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PSA: Lifting Lathes With Straps

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Ray C

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#1
Public Service Announcement:

In the last couple weeks, I've seen pictures here of folks lifting their lathes using a nylon lift strap. The strap was wrapped around the bed and was mashing the leadscrew and/or drive-rod. Be apprised, when doing this, the strap should not come into contact with the leadscrew or drive-rod. As the strap tightens, it can bend those component and when they are bent, they will cause the carriage to move. This in-turn will show-up in your cuts.

For medium duty lathes up to about 1440, instead of wrapping the strap around the frame, put the strap thru the frame and loop it to a suitably strong block of wood or iron bar from the bottom. If you do wrap the strap around the frame, put blocks of wood between the leadscrew and drive-rod that stick-out far enough to keep pressure off those components.

Heavy duty or lathes larger than 1440 usually have dedicated lift points.


Ray
 

benmychree

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#2
Using straps is fraught with danger in any case, they slip all too easily if put between the ways, and no matter how thoroughly you block the screw and feed rod, they can still be bent, and you get the drunken thread wobble. Also, the center of gravity is many times high, causing instability using that method. The best thing is a fork lift to avoid damage like turning the machine upside down.
I use jacks to lift the machine, usually and bolt skids to the legs and roll them on pipe rollers or use machinery skates. I have moved lathes up to 19,000 lbs.
 

TomS

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#3
Just got done moving. This is the equipment the movers used for my two milling machines and lathe. Didn't take pictures of them moving the other mill or lathe but the procedure is the same; place the forks under the machine tool, block and pad as required, tighten the strap, jack up a couple of inches, and roll it where you want it placed. Loading my mills and lathe took all of about 20 minutes.

IMG_0290.JPG

IMG_0291.JPG

IMG_0292.JPG
 

markba633csi

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#4
I recall on Lathes.UK there's a section with dozens of mfg's suggestions on lifting and rigging- lots of good ideas there
Mark
 

john.oliver35

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#5
Using straps is fraught with danger in any case, they slip all too easily if put between the ways, and no matter how thoroughly you block the screw and feed rod, they can still be bent, and you get the drunken thread wobble. Also, the center of gravity is many times high, causing instability using that method. The best thing is a fork lift to avoid damage like turning the machine upside down.
I use jacks to lift the machine, usually and bolt skids to the legs and roll them on pipe rollers or use machinery skates. I have moved lathes up to 19,000 lbs.
Thank You benmychree. I have a question though - would you use this method on a lathe like a PM1236 with a separate relatively 'light duty' sheet metal stand under each end? I am wondering if the lack of weight and rigidity in the bottom of the unit would making tipping more likely?
 

Kiwi Canuck

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#6
Ray, thanks for the reminder about this, I have seen a few of those pictures as well and wonder how it worked out.

I tried threading the strap between the rods and the bed which others have done, but didn't feel comfortable, so used the lifting method pictured in the 2nd picture below.
THIS METHOD IS NOT RECOMMENDED, unless you take precautions to prevent damage.

1525028363843.png

I removed the chuck and then moved the tail stock and compound away from the headstock until I got it to balance.

This how I ended up moving mine and it came with base cabinet attached, so it made it very stable and easy to move by myself.

1525028208388.png
 

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chips&more

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#7
I have seen many sad pictures of lathes that have tipped over and slammed the deck and broken handles and such because they are so top heavy…Dave
 

pstemari

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#8
Yeah, that's why forklifts, etc, aren't great for lathes, and even machinery skates required a great deal of care.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

epanzella

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#9
When I got my Grizzly G4003G the instructions said to wrap a rigging belt around the headstock and out thru the bed. This put the strap going right over the on/off switch. Being as I read a few reports of these switches being bad I suspected the lifting method. I used a single strap around the bed and threaded it behind the feed rods. I moved the carriage down the bed until it balanced perfectly.
DSC_0255.JPG
 

seanb

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#10
+1 I bent my feed screw when i got my lathe 9 years ago. Had to buy a new one from grizzly. Didnt have any in stock so had to order from China. Had to use lead screw for everything for 2 months
 

Janderso

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#11
I wish I had read this before I picked up my South Bend. That was an interesting experience, bent bars, cherry picker was too light, where do we strap it?
These things are heavy. Don't get me started on the Bridgeport.
Be careful guys!!
 

Silverbullet

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#12
I've always used the web between the ways myself. Common sense tells you the rods will bend , don't rush look at what your doing before and during lifts , if you have to use blocks to keep straps from getting tight on the feed rods and lead screw. Most everything I have ever moved were lifted from the base. Forklift and crane to bed of truck or trailer. From there it's pipe rollers and pry bars , Johnson bar would be super to have. They are the original machinery mover.
 

pstemari

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#13
... I used a single strap around the bed and threaded it behind the feed rods. I moved the carriage down the bed until it balanced perfectly.
View attachment 266424
The only headache with that is that if the lathe rocks, it could potentially slide through the strap and drop. Adding a couple of auxillary straps to the ends should prevent that.

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Shootymacshootface

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#14
I have had very good luck moving extremely heavy objects by pulling at the base. I just moved a 12×36 lathe by dragging it upright onto a trailer. Also I moved my 3hp knee mill by dragging it some 30 feet by the base and then backing a dump trailer up to it with the bed all the way up, then come a longing it onto a bed of tires 2 layers thick. Then lower the bed. A few blocks of wood and a bunch of rachet straps and you have a 3000lb mill laying down ready to go down the road.
 
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