There is an auction coming up in the next week and they have 3 horse unisaw
and an 8 inch delta jointer for sale. Most of the other stuff is
metalworking and construction stuff, so I am going to go check it out with
*some* hope of a future gloat.
What should I look for when inspecting these two tools? I know enough to
check that the blade raises and tilts without "dead spots", but what else
should I look for in the saw? The jointer is handwheel type, 8" and I am
already drooling, but I don't know how to inspect either of these tools well
enough to know if I am going to bid on something worthwhile or a boat
I already have a big penis, MLM wealth, the car of my dreams and all of the
vacation homes I need with DISCOUNT prescription drugs, so... your remarks,
ON topic, would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
I purchased an 8" Delta jointer (DJ-20) a couple of years ago at auction. I
thought I had checked to make sure that it was single-phase, but I turned
out to be mistaken. The top part (the jointer itself) said single-phase,
but the base (which I didn't check), said 3-phase. Rather than mess around
with rotary phase converters, etc, I just replaced the motor. I'd also make
sure that the bed of the jointer is flat and that the infeed table moves
along its ways smoothly.
Also - set a price in your head that is your top limit to pay.
If the bidding reaches that - STOP.
I have been to a lot of auctions where people just get up in a bidding war
and end up paying far too much for something.
Ie - I was at an estate auction where I got my 8" Powermatic jointer.
It was basically brand new - my limit at the time was 800.
I ended up getting for 500.00
Same auction - there was a 12"disk and belt sander - my top price was 200
(wasnt in that good of shape) 2 guys went at it and bid the price to 550.00.
It was no way near worth that.
Same auction has a Delta B.O.S.S sander. Id say OK condition - it would
need new 1 or 2 new spindles - my top price was 75.00. It went for about
300.00 - a new one costs 199.
Another auction I picked up about 1000 bf of white oak and maple - my top
bid was 1000.00 - got it for 300.
Same auction about 1000 bf of some black walnut my top bid was 1500 - went
then there are the ones that you miss by 1 bid - same auction ~~500 bf of
cherry -my limit was 1000 - went for 1025. (I stopped - the guy took it on
the next bid)
The good thing about it was after the auction I talked w/ the guy and said
he didnt need all of it - so I took about 1/4 of it for 300.00.
Anyways - just be aware of what you are bidding on and what you are willing
So just be careful and stick to your upper limit.
Also - ask if you can plug it in and make sure it spins up.
Take Rob V's advice...set a limit and walk if it goes above that point...
I have actually left auctions after looking over the people in attendance..
sometimes you can tell the prices are going to be way too high... The
reverse is true also... I went to a weekday afternoon estate auction a few
years ago that I must have been the only guy buying tools or useful
stuff...but boy did the kick nacks in the place bring big bucks.. You just
BUT follow Robs advice...
Greetings and Salutations...
Indeed, auctions can be a costly game. That is
why it is REALLY good to attend a few, and get a feel
for what goes on before doing serious bidding.
One has to remember that the auctioneer is
not only NOT your friend, his job is to run up the
selling price as high as he can. In most cases,
auctions are held to try and recover cash for
assets. The bank (if that is the lien holder)
REALLY wants to get at least as much out of the
stuff as they have in it...and more is better.
I have been to a number of places where
used equipment went for WAY more than I thought it
was worth, and I was trying to be objective about
it. I thought in some cases, it was out of community
sympathy for the guy getting his stuff auctioned off.
I thought in some cases it was simply a bunch of
cash-heavy yuppies that did not have a clue what
was an apt price, and were caught up in the excitement
If there is a "buyer's premium" on the auction,
that is typically going directly into an auctioneer's pocket.
Do I have to mention that 10% of $1000.00 is rather more
than 10% of $100? That sort of thing gives an
auctioneer an incentive to push the prices up
as far as possible.
So...I suppose my rule of thumb is this. Get to
know the auctioneers at your local auction houses by
going to auctions regularly. Figure out which ones
are good at whipping up enthusiasm and which are not.
Try to ONLY bid when the bad ones are auctioning and
don't get caught up in the frenzy when the good ones
are on the floor.
Finally, although it is likely to be a fairly
rare thing, make sure that you know WHICH auction houses
like to use shills and "phantom bids" to make it look like
there is more action on a piece than there really is.
Most reputable auction houses will not do this...but...
Well.. Probably the one thing that R. Reagan and I
agreed on was his comment about "Trust But Verify".
Earlier this year we went to an auction at a commercial woodshop that went
out of business. We went for the Powermatic, Grizzly and some other power
tools etc. (Ended up buying a trailerload of T&G hardwood flooring!)
I brought my 03 Grizzly catalog along hoping to bid no higher than 1/2
price, (these pieces were worked hard, but just needed TLC).
I was speechless when everything was bid up to 3/4 NEW value and higher! A
few tools actually went substantially higher than new.
Do some research and take your time looking it over well, try to bring
someone along that is familiar with similar tools and doesn't need the
auction tools, and have them look. If they have a low excitement level, they
might be more objective.
If you don't get it, don't sweat it, they made about a zillion unisaws &
jointers etc., there will always be another one coming along that needs a
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