The Ultimate Sale - A Lifetime of Tool and Die Precision Tools
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    Default The Ultimate Sale - A Lifetime of Tool and Die Precision Tools

    Hi Everyone-

    My dad worked as a tool and die maker for Caterpillar for 35 years and accumulated MANY precision tools. He passed away and my mom is looking to sell them in advance of moving. They are in pristine condition. We are looking for someone to help us determine their value and ideally someone to buy them. We would be willing to give whoever buys them a great deal if they bought most of them as we need them gone. We are located in the south west suburbs of Chicago. Unfortunately, we do not know the names of many of these tools otherwise we would attempt to create a list to help give everyone a better idea of what we have. If you know anyone who can help us please let me know.

    Please reach out to [email protected] with any suggestions, information, or questions. Thank you!

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    Will,

    First, sorry about your FATHER. My suggestion, is take as many pictures as possible, then upload them, or create a link to an album someplace, even on a Facebook page of it's own. We (the many very knowledgeable members of this forum) will be able to identify what you have and help.

    Regards,
    Chris

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    if you could send me a few pictures, or a list of what's there, I buy lots of tooling if the price is right. A basic idea of how much you want for all of it would be helpful too.

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    Take pics as said above and post them here, or link here to where they are and we can help tell you what they are and help with value as well.

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    What about any of his work buddies, could they help identify some of it?

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    Be advised in my experience as a rule 25% of new is about all used tools like these bring when in very good or better condition. Some items of course will be worth more maybe as high as 50%.run of the mill micrometers ,calipers, parallels etc. the 25% rule works well. Sorry for your lose.

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    First off, my condolences to you and your family for your loss. Photos would help as others as stated. I'm sure many of the instruments will be of use to the members of this board. As a former tool & die maker I can say that the purpose/advantage for some of the tooling may not be apparent to those that have never needed it for the intended purpose. This may be especially true for items he made himself. I have several small fixtures that I made for special applications, I've no doubt that your father did the same for his job. There are several die makers on this board that would find such special tooling to be quite handy to have, most other machinists may not want/need because of the special nature of the intended purpose. Group the tooling into small items that appear to have engraved numbers or are obviously measuring devices, those will have general use to the members. The bulkier pieces of metal like vices or indexers may still be useful for general purposes. We can help identify what they are and perhaps steer you in the direction of determining what the value in them might be. I doubt that I'd need any of them but I'd be willing to help if I can.

    -As a side note: I lived in the Chicago area for almost 30 years and die makers usually knew each other directly or indirectly through others.

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    Also sorry for you and your family's loss . My dad retired from Cat. I am sending you an email. We also live south west of Chicago although it's about 60-70 miles south west.

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    No disrespect intended to the OP; but I hope some of you other old-timers reading this thread (and the many like it we see every year), will start noticing a trend, and consider a sensible pre-death solution.

    I can think of a couple(and I'm sure there are others);

    a) Sell your stuff in order of least importance (based on the frequency you actually use it, not the amount you'd rather not have to spend buying one if you actually happen to need it one day of late retirement), and put that money into a trust for your "survivors" (I've talked occasionally to people smarter than me doing just such, thoughtfully considering how stressful it must be to sell this sort of thing, not knowing the value, yet having an idea that the equipment is; fine, valuable, and important, especially if your descendants respect the legacy of work).

    b) Put your specialized tools, tooling, even machines that are too specialized to leave selling instructions for(aka anything your average "handy" decedent might recognize and be able to find a use for yearly) into an inheritance trust for either a relative that has an interest, or someone that might actually appreciate, be able to use, or at least be qualified to sell off your machine tool baggage.


    Hell we see all the auctions, estate/probate is liable to get nothing if it's covering some debts, but worse, it's gotta be a nightmare for someone dealing with these things, having no knowledge, but a huge shadow cast by your work.

