Feed on

I’ve been trying to focus my attention and energy on the new shop. Since it’s so easy to be distracted by shiny stuff, I’ve been avoiding the auctions and on-line sales. This past week, I got wind of sale that had some very interesting machines. To make maters worse, this is less than five miles from the new shop. This was the IRS sale of excess equipment from Heritage Cabinets in Shirley, MA.

The first lot (and most interesting) was this Whitney No. 177 Variety Saw

177-1 177-2 177-3 177-4

It has the original fence and miter gauge. On the downside, it was missing the throat plate and was a 550 volt motor.

Next up was the Brookman Dovetailer

brookman1 brookman2

This is a 15 pin machine. Looks like it’s all there. These are pretty hard to come by in the States.

Then there was the Whitney Double Spindle Shaper:

ws-1 ws-2ws-3

This is an older model. Likely a No. 143 or similar. Nice small footprint. Included the frequency changer and 14 shaper heads. I’ve actually been looking for one of these for a while now.

Finally, there was this Mattison Stroke Sander. Looks like both pillars and the center table are present:

mattison-ss1          mattison-ss3 mattison-ss2


Every one of these machines sold for short money:

Whitney No. 177 -$375

Brookman Dovetailer -$326

Whitney Shaper -$376

Mattison Stroke Sander -$525

Just to give you some context on how good of a deal these were, The dovetailer would easily bring $1200 (and is near impossible to find), The shaper heads were worth far more than the $376 selling price for the entire package (you could probably get a few hundred bucks in scrap for the frequency converter alone). The Mattison center table alone typically sells in the $1500 range. Unfortunately, it’s worth far more as furniture than as a working machine. Finally, the Whitney No. 177, was well below any bottom feeder pricing. Add a hundred bucks for a transformer and you’ve got yourself the best variety saw ever made.

The sad, sad punch line is that I didn’t buy any of them. Until I get the new shop under roof, I’ll be doing my best to avoid eye contact with any new machines. More to come on progress on the shop shortly.





13 Responses to “Now that’s showing restraint…”

  1. Dave Kumm says:

    Good to hear you posting again. Keep me in the loop on the new shop. I’ve been shifting a little focus to metalworking machines recently and find that fascinating as well. I too had a goal of no new machines for a year, but have fallen just short of the finish line. Dave

    • the owwm says:

      Glad to hear from you. I recently came across a sale with some big Wadkin metal mills. It’s about half-way between you and me. Let me know if you’re interested.


  2. Greg says:

    Can I ask where did you find out about the auctions I realize this particular auction was close by but how would a person who lives much further away have found out about it

    • the owwm says:

      This is probably not the response you want to hear, but it really comes down to a network built over years of searching for these machines. I have searches that run regularly, I stay on top of local auctions, and I follow auctioneers and websites that I know to be good sources. Finally, there is the network of friends and like interested folks that helps to keep me in the loop with what’s happening. It wouldn’t have mattered if that auction was on the west coast. I would have heard about it because of the items for sale. Thanks for the comment and good luck in your search.

  3. Chad Williams says:

    You might be happy to know that one of the fine guys over at OWWM grabbed the 134…


    • the owwm says:

      Glad to see it went to Bill Thomas. That will be a nice compliment to his 105 planer. Thanks for the comment.


  4. Wadkin jack says:

    The Brookman is quite a bit later than the one I have which means the bearings are probably pretty good . as you know you need 60 Double rowed self aligning bearings for the 15 spindles and of course being English these are inch bearings r series. There still available with the bottom price ( China )being around 500 and upwards of two grand for better grades . Just use the Brooklyn the other day and I’ve got the stops moved in off the first two because those spindles need bearings these are are wicked machines. Very few auctions with the historic stuff anymore .

    • the owwm says:

      I’ve got two of the twenty five pin machines. One is setup with the straight pins and cam for doing box-joints. The other has dovetailing setup. They are a much better design than the Dodd’s or Wysong. One of them makes an awful racket when it’s running, but it’s just gear noise. The motors are also interesting in that the have dual windings so the machine can wind up to start. Both are English voltage and frequency. Very nice machines.

      • Wadkin jack says:

        Motor’s are probably star delta Arthur . I found the machine to be quiet even with bad bearings . The oil bath assembly is so friggin thock with built-in cooling fins I don’t think you could hear anything inside there anyway . I must say I am quite impressed with the Brooks quality and engineering . I’ve never come across any of the comb joint cutters but I do have an excess surplus of spacers. Are you aware of any templates other than the standard and does the tone joint use the tapered pin Standard guild

  5. Bill Thomas says:

    Hey Arthur,
    I don’t get over here to your website too often. A friend just told me you’d moved up to Groton. Jeez, you should have bid on that shaper I got it for my top bid, and another $25 and it could have been yours and saved me a lot of trouble. LOL!

    Anyway, glad to hear you’re in the area.


    • the owwm says:

      It’s great to hear from you. Yeah. I had all I could do not to go for it. You should just use a transformer and a VFD to run that shaper. Let me know if you want to discuss. I’m building a barn right now, but I’d enjoy coming up to see you once things settle down.


  6. Bill Thomas says:


    The guy in Shirley apparently got stuck with the 177. He’s got it up on CL.http://boston.craigslist.org/bmw/tls/5913062813.html
    550v, IIRC

    • the owwm says:

      Bill, I noticed that the second miter is from a Tannewitz. Yeah. It is definitely 550 Volts. Need a 5 KVA transformer for that. It’s a pretty good looking saw. I’m reaching out, will see if anything happens.


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