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Thread: what to pay for used tools

  1. #1
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    what to pay for used tools

    Buddy of mine's ex significant other got a couple of his tools when they split up, and now the storage unit she's been keeping them in is going bye-bye, and since they're strongly Ex-es, he won't be getting them back. She'll sell them first, but, funny thing, she'll let him find the buyer, and since he's not a turner, and has a better bandsaw, he's offering them to me:

    Delta Midi Lathe with bed extension and several turning tools (he's not sure what type, or what brand, but thinks there might be a Sorby or two in the mix)

    HF 14" bandsaw with a Grizzly riser block, plus some assorted portable tools, of uncertain lineage or condition.

    a quick trip to the appropriate sites and I have New prices of $300 for the Midi (werent' they on sale for about half that not too long ago?) and the HF is $289.

    Now I'm not even going to touch the fact that I don't have a roof, and what am I thinking about buying tools right now, except for the fact that this is a one-time opportunity to tool up for not a whole lot of cash. Cutting the two 'new' prices roughly in half, they're Used tools after all, gets me in the ballpark of $300, which coincidentally is just about the maximum I'm willing/able to part with. Total.
    Wish me luck, I hope to have some new tool gloat picks by Monday or Tuesday, but I may just have a 'fat' bank account and nothing to show for my offer.

    The lathe and tools are my priority of the two, At the risk of casting aspersions at HF tools, it would be a starter saw for me, as I want the 14" Rikon in the new shop. HOwever if I can snag the HF for less than half of its new cost, I'll do so and see where else I can put money I'd have spent on the Rikon.
    -Ned

  2. #2
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    There are some who might argue with you on this, but I think if you can get that combination of tools for $300 (or if possible, a bit less), they would hold you over pretty well until you can go with higher-end stuff.

    Like most of us here, I've been burned buying cheap tools before, but more than once I've bought low-priced tools as a holdover until I could afford better. My first two lathes were good examples, and I feel I definitely got my money's worth out of them. To the extent possible, I'd like to buy the tool I want to ultimately own, but there are times when the intermediate level will hold you over for a spell. As an example, I got a lot of use out of my $300 lathe before I got my $3000 lathe, and was still able to sell the $300 lathe for about what I paid for it.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  3. #3
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    I'd say if you can get them for $300 or so, it would be a good deal.

    The HF saw is not the best, but, a bandsaw is a fairly simple machine, and it can be tuned up, and some smaller parts improved to make it work fairly darn well. If you can, down the road, find a decent deal on a more powerful motor, you might just be able to hang on to the HF saw, and pass up the 14" Rikon, and end up with a larger saw, an 18" or so, for resaw etc, if you go that route.

    I'm sure that if you pay $300 for the two tools, down the road, if you sell them to upgrade, you will get your money out of them, or nearly all of it.

    Go for it, good luck!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    I'd say if you can get them for $300 or so, it would be a good deal.

    The HF saw is not the best, but, a bandsaw is a fairly simple machine, and it can be tuned up, and some smaller parts improved to make it work fairly darn well. If you can, down the road, find a decent deal on a more powerful motor, you might just be able to hang on to the HF saw, and pass up the 14" Rikon, and end up with a larger saw, an 18" or so, for resaw etc, if you go that route.

    I'm sure that if you pay $300 for the two tools, down the road, if you sell them to upgrade, you will get your money out of them, or nearly all of it.

    Go for it, good luck!
    Thanks Stu! of the two tools the HF is definitely the lesser tool, but for basic general shop use, cutting blanks for turning, cutting scrollsaw pattern blanks etc... I doubt I'll be too displeased. I've used a Delta 14" and a Craftsman 12" in the two shops I've had the pleasure of sharing. Oh, and also Grizz's Jet 14 w/ riser, and one time I got to carve up a log on Bill Grumbine's Minimax .


    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    There are some who might argue with you on this, but I think if you can get that combination of tools for $300 (or if possible, a bit less), they would hold you over pretty well until you can go with higher-end stuff.

