Moving to Seattle

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Forum topic by bevis posted 06-06-2012 10:36 PM 1355 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 2859 days

06-06-2012 10:36 PM

I’ve been living in the high desert of Colorado since I began wood working, however I recently accepted a job in Seattle and will be moving out in a month or so. I’m trying to figure out and prepare so my tools and such don’t get wrecked in both the move and subsequent life in Seattle.

I mostly just have hand tools: planes, chisels, saws, etc, but I do have a shopsmith as well.

Does anyone have any wisdom for moving a shop cross country, as well as anything in particular I’ll need to do in Seattle’s climate to keep my tools from disintegrating? I’ve heard rumors that in humid places tools have some sort of strange behavior where they rust: not in decades, but rather in days or weeks. I’ve currently just been rubbing most of my tools with paste wax and calling it good, but I’m guessing that won’t fly in different climates.

10 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10473 posts in 3422 days

#1 posted 06-06-2012 10:59 PM

I’d just take the legs and table off the SS and lock the head stock and table carriage in place. Remove the blade from both the head stock and the band saw. Lock the guard on the band saw. Pack the rest of your accessories like you will for the rest of your tools. Should make the trip ok.
As to rust, like you, I’m in the high desert, but others have used one of several brands of protectants. Bo-Shield seems to be a favorite. But, others have said that regular waxing of surfaces will do the trick, also.
Good luck on your move and congrats on the new job.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 3137 days

#2 posted 06-06-2012 11:02 PM

I’m in western oregon which is not quite as rainy as Seattle but still up there. I use paste wax for my surfaces. Be sure to remember to reapply it, especially after heavy use of a machine, and also get yourself a dehumidifier and a humidity gauge for your shop. I got a SoleusAir brand dehumidifier and really like it – my shop’s relative humidity has dropped from about 85-90% to a consistent 65% or so.

View Sanity's profile


174 posts in 2683 days

#3 posted 06-06-2012 11:10 PM

I would suggest taking a look at the latest issue of fine wood working, there is a very intersting article in there about rust protection. I live in Ohio and work out of my garage and corrosion is a constant battle. I typically use a heavy coat of T-9 when my tools are not being used.

-- Stuart

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2279 days

#4 posted 06-06-2012 11:30 PM

I was born and raised in Tacoma, just south of Seattle. Yes, it rains a lot, but unless you leave your tools outside in the weather, you shouldn’t have a big issue with rust. It’s surprisingly not that humid despite the rain. I haven’t had any rust problems in my garage shop with no special precautions taken.

Good luck!

-- John, BC, Canada

View Bob Aber's profile

Bob Aber

9 posts in 2175 days

#5 posted 06-06-2012 11:35 PM

Besides all of the rain Seattle isn’t that bad. I have been living in Everett which is south of Seattle all my life and i have not had any kinds of problems unless i left stuff outside in the rain. If you take care of your tools and bring them inside then you should be fine.

-- Router Table Reviews

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18265 posts in 3669 days

#6 posted 06-06-2012 11:37 PM

I’m between Tacoma and Seattle. It is not as humid as the Midwest where all the guys complain about their tools rusting over night without climate control. I don’t do anything special, but I’m not a shiny top table saw guy ;-) Mine has just aged naturally, but no rust issues. Work tools kept in my truck do not rust. Mold will be more of an issue than rust. Do not put anything tight against an exterior wall or you will have mildew ;-(

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2954 days

#7 posted 06-06-2012 11:47 PM

What do they call three days of sunshine in Seattle? Summer!
Heard that from a Seattle resident. Keeping your tools clean would be the main thing; check on them periodically. I lived in Louisiana and tools there just rusted from the outrageous humidity.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18265 posts in 3669 days

#8 posted 06-07-2012 12:01 AM

Knothead62 Some times we’d settle for 1 ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2647 days

#9 posted 06-07-2012 12:14 AM

5 years ago I moved my 4000 sq ft shop from OH to WA state. I live north of Spokane. If you know how to pack for moving, then pack it yourself. I grew up a service brat then served 23 years in the Coast Guard and moved many, many times so I got pretty good at packing.

Keep the boxes as light as possible, otherwise movers tend to throw instead placing boxes in the truck. Plus they will put heavy boxes on top of lighter boxes and the lighter ones will get crushed in transit. I left my stationary tools assembled except for fences and accessories. These were carefully packed.

Check with ULine for moving boxes that come in MANY sizes. These work great for packing odd sized items.

Get a whole bunch of the moisture absorbent packets. Place a couple in each box. If you have to put stuff in storage for awhile (Seattle can get a little moist) these packs will help keep rust to a minimum.

Watch the movers like a hawk if you let them pack. Tools tend to grow legs and it is really tough to prove that the movers stole it. They have gotten really good about making customer’s items disappear.

Get a very detailed list of what goes in to each box and make sure it is recorded on the bill of lading that the truck driver has to carry. Don’t let them get away with lots of acronyms that you have no idea what they mean. Have them really spell it out. Also, make sure the boxes a well labeled on the outside with exactly what is in the box. This will enable you to get the exact box you need when you need it (boy I need my power drill right type of thing).

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3095 days

#10 posted 06-07-2012 06:02 AM

I have been living in Everett which is south of Seattle all my life

I don’t think I would pay much attention to this guy…..................

-- mike...............

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