Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Merry (Vintage) Christmas

I have so many memories of Christmas past. Family, wonderful dinners, opening gifts and all the houses decorated for this wonderful season. I decided to start buying Christmas stuff at auctions and yard sales. Here's a few items I purchased and sold.

1960's Aluminum 6' christmas Tree
Paid: 20 bucks
SOLD 250.00

Blow-Mold Candle Lamp Post 42' 

Paid 3.50 at a yard sale
SOLD 35.00

Rare 60's "Father Christmas" Blow-Mold -
38" tall
Paid 3.00
SOLD: 54.00

40' Blow-mold Toy Soldiers

Paid: 5 bucks
SOLD: 32.50

Merry Christmas everyone!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Massey Ferguson Model 1100 Pedal Tractor

My first pedal tractor restoration
  Massey Ferguson Model 1100
 ERTL Made in USA
 Date: approximately 1977

This is the same tractor

My first pedal tractor restoration... Ain't it cute? Restoring these toy vehicles are a lot of fun but can be expensive. Here is a breakdown of my total cost -

 Pedal Tractor 100.00
Blast the parts 30.00
Decals 20.00
Front wheels 19.50
Paint using coded MF red and MF gray - 4 coats 48.00
Rear Hub Caps 8.50
Hardware & Supplies 10.00

Total Expense: 236.00
Value: 375.00 NFS

Saturday, August 6, 2011

One Man's Junk IS Another Man's Treasure...

Not a "quote" I always agree with. Most times junk is simply junk. But this time, you be the judge!

JUNK - I bought this piece of junk because I felt sorry for it. Probably made in the 1940's and used as a hanging lamp for the front of a home or business. It was lying in a pile of scrap metal intended for recycle. So, I gave the guy 5 bucks for the lot.

I sand-blasted - powder coated - re-wired - added some old green glass and botta-bing the ol' lantern is good for another 70 years!

Paid: 5.00
Blast & Coat: 25.00
Wire & socket: 5.00
Value: 75.00

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Squaw Valley Consignment Shoppe

SV Consignment Shoppe
Located: 30782 Kings Canyon Hwy Squaw Valley CA 93675
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10 am until 4 pm

I have so much old stuff that I don't know what to do with it. My daughter Andrea told me about this old rustic building in Squaw Valley that sells antiques and other vintage items. She mentioned, that the owner Randy is interested in renting me some space. I decided to give it a shot. So Kimi and I loaded up the truck and hauled my junk to Squaw Valley. Andrea met us there and after about 3 hours the goods were priced and merchandised. Check 'em out on Facebook.

 A little history on this bread crate - Visalia Baking Company was located in Visalia CA. on Court steet at the oval. The company sold in the 60's to San Joaquin baking Co (Rainbo bread) and closed the bakery. This is a bakery crate - used for delivering fresh bread to the local mom & pop markets. Estimate date: 1955. Amazing condition.
FOR SALE 275.00  SOLD 240.00

Some of the items I have displayed at SV Consignment Shoppe

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Back to Basics....

Sometimes no agenda is best. I didn't read the hundred ads on Craigslist and map out the Saturday morning route for the best sales. Actually I slept in until 7:00 am and took my time getting out the door. started heading east looking for "Yard Sale" signs. I found some great sales and met some really nice folks.

Here are a few treasures I found and I even got some story's. -

1950's Coca Cola Ice Cooler - This measures around 11.5" x 11" and not very good condition but, a rare piece and worth a few bucks. the guy who sold it to me was dealing with some hardships and was needing to sell a lot of antiques and vintage items. I don't usually like collecting coke advertising but I felt like helping him out. He was asking 40 bucks but I just couldn't pop on it for that price!
Picked: 25.00
Value: 50.00
SOLD 70.00

1960's Wicker/Bamboo Tiki Chair - My first Yard Sale buy of the day...  Great condition
Picked: 10 bucks
Value: 100.00

1961 Tonka Firetruck - Complete with all the hoses, ladder and the fire hydrant.  This truck was purchased at a yard sale from the original owner.The guy has had this truck for 50 years and decides to sell it at a freakin' Yard Sale?

Picked: 20 bucks
Value: 195.00

1890's Steamer Trunk -  Awesome shape - Great find.

Picked 40.00
Value: 75.00
SOLD 65.00

1936 242A Coleman Lantern -  Great Find. Found it setting under a work bench still in the original box. From what I have since learned, this was the first year that Coleman came out with the 242A. Made it a bit valuable. Great Find!

picked: 4.00
Value: 50.00
SOLD 135.00

Early 50's Cities Service toy wrecker truck -  I little ruff but a great advertising piece.

Picked: 15 bucks
Value 50 Bucks
SOLD 65.00

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Coastal Roadtrip...

I had a great trip over to the central California coast. Quality time with Babydoll, a great day with my Kids, Grandkids, did a little bass fishing and found some time to do some pickin' & junkin'!

