92 – A Moving Experience

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Moving an entire wood shop is no fun. But you can save yourself a lot of back ache if you hire some help. Money well-spent if you ask me. In this episode I show you everything I did to get my shop ready for the road trip. By no means is this meant to be a guide of any sort. Rather, its just a peak into my personal experience. And if you ever have to move your own shop, you’ll know what you’re in for.

Category: The Shop


  1. Marty June 30, 2009

    Excellent episode! Now that it’s finished, was there any damage to your tools. Even with the lift gate there was still some grinding going on!

      thewoodwhisperer June 30, 2009

      No damage to speak of. Definitely lots of grinding. But its just iron so it can take a reasonable beating.

      • Mike T June 30, 2009

        I’m glad there was no damage. Although, I bet you will have a boxed collectors set of videos on how to align and true all your tools after the shop is done and the tools are in their new home.

    • Hi Marc & All,

      Are you staying in the Phoenix area?

      Whatever happened to just plain ole FREE Newspaper to wrap things with? (maybe you used it all up moving the other part of the house :) )

      Hope your move goes smooth and SAFE!

      Is your new place going to have more or less Shop space; hope it’s more? Looking forward to seeing you settled… especially in the hottest part of the YEAR!

      Take care,

  2. Kosta June 30, 2009

    Yo you know what works really good paper like really thin sheets of paper because it is like the best cushin. And those wardrobe boxes work really good for holding tall stuff. for all of my tools and my dads we spent like $100 just on tool boxes and the corrigan united van lines crew that moved us was ranked #1 out of 2,500 crews in 2006 and has been in the top 5 for 4 years. They know what there doing.

  3. runningwood June 30, 2009

    what about the furniture thats left- the desk where the computer sat and the white finishing cabinet ?

      thewoodwhisperer June 30, 2009

      That stuff stays. No room for it in my new garage.

  4. John June 30, 2009

    Hey Mark.

    I know what it is like moving a woodworking shop, I did it once and I was afraid of damaging my tools. I also had saw-dust withdraws for a few weeks until I set up my new shop.

    At the 10:26 mark in your video…..are you sure you hired movers and not plumbers, the exposed butt crack on the fella bending over made me wonder :)

    Also, as a woodworker, don’t you have nice, wood storage boxes for your chisels and other assorted small tools ?

    Good luck with the new shop.

      thewoodwhisperer June 30, 2009

      lol John. I was wondering when someone was going to notice that. I was going to point it out in the video but Nicole thought it would be funnier as an easter egg. A smelly sweaty easter egg. lol

  5. Kris Lauer June 30, 2009

    Thanks for sharing. Great to share the end of a chapter and the start of a new one. Looking forward to more!

  6. Steve June 30, 2009

    Noticing the things getting moved reminded me of a question. I saw the base of the assenbly table getting moved, without the top attached. Something I don’t remember from those episodes – how is the top attached to the base? Or is it even attached? Thanks.

      thewoodwhisperer June 30, 2009

      Just a couple screws Steve. And it never budged.

  7. Tim TAN June 30, 2009

    Excellent episode, Marc. One of the best you have done.

  8. JC June 30, 2009

    Once again, a great episode and thank you for sharing. The Breakfast Club tribute was perfect. “Can you describe the ruckus?”

  9. Marty June 30, 2009

    Marc, if this is none of my business just say so. I was wondering, why did you two move in the first place?

      thewoodwhisperer June 30, 2009

      I don’t mind you asking. But they were personal/family-related issues. So I won’t be going into detail. :)

  10. Keith Ferguson June 30, 2009

    243 video based from the old shop! Wow!!!
    It looks like it has been a great ride. I have enjoyed watching and learning.

    If you need a hand setting up the new shop, I would enjoy paying you forward.

    My questions:

    How large was the old shop? Did you park any cars within it.? Does the new shop have AC (Valley of the Sun Question as temp head over 110)? I am dieing in mine without AC

  11. Keith July 1, 2009

    Hey Marc, your chisels wrapped in plastic trick is basically what I used to do for my drum hardware, substitute blacket for plastic, and that’s what I did.

