Gloating, Again

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I live well away from civilization, so garage sales are rare. Usually, what we do have aren’t worth hitting, though you do come across the occasional gem.

Last week, a family was clearing out their pop’s garage, in anticipation of moving him across what passes for town here. Since sales are rare, I went. I found a treasure trove of aluminum stock I could use for jigs and even parts for musical instruments. In the end, I probably ended up with about a hundred pounds of stock that ranged from 1/8” 4”x4” pieces to 1/2” thick angle iron (four inches), heavy plates, some 2”x2” and so on.

In one of the bins, I found a Brown I dial gauge, so it went into my bin. I also found a couple small squirrel cages and a little DC motor. Then I found what I’d been contemplating for a while – a 3/4 horse, variable speed, DC motor (reversible) with the controller.

Another tub had a couple of the big toggle hold downs sitting on top of some aluminum, so I grabbed that bin too.

They charged me $25.00 for the three bins.

When I got home and went through them, I found a nice metal punch, with interchangeable tips, which was perfect for the wife’s jewelry efforts (she just didn’t know it yet). There were other things too, like a $120.00 (new price) Ridged flaring tool, and saw set, a chuck that fits in my drill press chuck and holds my smallest bits.

I thought about it and figured I might as well go back and buy some aluminum, since it isn’t hard to store and the price was so good. That time around, I ended up with a bin with a thousand dollars, used value, gauges and dials, a box of new metal lathe cutters, a 7.5 amp Variac, a bunch more aluminum, and so on.

That round cost me $20.00

Still high from the DC motor score (looks like my four wheel grinding-buffing station or my drill press will be going to a dial control in the not to distant future), I drove an hour and a half and bought a router carver. It came with the foot pedal controlled rotary dohicky for doing gun stocks and had a little Colt already mounted. This was all mounted on a [damn heavy] two inch thick maple butcher block counter.

That one was only about half of new, so in the area of market value.

I’m already started on converting it so I can slide the gun stock accessories off and slide in a sign making or just light 3-D carving set up that will move the pattern and blank on the X and Y axis.

When done, I intend the whole thing should flip up, after securing the head, so it will only take up about on fourth the room, but still be quick and [relatively] easy to set up.

Kelly, you made some really good finds.


Fantastic finds . It must have been like Christmas.


It was, it was, Bruce. I’m still finding things and trying to assign names and functions. For example, I, now, know what a “1,2,3 block” is. I haven’t come up with the proper name for the head stock beast I found in one of the bins, and which was, apparently, destined to become the drive end of a metal lathe.


I hope you realize you can cause real envy with a post like this! I just have to keep telling myself “Godliness with contentment is great gain,” and wish you the best with all your newly acquired treasures.


“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

sounds like a deal alright.

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

Wow, very cool

Jeff Vandenberg aka "Woodsconsin"