A really nice show this year. Loved the auction. I've never seen
quite so much metalworking stuff all in one place before, and many of
the prices seemed pretty reasonable. The Monarch 10EE went for $500
bucks, and though it didn't look in the best of shape, it did have a
relatively new solid state speed controller of the type that Gunner
mentioned a number of posts ago. I bid up to $500 for a South Bend
shaper that looked pretty nice, it soon went for something like $675.
There was a nicer one with pressure lubrication near the consignment
area for about $700.
I wish that I'd known something about old outboard motors. A whole
bunch of them went for just a few bucks apiece, including a nice
I bid on some other stuff, but found it always just beyond what I
thought was a bargain.
Regarding shapers, the place seemed absolutely infested with them.
Between all of the machinery dealers, the auction, and the consignment
area, I counted seven: one Logan, two Rhodes, two South Bends, and two
Atlae - all for around $700. Judging from the way stuff is moving on
ebay, that seems to be about the price of the animal these days.
In just about the middle of the auction on Friday, a rather quiet
fellow appeared with a pallet jack and pallet loaded with what for me
was the most fun of all: an early hammered-blue Emco V10-p Maximat in
absolutely, no kidding, mint showroom time-warp condition with just
about every accessory Emco ever made for it, including all literature,
manuals, and ads. He had the milling head, he had the milling table,
the steady rest, the follow rest, the dividing head (plates were there
but he'd forgotten the actual thing, didn't know what it was), he had
the angle plates, the hold downs, the whole shooting match. It must
have been nearly 30 years old and he'd just cleaned off the cosmoline.
He wanted $3500 for the whole collection and it seemed like a
bargain to me. I thought about buying it and selling my machine on
ebay. Then, I thought about explaining that to my wife and how the
cash-flow situation might need some explaining...
Found myself at the booth of a guy named Slav Jelesijevich of
Slav's Hardware Store, who specializes in NOS files. Got addicted to
Swiss pattern files, number twos and threes in odd shapes and bought a
whole mess of them. Now I have to make the handles.
Richard Triemestra had a beautiful Myford ML7 he'd pulled out of a
basement in Detroit after it's original owner had probably passed away
and the family moved out. The new owner of the house told him he had a
Craftsman lathe for sale because that was what the electric motor said.
"Does it say anything else on it?" Triemestra asked.
"Well," the guy said, "It says 'my ford' on it, just like the car"
"I'll be right down," said Triemestra. The machine turned out to
lack a compound rest, but it did have a mint milling attachment and
I loved the people and the stories, everywhere. Stories about
lives spent in industry, so much of it gone now, and finding some
solace in recreating it on a smaller scale, a kind of techno-bonsai
almost, generations of toolmakers and machinists pruning their
basements, adding some more files, scrapers, and sometimes another
machine if the pension allows it.
Kept meaning to ask Mr. Sobel about that 20 percent discount if
you served in Burma during the great war, but never had the chance.
Rudy Kouhoupt's absence was palpable. Everywhere you turned his
fans and admirers had brought the projects that he'd described over the
years. One builder had put his photo on an engine turned panel. He's
left a huge void. I found myself with some other guys talking to Clover
McKinley, editor of Live Steam, about it all. Turns out Rudy died very
much the way he had quietly lived.
"He had cleaned the dishes and neatly stacked them just the way
you might imagine Rudy always did everything. Then, he sat down in his
easy chair with a shawl around his shoulders and picked up the new
issue of Live Steam....That's the way they found him."
God bless him.
17 years ago