    Now a days my awesome wife made a bunch of sleeves for all of those chrome bits, and they go in an case, much easier.

    Great tips!

  12. Allen Lindsey July 1, 2009

    I figure you get asked this all the time when you get a new tool, so why not.

    Hey Marc, if you’re not going to use your old shop any more can I have it? ;-)

    Just tell the new owners that their house comes with a built-in furniture maker.

  13. Oak July 1, 2009

    What a moving “moving experience” :)

    The good point is that now, you are at the same point as some of us… setting up the shop!

    Keep up the good work!

  14. Very funny ending guys. I shouldn’t watch these shows in a quite office, with a drink in my hand!

    Good luck with everything. New beginnings..

  15. TJ71 July 1, 2009

    Dear, Judd, did you have to sacrifice a whole saturday to move the shop or did it take longer?

  16. I just moved into my newly acquired shop!
    My chance to build the BIES(meyer)T tablesaw. 4’x8′ table, inspired by Marc Adams school workshop pics.
    I’m 6’1″ and I am building (almost) everything at 35″ high. Plan the heck out of the new shop, it helps. Think back to past annoying things from the old shop.
    I am pic documenting the whole thing, along with some video.

    It will drive you nuts finding your tools, I have emptied most boxes and have crap laid out every where.

  17. Chester July 1, 2009

    Marc –
    I’ve been going through some of the same things as you, except on a much smaller scale. I am doubling the size of my upstairs/barn workshop and adding some new and very heavy tools. Every time we get something new, the ever-present question is, “how are we going to get that thing up there?”

    Recently, I had a new Jet 22-44 Drum Sander in place at the bottom of the stairs with no clue as to how to get it up. The head on the thing alone is 230#. Well, not to bore you with all the details but … it got done. I fully understand how dealing with the heavy stuff is a real challenge.

    We love watching the process. Keep ‘em coming!


  18. AnthonyBklyn July 1, 2009

    You always bring me back to the 80’s Marc, first your Spinal Tap reference now the Breakfast club, great idea for the ending of your shop.

    I have been doing some moving myself the past few days, but all with in the house. I cleared out my office/studio room which is right next to my work shop. I put the rest of my musical gear all over the house and made room for my cabinet saw which is coming tomorrow!! So now this room is going to be an office/extension of my workshop. Going to home depot today and I’m going to rent an appliance dolly and me and my brother will bring that bad boy in. Just hope it don’t rain.

    I also just ran the electric line, tapped it into the box and have a nice 30amp outlet ready to help me make some sawdust.

    How long before your shop is built? I’m interested in the footage form the build, I always love watching things built from scratch. I find it amazing how you can take a patch of concrete can turn in to a structure.

    Good Luck!!!

  19. Golden Leaf July 1, 2009

    Tons of tools
    $$$ thousands of dollars

    2 man crew to move it all

    Classic butt crack caught on film.

  20. Bill Akins July 1, 2009

    A single tear rolls down my cheek. I will definitely miss the old shop but am excited to see your new one. Looking forward to having you back on daily live cam. Great job with the video.

  21. Dan July 1, 2009

    Anyway you deal with it, moving is a misery.

    Glad to see you haven’t lost your senses of humor.

  22. Good luck on the new shop, I’m sure it will be awesome!

  23. Eric Madsen July 2, 2009

    How timely this subject is… I’m moving my huge shop from Kansas City to who knows where Portland Oregon this summer. -We still haven’t found a house. I’m sure to be downsizing and the whole thing makes me a bit nervous. Glad I can follow your progress before having to go through it for the first time myself.

  24. Jim M July 2, 2009

    Hey Mark, nice video. Good luck with the new shop.

