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Thread: How long before selling?

  1. #1
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    Question How long before selling?

    Curious question. How long would you let a tool go unused before you would consider selling it?

    i go through phases of shop work where I make things and then let it sit unused for months. My time is limited and my interests change and vary so I don’t stay 100% focused on woodworking.

    Didn’t want just a poll but some actual discussion as my own thoughts dance around possibly paring back shop equipment or changing hobbies all together.

    thanks

  2. #2
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    I don't think I would sell tools no matter how long it has been since I used provided I'm still woodworking. Although it is somewhat contradictory, if all I built was 1 thing, like cutting boards I would think harder about selling what wasn't used.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post
    Curious question. How long would you let a tool go unused before you would consider selling it?

    i go through phases of shop work where I make things and then let it sit unused for months. My time is limited and my interests change and vary so I donít stay 100% focused on woodworking.

    Didnít want just a poll but some actual discussion as my own thoughts dance around possibly paring back shop equipment or changing hobbies all together.

    thanks
    I sell what doesn't work out for me, other wise I keep it.
    Yes I have tools I bought over 20,30,40 years ago some never used some not used for over 10+ years. As long as I have the room I will hang on to tools EXCEPT ones I don't like or just don't have the room to keep them(large tools)

  4. #4
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    It's rare for me to part with something I've purchased, especially since I tend to invest in the higher end and acknowledge that some tools don't get used much just "because". The last thing I parted with was a Leigh dovetail jig that I hadn't used for, oh...5+ years...and given my direction with projects and techniques, I doubted it would get used in the next 5 years either. Sometimes parting with something brings regrets later, too. That was the case with a drum sander with me. While I had very good reason to sell my original one...zero use over a few years and the need for space, that resulted in my having to rebuy this past year because, once again, my direction with projects and techniques shifted.

    I will also suggest this to you: many of us take a break from an avocation from time to time. For a few years, I didn't really do much work in my shop because of work and dealing with a mentally ill daughter and enjoying some other things "in the moment". I have multiple hobbies...photography, cooking, woodworking, equestrian, music, etc. I'll use that last one as an example. I've been a musician since an early age. It was "everything" to me when I was a teen and later during a period in the 1980s. I acquired a whole bunch of quality equipment during that latter period of time. While most of my various keyboards were sold a long time ago, I still have my favorite keyboard (Kurzweill 2000) and most of my rack gear. It's setup on our loft above our great room. While I don't play very often, I appreciate having it. I also have a really nice setup for photography...great Nikon full frame body and a bunch of quality lenses. I don't use it much anymore since selling our horses, but I'll likely never get rid of any of it because it fills a need once in awhile.

    Bottom line...go slow here. You made a whole bunch of changes and acquisitions for your shop in the last two years and while maybe your "current" interest is lagging a little, if you liquidate all or some of your shop, there's a high probability that suddenly you'll get the bug again and have to re-invest. That said, if you determine that you truly want to move on, well...someone will undoubtedly get great benefit from tools you're no longer intending to use.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
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    I agree with Jim B. (no surprise there) and will add that for the last 10 years or so I have been factoring in whether or not I will ever be able to 'get one' of a decent quality if I do decide to replace. That was quite a run-on sentence; let me use an example. I gave a 1940's drill press to my son in law. It had no table mechanism, was a bit short on reach and was inflexible when it came to chucks and so forth.

    I bought a new (in 2005) drill press for about $350. It has been quite serviceable but, no where near the precision of the older unit. My presumption was that I would upgrade later. Lo and behold, it is neigh on to impossible to get a drill press that is significantly better than my get-me-by unit for under 6 or 7 times the price. This moves this particular tool into the 'can't get one at a decent price' world.

    Conversely, a 1940's tablesaw might be really cool but, advances in safety and design make modern machines very attractive. Don't get out the torches and pitch forks, I love old arn as much as anyone but, a riving knife is a deal breaker for me. My point is that some items that you may have, you just may not be able to get a well made replacement of in your lifetime. That prickly factor aside, a tool would have to take up an inordinate amount of room before I would sell it. I may relegate it to the out-building but, it would be well packed for storage and I would know where it is ;-)
    "What kind of chump do you take me for?"
    "First class."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post
    Curious question. How long would you let a tool go unused before you would consider selling it?
    So far, 47 years. Hey, I might need it tomorrow.

