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Thread: OK, Old dog woodworkers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Dickinson, Texas
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    OK, Old dog woodworkers

    Do you ever wonder what SWMBO will do with your tools if you depart this life.
    Now, I am in good health and I don't think I will depart any time soon.

    But, for the life of me, I can't decide what to do with my collection of shop and hand tools when I do pass.
    What would she do if I did go suddenly, she has no idea of my collection and how to dispose of it in such an event.

    Maybe we could devise a strategy of what to do in such a case. My best thought is to talk to my oldest son and tell him
    what might be appropriate.

  2. #2
    We have a local auction house that does large monthly auctions online. Long story short, there are a ton of tools every time and they generally go for a fair price (though we do live in a large metro area). The wife knows that if I keel over, that's where any tools the family doesn't want will go-- it's easier than personally listing and selling them and she will likely get most of what they are truly worth.
    Licensed Professional Engineer,
    Unlicensed Semi Professional Tinkerer

  3. #3
    I don't know if you were looking for an assignment in making your post but I have one for you. Start by making a line item inventory of your tools with any information at all i.e. what the item cost or what you estimate it to be worth, what it is, what it is for, what kind of buyer would want it, etc.

    I know from your posts that you have a fair number of specialty hand tools and vintage tools that the average person would not know.

    There is inventory software that will help with this if you are inclined to a more tech oriented solution. Or you could just put pen to paper. Your survivors will find the information to be a godsend as they figure out what to do.

    Alternatively, if you have a trusted friend or family member who is tool knowledgeable, you could designate that person as the go-to for your heirs to obtain guidance and help. Even then, I still think your notes and records will be a big help. Software will allow you to easily include images. This is a good thing to do for insurance purposes too. You probably found that out when the flood hit Galveston county.

    I just did a quick search, and you might consider the Sortly app. If you have 100 items or less to inventory it's free, and if you pay $4/month, it allows for unlimited items. You can export to Excel or PDF, or back-up to other devices. People use these apps to inventory their wine, jewelry, baseball cards, collections of all types.

    Good luck, old dog.
    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 05-23-2019 at 1:00 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    I don't know if you were looking for an assignment in making your post but I have one for you. Start by making a line item inventory of your tools with any information at all i.e. what the item cost or what you estimate it to be worth, what it is, what it is for, what kind of buyer would want it.

    There is inventory software that will help with this if you are inclined to a more tech oriented solution. Or you could just put pen to paper. Your survivors will find the information to be a godsend as they figure out what to do.

    Alternatively, if you have a trusted friend or family member who is tool knowledgeable, you could designate that person as the go-to for your heirs to obtain guidance and help. Even then, I still think your notes and records will be a big help. Software will allow you to easily include images. This is a good thing to do for insurance purposes too..
    As detailed as possible, including receipts maybe. Most people (?) have already done this for their insurance inventory. I would also recommend putting it in an envelope labelled "To Be Opened Only Upon News Of My Death." Just to be safe.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
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    19,562
    She would just go to your inventory and valuation file that you have for insurance. Memory sticks are cheap. I have pictures of machines, machine model plates, invoices and so forth. It all fits on a small memory stick. One in the fire safe, one offsite and the original on my PC which gets backed up regularly. Easy-peasy.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    She would just go to your inventory and valuation file that you have for insurance. Memory sticks are cheap. I have pictures of machines, machine model plates, invoices and so forth. It all fits on a small memory stick. One in the fire safe, one offsite and the original on my PC which gets backed up regularly. Easy-peasy.
    Just a caution, but there are many instances of fire safes not actually being fire-proof, i.e. not rated sufficiently to survive a full-on burn-to-the-ground house fire. Something like the Paradise fire would leave you with nothing but a box full of ashes and melted plastic.