    Will you make videos as it is built or will you show after it is done.

      thewoodwhisperer July 2, 2009

      As it stands now, the plan is to document the entire process, releasing some content on the site/blog. But ultimately, if we can stay organized, this could turn into a Book and DVD combo. The Schwarz gave me that idea and I think its a very good one.

  25. GaaMan July 2, 2009

    Hi Marc,
    Cracking video as always.
    One thing, when I heard Simple Minds, I was waiting to join in for the chorus and then No Chorus, ahh now Marc, that’s just teasing.

    Best of luck to you both in the new house.

  26. Steve July 2, 2009

    Unfortunate timing!! Moving in Phoenix in June and July!!!
    Looking forward to seeing how you plan your new shop.
    Wishing you and Nicole the best in your new home!

  27. Hey Marc,

    That hydraulic trailer that those moving guys had was slick. I’ve never seen something like that before.

    Once you’ve got it all emptied out, the old shop looks absolutely enourmous. I’m very curious to see what you put together for the new place. You don’t say, but I’m assuming that the new shop is going to be on the same property as the new house?

    Oh yeah, and those closing scenes were funny… but man you live in a dusty desolate place. I know, I know, it’s a desert, duh, what do I expect?


  28. Gary Bell July 2, 2009

    I noticed you left your little basketball goal on the inside of the garage door.

  29. George Barry July 3, 2009

    lol…really liked the drama at the end but I was glad to see Nicole come to your rescue. Can’t wait to see the new shop. Good luck.

  30. Wayne July 3, 2009

    Nice video. The ending made me LOL.

    Mark, your video editing skills(or maybe Nicole’s) have progressed quite well over the years.

      thewoodwhisperer July 3, 2009

      If you can believe it, video editing is one of my favorite parts about what I do. Its an incredibly creative process and its a nice break from the sweat and sawdust sometimes.

  31. Mike July 3, 2009

    Looking forward to seeing how you situate all the tools in the new shop.

    I have to ask, though; why did you move to a new house without having a shop in place before the move? Personally, I couldn’t be without shop space for more than a week or so.

    Good luck.

      thewoodwhisperer July 3, 2009

      Hey Mike. Not sure how else I could have done it. Doing anything else would have required buying property and building a new shop, all while maintaining our existing house. My pockets definitely aren’t deep enough for that, lol.

  32. arturo alvarez July 3, 2009

    good for you man i expect a cool and new shop and more videos and more wood thing i wish you the bests ,

    buena suerte en tu nueva casa

    good luck

  33. MikeG July 4, 2009

    Hi Marc,
    it’s been a great pleasure to walk with you over the past several month, and i cannot tell it often enaugh, how much i learned about wood working and improved my skills.
    Hopefully all of your moving and re-building plans turn out to be successfull.
    I wish you all the best for Nicole and you for the start in the new area with your new house and shop.
    Hope to see and hear soon from you again.
    kind regards, Mike

  34. Marc,

    I’m almost affraid to ask why you are moving, You mentioned in the Video a New Shop.

    Are you moving into a new house for Good? Creating a Bigger and Better Shop for your Podcast and the likes?

    I’ve not been around for sometime so I’m left out in the wind here lol. Are you expanding more and more for your shop and all?


      thewoodwhisperer July 5, 2009

      Moving for good. Smaller and better shop. Moving for personal reasons.

      • Marc,

        Ah ok, I just wondered basically if there was still gonna be a Woodwhisperer and Podcast and stuff, I would hate to see all of your work and all just pack up and leave.

        I hope that your move and your new Shop is a Very successful one, Hope it’s not much smaller then your old shop, the room is nice, that would’ve been a prefect shop for me and my Chair lol.


  35. Jim July 5, 2009


    Very interesting.

    I did the same thing about five years ago. I moved from Michigan to Tennessee so I packed things a little more “permanent”.

    I used totes also but I put an inventory list on top of each one so I knew what was in it and didn’t have to to a search and find mission each time I needed some thing in the new house.

    It’s five years later and some of those inventory lists are still coming in handy.

