Need Advice - Moving my Woodshop

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I come to the oracles seeking the wisdom of the ages.
(heh)
More specifically.... I am planning on moving in a few months and I want some advice on moving my larger stationary tools.
Can I trust a regular moving company to move power tools with precision surfaces/mechanisms? I am most concerned about my planer, jointer, contractor style table saw, and band saw. I also have a floor standing drill press.
Can a regular mover handle these ok? Are there special moving companies? Is it really worth begging my friends to lug heavy metal for me?
Any and all advice appreciated. I have never done this before. Last time I moved was BWW (before woodworking) and my tools fit in a couple of cardboard boxes. How time flies and shops fill up.
AndyB
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Many moving companys (not all) have problems moving simple furniture much less shop tools. I'd strongly suggest NOT going with the lowest price for movers, unless you want everything held for ransom for months on end by a private trucker. Go with the most reputable mover you can get, someone with their own trucks. Be sure to tell them exactly what tools wil be involved, everything should go well.
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You can move them to my place! I'd even help.
Seriously though, I wouldn't let anyone move my things unless they had damn good insurance! I sure wouldn't want my fence getting a good whack.
Searcher1
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I would stay with them every minute of loading and unloading and be sure they are well tied. Even good companies get sorry crews sometime! Wilson

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There is approximately a 0% chance that I'd let anybody move my stationary tools without me being there while they were being loaded to make sure it was done correctly and with care. What's the matter, your friends don't drink beer? ;-)
todd
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I moved last year from Boston to southern Utah with a full shop of equipment. You need to be there, and to have a few items broken down first. Usually the driver supervises packing the van, and most are pretty good. The helpers, however, are often whomsoever might be available, and need to be closely watched. Make sure all your cords are secured, fences removed, etc. There are specialty moving companies, but they're very expensive.
Assume, of course, that you'll need to realign everything when it arrives.
The only problem I hit was they moved the shop in the afternoon, and it started to rain. We had to wipe off each item when it reached the van, and I still had rust to remove after it arrived.
GerryG

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I just completed the same task. Table saw, router table, dust collector, jointer, bandsaw and lots of cabinets and hand tools. Talked to several moving companies and decided on one that specialized in piano moving. Smartest move I made! Not only are they adept and handling VERY heavy items, there are trained to be very careful. Bumping a piano can torque the frame and there goes the tuning.
Long story short - only caution I gave them was not to lift the tablesaw by the extension fence. After the move, I checked the alignment of all the tolls and they were as good ( or bad) as when I started.
Good luck -
Vic
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I am only 1/2 way through the replies so far. Thanks everyone!
So far there is some good advice.
Disassemble evreything I can Secure power cords TopKote the heck out of everything to reduce rust Find movers that can handle pianos Watch them closely
As for my table saw I was going to remove the table extensions and guide rails.
Thanks for all the replies everyone. I still got more to read!

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I moved not too long ago, before I acquired some of my larger tools, but if I were moving again today I'd do it the same way: self-service moving (www.upack.com)I'm not affiliated, just a one-time satisfied customer, YMMV, all disclaimers apply. They dropped a 28' trailer in my driveway and then came and got it when we were done loading it. Same deal unloading. It worked out to be less than half the cost of paying somebody else to move us long distance, and our 4 BR household *pretty much* fit into the trailer (after an impromptu yard sale). If you don't use the whole trailer, you pay less.
As far as packing your goods, you're on your own with this method, and frankly I wouldn't have it any other way. If something of mine gets broken, I want to be the one who broke it. One man's junk, and all that ... a lot of hand-me-downs that insurance can't replace.
So we wrapped just about EVERYTHING in industrial strength saran wrap (the kind of stuff shippers wrap around pallets of just about anything ... don't know where you'd find it; my dad knows some guys who drive trucks and got some partial rolls). It's more of a pain to load the truck because nothing slides, but then again ... nothing slides. I threw an old quilt over my table saw and wrapped it in plastic, and it was good to go. I used scrap lumber and tiedowns to improvise a series of bulkheads every 8' or so. The ride is rougher than U-Haul, and the trailer will get hot inside, so plan accordingly.
Two notes of caution about the big folding ramp: 1. They expect you to leave room for it in the trailer. 2. Its serrated nonskid design works great on workboots, but not so much when you trip over it and land on your knee ... and when you're moving, a trip to the ER and the insertion of 11 staples can really interfere with your moving plans, especially if you're one of these anal-retentive types who HAS to do everything yourself :) Good luck with the move.

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I think you've had some good advice here, but I'll tell you my experiences. I've moved the shop several times across country. The best results have always been when I did most of the work myself - that goes for the whole house including dishes, glasses, etc. Obviously I couldn't handle the big stuff myself for long distance moves and I strongly recommend you follow the advice given here that says BE THERE when they move the shop. I usually break the tools down (fence rails and wings off the TS for example) and try to get them packed in boxes. You also haven't mentioned the small power and hand tools. Even though they say they won't guarantee breakage for the boxes they don't pack, I STRONGLY recommend you do it. I wrap them all in layers of newspaper and fill in the voids with more crumpled paper. They'll just throw them into a box and you can expect much breakage, dents and nicks. There's an even bigger reason for pre-packing. I don't want to lose my tools! Early moved seemed to result in much pilferage. When unpacking one time, I had pulled out a few tools to start cutting open boxes and putting things together. As the movers cleaned up, I noticed several of my tools were missing and they seemed to be the ones the locally hired helper had borrowed (I agree with the comment by a previous poster that the drivers can be trusted). After I complained, the driver told the helper several times to go find the tools, but he just wandered around. It wasn't until I refused to sign the release that he went out to the truck, reached under the seat and returned with the tools. The moving company will reimburse you for lost items, but what are the chances you can remember every single tool you own. You'll realize something is missing several months later when you need it. Good luck.
Art Learmonth
AndyB wrote:

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I ditto what Art said; I moved my shop twice. Break down your machines as much as possible; if its a contractor saw, remove the fence, wings and motor. Do your own packing and number the boxes "1 or 10 Shop" etc., and don't label them as "Lie Nielson Planes" but generically as "shop" to reduce pilferage, as the help ain't always the best of character. A good mover will drop you off some labels, tape and packing material so you can pack your stuff up yourself. You must be there for loading and unloading. good luck.
Mutt
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Art,
Good advice. Thanks.
I always pack for my own moves. It is not only cheaper, but I pack better than they do because I care more.
I mostly hire the mover to load the truck, drive the truck, unload the truck.
Unfortunately I to have heard many stores of pilferage by movers. For boxes with hand tools and such in them I will just mark them "basement" and a number. I will record the contents on my clipboard.
I have one more thing to consider. I have a huge gun safe (800 lbs). I may find a rigging company and have them do the safe and stationary machines. It will cost a little more, but I bet riggers who handle pianos know how to be more carefull.
Also, thanks for the advice about not signing the delivery notice until pilferage is resolved. I bet that does get them to "look again" to find the things that got "lost".

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My preference would be to mark them 'Books' instead. 'Basement' could mean lots of things. 'Books' on the other hand are quite unlikely to attract much interest, as well as being heavy which matches many tools.
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wrote in message

fifty boxes of books? ;-)
Patriarch
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On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 17:59:00 -0600, Patriarch

Write "Textbooks" on the tools. NOBODY will steal textbooks.
Barry
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Goodwill won't even take textbooks. I think the top of my single-stream recycling can says no textbooks. Shame they were so expensive at the time that we had to purchase them.
Patriarch
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A decent second-hand bookstore should buy them. At least, I've bought several from second-hand sources to keep as references and they must have got them from someone. Of course, if you happen to have a copy of Euclid's Elements Vol. I and Vol. III (Books I, II, X, XI, XII, and XIII), I'd be happy to take it off your hands to complete the set. The local library doesn't even have the buggers anymore. Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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wrote:

No.
No.
Not sure.

Maybe.
Use your stock to build crates and break down the large machines. For example, when I moved I remove the cast iron wings on my table saw and built a wooden box for each wing. The crates can be managed much easier that way. Don't expect a moving company to take your machines apart and crate them. Moving companies will, however, have custom crates made at a additional charge. But I'm sure you can make your own, and probably better built.
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wrote:

Maybe.
Yes! Look under "riggers" in the yellow pages, and prepare to pay! These guys show up with forklifts, etc... and move machinery every day. I've hired these guys to move large telephone company wet cell batteries, generators, etc... If they can't move it, nobody can.
Did I mention to open the wallet?

Call riggers and get quotes, the answer will quickly become clear. <G>
Barry
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I think, at some point, I would consider selling the large iron locally, and looking for replacements on the other end. Unless I had a unique, low serial number Unisaw or something else special, but everything I have in heavy gear was purchased new in the last five years.
Hand tools are a completely different story. Plywood cases, glued and screwed, with lockable hasps. Casters. And large labels. Like a rock band.
Where I would have a problem is with the wood rack. Some of that supply has 'provenance'.
Patriarch
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