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Ridgewayforge

Leaving the Country--Sell or store?

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Hi all, 

For the next 5 or 6 years I will be living in Rome, inside the city for further schooling; I have a small shop, just two leg vices, a 75lb anvil, champion 400 forge blower & firepot and some other miscellaneous tools which I cannot take with me. My parents have generously offered to store these things for me until I return, but I wanted some opinions as to what I should do. 

My options, as I see it, are to keep the things in storage in their garage for the time that I will be living in italy, or I could sell the pieces and save the money, adding to it little by little so that when I come back I can re-outfit my shop. Which would you do? 

Regards,

Ridgewayforge 

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As you don't have to pay storage, and all your tackle will just get rarer and the price keeps going up. I vote to store. Might even be able to score tackle to ship back.

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If there is no cost or risk to store, I agree And make sure to send the parents some nice gifts from Rome :)

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While I don't have a shop of my own yet I can remember from using my grandfathers shop. The issue with selling and buying all new equipment is that It never quite feels the same as the stuff you are used to using/have made yourself etc. most of the new stuff just isn't built the same way.

I'd say keep yours and store them. But save the money and add to them when you get back.

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Looking at this by money:  STORE.      Looking at this by "hassle": STORE

Unless you think you will NEVER return to the craft, (or the USA) STORING is the better way to go!

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Store it, prices are going up much faster than a college kid can save money. That already having been said several times I have to tip my hat to Charles for striking right to the important question. What are you studying?

Frosty The Lucky.

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I'm studying for a masters in Theology. 

I think I will store them, in that case. I really didn't want to part with my gear and tackle, but I wasn't sure what would have served me best. Its a good little kit, especially the anvil-pre-pritchell hole english no name. Good big sweet spot; little bit of face worn down on the far side horn left, but otherwise in pretty good condition. 

 

As to keeping it fresh while stored, what is the advice -  Oiled? Gently rusted? A good thin coat of paint to keep it fresh for 5 or 6 years? 

IMG_0291.thumb.JPG.6122217f9cc7ec0511fdfIMG_0287.thumb.JPG.eebd9348b192b63e7f93c

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Store it but do so in a way that the option still exists to sell as needed. Have the photos already taken and on a jump drive, write up a description and tag each piece, etc so that your parents or someone you trust can handle the deed if needed.  Stuff happens--what if your parents have an emergency/find they need to move or you discover that a few hundred bucks would make the difference between staying in school or having to come home?  Store that nice little back-up-plan file where it's easily accessed by someone.

No reason you can't keep your options open with a little pre-planning.  Hopefully it'll be a total waste of time because everything goes perfectly.  However, I've seen stuff go haywire often enough on extended overseas "deployments" that I can tell you it's worth the time to have the plan in place.

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I would vote to Store, have done it myself, some now just coming home from storage after 20 yrs.  Prices only go up and availability is going down.  Will also throw some support behind Kozzy's idea of having every thing ready if something changes and a need to sell happens.  Plus it will give a record incase something happens to it while in storage like growing feet. 

Happy trails to Rome and your studies. 

 

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Didn't you see the Da Vinci Code ?

I'll bet there's a lucrative market for custom made self flagellation gear in Rome.  :P

Store your gear for future use, ... and send me all the orders you can get, for hand forged Chain Scourges and Branks .....

 

.

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2 hours ago, SmoothBore said:

Didn't you see the Da Vinci Code ?

I'll bet there's a lucrative market for custom made self flagellation gear in Rome.  :P

Store your gear for future use, ... and send me all the orders you can get, for hand forged Chain Scourges and Branks .....

 

.

Get a jump on the next black plague? That's brilliant SmoothBore. Wait do you have a little inside info we don't?! :o

I like LPS-3 for it's rust preventative qualities. It's a tough wax dissolved in a volatile carrier. Spray it on the carrier penetrates the tiniest cavities, evaporates and leaves a coat of wax.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I'm going against the tide. Unless you are really emotionally attached and if you can get a good price, sell. In 5 or 6 years, these blacksmithing shows might not be as popular as they are now. These trends tend to be periodic and while you probably won't be able to get the exact same equipment you have now, you very well could replace with better. IMO - the used blacksmithing equipment prices are riding a bubble.

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No harm will come from storing the stuff with your folks, so store it.  As mentioned above, take some photos and prepare to sell the stuff if it ever comes up.  But.... plan on keeping it until you can return.

If you prepare the stuff, you can always sell it sometime down the road when your circumstance changes.  Until then, give it a nice coat of oil and put it away while you're off on your adventure.

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store it. What Bo T says doesn't really hold water. I doubt whether prices for blacksmithing equipment will collapse. But even if they do, An anvil is an anvil and its price will be relative to any other anvil. And the same is true if prices rocket. You can't lose by keeping what you've got. But most of the people that I know who have liquidated their equipment either pay heavily to re-equip or they never get back into the game. As has been said before, if when you get back you no longer have the need or interest, then you have got saleable items.

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1 hour ago, H&T said:

store it. What Bo T says doesn't really hold water. I doubt whether prices for blacksmithing equipment will collapse. But even if they do, An anvil is an anvil and its price will be relative to any other anvil. And the same is true if prices rocket. You can't lose by keeping what you've got. But most of the people that I know who have liquidated their equipment either pay heavily to re-equip or they never get back into the game. As has been said before, if when you get back you no longer have the need or interest, then you have got saleable items.