    Looking forward to new vids in a new shop.


      thewoodwhisperer July 5, 2009

      Dang it! I didn’t think of inventory lists. I am already regretting NOT doing that. lol

  36. Wesly July 5, 2009

    I noticed that when they moved the jointer, they picked it up by the infeed and outfeed tables. I have heard that is a bad idea; that doing so could misalign the tables. I assume you will be tuning everything once it gets into the new shop.
    What do you think of the damage possibilities?


      thewoodwhisperer July 5, 2009

      I dont really think there is much potential for damage just by giving a quick lift on the beds. I wouldnt do it for any significant amt of time though. And i definitely expect to recalibrate everything when the time comes.

  37. Ken F July 5, 2009

    Marc & Nicole
    Good luck
    What ever the circumstances are, smart move and smart to scale the shop to a more user friendly size, Take it from me you can have a shop that is too large for one to up-keep. Take your time and do lots of planning.

    Hey that was not tears in my eyes.

  38. Ross July 6, 2009

    Hi Marc,

    I noted in the video you said you still have access to all your Festool goodies. Seeing as how you will be without the “big iron” for a while, how about an experiment & some posts on running a “Festool Only Shop”?

    I am only now starting to get serious about seeting up the workshop & don’t yet have any large stationary machines, so have been wondering how realistic it is to completely replace the need for a table saw with the Festool System. I have heard from some folk who think it is possible to do this without sacrificing too much by way of convenience, accuracy, functionality and speed. MFT for cross-cuts $ short rips, saw guide for long rips & guided router rather than dado blades. The guided saw or router would replace a jointer for edges. It should also be way safer.

    I’m still thinking that a planer/jointer(or planer with sled), a bandsaw & a drill press would be difficult to do without in the longer term.

    Anyway, it would be real interesting to see the feedback on a Festool style of shop from someone who has been used to having top notch large machines available. What do you think?


      thewoodwhisperer July 6, 2009

      Hey Ross. Neat idea. Although I was probably going to go in a slightly different direction. I was going to try a minimalist shop using only the basics: router, jigsaw, circular saw, drill and hand tools……..

      After owning a good portion of the Festool lineup for some time now, I can give you a pretty good answer to your question. How’s a firm “it depends” sound to ya? lol.

      If you are doing a lot of casework, primarily working with sheet goods, you can go green and black and never go back. But if you use a lot of solid wood in your work, you might find yourself missing the tablesaw, jointer and planer. The bandsaw and drill press are nice to have, but I do think the Festool jigsaw and drills would substitute very nicely.

      The need for the jointer and planer are pretty obvious when it comes to solid wood. If you want to mill your own stock, they are pretty important. The tablesaw, while not so critical for milling, is vitally important when it comes to joinery. Just think of all the joinery you can cut on a tablesaw. Its one of the most versatile tools in the shop! You can use the Domino for a lot of joinery and you can cut your dados with a router. But Domino tenons only get so big and if you want to do integral tenons, you are out of luck. Dados can certainly be done with a router and a track, but I find them to be faster and easier on the tablesaw.

      So for the type of woodworking I do, I would still want a tablesaw at the center of my shop. And unless I wanted to buy pre-milled stock all the time, I would want a planer and jointer as well.

      • paul January 6, 2011

        if you had of asked me 10 years ago what was the most important stationary tool in my shop i would have said without a doubt the tablesaw and if most of my work involved sheeting goods&caswork i would still agree but about 6 years ago i purchased a 14″ bandsaw and shortly after added riser blocks to it ,it has become just as important in my shop because of its versatility since a splitter on my tablesaw means dropping a wedge in the curf beyond the blade,ripping thick stock is done on my bandsaw much safer it is very versatile for other operations such as ruffing out curved legs,dovetails,tenons,cutting circles ,cutting multiple curves the same, resawing ,making wedges,and many other operations i guess it depends on what you build the most of in your shop it has become my favourite tool that i would not want to be without

