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cross country move with kiln and pug mill


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Hello! I am in the beginning stages of planning for a cross country move and I was wondering if anyone had any insight as to whether moving with a kiln and pug mill cross country would work- or if it would be wiser to sell them out here and buy back east. We will be using something like pods.com and it seems like both of these pieces of equipment (wrapped and secured well enough) are pretty sturdy...but I keep going back and forth and curious if anyone has any experience! Thank you!

Amelia 

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The pug mill is of no issue. The electric needs to be packed well-I would pad the interior and crate with wood the exterior so you can out things on top of the crate. Also strap it to crate.

No need to sell and buy again.

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with the cost and high demand for all pottery equipment, i would drive the kiln myself.   my pugmill is very strong and i would want it packed onto a solid base and not worry about it.  will you be using a professional mover?  let them have it.  and let them carry the kiln shelves packed securely with padding between them.

kilns are very delicate.  success depends on the vehicle.   a large, flat, non jerky, solid base is important.   DO NOT put a kiln into a trailer!  think shock absorbers, what do you have that can go under the sections of the kiln if it is in sections already ?    put them down flat on foam rubber with nothing inside.  their shape and weight should hold them down without moving.

if the kiln is small enough to fit inside the vehicle whole, get a huge plastic bag, the kind the fast food places use in their indoor trash cans is great.    you want to fill the bag with small, lightweight, bead like material so it will have something to jostle around if hit from the sides.   fill the bag partway and put it inside the kiln with the top still open.   finish filling the bag and fold down the top of the bag under the kiln lid.  place the kiln where it cannot move forward in case of a sudden braking, emergency stop.   with the interior stuffed as above, something sliding into the wall of the kiln should not affect it.

if this is a new idea to you, think about  huge bags of rice, dog kibble, flour, sugar, detergent, whatever.   imagine punching one of those things.  what happens is that the bulk of the bag is not affected by your hand.   and the energy is dispersed.

all this assumes you are a reasonably careful driver who keeps your eyes on the road, not a cell phone or other distractions.   

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@oldladythanks for the info! It is a skutt 1227, so honestly I probably couldn’t fit it into the back of my Subaru outback (with 2 dogs!). But perhaps I could put some parts in the back and then pad the sections very very well to put in the container . I’m assuming we will be using pods.com or some other type of portable shipping container system. My last move I used them and everything got there safely and without much movement inside. I guess there is always a gamble, but perhaps packed well enough it could be worth it? I’ll have to do some test packs to see what I can fit in my car. 

Edited by Amelia
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Get a big sheet of house insulation foam board- the pink or blue stuff- and cut it up into squares the size of the kiln. Put one ring of the kiln in the truck on two layers of foam board. Then build up layers of foam board and kiln sections- a layer of foam and another ring, then foam, ring, foam, the floor slab, foam, the lid. Wrap everything up with stretch wrap so it can't slide around. You can put the control box and stand up on top and wrap it up, too. You'll have to do this in the truck/Pod/trailer, close to where you want it, then slide it into final position once it's wrapped. Then make sure they don't stack anything on top of it, and nothing can slide into it and crush it. Movers don't get how fragile the bricks are, so you'll have to oversee the stacking and loading. Don't try to carry more than one section at a time, and make sure the body bands are tight to things don't shift around. If you have a pallet jack and can build a wooden crate on a pallet, that would be ideal, but the method above will work as long as it doesn't get crushed by things sliding around.

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I did it from the Seattle area down to Texas a few years ago both with a couple of kilns (skutt 1027 and a 9cf oval) and a pug mill was among the other stuff. I had zero damage in a rented moving truck. Neil or someone recommended getting the 4" foam insulation sheets at Lowes and cutting in half and putting one top and bottom and strapping the kilns in. Did that and packed everything else carefully and everything was just fine. I didn't put the insulation between the rings or wrap with plastic wrap but that certainly seems fine to do as well. I was careful to strap top and bottom tight but not so tight it would be crushing, just good and snug. Also made sure the pallets they were on couldn't move around and that nothing could come crashing into the kilns by roping it off really well. 

Driving myself I felt every bump and pot hole I hit and feared the worse since the oval kiln was older and the bottom already had usage cracks but all worked out fine.   No way though I would have let anyone move my studio. Maybe it would be fine but the times I have had movers they just kind of take over and it seems like it would be hard to get them to really do it right. I have had a hard time convincing trades workers that the kilns are not one piece and cannot be shoved to one side as everyone thinks its fine to sit stuff on them. Me, I wouldn't let any movers near my pottery or woodshop stuff. If you have too then I would go marks route and pack all the stuff in a wooden crate.

Edited by Stephen
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