Need some quidance on an up coming move

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Forum topic by justaguy posted 06-15-2021 07:04 AM 410 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View justaguy's profile


9 posts in 549 days

06-15-2021 07:04 AM

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.


-- Rich

13 replies so far

View squazo's profile


245 posts in 2799 days

#1 posted 06-15-2021 11:02 AM

Forklifts are easy. You’ll figure it out.

View bigblockyeti's profile


7436 posts in 2874 days

#2 posted 06-15-2021 11:31 AM

PODs sound like your best bet, just keep an eye on the allowed weight and pack (in boxes or vacuum bags) all your towels, linens and bedding in between. You might also want to also create a sort of wooden exoskeleton around some of the more fragile machines to keep them in place and from bumping one another. I suspect this option would also be the least expensive given you wouldn’t need to rent a forklift or a truck + fuel.

When I moved my shop machines 580 miles, I used my truck and a single axle utility trailer containing:
Delta AP400 dust collector
Grizzly G0440 cyclone dust collector
Craftsmas tube lathe
JET 12” disc/ 6×48” belt sander
Delta DP600 drill press
Delta Unisaw
Grizzly 20” bandsaw
Delta DJ20
and 200-300lbs of wood I couldn’t bear to part with.

It was January in OH and despite being a bit of a PITA, it was the least painful part of the whole move.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2889 posts in 4076 days

#3 posted 06-15-2021 11:34 AM

I moved my shop just a short distance but I loaded and unloaded all of it by myself. I used a PODS because to load and unload all i needed was a 3 1/2” tall ramp. I was younger when I did this I was only 70 then.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7935 posts in 1736 days

#4 posted 06-15-2021 12:55 PM

I had two good experiences with Graebel Moving back in the 90s. They couldn’t help me move two years ago, and the alternatives were… not as good.

Next time I move, I plan to be inside one of the boxes,

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View bruc101's profile


1482 posts in 4696 days

#5 posted 06-15-2021 01:29 PM

I had a friend move about a year ago from one side of the state to the other side of the state. Not a large shop but full of heavy woodworking equipment and lumber. He hired someone to come in and do a turnkey move for him.

Move went flawless and he was back to woodworking in his new home location in less than 2 weeks. He told me if he ever got a decision right, the decision to get someone to move his shop for him was the most least stressful thing he thinks he had ever done.

He told me not having the stress of trying to figure the logistics out, load, move and unload his shop again in a new location was well worth the money he spent.

While all that was being done his wife was getting new home ready when the moving company truck arrived and he was getting his new shop ready for his old shop to arrive. Truck got there, backed up to his new shop in their backyard, unloaded and put the equipment where he wanted. No stress.

-- Bruce Free Plans & Calculators

View splintergroup's profile


5430 posts in 2376 days

#6 posted 06-15-2021 02:30 PM

Doing it yourself gives some peace of mind knowing your treasures will be looked after the entire trip, but also having some professional movers with insurance provides relief at the end destination when everything arrives intact.

The Pods option seems to fit nicely in the middle ground, you get to load/unload and the movers only deal with the transport, assumingly not making a mental note of what to swipe as they pack it all up.

Some other things to consider is to “safe” your equipment. Disassemble/lock down items that should not see vibrations or odd loads. The band saw table comes to mind, remove it. These are attached by usually spindly trunions which can easily snap if the table gets a good jostle or someone decides to lift/move the machine by grabbing onto it.

View Ocelot's profile


3238 posts in 3792 days

#7 posted 06-15-2021 06:26 PM

Insured movers. All of those machines are replaceable. Your back is not. You might find somebody who specializes in that sort of moving.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View brtech's profile


1150 posts in 4076 days

#8 posted 06-15-2021 06:43 PM

Look into UPack. If there is enough stuff, they drop a trailer (a real truck trailer), you load it, they drive it, and then you unload it. You pay by the linear foot of space you use in the trailer. Then you hire a local moving company to pack it. Depending on how much risk you want to take, you can hire another moving company to unpack, or just hire day labor to do it (on CL). This works out to be much cheaper than a full moving company job, but you have pros moving your stuff and packing the truck. Did this moving my mother in law across the country. Worked out great. The moving company in CA were really good, and brought the consumables needed to do a good job. We rented moving blankets from UHaul, which also works out great. When I opened the trailer in PA, it looked EXACTLY like what it looked like leaving CA. Nothing moved, at all. It’s not an air-ride trailer, but if it’s packed well, so what?

View darthford's profile


750 posts in 3078 days

#9 posted 06-15-2021 07:05 PM

My sister and her entire clan just moved from WA to WI last fall, way up in the WI back woods. They went with pods for the heavy stuff but as someone mentioned watch the weight limits.

View BrianA's profile


124 posts in 4183 days

#10 posted 06-15-2021 07:26 PM

I live in the area and I am not volunteering to help unload :-)

View CaptainKlutz's profile


4655 posts in 2648 days

#11 posted 06-15-2021 07:30 PM

There are many threads on LJ where folks ask how to move shop full of 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 make this suggestion:
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 old 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 WoodenDreams's profile


1342 posts in 1065 days

#12 posted 06-16-2021 03:04 AM

If it’s OK with your significant other to pay for the moving (relocating) of your equipment. To save muscle, back ache and head ache issues. I’d consider asking your significant other, if you sell your equipment, why not add the amount from the selling of equipment, to the amount saved from not moving the equipment. And use the combined amount, to replace after the move. This way to have a higher nest egg to repurchase, just a thought.

View tingaling's profile


52 posts in 1474 days

#13 posted 06-17-2021 03:02 PM

Pods work, I did it. In fact my shop equipment (table saw, band saw, joiner, etc) sat in a pod for over a year before I unpacked them and everything was fine). Pods are low, easy to load, just drop them in your driveway and roll the stuff on and off.

-- Nick, now in the heat of Sacramento

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