I've been buying and selling things and dealing with all kinds of people all my
life. I'm a street-savvy guy from a big city, and I'm no stranger to how weird
people can get. But I have to admit I was pretty rattled by this one.
A few days ago I saw an ad in my local craigslist which just said "shaper $125".
I saw it at night and realized it might be a good deal, but went to bed anyway.
The next morning it was still there, so I called the guy, went out there and
looked at it. The machine wasn't perfect, but it ran (it's the 11" Vernon I
posted about earlier this week) so I figured for that kind of money I can't
lose, and paid, knowing it would be a holy bitch to get it out of the shop. The
shop was simply an amazing place. The lot is filled with old airplane hulks, a
rotting sailboat, lot of just plain junk, everything covered with morning glory
and feral cats. In the back the first person I saw was an old guy sitting on a
wheelchair in the sun with no pants on, drooling. Then the actual seller came
out, a little squint-eyed guy in a polyester jacket with a gigantic attitude.
He opened up the shop, a 20x30' wood frame building from about 1910. Inside it
was very dark, a dim light hanging here and there. The shop is divided into two
rooms. In the larger room (about 15x15') was packed a giant Brown & Sharpe
horizontal mill, a large Smith-Drum engine lathe (maybe 16x48?), a 12" Clausing
lathe, a Jet 6x18 surface grinder, a heat treating oven, a hardness tester, a
refrigerator, a microwave oven, a large air compressor, a belt/disk sander, a
wood planer, the 11" shaper, the remains of a small airplane (large body
section), several bicycles, none functional, about 30 boxes of junk on the
floor, and clutter piled everywhere, and chips and dirt on top of that - DEEP.
You could barely move in there. The first thing the guy said to me just blew me
away. He said "Yup, I've spent the last two weeks cleaning up in here!" I almost
Anyway, like I say, that day I bought the shaper, came home, wrote the posting,
done deal. The next day I loaded up a bunch of machinery moving gear and headed
back down to Little Appalachia. This time the seller was completely different,
like a different personality emerged. He was apparently kicking himself because
other guys had come and looked at the shaper and told him it was worth a ton of
money. He demanded another $150 "for his time" and whined about how he was in
trouble with his wife. I thought about it for awhile and told him if it took a
day and a half of his time, that $150 might be reasonable, but that I didn't
think it would take that long. We left it at that, and worked on getting the
machine up on wheels and freed up. That done, I left the matter until today.
Today I went back down there, and this time I told the guy I thought his demand
for money was outrageous. He had sold me the machine, maybe too little, maybe
not, but a deal is a deal. As for helping me load it, 99% of the work was simply
moving crap in his shop, and he can't expect me to pay him to clean up his shop!
The guy simply went off on me! At one point I really thought he was going to
pull a weapon. I realized at some point I wasn't dealing with someone fully
rational, but I wasn't exactly in a situation I could just walk away from
either. He screamed insults at me for quite awhile and we went back and forth
and finally agreed on $100 for a "loading fee". I mean, if the guy had simply
asked $275 for the machine in the first place, I might still have bought it, and
then no insanity!
The machine is still down there, I don't get to go pick it up until Monday. With
a nut job like that, I'm going to be seriously relieved to see the last of that
place. I'd like to make a deal with him for the Smith-Drum lathe, but
to make a deal with him for the Smith-Drum lathe, but faggedaboutit!
I don't know what gets into people. I tried to deal with a couple of
sellers that must be related to this guy ; ) and that's how I ended up
with a (new) Chinese machine. Sad. Good Luck, and yeah, I'd agree with
the other posters and say bring somebody with you when you pick it up.
Bring someone ARMED (like the sheriff).
Just before I got to the end I was shaking my head (partially at the fact
you gave him more money) THEN I read he still has the shaper...
Grant, be VERY carefull, nut cases like that are.. nut cases... be fully
prepared to leave WITHOUT the shaper or your cash :-(
"I don't have a good feeling about this Butch"...
You can be sure about that. The advice to not go alone is real good advice. I
also think I'll call him earlier in the day and talk to him a bit, to see
exactly which character I'll be dealing with on Monday.
At least he's little, and not physically intimidating. Sure blows up like a
There was a time when I would have simply knocked him out and *taken* the damn
machine. He has *no idea* .. but that's about 30 other stories.
I'm actually pretty skilled at dealing with whackos, comes with the territory
when you volunteer in one of Washington's worst prisons, as I have off and on
since 1984. Pretty bad moment when his hand dived into his pocket, though!
Been there many times. Yes, bring someone with a concealed weapon to
watch your back.
One was for a Model A pick up that I heard about from the women's
brother. Right from the get go I got the feeling that I may not make
it out of there alive. She was really angrily saying WHO ARE YOU, WHAT
DO WANT, after I explained that I knew her bro. and the story about
the truck she got really nice. She showed me the truck in the back
woods and said she'll take $1,000 for it. The truck had to be worth a
good $5,000 as is. I opened up one side of the hood and saw a wasp's
nest and backed up. She spit out her chew and said "Dem nothing but
hornets" and used up the last of the chew from the round can and put
it over them and crushed it with her hand. She wanted to know my name
and where I lived and to come back when I had the money. About 3 days
later I showed up and she started screaming at me that I was a liar
and that I didn't live there cause it had a different name on the mail
box. I tried to explain that it was the step father's name, but she
wouldn't hear another word and threatened to kill me if I ever came
Might I suggest you have a off duty police man to help 'drive the truck...' -
e.g. - help keep a legal and even keel. Might work out.
Firemen and police often work second jobs or part time - e.g. drive escort
to the graveyards...
Might be nice to have a friendly witness.
Martin H. Eastburn
@ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net
NRA LOH & Endowment Member
NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member
Grant Erw> I've been buying and selling things and dealing with all kinds of people