  39. Jim July 6, 2009

    I discovered a broken rear trunion bracket on my Unisaw three years after our move from FL to SC. The extension table was removed but the iron table top was moved intact, so the break was hidden. I watched over the loading and unloading but our belongings were stored in SC 30 days during the move. Most likely the saw was set down hard during the storage and the shock cracked the bracket. The saw cut true because the bolts held the crack together well. Fortunately, the rear bracket replacement was $40 vs. $290 for the front bracket! I found a great source for Unisaw parts at http://www.sawcenter.com and recently returned to buy the Delta splitter for safety (saw purchased used w/o guards).

    Thanks for your podcasts Mark — I enjoy and learn from each of them.


  40. matt July 6, 2009

    when i am moving i put styrofoam over my chisels

  41. Asa Hillsley July 7, 2009

    Hey Marc,
    this is the best Ep so far, perfect ending!
    i too am a planer in a sock man, its the only way to travel.
    i also have a bunch of my daughters old baby socks that i use for my chisel’s.
    i hope the move is going ok, and cant wait for the new shop.
    everyone in my theatre says hi to you and Nicole.
    best wishes

  42. Greg DeLong July 12, 2009

    Thanx for the documentary Marc and if i should ever feel the need to move my shop please just shoot me instead or send in the men in the white coats. I do beleive i will be staying in my small but comfortable shop. Looking forward to seeing that new shop being built. I built my own shop and if i had to do it all over again there would be many changes, but as i said it derves the purpose

  43. Andy Farrior July 12, 2009

    As a person who doesn’t have room for machinery like a table saw (I share my two car garage with two cars and the wife and kids stuff), I’m looking forward to seeing what type of jigs you come up with for your circular saw and router to serve you until your shop is complete.

    One of the things I’m having trouble with is cutting narrow strips of material with a consistent width, less than 4in, using just a circular saw and a guide. (Example: cutting my own face frame material)

  44. j July 31, 2009

    when are you going to start this new shop? I want a new shop.

  45. jack August 11, 2009

    I have some questions. did you get a new planer? i noticed that the planer in this video has cast tablesinstead of rollers in the in and outfeed positions. I am also very worried that your garage will work. are you building a new shop or not? how did you get the electricity in your garrage for the table saw?

      thewoodwhisperer August 11, 2009

      Hey Jack. That is indeed a new planer. Its a 15″ model instead of the big 20″ unit I used to have.

      I am building a new shop but not until the old house sells. For now the 3 car garage will work just fine.

      Electricity is going to be run from a sub-panel to the saw.

      • jack August 15, 2009

        how much did you sell that planer for? I want to get an idea of how much a used one would cost.

          thewoodwhisperer August 15, 2009

          Honestly I don’t recall. I always sell my stuff locally to friends at a deep discount. So I don’t think that would be a good judge of what a comparable unit would cost in today’s market. I would monitor Craigslist in your area to get a better idea. In general, these bigger machines hold their value very well.

  46. JMAN August 30, 2009

    Hey Marc,

    I’ve been out in Afghanistan for the last six months so I haven’t been able to get much of the show in. I just now got to watch this episode and loved it.

  47. jack September 26, 2009

    your garage doors at the old hose are slick.

  48. Sam October 4, 2009


    Congrats on the move (even if it wasn’t under the best circumstances). I for one am excited about you going with a minimalist-style work flow for a bit. It will be a great inspiration and instruction tool for us Single-Garager’s out there to see what all can be done with a small space, few tools, and know-how.

    Can’t wait to see what you give us next!


    I got a kick out of the ‘knocked up shop’ joke, and was waiting for ‘censoring bars’ to pop up on the video… ;)


  49. Mark Williams October 18, 2009

    Smoke up Johnny…..

