Antique tripod and level: A diamond in the rough


This weekend we made the quick drive North to Tacoma to check out the biggest swap meet in the Pacific Northwest...or at least that's what the website said. We didn't go with high hopes, which is a good thing, since they would have been dashed very quickly. The swap meet is at the site of the old Starlite drive in movie theater, in fact the big screen is still up in the giant fenced in area. Parking is free and admission is just $1 each.

Inside most of the booths focus on clothes, hats, car radios and used tools. Sprinkled throughout are food stands where we were able to grab a humongous bag of duros doused in hot sauce for just $1.50. The predominant language in the market is Spanish leaving it to feel a lot like the markets we have woven through in the Yucatan and in Nicaragua. Nick tried to get a cheap fitted baseball cap for $3.00 but they didn't have his size...this would have been a similar problem had we decided to spring for the snakeskin and crocodile cowboy boots with matching belt.

We did see a couple of Stihl chansaws, but not well taken care of and not priced all that great. Nick found his almost brand new farm boss on craigslist for just $250 and we saw no deals of that caliber. The tools were also very beat up and mostly mismatched odds and ends.
So, was the trip worth it? Absolutely! (But just barely). In the last row we came across this beauty, an antique level (although it can't be to antique since the level came in a plastic case). I had been looking for one ever since I saw how they can be turned into floor lamps while trowling around an upscale antique store in Seattle. The lamp I found in Seattle was $375, something I was absolutely not willing to pay. It took some convincing of Nick that we "needed" to purchase this tripod and level but he finally came through when I reminded him that Obachan had given me some money for my birthday AND when he realized that it works!

Nick happened to be wearing one of his Goodwill shirts that said "Cascade Christian Ahtletics" which the booth guy gave us a $10 discount for. Paired with his awesome bartering skills we got this $60 tripod and level for just $40!

I know it's going to take a little bit of effort to turn it into a lamp but I'm not worried about that as I'm pretty comfortable with wiring things. Of course, I'll have to wait to take it out of commission until Nick is done using it...ahhhhh...compromise.