Thursday, December 8, 2011

Buying My Little Giant

I recently put my 50 pound Little Giant up for sale and when visiting with a prospective buyer I recalled something which struck me funny and I have retold the story a lot of times.

I was in Grapevine, Texas June 1-3, 2001 attending the IronFest Blacksmithing Regional Conference when I saw a 50 pound Little Giant chained on a vendor’s trailer. I had never used one but was interested and I lingered for some time studying it and trying to determine it’s condition. I was startled by a fellow who came up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder and said, “That the one you want.” “Really”, I said, “why?” He replied, “Because it will kill you instantly - no suffering.”

Well, that wasn’t exactly the encouragement and advice I was looking for. Eventually, I met Mike George from Alva, Oklahoma who owned the machine and was offering it for sale. I explained that I didn’t know much about them and he explained he didn’t know much about that particular one because he hadn’t done any rebuilding but had just confirmed the motor would run it.

After a while we worked out an arrangement in which neither of us had much to lose. I’d pay him when he delivered it and If I tried it and wasn’t satisfied he’d take it back and pick it up and repay me. Everything worked fine and that was the beginning of a nice friendship and ten year of enjoyment using my Little Giant before I started making my own power hammers.

It was also a very enjoyable conference, a bit hot, but Frank Turley, Mike Boone, Wendel Broussard and Jeff Mohr gave nice demonstrations and I learned quite a bit and was lucky to buy the Boone-Broussard collaborative grille at the fund-raising auction. It’s a really nicely executed piece and I’ve enjoyed having it on the wall in our entry hall where I see it every day.

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