Bell Helmet - Vintage 1960's.  Still in great shape with the leather strap, I was excited to find this cool motorcycle helmet.

Picked: 5.00
Value: 50.00
SOLD 23.00 Shipped to Australia

Coca Cola Star X Bottle Opener - Probably dated between 1930's and 40's.  Great shape!

Picked: A Buck
Value; 15.00

1940's Fedora Men's Hat - Back in the day...This hat was originality purchased on 5th Ave. in New York, I found this hat in filthy condition. After some cleaning it looked new again. Great find!
Picked: 2.50
Value: 20.00
SOLD: 30.00

1980's Pair of Hanging Lamps-  I know what your thinking.. But, they're cool and a great collectors item. The cherubs are solid brass and the globes with the cut glass are amazing. After replacing the rusty chain and re-wiring both lights I just might use them in our funky front bathroom.

Paid; 20.00
Value: 85.00


Olympic Log Master - Ram head Andirons.  Each of the andirons is solid cast iron and the ram's heads are in perfect condition.
The design of these andirons is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The andirons are each approximately 20 3/4 inches long and 8 1/4 inches tall to the top of the rams horn.  They are heavy 32 lbs each. I believe these are very rare and date back before the 1930's.
I stopped at a small yard sale and while talking to the homeowner i noticed these sitting in the garage and asked if she would sell them. After a lengthily conversation she sold 'em to me.
Paid: Private
Value: 850.00                                              

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Some of My February Finds...

Been hitting a few estate sales, auctions, and yard sales - Here are a couple treasures I snagged.

TROXEL Bicycle or Motorcycle Saddle/Seat. Dated between 1910-1930. Established in 1899, the company made seats for Harley Davidson, Indian, Schwinn and several other companies. I was at an auction a few weeks ago and bid 20.00 on an old wooden whisky box full of vintage bicycle parts. Already sold most of the parts making a profit five times my investment. Most folks see this as junk...
TROXEL saddle -
Value: 60 bucks
SOLD: 42.00

1955 Girls Schwinn Bicycle. Purchased from an auction in Fresno CA. This bike is all original... Even has the original tires! A little cleaning and a lot of WD-40 the bike was ready to roll. Vintage girls bikes are a little easier to find because girls either-  rarely rode them or took better care. Back in the day... gals would rather play dolls or help bake cookies but, boys depended on their bikes for adventure and mischief. Anyway, that's probably why boy bicycles are harder to find and subsequently cost more.

Winning Bid: 37.50
Value: 75.00 (in this condition)
SOLD: 85.00

Let me be the first to tell you... The 70's are making a comeback! I'm not so sure disco's returning but swag lamps are getting very popular. especially in Asia. Swags are those funky looking lights that we used to hang from a chain over furniture. When I was a kid every living room had one hanging in a corner.

 Picked: 30 bucks (pair)
Value: ?
SOLD: $60.00

Fairbanks Platform Scale.
Winning bid: 30.00
Value: 160.00
FOR SALE: 100.00
Model #11
This 600 lb capacity portable platform scale was
manufactured between the late 1800’s and the early
Purchased at Baird's Auction in Fresno CA.
SOLD: 90.00

All the items in these 4 pictures are antiques from Germany. Brought to America many years ago, I just acquired these items and plan the get them appraised in the next few weeks. Obviously an awesome find.

1970's Ashtray Stand - Purchased at an estate sale in Fresno CA. This stands about 24" tall. I'm telling you...The 70's are coming back!

Paid: 20.00
Value 45.00

1975-77 Coleman Ice Coolers - I just love these things and I don't know why. Both are close to mint condition. The big blue one was still in a box! I bought them at estates sales and paid 17.00 for the green one and 20 bucks for the big one.

 I remember my Mom buying a green Coleman back in the 70's and we used it every time she took us kids camping, fishing or trips to Grandmas in Waterford CA. I guess that is why I love 'em.

Picked: Green 17.00  Blue 20.00
Value:   Green 60.00 Blue 100.00

Antique Black Powder Pistol Flask

Made of brass - Probably European -
Mid 19th century - Amazing condition
Estimated Value: 225.00
Appraised 250.00 - 500.00
For Sale: 225.00

1960 Gas Pump
Picked from a barn is Madera CA. I have the front/rear panels, nozzles and  a few other parts. I tried to get it for 50 bucks but the guy said $75.00.
OMG... This is heavier than my Harley!
Picked: 75 bucks
Value: 150.00    SOLD: 175.00

1970's Hanging Light Fixture - The picture doesn't do these justice...Beautiful!
 I stopped at a yard sale a few weeks ago and it was obviously dumpster diver trash. Now don't get me wrong some of the wealthiest junkers and pickers started with dumpster diving but, this was real trash. Anyway, after a brief conversation I said thanks and started to leave... Then I saw this light fixture hanging in a tree. She said she wants 15.00 and I countered with 6 bucks. Now the reason I said 6 bucks is, that's all I had left. I spent the rest of my money at the other sales I hit earlier that morning. She jumped on that 6 bucks like a June bug on crack.

