Finally found my "grail" hammer after 20+ years of keeping my radar out. Ive owned alot of hammers, but could never seem to find a Bradley Compact 100, or when I did find one for sale it was 2000+ miles away.
A good friend notified me of this one last monday morning about 6:30 am. I immediately sent the seller a message, not asking any questions or for more pictures or to look at it,... I simply started "I will buy this hammer", as the price was beyond good and I could see from the photo that it was all there and other than a coating of heavy dust look to be in good condition.
Several hours go by with no response, so I'm already convinced the hammer has sold. Finally around 9 a.m. he sent a message back, I could tell it was one of those blanket messages he sent multiple people simply stating "the items will be available today for viewing". My reply was, "I don't want to look at the hammer I want to buy it and have cash in hand". I also sent him my phone number and asked for his, caledl him as soon as I received it. To make a very long story short I convinced him to hold the hammer for an hour so I could get there, in this time my damn phone battery died and I didn't have a charger in my truck and I was using Google Maps for directions so I had to haul ass into AutoZone frantically buy a charger to get back up and running... so I'm basically in panic mode knowing that he's only holding this hammer for about an hour and he has several other people wanting to see it.
Finally get to the old shop where it's located, and see junk everywhere, it's part of an old estate that is being liquidated. I immediately greet the executor of the estate, walk over look at the hammer and immediately pay him to get that load off of my shoulders.
The hammer was behind about 50 years worth of junk and other heavy tools and machines around it, took about three days of work to get it where we could actually get a forklift in there enough to load it. And this time I made pretty good friends with the people going through the estate, help them a bit, as I felt more than fortunate and lucky to be the one that purchase this Bradley. Found out it had been in that shop since 1968, I don't think it was ever used not only judging by the condition but by the fact that there was a little giant 25 right next to it that he actually did all of his work with.
Unfortunately before I could get there they scrapped the treadle and dies, but that's an easy fix. I also noticed hanging from the side there look to be a factory wrench that I've never seen before on a Bradley. The reason I think it's factory is it had the same exact original paint and the same style of numbers in the casting that Bradley uses on all its parts.
Some of you will understand this, but further 3 or 4 days it took me to get that hammer out of there I barely slept, I just kept thinking in my head one of the family members was going to decide not to sell it even though I had already given cash and had a bill of sale. Strange things happen all the time and of course my head kept thinking about the worst case scenario.
I'm going to try to attach some photos, the first being as the hammer set when I found it, then once I got it loaded, and now finally in its temporary spot where I can go through it. It looks to be in excellent condition and I really don't think it was used after 68 when it was put in the shop I found it in. If anyone knows how to date a Bradley, I will also attach a photo of the serial number.
If anyone has any input or even any questions, would like to hear either.