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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruston3w View Post
    Perhaps we are just collecting for our own interest and after that it will all end up where it would have gone had we not made the effort in the first place?
    Your right.

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    There are a couple of items that are worth more than the minimum price. Literally a couple of items...

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    I was thinking of bringing this subject,but you beat me to it! Mrs T and I agreed Fred was a selfish old B,but he was a good communicator and overall I quite liked him. We were quite tickled how he parked his menagerie on the beach at Blackpool and then b,d off to knock a chimney down. Re-my own toot,I can't bring myself to part with it ,I have re homed a few items. Mrs T and I will make a formal Register of Items giving date,purpose,history as known etc. Any collection of anything is at a disadvantage without Information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    But the sale is being run by your typical British wanker outfit of auctioneers - isn't it?..........read though the lot descriptions and it's patently clear - the twat who put that catalogue together, didn't know one end of a shovel from the other end of the hole up his ass.
    Yes, the casting furnace is called a boiler

    The lathe is called after the bug shiny plate of the dealer, not the embossed casting of the manufacturer...and so on.

  7. #25
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    Well he had some old shit that's for sure. 80% of that lot could go straight in a skip. Whatever he earned through after dinner speaking it didn't get spent on modern tooling !

    As for the auctioneers - when has a " Tirfor " been a " Tipton " , the tossers can't even read.

    There's a mention of a " Sylvester " in one of the lots. I remember being sent to get a " Sylvess " from the stores as a lad. It turned out to be a small ratchet chain winch. More for lifting out car engines I would have thought. Anybody else come across the term ?

    Regards Tyrone.

  8. #26
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    My wife and I have had some discussion as to the disposition of my shop and "hoard" after I am dead and gone. While none of us knows how long we have in this life or what our end will be, at age 67, it's not too soon to start thinking of the inevitable end we all face. After the usual formalities of drawing up our wills, and getting a trust set up for our daughter with autism, naming trustees, etc, my wife got to thinking of the tons of machine tools and similar, along with books, engine models, historic stuff like gauges, name plates, etc. Let's face it, when I am dead, I am not going to be in a position to dictate nor object to how the stuff is disposed of.

    Since the machine tools are in the basement, and some rigging is required to get them back out, I left a simple instruction for them:

    -call my buddies and give them first pick.
    -call any of the younger people I've mentored and give them pick of the litter.
    -put a notice on this 'board and let anyone who cares to come and remove machine tools or whatever else suits them from the designated stuff have it for the asking.

    I've taken to writing the "provenance" of the machine tools and shop equipment on each item when possible, using a paint marker. The list is pretty straight forward with certain items designated to try to keep in the family (machinist chest, engine models and my old BMW motorcycle which I've owned and ridden over 40 years).
    Firearms will likely go to my buddies who are shooters if my son does not want them.

    My other policy that developed was simple:
    -stop lugging home projects that won't get done
    -make sure any machine tools or similar on the premises are working and usable for getting real work out on.
    -don't accumulate anything that duplicates what I already have unless it is a "step up" or has some other compelling reason to bring it home

    As for Mr. Dibnah and his being somewhat mercenary, that was his decision. Each of us has his own financial situation and ideals to balance off. I can afford to be more altruistic. I also take a rather simple view of things and that is: "How do I feel when the sun goes down ?". If I have tried to set things to rights, perhaps helped someone along the way, and not screwed anyone over or taken advantage of a situation, and will be remembered in a good light if I fail to show up next morning, I go to sleep easily. I donate my own time to teaching and mentoring whenever I can. My remuneration is in the doing and of the passing along of knowledge, skills, and seeing younger people "come along" in the trade or profession I've made my life's work. When I retired from the powerplant, the moment came when I was to address the crew for the last time. Call it the "Scoutmaster's Minute" or similar. I've found public speaking comes easily, off the cuff, and is best when I speak from the heart. That was the case that last time addressing the crew. What words came to me were something to the effect of:

    "Everyone has a price. Most people will yield to some temptation and come cheap- could be money, better salary, could be a promotion for both salary and prestige even if it meant screwing over co workers and friends... could be material posessions... could be a trophy wife.... Look what happens in areas when the power goes off and the wholesale looting starts. Ordinary people become thieves. The best price to have is one which cannot be measured in any kind of quantifiable units or in anything tangible like a job promotion or material goods or a hot young babe. That price which is not quantifiable or definable is trust and respect. You all have more than rewarded me an immeasurable amount, trusting me with your lives on the job, and giving me a degree of respect which contributed to my working 2 years beyond retirement eligibility. Thanking all of you seems hardly adequate. Thank you for making me aware of my own price and for rewarding me in ways nothing else could."

