Pricing Old American Iron
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  1. #1
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    Default Pricing Old American Iron

    As my business continues to change and grow, I am slowly surpassing the point where my time and floor space is more valuable than what many of my old machines put out. Many of my machines have sentimental value, and selling them will be extremely difficult. Most are in good, or better condition, well cared for machines that at times I traveled great distances to procure.

    Problem I am having at the moment is pricing them. I am struggling to find comparable machines recently sold to look at reasonable prices. I am well versed at what used machinery sells for, and don't worry I know I won't retire on the few machines I have, but I would like to get as much money as I can for them. This in part helps assure me a buyer will HOPEFULLY take care of them.

    In order of age:
    Averbeck 21" Shaper - good running machine w/ vise, extra phenolic crash gear and tooling. Roughly based on scrap $400-$600? This was the very first machine tool I ever ran. My grandfather started me on it, when I started working at his Tool & Die shop after college.

    Abrasive 1 1/2 Surface Grinder - I have a few of these and while I know used grinders don't bring much, most sellers do a terrible job of showing condition. A couple of these grinders still grind flat within a tenth or two and have good finishes. $500-$1000?

    Gorton 3U Pantograph - Extremely well equipped. I have an absurd amount of tooling and spare parts and accessories. - $1000?

    B&S 2A Light Type Universal Horizontal (1942?) - Good running machine in good condition w/ vertical head, rare dividing head, complete set of gears for div head, vertical spindle converted to 30 NMTB Erikson Quick Change, an extensive assortment of 30 taper tooling, some 40 taper tooling including a Sumitomo 6" facemill, and a few B&S holders for the dividing head and a 4 jaw chuck. $2000?

    Monarch 10EE (1943) - I'll eventually put a post in the Monarch forum, but I'll put this here for now. Good running machine, fair amount of wear, but mechanically a good functioning machine. $1500? I would probably sell the Cushman 4 jaw and Jacobs rubberflex separate.

    K&T 2D (June 1944) - A nice running machine in good condition. Spindle bearings are tired, and it can be difficult to get really nice finishes. Needs some love and care if it is going to be a regularly used machine. Pretty accurate machine, though it has a fair amount of slop in the screws. Well equipped machine, with a 16" rotary table, PTO, w/ 3 splined shafts, connectors, a complete set of 30 K&T collets, 2 or 3 of the 30 K&T holders for 20 K&T collets, a complete set of 20 K&T collets, several NOS 30 K&T collets and several NOS 20 K&T collets, has trays for P&W/DeVlieg end measures, only 1 of the .0001" indicators is working, but I bought a replacement for the other. I also have a K&T Dividing Head which would be available for purchase. $3000? $4000? With the accessories, parting it out is probably the best way to go, but I hate to do that.

    Cincinatti Toolmaster (1956) - I have the invoice and paperwork for this machine. My grandfather was there the day it was delivered December 24th 1956. He used this machine for the next 55 years. I spent many hours working on this mill with him frowning over my shoulder. It still does good work, but takes some WORK to make good work. I rebuilt the spindle a few years ago with premium super precision bearings (ABEC 7 instead of the original ABEC 5) Takes a proprietary Weldon quick change holder. It comes with a small, but comprehensive set. They can be made by modifying 40 NMTB holders. $1000?

    Thoughts? Opinions?

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    Pricing can be hard as the market value and what it will actually sell for don't always match up. The K&T 2D for example (one of my dream machines BTW) might attract a bunch of low ball buyers who only see it as a too-complicated Bridgeport with un-obtainable tooling. In the right hands it can do amazing things and be a dream to use, but if that buyer never turns up... how long do you sit on it? In terms of surplus or less productive machines, I prefer to keep the machines I have rather than hope I can buy another later, but when new tools come in that are more productive, you gotta let go of something.

    I don't think your prices are too far off. You'll be the one to know how to balance what you'll let it go for and how long you'll hold onto it.

    Sentiment is a dangerous thing though. Family machines are harder to let go of than rare or unique machines, IMO. We'll always have need of a manual lathe or two, so I don't see any reason to let go of the lathes my Dad started his shop with. As time goes on however, I've been sorting our non-CNC machine fleet in such a way that the newer Asian import machines find new homes and are replaced by older American Iron (even if they need extra attention to become productive)... with one exception. We have an old I.P.S. wood bandsaw, 1970's Taiwan, that I wouldn't mind replacing with a piece of old iron, but it was the first machine my dad taught me to use and there's a big pencil scribble on the side of the stand where my 3 year old self graffitied it. I can't put a price on it, so someday it'll likely go to a family member or good friend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post

    Monarch 10EE (1943) - I'll eventually put a post in the Monarch forum, but I'll put this here for now. Good running machine, fair amount of wear, but mechanically a good functioning machine. $1500? I would probably sell the Cushman 4 jaw and Jacobs rubberflex separate.

