What to do with all those shop tools when someone passes away?

johnfrwhippleJune 21, 2010

I get a call about every 7-18 months from a client or friend of a client wondering what to do with their Husbands shop tools when they pass away. This is always a sad call and one I have struggled with to answer in the past.

Our shop programs in our schools are disappearing. I would think that schools have a certain liability in not using old tools that are not under warranty.

What about if they could be warehouse and given to those in need. What if they where just crated and shipped out to places like Haiti that are trying to rebuild their lives, homes, schools and hospitals.

I would like to do this here in Vancouver. I think I could build a crate, pack the tools and ship them out - anywhere.

Is there a program like this anywhere in North America?

Is there any other local places that might benefit from this "Sad Windfall" of tools?

Any thoughts here???


John Whipple

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Has any one delivered a shop to an auction house before?

Any idea the value of these old tools (maybe 10 cents on the dollar???)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 10:33AM
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No relatives or friends that might want them (even some of them)?

I still use the Delta floor drill press I inherited from my grandfather, along with hand saws (Disston) and some chisels (old Buck Bro.).

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 3:39PM
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One of the frequent writers for Fine Woodworking packs up tools and sends them to Central America where people are taught to use them to better their lives.

Now, if I could just remember the guys name or the name of the program? Anyone have better name recall than I seem to be having at the moment?

Otherwise, one of the members of our woodworking club willed his shop to the club. It was sold off, proceeds went to the club treasury, and members got some well-loved tools to take loving care of.

There is also a place here in town that liquidates estate personal property in a system very similar to eBay, with local pick up or some high value items have shipping available.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 8:14PM
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If it were me, I would look on the web at sites like Ebay and try to get a general idea of what the tool was selling for. Then I would make a list and go to a college or junior college or adult night school that has a woodworking program and post the list.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 8:17PM
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There are several woodworking websites that could help with tool dispersal.

Saw Mill Creek is a long time site. WoodNet is another. I am a member of both sites and have seen many instances where members helped with that process.

I am the Senior Moderator at WoodNet, so can guarantee any help requested(such as pricing/valuing or interest in purchasing) will be helpful and honest.

And both websites have Canadian members, so information will be applicable.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 10:35AM
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