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Hi everyone!  Just searching the web for information and came across this website.  To be honest, I am jealous of all of your abilities as it is something that has always peaked my interest.  Unfortunately, I do not have near the time to devote to this hobby.  I barely get to do any of the rest of my hobbies so I am pretty sure my dear husband would question my starting another....haha. 

I actually was searching the web for people like you.  My husband and I recently purchased property in an estate and it came with a blacksmith shop.  An old one.  It has not been in operation in over 40 years and although some things were removed by the family, the vast majority of it is still there.  We have started to organize things together but it is quite the undertaking.  Husband is not near as patient on researching things as I am and I would really like the tools and equipment to be valued, cared for and fall into the right hands before it disappears.  

If there is anyone on here in the area who may be interested, please contact me.  There is way more than I could possibly list and I am already having a hard time finding out what the swage is worth - so any help is greatly appreciated!  I have photos of lots of the items including a 25 lb LG stamped NO 1904, the swage, tools, sheers, more tools, you name it - it's all there EXCEPT the anvils....which family took :(

Kindly, please, help!  Blacksmithing has always impressed me and I want to see these tools come back to life.

Much thanks!

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Choose one item at a time, photograph it from several sides and give us some idea as to size.  From there we can identify that item and provide you some information.

If the tools are looking for a home, list each separately in the tailgating section of the site.

Welcome to the site.

Several photos to provide us an over view of the building, collection, etc may also be helpful.

 

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You have three general choices to disburse the collection.  1) price and sell the items as individual pieces directly to purchasers either in person or on the internet or 2) hire a local auctioneer to conduct a live or on line auction, or 3) auction the items yourself on an on line auction site like ebay.  Each choice has its advantages and disadvantages.

You will have to balance the time it will take and if you want to get the absolute maximum dollar amount for the items.  A disadvantage to options 1) and 3) is that it may take some time to move all the items.  A year from now you may still have some items remaining.  However, you will have probably realized the best possible price for each item.  Also, for option 1) you will have to haggle with buyers.  Not everyone is comfortable with bargaining.  It also takes more personal involvement on your part.

The success of using an auctioneer will depend on how well publicized the auction is and how willing people are to come to it.  In this pandemic year fewer people are willing to attend.  Also, auctioneers make their money by taking a percentage of the sale prices.  However, it takes minimum effort on your part and once the auction is over everything is gone and you have money in your pocket.

Also, you will have to determine the condition of some or all of the items.  For example, does the Little Giant power hammer run?  If not, how much work is needed to get it in running condition.  From the photos it looks in pretty good condition.  Since I see an overhead line shaft in the photos you may not be able to turn it on if it is powered by the shaft unless the motor powering the shaft operates.

The most valuable items will be tools such as hammers, tongs, swage blocks, hardy tools (the things that fit into the square hole in an anvil), specialized tools such as bending jigs, vises, and forges.  A lot of what I see in the photos such as all the horse shoes are general scrap and materials that accumulate in any shop and will be eventually recycled into other items.  Useful to any smith but not something worth very much. 

You may have to do some digging and work to separate the scrap which might as well go to the local recycling center or scrap dealer from the actual tools and items that have some monetary value.

You may want to get a local blacksmith to come in and advise you on what you have or don't have.  There are people here on IFI who live in central IL.  Or you could contact the local black smithing organization and ask for their assistance.

Good luck.   

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ITEM 1: Swage.  Not sure on weight.  About 12" tall.

 

20200905_135710.jpg

Thank you, George!  I actually just looked up the Illinois Blacksmith Association and plan to call them.  My husband contacted a local blacksmith he knows but they have not shown up yet.  Their shop is as old as this and have been in the business for the 3 generations so guessing they don't need much.

 

I appreciate all of the information and will advise my husband as it will greatly help going through everything.  

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Work with the Illinois Blacksmith Association as they are local and a good source for information and advice.  They will be high on the list of folks are interested in the tools and tooling you want to find a working home.

