Some of us still earn our livings making physical things, putting them in boxes and sending them out of the building. Professional furniture making ends not with the last coat of wax, but with shipping whatever you made out of the workshop.
We have dozens of cabinet shops in our area, and every day I see the same thing: A dozen guys loading freshly-made cabinets onto a truck for delivery. Most of them use big carts that are shared in the loading dock, and they gingerly take the cabinets off the freight elevator and loading the trucks. Of course, at the other end they have to do this in reverse.
This wasn't the way I was taught to do it. I was taught that time is money; lifting stuff is on and off a truck is work; stuff is easily damaged; and the wheel was a great invention.
If you do a lot of cabinetwork, get yourself a bunch of furniture dollies, some moving blankets and some tape. In your shop, wrap everything up in a blanket or bubble wrap, put it on dolly and roll it onto a truck. When you get there, you don't have to worry about damage. Take the dollies with you and roll the stuff off the truck.
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Your customer will appreciate the handling care, you will have less damage, you don't need dainty geniuses to delivery the stuff, and you will save oodles of time.
The reason the picture just shows a dolly and some blankets is because, frankly, I didn't feel right showing the guys downstairs navigating heavy, fragile and expensive carcases over the muddy loading docks in the street. I hope they are reading this blog. Since we don't move furniture often, the blankets are usually folded up in a pile. The dollies, on the other hand, we use all the time and we put our name on the "good one" so it won't disappear.
If you are a part-time woodworker and just build in your own shop, you might find owning a furniture dolly a great gizmo to have around for moving all sorts of stuff. Your local hardware store should have them, or at least the casters so you can build one yourself.
This "Tools & Craft" section is provided courtesy of Joel Moskowitz, founder of Tools for Working Wood, the Brooklyn-based catalog retailer of everything from hand tools to Festool; check out their online shop here. Joel also founded Gramercy Tools, the award-winning boutique manufacturer of hand tools made the old-fashioned way: Built to work and built to last.