Moving the Shop <20 or so Miles

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Forum topic by NeophyteGrant posted 06-15-2020 04:31 AM 700 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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147 posts in 1751 days

06-15-2020 04:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: move workshop moving

Hi All:

I’m moving my shop (2 car garage), but < 20 miles in distance. I’ve read a number of threads with varying opinions on best approach—in many cases folks have been moving far greater distances than I.

I’ve started boxing smaller items and imagine I should continue (Should I let them pack clamps? Bigger things?) but my big question was rigging stationary tools (I have a TS, jointer, edge sander, DP, and BS). Should I crate them? Should I let them crate them or otherwise move them? I felt the need to crate them on pallets to make the job pretty easy. Have them load it onto their truck and move it the <20>m interested to hear small shop moves of any distance…

Thanks in advance.

8 replies so far

View BurlyBob's profile


9333 posts in 3508 days

#1 posted 06-15-2020 05:19 AM

Rent a cargo trailer, put them on furniture dollies or build your own dollies. roll them into the trailer tie them down and move them to their own home. It’s not that hard. Buy lots of ratchet straps!

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)


4894 posts in 2736 days

#2 posted 06-15-2020 10:41 AM

First, there are many existing threads on moving wood shop and tools. Too much to repeat it all again.
Please search and read past discussions. Moving tools doesn’t change with time. :-)

Want to add one aspect your OP touched on, that is not discussed very often:
Stationary tools take a lot of space in truck. Movers usually want them crated to allow stacking and maximize packing density. Many will move tools without crating, but may not insure them for full value (only by pound).

Furthermore, do not want any tool handled by moving company with any table extensions, fences, or even electrical boxes within easy reach; as they make for good place to grab and pick up/push around. That is how stuff gets broken when strong man tries to jerk your band saw by table, TS by cast iron wing, or edge sander by the motor. Always disassemble anything hanging off base of tool, especially cast iron parts not fully supported.

It can cost a lot to move tools professionally. My recommendation is to always use a move as chance to clean out shop and upgrade/downgrade tools, so you move as little as possible. :)
To put tool moving cost in perspective with a 3 mile move I made a couple years ago:
Hired a 24ft box truck, with lift gate and 3 lumper’s for load/unload.
- Took one full truck trip (~3 hours) to move ~2400sqft of packed household stuff and furniture.
- Took one trip (top half empty, ~3 hours) to move 3 car work shop with 600 sqft.

Net result was I paid same labor/distance to move just shop as moving rest of house.
The challenge was without tools crated, nothing could be stacked on top of tools. The entire floor of truck was filled, and if stacking was available, they could have loaded even more stuff. 95% of my shop is mobile. Even use 7ft high wire racks with castors for storing totes of stuff, and those simply rolled onto truck after being wrapped in shrink wrap. Will admit they spent 30min re-stacking 600bdft of lumber onto dolly for the move, that you might not have?
BTW – Lumber can be a big sticking point for some movers. None will move air dried lumber or firewood, due potential for bug cross contamination with furniture. Only few will handle kiln dried lumber stored indoors, and they will inspect for bug holes.

Pallets can be a decent solution for tools, but home movers don’t usually bring pallet jack. So if you decide to use pallets to pack up your shop, be sure the trucking company is prepared.

Moving is PIA.
My last shop move was done with rented trailer, taking a couple loads a day as it was all my old body allowed.

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

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Fred Hargis

7229 posts in 3735 days

#3 posted 06-15-2020 10:42 AM

My last move, and the one prior was a little less than 20 miles. We did what Bob suggested, though the trailer was an open flat bed. With some help, it’s not that hard as long as the machines are less than 600# or so.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2898 posts in 4164 days

#4 posted 06-15-2020 10:57 AM

Seven years ago, I moved my entire shop less than ten miles. I rented a PODS, built the needed 3 1/2” ramp to roll all my equipment into the PODS and strapped it down. No pallets. Then they came and picked it up, moved it to my new shop location and I rolled all my equipment out and into my new shop. Easy. I did this all myself, but I was younger then. I was 70. Cost was about $200

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View becikeja's profile


1178 posts in 4055 days

#5 posted 06-15-2020 11:56 AM

8 months ago I moved 7 hours down the road. I boxed everything I could myself; clamps, hand tools, portable power tools etc…. I rented a Uhaul trailer for my Table saw, band saw, drill press, belt sander,..... Hired 2 guys my realtor knew and instructed them where and how to grab the tools to load them into the trailer. When I got to the other end, my son-in law and I unloaded them.
The price difference from having the moving company do it was huge. Also, have you ever seen how they load a moving truck They stack and cram everything in any little space they can find. If you are going to have the movers move it, you absolutely need to crate it. they will tell you they will wrap it in blankets and it will be fine. And you know what? 80% of the time they are absolutely right. But for some reason I always end up in the 20%.....

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View NeophyteGrant's profile


147 posts in 1751 days

#6 posted 06-15-2020 10:16 PM

Thanks guys—great input!

View NeophyteGrant's profile


147 posts in 1751 days

#7 posted 07-04-2020 05:36 PM

I’m back. I designed some pallet crates using resawn 2×4 (so 1×4) I’d prefer to use screws but the question is: screwgun? nailgun with scrails? Driver the typical way with self-tapping? What say ye?

View WoodES's profile


198 posts in 2933 days

#8 posted 07-05-2020 02:46 AM

I have used a drop deck trailer and made pallet boxes using 1/2 flake board to build the box. Using pallet jack to move the pallets onto the trailer.

Look for a local rental yard with a hand operated drop deck for ease of use. The hydraulic operated ones may need a special plug to run.

Also stretch wrap is a very good answer to confining odd shape items for packing.

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