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  1. #1
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    So my wife just graduated from University as an engineer and was just offered a very good job in Mississauga Ontario. All is well except I have to quit my job that pays better than the one she is taking. And I have to do what many men with this much iron in their blood dread. I have to move my shop. I have innumerable projects, bits and parts, and materials but I wanted to ask you guys about the machines. I have a 13.5x40 lathe, middle of the road quality Indian made(made well for india, leagues better than chinese) A 16" whipp shaper, and a benchtop round column 1.5 hp chinese mill.

    The company (INCO) will pay all moving expenses but I'm thinking I can probably sell my stuff and get nicer stuff in southern Ontario. Being right next to the heart of US heavy industry.

  2. #2
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    Couple of things.

    First, I don't trust anybody to move my equipment but me. Ask yourself who's gonna replace the cross-screw on your Whipp if the movers bend it...or how to arrive at a suitable valuation.

    Worst case, with 4 machines, I'd spend the money and build full wooden crates for everything. Have them picked up and delivered to the new location.

    There are many middle-of-the-road approaches, using pickup trucks, trailers, etc. I don't know if there are a plethora of antique tractor collectors in Canada, but those guys are well setup to move heavy stuff on flatbed trailers, you'd just rent a forklift for each end. Often times they are making a trip for the next piece in their collection and going empty one way.

    You've probably picked up on my last point already. My advice is to keep what you have unless you are hell-bent on upgrading. I've talked to a couple different people who went the other route, sold their machines at next to nothing, then moved, and couldn't find the same stuff or things were all higher priced, had less tooling, etc there in the new location.

    While you are near the auto industry and there are likely to be more tools & machines there, consider they may be well-used.

    Don't dread, turn this into an opportunity to get a few more "tools" for moving stuff.




  3. #3
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    You might want to first check on if they will really pay "all moving expenses". They might be thinking about $20K for a household move, and you might be talking much, much more. If you haven't talked "numbers" yet, you might be in for a surprise.

    Along those same lines, if you do pay to move the shop, you will probably not want to use the household movers for that. Besides not knowing what they are doing, the rates are higher.

  4. #4
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    Like 2db1 says, read the fine print. I think that you will find that they will pay "all expenses for moving household goods up to XXXX pounds." Second cars, boats, motorcycles, and hoby equipment usually aren't covered when you're a new hire. If by chance they will pay for it, do like Matt says and crate everything yourself. Now, the mover will tell you that they won't cover the cost of damage to anything in the crate since they did not pack it. It's a "Catch 22". I moved my own equipment 8 years ago. I got a price from a broker and paid it.
    JR

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    When are you moving Erik? Got any SS scrap you want to get rid of?

    How much do you want for the shaper?

  6. #6
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    I would not let any hand tools, or cabinets obviously containing hand tools (candy apple red roll-arounds come to mind) out of my sight.

    Someone else posted about one of those loaded with fine things that had gone missing along the way, the movers knew nothing, and he had taken great pains to document everything and was fully covered.

    But watch the movers, the game is stacked in their favor, even by the paperwork they give you. I had to go into court against some furniture/residential movers, even after we had purchased and paid for full coverage insurance.

  7. #7
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    Personaly, I believe I would sell the machines. I would keep any and all tools such as Tailstock chucks, drills or anything that is generic among all machine tools. Usually I see when I or anyone buys any machine, the machine is the least of worries. After you own the machine comes the real cost. John

  8. #8
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    First I'd like to say thanks for the great advise guys, I'm new to the moving thing so I really hadnt thought about things like damage and loss. I think im going to go the sell it now buy new/better stuff later approach, I really was wanting to upgrade, especially the mill, its fine for me now but its size and round column are limiting not to mention the belt drive and lack of power feeds, ugh.

    Looks like it'll be January 1st ish, so I have 8 weeks to sell the house and stuff that wont fit into our new place, which we havent found yet.