    That was the parting speech. I got my words out, and had to turn away. Some of the hard-cased mechanics also had to turn away. Shedding tears in a powerplant is not something that happens often. I had come to realize how infinitely rich I had become. It also made me aware of the fleeting nature of our lives and the nature of material posessions. Years ago, when some of the crew might mess up a job, they'd come to me and expect a chewing out or some kind of cussing and carrying on by me. Instead, I'd go over the job, what went wrong, and what we had to do to get back on track. The mechanics would ask me why I did not blow up at them or cuss at things in general. I'd tell them: carrying on served no constructive purpose, and as long as no one got hurt or worse, and as long as we did not blow anything up or flood the plant (hydroelectric plant). If it was an honest mistake, we'd make a quiet lesson of it. If it was a careless mistake, I did not point fingers, but might make a generalized "tailgate meeting" out of it. As I would tell the crew: "We can always fix machinery and equipment. We can throw money at the problem, maybe we wind up on the carpet, but we are all still going safely home. There is often no fixing human flesh when illness or accidents strike. THAT is when I get upset and frustrated. I no longer get too worked up about the 'iron'. If you need a hand figuring something out, I'm always here. As long as we all get safely home, that is the first priority."

    The result carried into my thinking with my own shop and accumulations of books, historic stuff and similar. It is just "things". It is unfair to bind my heirs from beyond my grave with maintaining and housing the machinery and historic stuff if they have no use nor interest in it. My son may well choose to keep keepsakes and foreign coins from his travels in my big Gerstner chest when that time comes. That is his choice. That same stuff did its work for me in my own life, but saddling family and friends with the proverbial "white elephants" is unrealistic and unfair to them. Better they remember me for who I was and take some of that along with them.

    Fred Dibnah had a collection that would have taken anyone a few lifetimes to work through. His domestic life was a patchwork, to be polite. Who knows what state of affairs he left this life in ? Who knows if his heirs have any real interest in the major part of his collection or whether stuff has to be sold to settle debts ?
    Dibnah made his collection and shop what it was. Without him, it is just so much old iron. If it gets pieced-out to people who will remember it came from his shop or collection, or simply goes to people who will make some use of some of it, that is the realistic view. Like a lot of people who drag home old iron, it can reach the point where the amount of old iron (machine tools, engines, boilers, old bulldozers, old trucks, etc) is at a point where there is no way the owner can hope to work on all of it. Stuff like that sits around and rusts into the ground and engines freeze up solid, and the owner usually leaves this life without ever touching most of the stuff in his iron piles. Approach those kinds of people with those kinds of iron piles and the invariable answer is: "Nope, I won't sell it to you.... I'm gonna get to it one of these days...." About the only thing that DOES happen is the grim reaper gets to them first and the iron pile is often so far gone that it heads to the scrappers. Seen it many times and heard that sort of answer. Dibnah was sitting on quite a collection. He had more there than he'd ever be able to restore or use. Hopefully, some of it will go to people who will restore or use it, or at least strip usable parts from stuff that is otherwise too far gone from sitting too long.

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    personally,I find there is very little interest in old machinery,unlesss some item has recently sold for $250,000 and got a mention in the media.Young people seem to be interested in one thing.....can they "flip it" for twice or more straight away.I have an old crawler dragline ,and interest in it always seems to peak when scrap prices get high.....On top of that,fewer and fewer have any skill to run manual machines.....I expect everything I have will be sold for scrap,except the old motorbikes.

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  11. #28
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    "an old crawler dragline" That sounds interesting, what is it?

    Richard

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    personally,I find there is very little interest in old machinery,unlesss some item has recently sold for $250,000 and got a mention in the media.Young people seem to be interested in one thing.....can they "flip it" for twice or more straight away.I have an old crawler dragline ,and interest in it always seems to peak when scrap prices get high.....On top of that,fewer and fewer have any skill to run manual machines.....I expect everything I have will be sold for scrap,except the old motorbikes.
    I know it's the antique forum, and nothing here has to be economically viable, but...

    Industrial equipment has a precarious fate once it is well and truly obsolete. I remember a crawler drag line still running occasionally at the city water treatment plant when I was just a very young kid, 30 years ago. I'm sure it's been made into razor blades long ago.

