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Moving to South France - Advice Needed.

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Togalosh

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Hello Gents,

It seems that I am moving to the south of France in the near future & I could do with some advice from others who live there/have moved there please.

I have my workshop to move, but it's unrealistic to think I can take it all, so I need to decide on what to take & what to sell. So;

- It seems that the prices for machinery & tools are considerably higher there than the UK, is that generally true or have I not seen the proper "magasine" /website yet ?.. is there an Axi.fr or equivalent ?

- I am thinking of upgrading some machines (PT & RAS) but Axminster's basket won't quote me on delivery until I place an order so I cannot tell if the P&P cost outweighs any saving. Would it be better to take new machines with me or buy once I am there ? I suppose there would be a returns issue if I had a problem with anything.

- Do you still mainly buy from UK companies ?

- Who did you use to move your belongings ?

- Have you any general advice with regards to moving or woodworking in France ?

As ever, any help would be greatly appreciated.
Togs
 

sunnybob

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axminster do free shipping to mainland europe provided the order is over a £150.


EDIT... thats free shipping on each item up to a 100 kg. So dont do a bulk order :roll:
 

Hlsmith

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Lorry loads from UK to mainland Europe are amazingly cheap as everyone wants a backload for materials coming into the UK
Providing you palatise everything and arrange hire of a forklift each end you may find it surprisingly cheap to have an arctic just take everything

My father lived out there and took just about everything for a complete house restoration with him including all furniture the whole kitchen domestic appliances tools mowers for the garden a 1.5 tonne digger
Shuttering ply all plumbing and electrical fittings
I think even some plasterboard as it worked out so much cheaper in the UK
 

woodbloke66

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Speak to AndyP on Woodhaven2 about the woodworking situation in 'la belle France'. From his comments on the forum in the past, it's pretty dire with nowhere near the facilities we have in the UK - Rob
 

Steliz

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I live in Hungary and there is no such thing as hobby woodworking here. Knowing that before hand, I stocked up on all sorts of tools and supplies and shipped them out with the furniture and my workshop machinery.
Like sunnybob said, Axminster have free EU delivery for orders over £150 and under 100kg but you have to buy something new whereas shipping a good quality second hand machine will be way cheaper.
 

Trainee neophyte

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I can't speak for France, but living abroad does have its issues. There are normally enterprising people who travel backwards and forwards with a van/lorry, who may give you a better service than pallet-loaded container haulage. More of a personal service. Finding them is going to be fun, but I would recommend ex-pat communities on Facebook. You should probably sign up with a few for your area anyway, just to get an angle on the bureaucratic nightmare that is living in a foreign country - Europe is based on Roman law, and does everything differently, with extra bits of paper.

For Greece, I use a mob called NOMAD, (https://nomad-international.com), and they will take anything that 2 men can lift, and they charge by volume, not weight. For cast iron kit, that may make it cheaper. I don't think they do France, but they might if you were anywhere near the German border. I would say that there are other, smaller outfits who are cheaper - man with a van sort of thing. My final thought would be to hire a van and move it yourself. Have any strapping family/friends who want a roadtrip, with beer and French Riviera holiday at the other end? It's not exactly a long way to drive :)
 

Inspector

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Shipping containers are everywhere here and they are great for moving a long distance. If you can get small ones and pack it tight, lock it up and when it arrives it is safe until you unload. After if you can keep it for storage or sell it and recoup some of your money. Worth a look into. I packed mine with the heaviest at the bottom and progressing to the lightest at the top. Boards screwed together that fit in the wall corrugations every 4' to 6' worked well to "fence" in the contents. Tilt bed truck dragged it up and another dropped it off. Semi trucked it across here from the west coast.

Pete
 

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Student

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As Sunnybob said, Axi deliver to France as does Screwfix – free delivery in 2-3 days if the order is over 70€.

My daughter lives in France and I do a lot of DIY on the house there. I don’t know anything about specialist woodworking machinery stockists in France but know that the “sheds”, Castorama/Leroy Merlin/Bricomarche/Leclerc brico etc., are much more expensive than their counterparts in the UK.
 

sunnybob

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Uk is definitely the best place to get machinery.
I have had several "care packages" from axminster to Cyprus but as Leroy merlin has just been mentioned I must admit we have one of those in Cyprus, and it is breaking the monopoly of the previous importers who were charging ridiculous prices.
I searched for a de walt 745 table saw.
UK price was about £400 to a UK address.
Cyprus main dealer price was 850 euro to the nearest shop.
Leroy is now selling then for 540 euro collect, which isnt all that far away from the UK once youve converted the price and added shipping.
 

mbartlett99

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Where exactly are you moving to? Cote D'azur is not too terrible for timber - big outfit near Antibes I think called Antibes Bois. Some good tool shops in Antibes/Monaco/Cannes . Prices are at the high end though.
 