Work with them to separate the dirt, debris, and junk (old horse shoes, vehicle brake drums and rotors etc) from the items that have potential.  As soon as you can, establish a path through the shop, and sweep and clean the floor of any trip hazards.  This will move some of the stuff out of the building and out of the way.  It will then allow you to find more stuff that you want to give consideration and your attention.  At some point you will want to establish like things into common areas, that is hammers in a hammer area, tongs in a tong area, etc.

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Anyone who is willing to come by can message me - most likely you won't leave empty handed!  I didn't even post pics of some of the tools in there that we uncovered.....there's a lot.  ;)  Going to post a pic in another discussion forum for 'guess what part this is' because we have something no one yet knows what is....and it's heavy.

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5 hours ago, JA8025 said:

guess what part this is' because we have something no one yet knows what is....and it's heavy.

Welcome aboard, glad to have you. Is there a name or nick name we may address you by? Your login is pretty cumbersome and hard to remember you know. 

OOH, OOH, show us, we LOVE to guess what mysterious somethings are! 

As you're going through things start tossing the ones you can toss into areas by general type. Weird looking hammers go in one place, they aren't hammers, they're top tools. Things with a square shank go in another place, they're bottom tools and fir the square hole in the anvil. Tongs go with the tongs, hand tools like files, chisels, wrenches, etc. should go in an area further divided. Power tools get subdivided into hand held, portable and bench or pedestal, lastly power equipment like the power hammer. 

No need to be precise, just close by general type will help and lets you dig into things for your own curiosity's sake. A couple pics of the piles will let us help you ID and evaluate things, maybe bid or just make offers. 

The local club is a good choice, not only does it put you in touch with folks who can help you ID and evaluate everything but puts you in touch with an interested market. Oh don't forget to attend a couple meetings, get to know the guys and start picking up some of the skills. 

I'd be very surprised if you couldn't trade a small fraction of the stuff for a nice top condition anvil. And lessons.

Frosty The Lucky.

Edited by Frosty
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Thank you for the advice, Frosty, I will definitely update hubby as we sort.  And sort.  And sort some more....lol.

 

I think I would love to learn the trade...just not enough hours in the day with kids and work.  Not to mention, I agreed to give husband the shop if I got the house.  Now I'm thinking I should have reversed it! lol  Either way, he's like a kid in a candy store sorting all of it and finding new 'old' things.  Since neither of us are going to do it, we just want it to go to the right homes.

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From what little I've seen your Dad's shop was a full blown commercial blacksmith shop, he could've probably put 4-5 men to work in it. For a hobbyist you can fit your gear in a small SUV. I have lots of stuff but rarely use more than what will fit in a 10' x 12' area. Small projects here and there to play in the fire and hit things doesn't take much time money or space. Blacksmithing is also a good way to keep the kids out of trouble and imagine how much easier it'll be when your daughter starts dating if she introduces you as my Mother the blacksmith. Hmmmm?

Boys? No problem, they'll be addicted from the start. 

If your spousal unit insists on the shop is his, the house is yours as a hard agreement you can tell him that'll be fine as soon as he's moved all his stuff to t he shop you'll convert the den to your shop. Offer to help of course, no need to be mean. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi boisdarc!  Still trying to sort but been busy on a separate endeavor that appeared.  Such is life!  Hoping not to sell and to instead, restore, even against other's wishes.  If that changes I will definitely contact you!!

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looks like a pretty cool set up. They didn't have it this year, but at jacksonville they have the steam tractor show and have a working blacksmith shop running off of a hit and miss engine. Honestly, I wouldn't mind just looking/not buying at the old shop. Sometimes my wife and I go antiquing and do a lot more looking than buying. Have a great day.

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Depending on what they fit, and condition, some of the brake drums can have some value. Many older drums from the 60's on back are very hard to find today new, so old usable ones are still being sold.

The lineshaft equipment is pretty cool.

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