Current market for old machine shop books?
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Kansas City, Mo.
    Posts
    6,475
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    239
    Likes (Received)
    1929

    Default Current market for old machine shop books?

    I’m sorting through some of my old stuff with thoughts of putting it on eBay. Have any of you followed the current prices of early 20th c. machine shop books? Are these selling at all these days? As individual titles or in lots?

    Or should they just be offered on the PM? How? Fixed price? Best offer? Best reason why someone should have it? The reason I often think of eBay is it reflects a “real” value as in that is what the item sold for.

    Some of what is in the first box... all clean and nice copies.

    B & S Treatise on Milling, 1930 and 1940
    B & S No. 10 Grinding machine, 1938
    Hartness turret lathe, 1913
    I.C.S., 4 volumes on machineshop, pattern making, foundry, etc., 1901, 1905, red leather half bound.
    American Technical School, Machine Shop Practice, 5 volumes, 1902 -1917 copyrights.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Georgia
    Posts
    461
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    656
    Likes (Received)
    247

    Default

    Though you probably already know this... on eBay you can search for the item you are thinking of selling and once you get a few hits, look down on the left side of the page for "Show Only" and select "Sold". That will give you a list that looks something like this: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...&LH_Complete=1

    One note on that... if the item is sold at auction and the price is fairly low I usually discount that. Some sellers will list something with a low starting point and poor description and don't care what it sells for. A Buy-It-Now sale price is usually pretty much what the market will pay.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    539
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    196

    Default

    One data point, i just (last week) bought a pristine copy of the 1913 first edition of Jigs & Fixtures by Colvin and Haas for $8.50 in an Ebay auction. I was the only bidder. Shipping was about $4.00.

  4. Likes rivett608 liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    539
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    196

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rivett608 View Post
    I’m sorting through some of my old stuff with thoughts of putting it on eBay. Have any of you followed the current prices of early 20th c. machine shop books? Are these selling at all these days? As individual titles or in lots?

    Or should they just be offered on the PM? How? Fixed price? Best offer? Best reason why someone should have it? The reason I often think of eBay is it reflects a “real” value as in that is what the item sold for.

    Some of what is in the first box... all clean and nice copies.

    B & S Treatise on Milling, 1930 and 1940
    B & S No. 10 Grinding machine, 1938
    Hartness turret lathe, 1913
    I.C.S., 4 volumes on machineshop, pattern making, foundry, etc., 1901, 1905, red leather half bound.
    American Technical School, Machine Shop Practice, 5 volumes, 1902 -1917 copyrights.
    Tried sending you a PM but in box is full. Like many others (I suspect) on the board i would likely be interested in some of your titles should you decide to sell them

    Good luck
    Mark

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Kansas City, Mo.
    Posts
    6,475
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    239
    Likes (Received)
    1929

    Default

    Thanks Mark, didn’t know it was full, it isn’t anymore.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Washington
    Posts
    311
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    121

    Default

    I guess it depends on what you want to get out of it. If you want the most money, one could argue EBay would be a good choice (one could argue PM too). If it’s of more value that it goes to a machinist who genuinely cares for the books and read them, then PM is a good way to go.
    Put up a post in the Parts for Sale section with a price. Others have sold books in that section and done ok. If the price is too high, people won’t buy it and then drop the price. However, I wouldn’t expect more than 5-10 bucks per book because that is the price for them at bookstores. I own a couple of the volumes you listed (but not the whole set) and that is what I paid for them — retail price at a brick-and-mortar store.

  8. Likes mister honey liked this post
  9. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Colorado
    Posts
    527
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1091
    Likes (Received)
    185

    Default

    No idea about the market value but I'm always looking to add to my library and am interested in your collection. I enjoy learning the lessons of masters before me the easy way. I don't think I've ever purchased an "antique" book and not learned something new.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Okla.
    Posts
    144
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    26

    Default

    Another way to find the value of a book is to do a search for that book on Alibris ot AbeBooks. Both are websites that list books for sale by booksellers from all over the world.
    Prices will range from ridiculously cheap to you've-got-to-be-kidding-me expensive. However,it will give you an idea of what actual booksellers are asking for their books, and you can price yours accordingly.
    Rick W

  11. Likes Pathogen liked this post
  12. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville, KY, USA
    Posts
    972
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    214
    Likes (Received)
    217

    Default

    Bookfinder.com aggregates all the book sales sites in one place.

    IME with old machining books, which exist in great variety and low demand, there may be only one copy listed and at a ridiculous price. I'm not sure what the logic in this is, but one is not a reliable sample size.