    ...
    Thoughts? Opinions?
    If it actually runs properly, even worn, you can probably ask at least twice that for a 10EE. There is almost a cult following for these things.

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    Be careful on pricing, MAKE sure you cover the loading price, real easy to sell a machine to cheap and not cover the cost to load it, and the baby sitting is a pia...Phil

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    I think you are low on the 10EE and high on the 2D. Sadly, even with all those accessories the 2D is a boat anchor to 99% of buyers, especially since its worn. It would probably be easier to sell all the tooling for more money than you could sell tooling + machine for.

    Other prices seem in the ballpark.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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    PM sent about the 2D

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    Sending PM about the K & T Model 2D Tooling and Accessories.

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    If the 2D ends up going to the pot, I’d be interested in the 90* rotary table drive bracket.

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    Your prices are inline with what I'd hope to get.

    I hear you on the earning potential of old stuff. I have a manual HBM that I really love having, but I could sell it for $15k and buy a very nice 20 year old 400MM HMC with that same money that takes up less floor space and could make mountains more money.

    I have found that most people buy old machines on looks. Doesn't have to look like new at all, just look like you gave a shit about it.

    If you say the machine is worn out then that's what people will think. If you say it's not new, but still makes good parts and let them decide if it's good or not.

    I don't mean that in a screw people over way, just that I used to sell things "full dislosure" and in my mind that meant sharing everything I knew wasn't perfect. People don't want to hear how shitty their dream machine is.

    what changed my mind was selling a really clapped out Bridgeport that was one of my first machines. I paid a lot for it and it was a wreck. I did a total cosmetic resto on it and rebuilt the head, but the ways were still real bad. I really needed $1500 out of it which was a fraction of my investment into it (dumb), but I couldn't get anyone to offer more than $700 for it with my ad mentioning all the defects. Finally I shortened the ad and just left it at old working Bridgeport with fresh paint job. I guy showed up with a bunch of indicators and cranked it all over testing who knows what, he had no idea I'm sure. He offered me $2500 and I just about did a back flip. All he was going to do with it was use a holesaw to notch tubing. He just needed a heavy drill press and to him he was plenty happy with scored up ways as long as the table locks worked.

    So don't make your machines sound like shit. Tell the truth when asked about stuff, but don't paint a picture that makes the machine sound so bad you'll never sell it.

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    Thank you for all the responses! I appreciate the feedback.

    At this time the machines are not for sale, and I did not mean for this to become a "FOR SALE" page.

    So to all the folks that PM'd and Emailed me, thank you, keep an eye out, and when I am ready to sell the machines I will list them in the marketplace.

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    Might be more machines available in your neck of the woods. I sold a couple machines for an 88 year old friend of mine this summer before he succumbed to Covid. Greater Kansas City area.
    One was an Abrasive 1 1/2 that had never been powered up in his shop. I temporarily hooked it up for a buyer to see run. They gave the asking price of $750.00. Intended usage is to be knife making. Hope it works well for them.
    Another was a plain American 24” shaper. Buyer gave asking price of $1,750 and that surprised me. They are getting hard to find, but I expected to negotiate.
    Buyer re listed it on FB Marketplace for a profit. Not on there now so I don’t know if it sold again or not.
    Both machines were filthy from setting, but no known issues.
    YMMV.
    Best of luck moving forward.

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    Abrasive 1 1/2 SG is a very high-class grinder, an old machine still running tenths is common. Plus they are scrapable. so often able to make an old clunker like new.

    Yes good to know the spindle is Ok/good,

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin johnson View Post
    Might be more machines available in your neck of the woods. I sold a couple machines for an 88 year old friend of mine this summer before he succumbed to Covid. Greater Kansas City area.
    One was an Abrasive 1 1/2 that had never been powered up in his shop. I temporarily hooked it up for a buyer to see run. They gave the asking price of $750.00. Intended usage is to be knife making. Hope it works well for them.
    Another was a plain American 24” shaper. Buyer gave asking price of $1,750 and that surprised me. They are getting hard to find, but I expected to negotiate.
    Buyer re listed it on FB Marketplace for a profit. Not on there now so I don’t know if it sold again or not.
    Both machines were filthy from setting, but no known issues.
    YMMV.
    Best of luck moving forward.
    Good to know! If I sell the shaper I will start a little higher.

    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    Abrasive 1 1/2 SG is a very high-class grinder, an old machine still running tenths is common. Plus they are scrapable. so often able to make an old clunker like new.

    Yes good to know the spindle is Ok/good,
    I am glad to hear you say that, I thought I was the only person alive that knew what an Abrasive was and how GOOD of machines they are.

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    I have an Abrasive 3B. It’s an excellent machine and continues to make money weekly.
    I think your prices in general are very reasonable, but I agree the 2D is a little high and the 10EE could probably sell for $4500 if it’s decent…


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