    You'd have to find a "kid" with the means to move it, a place to keep it, some knowledge of how to run it, and the desire to actually own it. Seems like long odds.

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    How will they get the machines from the basement ?

    Simply torch the House, fish all the metal from the basement
    with an excavator a few days later.....

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    You'd have to find a "kid" with the means to move it, a place to keep it, some knowledge of how to run it, and the desire to actually own it. Seems like long odds.[/QUOTE]

    Maybe so....but there are some odd bu..ers about

    Richard

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    Many of them on this forum...

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    How will they get the machines from the basement ?

    Simply torch the House, fish all the metal from the basement
    with an excavator a few days later.....
    Cold Doug, that is very cold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdleach View Post
    Cold Doug, that is very cold.
    Not really, the scrapper has No memories attached to each piece.
    To them, it's just tonnage, to make money.

    Plus if you go at it the very next day (after the fire) you
    can use the still warm metal to heat/cook your lunch (wrapped in tinfoil)....

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  21. #35
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    Up till recently i worked for a Fred Dibnah type of guy......quite a big business with 60 employed......he stacked the yard with thousands of tons of junk,wouldnt let anyone touch any of the "collectables".......he wasnt mental though,just had a very hard life.His father had a rag and bone cart,took him out of school at 10 years old,and they walked the streets conning people out of household stuff...he then got into shonky house painting,ripping off old people.Frome there he started in demolitions and sandblasting,before the laws closed in.He has retired a near billionaire.....strangely,when he retired ,everything went for scrap to a scrappy who would pay cash,no tax records.He just turned his back on the lot.

  22. #36
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    My missus and my buddies all know the gantry in the garage is designed to roll so it spans the basement access stair. First act is to unbolt the stair and hoist it clear, then machinery can be rigged out. No need to torch the house. I do not need to encumber my wife/widow and heirs with having to sell off a load of machine tools and shop contents to settle my estate. If they WANT to sell some of it, fine, but my 'druthers is simple to GIVE it all away to people who knew me and will use it, or at least to people who have some appreciation and use for it.

    I do not have any really monsterous machine tools, nothing that can't be moved on pipe rollers and picked out of the basement stairwell with the chainfall on the gantry. There was method to my madness.

    As for "cold", well, being dead is just that unless my ticket is punched for that hotter place. Either way, I am not going to be in a position to dictate much of anything, nor do I want my wife/widow or children to have to deal with an endless sale of my shop contents. Years ago, some of us went in together to buy the contents of a deceased toolmaker's home shop. It was in a large garage attached to his house, and was his "retirement shop". In that shop, he had loads of tooling along with two Bridgeports and one Taiwanese clone, two Southbend lathes, drill presses, Powermatic band saw, Sanford Surface Grinder, and much smaller stuff. The story was the widow of the toolmaker had attempted to sell her late husband's shop and put ads in the local papers. What she got was a flock of chiselers who did not want to pay much for the machine tools and spent their time and hers telling her how little anything was worth. The widow got fed up and called my buddy, who was a longtime friend. He said he'd get some of us together and we'd put a thousand bucks apiece into the pot, and with five of us, she'd get a lump sum of 5 grand. The widow said that was fine with her, particularly since the machine tools and shop contents would go to people who'd appreciate and use them. She also did not want a long-drawn removal process. We went down the first Saturday and unwired all the machine tools, stripped off tooling and smaller machine tools and loaded them into our pickups. A week later, we returned with a rented box truck with a lift gate. Using rollers and pinch bars, we had the machinery out of that shop and into the truck in a very short time. It was not our first rodeo.

    We realized there was more there than we bargained for in endless drawers of cutting tools and similar. We each added a couple of hundred apiece to the pot. The widow gave me her late husband's drawing table with drafting machine when she learned I was an engineer. She only asked that the last drawings her husband had been working on be taken off the table and given to her. I also lucked into a really fine M-1 rifle from the widow, a story I've written about before. I could see the widow's point: she did not want an endless parade of would-be buyers arriving to burn up time and try to chisel her on the price figuring she was ignorant, or would-be buyers getting loose in the shop and pilfering the smaller stuff. There were surface plates, height gauges, rotary tables, mikes, vernier calipers to 24", and on it went. It would have been easy enough for this kind of stuff to be pilfered.