  13. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Smithfield, Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,082
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    110
    Likes (Received)
    517

    Default

    I have been using bookfinder for years to locate long out of print historical works I need for my research. Generally, I find it very useful. That said, prices can be all over the place. Frequently (more than half the time) I'm able to find original editions of a rare book for less than the cheap "print on demand" reprint. I've looked up books that I know are still in print (because I work with the publisher) and found them used for twice the price of a new copy that is still readily available. I've often found books that were offered on ebay for half the "buy it now" price. The used book business is very unpredictable but generally the "you've got to be kidding" prices are a product of ignorance and/or wishfull thinking.

  14. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Mass
    Posts
    390
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    24
    Likes (Received)
    34

    Default

    My son is starting to get into watches and wants to make one. I gave his an older book I had gotten that describes the process and tools and how to use them. I forget the title - but it not important. Anyways he has been reading it and asked me what i think the book is worth. I told him: "It's either worth next to nothing, or over $100, but nothing in-between!". I think that sums it up for the older books I have seen. He did look it up and found a few copies on the sites mentioned above with sellers asking $120 and higher!

  15. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Kansas City, Mo.
    Posts
    6,475
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    239
    Likes (Received)
    1929

    Default

    A local PM member came over for a shop tour and bought them all along with a bunch of other stuff, thank you! So much easier than ebay, etc.

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    539
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    196

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rivett608 View Post
    A local PM member came over for a shop tour and bought them all along with a bunch of other stuff, thank you! So much easier than ebay, etc.
    glad to hear it..

  17. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    29,022
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    9021

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 99Panhard View Post
    I have been using bookfinder for years to locate long out of print historical works I need for my research. Generally, I find it very useful. That said, prices can be all over the place. Frequently (more than half the time) I'm able to find original editions of a rare book for less than the cheap "print on demand" reprint. I've looked up books that I know are still in print (because I work with the publisher) and found them used for twice the price of a new copy that is still readily available. I've often found books that were offered on ebay for half the "buy it now" price. The used book business is very unpredictable but generally the "you've got to be kidding" prices are a product of ignorance and/or wishfull thinking.
    Glad to hear this lot found a new home the best of all possible ways. One warm and living human hand to another, directly.

    Damned if it doesn't seem there is a spark of life as conveys with the books when I shed a carton now and then to a fellow reader rather than a library or used book trafficer.

    "Unpredictable" business for-sure. Kid brother, already a published poet, tried his hand as a rare book dealer whilst Day Job was Depute Law Librarian, "merica's then-largest Law firm. Good eye for inventory, professional descriptions or no, it wasn't his best-ever idea forty-five or so years ago. Doesn't fly even as well, now.

    More along "up until" around 20-odd years ago, I'd make an annual or semi-annual pilgrimage to my favorite bookseller, foot of Covent Garden, have a few cases of books shipped back to the USA, as they did that all the time, cheaply and well.

    No longer.

    Google and a ton of others have been scanning and digitizing like mad. Selectivity of search functions beats the time easily a thousand to one vs dead-tree sources if not a full million to one.

    If I want to still enjoy the life-long preference for a book I can actually HOLD - "for real" not on some tabletish thingie?

    May as well be a mystery novel, historical dramatization, the travels of ages long gone - or the travails of a mildly demented lad managing to survive the DAMNDEST of adventures with old motor cars, but you'd know all about that one, thanks, t'was a good read!



    Present day? Damned seldom a reference work. Internet search and display is just better and faster.

    Modern lives have gone too busy to spare an hour for a mystery or the several hours wanted for groking a technical"ish" tome on milling or the like. Any sort of hand at it knows full-well you can't memorize those the same way as to simply remember history or fiction. They include maths and numerical klews that have to be confirmed, present-day tooling and alloys when yah actually go to put tool-tips to war with metal.

    May as well remind me how to plow 'taters with a horse, given I'm old enought to have already done it, and was young enough at the time I had to learn the potatos were the ones not all warm, soft, and smelling rather too pungently of horse gut.

    "Information age" thing? Seems so. Damned shame in a way, but there yah have it.

    We - so far, until "they" burn anything useful, people included - have far the better access to information that ever was before.

    Insane overload of outright GARBIDGE aimed at our screens too, but we just have to learn to seive better - and are still well-ahead of the old ways.

    Pardon my whimpering out loud about "days gone by". but wot the Hell. Easily a thousand times more good books than interesting wimmin', no shortage of either, ever..

    And I can only hope God in her infinite mercy never puts me to the question as to which one I would do without, ever I had to do life's journey all over again.

    Tough enough choice I'd have to decline the offer, queue-up for the next express bus to Hell, hope the Devil had sumthin' on his shelves I hadn't yet read.

  18. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Interior British Columbia
    Posts
    2,405
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    249
    Likes (Received)
    755

    Default

    I have a book habit.

    <sigh>

    In addition to that, a friend of mine, who passed away some years back, now, asked me to take care of his library. His request was specifically, that they end up NOT being sent for recycling. Seems fair to me.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •