Moving miracles

Either I’m extremely lucky, or my movers were top-notch: All my machines are in perfect working order.

Before my move, I considered not moving my machines, and instead selling them and then buying replacements. My thought was that I’d save a lot in moving costs for that heavy equipment, and they’d all need so much tuning up after being lugged across 700 miles in the back of a truck that buying replacements might be best.

I ultimately decided to move them. On the one hand, my moving costs were high – shockingly so – but replacing all that equipment would have been pricey, too. Plus, I have good stuff and the replacements might not have been so nice. However, I needn’t have worried about their condition.

First, I prepped them carefully for moving: coating or covering all cast iron surfaces, disassembling what could easily be disassembled, boxing up machine components, and even using bright painters tape to mark handhold spots for the movers. Second, those guys were super careful with my stuff.

This week I fired up the band saw, and found that it tracked and ran perfectly. I thought surely I’d need to redo tracking and such, but no. Then, since I already had a mess of sawdust on the floor (no dust collection yet), I figured I might as well try a few other machines.

I ran several pieces through my jointer, to find the tables were fine and didn’t require any adjustment at all. Ditto the jointer fence. I likewise tried out my planer and the only adjustment needed was to tweak the infeed table ever so slightly. My big drill press was also just fine, with vertical travel still true and square. Same with my big disc sander, belt sander and miter saw.

In fact, the only tool I didn’t try out was my table saw. I haven’t yet decided exactly where I want it to be, and so haven’t yet reattached the heavy extension tables and rails. However, since the process of assembling a table saw requires so much adjustment and tweaking anyway, I’m sure it’ll be cutting like new when I’m done.

All in all, a pleasant surprise that’s helped make a major move a lot easier.



  • Don Bullock says:

    I had a similar experience when I moved my shop. All my tools arrived in excellent, ready to use, condition. The movers even placed everything exactly where I told them to. They were very nice to work with.

    Fortunately for me the cost was reasonable. The company sent a representative to my house to estimate the weight of all my shop equipment. The cost for the moving reflected his estimated weights and the distance to our new house. Because there is A Highway Patrol weighing station just before the truck reached our home I knew that the truck had to be weighed. I casually asked the driver if the weight estimate was close. He replied by saying it was quite low. We left it at that so I have no idea what the cost of the move would have been if they used the actual weights.

    My move, however, was only about 150 miles and within the same state. While this fact didn’t change the moving of the equipment from garage to truck and then into my new shop it did affect the distance involved. From what I understand rates within a state are figured differently that interstate moves.

    • A.J. Hamler says:

      I got very unlucky with their estimate — they got it wrong by 50 percent, and not in my favor. Didn’t find it out until everything was about half unloaded at our new home that the moving cost would be 50 percent more than the estimate. Needless to say, we were shocked. They were unsympathetic.

      Still, other than that one thing everything else about the movers was great. Oh, but that one thing!


  • john borovka says:

    I moved all the tools and lumber from my commercial shop in Hawaii to my new home in Florida (with no shop) in a 40 foot container. Took several days to load everything with forklift and friends helping when they could. Had a helper help me for 2-1/2 days unloading. I had tools and lumber stored everywhere for over a year while I built a 1,200 sq. ft. pole barn shop. Everything is great now but I sure don’t ever want to move them again. I don’t know if I could have moved any further than the 5,000 miles I did without not being in the USA. I loved my project of building my own shop on my property and setting everything up the way I wanted, and you will too.

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