    Having no heirs myself, but a large, and ever accumulating trail of machinery, accessories, tools, and tooling, it's something I consider. With the perspective of my aging familiar elders, and subsequently tame interests (which anticipation of dealing with their loose ends only feeds the ulcers), I'll be doing "b", and leaving all my related equipment in a trust either to a hypothetical personal kid that could come along, one of my friend's kid that makes the mistake of showing an interest, or one of the related non-profits I'm involved in that would benefit.


    I cannot fathom a scenario where the amount of input energy (time, money, emotion, stress, whatever), on the part of a surviving loved one, is fairly compensated for all this crap (painstakingly built, ingenious, beautiful machines/tools/etc to me), after I'm gone, with whatever pennies on the dollar they're likely to get in the end, no matter how great my collection, or investment.


    Hope you guys find someone to help, without too much dog in the fight. Nobody willing, will have the knowledge, but no personal interest. If they're honest about it, and helpful, be grateful. Hope it's not too difficult to deal with, I bet it never crossed your dad's mind. I think we all take for granted the stuff we know how to utilize, that others don't.

    Condolences, and apologies for the diatribe.

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    This is an excellent post from Javan. It is something most us of need to heed. I am in my late seventies and this is a subject many of my buddies talk about often. Just remember, you don't have to die for this to come up. A close friend of mine and fellow small-shop owner had a stroke a couple of years ago. He isn't sure what to do and his family certainly doesn't either. My own kids have broached the subject also. My three daughters are worried about this and their husbands have no knowledge or interest in a shop either.

    JH

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    Before my friend passed away he told his wife to contact me. At that time I helped her with descriptions and pricing. As their children had scattered across the country she had sold many things via garage sales. When Summer arrived she had all the items marked and priced for sale.
    An ad that mentions tools for sale brings a lot of buyers. The take was probably 30 cents on today's dollar. Considering how old the tools were much of the original cost was recovered.
    John

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    All very good suggestions. There are good Machinist teachers and Gurus on You Tube who showcase such things also. These kinds of items are often very well made and are unique. I am sorry your Father passed away. I wish you the best and keep in mind it is a person with similar background that appreciates these kind of tools the most. (Or even know what they are for)

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    If you are looking for minimum hassle when selling and not too worried about the best price, you might contact lostcreekmachine.com and see if they would be interested in looking the collection over an making an offer. They are used machinery dealers in Ottawa that also sell measuring instruments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnEvans View Post
    Be advised in my experience as a rule 25% of new is about all used tools like these bring when in very good or better condition. Some items of course will be worth more maybe as high as 50%.run of the mill micrometers ,calipers, parallels etc. the 25% rule works well. Sorry for your lose.
    Good point, and I'd ad the caveat being what source is used to acquire that new starting price. I'm amazed at what prices I see some major suppliers post for new tools, sometimes its the manufacturers suggested list price.

    Steve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevewatr View Post
    Good point, and I'd ad the caveat being what source is used to acquire that new starting price. I'm amazed at what prices I see some major suppliers post for new tools, sometimes its the manufacturers suggested list price.

    Steve.

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    Yeah, retail "list price" in this industry is so arbitrary, and almost nobody except someone with more money than sense usually has to pay it. Although I think big outfits do out of convenience, maybe when dealing with a supplier they don't do a lot of business with, and maybe that's what spawns these price models.

    I love seeing an MSC price quoted, that's typically, the highest possible price one can find, and nobody not operating on an account with zero care to cost will pay it. Even then, most businesses that do any amount of regular business with them will get better pricing.


    "Street" values on almost anything in our industry, are usually, MUCH lower. In the case of MSC, usually 10 seconds on google can find you another vendor selling the exact same item, new, not surplus, for 20-50% less. Let alone if you shop around for an equivalent.

    Machinery may be a little different, but depreciation is in turn, much higher.

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    Hi All,

    Thank you for all of the info and suggestions. We were able to snap some pictures during some spring cleaning this weekend, please see the below Google Drive link. I know not all of this stuff is specifically machinist tools, but stuff seemed to be mixed in so we did the best we could. There is definitely more than what is in the pictures, but this should give a sense of what we have.

