You aren’t ready for this, I still can’t hardly believe it myself.
Last weekend a gentleman contacted me via Email through the blog and wanted to know if I wanted an old lathe that has been sitting around in their barn.
He said they were cleaning it out and if I didn’t want it, they were going to scrap it.
He said it was heavy but it would fit in my truck.
Me being me, I almost jumped straight up out of my chair when I read that but then past experience kicked in and I started asking myself some questions before I responded.
“Heavy” can mean different things to different people. For example, heavy to me is the stuff I work around all the time that is measured in “TONS”.
And a metal lathe being heavy?
Images of this kind of thing popped into my mind.
Sure it might fit in my truck but how are you going to get it in there and more importantly, how am I going to get it back out?
There is a serious lack of forklift traffic around this Cul De Sac if you catch my drift.
The next question was just how far away is it?
If the thing is in Idaho it’s a goner because free or not, I do actually have some limits to my insanity.
So I Emailed him back and he sent me some pictures and told me he was only about 50 miles away.
Hook, line and sinker.
We made some arrangements and I got some directions. He jokingly replied that a half case of Dos Equis beer might not be a bad idea for him helping me load the thing.
So as you can imagine. I have been worse than a little kid waiting for Christmas to get here all week.
Not being anyone’s dummy, I kept my mouth shut about it to the Wifely Unit until yesterday.
I almost didn’t get it all the way out of my mouth before I see her gearing up to pitch a major bitch, until I tell her it’s only going to cost me a case of beer and the gas to go get it.
I woke up this morning and loaded my little 1 ton Harbor Freight hoist, a whole bunch of tools, pry bars, slings, chains and anything else I thought might even remotely be needed and headed out.
First I stopped and got gas, then I went in to try and find some of this Dos Equis beer.
I scored two six packs and headed out.
I figured there would be plenty of places to stop and grab a couple more, right?
I stopped at five more convenience stores on my way over there and not one had any. I finally stopped at a freaking Safeway about ten miles from his place and found another half rack.
His directions were superb and I had no problem finding my way over there.
Big place, HUGE barn.
I no more than pulled in the driveway and my benefactor Paul came out of the barn to shake hands and say hello.
I want to take a minute here and say that he is WITHOUT QUESTION, one of the nicest people I have ever met and at 81 , he is as active as someone half his age.
He took me inside the barn so I could take a look at what he was going to throw away and I fell in love instantly.
It took us over an hour of messing around and finally had to drag the thing with a twenty foot strap I had brought, wrapped around the bucket of a little 4wd Kubota tractor he had there.
Thank GOD he had that tractor because without it, I would have never gotten my hands on this thing.
I would have gotten stuck up to the axles in my truck the second the back wheels left the gravel and that hokey little Harbor Freight hoist would have tipped over the second we got the thing clear of the table, IF, it would have evn been able to lift it.
So enough teasing.
You guys want to see what Uncle Phil scored on today?
Uncle Phil scored BIG TIME.
A Smithy mini lathe/ mini mill combo!
It took a whole bunch of monkeying around because the slings I took with me were too long but I finally got it rigged up so Paul could get it off the table and wheel it around the barn in the soft ground to get to my truck.
Here is The Man himself.
Absolutely the nicest gentleman you would ever want to meet. I guarantee that.
It was tough to rig it up to pick because the thing is so ass heavy. All of the weight is on one end.
We finally got it set down on the back of the truck, half sitting out on the tail gate because of the canopy being in the way.
Then it was just a matter of sticking a hunk of 4X4 in front of the lathe on the tail gate and push it in the rest of the way with the bucket.
Between the machine, the hoist I took and the table, the bed was full to the point I had to ratchet strap the table with two of the legs sticking out and then strap the tailgate up against them to keep the little crap inside.
The one thing we couldn’t find for the machine is the compound,
I looked around and didn’t see it anywhere nearby but Paul said that they are cleaning the barn out and he will keep an eye out for it.
It’s not critical at this point because I have the mini lathe already.
I wanted this thing for the Mill anyway.
I have been wanting one since the day I got that damn Mini Lathe and told The Wifely Unit here recently that I was going to be buying one here as soon as possible because I haven’t been able to find a used one that they don’t want just as much for as a new one.
To say that I was surprised at this turn of events would be a bit of an understatement.
I am constantly amazed at the selfless generosity that the people who read this little blog express in so many ways.
I want everyone of you to know that it touches my heart and I mean that very sincerely.
Paul’s generosity today was pretty much off the charts and when I asked him how long he has been reading my blog he said it was probably only a couple of months!
So I has a new project but I am just thrilled to death by this turn of events and I can’t hardly stand it that the thing is still sitting in the back of my truck.
My buddy is coming over with the 2 ton engine hoist as soon as I wake up and call him tomorrow and by this time tomorrow night there is going to be rust dust and penetrating oil all over the place!