    We made an accounting of what we found, asked if it was included in the sale, and were square with the lady. She wanted a quick and clean disposal of her late husband's shop and she got just that. We were polite and respectful at all times. The shop and house were at the top of one of the nastiest and steepest driveways imaginable. It was a driveway worthy of a skit by the Three Stooges (as icemen), or Laurel and Hardy (delivering a piano). The toolmaker was a Swiss immigrant, so maybe he was homesick for Switzerland. As he and his wife advanced in years, they found the driveway to be more of a challenge. In any kind of slick conditions- even rain- the blacktop driveway as steep as it was, was impossible for most vehicles to get up. The toolmaker had a parking area at the base of the driveway, and had designed and built a kind of "funicular" for his wire and himself. This ran on a single rail as a monorail, the rail being tripled 2 x 12's set on timber posts. At the head of the driveway was a 110 volt winch and a limit switch for it. The way the monorail or funicular worked was simple. They'd hop into it and there was space for luggage or groceries. Once in the car of the funicular, they'd reach out and hit the "up" button for the winch, mounted in a weathertite box on a post. Once this was done, the winch started and there was no stopping anywhere midway. The winch drew the car to the top and when it banged into the limit switch, it cut off power to the winch. The car was run back down under similar controls from the top, banging a limit switch at the bottom.

    Aside from this crazy setup, the driveway proved too much for the toolmaker. He had once been a fine physical specimen who hiked, climbed mountains, ate a sound diet and pretty much abstained from alcohol and tobacco. In his later years, as his widow told us, the toolmaker started eating all the wrong foods, drinking alcohol, and smoking large numbers of cigars. As his widow told it, her late husband was in bad physical shape, overweight and other health issues. One snowy day, he opened his shop door, took a shovel, and before he had cleared much snow, dropped dead of a massive heart attack. He had left no instructions for his shop, so his widow told us she was on her own to figure out how to dispose of it. Innocently putting ads in the local papers drew a lot of wannabes, and some "dealers" looking to make a killing.
    After dealing with these chiselers, the widow was pretty frazzled and just wanted to have done with clearing out the shop and seeing it go to some people who had the right attitudes and ideas.

    We paid what we could afford, and the widow was happy with that. We did not wreck the place getting the machinery or anything else out. We took care to restore the premises, wire-nutting off wires formerly powering machine tools and putting them in the boxes and putting on cover plates. We swept up afterwards. As I said the driveway was a nightmare. We were lucky we had a clear and absolutely dry day to get the box truck up the driveway. My buddy, who can put a semi trailer into the tightest spots by backing it in, had all he could do to get that Ryder truck up the driveway. It took some running starts, and some careful maneuvering without stopping. The rented truck had an automatic transmission, which made all the difference. Once we got that truck outside the shop, we made sure to chock the wheels.
    We did not need a runaway down the driveway. The widow told us that her late husband had lost a couple of cars when the brakes would not hold them on that driveway under slippery conditions. We came prepared for all eventualities. We had a Dodge Ram 4 x 4 truck with the Cummins diesel and some heavy chains in the event the rented box truck needed some help on the steep grade.

    I've left things such that my heirs and assignees can remove my shop contents without burning down the house above it. If they choose to fire the grill and break into the beer and liquor, I am sure my wife and son (if he is home) will help in that process and say: "This is what Joe would've done..." and the stories and jokes would start flowing.

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    The dragline is a Oz made "Harman" of about 20 tons wt,so quite a handy size,and not too expensive to shift.Pretty rusty ,but the 4LW Gardner runs like a clock.It will idle all day without a trace of smoke.Very handy for cleaning up junk with the grab fitted.

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    I know two scrap yards at home still running ancient Insley cranes with magnets. Can't miss the sound of those 4 cylinder Detroits. But I've not seen one moving dirt in 30 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    I know two scrap yards at home still running ancient Insley cranes with magnets. Can't miss the sound of those 4 cylinder Detroits. But I've not seen one moving dirt in 30 years.
    There was a guy on the Heavy Equipment forum posting pictures of his pond dredging operation. Friction crawler cranes loading modern haul trucks.

    But as an owner of a 40ton friction crane, I don't think I'd be man enough to run anything like than all day and be productive.

    Guy said he uses those cranes cause a small light crane with 40 or 60 of boom will reach places that youd need an enormous long reach excavator for.

    Pretty neat.

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    I actually looked into one for dredging ponds. It could work, but a long reach excavator is about twice as fast. Even with permits to haul it and 20 times the purchase price, I think the excavator would be the better option.


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