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There are a few auctions coming up over the next few weekends that I will be attending. I've had a few tools on my wishlist for quite some time: band saw, planer, dust collector and a jointer to name a few.
I was wondering if anyone had any tips on what to look for? Specifically, I've been looking for prices of used machinery (ebay, craigslist), but haven't had a lot of luck. I expected more of ebay and was surprised that they had as many new pieces as they did.
Anyway, any help is appreciated.
Hoo-boy, that is an extremely tough question to answer without it turning into a novel.
When I go to an auction the first thing I look for are old tools and machinery. Why? Because old is better. And the auction gavel will usually go down pretty fast on them....which equates to cheap. Your basic auctionite will typically give a wide berth to woodworking stuff because they, for some reason, believe them to be worn out (handplanes are a great example: "Ugh ohh, it's got rust on it, better put that down". Of course all that changes if another woodworker is there lurking in the ranks - then you have a fight on your hands.
The price depends upon how much you are willing to pay for it. That may sound flip but it really isn't. For instance, you say you want a planer. Obviously you have a planer in mind, perhaps you seen one in a magazine or in one of the big box stores, and you know the prices on them. But the auction you attend has a Powermatic model 100 like this...
It's a 12 incher...same size as the ones you saw in Home Depot! Yay! HD wants $500 for theirs but you can get that "old one" for $200...maybe $400...depends on the fight. Me? I'd take the bidding clear to $800. Why? Because it's a darn great machine.
So, you're asking, "What are you saying, Joe?"
I'm saying there's no definitive answer to your question on what would be considered good prices. As for what to look for, why, I can gives ya loads of what to looks for but I suppose the best thing I can do to help you is to tell you to spend some time at the site I sent you to earlier.
Joe Johns, Twisted Knot Woodshop
Twisted Knot Woodshop "There's never been a classier joint"