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Another Weekend Haul

August 21, 2011

Saturday, between our wood-turning class and preparing for friends coming over for the evening, I visited another estate sale. At first it seemed like a bust – lots of things everyone’s grandparents keep around that the children don’t want.  It was also around 1:30pm, a little late for prime picks at an estate sale, but I found the “tool room” in the basement and even though it had been picked over (at least what the guys there said), I think I got some great finds in a bunch of hand tools for twenty bucks.

Lots of tools for twenty bucks!

It was also kind of fun chatting with the guys there – found out they were son & grandson of the owner of the house; had a few funny stories to tell. They weren’t into tools a lot, and they wanted to sell me the router table setup nearly identical to one I bought a few weeks ago. They wanted $40 but said they’d take an offer if I went upstairs and talked with the gals at the checkout table; but then another guy interested in it came down and said upstairs had sent him down to talk to the guys (the son) downstairs. It soon became apparent that both of us might be interested in getting the router table so I said “Let’s have an auction!” Everyone looked at me like I was nuts and I started with my auctioneer’s voice “Twenty, twenty – who’ll give me twenty?” So then the other guy said “Will you take $20 for it?” I immediately said “I’ll give you $25…” and everyone was silent. I took it that none of these guys have ever been to an auction before. But maybe it’s also not “polite” to shout “Auction!” at an estate sale.

This other guy was kinda young; I heard him say earlier that he had hoped to be able to get a new router. After my $25 offer on the table, he spent about 10 minutes at the router table looking it over, flipping things around, talking it over with a woman that came with him (I hope it wasn’t his mom), while I discovered and investigated what looked to be a handmade gigantic metal bench vise. He comes back to the son (we were all in a small space the size of a living room) and he says “Um, will you take $25 for it?”. I looked up while the son looked at me and I said “I’ve already offered him $25 for it…” and this other guy just sortof stared dumbfounded for an awkward amount of time, so I helped him out: “You’ll have to offer him more, like $26 or higher…” So then he says “Will you take $26?” and the son looks at me and I waved him off and said “He can have it…” – it was worth probably 30 to me but I didn’t want to hang around for another hour as the other guy learned about “high bidder”. Plus I have pretty much the same setup from the previous estate sale.

Another weekend find was through our friend Nancy Nafe – she’d seen an interesting desk at a thrift store and knew Sue was looking for a desk, so she sent Sue a pic; Sue liked it and asked Nancy to buy it – just $20. I think it’s a little small but it’s a nice little desk.

Retro desk for twenty bucks

And ANOTHER weekend find was also through Nancy – Sue was at a party and met Nancy’s sister, who had just had a big sale of stuff, clearing out a house that was going to be torn down for a new house to be built on the lot. Sue told the story of our project, how we like to re-use stuff and we have the space to store large items if we don’t have an immediate need. And we won’t throw things away. We weren’t clear on the details, but they weren’t sure yet on if we could come in and take stuff out of what we were calling Demo House #2.

Sunday came around and I was preparing to pick back up on a project I started Friday night – making the trim around the shower out of solid surface material (like Corian) and I thought I could get a few pieces glued down.

Then we got a call from Nancy saying we could come in and remove what we wanted as long as we didn’t use a sawzall or bust up walls or tiles… you get the picture. (Though we’re not sure why that’s an issue when bulldozers will be smashing down walls eventually.)

So we loaded up a bag with non-destructive tools and headed over there in Sue’s car. On round one walk-through, not much looked interesting, except there was a cool crystal chandelier that Sue thought Mary would like. Four rounds later, we realized there was a lot we’d like to take but Sue’s car wasn’t big enough, plus Nancy (who met us there) had brought the little desk which took up most of the room in her car. So we started figuring out if we could make multiple trips, or leave stuff outside in the back yard, and then thought of the truck. Fortunately, the B.A.T. was only a few blocks away – our friend Eric had borrowed it and they live only a few minutes from Demo House #2. (What luck.) So we called him up and asked if he was presently using it, explained what we were doing, he didn’t need it, so we headed over there.

A few hours later – we had our pickins ready to unload at BAB.

One man's tarash is another's treasure...

The first photo from Demo House 2 is some random stuff – some tools, power sanders, a big metal tub on wheels – but what’s really cool is the floor buffing machine – this will go perfectly in the future closet that will house the floor mopping machine. And who doesn’t need a Big Ass Chair?

Vintage oak fireplace mantles

And while these don’t exactly “go” with the rest of BAB, we thought it wold be a shame if these old fireplace mantles just got ripped up and sent to the landfill. If we don’t find someone else that would like to have them (maybe for a finder’s fee) then they will be pretty cool in my basement bar…

Finally – speaking of “basement bar”, which will happen some day, THESE signs were in the basement – seemed perfect!

"Coming Soon: Tom's Bar and Grill"

They’ll DEFINITELY be a great addition to my basement bar.
(If you’re from Saint Louis – yes, these are signs from the popular Tom’s Bar and Grill in the Central West End.)

While I didn’t make any progress on finishing the shower surround, just like with Demo House #1 – we try to remain flexible because these opportunities just pop up and we need to grab them. I’m sure I’ll eventually get that bathroom finished. The best part of all – we didn’t need to pay twenty bucks for the haul from Demo House #2 – it was all FREE!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. rick peterson permalink
    August 22, 2011 5:01 pm

    Wow Tom, you and Sue sure do find some AWESOME deals.
    I like the fireplace mantles andd the wooden handled screwdrivers bring back memories !!
    Let me know when Tom’s Bar and Grill opens, I’ll bring some home brew.

    • Tom permalink*
      August 23, 2011 12:30 am

      Thanks Rick – I loved the screwdrivers too – and they were only fifty cents!

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