Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Mill

Tmate

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I plan to install a 5" riser block on my Enco knee mill. The mill is in a corner where I can't easily get to it with my hydraulic engine hoist. I plan to fabricate the device shown below, and let the knee crank raise the head so I can install the riser. An advantage would be that I would be able to keep the head raised for whatever time it takes to do measurements, complete the riser block, and install it without having to worry about it hanging from lifting straps for a day or two.

One of the assemblies shown would be on each side of the table, sufficiently far apart to span the head. The two sides would be bolted to t-nuts in the table, and bolted together via a cradle shaped plate in the front and a flat cross piece at the rear.

I would welcome any opinions on whether this will work, or put too much strain on the knee screw. I don't anticipate having to adjust either the X or Y axes with the load in place. The lift distance appears more than adequate.
 

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Mitch Alsup

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The only problem with using the knee is that the load is not centered on the knee.
If it were me, I thing I would find some rafters and block and tackle on them
OR just use an engine hoist on the head.
 

DavidR8

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I agree with @Mitch Alsup, There'd be a pretty significant cantilevered load on the table. I would be more worried about that then hanging the head on lifting straps.
If it were me and I didn't have space for the hoist and didn't want to get into the rafters, I'd build framing on the wall to support one end of a gantry-like structure, and hoist from there.
 

Cheeseking

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The extra moment load on the table and knee shouldn’t be a problem if your just raising it up to put the riser in. The knee screw doesn’t see any of that moment load only the additional axial load of the head weight. Moment is taken up by the knee and table ways and if you’re worried about torquing on the ways you could extend the fore/aft bars out the front a way and hang extra weight from them to counterbalance but that would add even more axial load to the knee screw. For a temporary job your idea should be fine.
 

Aaron_W

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I wouldn't think the head on that mill was more than 100lbs or so, I'd probably just build a frame from 2x4s and raise the head and support it in the position that you want it in. On my Clausing the motor is easily removable, not sure if that is the case on yours, but that would remove a good bit of weight from the head.
 

Radials

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Having rebuilt the bigger brother of this mill (8x30) I can tell you that all the individual pieces of the head unit are manageable by hand. If an engine hoist wasn't available to do the job I'd just break the head down into the sub pieces, add your spacer block, then reassembly.
 

Tmate

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I decided to scrap my original idea and fabricated a frame that will straddle the mill and sit on the side edges of the stand. My come along cable will run up and over the two pulleys and attach to lifting straps around the head.

After I have installed the riser in the mill, I will widen the frame a bit, mount casters on the bottom, and use it as a mini shop crane. Unlike a lift table, which must have the load lifted onto it in the lower position, this rig will straddle the load while it is on the floor, lift it and move it to a bench or cart, straddle it, and set the load down.
 

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BGHansen

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+1 on Radials comment above. I pulled the motor from my Jet JVM 830, then lifted the head off by hand. Your idea will be a little safer. I probably used an engine hoist to put it back on after installing a 5" riser.

Bruce
 

Tmate

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+1 on Radials comment above. I pulled the motor from my Jet JVM 830, then lifted the head off by hand. Your idea will be a little safer. I probably used an engine hoist to put it back on after installing a 5" riser.

Bruce

What does your riser look like? Also, did you pull the head and then make the riser after taking measurements, or did you go by someone else's measurements?
 

BGHansen

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My riser was made from a solid steel round 6" long. I'll have to throw a pi tape around it to get the diameter. I pulled the motor, then the head. I bought the 6" long round from Alro Steel in Lansing, MI for about $60. Did the lathe work on a 12" Atlas. That involved cutting a pocket on one end and leaving a shoulder on the other. I probably brought the riser in and out of the lathe to check the fit to the head and the column.

The pockets for the bottom studs were done on my Grizzly Mill/Drill (this Jet was my first knee mill after 2 years with just the mill/drill). I think I did those side pockets using a dividing head to rotate the work. I think I measured the hole spacing on the head and transferred those to the riser. I did the work 35 years ago and don't recall exactly how I transferred the holes. The studs in the top of the riser were from a clamping kit.

I would have lifted the head back onto the riser by hand 35 years ago. Then stuck the motor back on. I don't have any good recent photos of it but can shoot more if you'd like.

Bruce


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