Autauga Heritage

One Person’s Clutter is Another’s Treasure

I love to help my friends raid their parents’ attics, looking for family treasures that evoke cultural memories and loving moments of the past. I don’t keep this stuff and sometimes I donate or sell it so others can share our mementos. It does no good to let them sit idle. If it is really something special, of course I keep it tucked away in a sealed box for posterity. Something like my brothers old tools immediately goes into a container for resale. He has all new equipment and particularly likes his stick welder. It is time for the old one to go. I am going to find just the right person for his machine to carry on doing more tasks. It looks like of sad all by itself in a pile of refuse and cast offs bric-a-brac.

First I had to ask around about who likes to weld in their home workshop and wouldn’t already have this device. Maybe you are not familiar with a stick welder and may only know of MIG or TIG types. The stick model is inverter powered that is easy to use almost anywhere you like. This particular system has the advantage of increased power output from a comparatively small transformer. It is therefore quite lightweight (weighting almost half of other traditional models). You get a shoulder strap that lends portability to the welder making it easy to manipulate as you work. It is versatile and great for many materials such as stainless or mild steel, cast iron, or other hard surfacing.

Now I have to explain all this to a potential buyer. Most likely he will already know if he has experience. He may be looking for a back-up device or want to gift it to a relative or friend. I put an ad in the paper and got a few inquiries. One fellow teaches welding and said he runs a popular Twitter account on the topic, @RateMyWelder and would find my brother’s tool ideal for his classes. He didn’t want to spend a lot on equipment since it isn’t used that often or for too long. He could since such welders are durable and long lasting. I gave him a fair trade and wished him well in his endeavors. He, in turn, offered me free lessons. Not interested in my brother’s hobby, I declined. I know it is a handy skill around the house or if you like to get creative and fabricate metal art or furniture. More people than you realize partake in this pastime. For some it is a career.

The lesson to be learned is that one person’s clutter is another’s treasure. I suggest you get scouring the attics of family and friends and see what you can find. You can make a few dollars and treat the former owner of the items to a special dinner or outing. The idea isn’t to make a killing for yourself but to help others clean up storage spaces and perhaps give the sales proceeds to charity.