    Great video, I don’t have much of a shop. I have rougly 35% of a one car garage. Well maybe a little more like 50%. But in a few years I am moving to a new house and we agreed that we would get a three car garage. I will either build an outbuilding or take 2 of the bays for my first real shop. She does not know it yet but I am planning to frame, drywall and insulate the shop section. :-)

    On another topic. Marc, in NJ did you get WPIX back in the day? Do remember the edited version of the Breakfast Club? Flip you, NO Flip you…it was amusing, I appreciated the BC reference!

  50. Frank Kovach December 6, 2009


    I’m NOT going to ask you why you moved. I’m sure you’ll tell me when you invite me out to ask me which tool I want you to give to me for a Christmas present LOL. Anyway, I have a [stupid] question. You’re always referring to “blue tape.” I’m kind of OCD about certain inane details, but is this “blue tape” you are always using simply the blue masking tape stuff for painting and other such applications? Would regular old masking tape also work as well? I enjoyed the moving episode. It’s weird catching up with old podcasts and sometimes catching a glimpse of videos in an unfamiliar shop or seeing comments by people and I don’t understand the context. A lot of things just started making sense for me.

      thewoodwhisperer December 7, 2009

      Yeah its just regular old blue tape from Home Depot. Brand doesn’t matter much. Now regular masking tape will work, but it tends to be stickier, which makes it harder to get off of your projects.

  51. Dude, you are AWESOME!!!!! I just found out about your site, and I am hooked. I love the Breakfast Club reference too. Great movie!!!!

    I have learned so much about setting up my tools from your videos.

    I felt your sadness when you left your old shop. I eagerly await the completion of your new shop as well.



  52. Stanley Denning January 21, 2010

    I feel your pain. I just moved out of my shop. All of my stuff is in a friends garage. It’s the economy these days. I was laid off from my job, and as I was renting, I am forced to live with ‘said friend’ for a wile. Upsets me that I had just finished putting the last details into my shop. (Everything in it’s place, shelves built, equipment set up).
    At least you have something to look forward to. As for me, I don’t know what is around the corner. Hopefully, a bigger & better shop. Who knows. Stan.

  53. Rob December 8, 2010

    (We’re closing on this house and are moving scant seven days from now, so I’m reviewing things in this vid.)

    What did you do with your collection of lumber? Any sort of rule that you developed for culling smaller, useless pieces for the burn pile? (OK, that’s probably a good rule to have even if you aren’t moving.) Did you wrap or package exotic boards in any way to avoid having surfaced edges or faces dinged up?

    Thanks for all the good advice and I hope you see (or have already seen) some movement on the old house.


      Hey Rob. The lumber was all carted over to the new house without much regard for its condition. It was one of the last things to go and frankly, at that point, we could have tied a rope to the bundle and dragged it behind the truck, lol. I’m exaggerating, of course. But I basically used my truck and a friend’s trailer to get all the boards over. Most of my stuff is NOT pre-surface so edges, dings and scratches weren’t a problem. As for smaller pieces, I am fortunately to have a number of friends that either scroll or turn. So much of my smaller stuff goes there. I also like to BBQ, so my domestics go into my BBQ box. So what’s left would be small, medium, and large boards, with a small assortment of cut-offs. All in all, not too bad to handle.

      When I got to the new house, I set them in the back yard with a tarp wrapped around them until I could find reasonable storage in the new garage. And some stayed outside a little longer than they should have. That’s life I guess.

      Unfortunately, no movement of the old house as of yet.

      Good luck with your move!

  54. Bobbie January 20, 2011

    I am about move into a new shop space. The demand for my cabinets and furniture has grown.

    Do you have any tips for moving the heavy shop tools like the table saw, jointer, drum sander, etc.

    I am thinking that the best approach is to disassemble the machines until the parts are movable with safety.

    When you moved your gear was your approach similar to what I am planning?

    Thanks in advance for your time to share any tips.



      Hey Bobbie. I don’t mean this to sound smart, but you did watch the video, right? It pretty much shows my approach and explains my thoughts on the entire process. About 7:30 in I discuss and show the power tool move.

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