moving and need some guidance


Recommended Posts

I am beginning to prep for a move from WA (Tacoma) to Wisconsin (Waukesha).  I have been wrestling with the idea of how to move the equipment that I have accumulated.  

Some background.  I have a SawStop PC, Laguna 18 HD, Laguna 14 BX, Powermatic 12 Inch Helical jointer, a Powermatic 20 helical planer, a 19/38 belt sander, a Jessem routertable, a Clearvue dust collector, plus various odds and ends.  I acquired these over the last couple of years while I had the cash flow to support my hobby/habit.  Many suggest just selling off your equipment, and buying new when you get to your next location.  I will not be in that position as I am now retired and my significant other keeps a little closer watch on the bank balance.  So moving is what suspect I have to do.

Options that I can think of are:

rent a Penske 26-28 foot truck, load, drive, unload myself - with a little help on both ends.  Problem with this idea is that I cannot find a truck this size with a lift gate,  They have them for local use, but not one way trips.  So now I would have to rent a fork lift - which I have no experience with

Using PODS.  I have done this furniture and household goods with good results, but not sure about heavy and somewhat fragile equipment.

Using a moving company has been suggested to me.  I have significant reservations about this idea, but if anyone has had a good experience, please speak up.

Thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are several videos and articles on The Wood Whisperer site, that talk about the several shop moves Marc has made. Most of them involve a moving company, and have been relatively good experiences. I believe that in most cases, it pays to consider the replacement cost of each tool, and how valuable that tool is to your workflow. You may find the move is a good opportunity to eliminate some dead weight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am also interested in this conversation, though I can't say that a move for me is imminent.  

Selling & re-buying makes more sense when you want to change what you own.  In your case you have equipment worth sticking with.

As suggested, The Wood Whisperer video is a good place to start.

A couple of years ago I bought a SawStop ICS and had to get it from the seller's basement into my basement.  After my nephew and I spent a day struggling I hired a moving company.  Three guys, had it wrapped up on a dolly and carried it out of the basement.  Not only did they do this in about half an hour, but never touched the walls at the seller's house or mine.  And as an added bonus they lifted it up and set it on the mobile base I'd bought.

That was a very good experience.  But 15 years earlier (before I had a shop) we'd had a terrible experience moving houses where the moving company actually broke a few pieces of our furniture.  

We found out that under the law moving companies have very limited liability for damage.  So it is very important purchase insurance (and look at what the insurance covers).   

There is a certain appeal to doing the move yourself.  For me I'd want to compare cost and complexity of both ideas, but keeping in mind that the job starts with unplugging the machines in the old shop and getting at least as far as siting them in the new shop.

(And certainly the smaller items you could manage yourself).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since you're retired I'm assuming you're old enough to not want to lift all the tools so I would look at hiring someone. With so many people moving and so much demand for uHauls, etc. you may be forced one way or another. If you were to use a POD you could have it available for some extra time in case you experience delays with help. Also you could use a pallet jack to get things into it but that requires you to make some pallets for your tools and as we all know, lumber isn't cheap these days.

Perhaps this article will help - https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/whats-the-best-way-to-move-a-workshop-long-distance/

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Given the current state of affairs I would not sell and replace a tool directly.  Supply and quality seem a little fluid right now.  If you are planning to upgrade anyway then yes, sell that tool and replace.

I moved a couple of years ago and struggled with the logistics of moving items that are a bit more heavy and a bit more delicate than a sofa and a fridge.  Ended up using a low enclosed trailer with a rear ramp that was the full width of the trailer; like an off-roader's toybox.

I prepared by removing tables and hand wheels / handles.  I red-taped any areas that were no-lift or no-step locations and marked preferred lift points.  The jointer and planer had to be strap-lifted onto dollies due to ground clearance issues (rent or buy an engine hoist).  Pretty much everything else made it on skids or refrigerator-type dollies.

Lots and lots of pads and lots and lots of straps.  That reminds me . . . the trailer did not have adequate tie-down points so I added a bunch.  Cheap insurance and well worth the effort.  You want a trailer that is made to haul heavy items.  Motor cycles and quads can get hauled on some pretty thin stuff by virtue of their large tires. Your machines will have a much more focused contact point so just be aware of the floor construction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gee-dub brought up a good point with the enclosed trailer. Check the local markets at each place. You might be able to buy a used trailer and sell it when you get to your new location for not much of a lose assuming you have something you can safely pull it with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want to make a snarky comment about moving everything to my house.... :ph34r: You have some nice kit!

