Author Topic: Cars for woodworkers  (Read 12955 times)

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Offline Packard

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Cars for woodworkers
« on: November 05, 2021, 11:11 AM »
I could not figure out where to place this thread.  Is a car an "other tool"?  Maybe.

What cars have you had that were good/bad for woodworkers?  My guess is that this is going to revolve around cargo space.

I had a 2018 Honda CRV.  Useless for carrying lumber with less than 60" in cargo space with the seat folded down. And Less than 48" in width.  I kept the car for about 4 months (about 8,000 miles) and traded it in. 

I currently have a Chrysler Pacifica (2019, 89,000 miles).  It is advertized to carry a 4' x 8' sheet with the stow and go seats folded down.  In reality it can accommodate a full sheet of MDF (47" x 97") but it is a tight squeeze. 

Good ride, comfortable seats.  Too expensive.  Some electronic glitches (more nuisance than problem).  I will probably buy it again.

Any good rides out there?  Let us know.

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Offline ChuckS

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2021, 11:48 AM »
Before I sold my Honda Pilot a few months before the pandemic started, it had served me well for hauling rough lumber (8 - 9 feet long) and sheet goods. But I never tried any 4x8 sheet, which I always get it broken down smaller (4x4 or 3x8, etc.) at the lumber yard first. These days, most stores do the cuts for free.

Now, I still have another full-size SUV, just a little smaller than the Pilot. It works well for my lumber needs, as I use ply or MDF mostly for jigs or shop builds, which don't require anything close to even half a sheet size.

For 1/8" ply, it's thin and flexible so my SUV can take the whole sheet.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 11:51 AM by ChuckS »

Offline Alex

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2021, 01:19 PM »
When I was 3 months in Germany for a job I had an Audi A3 sportback and it was great for moving any kind of materials. I could move standard size lumber of 2,70 meter (9 feet).

Now I have an Audi Q3 SUV at my disposale for work, and while the car itself is quite a bit bigger it can not transport as much because the seats don't fold very well.

But if you need to move sheet material you'll need a van ofcourse.

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1504
Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2021, 01:30 PM »
I'm pleasantly surprised that my 2006 Nissan Maxima can haul 10' long 2x4s between the front seats with the trunk closed, just not very many of them.

I drove a Transit Connect as an occasional shop truck at my old job and I think the front passenger seat folded down, which made hauling longer, wider items a lot easier.  No way it would have gotten sheet goods in it very easily.

I miss my parents' old Ford Aerostar Extended.  The seats weighed a ton and were cumbersome to take out, but it held 4x8 sheets between the wheels without any problems.

Offline Packard

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2021, 01:43 PM »
A note about the Chrysler Pacifica. The “stow & go” seats are not available with the hybrid or the 7 seat version, only on the 8 seat version. So, no seats to remove to transport sheet goods.

With a roller stand behind the car and the sawhorses set up, I can transfer the sheet goods by myself.

Offline Peter Kelly

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2021, 03:15 PM »


Easily accommodates several 4x8 sheets with the tailgate up.

Offline ChuckS

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2021, 03:24 PM »


Snip.  with the tailgate up.

That's cheating. [tongue]

Offline live4ever

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2021, 03:34 PM »
I use a '14 Honda Pilot - the older generation "box" style rather than the newer curvy one.  It has >48" between the wheel wells.  Unfortunately, it's not possible to do more than about 76-80" in length of a 48" wide sheet without figuring out a way to tie the tailgate open (which I haven't done).  Still, it's been awesome for plywood (usually have the store cross-cut into rough dimension), foam insulation, drywall (small amounts - obviously full sheets would just have delivered).

I'm also able to fit 10' lumber and pipe with the tailgate closed.

Another nice feature is the window hatch in the tailgate - great for grabbing tools without opening the entire liftgate.
Current systainer to productivity ratio:  very high

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2021, 04:23 PM »
2000 Excursion 7.3 PSD w/400K on it.

Pretty much handles whatever I need.

Tom

Edited to correct image orientation
« Last Edit: November 06, 2021, 10:19 PM by tjbnwi »

Offline Bob D.

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2021, 04:26 PM »
Ah, the station wagon. An El Camino with a built in bed cap and four doors. :-)

Done in by the SUV. Chrysler tried to bring the wagon back with the Dodge Magnum,
didn't really catch on though which I thought was unfortunate.
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Offline Bob D.

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2021, 04:28 PM »
2000 Excursion 7.3 PSD w/400K on it.

Pretty much handles whatever I need.

Tom

Seems it's designed for the Southern Hemisphere.  [smile]
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2021, 04:33 PM »
2000 Excursion 7.3 PSD w/400K on it.

Pretty much handles whatever I need.

Tom

Seems it's designed for the Southern Hemisphere.  [smile]

Very sticky tires. [big grin]

(Happens when I post from the iPad. I’ll fix it when I get to a computer.)

