-2021, 11:32 AM.
                  in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post

                    Sure, someone will buy the machines. But what about all the rest? I guess it's the 90-10 rule - 10% of the selling effort will remove 90% of the mass of "stuff". Corollary is the last 10% of stuff takes 90% of the total effort to move. Simply grouping things into logical selling units is itself a large job. I do have a spreadsheet which contains my shop inventory. It probably misses stuff

                    machine tool accessories
                    cutting tools
                    workholding
                    precision measuring
                    layout tools
                    material handling
                    welding/cutting
                    storage/shop fixtures
                    hand tools
                    hydraulics
                    air/pneumatic
                    power tools
                    pipe plumbing tubing
                    mill tooling not sold with mill
                    lathe tooling not sold with lathe
                    electrical/electronic
                    scraping/metrology
                    supplies/stock/materials
                    shop fluids
                    safety / protective gear
                    abrasives
                    miscellaneous (e.g. Rubbermaid garbage can, shop vacs, mop & bucket, floor squeegee, electric chain saw)

                    Some of these categories have several dozen items. Most have at least 20.
                    whew
                    I think the opposite is true. I've observed the sharks buying the Gerstener, Kennedy or Lista or whatever toolboxes. All the precision tools and name brand hand tools, the machine accessories (chucks, rot. tables, steady, etc.), small desirable power tools, bench vises, etc. The non-ferrous stock is bought as scrap, the steel remains for the most part.
                    Large machines are boat anchors and all but ignored.

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                    • #40
                      I would hope one of my sons would be interested enough to keep the stuff, but if not, I have been to enough estate sales rubbing elbows with the decending vulture tool dealers to know I would rather give the stuff to someone who is interested in getting into hobby machining than subjecting it to that.

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                      • #41
                        It will all go after I do. None of it is of any great value, most value is wrapped up in the memories of things I made with them, and the people I made them with. That value dies with me. Kids can have their pick, and no doubt between the pair of them, there probably won't be much left for the racoons. For the rest, call an auctioneer, and take what you get. It was mostly all bought for auction prices anyway, so.... The only downside to the auction is that I won't be there. Would probably be one I'd love to go to, as it's all stuff I'd like .

                        We've had this conversation a few times over the years, as I've been unfortunate enough to see what happens when someone leaves early and unexpected more than I should. We're on the same page about either of our stuff. At the end of the day, it's just stuff that we used while we were here to bring some joy to our lives. If we can pass it on to someone that will do the same, great, if not, the world will still spin around if it all gets recycled into muffin tins.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
                          Extensive machine shop and precision tools for sale: $100, buyer must take everything. Gone.
                          I hear you, and you have a valid point, which is that everything sells quickly if priced right. But still I'd worry about some guy coming over dropping off his $100 and cherry picking out just what he wants and then leaving thousands of pounds of misery.

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                          • #43
                            Well,, I have to admit that this thread has been kinda depressing. In 17 days I'll be 80, and I still have to finish refurbing my Supermax mill that I bought 2 years ago. Everyone is hereby put on notice: I'm not taking on any more family or friends projects until the mill is finished. I'd like to get it running before it's time to check out.
                            “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

                            Lewis Grizzard

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                            • #44
                              I'm 67 and I've been a "hobby hoarder" all my life. No, hoarding isn't the hobby ! ! ! But I've come to realize that things I haven't even looked at in about 10 years since moving here are just stuff that I or someone else will have to deal with later on. So I've already started doing some slimming down on my belongings. And trust me, it's not easy to start. But once underway the extra breathing room is well appreciated and it rapidly becomes easier to keep going.

                              The machinery will be the last things to go of course. And assuming I've still got ability to work the dials and levers the goal is to trim things down to a table top machinery setup and some hand tool only wood working. The hope being I'll keep myself occupied gainfully for a few more years. And when it gets to where I don't even have the energy or desire for a spare room with table top setup at least it won't be much for my caregivers to sell off.

                              I figure, all being well, that I've got around 7 to 10 years to get to where I'm about ready to sell off this fairly big house and move into the reduced size setup. Depends on how my new house buddy, Arthur Eyetis, plays out as much as anything.
                              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
                                FWIW, I had a senior co-worker at one job who had survived the Depression. He essentially died at 85 yrs old after taking a week off. TIG welding with a pacemaker in, it was cancer that finally got him. It took months before his family finally came and got his tools.
                                We had a guy that retired from GM and never did come get his tool cart. It was full of tools and eventually after several years someone opened the lock and I presume cleaned it out. One day I came into work on day shift and his cart was open and empty. I'm pretty sure that he had no need for them and decided to leave them there.
                                OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                                THINK HARDER

                                BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                                MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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