    The company is pretty accomodating, they have said they will move tools and large stuff but im not sure if they mean massive iron. To illustrate what they will pay for besides the move, they are flying us out for a week in December to look for a place and they will freight our vehicles(2) if we want to fly instead of drive. They really want her, she was selected first out of many, many applicants for a new management training program. The other downside is that as she gets her p.eng. she will be moving alot(sheridan park mississauga, thompson MB, labrador, indonesia) So downgrading to a small semi portable lathe might be the ticket at least for the next 4 years.

    It is good for me however to get out of the union operator job rut I am in, I'm applying for apprenticeship positions, finishing my degree(s) won't be affordable, plus I like making/fixing things more.

    Evan: I've listed the shaper for 300 but im hoping to get 200(it has no motor). If you want it though you can have it for free. And while your here picking it up, I'll see what else I can load into your truck.

  9. #9
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    Oh and the expensive tooling; measuring instruments, rotary table, etc are moving with me in the car right beside my clothes, Im not trusting any movers with that, thanks for the heads up.

  10. #10
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    SOLD! [img]smile.gif[/img] How about PM'ing me your telephone number Erik.

  11. #11
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    Tryp;
    " mississauga ".
    Might be good for your wife, but....
    South Eastern Ontario, over the last few years,
    has been the hardest hit in terms of machining
    industry closures, and related job losses.
    Business has dried up here, and has all but died,
    specialy with the closure of Norcom, UTDC(Bombar-
    dier), Celanees, Alcan, and the relocation of
    production of Dupont now Invista. And with Ford
    closing up shop in January it's only going to get
    worse. The remaining clients that I have, are
    struggling to make their payments. So much so,
    that I've had to wait almost 4 months to recieve
    some form of payment. I wish you luck in your new
    endevour.
    Later on this month I'll be pulling out
    of here " Ontario ", and moving to Alberta, shop
    and all, as machine tools are more expensive there
    than in Ontario. For me it's cheaper to move them
    myself, than to have to replace them all.
    Jamie
    p.s. Last one leaving, please turn off the lights.

  12. #12
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    Just so happens that I picked up and moved my entire shop and my entire house from Brooklyn NY to San Francisco CA over the summer.

    I took a somewhat wierd approach, which might not make much sense if you've got someone who is willing to foot your bill for you (I didn't). But I got a shipping container and loaded all my stuff into it... house and shop. Then closed the door, and didn't see it again until it arrived in SF! The whole thing with drayage on both sides came to about $2500. Not bad really. Way way cheaper than uhaul.

    As far as I'm concerned, intermodal conatiner shipping is *the way to go*. Pack and load your own goods. Unpack them as well. In order to get a "freight class" I told the shipper that I was moving office furnature and machine tools. Nice low class if you are willing not to ship any liquids.

    The one hitch is that you need an address to ship too. In fact, I had my entire life loaded onto pallets, so that I could "live load" and so that I could have the container delivered to a warehouse, so my girl and I I could take out sweet time driving cross country. It was really great. I packed well, and *not a single thing* got broken along the way.

    Good luck

    B

  13. #13
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    Oh! One thing to add...

    Take all your toosl with you! Getting back to work is tough enough without having to go out and reaquire every damned piece and then get aquainted with it. Stick with the stuff you know. If you want to trade up, trade up. But don't think that you'll have an easier time finding stuff in a new place that you don't know and doesn't know you! When I moved out here, it was a couple of weeks before I could even figure out where to buy decent vegitables in the nieghborhood! Quality machine tools at a good price might take a little longer.

    B

  14. #14
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    Before you go and dump all your stuff...

    I've been through 4 complete houshold moves that took me from Vancouver Island out to Montreal, and back to Alberta.

    If you are getting a mover paid for by the company, get the moving company estimator in ASAP to do a quick cruise through your life to see if the stuff you have approaches the weight limit that the company will pay for. THEN decide what stay and what goes. A typical houshold move is based on 20K pounds. There may be some leeway. I have only seen a couple guys that had more than that.
    Try to stick to the big names, like Allied or Atlas, if you have a choice. They run owner operator trucks, with the losses for damage, etc, coming off the top of their income. They are motivated to ensure that your stuff is well treated, and arrives intact.

