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The wedding ring and the drill from the pawn shop.

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  • #46
    Dave: don't be fooled- I won't pay retail unless they are only game around. I'd say bargain like a ... .... But I don't want to start over .

    Pawn shop or food?
    When I was doing water tanks (high steel work) we had insurance rules. No work when raining, windy, thunderstorms etc.

    My crew was caught in New York state, winter of 1955/56. Weather stopped work for over a week. Little pay due to weather for previous weeks. Cheap rooming house, sandwiches in rooms.

    As foreman I got 75.00 dollars a week plus my commission money. Company held a few thousand in a kitty to make sure foreman paid for bad work- but my kitty was pretty big. So i kept men working on polishing the truck, cleaning stuff. Managed to keep my crew fed though we did no high work.

    Near by foreman had same problem, but he played cards, bet advance wages to pay for his losings. Finally, They (foreman and crew)cranked up tractor and headed for Memphis Tenn. En route, they Hocked welding rods, hocked paint, tools, filled the tanks in Memphis with diesel fuel, "rented" (but did not prepay) a motel room for a week, left engine idling, and pawnshop tickets in cab. Few days later motel called about the tractor running day in day/day out. Old man (owner) mailed me the pawn shop tickets plus money to retrieve our stuff. Job finished, I headed south following the Foreman's route, picked up hocked stuff. When I crossed state line I was way over weight on one axle, little over gross weight. Still paying for seven men's meal out of my pocket. Hit Memphis broke, angry, tired and several thousand pounds of material short, no hock slips, over weight fine, expecting to be fired.

    OLd man sent us home (at our own expense) for a week off (christmas), Then south in to TExas, a state i dearly love, to work where the sun shined- Old man also added a little money for each man. That was a rough winter. Not a man quit on me. That was my only encounter with pawn shops. I bet the foreman (who really did not care what he got) got about 10 percent of the true worth of the stuff he hocked, and I paid a high price to retrieve. Course, in defense of the pawn shop, not much market for cans of FISH OIL based aluminum paint or bags of block and tackle and used Bosun chairs.

    I don't see how a man who has hocked tools ever gets back on his feet.


    • #47
      I never understood the mentality that lead to pawning your tools. Once they're gone, how do you work enough to get them back??? I've held this belief since I worked in the trades back in my early 20s.

      As I've been recently been spending every spare nickel (of disposable cash, not grocery or rent money) on tooling up my shop, I remembered these mis-guided souls who would hawk their tools and have visited several pawn shops looking for dial indicators and such. What I find is that guys who manage their lives poorly enough to have to pawn their tools, don't take very good care of their tools either. I'm sure there are some gems out there in pawn shops, but I haven't found them.


      Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.
      Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.


      • #48
        I've never hocked anything but I do buy from pawn shops. After I came to Canada I bought a tool chest full of aircraft sheet metal tools for $50 from a pawn shop. There was at least $300 or $400 worth of tools in it, air hammer and drill, avaiation snips, bucking bars, clecos and various other stuff. I also bought a sporterized 303 rifle from a pawn for $30, took it home slung on my shoulder on a city bus. Just try that today!
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


        • #49
          Ya know,

          I found this site while searching for machining info, and I've been learning alot about it (machining) since. The collective wisdom is astounding, and I'm trying to soak it all up! But, much to my surprise, I find that I am also learning to be a better person. Many of the shared insights, stories ,personal observations and even disagreements show me more about being (a good) human than I have imagined.

          There are some short stories written by Spider Robinson about a bar called Callahan's. It's a place where people gather to share, and laugh and be human. Since reading these stories, I have hoped to find a place like that. Finally, I think I have.

          I like this place. I like it alot!



          • #50
            Maker: you read "analog"?. If not, there are several of the spiders stories there.

            On Sand Pebbles- The movie was good, but I enjoyed the book more. The movie just took a different point of view than the book.

            Mc Kenna wrote good books. Sand Pebbles not only talks a lot about engineering on the china river boats, its a good insight into how we and china strayed into the pre WWll mess, and a good commentary on 1920's military life. Any thing by Mc Kenna will have some good mechanical insight.


            • #51
              The Sand Pebbles had as much technical stuff in it as almost any film made. I guess we can thank Steve McQ for that.