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Auction With Older and Antique Machines

tgw

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 21, 2005
Location
Central Texas
Here is an auction that is currently on Bidspotter:

Mel Davis Auctions | Metal Fabrication Machine Shop - General Machining, Lathe & Mill Work lots

The shop is in Central Texas, close to Austin and San Antonio.

I have no connection with the seller. It is a bankruptcy liquidation. The original owner had the shop for over 40 years and sold it about 10 years ago. I did work at the shop many years ago. I left around 1990. It was a oil field job shop. We worked on everything from hay balers to chicken plucking machinery but our primary customers were the oil field.

The original owner liked old machines and there are quite a few out there. It is really hard to tell much from the auctioneer's catalog. It appears that some machines are not listed.

There are two really old machines. One is a 54" Bullard VBM from the early 1900's. Another is a small Pease planer with about a 5 foot table. I think it may be from before 1900. As near as I can tell these are listed in a lot with a bunch of scrap.

It's sad to see the shop like it is now. I remember it as a thriving business back in the day.

Although there are some good, usable machines there, I can't imagine most of the stuff bringing very much. I suppose most of it will go to the scrappers.

If anyone needs any more information you can PM me and I might be able to answer your questions.

Terry
 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
Looks to be some nice older lathes in there. That smaller vtl looks interesting. They have it listed as a mill.

Somebody get that planer!
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
There's some good stuff tucked away in there.

If I was closer I'd be livid pissed you posted a link to it here before it was over.
 

tdmidget

Diamond
Joined
Aug 13, 2005
Location
Tucson AZ
The pictures and descriptions are so bad that I suspect some is trying to buy the good stuff cheap, with help of the auctioneer. A low baller already has 10 bucks on almost every lot. I would not buy on line but in person I suspect some good deals might be had.
 

alskdjfhg

Diamond
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Location
Houston TX
Man ill have to think about that planer long and hard. Anyone got an guesses about size and maker? The belt driven one.

I'd love one and they are rare down here. Absolutely no use for one what so ever though.

b08075c68bb634a0fa70e171ee502dd4.jpg


End of the week I might even have a place for it. We poured last Saturday, they should start framing today.

I didn't see any of the giant stuff he was talking about when you told me about this stuff so long ago. The guy was talking about a 10' VBM.
 
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Grigg

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Location
Lexington, VA
The pictures and descriptions are so bad that I suspect some is trying to buy the good stuff cheap, with help of the auctioneer. A low baller already has 10 bucks on almost every lot. I would not buy on line but in person I suspect some good deals might be had.

pretty terrible job with the listing and pictures and the auctioneer gets 15% off the top?
I thought too that the online stuff might be an afterthought and they're expecting a good turnout for the live auction... except there is no live auction, all online.
 

alskdjfhg

Diamond
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Location
Houston TX
I believe its a rockford.

I used to have better pictures of that machine when I was talking to the previous owner about buying some stuff.
 

shred

Plastic
Joined
Dec 19, 2008
Location
Texas, USA
This is pretty typical for that auctioneer. They are a bankrupcy auction house, so are not experts on anything. Poorly photographed and described items, boxes and cabinets with contents that may or may not belong together and/or have been cherry-picked is SOP. Accessories and attachments for machines frequently get separated.
 

Oldwrench

Titanium
Joined
May 21, 2009
Location
Wyoming, USA
A K.O. Lee grinder described as "KO Milling." That and the piles of miscellaneous crap are why I don't go to auctions, they insult your intelligence.
 

Paolo_MD

Stainless
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Location
Damascus, MD
My impression after a cursory look at the listings is that the main goal is to get the building empty and get some money, instead of paying some company to haul away everything.

Paolo
 

alskdjfhg

Diamond
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Location
Houston TX
I went to one a little better than this, but still bad. Poorly advertised, (thanks to tgw this one isn't ;) ) with terrible pictures and bad descriptions. Got a bunch of deals.

What I didn't like was that they tried to make me pay twice for the stuff I bought. Thank goodness I made the person I gave money too write "PAID" and sign it on my ticket.

Since the inspection day is on a Friday (I have those off this semester) I might drive up there and take a look at this stuff.