    The killer of furniture and stuff is when you do not have a door to door move. The unloading and reloading of your worldly goods is done when you are not there to supervise, if it goes into storage, otherwise, you will be there checking off a "bingo sheet" while the boxes are loaded, and again when they come off the truck. It is a cost and a source of headaches for them to have to unload/load/unload again, and it drives up the likelyhood that they get stuck holding the bag for yet another claim.

    Inquire about insurance for the move. Find out what is covered, and what is not, by the van line, and buy enough cover that if the truck burns down, you can get new stuff. That happened to a coworker, his (OK, the moving Co.'s) truck burned enroute. Ugly!
    Ask the van line about what is allowed on the truck and what they will not move. Typically, no oils, flammables, caustics or acids. Stuff that may damage other stuff on the load. Certain high value items they will not take, jewels and artworks of notable value, for example.

    I found that the packing of my shop was very well done, to the extent that I was awash in a sea of wrapping paper while unpacking. During my last move, they cleared out my 48 by 28 foot garage and it ALL came to my new home, including several of the best wrapped and most coddled cinder blocks you have ever seen.

    When I was being sized up for my move from Montreal to Edmonton, I was shopping for a milling machine. I did not own it, but when I mentioned it to the movers, all they wanted from me was an estimate of the weight, and 24 hours prior to loading, that I call them so they could arrange a forklift. It was easy as that.

    As to the tools being cheaper in Ontario. Can't say for sure. I sure did not see anything I'd call a bargain advertised in the Ottawa/Montreal areas while I was out there in 99-2k time frame, nor in the Toronto area when I was out that way for 3 months last year. More tools, yes, but more people to buy them, too. Saw pricing at the dealers there that was at least as optimistic as the pricing at the dealers I have visited in Calgary and Edmonton. Maybe there's bargains in the heavier than home shop tooling...?

    My lathe has travelled across Canada twice, and I have not lost a single item from my shop in 4 houshold moves. Damage that was atributed to the movers...they dropped my washing machine, going down a set of stairs, several bookcases suffered scratches and dents, one side panel on a stove was replaced, paint was scratched on the tank of my motorcycle... nothing that would cause me to lose sleep over going through the whole process again. They were exceptionally carefull with two lathes, a milling machine and a small shaper, about 5 boxes of tools and project parts.... I was very pleased with the way the move went, in fact. Total damage on the last move amounted to one broken piece of China (replaced of Ebay, $20), and two scratches on bookcases that we really did not care about. We did not bother to even file a claim. The driver actually paid us the cash for the broken china out of his wallet.

    Let the movers do what they do, load the car light, and have a great trip. Or better yet, it's winter! Ship the cars, fly in comfort, and be done with it. Saves 8 to 10 days of headaches wondering if you'll get caught in a weather trap along the way.
    Cheers
    Trevor Jones

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    I gotta add, the damage that was done by the movers there is pretty much a digest of four moves, not all at once.

    Cheers
    Trevor Jones

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    You might find this of interest....

    Good luck with the move.

    TMT

    10 Things Your Mover Won't Tell You

    1. "Your Complaints (and You'll Have Them) Will Go Nowhere Fast."
    The Council of Better Business Bureaus ranks moving and storage companies as the 17th most troublesome business out of the 327 it ranked in its 1995 survey, says Holly Cherico, the Council's director of communications. Part of the problem: The federal and state rules and regulations governing the moving industry are largely unenforced.
    Interstate movers used to be regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission, but thanks to the ICC Termination Act of 1995, they are now under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation. Movers must register with the DOT and receive an identification number, but that does not mean they are "competent" movers, says John Grimm, director of the DOT's Office of Motorcarrier Information Analysis. "The license we give them makes them licensed movers, but only in the sense of their driving record. We do not have anything to do with evaluating their record as movers."

    Because the DOT is mostly concerned with motor vehicle safety, complaints about damaged and lost goods often don't get anywhere. And the DOT does not have jurisdiction over local movers. In most states they are licensed by the state department of transportation, but some local movers are completely unregulated.

