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View Full Version : Help! Moving a big lathe...



Jonathan
12-04-2011, 07:08 PM
Basically my dad has said I can buy a lathe I've found, that weighs 650kg, if we can think of a way of getting it up the garden into the workshop. The seller says he will deliver it, so that's not a problem.

So any ideas as to how to negotiate my garden are most welcome. There's a couple of steps and a slope. There's slabs most of the way up.

I'm thinking use an engine hoist plus maybe a couple of sheets of 18mm plywood to provide a smooth surface to run it on. Hopefully the hoist, if I can find/borrow one, will be able to lift it high enough to place on top of the steps - about 2' high.

I've got until tomorrow to work something out...:eek:

Jonathan
12-04-2011, 07:54 PM
pallet truck?

Can hire them...

http://www.pallettruckrental.co.uk/


if you need a hand though give us a shout:tup:

Wow, thanks for the offer :tup: Can't wait to get it if we can think of a way...

Jonathan
12-04-2011, 08:13 PM
Update...

The man delivering it says he has got 'skates'. It looks like they need a flat surface, so I think some plywood or similar could provide that flat surface.

So the question is how thick plywood do I need to support that mass?

Robin Hewitt
12-04-2011, 09:12 PM
When I first picked up a cannon with an engine hoist I discovered that those little cast iron wheels don't actually help a vast amount in the moving department. There is a reason why pallet trucks have rolling bearings in their wheels.

OTOH, if you had a couple of scaffold poles sticking out the ends, lengthwise, you could probably lift one end at a time and walk it.

To move it with an engine hoist would probably mean rising it on blocks so you have clearance below to put the hoist legs. Lift it, swing it, put it down, move the hoist. Repeat ad infinitum.

i2i
12-04-2011, 10:55 PM
a pallet truck will give you a better rolling surface, but the hoist and legs of an engine hoist often give you more versatility. I've moved a few harrison m300's with an engine hoist, and you can drop the lathe onto the legs for good stability. Two full sheets of 18mm ply should do the trick, as you pass onto the second sheet move the first around to the front. A strip of 10mm ply under the joint will stop the sheets seperating when the wheels go over the joint.

Jonathan
12-04-2011, 11:08 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone, I'll show my dad this thread and see what he thinks.

We've got plenty of logs for the fire. I'm thinking if it came to it I could turn a few of them on the wood lathe to make rollers and do it Egyptian style!

Jonathan
13-04-2011, 12:00 AM
The next thing to consider is the floor it's mounted on. The workshop floor is thin plywood with the thicker flooring under it and 2x1 bearers under that, all on top of a 6" thick concrete bed. My Dad understandably doesn't want to cut a hole in the floor to mount it on the concrete.

Could we put the sheets of 18mm plywood used for shifting it underneath (how big, ideally not the full 8x4) to spread the load. Would that be stable enough?

i2i
13-04-2011, 12:12 AM
you'll probably have to, 650kg is a fair weight.

M250cnc
13-04-2011, 09:09 AM
I have done such a thing more than once so i am speaking from experience.

An engine hoist is a must i used one with a capability of 2 tons

A pallet truck will fail because of instability and the whole of the machine would have to be sitting on the forks and you will fail there too.

I made a dolly this would be as wide as i could get through the door way and as long as the base of the machine this was made from 2 x 4 steel tube welded fixed to this are 200mm dia castors HD around 23 each from machine mart.

To travel from the front of the house to the back, i used 2 x 4 steel U channel with welded brackets that fixed the channel to a cross member that fitted between a doorway. So you are effectively making a railway track so the thing cannot come off the rails.

They were cut to 8 foot lengths and even then it took an incredible amount of effort to get them up the rails.

Machines moved Bridgeport, J&S 540 surface grinder & Myford cylindrical grinder

The worst cast scenario is the machine falls over causing damage the worst case scenario is someone gets killed if it falls on them if you fail to take the required precautions.

One last thing, you have left it way too late to ask for advice. :eek:

Phil

BillTodd
13-04-2011, 11:15 AM
This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen :(

Lathes are very top-heavy and often the weight is biased to the front of the machine so be very careful if using rollers; if one twists under it can topple the machine.

