Has anyone ever moved their woodshop to a new home?????

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Forum topic by mrfixitri posted 09-07-2010 12:01 AM 1630 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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53 posts in 3262 days

09-07-2010 12:01 AM

Topic tags/keywords: moving shop relocating shop relocation cost of relocating question resource

I’m moving from the east to the west coast. Some 2800 miles or so. I have no idea what the move is going to cost. What I’d like to know is have any readers been in a similar situation where you moved not only the family but your woodshop as well? Is it cost-effective?? Would I be better off selling all my tools and supplies before moving – and just buying all new when I get to my new home? My concern is that it will cost more to move all those stationary tools than they are worth!! They’re not “Festool” quality, but there’s several thousand $$ invested. I hate the thought of parting with my ‘friends’ but … I figured I’d ask around. Anyone care to tell me their firsthand experience with a similar situation? I’ll do the math if, or when I get a moving quote, but I thought I’d get a quicker and honest response from you. Most of my tools and wood supplies are two years old or less. I have about 6 large stationary tools I’ll be moving (table saw, jointer, bandsaw, drill press, and some large tool chests). Any of you moved and later regreted spending the $$$ to move all your tools, knowing it would have been less $$ to yard sale them first?? Thanks guys!!

-- Larry, formerly of East Greenwich, RI - "Rhode Island's Oldest Home":

17 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3039 days

#1 posted 09-07-2010 12:19 AM

I’ve moved several times.

While I don’t know the exact formula and all the details, I know that the primary cost of moving is based on weight and miles. Because of that, I would advise you to not move heavy, low value items. In general, any tool that is of reasonable value and reasonable weight would be cheaper to move than to replace. However, some of us have some heavy tools of minimal value.

I would estimate value per pound and if the value per pound is above X, move it, and if the value per pound is below that level replace it. I don’t know what X is, but your moving company should be able to help.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3632 days

#2 posted 09-07-2010 12:40 AM

Get a POD. You have a month to load it and a month to unload it. Plus you don’t have to drive a POS U-haul across country.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View tnwood's profile


258 posts in 3051 days

#3 posted 09-07-2010 01:09 AM

I moved south about a 1000 miles late last year and moved all my shop and most of my wood stash that was worth anything. Since moving costs are on the basis of weight, I think I came out ahead by moving my shop. Certainly if you want to upgrade things, then it might be more beneficial to sell and rebuy things at the destination. I had milled a lot of lumber from my own woodlot so it was free (if you don’t count the labor, used mill and fuel). Certainly it cannot be replaced at less cost than moving it but if you have any sizable quantities of wood that you bought at reasonable prices, take it with. Certainly you can use a POD for things but frankly it was worth every penny to have someone do all the heavy moving. I’m near 70 and that is more than I can reasonable handle right now.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5805 posts in 3159 days

#4 posted 09-07-2010 02:10 AM

Greetings Larry, If you are asking for opinions, I’ll give you mine: NO…do not sell your woodworking equipment…you’ll regret it if you do, especially if you have your favorite “friends” as you said…we all have those.. You stated that your power tools are only about 2 years old….Nowdays it would cost you more to replace them than what you piad for them…..It may cost you more to move the ww shop, but I think you’ll be glad you did…In the long haul (not a pun) you’ll be happier….I think it would be about even on the cost effective side….
I moved from Tenneessee to Arkansas 8 yeras ago, and it wasn’t that far, but I had the movers to load my shop in one truck, and our home furnishings in another…When I emptied my shop there, there wasn’t anything left in the building but a heating and air unit (of course I got more mun by having that). Our new home here was a 2 car garage, and I stored all my shop equipmenr in there until I could get a new shop built.
We moved in Sept, and my new shop was started in Dec. That meant I had to leave our autos and my bass boat outside til it was built…..But I would of put it in storage before selling it over here….So I say’ll regret doing it, I think….Take it with you ahd be happy and ready to set up a new woodshop…..My $.05..

edit: But of course noone can make up your mind for you…you’ll have to make that decision for yourself…

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View mrfixitri's profile


53 posts in 3262 days

#5 posted 09-07-2010 02:16 AM

Thanks guys. You all had good advice. I think I’m going to take it all with me. If a $600 bandsaw costs $90 to ship from the supplier almost 2000 miles away, how much more could it cost to ship it 3000 miles?? But about that POD thing…. I assume a pod is dropped off at my current home, picked up after I load it and delivered to my new home?? Never even heard of that one. I was actually thinking of a company called Used them before for smaller moves for my daughters. They load your truck and unload it after arrival at your new location. Pretty good service. But it still means I have to drive the thing almost 3000 miles myself. No thanks. I’m going to look into the pods…
Thanks again, Larry

-- Larry, formerly of East Greenwich, RI - "Rhode Island's Oldest Home":

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3632 days

#6 posted 09-07-2010 12:10 PM

I felt any extra cost of using the POD was outweighed by the convienence of having so much time to load and unload it. Not to mention the loading deck is 4” off the ground and they cover any damages to your stuff.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View mstenner's profile


