Sometimes you're just in the right place at the right time...

I have been going to estate sales, flea markets and swap meets for many years now searching
for tools and machinery I can use for my projects, but I can't remember the last time I got this lucky.

Last winter, I went to an estate sale 'downstate' for a person who was supposedly my age and
enjoyed working on machines. I didn't see very much I was interested in, until I walked into
his living room and saw this homemade TV stand.

This TV stand was made of 8020 aluminum extrusions - aka 'machinist's legos'.

Why is this cool?

This stuff has a million uses for machinists or anyone who makes their own tools.
You can make anything from covers or guards for machine tools,
entire jigs or fixtures for
making things like guitars, to even complete functional machines or robots out of this stuff.
I was searching for this stuff for a long time to make an enclosure for my Ender 3 3D printer.

I saw this stand, and my first question was - 'do you have any more of this aluminum?'

Yes they did, in the basement.
I went in the basement, and thought I almost died.

It was full of parts of machines, like power supplies,
motors, computers and metal parts.

When I asked what the person was working on when he died, I was let into a small room
full of robotics parts... his workshop. In the corner was more aluminum pieces, tools,
and parts of two laser engraving machines.

This is the first one I bought - a broken ACAN A12 with an 8 watt output
'Class 4' diode laser head, the most powerful laser head of its type available.
This laser would be easily powerful enough to cut through Forbon sheets
to make my pickup parts, that is if I could get it to work.

This is the second one - much larger in size but much less powerful at only 3 watts output.
Supposedly it works.

I decided to take these two lasers, see if there are any useful parts left on them,
and hopefully get one of them to work. Hey, I can dream... right?

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