    If a dispute arises, you may want to take the problem to a third party, advises Charles I. Underhill, senior vice president of alternative dispute resolutions at the Council of Better Business Bureaus. All movers are required, as part of the ICC termination legislation, to offer third party arbitration to consumers who claim lost or damaged goods valued at up to $1,000. Unfortunately, the offer does not extend to estimate fraud, in which a moving company knowingly gives you a bad cost estimate.

    Your local Better Business Bureau likely keeps track of complaints against movers. There is a national BBB Web site that lists numbers. Luckily for residents of New York and Boston, however, those cities offer local BBB Web sites that list reliability and complaint reports about local moving companies. Cherico expects all 137 U.S. bureaus to have Web sites with local company information by the end of 1997.

    2. "My Insurance Coverage Is Woefully Inadequate..."
    Broken, lost or stolen possessions are the biggest complaints against moving companies. It's no wonder, with all that jostling, packing and unpacking. But interstate movers are liable for only 60 cents per pound; some local movers pay even less. Not surprisingly, movers often offer extra insurance for an extra price. There is Full Replacement Value, where you receive the amount you originally paid for the item, says Jerry DeSanto, director of information and investigations for the New York City Better Business Bureau. And there's also Assessed Value, a less expensive insurance option where customers and movers decide on the value of the items before the move takes place.

    If you decide to buy insurance from the movers, be sure you know what you're getting. When Bruce and Nancy Sanderson moved the 26 miles from Rockland County to White Plains, N.Y., they agreed to pay Nice Movers an extra $80 for insurance. The salesman told the couple to pay the driver when he showed up -- but the driver wouldn't take the money.

    That's when the trouble began. The driver accidentally released the hand-brake and the truck rolled into the Sandersons' deck and living room, smashing the furniture that was already loaded. Using a 30 cents-per-pound formula, Nice Movers offered to pay only $240 for what the Sandersons estimate is about $3,000 worth of damage. The Sandersons have sued, arguing that they tried to buy the extra insurance and couldn't. Nice Movers declines to comment.

    3. "...And I Probably Won't Pay Your Claim Anyway."
    There are lots of ways movers can sneak out of paying for the damage that they do. They'll insist that the objects were damaged before the move, for example. Or they will simply sit on insurance claims for months, hoping you'll run out of patience, warns Loretta Worters of the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group.

    In addition, most movers won't insure anything you pack yourself. In order to insure your belongings, you're forced to hire the moving company to pack for you, which can easily double your moving bill. So people trying to save money usually pack themselves and forego the insurance. If you choose this route, make sure the mover is liable for lost or stolen goods. Also check with the company that wrote your homeowners policy. Many of these policies include "in transit" coverage that will reimburse you for lost or stolen goods, explains Worters. In addition, you can often add coverage for breakage and other moving damage for less than a moving company will charge you.

    4. "My Estimate? Maybe It's In the Ballpark."
    Before Interstate trucking was deregulated in 1980, most moving companies charged the same basic rates. Now prices are all over the place. Estimates for moving the contents of a three-room home from New York to Albuquerque, for instance, run anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000. "You need at least three estimates to get an accurate idea of what movers are charging," says Jose Gonzalez, a Hollywood, Fla., assistant attorney general who investigates moving complaints.

    Whatever you do, beware the lowest bidder. Some movers lowball the bid to get your business, then demand more money on your new doorstep. Common ploys: claiming that "unloading" fees weren't included in the estimate, or insisting that you had more possessions hidden away in the garage, adding to the total weight of the move. A New York State Senate Investigations Committee found that while unregistered movers offer hourly rates as low as one-fifth of the rates charged by licensed movers, they routinely pad the bill by working slowly and adding hidden costs.

    Interstate movers use two kinds of estimates. Binding estimates, for which many companies charge a fee, ensure that you'll pay no more than the estimate. General estimates, on the other hand, allow a mover to charge up to 10% more. These are a good idea only if you plan to sell or leave behind many large items and expect the total weight of your move to decrease. Never accept an estimate over the telephone -- a practice that in some states is illegal. It's impossible for a mover to get an accurate idea of how much he'll be hauling without looking at your goods -- and you have no written proof to back you up if your mover tries to charge you more. "Always, always, get it in writing," warns Jerry DeSanto of the New York City Better Business Bureau.

