DuPage Woodworkers Logo

Suggestions for Disposing of a Woodworking Shop of Tools

It isn't easy to dispose of woodworking tools that were gathered over a number of years. Pricing, finding buyers, physically moving heavy equipment are among the issues that need to be dealt with. Disposing of a woodworking shop for members and others is not a function of this club, but there might be some ways we can help. We'll start with some things to think about.

One useful thing a woodworker can do to help is to write down what they would like done with their tools when they are no longer able to use them. Often that doesn't happen. That may leave you and others to decide how to dispose of a woodworking shop of tools.

You may decide to sell items. You may decide to donate items. You can hold a sale and then donate what doesn't sell.


Don't expect to get the original value of a woodworking tool when selling it. In general think in terms of 1/3 to 1/2 the original price. (We wish it were better than that.) Aim at the high end if the tool was new in the last few years and it is in good condition. Aim at the low end if the tool is five, ten, or more years old.

If you price things too high at a garage sale or estate sale you may end with a garage full of unsold tools. If you plan to reduce your prices late in the day, you will miss the opportunity to sell them to early arrivers, who are often the most eager to make purchases.

Tools don't fetch as much money as we would like partly because there are fewer people taking an interest in woodworking. As woodworkers get older and their tools go on sale there isn't a large group of young people interested in acquiring used equipment. Just the right buyer at just the right time might pay more, but the above guidelines are more likely to get the equipment sold. Even then, not everything may sell right away.

To get an idea of prices you can also check Craigslist, eBay, or the DuPage Woodworkers Classifieds page.

Finding Buyers

If you hold a sale, you may want to contact the following woodworking clubs and organizations in the DuPage area. Many of the clubs may be willing to either send an email to their members or put an item in their newsletter about an upcoming sale of woodworking tools.

You can list woodworking tools and wood for sale on the DPWW club's Classified page. There is no charge for this. There is information about how to list items for sale near the top of that page.

If you prefer to donate some or all of the tools...


A unit of DuPage Habitat for Humanity, the two ReStores in our area (Addison and Aurora) accept donations for resale. The proceeds go to support Habitat's home building and remodeling effort for needy families. For more information, call (630) 517-2080.


St. Vincent dePaul Thift Stores

You may or may not get a tax break for donations. Keep your records and check with a tax professional.

Moving Heavy Items

Some woodworking tools are very heavy. Cabinet saws, jointers, drill presses, lathes, and some other tools are very heavy. If those items are in a basement shop moving them is even more difficult. Be careful about moving those items. You don't want anybody hurt, and you don't want a heavy tool dropped on your floor on the way out of the house. If you have items too heavy for you to move there are other alternatives. Here are some options that might help. We don't endorse any company and you may find others better suited to your needs.


When you contact movers they are likely to ask you what it is you want to move, how much it weighs, where it is in the house (basement, etc.) and where it is going (garage, into a waiting pickup truck, etc.). They may ask about stairs. You may want to ask them about their insurance.

Keep in mind that some woodworking tools may be too large to fit through doorways or up a staircase. Sometimes it is necessary to temporarily remove trim around a door or a railing on a stairway.

Bolla Moving


Del's Moving & Storage

Two Men and a Truck

Moving Equipment Rental

You can rent equipment designed to help move heavy items. Have an extensive conversation with the rental company about what equipment they may have to assist you in moving heavy woodworking tools. Included in that conversation should be:

Again, we don't endorse any company and you may find others better suited to your needs.

Rental Max
Crest Hill, Downers Grove, Joliet, Lake Zurich, Orland Park, Roselle, St. Charles, Wheaton

First Place Rental
4975 State Route 71
Oswego, IL 60543

Buttrey Rental
216 West Ogden Avenue
Westmont, IL 60559

Estate Sales

You can hold an estate sale or a garage sale if you like. You can search online for advice on holding an estate sale.

See this site for generic advice on holding an estate sale.

Fred Sotcher wrote "Preparing for the Inevitable: The Wood Shop Estate Sale" for Woodworker West. You can order an electronic or a paper copy of the September-October 2019 issue through the magazine's website. There is also a copy of the article in the DuPage Woodworker's library.

There are companies that will either buy an estate or run an estate sale. Search online to find one near you.

You can also email the DuPage Woodworkers (workshopsales@dupagewoodworkers.org ) and we will send an email to our club members asking if any of them are interested in helping run a sale. Prices for that would be between you and the person you select. The club assumes no responsibility for such an arrangement.


It really helps to have pictures of the items you want to sell. If you have a smart phone you are probably all set to take pictures. If taking pictures seems like an impediment, see if you can find someone to help you. Digital cameras and smart phones take excellent pictures.

People understand that you are taking pictures of tools in a workshop, but anything you can do to help the presentation is good. Brush off the dust, remove extraneous items from the tool, and generally make it show the loving care it was given. Try to get clear pictures so that a buyer can see what the tool is and what kind of condition it is in. Take a picture from the front or a little to the side. If there is a name plate with the model number and manufacturer, take a picture of that.