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Thread: Moving your workshop

  1. #1

    Moving your workshop

    We're moving when we retire (approx. 3 years) to another state.

    I have a garage workshop, larger stuff of a table saw, jointer, drum sander, dust collector, tool boxes, and a myriad of smaller machinery.

    Looking for advice from anyone who has moved their shop a fair distance as to shipping options to look for, things to avoid, and options to control the costs of the move

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,751
    Consider buying a shipping container and paying someone to haul it to the new location. Could you use it as shed at the new location? When I bought a sofa my sister helped me move it by throwing it in her boat and towing it to my place.
    Bill D.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Crozet, VA
    Posts
    187
    I’m in the process of my 2nd shop move. I’ve done the moves myself (with help from friends) renting a box truck with a lift gate. I’ll admit that it’s not the easiest way but probably the most economical. Admittedly, I’m pretty paranoid about others damaging my machinery/tools. It’s also an opportune time to consider any upgrades — selling old stuff in the current location, and purchasing new equipment shipped to the new location.
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,883
    There are quite a few threads from over the years on shop moves that you should find helpful in your research. The actual move is sometimes the easy part. What takes more thought is the "what to move" vs "what to sell now and replace with better at the other end", as Tom identified.

    I will give you two pieces of advise relative to the actual move, particularly if you have a carrier handle the work:

    1) Do not accept the default insurance which is based on weight. Define the value and insure accordingly
    2) Rather than write specifically what is in a given box on the outside of the boxes, put together a box numbering, final location and contents code plan. That will help deter casual theft of opportunity. Nothing says "open me" like boxes with labels that say "workshop" and "tools"...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    2,005
    Jim, you’re second piece of advice is a great idea...for any move.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    5,116
    As Jim said, there are dozens and dozens of threads about moving here. As a new member, please remember to do some searching.

    That said, welcome to SMC! Hope your move goes well. I just moved 6 months ago. It takes a lot of work!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    1,438
    I used one of the POD system (not the one of that brand name). Loading and unloading are easy because the entry is at ground level. I was considerably overweight, but the guy took it anyway because the distance was short. If you've got space to drop a shipping container you'll have little worry about weight.

  8. #8
    I moved from MA to CA in '11. Do not wait until the last minute to determine what stays or goes. You do not want to be up against the time line with gear you have chosen too part with. Spend the money on shipping those things you need/like. I decided to sell my 16" band-saw and not ship it. Mistake! If you go with a commercial mover do a bit of weight estimation yourself. I had a hell of a rowe with my shipper over up-charges. I can see someone missing weight by 10-20%, but 40%? Three quotes at least. The most valuable and treasured items go in the car with you. If you have enough of that then rent a small truck and do a small move yourself. That can be a logistical nightmare, but worth a thought. Given the distance I ended up making large 3/4" plywood boxes with false bottoms. My planes, etc went in the bottom, as did rifles/handguns, which they will not knowingly ship.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Evanston, IL
    Posts
    1,236
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Frederick View Post
    Given the distance I ended up making large 3/4" plywood boxes with false bottoms. My planes, etc went in the bottom, as did rifles/handguns, which they will not knowingly ship.
    There are probably very good reasons why a shipper will not or cannot move rifles and handguns. To hide them so that the shipper doesn't know that they are included is not only dishonest, but is irresponsible.

  10. #10
    I agree! It has bothered me greatly since. Thank you for pointing it out!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    158
    We recently moved, not any great distance, maybe 20 miles. Our move was done in haste, as in we sold our house the 3rd day on the market and agreed to a move-out date in 30 days. When you have been in a home for 18 years you really do not realize how much stuff one can accumulate! My plan came down to using PODs as they enabled me to pack away a lot of items throughout the week, weekend and have a truck pick them up and hold at their storage. Now I probably do not have quite the shop or assets as some of you do, but I am a severe tool-whore (sorry for the language). My list of items were; 3hp cabinet saw, bench top lathe, bench top drill press, band saw, 51" bottom tool box and the same for the top chest, floor jacks, steel table, and endless list of corded power tools in cases, saw-horses, jacks of all types, a roll around cart with a granite 2x2 top on it....................I probably cannot begin to list everything.
    My first concern was holding back tools for any necessary repairs that the new owner would want performed before taking the house. So I just happen to have a general tool bag that I have outfitted over the years for when I need to travel to my parents homes to do work. I know what is in my bag and I can find it. I think I held back a drill, zip gun, and a corded hand saw.
    Then I went to packing the PODs. One big benefit that the PODs do offer is that the step-up is only 4" off the ground, so no major heaving or finding 6 people to load. I was able to get away with minimal help for loading and unloading. Then I packed that sucker like a freaking sardine can from top to bottom. Put the big and heavy items in first. Bought 2 rolls of 100 foot long rope as well, the PODs have a lot of anchor points in them, so anything and everything was secured to a wall before the next item was moved in.
    In the end the PODs did seem somewhat more expensive than what I originally anticipated, but they were well worth it. The convenience of having them 4" above the ground was a big plus to. Then being able to take my time to some extent was a bonus as well. I think you pay for the PODs by the month and there is not rebate coming back to you for 20 days of use versus 30 days. The way they pick them up was a big factor in the decision process as well, as they lift and drop them level, as in they do not have a tilt bed nor do they draw them up a bed. It is a really cool 4 wheel, mobile, self powered scaffold + crane type system.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    158
    Forgot to add that by the time I was done packing the smaller POD with all my tools in it the inside of the POD looked like a drunk Spider-man went baazurk inside of it. I did not sustain any damages, at all either.
    Use 2 or 3 ply of cardboard in-between necessary items as well, or more. The rule is "If you do not want it dented, dinged or even scratched CARDBOARD IT!".

  13. #13
    I recently moved and included my woodworking shop along with the rest of the house. Small format slider, 14" BS, Robust AB lathe, floor standing drill press, 16" drum sander, 12" Jointer/Planter, Roubo bench, several rolling tool carts, plus around 20 large U-Haul boxes. I sent a panoramic photo of the shop space to the mover to help them with the estimate, too. The tools were disassembled as much as possible and me & the family moved all the awkward bits ourselves such as the J/P tables and the tablesaw's slider.

    The move went very smoothly, and I'm glad that I did not undertake moving all that stuff out of my old basement shop!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    396
    Moving some day will be a nightmare for me. Big machines through a basement man door. For people moving long distance, you have to wonder if it’s worth moving in the first place. Unless you have hard to come by or high end equipment, replacing what you have shouldn’t be too difficult or expensive. Most of my stuff could be replaced for the same price I’d sell them for within 12 months. All without the expense or hassle of moving the equipment myself.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,751
    I learned when moving bookshelves and chest of drawers. decide on a number systm to box the goods. We called the bottom shelf or drawer number one and counted up from there. So one box might be labeled, "LR, shelf 2, right". If you think it makes more sense count from nthe top down. just have all helpers agree on which way everything will be counted,tabled.
    On a short move have one handtruck at each end. Do not waste truck space hauling it back and forth.
    Bill D

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