We painted the metal, rewired the lamps, replaced the chain and cleaned up the globes before listing on eBay. I was amazed how awesome they turned out.
   Picked: 6 Bucks
   Value: 55.00  SOLD: 53.00

Monday, March 14, 2011

Piper and Papa go pickin'...

A few weeks ago Piper and I had so much fun looking for cool stuff. I definitely think its in our blood... I was so proud to see how natural it was for her to spot a bargain! Piper told me that she is able to scan a room at an estate sale and spot a treasure. 

Piper standing in front of a house we picked.
 She said- Papa, it looks like a dragon is behind me.
Piper Knows - When you go junkin' always have the right tools!
  1. Flashlight
  2. Gloves
  3. Magnifying Glass
  4. Magnet
  5. CASH! 
    Hunting for treasures can sure make you hungry!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Storage Unit Auctions

Storage unit auctions are getting very popular. Mainly due to a new show called "Storage Wars". Only showing the success stories, this show shares what four guys have won after they bid thousands of dollars.
Well,  here's the rest of the story. Most of what you bid on is junk. Things like clothes, toys and housewares.
Also, you are bidding and purchasing other peoples hardships. So, what I may think is junk or dumpster worthy items, it's really someones memories or something they value on a personal level. If you find things like photos or documents it's only fair that you return them to the storage unit facility. Sometimes the things you bid on from these units are everything the person owned. and don't be surprised if the owner of the stuff is one of the bidders.

The thing that bothers me about these auctions are the companies hosting have been seen stealing before and during the auction. They will tell you some story about looking for personal items but watch closely... they are really looking for jewelry and coins. Oh well, they cant see everything in those boxes!

 Anyway, I have been to a few auctions and must admit it is a rush! My daughter Kimberly and I spent a couple hours bidding on a unit in west Fresno  and YEP  we came away with some cool stuff! Fishing tackle, vintage glass, quilts, housewares... So far, I've made a little money back with selling the stuff on eBay.

Kimberly enjoying some time with her ol' Dad

Kimi really cracked me up! She jumps right in there to get a closer look then looks back at me and either gives me a nod or shakes her head. She was right every time!

My pick-up loaded with junk

You usually do not get much time to look before the bidding begins. Here are a few tips for bidding on storage bins -

Location - look for facilities in money towns or nice neighborhoods.

Packing - How did the owner pack. Tubs tell you the owner cared enuff to spend a little to store their belongings. Are items wrapped in paper and bubble wrap or just thrown in a cardboard box?

Organization/ Neatness - How well did the owner stack their boxes and  keep their property organized?

Look for hints of what is in the tubs and boxes. Kimi spotted a box that had GLASS written on it. She also noticed smaller print that said Grandmas. That told us the glass may be vintage (she gave me a nod).

Have fun-Take a chair and some snacks... The bidding process takes a while.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Junker Quotes

Yep even junk and vintage collectors have famous quotes - Some are mine and some ain't.
  • When my parents took me to antique stores they would show me things from their past and childhood - I thought it was cool. Now when I see things in antique stores from MY past and childhood - I think it sucks!
  • I feel "Junk Drunk"
  • I love everything that's old, - old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine”
  • One mans junk is another man's treasure
  • What most people see as junk, we see as dollar signs
  • One mans junk is another mans junk
  • When you wear vintage -  it's a person, it's a place, it's a time, its something that lived a life before me
  • A sign posted at an Antique store - Dead People's Things For Sale
  • At a flea market I always head for the junk jewelry table first. Ethel Merman

  • Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends

  • It's not junk it's our national treasure 

  • I'm looking for the "WOW FACTOR"!

  • Sometimes I buy stories...

  • Time to raise your sights

  • I have no friends at auctions

  • The older the violin, the sweeter the music

  • NO! I'm not that guy from Storage Wars!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had a memorable Christmas and looking forward to a great New Year! I didn't waste any time getting out and pickin'... New Years morning at 8 am my son Mike,  his girlfriend Janet and I were up to our knees in junk! We found an Estate in SE Fresno that was unbelievable! This home belonged to a hoarder and if you spent a week there you couldn't find everything... A real mess!

The Hoarders dining room

Mike and Janet having a great time
 With about 30 people already there we didn't waste anytime jumping in and getting dirty. I started in the garage and the kids went in the house. After spending about an hour hunting for treasures we were ready to check out. We found some amazing things and I look forward to posting them on eBay so I can start making some money.
After the estate sale we found a vintage garage sale and bought more collector items. Mike bought an old "Sun" music mixer for his guitar amps. The guy wanted 30.00 and Mike started haggling and said I'll give you 20 bucks.The guy was set on selling it for 30 but Mike eventually popped on it for 20.00. He's a chip off the ol' block.
I had a great time with the kids and I think they enjoyed junkin' with the old man.

Anyway, have a great year finding cool stuff and get dirty!