57 posts in 3119 days

#7 posted 09-07-2010 02:17 PM

Depending on the details of your move, almost nothing is cheaper to replace than to move. I moved from North Carolina to Arizona a while back (I’ve since moved to Boston, and then to DC) and I did the math for that one, and it came to about 50 cents per pound. At that price, the only thing I could find cheaper to replace was a set of weights. Yeah, big lumps of random crap metal. (I did move them)

-- -Michael

View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2831 days

#8 posted 09-07-2010 02:30 PM

I wouldn’t hesitate to move it at all. We’ve moved our whole plant several times. It’s really not any different than moving your appliances.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3726 days

#9 posted 09-07-2010 02:36 PM

In my recent moves, I’ve gotten a lot of good use out of an enclosed 14 ft. trailer. It has a 5200 lb payload capacity and with a volume of 600 cu. ft. it is about equal to 1/2 of a 24 ft. rental truck.

My Dodge 1500 pulls the trailer easily, although the mileage is reduced to around 10 mpg. I’ll probably sell the trailer next year and even if I only get 1/2 the original cost the trailer has been a good investment.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2807 days

#10 posted 09-07-2010 03:33 PM

Keeping your tools almost always works out better in the end because of a problem with selling the tools. The problem is that if you decided to sell them, you’d have to either take way less than they’re worth or take a long time, possibly months to find buyers willing to give what the tools are worth. While we pay a lot for tools, it is very rare to sell them for anything near what they are worth. Tools are like cars. As soon as you drive a car off the lot it is used and worth usually less than half what you gave for it.


View 489tad's profile


3352 posts in 2976 days

#11 posted 09-07-2010 03:58 PM

We have moved many times, all with movers. They charge by the ton. See what they say. Before the movers come to pack, pack the tools yourself. Do not let the movers know what you have other than garage or shop boxes. If you use a pod. You can probably get more than your shop in the pod. then you have to figure the pod plus the cost of the rest of the move. I never had anything missing but I never gave them the chance to see what I have.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View mrfixitri's profile


53 posts in 3262 days

#12 posted 09-07-2010 04:19 PM

Normally, a move like this would be a great excuse to buy LOTS of new tools at my next destination. But you’re all saying to keep ‘em and move ‘em. Agreed. And since they’re mostly new, it does make the best sense. I was intitially under the impression it would cost a small fortune to move the shop. But by the time I figure in what I’d get for ‘used’ tools if I had to sell now, and the aggravation of selling them, it just makes far more sense to pack and move them. Thanks again all who responded.

-- Larry, formerly of East Greenwich, RI - "Rhode Island's Oldest Home":

View uffitze's profile


199 posts in 2920 days

#13 posted 09-07-2010 04:26 PM

Interesting thread considering that I’m planning on moving soon too.

Personally, I’m planning on upgrading much of my power tool equipment, so I’m attempting to sell the stuff that I have. The lumber now, that’s a bit of a conundrum … of course, I’ll be keeping the really expensive/figured/rare/pretty stuff. But, the rest of it … well, I guess I’ll see how much room I have left.

View NeilD's profile


4 posts in 2783 days

#14 posted 09-07-2010 05:32 PM

I moved from Hawaii to SoCal. Sold off most of my heavy stuff. In Calif, the replacements would have cost twice the moving costs – didn’t buy much. Moved to Mass. didn’t sell a thing, and kept some very old dense wood. Move was a bit more pricey, but my wife didn’t notice the difference. Then I moved to Texas. Looked for and found an independent driver and negotiated a good rate. The cast iron base grinders, dril presses plus other woods went along. A bit more money, but I didn’t have to buy anything in Texas. I don’t have the figures anymore, but I id get a very good total at the end of the day. At last, I moved to Oregon. Brought every blinking thing in my shop and storage bins. I’m sooooooo glad that I did. The cost of each machine to be replaced if I didn’t ship it was from $50. to $150 more than I paid in Texas and Taxicheusetts. All in all, I saved about $750. on the last move. This was in part because I asked around and got an independent driver that was willing to make a deal. The move cost us about $700 more than we thought. Replacing the tools and equipment from here would cost more thatn $1500.
What should you do? I don’t know for sure, but if you have negotiations skills, you might give it a shot.

-- Now that I have read the instructions, I have to take it all apart again.

View mrfixitri's profile


53 posts in 3262 days

#15 posted 09-07-2010 11:41 PM

Hi Neil!! Wow, you sure do move around a lot!! Thanks for the advice. I never even gave a thought to value and cost differences between the two states I’m moving between. Since I buy most of my stuff via the web, it all comes from out-of-state anyway. But I’ve decided to move it all. And I don’t need an excuse to buy more tools at the other end. Going from RI to AZ. I was told by the “Woodwhisperer” in AZ that the only thing I need to be concerned with is to seal the ends of my boards before moving. The humidity differences between the two areas are incredible.

-- Larry, formerly of East Greenwich, RI - "Rhode Island's Oldest Home":

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