Thursday, August 16, 2012

Previewing the Carder with my Dad and Auction Day

On August 1, 2012, my Dad and I went to preview the carder. Since he would be an integral part of the set up and maintenance of the carder, I wanted to ensure that he was on board for this monster project.

We measured, we looked, we estimated, we measured some more, looked, crawled around, peeked here and there and got a very good idea of the size and scale of the project. I tried to tell my Dad that I would pay to have it moved. He replied, "We can move this ourselves!"

Later, we stopped for a burger and beer at the Dusty Eagle in Dalbo, MN. We talked about moving the carder. I told him what I thought it was worth and what I was willing to pay to which he responded, "You should think about bidding more." He then said that it would be very easy for the scrap dealers to overestimate the weight of the carder and they would bid accordingly. Despite what he meant, I took that to mean he was on board with this project.


Over the next few days preceding the auction, I adjusted my bidding price upwards quite a bit.  I thought about how much I wanted to start this business. Custom carding is a business I researched intensely a few years back when a mini mill became available in Wisconsin. I drew up a plan and made an offer on that mill. The offer was turned down, probably fortunately for me, and my plan was set aside but not forgotten. Another custom carder told me that these old carding mills are the way to go. He suggested I buy the one at Cambridge Woolen Mill if it was for sale. Every time I drove by the Mill, I wondered about this old carder. Was it still there? 

Yes, it was (and is). 

On the morning of the auction, I determined that this was definitely a business I wanted to start and hoped there would be no one there aside from a few scrap dealers--I was sure I could outbid them!

August 4 arrives following a sleepless night. I arrive a the auction site to find several people looking at the mill. One an alpaca farmer fairly close by. I adjust my bidding price up a bit in my mind. 

Finally, at a bit after noon, they begin the auction on the mill. The starting bid is higher than my first estimation several days ago! I couldn't see who I was bidding against but I prevailed! It was a bit more than I had decided on but this was a once in a lifetime chance for me. I have no regrets!

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