Tom

Offline Packard

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2021, 04:33 PM »


Snip.  with the tailgate up.

That's cheating. [tongue]

I have a more modern car and the electronics will not allow me to open the tailgate unless in park and will not allow me to engage the transmission unless the tailgate is closed. So this car will carry longer pieces than my newer one.  (There is a place for cheating.)

Offline cpw

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2021, 04:38 PM »
I had a 2011 Pilot.  Sheet goods would go on the roof rack, and 2-3 sheets is just around the 200 lb limit.  Lumber stuff would go through the tailgate glass and rest on the seats.  I now have a 2021 pilot and the glass does not open anymore, which makes it strictly worse for utility than the boxier version.

I have an extended cab F-150 with a 6.5' bed.  Very easy to get ~15 sheets of plywood or drywall in it - as a DIYer I haven't needed more.  With the gate down, you have a full 8' supported.  For longer trim and lumber, I have a backrack cab guard and a goal post tailgate extender that will let me get 16'+ easily extended over the cab, bed and a foot out.  The same extender can be put horizontally for longer than 8' sheets of drywall.

The extended cab isn't super comfortable in the back for 2 teenagers and a 100lb dog, but it works in a pinch and I use the medium bed for stuff more than the backseat of cab for people.

Offline mrFinpgh

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2021, 05:37 PM »
I have an '03 Toyota Highlander.  Useful for moving lumber up to about 9' long if you fold down the passenger seat. Cannot fit a full sheet though.

At this point, my approach is to use it for trips to the lumberyard and if I go to the home center I can get sheet materials roughly cut (if I'm buying from the home center, it tends to be one sheet and usually it's an ad-hoc project).

For larger hauls (200bf of lumber, 15-20 sheets of particleboard) I just rent a van for a few hours. For the relatively low frequency of times that I need it, it's much more economical than owning a large vehicle.

Offline MikeGE

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2021, 05:51 PM »
I bought my 2018 (2019 model year) Ford Ranger Wildtrak super cab shown in my avatar specifically for hauling lumber, sheet goods, and anything else I don't want in the seat next to or behind me.  It is my daily driver and is as comfortable at Autobahn speeds as any car I've owned.  The new ranger replaced a 2003 Ford Ranger Edge that had a stiff suspension and was brutal to drive.  Although the Wildtrak is larger in every dimension than the Edge, it just fits in my garage after I got rid of my workbenches and storage shelves.  The Edge fit with the workbenches and shelves.

With the rack I built for the bed, I can easily carry 15 full sheets of 18 or 19mm plywood in the Wildtrak with the tailgate down.

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2021, 07:13 PM »
2015 Expedition EL - can haul 15-16 sheets of 48" x 96" x 3/4" plywood with ease, plus a bunch of Systainers and other tools, with 2nd and 3rd row seats folded down.   [smile]
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Offline Stan Tillinghast

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2021, 09:31 PM »
I have been trying to find out if one can carry 4x8 sheet goods in a Kia Telluride. Haven't gone to a dealer yet.
We currently have a Honda Odyssey (2006); you have to take the very heavy middle seats out to carry sheet goods, and I've decided our next large vehicle will NOT be one where the seats need to be removed for that purpose.
Für uns...ist das Beste gerade gut genug!

Offline fignewton

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2021, 07:09 AM »
Chevy Avalanche!!  I bought one new in 2002, and traded it for this one in 2005.  I don't think I'll ever get rid of it, as no other trucks have the functionality.  5' of bed with tailgate up, covered or not, and 8' with the seats and midgate (and rear window if you want) down.  I've had 12' stock under cover passing through the front seats and resting on a towel on the dash.  Plus it rides and drives great, even with the Z71 offroad package, has 4wd, Bose, heated leather, DVD in rear, etc etc.  Newer ones have center display.  I love it and they are becoming more valuable as people rediscover what they can do.
TS55, MFT3+, OF1400, C12, CT-26, LR-32 system, Domino 500, RO125, MFK 700, Carvex w/ accsy, Sys-roll,  CXS, Kapex, UG with extensions, RO90

Offline Steve1

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2021, 07:42 AM »
Clearly a minivan/SUV or pickup works best for hauling.

But if you are looking for a sedan, make sure the rear seats fold down.   That helps a great deal.   
I can put 10 foot dimensional lumber into my Q50 and close the trunk.
I am limited to 32" boards for width, but in the 5 years I have had this car, that has been enough.

A few times during the pandemic lockdowns, you had to do curb-side pickup and their panel saw was not available.    So brought by circular saw, etc to the store and ripped down 4x8 sheets in the parking lot.



