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Darkbluesky

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#1
New machinist here, and while I've spent a lot of time searching for and purchasing my first lathe (colchester bantam) I got a reminder that lathes can be dangerous even when they are not moving.

My lathe is about 1000lbs and I went out to the sellers house with some home build dollies. The caster wheels I picked up were rated for 180 lbs and I had 4 on each end so I thought I'd be fine. Once we got it on it was apparent the wheels were a little strained because of where the weight distribution is.

It was a little squirrelly getting on the lift gate and into the moving truck , but the issue came on getting it back off. My driveway has just a slight decline to the base of my garage. As me and the mover wheeled the lathe out to the lift gate it became apparent that the slope and the top heaviness of thelathe meant this thing wanted to get moving and would be quite easy to tip over.

The short of it was the lathe lurched, almost went over the end of the lift gate and ripped one of the casters clean off. I was on the ground trying to push against this 1000lb lathe so it didn't swan dive onto my driveway (or me if I couldn't have got out of the way in time). Some careful maneuvering got it down safe but reminded me that I needed to treat the moving of this thing with more thought.

Just a story for those other new machinists who might be moving something heavier than they are used to for the first time.
 
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#2
Don't use dollies to move lathes with! Mount the lathe on a skid like two 2 x 8's the length of the lathe plus a little. And use pieces of pipe as rollers to roll the lathe around. The key to moving machinery around, keep the center of gravity as close to the ground as you can. Every time someone post them moving a lathe around on dollies, just make me cringe! Especially machinery skates!
 

gr8legs

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#3
The caster wheels I picked up were rated for 180 lbs and I had 4 on each end so I thought I'd be fine.
Oh dear - I am glad you survived, this could have been quite devastating.

Firstly, the ratings on quality casters presume equal distribution of the weight. 180 pound-rated casters are actually pretty wimpy and the cheesy imported casters rarely survive their rated load. Get good quality casters (hint: do not buy casters or dollies from Harbor Freight. They are crap.) A lathe is not equally distributed weight - the headstock is heavy and the tailstock is light so the weight balance across the casters was out the window from the get-go and the ones under the headstock probably died immediately. They also stopped swiveling under load and made the job much harder.

Liftgates are notorious for not remaining parallel to the truck bed when a load is applied. Always have whatever you're moving tied off to prevent a runaway. NEVER get under a load. Always have an exit strategy.

The key to moving machinery around, keep the center of gravity as close to the ground as you can.
True, but the difference in center-of-gravity height between 2x stock on rollers, wheeled dollies and equipment skates is negligible. Lathes (and actually, most of the machinery we use) are top heavy and a inch or two difference in height is meaningless when moving stuff.

Skids and pipe rollers are fine, heavy-duty quality dollies are fine, equipment skates are fine - just know their capabilities and GO SLOW. Inertia is NOT your friend.

Stu
 
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#4
Definitely good advice to GO SLOW and TIE OFF - I unloaded nearly 2 tons / 4400 pounds of milling machine from a trailer, on machine skates down the trailer's ramps, on my own, but it took me most of a morning - tethered with the same ratchet straps that had held it down on the road, letting out a few inches at a time on the straps one at a time and applying my favourite prybar.

Each 3 - 4 inch move, I re-checked the skates' positions, made sure all was secure before the next move. It helps to have e.g. a piece of timber between skate and machine, metal-to-metal slips a lot more easily when one surface is smooth...

onto ramps.jpg

Note TWO ratchet straps in use, one loose for after each move, one tight to release a little for the move then swap roles.
It didn't travel on the skates, it was raised just enough with a pair of trolley (floor) jacks to get the skates under it when I got home.

Getting the skates to roll on the crap tarmac was more of a problem than getting it off the trailer, I had to lay a railroad of 6x1 planks to roll it along...

Dave H. (the other one)
 
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#5
The reason I use pipe as rollers is when you loose a roller, it's closer to the ground when it hits and still within the limits of the center of gravity. Most of the time! When you loose a dolly with those high wheels, get out of the way, it's going down! In tipping over!
Your best bet is using machinery skates or home made roller skate that have a tapped hole in the top of them that allow you to screw in a stud and let it stick out of the machine base. This give you control over the skate staying place. I guess you can do the same with a homemade dolly, too. I just flat don't like them. I've witness one someone made that was supposed to hold about 10 tons of weight. It hit a place in the concrete floor and each row of rollers were busted off until the load collapsed the entire cart! Lucky, the machine bed was not lost but sure made a mess in the concrete slab. Shop owner was not happy with that!
 