That large planer is intriguing.....
 

tgw

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 21, 2005
Location
Central Texas
More About the Sale

I doubt this sale is about anyone making money or getting bargains. This bankruptcy thing has been going along for a good while. I think the trustees want the whole thing over with. It's a long, sad story. I don't think any work has been done in the shop for months. There is no power and the machines have not been maintained as you can see from some of the photos. The auction seems to be set up mainly for scrap dealers. I spoke with a local scrap dealer who said even with bargain prices the scrap market is down and it would cost more to move the stuff than it would bring. The auctioneer set up most of the lots to include just about anything around the area of the main item. One of the lots covers about half an acre and includes the old Bullard VBM and the little Pease planer.

There is a lot of usable stuff there but you might not know what you are getting. Like I said, it looks like they are just trying to get the whole thing over with.

As far as machines, the small openside planer is a Rockford Hydraulic. It was in good shape. It is a nice size and works smoothly. There is also a Rockford hydraulic shaper. I believe they are both WW II machines.

The larger planer has an interesting story. I don't know what make it is because I can't read Chinese. I know it was built in 1972. The original shop owner was in Houston in the late 70's looking at some lathes and he mentioned he was interested in a planer. The guy said he had a great deal on a NEW planer. It was disassembled in crates, covered with grease. Basically a Chinese jigsaw puzzle. Of course he bought it. We got it together and it actually worked pretty good. It was set up with and electric motor on the main shaft and a complicated electric solenoid tool lifting setup. We used it both as a planer and we added a small milling head. It works either way (or it did). I won't do heavy work but it was OK for what we did with it.

I posted this for general interest. I didn't think there would be many on this forum who would be close enough to make it worth their while to buy anything. It would surprise me if anyone will make much money out of this sale.

Terry
 

Paolo_MD

Stainless
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Location
Damascus, MD
Browsing through the pictures of the auction, I felt some sadness. It's already sad seeing a business going under. Probably, judging by the general mess and disarray, that business has been in a steady decline since a while. But, still, auctioning stuff this way hurts... Four days to get everything out of there. I could just imagine the mess and the risk of accidents with various teams of riggers and amateurs moving heavy stuff around without much coordination.
Definitely, there are a few machine that looks like worthwhile saving, and a couple that are very attractive.
In a certain way, I'm really glad that I live too far away.

Paolo
 

northernsinger

Titanium
Joined
Aug 19, 2004
Location
New England
My take on this is that there is a large amount of good iron there and in the present situation that is well situated for the hobby metal shop person to buy stuff inexpensively.

I've been by it, but didn't know of it, and now live 2000 miles away but I see plenty of bargains there, waiting to be had.
 

SIP6A

Titanium
Joined
May 29, 2003
Location
Temperance
That large planer is intriguing.....

If you can move it that planer would be worth a closer look. Being an industrial piece of machinery it's probably built better than the general run of Chinese machinery we see at Grizzly and harbor freight. If you go take a medium-sized ball peen hammer. Before you go find a piece of case iron of know quality. Give it a good rap with the ball end of the hammer and make a note of how big a ding you made. Then when you go look at the Chinese planer give it the same rap in a inconspicuous place and see if the ding is bigger. The reason I am suggesting this is when I was an apprentice in the late 1970's the shop I worked in bought a Chinese lathe called a Summit Man the iron in that lathe was soft. I dropped a 8" four jaw Chuck on the ways when i was putting it on and put a gouge about a 1/4" deep in the ways, they were soft. If the iron is soft in this Chinese planer I would let it pass. Maybe it can be made into decent cast iron on the next trip though the Furness.
One last thing this is probably a Russian planer built by the Chinese.

PS. How's school going?
 

alskdjfhg

Diamond
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Location
Houston TX
If that planer is 23,000lbs or less a rollback can move it no sweat. If its more it becomes much more challenging and I don't think I'd be up for it right now.

I was also thinking the same about it either being a copy of a Russian machine. It dosent look too chintzy from that one very bad picture.

Schools ok. The engineering college is sending me nasty emails that I need to raise my GPA. I should be able to, dad can't die in the middle of this one. I was lucky I passed all my classes last semester as rough as it was.....

Fridays off is nice, but I sure pay for it with my crazy schedule the rest of the week. Today i have class from 10am-9pm, nearly all back to back as well.

I didn't notice the fosdick jig bore first time though the pictures. Looks to about as big as a P&W 3B.
 








 
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