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Forum topic by Sredfield posted 04-30-2021 01:00 PM 389 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sredfield

3 posts in 388 days


04-30-2021 01:00 PM

Recently a good friend—a very accomplished word worker—passed away suddenly. He was an accomplished craftsman with many incredible pieces to his credit; I have a large cabinet that he built sitting in my living room.

His widow has asked me for advice on what to do with his tools. I inventoried them today and found a wide range of the basic woodworking tools accumulated over many decades, including items inherited from his father and grandfather. All are serviceable but there are few spectacular items. He was the epitome of “improve your skill set rather than buy fancy tools;” proof that you don’t need the very high-end tools to make incredible furniture.

I don’t get the impression she needs to squeeze every cent out of the tools; in fact she mentioned donating them to a worthy cause. On the other hand, no one wants to be taken advantage of.

Has this come up on these forums? Surely there are members here who have been asked faced this situation or have some wisdom to offer?

What are your thoughts?

Thank you.


6 replies so far

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DevinT

1118 posts in 81 days


#1 posted 04-30-2021 02:18 PM

Pull the spectacular pieces for individual sale. Lump standard tools into a set. Mark items that are too far gone and rusted for donation. Put tags on items and mark each tag with a color coded system to tell you which ones need appraisal, which need to be grouped into sets, and which need to be salvaged. Do your best to keep the items for appraisal separated from the others. Ask her if she wants them to move quickly to lessen the time spent on this (in which things are priced to move) and/or if she wants you to handle it for her completely so that there is not a constant reminder of a passed loved-one. Go to eBay and see what sellers are fetching for the pricier items.

There is another option, such as selling the entire collection as one lot at an auction house. That will require the same amount of preparation and valuation.

If there are gems, let her know in case she wants to sit on them to increase their value. For example, if she has a Stanley No 1.

-- Devin, SF, CA

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therealSteveN

8009 posts in 1689 days


#2 posted 04-30-2021 02:51 PM

I’m in agreement that if you feel some of the tools are spectacular, pull them from the rest. Sell those on Ebay or similar.

Auctions aren’t anywhere near where they used to be, but if in an area that isn’t way out there, a good “tool auction” will still draw a crowd. If you never see, or hear of an auction near your area, check “Estate Sales” Estate sales have in a way replaced auctions, but both are good for a quick resolution, and prices are often what the true value of an items is.

In both cases do a bit of research for the presenters of either, or both, and try to find a consensus of which company to contact. All the rest of what DevinT suggested to do, they will handle for you as part of their charge. The sorting, and grouping for best presentation.

-- Think safe, be safe

View ddockstader's profile

ddockstader

221 posts in 4376 days


#3 posted 04-30-2021 07:48 PM

Check with your local woodworking clubs. This question comes up so often that our club actually has a team that goes out, evaluates and suggests prices for the items. The only thing we ask for this service is, if they have a sale, they let our club members come in for the sale an hour ahead of everyone else. We have been doing this for several years and our “territory” extends out about 100 miles. There are several advantages to this process. The widow (or widower) gets reasonable evaluations based on our team’s knowledge of tools and used tool prices. And our members get first crack at the tools. It is worth a try.

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Sredfield

3 posts in 388 days


#4 posted 05-07-2021 02:21 AM

Thank you all for the advice. It is helpful in a stressful situation.

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controlfreak

2228 posts in 716 days


#5 posted 05-07-2021 09:57 AM



Check with your local woodworking clubs. This question comes up so often that our club actually has a team that goes out, evaluates and suggests prices for the items. The only thing we ask for this service is, if they have a sale, they let our club members come in for the sale an hour ahead of everyone else. We have been doing this for several years and our “territory” extends out about 100 miles. There are several advantages to this process. The widow (or widower) gets reasonable evaluations based on our team s knowledge of tools and used tool prices. And our members get first crack at the tools. It is worth a try.

- ddockstader


I think this is a really great idea. I know my wife would have no idea what anything is worth. Its probably one reason she hasn’t offed me yet.

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jacww

84 posts in 2123 days


#6 posted 05-12-2021 11:50 PM

+1 on contacting area woodworking clubs.

The guild I belong to in SC has tool sales/auctions twice a year. Member and non members tools are regularly collected by the auction team and sold at these sales. It benefits both our guild and the family of the deceased.

TonyC

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