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Home shop machine tools. misc, for sale

Joe Michaels

Apr 3, 2004
Shandaken, NY, USA
I am posting this for a friend in the Albany, NY area. A neighbor of his died, and had a home/garage shop. The house and property has to be emptied out. The shop contents include:

"Millrite"/Burke vertical milling machine with 3 phase converter, vise, collets, and what looks like an Atlas simple dividing/indexer.

Delta "Toolmaker" surface grinder.

Delta 10" Unisaw

Atlas 10" lathe, quick change gears on cabinet base ( I know this is a forbidden item)

LOADS of un-used prewelded bandsaw blades, various lengths, some Simmonds, some Starrett. We are talking a PILE of bandsaw blades, many still in factory boxes, others
tied and tagged with size of blade. Some bimetal, some flexback

Misc hand tools, including loads of files.

Misc. stock, a lot of it being 'drops' of auto and truck leaf spring material, round steel bar stock (mostly drops 1" or thereabouts)

Some automotive tools including a panel spot welder, pressure pot sandblaster

Older Hobart welding power supply with high frequency for TIG welding aluminum (this is likely a 1990's machine, large & heavy)

As I wrote, the house and garage need to be cleaned out in the next month or so. Any reasonable offers will be taken. PM me if interested

The machine tools are in the basement. House has a driveway and there is an outdoor basement entry (Bilco type steel doors). Buyer must arrange to remove machine tools from the basement.
Hoo boy. Cleaning out a shop is always an enormous job. Cleaning out a shop in a month is close to impossible. If I were the family I would start having "estate free sale" days to whittle down the pile, and then be ready to hire scrappers to come in and haul out the machines.

The mindset that they want to maximize the monetary yield on this shop liquidation is an absolute killer. That's the way to turn a 1 month enormous bitch of a project into one 3 years long.

If there is a local metalworking club the members should be alerted and perhaps given first dibs.

If there is a local metal seller who sells metal stock bought at auction ("yard steel") they may be willing to come remove all of the metal stock, which may clear the decks for other things to go more easily. The reason home shops are so crowded isn't just that some of us are packrats. It's also that our shops have not only to contain a functional set of working machines but also they must store partly-finished projects and stock for future projects all in the same space.

Metal Magpie:

I do not think monetary gain is the objective with this shop dispersal sale. The deceased owner had no immediate family nor heirs. He left the house & its contents to his caregiver. The house has been let go for 3 years since the owner's death. The main objective here is to clear the place out as the adjoining property owner (a private school) wants to purchase/demolish the house and outbuildings for a playground. The deceased was a skilled craftsman who was a hoarder. He devoted a lot of his efforts to restoring and driving/showing Model T Fords. The local Model T club pretty much cleaned out the Model T's and the parts, service tools and related stuff.
They also cleaned out most of the auto body repair and mechanic's tools. The deceased was also a master woodworker, and the local woodworker's clubs have been through the place as well. Some machinery from the basement was already sold and removed. This sale is a 'make any offer... just get it out and away' type thing.

The deceased was given to riding around his neighborhood in one of his Model T's with a 'quasi calliope' on the back. This 'quasi calliope' sits in the living room. It was a one-off type thing with a tag from the person who made it. It has brass bodied whistles, similar to steam whistles, and sits on a small piano console. In the bench to sit on when playing are a set of blowers to provide the wind for the whistles/pipes.

As for the steel, what the deceased seemed to do was to visit the local truck spring shop and take away their drops. There are hundreds of pounds of short drops of new leaf spring steel. The deceased was not a bladesmith or blacksmith, so what he intended to do with all that spring steel was anyone's guess. I took a goodly amount for forging knives and tools from, but there is a limit to how much a person can use when bladesmithing and blacksmithing are not one's livelihood nor primary interest.

One thing I did get is an incredible pair of 1924 Cadillac headlights. These are intact, undamaged, and have the original Baush & Lomb optical glass lenses. Wife and I agree these will look great on our garage, wired up to light up the driveway. Those old Caddy headlamps are almost the size of locomotive headlights, or so it seems. Interesting head lamps as they have a mechanical linkage to tip the lamps for high/low beam.

We unearthed a toolmaker-made slotted angle plate, hardened and ground, and a Brown and Sharpe number 22 swivel base milling vise (went home with me). The more we dug in the piles of hardwood and miscellaneous stuff in the basement and garage, the more we unearthed. Anytime we got into a pile of lumber and old luggage and similar, there was no telling what we'd unearth.

The deceased left his house and contents to his caregiver. My friend is a semi retired physician who was tight with the deceased, and shared an interest in shopwork. The deceased left instructions with the caregiver that the doctor was to get the pick of the basement shop. The major items that are left are described in my post.
Again, the main objective here is to get the place cleaned out.

As for the Atlas indexer, it is a very simple one with a notched index ring. It is mounted on the Millrite milling machine, along with a fixed-base vise. These go with the milling machine.
I see that mindset mentioned nowhere except for in your post.
I hope you noticed I did not say or imply that the sellers were trying to maximize revenue. I merely pointed out the absolute futility of such an attitude.

I am not speaking out of some lower orifice. I have personally completely liquidated 3 shops. Each time it was nearly six months of full time work.
Hi Joe, wish I could help out on this but I live out on the left coast, (probably for me a good thing in this case...) not to hijack but I would love to see a picture of what you come up with to mount those headlights. Jim
I’ve been a peripheral helper to clean out a few Live Steam club member’s shops previously, but didn’t come close to cleaning out an entire basement shop like my Dad’s. Did not understand how much time and effort was needed. Has taken me five months of two evenings a week and the help of some club members to get to the almost finished stage. Helped along by pricing the lathe and other machinery at very reasonable/low price. Suggest to anyone going down this path, giving tools to people you who have similar interests, and don’t sweat the price.