benmychree

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#6
Don't use dollies to move lathes with! Mount the lathe on a skid like two 2 x 8's the length of the lathe plus a little. And use pieces of pipe as rollers to roll the lathe around. The key to moving machinery around, keep the center of gravity as close to the ground as you can. Every time someone post them moving a lathe around on dollies, just make me cringe! Especially machinery skates!
Funny thing, they sell machinery skates in sets of four, but one should only use three for most moving jobs; I was moving a Pratt & Whitney jig borer with four of them, and looked back and due to the uneven floor, one had slipped out and the machine was sitting with one corner with no support! Also, I always use pieces of plywood between the spikes on the skate and the machine base, as the skates really do not like to stay put metal against metal; for lathes, I think, as you say, skids are the way to go and pipe rollers are great; you can kick them around at an angle and steer the machine around into position. I was given a set of skates by a former customer, and I think they have their place for machinery moving as well, but I moved a lot of machinery before I got them, mostly with pipe rollers. I have moved machinery up to about 10 tons; a pair of railroad toe jacks and the skates make it a one man job if you are careful and know the job.
 

woodchucker

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#7
True, but the difference in center-of-gravity height between 2x stock on rollers, wheeled dollies and equipment skates is negligible. Lathes (and actually, most of the machinery we use) are top heavy and a inch or two difference in height is meaningless when moving stuff.
I have a wood lathe as well as my metal lathe. Every time I moved it, it would try to fall over, it did twice.
What I wound up doing is making some supports close to the top, then made a wheel system that can lift the lathe slightly, the CG is below the lift point now, so it's very stable. No more issues, the supports come off easily.
 

benmychree

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#8
A handy device I made for moving machinery is a U shaped framework, a little wider than a Bridgeport base, made of 1/2 X 6 flat bar with stub axles on each side and 6" diameter iron wheels; with the wheels mounted, the bottom of the U frame is 1/2" off the floor' it is wonderful for moving mills, you jack up the machine on one end and block it up and slip the frame under it and find the balance point so the machine is a bit heavier on the end being pushed, one person can easily move a machine with it. A stevedore bar works nicely for lifting the end initially.
 

Scruffy

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#9
Rent,beg, borrow or steal the biggest and best equip. To do the move. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable , walk away and regroup.
Thanks scruffy ron
 

Chrishigh05

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#10
A handy device I made for moving machinery is a U shaped framework, a little wider than a Bridgeport base, made of 1/2 X 6 flat bar with stub axles on each side and 6" diameter iron wheels; with the wheels mounted, the bottom of the U frame is 1/2" off the floor' it is wonderful for moving mills, you jack up the machine on one end and block it up and slip the frame under it and find the balance point so the machine is a bit heavier on the end being pushed, one person can easily move a machine with it. A stevedore bar works nicely for lifting the end initially.
Do you have any pictures of the moving device?
 

woodchucker

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#11
Ignore the fat guy in the video. But here's what I am talking about. While it won't work for a 1thousand pound machine, it works well for a 250-300lb machine that is top heavy. Adaptations for larger machines would be easy, like cast iron wheels.Because there is mass lower than the lifting point, it is much more stable than trying to lift a machine from the bottom.
 

Silverbullet

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#12
I to have moved several very big machines. A Bridgeport mill in the bed of a 3/4 ton 4x4 ,3foot off the ground. First i dug holes to back into ok now I'm about 18- 20" inches high . To very thick 12" wide boards hooked on bumper after moving tailgate then halfway down cinder blocks and boards to take any chance of breaking away. I used a chain and cumalong with a 4x4 blocked with the corner pockets. Pry bars and pipes 1" x3' .
By myself I lowered it down the ramp quite safely and easily. It can be done and safely , think it out do it right and stay away from the downside. Pipes and pry bars are your best investment. Im very glad you didn't get hurt your extremely LUCKY PLEASE DONT PRESS YOURS. Get the right equipment please . Casters aren't good for moving machines other then in the shop. You can't stop heavy rolling machines.
 

Chrishigh05

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#13
A handy device I made for moving machinery is a U shaped framework, a little wider than a Bridgeport base, made of 1/2 X 6 flat bar with stub axles on each side and 6" diameter iron wheels; with the wheels mounted, the bottom of the U frame is 1/2" off the floor' it is wonderful for moving mills, you jack up the machine on one end and block it up and slip the frame under it and find the balance point so the machine is a bit heavier on the end being pushed, one person can easily move a machine with it. A stevedore bar works nicely for lifting the end initially.
 

