Guild of Oregon Woodworkers

7634 SW 34th Avenue Portland, OR 97219

See Estate Calendar for currenyly planned events.

Estate Planning and Management

There is a significant community need for help in disposing of  a loved one's woodworking estate.  The Guild or Oregon Woodworkers can assist you.  There are a number of approaches depending on the needs of the family.  These approachhes include:

  • Donation to the Guild or other worthy cause of your choice
  • Garage sale or craigslist by owner
  • Estate management companies (garage sale or auction)

Estates typically contain power tools, hand tools, lumber and various small items typically unidentifiable to the casual observer, and varying degrees of clutter.  What is it?  Of what value is it?  Should I try to sell these items myself, or hire someone?  Is it a good idea to donate items and receive a tax benefit for the estate?

This section outlines what we can do to assist if you choose to work with the Guild.
For a place to start,


The Guild of Oregon Woodworkers offers a program to help families with estates that have a significant woodworking shop and tools. Woodworking tools and materials are very specialized and complex. Most people do not have the knowledge to value these items appropriately. A small hand tool may look like a $20 item but may be worth $200 while at the same time, a big power tool may look like it’s worth $1,000 but in reality only be worth $150.

We have put together an experienced team of woodworkers to help families with woodworking shops deal with these complexities during these stressful times. For donations, the Guild, a 501-C-3 non-profit organization, can provide a document for tax purposes. Your tax attorney will advise you how to best use this information.

What the Guild Can Do

  1. Do a brief survey and coach the executor on the value of the equipment , tools and materials.
  2. Suggest options for selling or donating tools and materials.
  3. If you donate these items to the Guild, we will remove all the items and leave the shop clean and orderly. Donated tools are used in our own shop or sold to Guild members. Unsold tools will be donated to other charitable organizations or sold publicly.
  4. If you choose to sell everything yourself, we can help with Craigslist (or other) ads.

Estate Disposition Options

If you need/want to generate revenue, choices include:

  • Garage sales and craigslist
  • Hire a company to dispose in the form of an auction or an open-house estate sale
  • Under the right conditions of quality and organization the Guild may be able to help you sell.  Contact us for a discussion

Dispose by donation to:

  • The Guild is a 501(c)3 organization.  You donations are tax deductible.
  • Schools, churches and other such organizations

Steps to get started

Take stock

Make a few notes about categories of items.

  • Clutter, paper bags, newspapers, original tool boxes, junk in general
  • Large power tools sitting on the floor
  • Hand tools on workbenches, in cabinets or on racks
  • Clamps, fixtures, tool aids, unidentifiable things
  • Lumber, large boards
  • Lumber, short pieces
  • Lumber, plywood, furniture vs construction grade

Clean up a little

Throw away "junk".  It is best to have someone not emotionally attached to the estate get rid of apparently useless things like old grocery bags, small scraps of wood, things that look like trash.  Ideally enlist help from someone that is a little familiar with woodworking.  Don't hang onto evey tiny scrap of wood, even though some of it might find a home.  Sweeping the floor can prepare you better mentally for the next step.

Organize things into piles

Donate, sell, save, etc22

Small tools, fixtures, lumber

What do I do now?

Decide on a disposition approach, revenue vs. tax deduction

Start the process of disposition

  • Give some things away to neighbors or friends
  • Give some things to Goodwill, etc and your church, high school
  • estate management company
  • Garage sale or Craigs list
  • Call the Guild


Take Stock

  • Inventory
  • Clutter
  • Big tools
  • Small power tools
  • Hand tools
  • clamps, fixtures, tables
  • Lumber, boards
  • Lumber, plywood


  • Garage sale
  • Craigs List
  • The Guild, shared profit to be arranged
  • Estate management company


  • The Guild of Oregon Woodworkers
  • Various woodworking clubs
  • High Schools with wood programs
  • Goodwill, Restore, other charitable organizationa

Lumber - What is good and what is not

Lumber usually falls into two categories:

Furniture grade - hardwood lumber and veneer plywood
Construction grade - 2x4's, fir plywood, fence posts

In general the Guild can use larger pieces of furniture grade lumber.


Shorts & Cut-Offs – These are lumber pieces typically 1 to 3 feet long.  Short pieces are usable by wood turners and high schools to make pens and other small items.  The hobbyist woodworker can make use of many shorter boards, typically building small projects such as jewelry boxes.  High schoolw wood shop programs can typically use larger small boards.

Construction Materials – examples include decking material, plywood, MDF, molding, 2x4s, 2x6s cedar, pressure treated wood, pine, fir etc.  Some of this can have value, but it is not the kind of lumber used by Guild members. This would be welcome at ReStore type outlets or a garage sale

Milled hardwoods – Surfaced hardwoods like maple, walnut, cherry, mahogany from ¼” to 1”, widths from 3” – 12”, and lengths from 2’ to 8’ are of high value to most Guild members.  Need to check for bug damage and deep cracks but surface damage can generally be easily cleaned up.  Small pieces of exotic and figured wood are also of great interest.  Veneers in good condition are also of interest if stored properly. Damaged veneers reduce the value.

 Blocks of wood for turning and carving – This type of wood can be anywhere from green to dry wood, large blocks of wood, half or full logs, burls, squares, rounds etc.  These should be sealed with a waxy material on the end grain and be without deep cracks.  Spalting (from bugs) is valued as long as the wood is not too soft.  Often there will be exotics and other expensive woods.  This type of wood is generally of interest to wood turners in the Guild or to other wood turning organizations.

 What to do when called

If you call the Guild, we will ask detailed questions to determine what category of wood is being offered.  Unfortunately the family may not be able to answer the questions.  A guild member may have to visit to make assessments.

To remember the Guild

 If you would like to remember the Guild after you are gone, following are the general terms for a Codicil that can be used to supplement a Last Will and Testament.    Like any testamentary document, the necessary formalities should be observed.  In Oregon that means the testator has testamentary capacity  (is of sound mind) and at least two witnesses are present when the codicil signed along with a Notary acknowledgement.   

"...I give my woodworking tools to the Guild of Oregon Woodworkers, an Oregon non-profit organization (TIN# 601257063) or to a successor organization thereof.  I may provide to my Personal Representative a list identifying my woodworking tools and that list shall serve as a guide for my Personal Representative, but that list shall not otherwise have independent legal effect.   I further direct that my estate pay the reasonable costs of packing, insuring, shipping and delivery of my woodworking tools to the Guild of Oregon Woodworkers."

 Note: a licensed attorney should be consulted prior to execution of a Codicil.

Estate Management Team

For reference and Guild use, the following members are available to assist in various roles.

Contact Pack for initial discussion at 504-460-5025.

The Estate Management Team can be viewed here.

How an Estate is Handled

One a commitment is made, the process involved assessment, staging, volunteers, pricing and day of sale..  

See Estate Sale Guidelines for the detail description.

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