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I Forge Iron

The untimely death of a wonderful machine.


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JR was old fabricator whose main tool was a 6" x8' plate roll about a hundred and twenty years old when it died. It could bend 3/8" plate up to 6 feet wide and of course a host of other shapes and sizes. All the welders in the county went to JR to have stuff rolled. When he got real old he tried to sell it for as much as possible. Lowest price I ever got out of him was between ten and fifteen grand, including the rest of his tools, which were mostly junk. Anyhow, "mark" ends up with it in his yard for $500 bucks. Deal of the century, but he never hooks it up for a decade or more. If he really needs to bend something, he can jack his forktruck tire against the bull gear, but it's a pain to do, and with so little finess, he never gets any of our work any way. Finaly "steve" our mutual ocasionly hired local ironworker (semi-retired of course) tells me "mark" will sell the roller for $500. Great I tell steve I'll take it. When I show up for the machine, it's gone. "mark" found out he could get more for it as scrap and junked it instead. No calls, just cut and bust and load.

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I know where there is a brake lathe for turning brake drums, rotors, etc and a plastic tote (maybe two) of accessories sitting out in the weather. I ask about it and the fellow said it was cheaper to buy new drums and rotors and not have the liability issues. He just unplugged it and moved it outside. No it is not for sale, maybe later. That was in September and now it is March and the totes are full of water and the lathe is well rusted.

This winter I saw a company load up industrial shelving, still on the pallets, and haul it off to the junk yard. They ordered too much and would not consider selling it, it had to be junked. So off went 6 pallets of shelving frames and about that many more of other parts for junk prices.

Then there was the garage that had several EMPTY 55 gallon drums (labeled 10w30 oil) beside the building, I ask for a couple for a project and the manager would check for me. A week later I was told I could have all of them. Thank you but I just needed two. I stopped that weekend and the owner told me no I can not have the drums. He has a fellow that comes by and pays HIM $40 to $50 EACH for metal drums. I suggested that we go into business, I would supply him with all the drums he wanted at half that, and he could flip them for $20 each. He was not impressed and declined my offer.

The world is a different place today.

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