A Storage Story

Model Engineers' Workshop|May 2020

A Storage Story
Robin King shares the lessons learned from his experience of workshop moves
Robin King

The editor’s recent mention of an impending house move and need to put his workshop into storage has reminded me of two such events that I’ve undergone in the last twenty plus years due to domestic upheavals, one involving short term storage, the other much longer term, and the lessons learned from them which may be of use to others. In short, I got it both right and wrong and realised that better planning would have avoided a lot of problems, unnecessary work, and cost.

After twenty years in one home I had a small workshop 6’ by 9’ in the back of the garage with bench, Myford ML10, bench drill and stand, Adept shaper, bandsaw, and the usual collection of castings, part built loco’s, tools, materials etc. The first move was into a three month rental property pending the permanent move locally. While the rented house’s garage could accommodate some items, I had to find somewhere else for a large proportion, solved by the kindly offer of a friend of the use of her summerhouse down the back garden. That all worked well until I had to retrieve everything and discovered that wheeling a wheelbarrow uphill through the garden, loaded with an ML10 in a crate, took a great deal of effort! The whole job took several car trips, fortunately over no great distance.

Fifteen years later I did it all again, but this time delays in house sales and purchase resulted in the intended six to eight weeks storage extending to nine years before I could set up the workshop again in it’s new home some one hundred and eighty miles away. By then the workshop had expanded to include a Boxford lathe, Arboga mill, welding and brazing equipment, and a great deal more. The container site was near my old home so there was enormous frustration in being unable to get on with any of my loco projects or even do basic household repair jobs during that time as inevitably the tool that I needed was in storage far away. Latterly I found storage near my new home which helped considerably.

The following thoughts are based on temporary storage needs related to a UK relocation; if you are considering anything further afield think about talking to a specialist relocation firm.

Plan Ahead!

Forward planning pays off. If you are relocating locally then plan on local storage, if further afield then storage close to your destination will ultimately make life a lot easier. The storage facilities and methods can vary according to the planned timescale and availability.

Bear in mind that you’ve probably invested a lot of money and time in building up a workshop, projects, materials stock etc over many years, so how much is it worth to you? If you value it then protect it. Storage can be very costly so it’s worth taking a hard look at what you have and asking yourself if it’s worth keeping, can it be turned into cash, or is it fit to skip? The less you have to store the less it will cost.

To Insure or Not?

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May 2020