    The Cloud (or multiple Clouds) seems like the best option. Leave a password with your lawyer, in an envelope labelled "To Be Opened Only Upon News Of My Death." Just to be safe. :^)

    There are multiple separate buildings in my compound, so I'm only concerned about a nuclear attack, in which case we've got other things to be worried about (and insurance probably wouldn't cover that anyway.)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
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    I go to a lot of estate sales looking for tools. I just talked to a widow who had no clue what the tools were worth, and was being "helped" by a neighbor to price things, who also had no clue. You are in best position now to help her by valuing them as discussed above, especially the big power tools. Sometimes its the circumstance that dictates the price, regardless of what you think the market value is. That is, its going to be hard to sell a Unisaw for anything but a pittance at an estate sale (with walk up buyers) especially if a willing buyer needs to disassemble and drag it up the basement stairs.

  8. #8
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    When I lived in the Kansas City area, the local woodworkers guild took on a project for a person who could no longer care for himself and had to give up the shop. They unloaded the shop back to the WW guild shop and spent weeks researching the values.

    Then they had a sale for member only at listed prices.
    Then the had a sale open to the public at listed prices.
    Then it was sort of a Dutch auction thing until it was all gone.

    the wwg got a commission and the family was delighted.

    Maybe you could have some sort of executor group that would liquidate the stuff. It should be done by someone in the know. For instance, my ww compasses are Starretts. Those shouldn't sell for $.50.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Dickinson, Texas
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    It looks like I have an inventory to make. I'm no looking forward to it. I have no idea about value to put on them.

    I wonder if the Houston Woodworker's Club has something organized.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Carrollton, Georgia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Schrum View Post
    We have a local auction house that does large monthly auctions online. Long story short, there are a ton of tools every time and they generally go for a fair price (though we do live in a large metro area). The wife knows that if I keel over, that's where any tools the family doesn't want will go-- it's easier than personally listing and selling them and she will likely get most of what they are truly worth.
    This is our plan, as well. I don't have the time or inclination to research, photograph and cost out all the tools and my wife doesn't have the time or inclination to advertise and make arrangements for all the visits for viewing and inspection, nor could she answer any questions potential buyers might have.

    The auction house takes the photos, and operates the auction. The competing buyers know the value, and that's all that matters. The auctioneer takes a big chunk but, their service is worth it to my wife.

    I have identified species of woods to help the auctioneer.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    It looks like I have an inventory to make. I'm no looking forward to it. I have no idea about value to put on them.

    I wonder if the Houston Woodworker's Club has something organized.
    The 30 second way to establish the value of almost any tool is to put it into eBay and click completed listings in the search criteria. This will tell you what others have been paying for it. I just did this for a Lie Nielsen 62 LA Jack plane and I found out it should be worth about $250. Some items you will just know off the top of your head approximately what you would expect to pay for it.

    If this task is a hassle for you, imagine how much harder it will be for your survivors. You're doing it for them, so think of it as a labor of love.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    It looks like I have an inventory to make. I'm no looking forward to it. I have no idea about value to put on them.

    I wonder if the Houston Woodworker's Club has something organized.
    Lowell, I saw that you posted in the sales section that you have an older model D4 I would love to pick your brain as I bought one second hand and am looking for some "TIPS". Couldn't reply there sorry to the original poster

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    My saw is a Series 2000 with an extended table to the right. It is not for sale..

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Kamiah, ID
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    Something I started doing some years ago...on larger purchases I take a sharpie and, in an inconspicuous place, write date of purchase, purchase price and depending on circumstance, who and where purchased from. I think I started doing this on home appliances and found it also handy on my larger woodworking machinery purchases. Really helps when itemizing for insurance.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Evanston, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Meeuwissen View Post
    Lowell, I saw that you posted in the sales section that you have an older model D4 I would love to pick your brain as I bought one second hand and am looking for some "TIPS". Couldn't reply there sorry to the original poster
    Pat,
    For six bucks, you could post anywhere you want or, for a case like this, send a private message to Lowell. As an added bonus, you'd be helping to keep the Creek flowing!

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