AJB Temple

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Living in France is great quality of life. Lucky you. Have fun.
South of France is a long coastline - if you are near major expat areas, you may well get a lot of work if you want it.
If you don't speak French start learning right now - makes life a lot easier.
Toolshops are rare, Axi type place even rarer.
If I was shifting a lot of workshop gear I would hire a tail lift and pump truck and do it myself. Quick, easy, cheap, low risk of damage.
Key tools that I depend on - I would get a back up (not necessarily same quality).
Some timber supplies are ever so cheap if you can buy in quantity.
Insurance can be a minefield. Get local help with that.
 

Togalosh

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sunnybob":8lpw5ao6 said:
axminster do free shipping to mainland europe provided the order is over a £150.


EDIT... thats free shipping on each item up to a 100 kg. So dont do a bulk order :roll:
I thought I was quids in 'til I read the bottom line.. a P.T is just shy of 300kG
 

Togalosh

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Hlsmith":1b6b9m83 said:
Lorry loads from UK to mainland Europe are amazingly cheap as everyone wants a backload for materials coming into the UK
Providing you palatise everything and arrange hire of a forklift each end you may find it surprisingly cheap to have an arctic just take everything

My father lived out there and took just about everything for a complete house restoration with him including all furniture the whole kitchen domestic appliances tools mowers for the garden a 1.5 tonne digger
Shuttering ply all plumbing and electrical fittings
I think even some plasterboard as it worked out so much cheaper in the UK
That was how I had thought I'd do it (palletised) ..I guess my workbench & long boards will need 2 pallets fixed together. I couldn't do my whole house as I have nowhere to store it all before the collection.

However, a removal Co would do all the import/export paperwork for me & if the French reputation for mind numbing bureaucracy is to be believed then I'd be happy to dodge that.
 

Togalosh

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woodbloke66":349hbdfr said:
Speak to AndyP on Woodhaven2 about the woodworking situation in 'la belle France'. From his comments on the forum in the past, it's pretty dire with nowhere near the facilities we have in the UK - Rob
Thanks for the tip, I'll check it/him out..
Life is always bitter sweet.
 

Togalosh

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Trainee neophyte":kvg7ml9b said:
I can't speak for France, but living abroad does have its issues. There are normally enterprising people who travel backwards and forwards with a van/lorry, who may give you a better service than pallet-loaded container haulage. More of a personal service. Finding them is going to be fun, but I would recommend ex-pat communities on Facebook. You should probably sign up with a few for your area anyway, just to get an angle on the bureaucratic nightmare that is living in a foreign country - Europe is based on Roman law, and does everything differently, with extra bits of paper.

For Greece, I use a mob called NOMAD, (https://nomad-international.com), and they will take anything that 2 men can lift, and they charge by volume, not weight. For cast iron kit, that may make it cheaper. I don't think they do France, but they might if you were anywhere near the German border. I would say that there are other, smaller outfits who are cheaper - man with a van sort of thing. My final thought would be to hire a van and move it yourself. Have any strapping family/friends who want a roadtrip, with beer and French Riviera holiday at the other end? It's not exactly a long way to drive :)
I would much prefer to move it all myself. I moved it all in (over years ) so I can move it all out again. But I did some sums & just 1 trip in a luton van would cost +_ £1500. A removal Co quoted me £3300 (but they haven't seen my workshop !) & would do it all & the paperwork .. but they'd take 2 weeks to deliver it.
 

Togalosh

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Inspector":2b5t347k said:
Shipping containers are everywhere here and they are great for moving a long distance. If you can get small ones and pack it tight, lock it up and when it arrives it is safe until you unload. After if you can keep it for storage or sell it and recoup some of your money. Worth a look into. I packed mine with the heaviest at the bottom and progressing to the lightest at the top. Boards screwed together that fit in the wall corrugations every 4' to 6' worked well to "fence" in the contents. Tilt bed truck dragged it up and another dropped it off. Semi trucked it across here from the west coast.

Pete
So, you purchased your own container ?.. I hadn't considered that as I thought they'd be really expensive. The quote I have is for a container but they pack it while still on the truck & unpack it again. I'd much prefer your way.
 

Togalosh

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Student":qb185z7p said:
As Sunnybob said, Axi deliver to France as does Screwfix – free delivery in 2-3 days if the order is over 70€.

My daughter lives in France and I do a lot of DIY on the house there. I don’t know anything about specialist woodworking machinery stockists in France but know that the “sheds”, Castorama/Leroy Merlin/Bricomarche/Leclerc brico etc., are much more expensive than their counterparts in the UK.
I was impressed by Leroy Merlin until I saw their selection of woodwork tools & machines. I think a shopping spree is called for.. & rightly justified too.
 

Togalosh

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mbartlett99":1fdb6fw7 said:
Where exactly are you moving to? Cote D'azur is not too terrible for timber - big outfit near Antibes I think called Antibes Bois. Some good tool shops in Antibes/Monaco/Cannes . Prices are at the high end though.
Valreas ..well, just up the road. Antibes seems a long way away but there's nothing like a good road trip.

I will miss the treasure trove of good quality timber & furniture which is discarded here.
 
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