Of course it does. While the value relative to other anvils will not vary much, the value relative to other goods and services could vary a lot. Cash is fast and liquid, the blacksmithing equipment, in storage, represents a time lag from days to months with a very potential net loss if the money is required quickly (This is how pawn shops work).

Is it the parents responsibility to sell the items for the OP? Or to move them, if necessary? While the parents have offered to store the equipment, is it fair for the OP to have them do so and take on the responsibility of caring for it while he is gone?

With the exception of the post vices, new or fabricated equipment can be had at near the same cost that very good used equipment seems to be selling for (at this point in time) on this side of the pond.  

One alternative that has not been mentioned is the possibility of a friend, relative, or good acquaintance using and caring for the equipment while the OP is in Europe.

 

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I am only 60 years old, but I am still waiting for The Day when transportable, personally relatable items (anvils, guns, swords, vintage guitars, old muscle cars) go DOWN in price.

But what do I know?

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I can remember back, just before the 42nd and 44th Presidents took office that certain gun prices escalated in price. Heck, just a few (@ 7) years ago, a brand new AR-15 could be had for $1200 - $1500. Course, that same rifle can be bought for $800 now. I have a couple of old military C&R rifles that were worth a lot more 'on the bubble' than they are now. With the exception of 'pristine and rare' (very collectable) the others seem to have their 'bubbles'. My BiL made part of his living following these trends.

I am looking at a 64 Impala, frame off restoration for less than $20k. Accounting for inflation, quite a bit less than it sold for new. So, for those that buy when prices have bottomed your observations are spot on. For those that buy when prices have topped, err... not so much.

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Where storage breaks down is when you have to pay for it. Years ago I ended up with a room mate who stiffed me on the rent for the house we were renting. I managed to eventually get out of the rental lease but it didn't leave me with enough ready cash left to rent a similar place. I had a ton of stuff that suddenly had to go into storage.

 

Looking back in hind sight, I'd have been better off if I'd sold almost everything but a few key items and just bought new stuff for what it ended up costing me in storage rental over time. In the end a lot of that stuff got trashed or disposed of anyways. I'm beginning to look at a similar situation again. For the last few years I've had storage space at a friends place in exchange for work around the house etc when I have free time. They are beginning to look at selling the place as it's really too much for them to care for, and I'm starting to look at what I'm going to do with all the tools/materials that have collected up over the years. It's starting to look like it will cost me between $8K and 30K to get a large trailer or build a medium sized shed to store all my stuff in. I'm weighing that against what I have in tools and equipment in value. True I'll never be able to replace 1/10 of what I have for what it cost me to buy the stuff originally. For example my scaffolding, tile saw, sheet metal brake etc have all paid for themselves multiple times over the years, but only occasionally make me money. To replace one, or even rent when needed for work, would cost me way more than what I'll make from the sale. On the other hand,  $8K would buy a lot of replacement blacksmithing tools for example.

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I guess it depends. I never plan anything that far in advance because who knows what's gonna happen five years from now. If your folks are cool, and won't pull a 180 on you, then yea, store it there. My mom is the only living direct relative I have and we don't get along real well. I wouldn't leave anything there unless I had the ability to quickly move it in the event of an issue (we've had more than a few, she's quite fickle and can turn on a dime).

The one advantage will be if you do sell it, is that if five years from now, you decide to stay in Rome, meet some one, etc you don't have to sweat liquidating the stuff, or spending big coin getting it shipped over. What you have in it will make a difference too. Not bashing your gear, but it's not like you got real high dollar stuff by the sounds of it and it could all be replaced without taking a beating. At least from a spectators observation. If you were sitting on a 400 lb pristine Hay Budden and had a rather large collection of pics, specialized tooling, etc than storing may be a better option since replacing the stuff would likely be difficult and expensive.

Not trying to play devils advocate, just offering a different perspective. I buy and sell stuff for a living, mostly welding machines. I spent several years storing stuff, moving stuff and handling stuff I thought I would eventually use. I ended up giving most of it away at auction before my divorce was final. All the money and time I spent on storage ended up being a waste. Considering that your circumstances are different, and it sounds like you got cool folks, then at minimum keep the anvil, vises and forge. Peripherals can be replaced easily enough.

The Bible says you don't know what your life might be tomorrow. I tend to plan short term and keep options open.

Oh, I've found that brush on clear lacquer that you can buy at any hardware or big box store protects metal nicely and can be recoated as needed. I have it on all my blacksmithing stuff. Keeps the rust away and can be removed easily enough.

Best of luck with your studies and whatever you decide to do.

IMHO of course

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For what it's worth, I lived in the UK for six years while getting my PhD.  I just closed up my workshop, and when I moved back to the States it was there waiting for me.  A little cleanup on some stuff, clearing out a couple mouse nests, and I was good to go.

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I think that I've decided to store them. All these points are great, but there are a few factors that pushed me to store rather than sell. 

The price factor is important to me, and I know that I won't be able to get the same tools for the same price I paid initially. The most important factor for me is time to re-equip. when I come home after a few years' hiatus, I don't want to have to wait for those sweet deals to come along. As of now, my tools have been patiently waited for. I started with a railroad tie plate, then a rail, then finally to my current small anvil. That took about 4 years to finally afford and find a cheaper anvil. True, its not as valuable as a top of the line pristine anvil, but it took a while to find a good price. 

That being said, I know that when I returned, I will want to start getting into the craft again immediately, which, if I sold my tools, would either mean going back to rock and smaller rock on a stick forging, or alternatively buying everything for the price that convenience buys. 

 

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