    5. "I'll Probably Be Late and Good Luck Finding Me."
    When you sign your moving agreement, you and the company will no doubt set a specific day for your movers to pick up your possessions and a specific day for them to arrive at your new destination. The first part usually goes smoothly. But getting to your new home on time is another story.

    Sure, sometimes the delay is legitimate. Movers are plagued with the same problems that can cause a delay for any cross-country traveler, such as bad weather and snarled traffic. But there are other holdups as well. With most long-distance moves, you're sharing truck space with at least one other family. For all you know, that delivery could be in a city 500 miles out of the way. If your stuff is loaded into the truck first, you simply have to wait.

    Movers are only obligated to telephone or telegram customers with a new delivery time. Unfortunately, you have no choice but to frantically rearrange your schedule around the mover's. If you don't, it's perfectly legal for the mover to sock you with extra storage costs.

    About all you can do to avoid scheduling surprises is to ask the driver exactly how many loads he has, where he's going and, perhaps most important, where you are in the truck. Drivers will almost always have a better handle on arrival times than the agent that signs you up for the move. Once you have this information, you can at least try to plan accordingly.

    6. "I've Got Leverage. Go Ahead, Dare Me to Use It."
    If you get into a money dispute with your mover, he's got the upper hand -- since he's got your possessions. When Charles E. Hodge contracted the A Aachen Aalborg moving company for a local move in Pompano Beach, Fla., the written estimate was $560. But when the move was finally finished, the company claimed the job took much longer than anticipated and charged Hodge $1,353. Hodge balked. So the movers advised him (using "some of the worst language I've ever heard,") that his stuff would sit in storage and he would not get anything back until he paid $1,600 plus the cost of storage. Hodge had to take the company to court to get his belongings back.

    Movers have been known to go even further. A few years ago, the New York City Better Business Bureau investigated a case where a woman had a terrible fright. When the movers arrived at the woman's new house they told her they wouldn't take her belongings off the truck unless she paid double the estimated cost of the move. Her response: "Fine, I'll unload the stuff myself." But when she jumped into the truck the movers locked her in. She wasn't released until neighbors, hearing her pounding on the inside of the truck, called the police.

    7. "I'll Try to Extort an Outrageous Tip."
    Even if your moving company doesn't try to pad the bill, you still may not be off the hook. The movers themselves may try any number of ways to get you to hand over your cash. Their tactics may be subtle -- pointed comments about the stifling heat or how heavy your stuff is -- or they may resort to outright threats. One couple who asked that their name not be used gave their three movers a $50 tip. They demanded $50 each or they'd break the stereo. In the end, the couple coughed up the extra gratuity.

    One way to head off this problem is to ask the moving company beforehand what its movers typically make in tips. If they hit you up for more on moving day, deflect the blame onto the home office. And if that doesn't work, by all means call the moving company and complain. Since the money is going in the employees' pockets, not the owner's, firms are often quick to crack down on this practice.

    8. "My Company Doesn't Exist."
    Across the country federal and state regulators have noticed a rash of Yellow Pages and newspaper ads for illegitimate moving companies. Owners of these fly-by-night firms have never seen the inside of a moving van. Still, they'll come to your house, give you an estimate, then ask for a sizable deposit. Come moving day, they've disappeared with dozens of deposits like yours. These phantom companies usually specialize in local moves, for which people are more likely to sign up with an unknown name.

    To avoid this scam, never agree to pay a deposit. It's also a good idea to check with your state transportation department to make sure the mover is licensed (although that won't guarantee it's a reputable firm). Or check with your local state attorney general's office. In addition, the Better Business Bureaus in most cities keep careful track of moving companies. If your local office hasn't heard of the company you're thinking about hiring, that should raise a red flag.