    But seriously, it depends. I also go through changes in interests. Some I might let sit for years then start again. I can't think of many things I didn't eventually get back to, except perhaps cave diving. (Anyone want some double tanks, reels, dry suit and such?)
    Some things depend on storage space, for example I have a larger PM jointer new in the crate, stored for years now. I'll get around to setting it up someday. I have plenty of storage space.
    I have a spare bandsaw not yet moved into my new shop. I will keep it and eventually move it since it complements my other shop bandsaw.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I know a guy who buys a lot of tools, uses them a bit, then sells them on Craigslist some months later. The economics of that method doesn't appeal to me.

    Some factors I might consider concerning specific tools...
    - did I enjoy or hate the experience of using it
    - did it do the job
    - size of tool, space it takes up
    - amount of shop and storage space available
    - is it special purpose or a general use tool
    - resale value vs cost
    - can it be bought used or rented if needed in the future
    - will it deteriorate if not used (for example, cordless tool batteries)

    JKJ

  7. #7
    I, too, try different things. I will hone my skills on one type projects, then my attention shifts to something different. However, it seems as if individual tools, setting unused for a few years, end up become very useful in some other new and exciting project.
    So, my short answer, I nearly never rid myself of a tool, unless it is of low quality.

  8. #8
    I have regretted it pretty much any time I have sold a tool that I liked. Sooner or later I wanted them again and missed them. Same for other stuff including a couple guns that I wish I still had. A Sterlingworth 12ga double barrel, double trigger, modified and improved cylinder chokes that I parted with comes to mind.

    Different deal if you don't particularly like them.

  9. #9
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    Two current examples:

    A brand new clamp that has been in a drawer over 20 years, finally used on my saw a couple weeks ago.

    A band saw of my dad's, stored for 15 years in my shop, listed currently for sale.

    Guess I am a slow mover.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  10. #10
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    Of the rare occasions that I sold a tool (hand or power), it was only because I upgraded to a better model. Unlike the thousands of dollars worth of Nikon film camera equipment that is virtually worthless in todayís digital age. Should have bailed on that stuff when I could have recovered some of my initial investment. I suspect the same thing will happen with old table saws and other flesh eating machinery once safety technology, a la SawStop, becomes universal.

  11. #11
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    I had a 1.5 hp shaper that I never really like and couldn't do what I really wanted out of one. I used it to make cabinet doors but nothing else. After at least 10 years I finally sold it after I realized I could make cabinet doors just as well on my router table, so why keep a machine I didn't like and no longer needed. I haven't missed it. If I ever get another shaper it will be much bigger and have a power feeder so it can do everything I need from one.

    John

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the input guys. I have a nice setup of high end tools as Jim mentioned above. I spent a few years putting it all together but have been having trouble staying motivated to build anything. Last project was over Christmas when I made some coaster sets on the CNC.

    anyway, the latest thing has been golf with my son. We joined our club and play a lot. Between that and work I’m just not finding time for much else. The tools don’t cost anything to sit but I have been having thoughts of possibly selling off the shop except for a few tools and regaining a bunch of my garage space.

    I’m not in a huge hurry to decide but my passion for woodworking seems to come and go these days. thanks for the continued insight.
    Last edited by Greg Parrish; 03-06-2020 at 2:03 PM.

  13. #13
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    i can't answer that, I have never sold a tool in my life UNLESS I was replacing it with another one just like it

    I sold a smallish band saw when I got my current band saw, I sold my Unisaw when I got my SawStop, other than that never sold a tool. Some tools sat for years or more without use, like my MIG welder which I replaced with TIG about 8 years ago, but guess what I used my MIG extensively on my son in law car late last year, glad I kept it.

    Seriously, passions come and go and usually come back. I didn't reload for close to 20 years but I am back into it and glad I kept all the stuff. I didn't ride bicycles for about 8 years but recently got back into it, still have all my HO railroad stuff, cant wait for that passion to come back.

  14. #14
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    Selling machinery is the job of my wife and kids if I go first. I just hope I get enough stuff labeled so all the accessories go to the next person. I haven't turned anything on my Oneway 2436 for 15 months, but it's going nowhere!

  15. #15
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    Part of my thought involved selling everything but the workbench, handtools and CNC. Odd assortment but figured I could do a lot with just hand tools and the CNC and having the sliding saw, bandsaw, J/P, miter saw and lathe gone would make a huge shift in free floor space but I could still tinker with some slow projects by hand and the occasional creative outlet on the cnc. I’m just not emotionally attached to my tools I guess. It’s a hobby and not my vocation. Another part of me is thinking sell it all, walk away all together and chase other pursuits. I think another issue is that I just prefer spending time with my family to being isolated in the shop so hobbies and activities have started drifting in that direction. It’s funny, I spent more time in the shop when I had less equipment of lower quality. LOL

    Still thinking it through of course.
    Last edited by Greg Parrish; 03-06-2020 at 4:27 PM.

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