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painful topic - when should we let our shops go?

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  • aribert
    replied
    Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
    ...For the rest, call an auctioneer, .... 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
    I've had the same idea! I'll stop by an estate sale and think someday that will happen with my "stuff" and I would dearly love to be 28 years old again to pick up some deals at my estate sale - stuff that took me decades to acquire.

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  • J Tiers
    replied
    I have the same thing going on (still). House where nothing was thrown out, and a lot of recycleables have been hauled out to the city recycling location. Every single piece of paper has to be looked at....... Already found things that were well worth the looking. Then the back mail, that was "never gotten to", etc.

    And the basement full of tools and materials, very few of any interest to me, but again, a few gems buried. Very few actual machines, and nothing much that I have any interest in.

    Our plan is, after going through everything, and getting rid of actual junk, to get an estate sale company in. That looks to be the best way of handling the majority of the stuff that we do not want. Might work for others also, although it normally needs a decent sized local population to make it worth while.

    The process of integrating into my shop those things that ARE of interest to me has prompted a good deal of rearranging, and also some consideration of adding things that are surplus in my shop to the estate sale list.

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  • George Bulliss
    replied
    Welcome to the forum Stan! I've been going through a similar process with my dad's house and it's helped me to look at my own house with new eyes. I have no plans to liquidate the entire shop but have started to clear out some things that I've held onto for far too long and it's feeling good.

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  • Stan Stocker
    replied
    Having dealt with all the stuff my mother kept (bank statements back to the 1960's, original boxes for stuff long gone...) I'd suggest clearing out whatever you don't need, like, or use. I've been doing dump runs for a while, giving stuff away to fellow club members, selling a few things here and there.

    My mother had an utterly overwhelming ancestor worship thing going on, she kept everything, even if she didn't like it, as her grandmother always liked this "thing". A couple of things kept for sentiment is reasonable and probably healthy, every handkerchief they ever owned isn't. I own things, very few of those things get close to owning me. My kids can't inherit my memories, so unless the thing is part of a good memory for them it's just a thing.

    I'm 62, estimates indicate my "Best by" age is somewhere in the mid 80's. I want to do stuff. I want to stay active. Part of that is not having life clogged up with crap that is not needed, or liked, in the way. My goal is to be able to walk into one of my outbuildings and just start to play or occasionally "work". Not rearrange twelve tons of crap to get to a less often used machine, not to shift piles of planks to have room to run a planer. Not there yet, but a lot closer than I was a couple years ago. Right now, clearing out is for me. A nice side effect is that it will make things easier on the kids down the road.

    Some of my interests have changed, no longer lust to restore 15 inch swing lathes and the like. My largish machines are down to a manual mill and an SB10. My middling machines are down to a G0704 CNC and a few similar size or mass machines. Most of the rest is Sherline/Taig/Emco size stuff. Woodworking tools are large and some are heavy, but it's usually pretty easy to sell off a powermatic bandsaws and most any table saw or jointer for my kids when the time comes. I LIKE projects that I can lift without an engine crane or chain fall these days :-)

    My kids have been told very clearly: Daddy got all the fun out of these things that he could. If you want them, there's probably still fun in them. Take what you want. Post on the lists that daddy has snuffed it, shops open, coffee cans by the door. Pay what you think is fair. After a couple days odds are the coffee can will be full and the shop buildings will be mostly empty. They know I feel that there is no reason to drag an ancestors stuff through life if they don't like or want it. The few family items that have actual significant value are known to the kids, it's really just three or four pieces of furniture. They also know they are free to keep or sell those things, just that they shouldn't just drag them off to the dump or salvage store.

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  • Commander_Chaos
    replied
    I'm close to retiring and looking forward to years of puttering but when I'm done I see it going one of two ways: either I'll health will make it apparent that it's time, or I'll go unexpectedly. In either case everything can go to any dealer who's willing to come get the stuff, regardless of what they'll pay. I'll make the call if I'm still alive, my wife can do it if I'm not.

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  • RB211
    replied
    When ever you feel like it.

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  • Mark Rand
    replied
    I'm 63 today (Tuesday). i have suggested to SWMBO that, after I snuff it, if she wanted to move, she could advertise a 'fully equiipped workshop including three bedroom house' in the UK model engineering magazines. She reckons that she wants to stay in the house, but the workshop gets emptied so she can expand her pottery working space.

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  • old mart
    replied
    In the case of the TS mill and Atlas, the guy had died and his son was the executor and he needed to get shot of the lot as only then could he start thinking about selling the house. He didn't know what to do with the rest of the house contents and we advised him of several charities which would clear the property for him. The museum gave him a written estimate of the value of the workshop contents in case he could claim any tax or death duty refund.