When I moved my shop some years ago, I found that putting everything on dollies or mobile bases (tools) or casters/dollies (cabinets) paid a huge dividend. You can get good cheap dollies from Harbor Freight. If you are buying castors, I tried a lot of brands, but my favorites are the red ones from Home Depot. They are a decent castor that will hold a lot of weight and not break. Harbor Freight has some too. I wasn't happy with many of the Rockler or Grizzly castors. They failed quickly.

Once everything is mobile, I rented a Penske truck that had a ramp, not a liftgate. It wasn't hard for a couple of people to shove everything up into the truck and they have good tiedowns too. As an added bonus, everything is on wheels when you get there, so putting things in position was easy. That monster jointer is going to be fun though. Maybe two dollies for the weight or a Bora heavy duty mobile base.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys.  Right now, the only pieces without wheels are the jointer and my Roubo work bench.  Just ordered the heavy duty Portamate for the jointer.  The Roubo can be disassembled.  None of my current vehicles are capable of towing a trailer that would be large enough to handle the equipment

I had planned on taking off the table saw wings and the in/out feed tables for the planer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ve moved my shop five times. I did the sell the saw/buy a new one once, but that was to upgrade to a Saw Stop.  Since the Government was paying for the move each time we used a moving company. I never had any problems with my tools, and only minor nicks with shop furniture.
 

Moving companies have the stuff and experience to wrap your tools, and the people to get them from the old shop to the truck and into the new shop. I did treat the cast iron surfaces, took lots of photos, just in case. My Roubo is the take down version, but it’s never been ‘taken down’, the movers just picked it up and put it into the truck. Just my own opinion, but I never considered my ‘big’ tools all that delicate, and I can realign them if I need to.  
 

Good luck with whatever you decide to do and enjoy retirement. 
 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If i ever move again I'm hiring a moving company. Even at 33 the thought of moving all my tools again just sounds like torture. The forklift option sounds fun! I drove a forklift at a college job and that was the best job i ever had.

A middle ground option would be to rent the truck and hire personnel to load the tools in the truck and then hire personnel to unload.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would hate moving all my tools so If it was me I would first research both how profitable selling your tools in your current area and maybe more importantly the used prices tools market in the area you will move to.  If Either is not a good option only then I would look into moving.  Several good suggestions here already. I think would rent a truck and a couple of helpers because I’m assuming any good reputable moving company would be kind of expensive. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wait, why can't you rent the lift gate truck to load the haul truck? Not sure how the cost would work out vs hiring help but it might make sense.

When you get to your destination a ramp may be easy enough to unload as gravity is working for you.

Alternatively these cable come along tools are AWESOME. I used one to pull a 1,000 lb log on a trailer it could easily pull a tool on wheels up a ramp into a truck.

https://www.harborfreight.com/1200-lb-capacity-cable-puller-30131.html

For unloading you could also use a block and tackle to control the decent. When you on wheels the weight should be pretty manageable.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was curious how much it would cost to rent a small truck with lift gate service.  Wow, what a hassle.  I shopped Enterprise for a basic 16-footer with lift gate and they do not indicate pricing on their website, even though you can book your truck rental on the day you need the reservation online.  I guess people are willing to pay any amount to rent their trucks.

So I called and after I told them what I thought of their website they quoted me a price of $225 per day plus mileage. At this rate shopping around will take about 5 hours. A first timer trying to rent a truck, books it online but still has to call to get a price and wait for them to do everything I just did on their website. 

When you realize how silly it is shopping for a truck rental online you can cut this time in half by just calling them. The only positive aspect of this entire experience was at least the representive was not located in India and spoke excellent english.

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’d stop by any local store that you may know someone. You need a hundred bucks and maybe a case of bottles. You want a business that has a fork lift. Pallet your tools. Offer the money and drink for their guy for an hour. Masonry stores around here have lifts that ride the flatbed truck. I’d never expect a good price from Enterprise as they make money off short trip cars. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share