30×40 Shop Part 2: Moving The Tools

We contemplated hiring a moving company to move our home and the shop but due to both home locations not having tractor trailer access we were forced to save the money and make the move ourselves, which was probably better in the long run. To move everything the plan was to use my 7×16 trailer and to rent a 20′ Uhaul box truck. We were pleasantly surprised that both the trailer gate and the box truck loading ramp were able to rest onto our front porch. That made loading up the house stuff, including all of my office, extremely easy.

All of the house stuff got moved before anything in the shop. This means the first items to go into the empty shop was all of my office. That night I temporarily setup the office.

With multiple trips we moved the entire house on a Friday, got the new house completely setup over the weekend, and the following Monday I went back to the old shop to start pulling items. This was the final state of the shop before the move. I had stuff piled everywhere due to selling my materials shed a couple weeks prior.

It ended up taking me a couple weeks to get all of the shop items moved due to limited days without rain and also working on getting the old house ready to sell. The first load of shop stuff was the workbenches, air cleaner cart, the lathe, plywood cart, and anything else that could fit around the sides of the trailer. As you will see in some of the pictures, my friend Jeremy helped a LOT with this move. There’s no way I could have done all of this on my own.

Back at the new shop unloading was MUCH easier. In the shade and on a smooth concrete floor where everything slides so much easier. At this point I didn’t have much of a plan for organizing before setting up.

After a day or two of thinking about moving all the small individual items in the shop I decided on using old 55 gallon barrels instead of boxes or totes to pack everything in. The advantage of using these is that they can hold a lot more weight without breaking boxes and they can all be moved with a 2 wheel dolly which is a lot easier on my back. Plus, these used barrels are a lot less expensive and last longer than cardboard boxes. Each of these are $5 from Rackley Oil Company in Starkville.

I did have to cut the tops off though. Before cutting into any used barrel always fill them up with water first to remove any flammable gasses that might be inside.

I tried to use my reciprocating saw to cut the tops off, because the blade I had on it chews through metal with ease, but the blade was too wide to make the turn around the barrel. So after one I switched to the jigsaw which worked way better.

And here you can see the difference between the ragged reciprocating saw cut and the clean jigsaw cut.

All the barrels still had water inside from rinsing and I had other stuff to get done that day so I set them out in the sun to bake off any moisture remaining inside. The last thing I wanted to do was put a bunch of metal tools and what not into a barrel holding water.

And that day I left the trailer at the old house and only took what I could in the back of my truck. Having all of my tools in the shop AND still being able to back in and unload out of the sun or rain is something I’m really looking forward to.

The next time back at the house rain was expected so I moved the barrels inside and ended up working on the house the entire time. I didn’t bring anything back that time as it stormed shortly after taking this picture.

The next rain free day we started moving the heavy items, starting with the jointer/planer machine. This was the heaviest of the machines I have at 880 pounds. It was also one of the easiest to load due to it’s shape. It fit perfectly between the feet of an engine crane I bought specifically to unload this machine when I got it.

To get the machines on the trailer we needed to remove the rear gate, lift the machine, back the trailer under it, and lower the machine onto the trailer.

The table saw was a little more difficult due to me wanting to lift it without removing anything. We had to find the right balance point and push it a little here and there to clear the feet but in the end we were able to lift it in one piece.

Then out of nowhere a small cloud started dropping rain on us. I had both the jointer/planer as well as the table saw exposed. I chose this day to move the tools because there was no rain forecasted but of course it had to rain on us. We quickly tarped both machines while I dried off the cast iron surfaces the best I could and covered them with oil. Luckily there was no damage to the machines. In the last rain picture you can see the majority of the sky is clear. Just one cloud decided to drop some rain and spike our blood pressure.

After that we loaded the bandsaw and CNC machine with relative ease. They were each light enough that we could push them up the ramp on their mobile base. Still heavy enough to struggle a bit but a lot less stressful than the first two machines.

And of course unloading them was a lot easier. The table saw, CNC machine, and bandsaw rolled down the ramp with no problems and we only used the engine crane for the jointer/planer. My original goal was to move everything in and get to back to work as quickly as possible but sometime around here I finally made the decision to do some renovation work to the shop before setting up. I realized the cooling efficiency wasn’t as good as I had hoped for. Ironically enough the AC died on me a few days after that. I think the compressor shorted out so my plan to switch to a mini split system just got bumped up on the priority list.