Remove as much of the weigh from the machine as possible (e.g. tail-stock top-slide , chuck cross-slide [these usually come off quite easily] carriage handle etc. etc.)

If you're going to use a trolley, take Phil's advice make it as wide as possible (be aware that castors can swivel inwards making the actual footprint narrower and less stable) and as low as possible then strap the lathe to the trolley. Make sure no one is ever pulling on the lathe or standing on the wrong side when someone is pushing.

Last time I helped to move a heavy lathe (Churchill Cub) over a lawn , we dismantled it first into parts , the heaviest bit, the bed still weighed in at ~100kg, but we were able to move it with a sack barrow.

Above all - think before you try to move it - do things one step at a time.

[edit] Only just spotted this!

Hopefully the hoist, if I can find/borrow one, will be able to lift it high enough to place on top of the steps - about 2' high.There is no way an engine hoist will safely lift a lathe 2 feet in the air:surprised:

What make of lathe is it? because dismantling it sounds like your best option .

Jonathan
13-04-2011, 01:27 PM
Remove as much of the weigh from the machine as possible (e.g. tail-stock top-slide , chuck cross-slide [these usually come off quite easily] carriage handle etc. etc.)

I was intending to take all that off, and the apron. The headstock looks like it will come of, I've had a look at the manual. I think the bed is fixed on to the stand with 6 bolts.

Obviously I would prefer not to remove the bed from the stand, but if that's the easiest way to shift it I will do as long as it's just a matter of time to get the lathe back together and running true.


[edit] Only just spotted this!
There is no way an engine hoist will safely lift a lathe 2 feet in the air:surprised:

What make of lathe is it? because dismantling it sounds like your best option .

I've just measured the step, it's only 400mm, patio at the top and bottom.

The lathe is a Colchester student, Mk "1.5" induction hardened bed...

M250cnc
13-04-2011, 02:38 PM
I was intending to take all that off, and the apron. The headstock looks like it will come of, I've had a look at the manual. I think the bed is fixed on to the stand with 6 bolts.

Obviously I would prefer not to remove the bed from the stand, but if that's the easiest way to shift it I will do as long as it's just a matter of time to get the lathe back together and running true.

The lathes are shimmed to the bed/tray that is the last thing i would want to take off.

An alternative is to carefully turn the lathe upside down and support it on wood blocks this will have the stand in the air keeping the weight way down low.

Phil

Jonathan
13-04-2011, 02:44 PM
The lathes are shimmed to the bed/tray that is the last thing i would want to take off.

Yes, I read about that a while ago hence why I'm reluctant to do that.

If I noted where each shim went, then carefully put them back in the same place would that work or might taking the bed off twist it a little differently? I can measure it by turning a long length of bar, checking the diameter is constant and using the DTI to check it is parallel. Or is there more to it than that?

M250cnc
13-04-2011, 02:50 PM
Yes, I read about that a while ago hence why I'm reluctant to do that.

If I noted where each shim went, then carefully put them back in the same place would that work or might taking the bed off twist it a little differently? I can measure it by turning a long length of bar, checking the diameter is constant and using the DTI to check it is parallel. Or is there more to it than that?

They never go back the same no matter how careful you are. I would try to do it anyway but that way.

Phil

Jonathan
13-04-2011, 02:56 PM
They never go back the same no matter how careful you are. I would try to do it anyway but that way.

Just out of interest have you done it before?
How much difference do you think it will make to the machine, given that I've never needed to turn anything longer than 250mm and that was a one off? Can't you compensate for twist to an extent by putting metal spacers under the corners of the stand?

This is what we've got to negotiate:

3936

3935

M250cnc
13-04-2011, 03:15 PM
Jonathan your scenario is a lot harder than mine mine was a straight path, my path is more substantial than yours looks.

Taking the stand off will reduce the weight but i guess if you stripped every thing off you will only shave off 25% of the weight.

The lathes are shimmed & mounted to take out twist in the bed this is done by measuring not cutting that is why it is not to be attempted without the right equipment.