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  • DR
    replied
    Originally posted by old mart View Post
    In May 2019 the museum inherited the Tom Senior light vertical and the Atlas 12 x 24 lathe along with a lot of other goodies........................................... .............
    Sometimes giving or willing goods to non-profits, schools, etc is not so good an idea. In Old Mart's case it may have been okay.

    Example: An elderly lady I knew was a jewelry maker whose work was sought out. When she got too old to pursue this anymore she insisted on giving the equipment to a local college's metal arts program. It turned out for liability reasons the college couldn't use the electric powered equipment because it didn't meet current codes (frayed cords, no grounding, etc, etc). The college basically gave away or scrapped the equipment. If the lady had sold it (desirable equipment) and given the money to the college everyone would have been better off.



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  • old mart
    replied
    In May 2019 the museum inherited the Tom Senior light vertical and the Atlas 12 x 24 lathe along with a lot of other goodies. We had a luton van with a tail lift and managed to get 90% of the equipment in 2 runs. We rely a lot on the generousity of people for tooling, there is very little budget available from museum income. Some years ago, a lady visited with her car boot full of her late husbands tools and we were very pleased to accept them. She had offered them to another much bigger museum and they had turned up their noses at it.
    The TS has been running for some time now and the Atlas is in the process of being brought into good working condition to be eventually sold for funds. Somebody will get a nice lathe.

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  • garyhlucas
    replied
    My dad had a severe stroke at 48 that ended his career and all he talked about was how he didn’t have long to live and how to take care of mom. Well mom died in her sleep at 80 and dad finally passed away at 90. All that worrying for nothing!

    I saw an interview with a guy that just turned 103. He said “Damn, if I knew I was going to live this long I’d have taken a lot better care of myself a long time ago!

    I am leaving my tools, CNC machine and sailboat to my grandson to do what he wants with them. Everything is already on wheels so it will be easy. I’m 67 and I plan to live to at least 120 so no hurry no worry.

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  • Mcgyver
    replied
    Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post

    MaxSold can be a losing proposition for the Heirs and Estate Executor. On top of the fees, they have an additional charge to dispose of anything that doesn't sell.
    the fees are reasonable imo, 30% irrc. If the value of every item added up to X, getting 70% for one bulk sale would be a great deal....vs individually selling, photographing, posting each item.

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  • DR
    replied
    When I sold my commercial building I had to move a two car garage full of equipment that didn't sell with my business.

    My wife said if I got hit by the bus she was calling the scrap man to clean everything out. Now we're getting ready to demolish the two car garage to build a rental unit. The keeper machines are being squeezed into the basement. The wife is not totally happy with that. As the saying goes "if your wife doesn't burst into tears when she goes down to the basement laundry room you haven't got much of a shop".

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  • reggie_obe
    replied
    Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post

    Technology is providing a new solution via online auctions. Big one around here is Maxsold and they have expanded into the states. You can manage the sale, or they'll come in do the entire thing. stuff sells, all settled online and you the buyer pick it up, usually a couple of days later at a designated time slot. What's note worthy is they get really good prices, not the max ebay limit (because its 100% as is, no guarantee it works and they won't ship), but they get 75% of it. Prices are so high, an d given you can't inspect, I don't bother anymore....but i'm the odd man out....everyone else seems to bid bid bid.

    They intelligently track activity, so you start getting email notices of auctions of stuff you've been interested in. As well they promote highlighted items in relevant other places, like the online classifieds. Seems like they can drive a lot of buyers to specialty sales

    Point being, everything is gone in a week and the prices achieved are quite full imo. Probably would be less successful in the boonies, but its a great solution in a larger market.
    MaxSold can be a losing proposition for the Heirs and Estate Executor. On top of the fees, they have an additional charge to dispose of anything that doesn't sell.

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  • projectnut
    replied
    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
    In my case both the shop owner and the equipment dealer would purchase anything and everything my wife wanted to get rid of. The key words here are "get rid of". She has no interest in anything in the shop and could care less what they sell for. I know both would have an interest in either keeping or passing on machines, tooling and support accessories. The majority of the machines and tooling were either purchased either from them or through information made available by them. I have also sold them equipment in the past. In all cases the prices going both ways were reasonable. My wife's main goal would be to clean the place out and get the property ready for sale. We both love the house and property, but the reality is that it's more than one person can handle. I'm sure if I go first she will put the house up for sale within a few months and downsize to something more manageable.

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