Chrishigh05

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#14
Do you have any pictures of it?
 

benmychree

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#15
Do you have any pictures of it?
Yes, I just took some, after searching for about 1/2 hour; where was it? right where I left it, of course, under my Hicks marine engine --- It is 29" wide inside the uprights.
 

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TomS

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#16
When I moved five years ago the moving company assured me they could move my lathe and mill safely and without damage. They showed up with equipment similar to these. They used wood blocking on each end, strapped the lifts to each end of the lathe and mill, then wheeled them into the moving van. I'm getting ready to move again in about a month and told the moving company to use these again.

30913911.jpg

987690A.jpg
 

MikeInOr

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#17
After much consideration this is how I unloaded my 1500lb lathe from my trailer. Nice and slow and controlled:
20180204_183841.jpg
 
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cg285

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#18
i might be doing it wrong but i've always used a forklift. sometimes 2
 

toploader

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#19
I used solid round stock and laminated beams on the base of my 24,000lb Niles toolworks lathe, and a 34,000lb capacity forklift. Worked great.

My Hillman rollers are always sketchy. Almost crashed my surface grinder using them. When using rollers go slow and if possible have someone watch the opposite side of the machine.
 

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brino

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#20
on the base of my 24,000lb Niles toolworks lathe
Now there's a Hobby lathe!
(it likely would not fit into my shop....not even diagonally!)
-brino
 

agfrvf

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#21
I also recomend using anchor points and heavy duty ratchet strap to use as a brake and stabilizer. If the machine is getting away from you swipe the lever and it stops or slowes depending on how far you go.. Make sure everything is rated for the working load.
 
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#22
When I moved five years ago the moving company assured me they could move my lathe and mill safely and without damage. They showed up with equipment similar to these. They used wood blocking on each end, strapped the lifts to each end of the lathe and mill, then wheeled them into the moving van. I'm getting ready to move again in about a month and told the moving company to use these again.

View attachment 258317

View attachment 258318
Where in the heck can a person can find a pair of these?

I want to rearrange my shop and this would be perfect! Since I can't get a forklift in my garage.

Wonder if they will handle 2500 lbs. easily?
 

bl00

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#24
Sunbelt rents them. If I recall correctly they are rated for 6000 lbs. I picked up 4 of these off craigslist last year. I kept one pair and the second pair was sold off to a local piano repair guy. They're advertised as furniture movers and rated a bit lighter at 4000 lbs/pair. They lifted and moved this loaded tool box with about zero effort.

DSC03294 (Small).JPG
 
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#25
It's $73 a day to rent from my local Sunbelt store or $190 week. OR buy new for about $750 off of Amazon.

Wish I could get lucky and find a used set locally for say around $300.
 

Chrishigh05

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#26
Don't use dollies to move lathes with! Mount the lathe on a skid like two 2 x 8's the length of the lathe plus a little. And use pieces of pipe as rollers to roll the lathe around. The key to moving machinery around, keep the center of gravity as close to the ground as you can. Every time someone post them moving a lathe around on dollies, just make me cringe! Especially machinery skates!
Km
Looks like Global Industrial by the watermark.
But you want to rent them. Time to call around
https://www.globalindustrial.com/p/...ebCatKey=138&presentType=4?openTab=custReview
Where can i rent these in Pittsburgh area??
 
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#27
Km

Where can i rent these in Pittsburgh area??
Hunt down your nearest Sunbelt rental. Or just about any rental center that handles tools, moving equipment, etc. Google it, that's how I found out Sunbelt has the equipment.
 

cathead

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#28
When my Monarch 14C arrived years ago, we shoveled the shop full of snow and slid the machine in on a large steel
plate affixed to the bottom of the lathe. After we got it inside the building and the snow melted, I used pipe rollers for positioning.
It hasn't moved since...:grin:
 

TomS

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#29
Where in the heck can a person can find a pair of these?

I want to rearrange my shop and this would be perfect! Since I can't get a forklift in my garage.

Wonder if they will handle 2500 lbs. easily?
Some moving companies rent them. Ask about capacity ratings.
 

hss cutter

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#30
not really the same but it can show what is possible. I worked for a drilling company that drilled to study soil conditions or environmental concerns we had a trailer mounted rig that could come off the trailer than was a skid rig. Weight was around 7-8 thousand. We would use pipe rollers to move into position. This machine was rolled into more places like this. the rollers worked very good. The worst we ever had to do was to drill down through a dam in NC. 98 foot of concrete cored on an angle but the machine was put there only on rollers.
 
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