    Like most of us here, I've been burned buying cheap tools before, but more than once I've bought low-priced tools as a holdover until I could afford better. My first two lathes were good examples, and I feel I definitely got my money's worth out of them. To the extent possible, I'd like to buy the tool I want to ultimately own, but there are times when the intermediate level will hold you over for a spell. As an example, I got a lot of use out of my $300 lathe before I got my $3000 lathe, and was still able to sell the $300 lathe for about what I paid for it.
    Vaughn,
    This is a matter of timing, I would definitely rather have the bigger and better tool, but budget and wanting to have A tool is also important to me.

    The midi is a starter lathe, but that's what I'll be in the market for no matter what, I might just get a used one in good shape for less than street price. So that's not a 'sacrifice' to me. Unless I hit Powerball last night, I wouldn't be getting a Robust right out the gate anyway.

    The Bandsaw is the for now tool of the two.
    -Ned

  5. #5
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    My rule of thumb for used tools in good condition is 50% of retail with the accessories thrown in. For lower quality, like HF, maybe less depending on what you consider the value of the accessories. You might even be able to sell some of the unneeded things at a small profit.

  6. #6
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    Sounds like an opportunity to me. I'm fine with starter tools. We didn't all start with great stuff. The unhappy folks seem to be the ones who just can't let go of fact that what they have is a 'get by' tool. They lose the reality that they bought it cheap to 'get by'.

    Rejoice in the minimal investment and having the use of the tool till improvements could be made (if ever). My dad is enjoying my starter TS. A coworker is enjoying my starter DP. Another, coworker is enjoying my starter jointer and bandsaw. I am enjoying WWing and could not have gotten started if I hadn't started on the cheap ;-)
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
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    Ned, I happen to have both of these tools so I'll chime in. I paid $200 for my used Delta midi w/extension and have yet to disappointed w/it. I got my 14" HF bandsaw over 5 years ago when the sale price was $209. I added the riser a few years later and some Carter roller guides. I LOVE this saw and I wouldn't take $800 for it now. JMO, but both have very good to me. Oh, I buddy of mine recently bought the same bandsaw and added the same goodies and he is ecstatic with his too. I know a turner in Texas who has the same setup, less the Carter guides, and he feels the same way.

    FWIW, according to the Carter folks, the HF saw is the same saw as the 14" Jet.
    Billy B.

    "It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first." - Ronald Reagan

  8. #8
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    Dear Ned,

    As you know, I'm not opposed to cheap... nobody's cheaper than me... well, maybe Frank... but who's counting?

    What *I* tend to do though, is to often put the cart before the horse! It leads to some tricky situations, and the end result is often I'm the one who gets kicked! Then I've got the cart that still needs to be reworked, but now with me limping, and with the hoof prints to show for it!

    I do appreciate the theory that if a gift drops in one's lap, one should take it, and just smile. And, for the most part, I believe that. But it's also often true that the Goddess works in mysterious ways, and sometimes when we're ready things come along, or come around again, or a different opportunity presents itself.

    I myself have bought tools before the shop was ready for them. We all do it, I guess. Just glance out west towards Idaho! I tell myself it'll get me motivated, but often it just gets me frustrated!

    Thanks,

    Bill

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Bulken View Post
    ...
    The midi is a starter lathe, but that's what I'll be in the market for no matter what, I might just get a used one in good shape for less than street price. So that's not a 'sacrifice' to me...
    I fully agree with you Ned. Down the road, even when you do get a bigger lathe, the midi will still be an asset to the shop. I wasn't real clear in my post in that regard. The bandsaw also has potential to stay in the shop and be useful, even after you upgrade to the 24" MiniMax or 36" Snowflake.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    My rule of thumb for used tools in good condition is 50% of retail with the accessories thrown in. For lower quality, like HF, maybe less depending on what you consider the value of the accessories. You might even be able to sell some of the unneeded things at a small profit.
    Frank,
    I look at the HF as a starter tool, but not a Bad tool. It can't be much/any more tempermental than the old Craftsman I learned on, and pushed to the limit on many occasions. Not sure what extras I'll be able to part with, Other than perhaps some turning tools, but figure I'll learn sharpening etc... on these and then upgrade as needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Sounds like an opportunity to me. I'm fine with starter tools. We didn't all start with great stuff. The unhappy folks seem to be the ones who just can't let go of fact that what they have is a 'get by' tool. They lose the reality that they bought it cheap to 'get by'.