    9. "I Charge a Lot Less For 'Off Peak' Moves."
    Summer when the weather is cooperative and kids are out of school, is the busiest and most expensive time for movers. That's why they'll often offer up to a 30% discount on moves after Labor Day. Many will also charge less for weekday pickups and deliveries, but they rarely volunteer this information. You have to ask.

    And while you're at it, negotiate a few extras. Movers often sell boxes and other supplies. But if you're willing to pack with used cartons, many companies will throw those in for free. That can save you a couple hundred dollars. Ask for free packing tape as well. A typical move for a five-room house runs through 10 to 15 rolls of the stuff. At $5 a roll and up, that can add up fast.

    10. "I Often Hire Illegal Temporary Workers."
    Moving is a migrant business in more ways than one. Moving companies often don't have enough staff to handle peak times, such as summer weekends. So they take on extra hands for specific jobs, often paying them off the books and far less than a staffer would make. This is especially true for local movers. Too often, these workers are inexperienced, says Jerry DeSanto of the Better Business Bureau in New York City. DeSanto says the bulk of complaints about extorting tips and damaged goods that come in to the bureau stem from illegal workers. Ask your mover who will be packing and unpacking you, and whether they're on staff full time.

  17. #17
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    I moved from Chicago to Southern Ontario, to Illinois, to California, to Green Bay.
    I have so many points to add, but I would never let a mover pack my tools again. the first time was a nightmare.
    First, you are moving in winter. that means the tools will get cold. be sure they are oiled well.
    I asked my company, and received permission to buy lots of 1/2" plywood.
    I made 60 wooden boxes. 12x6x24 and 12x10x24.
    2x2's (x 11")were placed at each end,top and bottom so you not only had a hand hold, but could be nailed into.(inside box was 20" long)
    All tools were packed by me and the box weighed.
    The weight became the box number and it was written on opposing ends. do not write the contents on the box...unless you want it stolen.
    I had a computerized list of tools and box numbers. All mill parts had a spash of blue paint each end. Raw materials (Starritt stock,brass) was primer. measuring instruments were yellow (not Gold !) etc.
    Sort the colors into stacks and you will find the tools at your new place.
    They will tell you..Anything YOU pack is not insured !..say OK. (They must insure the weight!)
    The boxes break down and i have used them many times!
    Good luck.
    For the distance and machines, i would leave them in BC and get new ones in toronto.
    With Industry like Ford going down, you should have a good time finding stuff.
    You may want to contact the Toronto Model Engineers Club.. not only for having fun, but maybe a memeber can share tool outlook for you !
    I have a link for the group just south of Toronto.( my favorite North American city!)
    http://www.ghls.org/
    Rich

  18. #18
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    The nice thing about moves paid for by a large multinational company is that you can afford to use a large, well known and reputable moving company. You aren't likely to get screwed because the movers want more business from the same company in the future. INCO is a very large company and moves people around constantly. They have some sort of presence in about 40 countries. I don't expect Erik will have any trouble with the movers.

  19. #19
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    Wow, there is even more great info, trevj, T_M_T, Rich Carlstedt, many thanks. I really like the plywood boxes idea, I think I'll do that for the entire shop, modular stackable sturdy boxes. Color coded, even with cutouts for certain tools. I can see myself moving fairly often in the next 5 years so they will be worth the modest investment. And they can be used as permanent shop storage even.

    Rich Carlstedt thanks so much for the link, I look foreward to being in an area with clubs like that and a model engineers society. Hamilton is fast becoming my favorite North American city as well(mind you I'm not well traveled). I love its rich industrial history.

    The shaper will find a home with Evan in a few weeks, he should be able to rustle up a motor for it and have it running. Right now the cobbled up 600V motor I have on it is less than ideal.

  20. #20
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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    Tryp, keep the handtools and sell the machines. Machines are cheaper in Ontario in my expierience,and you are close to New york , Michigan, and other Ebay tool hotspots. Shipping is affordable from there to ontario. I have found it much cheaper to buy off ebay and pay the shipping to Alberta, than pay what the dealers ask for here.


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