I love estate sales. But you have to hit them early.
Most have bullshit. All the crap one collects before you pull the croak chain and the kids have to clean out the house. I read a piece awhile back where the consignment shops were full, and it was tough to get rid of mom’s hubble collection, since the millenial generation lives more simply. They just don’t want that hubble cabinet, or even a china cabinet, having foregone china as a wedding present.
I get that.
I myself am trying to simplify my life. I’ll be at it this weekend as I clean out the man-cave of an office I inhabit.
That said, when I go to these sales, I’m after tools and man stuff. Oddly, there never seems to be any shootin’ irons at these things. Nor have I seen any interesting guitars. I’ve been to some where there’s a good tool selection but they’ve priced everything at nearly what it would cost you new.
Those sales are a bummer.
When I was on my walk this week, I passed one in the hood, and waddled in to size it up. As I figured, stuff I was interested in was in short supply. They had a few things That caught my eye – like a fine tooth cut saw – like for and old school mitre box. Set at $4, that was sort of a steal. There were a couple full size hand saws, but they appeared dull.
Having no cash (I was on an exercise walk), I went home and forgot about it.
But then I started thinking. That sale started in the middle of the week. There was a really nice craftsman rolling tool chest – two pieces, in really good shape. I paid nearly $600 for my set new, and this one was older, in good shape, and priced at $240. A steal and a clue. Another clue was that there was a really high quality flare tool as well as a tubing bender. Dudes that have them don’t buy shit tools. I’m guessing that the good stuff got picked off in the first hours of sale. Dude doesn’t have a setup like that, and when I waddle in, there’s only a dozen or so cheap wrenches left. There had to be some good shit in that box.
The cutoff saw plagued my thoughts all week. It was an old saw that was really sharp, and was quality. So Friday, I drove back, cash in hand, to see if it was still there.
It was. As was most of the stuff in the garage. So I grabbed it, an ice shipper, and an egg beater type drill.
List price on all was maybe $12. It was 1/2 price day, so I scored the lot for $8.25. There was tax involved.
The drill is seized, but has a full load of bits in the handle. What’s funny is every now and then I need to start a screw and don’t need a full on Ryobi driver. I’ll unstick it and make it work.
The chipper thing I really don’t need, but when you need one, It’s nice to have. I’ve badly needed a saw like that and really good ones, like that old one, are pricey. You have to go to a high end shop to get one, unless you go to horrible freight and get the chinesium one. (as an aside, the minute I typed that, a Harbor Freight commercial came up on the youtubes channel I was watching)
It’s really sad when a dude has passed or is going to a home and sells off all his stuff. These tools aren’t tchotchkes like hubble figurines, old china pieces, or furniture. This was stuff a dude used to live his life. It’s sad when it’s cut loose at a sale like this.
But that said, I’m the happy owner of a lot of legacy tools from my older friends.
I cherish them all. I honor my departed friends by using the tools they left, and treasuring them.
And I know my son (and probably daughters) will as well.