Tips on moving to a new shop?

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Forum topic by GeorgeInNWFla posted 05-06-2020 10:47 PM 446 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View GeorgeInNWFla's profile


49 posts in 2787 days

05-06-2020 10:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip workshop moving

Hello fellow Lumberjocks :) I’m about to move from Florida to North Alabama. As I sit looking upon all my tools and jigs, lumber, parts, trinkets, doo-dads and all the other minutia that make up a shop, I begin to wonder…. How the HECK am I going to move all this stuff efficiently? I’ve never really done a major move in my life until now and have no idea how to go about it.

Does anyone have any tips to make this process a little smoother and not an absolute nightmare?

-- Leave out the fiction. The fact is this friction will only be worn by persistence. Leave out conditions. Courageous convictions will drag the dream into existence.

6 replies so far

View CaptainKlutz's profile


4450 posts in 2577 days

#1 posted 05-06-2020 11:19 PM

There are many threads on LJ where folks ask how to move equipment.
Tons of tips, and suggestions in each one. Try search for ‘move shop’ please?

I have moved to 4 different places in last 15 years, so I have different perspective than most. All my stuff is on wheels, all of my parts and stored tools are packed in totes, placed on rolling wire rack shelves; and can move the entire shop out into the driveway/truck/trailer in about an hour (if the place is cleaned up), excluding the wood rack hanging on wall. LOL

From a high level view:
Highly suggest you take inventory of all tools, and equipment. Then go online in the new area where you will live and check out used tool market. If you can buy similar/better tools for similar money as selling locally; don’t move the big tools – sell them and use the chance to upgrade/change your shop. Moving tools is expensive, and time consuming. If you pay someone to PROFESSIONALLY pack and move your work shop stuff, it adds ~$1-$1.50 per pound to price of item. So moving a 400lb saw, magically adds $400 to your out of pocket cost. Another hidden gotcha with large tools is how fragile is the tool. You have to spend time tearing down all you tools for move, and the movers don’t know what is breakable or not. I.E. Never move a band saw with table attached! Always assume hand wheels will be used as handle to pick stuff up, so remove them! There is ton of work involved if you let some one less knowledgeable touch your tools.

Bottom line: Constantly ask yourself these questions:
- Is it worth adding money to cost of this tool via move, and will it be worth same or more after move?
- Do I use the tool enough to spend money/time moving it?
- How can this tool be damaged during move, and should you tear it down for move, or sell it and reassemble a different/new tool at new shop.

A shop move can be a fresh start? But have to make hard decisions as you clean up, downsize stuff not needed, and work you arse off for better shop in new place.

Best Luck!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2881 posts in 4005 days

#2 posted 05-06-2020 11:46 PM

I moved my entire shop alone. I rented a PODS and built two 3 1/2” ramps. Rolled all my equipment out of my shop , up the ramp to the PODS. Secured everything in place called the mover and just reversed this process at my new house. It cost about $200 seven years ago. I was much younger then, I was only 70. Piece of cake!

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View GrumpyGolfGuy's profile


111 posts in 379 days

#3 posted 05-07-2020 12:41 AM

For my 2 cents worth when I mover from Florida to Michigan I sold everything but my scroll saw, some hand tools and little stuff I could put into 2 large totes. Everything else was sold. Like the Captain said I used it as a reason to upgrade things like my table saw, band saw and such. After all, money is easier to move than a 300 pound table saw….


View WoodenDreams's profile


1300 posts in 994 days

#4 posted 05-07-2020 02:58 AM

If you call a bedbug company (Atlas, Mayflower, etc). They may give you a free estimate. You’ll find quickly, if you don’t relocate the shop yourself, it will be expensive. And as mentioned above, the cost of moving is higher than selling and replacing your shop with new. A move from Pa to SD cost us $12grand, 17 years ago.

As Jim Finn used a POD (small containers shipped on a flatbed truck). You load, and you unload at the other end. Some companies offer a box truck with lift gate option to rent. Some of these rental agencies offer a driver temp to drive it from point A to point B, at a extra fee. Or you could put everything on pallets (crate it up), and have a LTL carrier pick it up and ship it to location. At a cost per weight or crate.

Depends on how much equipment, tools and etc., could be cheaper and less headache to sell and repurchase. Also a note of awareness. Shipping damage claims are higher in used equipment supposedly packaged properly, than new equipment packaged from the factory. Happy Trails.

View WoodES's profile


191 posts in 2774 days

#5 posted 05-07-2020 04:20 AM

When I moved a number of years ago, I made pallet boxes to pack the tools and odd stuff. Worked well and made moving easy. How much of this are you doing yourself versus hiring someone?

Here are the keys and some require the use of a truck that can tow a trailer.

Find a place that can rent equipment for heavy pallets. I moved a short distance and needed to store my tools for about a year. The local rental yards may have a drop deck trailer, some hand operated, some electrically operated.

A pallet jack can be rented and used for the short moves of the truck or trailer to the shop location. Once in the air you can use furniture carts to move the pallets in about any direction. Harbor Fright has them for small money. Buy several….

Pallets can often be had for the asking or at a low price. Create the crate from 1/2” particle board for all sides and 2×2s for framing. Cover the floor and build three sides and then fill. Add the 4th side and top when complete. I used deck screws to hold this together.

I did put the smaller stationary tools in the box, but handled the table saw & band saw separately. Pack the heavy item low in the box.

Another invaluable item is stretch wrap, you can use it to wrap most small items. It holds well and solves a lot of moving issues. This is readily available in the Big Box stores for little money. Get the 6” and the longer size and you be glad you did.

This worked well for me, but the farther you go the more work you’ll need to put into the boxes. If you have a mover handle the move talk with them first.

Good luck!

View GeorgeInNWFla's profile


49 posts in 2787 days

#6 posted 05-07-2020 05:17 AM

Thanks for all the replies. I really like the pallet box idea. And I’ll do a better search for “Moving shop” :)

-- Leave out the fiction. The fact is this friction will only be worn by persistence. Leave out conditions. Courageous convictions will drag the dream into existence.

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