Offline Pompeio

  • Posts: 86
Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2021, 07:59 AM »
 Stan:
I have a 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy which has the same dimensions as the Telluride. A 4x8 sheet of plywood does not fit so I use my F-150.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2021, 09:41 AM »
Chevy Avalanche!!  I bought one new in 2002, and traded it for this one in 2005.  I don't think I'll ever get rid of it, as no other trucks have the functionality.  5' of bed with tailgate up, covered or not, and 8' with the seats and midgate (and rear window if you want) down.  I've had 12' stock under cover passing through the front seats and resting on a towel on the dash.  Plus it rides and drives great, even with the Z71 offroad package, has 4wd, Bose, heated leather, DVD in rear, etc etc.  Newer ones have center display.  I love it and they are becoming more valuable as people rediscover what they can do.
(Attachment Link)

Man @fignewton I'm with you on this one...they haul lumber, they haul large dogs, they haul groceries and the wife and all at the same time while keeping everything dry.  [big grin]

Online afish

  • Posts: 1415
Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2021, 10:47 AM »
Chevy Avalanche!!  I bought one new in 2002, and traded it for this one in 2005.  I don't think I'll ever get rid of it, as no other trucks have the functionality.  5' of bed with tailgate up, covered or not, and 8' with the seats and midgate (and rear window if you want) down.  I've had 12' stock under cover passing through the front seats and resting on a towel on the dash.  Plus it rides and drives great, even with the Z71 offroad package, has 4wd, Bose, heated leather, DVD in rear, etc etc.  Newer ones have center display.  I love it and they are becoming more valuable as people rediscover what they can do.
(Attachment Link)

I have always liked the avalanche. 

Offline jeffinsgf

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2021, 06:45 PM »
2016 Dodge Caravan with Stow and Go. Last (or possibly next to last) year for the Caravan and mine is one without all the electronic dashboard stuff. Don't know what I'll do when it dies. And, no, the Pacifica is not the same. I don't need a light show on the dash board, nor surroundings quite as plush as the Pacifica.

Offline jimbo51

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2021, 08:03 AM »
I have a 2010 Ford Escape. With the slight flare out halfway up the hatch opening and a home made rack in the trailer hitch, I can carry 3 sheets of 3/4 inch 4x8 ft material. When not carrying sheet goods, I can haul 12 ft long lumber by having it stick out the sunroof. Sadly, time and 200,000 miles may have damaged the frame and suspension beyond economical repair. I can barely move 4x8 3/4 plywood any more by myself so maybe it is time to let the car go.

My 2020 Ford Escape is a joy to drive, but the rear hatch is so small that 4 ft wide material will not fit in even on the diagonal. I suppose cutting at the store is the only way to go for the future.
 

Offline Peter_C

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2021, 01:02 PM »
For those with cars a small 4x8' folding trailer can haul most everything you need. They store taking up a reasonable foot print. The good thing about a trailer is no weight, other than tongue weight is on the vehicle, and there is nothing getting the interior dirty. The small trailers weigh like 160#'s or something so very light. No problem towing with a Honda or Toyota for reasonable sized loads.

Suburban, like Tom's Excursion they have a 10ft bed with the ability to lay 4' wide material flat inside. A 3/4 ton allows one to rent trailers, like a concrete U-cart, wood chipper, rent an HD drop deck trailer for moving old iron, etc.

Offline Bob D.

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2021, 02:07 PM »
A small utility trailer is a good idea if you have a place to stow it. And in my state the cost is minimal, only $25 a year for registration and plate, plus no inspection and no personal property tax here so it's a low cost to move big stuff.

I wish there was a place nearby that rented drop-deck trailers. I have a 20' tilt bed but if I could find a dual axle 16 foot drop deck for sale I would buy it and sell the tilt bed. They are so much easier loading and unloading.
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Rob Z

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2021, 10:39 PM »
2014 Suburban.   I've removed the third row of seats, but I wish the second row folded down all the way flush with the level of the rear deck the way it does in my Dad's 2004 Suburban

I recently sold my last pickup, and after having a pickup for almost 35 years, I thought I would not be able to get by without a truck. I finally made a deal with myself that if I can't move whatever it is that I want in the Suburban, then I won't do the project.   That put an end to things like concrete work, landscaping, and demo. [big grin]

I should have figured this out a long time ago  [big grin].

Jeff mentioned the new vehicles and the 747 dashboards.  That's my worry, as well. I looked at my friend's new Tahoe and like the truck but good grief, the electronics are waaay more than what I want in a vehicle.

Offline Stan Tillinghast

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Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2021, 11:24 PM »
 So brought by circular saw, etc to the store and ripped down 4x8 sheets in the parking lot.

Aha!! An excuse to buy a cordless track saw!

And Pompeo—thanks for the info on the Palisade.
Für uns...ist das Beste gerade gut genug!

Re: Cars for woodworkers
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2021, 11:29 PM »
I have a Telluride.  A sheet of plywood does not fit inside.