    Rejoice in the minimal investment and having the use of the tool till improvements could be made (if ever). My dad is enjoying my starter TS. A coworker is enjoying my starter DP. Another, coworker is enjoying my starter jointer and bandsaw. I am enjoying WWing and could not have gotten started if I hadn't started on the cheap ;-)
    Glenn,
    I sure hope to do just that. And I'm more than OK with starter tools, as they inspire invention getting around their perceived or real limitations. ie; resawing with a low powered saw. It can be done if you're patient. Not that I'm planning on resawing a bunch of stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Burt View Post
    Ned, I happen to have both of these tools so I'll chime in. I paid $200 for my used Delta midi w/extension and have yet to disappointed w/it. I got my 14" HF bandsaw over 5 years ago when the sale price was $209. I added the riser a few years later and some Carter roller guides. I LOVE this saw and I wouldn't take $800 for it now. JMO, but both have very good to me. Oh, I buddy of mine recently bought the same bandsaw and added the same goodies and he is ecstatic with his too. I know a turner in Texas who has the same setup, less the Carter guides, and he feels the same way.

    FWIW, according to the Carter folks, the HF saw is the same saw as the 14" Jet.
    Billy,
    thanks, that's about what I figured on the Midi, but that's the primary one that I'll be aiming for. As for the bandsaw, I know from first hand experience that it will work just fine. My buddy Mark has that same saw, and it works well in his shop. My view of it as a starter saw is more from the desire for a larger resaw-capable bandsaw but realistic knowledge that I won't be affording one for awhile. This saw would get me in the shop with a useful tool at a budget friendly price.



    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Lantry View Post
    Dear Ned,

    As you know, I'm not opposed to cheap... nobody's cheaper than me... well, maybe Frank... but who's counting?

    What *I* tend to do though, is to often put the cart before the horse! It leads to some tricky situations, and the end result is often I'm the one who gets kicked! Then I've got the cart that still needs to be reworked, but now with me limping, and with the hoof prints to show for it!

    I do appreciate the theory that if a gift drops in one's lap, one should take it, and just smile. And, for the most part, I believe that. But it's also often true that the Goddess works in mysterious ways, and sometimes when we're ready things come along, or come around again, or a different opportunity presents itself.

    I myself have bought tools before the shop was ready for them. We all do it, I guess. Just glance out west towards Idaho! I tell myself it'll get me motivated, but often it just gets me frustrated!

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Bill,
    have you been looking over my shoulder? those are some of my major concerns at this point. Urgency on her part to move the tools equals bad timing on my end just a bit. I've got to get the shop dried in finally in a few weeks, and that would be a nice down payment on materials and so on.

    However, there is a timing thing which I cannot ignore. There will be other deals, of course, so I'm not going to spend more than I can afford right now, and if she counter offers I may budge just a little, but not much as I know I've got other uses for the cash.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    I fully agree with you Ned. Down the road, even when you do get a bigger lathe, the midi will still be an asset to the shop. I wasn't real clear in my post in that regard. The bandsaw also has potential to stay in the shop and be useful, even after you upgrade to the 24" MiniMax or 36" Snowflake.
    Vaughn, with my shop footprint , every square foot is precious, so I'm not sure how long the little saw would stay once I could afford a larger saw.
    The Midi, however I could see keeping for a long time, as I've got my young shop assistant whom I hope to infect, er inspire with turning fever someday.
    -Ned

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