Advice/Tips on Moving a Shop Across the Country

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by FaTToaD posted 11-16-2012 02:09 PM 1386 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 3110 days

11-16-2012 02:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop moving ridgid dewalt grizzly tablesaw drill press router router table belt sander oss jointer bandsaw scroll saw question tip trick advice planer chisel miter saw blade plane sander

In a few weeks I’ll be moving my family and my two-car garage woodshop from California to Maryland. We’re moving ourselves using ABF’s U-Pack. So I we get to do all the packing and loading, though we’ll have some help unloading.

This weekend I’m going to start the process of packing up the shop. It’s not a huge shop, but there certainly a lot of odds and ends. Scraps, small tools, etc. The only large tools I have is a Ridgid TS3650 table saw, a floor drill press, a homemade router table, and a cheap 12” bandsaw. I also have a 6” Grizzly benchtop jointer, a Dewalt planner, Ridgid OSS, floor 6×48 belt sander, small scroll saw, small miter saw, 1 HP Delta dust collector, and a couple other smaller items.

I’ve seen videos (Marc Spagnuolo’s) on packing up blades, chisels, hand planes, etc. So I feel like I have at least a decent plan on how I’m going pack everything.

However, I’m sure many of you have done this very same thing so I was wondering, does anyone have any advice, tips, tricks, or lessons learned about moving a shop?

Any feedback would certainly be appreciated! Thanks for looking.


-- David

6 replies so far

View MJCD's profile


540 posts in 2340 days

#1 posted 11-16-2012 05:20 PM


I’ll welcome you to Maryland – I’m on the Chesapeake Bay, south east of Baltimore – if I can help you unload the shop, please let me know.

The moving part is not the most difficult – its deciding what to take, and want to leave behind (the County Dumpster or Craigslist). Be brutal in your decision process – 1) if you haven’t used the tool within the past two years – sell it! 2) Purge all pressure-treated wood – it’s just too cheap to haul; ditto on the Pine (unless it’s Clear or Furniture-grade); 3) Throw away half-cans of Paint, Varnish, Wax, cans of any and every ilk. 4) Do not bring scrap wood, scrap anything (see 2 & 3) unless there is a known need. Be ruthless.

On Stationary equipment – rent either a van with a hydraulic gate or a very low threshold, and a pallet-jack: with a friends help, and this, you can safely get even the heaviest Jointer/Planer, Table Saw into a secure position on the truck – strap them down, but ensure you don’t strap against equipment doors, or other lose items – they’ll simply break or permanently deform.
Use your trash cans wisely – they can store a tremendous amount of towel-wrapped and taped items. Get as many old towels and cloths that you can; plenty of string: this can safely wrap your Chisels, Planes, router bits, Miter & Table Saw blades.

Again, the tough part is letting go.

The offer is genuine – let me know if I can help.

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View HorizontalMike's profile


7749 posts in 2883 days

#2 posted 11-16-2012 07:38 PM

Additionally, you may want to check for any BANs on shipping particular wood species across State lines (think bugs, infestations, fungus, etc.). I would suggest get rid of ALL wood stock, just to be on the safe side.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View MJCD's profile


540 posts in 2340 days

#3 posted 11-16-2012 09:08 PM

I second HM’s recommendation.

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View TeamTurpin's profile


85 posts in 2030 days

#4 posted 11-16-2012 09:14 PM

I just moved my shop across town from my old house to new. I dreaded moving my workshop and was very intimidated by the work that it would entail. When I did so, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I threw so much stuff away. It gave me the opportunity to pick up and clean everything in the shop. I had no idea how many duplicate items I had. I had been buying the same tool/part/gizmo over and over again.

I went to the big box store and bought a dozen giant Rubbermaid-clone tubs (w/lids). I then gave each one a category (ie, hand tool, fastener, sanding, etc.). After a hard weekend, I had sorted and cleaned and thrown away tons of stuff.

Trust me. It can be a good experience.


View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2773 days

#5 posted 11-17-2012 01:11 PM

Good luck with the move. It’s rough moving across the country. Wish you the best

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View kizerpea's profile


774 posts in 2337 days

#6 posted 11-17-2012 01:29 PM

Be sure to pack the shop first.keep everything tyt..go to the recycle center an get some flatend cardboard boxes an put between ur stuff to keep it from rubbing togather..the tighter u keep it the better shape it will b in when you unpack…rember what u pack first…comes off last…i work for UPS freight….load trailers every day…O get some blue painters tape an tape all the drawers shut…good luck



Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics