While the construction of the cob studio has been put on hold till next year, our remaining time on the property is dedicted to cleaning up. Or at least part of the place. Our main focus are the workshop and the RV, as these two "structures" are worthy of salvage. We left the cabin and the other trailers to be salvaged for parts and materials for some future projects. For now, they serve in consolidating the junk in various categories: metal, wood, electro-trash, plastic, and others.
The Usable, The Useless, and The Interesting
Over the last weeks we managed to empty the shop, sweep out the rat's nests, and sort through the countless items. These guys must have been equipped to do all kinds of work! From welding to fiberglass, from woodwork to electrics... even micro-electronic circuitry, just to name a few. Unfortunately we were not the first ones to pick through the shop's contents, as most essential machies had been evidently removed already.
Most of the appliances we found had their power cords snipped (we're stil guessing about the possible reasons why). Others had been evidently canibalized for parts, like the seven non-operational refrigerators, presumably to keep the one in the RV running. But then there was this MASIVE two-stroke jackhammer from 1945, which we tried to get running, without much avail. Boating must have been also among their areas of (non)-expertise, judging by the outboarder engine and other nautical items. Makes sense, the ocean is only half a day's drive from here...
Weird Projects and Curious Objects
Some of the items we came across had us wondering whether there was any value, or even any point in them. Apparently, they must ave been dabling in solar power, guessing from the many pannels soldered onto cardboard boxes. (What about the rain...?) There were boxes after boxes of that stuff pild onto the shelves, covered in rat urine. I'm still ambivalent regarding their usefullness. Photovoltaics, for sure, they're awesome. But these ones seem to be old, and pretty make-shift even when they were brand new. For now we just moved them over to the cabin.
Another ineresting piece was the riddle of the foldable kayak. Since its pieces had been scattered through out the shop, there was hardly any indiction that they belonged together, except for the appearance of the wood. Even once placed together, it was anyone's guess what that thing was supposed to be... until we found the giveaway name: POUCH, made in the German Democratic Republic! Unfortunately, without its skin, the thing is hardly usable. Too bad!
Finding the Legendary Treasure
Most places like this one, where some deceased excentric old dude has accumulated a bunch of stuff, has its lore of a hidden trasure. This one wasn't any different. A friend of a family member had told us about some ancient samurai swords supposedly hidden on these premisses. Forged by one of the most famous swordsmiths of the ___ era (okay, he wasn't sure which era! It was ancient times anyway.), each sword had a value of $10,000 USD, but the entire set could be sold for up to $50,000. WOW!!!
We didn't give much creedene to these tall tales, though it provided nice material to dream and laugh about in our evening conversations. So you can imagine our surprise, when one day, as we were cleaning out the rat's nests under a sofa, we stumbled across a long box. And it included samurai swords!!!
As you may have guessed, they are far from original, as the romanji characters on its rack immideatly indicate. A quick google search verified our suspicion: the company called Musashi (meaning "ancient" in Japanese, so in a way our source was correct) sells these tourist swords for around $60 - $90 USD. Since ours are a bit used... sporting a few chew marks on the handle, I guess there's no point in selling them. They do look cool on the shop wall, however!
Salvage Never Ends
Even though we're about to leave this place in a week, the clean-up is far from over. There are lots and lots of more things to be put into piles, evaluated for their usefullness, and yes: hauled away to the dump! Though I think, we've found all the foldable boats and samurai swords for now. But then again, we may be in for more surprise... Let's see!