This was the starting point for the second to last day of shop moving. Stuff scattered everywhere and the miter saw station still assembled. Luckily, the majority of the work could be done with the door shut and the AC running.

All of my hand tools were the only items that were off limits for the metal barrels. I filled up the hand tool tote I made in the beginning of 2016 and the rest of the items got wrapped in paper and packed neatly in a cardboard box.

The game plan for the barrels was to cram in anything and everything that could fit. Making sure the more rigid items were on bottom of course. I’d say the idea of using barrels was a success as I could get soooo much stuff in each one. I didn’t get many more pictures that day as I mainly tried to get as much as I could packed, loaded, and unloaded before more rain came.

The final day of moving was a long one. We started with breaking down the miter saw station. All of the drawers were loaded onto the trailer and then the cabinets could be unscrewed from each other. This station was the topic of a lot of comments and questions. Was I going to take it with me? How difficult would it be to move? It’s just a bunch of basic cabinets screwed together so it’s more time consuming than it is difficult. One thing I did lose by doing this is the measuring tape on the stop block fence. It will need to be replaced because I had screws located under it.

Later that day my friend Brandon from Maddux Woodworking came by to help with taking down the LED lights and the dust collector.

While Brandon and Jeremy worked on the lights I removed all the small tool holders on the hand tool wall and removed it from the wall as well. I’m not 100% sure if I’ll put this back up in the next shop. A hand tool wall is convenient and it looks great on camera but I think I can reduce the amount of surface rust build up on the hand tools by keeping them in a cabinet or tool box of some kind. I’m still undecided on this.

Finally the three of us tackled the dust collector and piping. Not all of this system will be used in the new shop. In fact the only items I’m keeping from the dust collector are the motor, impeller, and electrical box. Everything else is going to Brandon to use in his shop. I’ll be re purposing these parts in one of ClearVue’s new EF5 metal cyclones with meal ducting.

This is where we called it quits for the day. I was hoping to get it all but we all ran out of gas. That was a long day.

To start the second “final day” of moving I pulled our refrigerator from the kitchen. The new homeowners didn’t negotiate this in the sale so it will be the first welcomed tool addition to the new shop.

The end of the two car garage shop was this pile of trash to sweep up.

It’s a little bittersweet leaving this space but I’m really excited about the future. Someone on instagram said “there’s a lot of history on that concrete” and I couldn’t agree more. I can remember so much from just looking at the floor. Also, a lot of people thought I got rid of my conduit lumber rack when I installed the dust collector in here and actually I didn’t I just moved some of it behind the miter saw station and barely anyone noticed. I put some of the conduit pieces back in place for the next owner to use as a shelf. And of course the high wall storage shelves were left in place on the back wall and above the garage door.

So that’s it for the two car garage shop chapter. And next will be continuing the start of the 30×40 shop chapter. Stay tuned as I continue the new shop series and I’ll talk to you in the next video.


  1. Pretty clever with the engine hoist idea. However, I do not envy you moving in July in Mississippi.
    As far as the new shop: are you going to epoxy the floor or just leave it plain?
    Electric upgrades? Definitely insulation in those walls and attic. And will a mini split handle that space? I know they make a 2 1/2 ton system.
    I ask the above questions cause I just did my whole garage and I hated the moving and removing back in portions but it’s a one time deal.

  2. I like the timing length of the video, 12:34, I’m know of a numbers guy. Looks like everything is moving along as smoothly as possible. I guess living in Miss. you just have to get used to the rain .

  3. Greetings…Here’s an idea for you…at the end of the attic floor, about the center of the shop, cut a 4′ x 4′ hole in the ceiling, attach a hoist to the rafters and you end up with a lift to get thing upstairs…those long steps and the length of the upstairs have to be about 50′ one way…so load a platform with all the xmas stuff etc , “lift” it upstairs once, walk up the stairs once. Seeing as this is a large enough shop, keeping a “drop space” clear would not be a big deal. You would find that you would be accessing the attic a lot more I believe, IMHO…Congrats!!!

  4. Getting ready to make my move this Friday. I hope to get a shop tour of what we have now. My lord what we gather will blow people away. I started with hardly anything, and have trailer loads to move now.

  5. Very well documented story.
    There were past storied in those layers of sawdust you posted. but I am sure those stories have been told.
    Good luck in your new location and I look forward to your future builds.

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