How to sell a big ass lathe?
May 12, 2013 12:39 PM   Subscribe

I have found myself in possession of a 10ft Southbend Lathe. How do I send it on to somebody that actually wants it?

It's big, it's green, it's 10 ft long as measured from it's longest point. It's heavy. I can relatively safely assume that it's sat in a garage for the last several years, but I don't know any of it's previous history. I have no idea when it was last operated. It's probably rather old.

It has been sitting in the elements for the last 45 days and it's high time I did something about it.

Craigslist? Ebay?

I'm guessing since it's so heavy location matters. I'm in Northern Virginia.
posted by Folk to Grab Bag (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
See if the nearest hackspace/makerspace would want it.

It's how we got our Bridgeport Mill at Nottingham Hackspace.
posted by Katemonkey at 12:44 PM on May 12, 2013 [4 favorites]

depending on distance and where you are the cheapest option is often Amtrak, they have lots of extra space fo freight.

otherwise, choose a freight hauling company that move things slowly. Your freight will often take 3 weeks to get to the destination because the freight company is waiting for more jobs to load a truck.

For machinery, you want someone to pack it correctly and they should be insured.
posted by bobdow at 12:45 PM on May 12, 2013

Someone here might be able to lend some advice about the best way to find a home for it.
posted by BillMcMurdo at 12:55 PM on May 12, 2013

Response by poster: @BillMcMurdo: There are classifieds right on that page selling Southbends. That's probably what I need. Thanks.
posted by Folk at 12:58 PM on May 12, 2013

Craigslist is best, it'll get locals who don't have to worry about shipping. I've bought 2 southbend lathes off craigslist (including one of that size). Please throw a tarp over it if its outside.
posted by 445supermag at 1:28 PM on May 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

Folks who will buy it are usually aware of how to move it. Heavy stuff usually takes proper equipment and experience, but the tools are out there and the thing does come apart.

Local is the only way I'd do it, and there are plenty of folks in any area who would want it. Research its value well first, and CL it. Beware of CL scammers... cash only, etc. but take your time and someone will come get it. if you are in a hurry, donate it, but if you wanna make a buck, take a month or two and find it a new master.
posted by FauxScot at 2:53 PM on May 12, 2013

I have one of these. If it has been sitting in the elements for 45 days, it is now scrap. Even if it was pristine, Its value would depend on the tools and extra parts it has.
posted by JohnR at 3:27 PM on May 12, 2013

Last year in NE Ohio a friend had little luck finding a buyer for a similarly large, old lathe. His weighed more than a car, and was worth about $900 in scrap metal alone, and nobody seemed to want to pay that for it. That may have been due, at least in part, to the fact that there's still a lot of old industrial machinery floating around in the rust belt; the economy for such things may be different in your area, but knowing the scrap value would at least give you an idea of where your lowest price ought to be, i.e. scrap value minus whatever it would cost you to get it to a scrap yard.
posted by jon1270 at 3:32 PM on May 12, 2013

Response by poster: Any tools that it had are gone now.

I would like to make some profit off of it, but I have little idea how to start finding its value. I'm not even sure how to find its scrap value. (somehow estimate weight and call scrap yard?). Scrap very well may be it's only value now. Having no knowledge of big machinery I can only tell you it really needs a paint job.

Moving it the first time did not exactly showcase any of my shining moments...
posted by Folk at 4:56 PM on May 12, 2013

Response by poster: I'm not even sure how to find its scrap value. (somehow estimate weight and call scrap yard?).

I take that back. I did that thing called research. A rough estimate seems to be 1000 lbs and scrap for iron and steel seems to be going at roughly $10/100 lb. So roughly $100 for that thing.
posted by Folk at 5:09 PM on May 12, 2013

Hey, I'm in touch with a makerspace in Reston (Nova Labs) I can get in touch with them and see if they're interested? MeMail me for more info- I'm sure they'd be willing to transport if it could be usable.
posted by Hwin at 8:27 PM on May 12, 2013

I had never even heard of an ass lathe before I read this question.

I'm so sorry
posted by DWRoelands at 6:07 AM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

It's worth more than a 100$ in scrap if it has the motor. I worked with a big old southbend lathe for a couple of years, nice machine. Electric motors are worth more than steel as scrap. There's also a fair amount of good cast iron on the one I'm familiar with so that might be worth more to someone that casts their own iron. C
posted by glip at 6:52 AM on May 13, 2013

Call these guys. Yes, they are in Richmond, but they handle these kind of pieces of machinery.

(nb: I've never used them, but have them bookmarked just to go and drool over the various tools they have for sale).
posted by k5.user at 9:01 AM on May 13, 2013

DWRoelands, I came into this thread specifically to see if anyone had made that joke... thanks for not disappointing. :-)
posted by ElDiabloConQueso at 1:22 PM on May 13, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks guys, it's dealt with.

Thanks for all the angles.

I never heard of an ass lathe either, but it's the only good way I could think to describe it.
posted by Folk at 4:47 PM on May 15, 2013

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