No i haven't done it on a lathe but i did on my small Taiwan mill and they are not in the same class "Junk" is how i would describe them, so no great loss.

Phil

Web Goblin
13-04-2011, 05:21 PM
Jonathan,
An engine lift will do nicely to move the lathe. I used a 2 ton lift to get my lathe into my workshop a few weeks ago. I had to cross a gravel area for around 6mts before getting to the stairs of my workshop. I used 40mm thick interlocking flooring boards at 600mm wide by 2400mm long to give a running surface. When I got to the stairs I then spanned then with 6 of 100mm x 100mm fence posts to support the weight. Then the lathe was lifted around 400mm high and placed on the posts running up the stairs. Then the lifter was moved inside the workshop and used to pull the lathe further up the ramp to get it in position for a straight lift to go to its final position. This worked very well and just required care and attention as with all lifting procedures. The thing to remember with engine lifters is that they cannot work outside their footprint.
Best of luck.

Regards

Ian

BillTodd
13-04-2011, 08:06 PM
The lathes are shimmed to the bed/tray that is the last thing i would want to take off.
I think you're worrying too much: just make sure the shims (if any) go back when them came from. Those Master beds are built like a brick outhouse they'll bend the stand before twisting ;) And, if memory serves (ask Tony at lathes.co.uk for chapter and verse), the heads were dowelled after alignment so even removing the head would not be the end of the world.

In bits, the job looks safely do-able with a low trolley, plenty of wood, and an 'A' frame hoist to get you over the steps.

Jonathan
13-04-2011, 10:25 PM
I've bought the lathe! :dance: etc

It's probably arriving on Monday, can't wait!

Thanks very much to everyone who has given me advice in this thread. I'll let you know how it goes...

Hopefuldave
15-04-2011, 03:08 AM
I moved my Holbrook (2 tons of it), with the assistance of my lad and one of his mates - little sis towed it home with her Ringe Raver on a plant trailer, then the trailer was dragged up the garden with a Tirfor-alike (which cost more to hire than the 5-ton rated trailer...).

Once *close* to where i wanted it, we laid a bed of 2x4's on bricks (to level it) and Egyptianed (technically Hebrew Slaved, but the bosses always get the credit!) it with a 5-ft crowbar, wood blocks and some steel plate (fulcrum) until we could get a few 5-ft lengths of scaffold pole under it (the Holbrook base is a mighty, flat-bottomed piece of cast-iron) to roll it off the trailer, then winched it as far as we could before it "grounded"...

To get the beached lathe off the trailer, we hooked the Tirforoid to a convenient tree and dragged the trailer out from under it... the final 1/4" drop as the ramp came out from under it was quite exciting :)

Once on the 2x4 runway, a ratched strap through the lathe base, around a 6-ft scaffold pole hooked over the *far* edge of the concrete meant I could pull it up a slight slope 4" at a time while the lads wedged the rollers, then once roughly where we wanted it, we spun it on the rollers and levered into place with the big prybar - Robert was my parent's sibling.

I didn't have to lift it up any steps, but my plan would be to lift it a step at a time, using the engine hoist if you have one or a good lever, ensuring it's kept stable (thus only a short lift at a time) and raise the platform to match the step. If it has lifting holes in the base, USE THEM and put something substantial through to make outriggers so it can't f

keith wainwright
27-12-2015, 05:28 PM
OK just done that with a Harrison m300 over a sloping lawn . First thing it WILL fall over if you are not very careful . I got mine round the back of house and bolted some very strong bits of wood through the bed held in place with strong rope. If it goes it can only go so far . Pull it on sheet metal as wood will dig in. Get people (strong not a girl) on rope either side of the lathe and use anchor points to steady it . Then pull nice and steady a bit at a time. My first go at this was about 5 years with a Colchester student and it fell over. it took a long time and a lot of effort to get it back up .Don't lift it on the lawn with an engine hoist or similar as it will sink in and the whole lot may go over Good luck .

Clive S
27-12-2015, 11:54 PM
Keith You do realise that this post is about 4 years old:wink: