Moving a table saw up the stairs

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Michael Donnelly posted 01-15-2014 05:32 PM 2404 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently got a Grizzly G0690 table saw and moved it into my workshop over my garage. I would have bought the saw sooner than I did, but I was worried about how hard it would be to get it up to a second story shop. I figured I’d share the process to give other people an idea what was involved and what worked for me in the hope it will help them with decisions and strategies.

The shop is above a two and a half car garage. An external stairway goes up the side of the building to a landing with a standard size door on the right. The stairs themselves are sturdy and can take plenty of weight, but the railings aren’t beefy enough to support the weight of a heavy machine.

Before ordering the saw, I downloaded the spec sheet from Grizzly’s web site. That let me know the dimensions and weight of each shipping crate. The G0690 comes in three crates. Two I can easily carry myself. The third weighs 460 lbs and is 24×30 x 43 in.

I measured the distance between the railings on the stairway, the landing (to make sure it could turn), and the width of the doorway (including the edge of the door) – the saw would fit, though the clearance between the rails would be tight.

I could get the weight down by unpacking the crate at ground level, but if possible I wanted to move it intact. If we dropped it or banged it around on the way up, its chances would be a lot better if it were still properly packed.

I’ve helped a lot of friends move over the years, so there were more people happy to help with this than could safely participate. The challenge was getting enough hands on the crate.

We ran two 2×4s through the pallet and screwed them in to the sides of it. They were around ten feet long, so we had 7+ feet sticking out of one side. We had an appliance dolly on the other side of the crate and, not trusting the dolly’s straps, used ratchet straps to attach the crate to the dolly. Finally, we looped a strap through each of the dolly’s handles.

This setup let four guys move the crate. As it went up the stairs, the dolly was on its back using its treads or wheels depending on whether it had crested each step. Two guys pulled on it from above, one on each of the straps. We used different lengths so one of us was a step higher than the other. Two more guys pushed from below, each standing between the 2×4s on different steps and each gripping both of them. With that many people, the trip up the stairs was actually pretty easy.

When we got to the top, we screwed a short board to the top step to prevent the dolly from rolling back down the stairs while we stood it up. This turned out not to be necessary – it didn’t try to roll – but we felt safer having it anyway. We had to remove the 2×4s to turn the dolly and roll it into the shop.

All told, two of us spent an hour and a half planning and setting up, and when the next two guys arrived the move itself only took fifteen minutes.

If I’d known how it would go, I would have ordered the saw a year ago.

6 comments so far

View Bogeyguy's profile


548 posts in 2673 days

#1 posted 01-15-2014 07:58 PM

Better over prepared than under prepared. Good job with the planning.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View matts_dad's profile


61 posts in 3264 days

#2 posted 01-15-2014 10:49 PM

Good job Mike, interesting approach to the problem -

I assume that the stairs were rather sturdy. But, where were you 4 guys when when I gave up and bought an aluminum table saw for my basement shop? Nothing like a good iron top saw.

-- Barry

View blackcherry's profile


3343 posts in 4428 days

#3 posted 01-16-2014 12:40 AM

Nice work on your planning ahead of time. I have this very same saw, I’m so please with after having it over a year now. It just performs very nicely one aspect of this cabinet saw which makes life a little easer is the lower door on the side of the cabinet. Easy access for cleaning and lubing inside of cabinet. Hope your saw has a long life in its new shop, best wishes…BC

View NormG's profile


6501 posts in 3609 days

#4 posted 01-16-2014 03:09 AM

Congrats on the saw and the safe install

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3470 posts in 4317 days

#5 posted 01-16-2014 04:44 AM


Thanks for sharing your story. Your strategy sounds brilliant. Our large machines are all in the basement of our shop, but going down is easier than going up. . . at least if I’m walking the stairs! My used Grizzly tablesaw (all in one piece) was a very simple move for me. I just let the fellow who set up the deal for me know that he had to move it into the shop! He and his brother moved the monster and didn’t use any of your ingenious strategies. I’m guessing their backs are still aching all these years later!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View runswithscissors's profile


3081 posts in 2630 days

#6 posted 12-27-2014 10:18 PM

Your solution is excellent. I’ll file this away for the next time I have to do a similar move.

I have had good luck laying a path of plywood offcuts down the stairway, putting the load on a 4 wheel dolly, and hauling up (or easing down) with a come along. I unfortunately usually have to work alone. I can call on my wife for help, but I’d rather keep her out of the picture for fear of her getting hurt.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics