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Draplin Design Co., North America
June 29, 2009
A Machinist's Basement
Posted at 07:41 AM


Went to one estate sale over the weekend, and what treasure trove it was. A little house, just off Halsey near the Gateway District. The ad said something about the “old man being a maker of fish hooks in his basement.” We arrived, made our way inside and quickly noticed a complete lack of furniture. There were just tables and tables of old tools, manuals and sharp things. Oh yeah, and a faint scent of urine.

I scanned the tables, grabbed a couple nuggets and made my way to the back of the house and down into the basement…

And that’s where the shit went down.

Here’s a little Flickr set called, “A Machinist’s Basement” and if you wondering what I saw in that basement, well, you should click around down there some.

Sometime you gotta get dirty, and, sometimes you gotta think before you reach into a dark corner. The best treasures lay await in old drawers and dark corners. But so do fist-sized spiders!

The old guy was a machinist, and had an array of scary machines in all states of disrepair, oily and grimy. Benders, sharpeners, pinchers. There’d be random piles of fish hooks, balls of fishing line or the occasional lure laying around, but this place, it was all business…all manufacturing. I overheard one of the estate sale workers saying something to the effect, “Yeah, I guess his whole family helped him down here. One would be bending them, One would be sharpening the ends. One would be packaging them.” Interesting. I also heard, “The guy lived off sardines.”

That which comes from the sea returns to it.

I left with exactly 42 bucks of stuff. 15 or so old tool-n-die manuals, some old tool packaging, some industrial grade containers and one gnarly, sharp-as-fuck fish hook, just to remind me of where I rescued this stuff.

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DAYWRECKER WARNING, DEPENDING ON YER TIME TIME ZONE: A glorious mess of Container Corporation of America advertisements. If I wasn’t “busy as shit” I’d tried to wrap my head around this one with some banter. I’m not gonna muck it up. Just go and enjoy ‘em.

Here’s one by the master, Paul Rand.

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YOU KNOW, WITH THE 4TH COMING UP, AND ALL: A little Flickr set called, “Red White Blue.” Wow. Here’s a fun one involving 3rd Degree burns: “Firework Shower.” (Thanks, Streger!)

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THINGS ARE PRETTY ORANGE IN VERMONT, AND IT AIN’T EVEN THE FALL: Get orange! You need one of these. Click here and be red, white and blue and orange for any upcoming 4th of July extravaganzas. Always shipping. Free extras. Way orange. Big. Durable materials.

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STILL GLOWING OVER THIS GUY: That’s our president.

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JUST LIKE IT SAYS: “Lovely Things.”

I’m pretty sure I’ve stood in front of this fine array of old oil cans at one point.

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RECORD HUNTERS, TAKE NOTE: Mike Cina’s prob’ly got you beat. Must-read interview from Grain Edit. Now go buy a pile of books from YouWorkForThem and tell ‘em, “Draplin sentcha.”. Do it.

There Are 2 Comments

THAT’s the one you went to. The FISH guy sale. I’ve been trying to figure out which you sale you spoke of. :) Well-chosen, sir!

My man and I tried 5 other sales with little luck but in the end landed upon a lovely cache of century-old ephemera in Vancouver. :) Wasn’t it a gorgeous day for a drive?

Posted by: abberdab on 06/29/09 at 5:27 PM

Looks like many of the estate sales I’ve been to in Spokane - the best spots are always in the basement - crammed into the corners - that’s where the goodies hide. I’m jealous.

Posted by: Jeff Hipp on 06/30/09 at 6:55 AM
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