    Any additional valuation info or suggestions on how to sell quickly in large lots would be appreciated!

    Tool pictures - Google Drive

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willmot3 View Post
    Hi All,

    Thank you for all of the info and suggestions. We were able to snap some pictures during some spring cleaning this weekend, please see the below Google Drive link. I know not all of this stuff is specifically machinist tools, but stuff seemed to be mixed in so we did the best we could. There is definitely more than what is in the pictures, but this should give a sense of what we have.

    Any additional valuation info or suggestions on how to sell quickly in large lots would be appreciated!

    Tool pictures - Google Drive
    Yup, looked at your pics. Spotted plenty of gems in boxes and on shelves. Some local pickers going to have a field day.

    That first lathe is a early south bend cone head. It's a change gear lathe, so look for a box of gears in that sty, they should stay with that lathe. That being said, the aloris toolpost and holders on that lathe are worth about as much as that lathe (at least based on prices in the northeast. Look for holders for that tool post, they add value.

    I'll stop here and look at he photos on my desktop to see what else I can spot.

    Steve.

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    Thank you for picture img_2747.jpg
    That partially covered package of Amphora pipe tobacco brought back forgotten smells and memories of a gentleman thats been gone for a long time...


    Thank you again

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    Yeah, kind of what I expected here.


    The lathes and bandsaw are the obvious bigger ticket items, and we're still not talking huge money. List those each seperately once you feel you have a price in mind, the smaller lathes may do well depending on your area, they're the size people like for their home shops often, for gunsmithing, etc.


    I would highly recommend, unless you have someone that can sort through all the small hand tools, fixtures, tooling etc (and list on ebay) to find a local buyer that'll give you a cash price for all of it, probably with the misc cabinets/tool boxes included.


    Otherwise you're going to get picked over for the few obscure but potentially valuable items that you won't have any clue as to the value, and be left with all the extras and getting nothing for most of it.

    For instance, all those carbide inserts are scrap, unless someone identifies, inspects, and sorts all of it, and happens to find a few of some rare but desirable combo, but most likely, regardless, it's scrap, at scrap carbide prices, since without the packages to identify it, specifics will be next to impossible.

    There's gonna be a lot of things, that whomever picks through, are going to be actual trash, stuff he kept in case he needed a part or widget to make something work. I've got piles and piles of that stuff, we all do.

    Indicators unless they're new in the box, many of the older ones can't be repaired economically, so unless you're qualified to determine how accurate they still are, it's anybody's guess as to whether they're trash or gems. Misc setup items and jigs etc, would be valuable to a newer guy looking to tool up, but needs to be reconditioned in most cases from the photos.


    I've bought a number of "lots" locally from retiring machinists, or guys shutting down a small outfit, guys that actually know what things costs new and what they could be worth, for $800-$1000, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on what's obvious of value, because of the time, effort, etc required to sort and sell. Usually, I find a few gems that I don't need, that are worth enough to off-set my cost, and it's a win for everyone. If you can find a young machinist trying to tool up, that may work for you guys, ask for an offer on everything and see if it sounds right to you.

    Nothing in the small items is jumping out at me, as obvious multi-hundred dollar values, although I'm sure there is some stuff stashed, hopefully, in those boxes or wooden cases, as the rest of the stuff is stored none-so-gently to be in perfect shape. Remember, the name of this game is accuracy, and surface rust, dents or dings, devalue metrology and machine auxiliaries more than a new car.


    Good luck guys, and consider what value the legacy of your father has, over currency. If it were me, I'd try to make sure this stuff went to loving appreciative hands, it's not a bag of cash, jewels, stocks, bonds etc. Nor is it a massive fortune under any circumstances IMO.

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    After looking at the pix, I would change your advertising (from this point on, the title of this thread can't be changed).
    From "Tool & Die",
    to "Machinist".

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