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View Full Version : Machine Bases..Let's See Them!



Too_Many_Tools
03-19-2010, 11:53 AM
It appears that many times the base of a machine was designed as an afterthought with little to no storage, inadequate lifting points, no ability to level the machine. The issue of no storage is in particular a sore point with me...any machine has cutters, grinding wheels, drill bits, collets, etc. that belong with the machine and should be stored as close as possible.

And then there are all those smaller machines...drills, grinders, saws, die filers, etc....that have no base so they are simply placed on any place on a bench that happens to have clear space.

I would like to SEE what members have come up with for machine bases for their different machines, how they made them and what features (storage, lift points, leveling, etc.) they have designed into them.

Thanks

TMT

rklopp
03-19-2010, 01:29 PM
For the ultimate in small mill bases with storage, do a Google image search for Aciera F1 or F2.

Doc Nickel
03-19-2010, 03:35 PM
[cracks knuckles]

Okay, too many pics to post, and some of 'em are a bit big, plus I've already done some writeups on these, so mind the links.

First up, my Nichols horizontal mill (http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/Nichols-complete.jpg). While few photos of the machine give a good sense of scale, the machine is, in real life, surprisingly small (http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/010-01.jpg). I didn't feel like bending over all day while working on it, so I made an 8" riser base (http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/009-01.jpg) out of 8" channel iron.

I gave it beefy adjustable feet (http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/010-07.jpg) at each corner, made with modified bolts (http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/010-05.jpg) and hockey pucks (http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/010-07.jpg). And, because I'm a bit retentive, I did some bodywork (http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/012-01.jpg) and painted it (http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/012-02.jpg) to match.

The machine is much more comfortable to use at this height, and the feet let me level it and provide a very stable base.

For a more detailed writeup of a build, I have a how-it-was-done on some bench grinder stands (http://www.docsmachine.com/projects/stands/1nstand01.html) (I eventually made three this way) and then a much more involved buffer stand (http://www.docsmachine.com/projects/buffer/buff01.html), which I then swapped over to my carbide grinder when i decided to modify the buffer concept.

Under the not-yet-finished column, I have this base for my old 'camelback' drill press:

http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/weldz.jpg

As with the Nichols, the press was, in reality, rather short. This base serves multiple purposes in that it raises the whole works up about 6", provides the same levelling feet as used on the mill, and mounts a motor and jackshaft to run the once-lineshaft-driven drill.

Again, my detail-oriented retentiveness didn't let me just nail a motor to the floor next to the machine. In this case I raised the original base-mounted countershaft up off the stock base, so that the motor could be mounted beneath it, keeping everything more compact and somewhat more "factory looking".

And most recently, I've been tinkering as time permits with the new base/column/drive for my Lewis shaper:

http://docsmachine.com/fabshop/lewis-stand-08.jpg

This not only provides a stand for it (I didn't have the bench or table space for it) but I didn't like the original drive system. The Lewis came as a kit of castings, and may date back as far as the forties. The drive it had on it when I got it was functional- and somebody had even made up some nice sheetmetal belt guards- but was a hodgepodge obviously built and modified over the years. Parts had been stovebolted, others brazed, still more stick welded, and it was all just angle iron.

I liked the underdrive cabinets we see on some of the older Logan shapers, so I set out to emulate that. The original plan (http://docsmachine.com/fabshop/shaperstand04.jpg) made for a pretty large box, which once i set it together, I decided I didn't like, so it sat for a while as I regrouped.

Recently, I picked up a new MIG (I'd been limping along with a series of little 110v machines) so I attacked the old box with the plaz and MIG, taking 11" out of the depth and 4" off the height, and finally piecing in the internal drive parts.

I just test-fired the drive a few days ago, which, as an aside, immediately annoyed me as the motor made the box resonate like somebody dragging a chain across a galvanized trash can. :D

That was a comparatively simple fix with a couple of rubber isolators I salvaged from some treadmills, and I think I can make it quieter still by gluing some padding inside.

Anyway, hopefully that'll give you something to whet your interest.

Doc.

Weston Bye
03-19-2010, 04:53 PM
[cracks knuckles]


And most recently, I've been tinkering as time permits with the new base/column/drive for my Lewis shaper:

http://docsmachine.com/fabshop/lewis-stand-08.jpg

This not only provides a stand for it (I didn't have the bench or table space for it) but I didn't like the original drive system. The Lewis came as a kit of castings, and may date back as far as the forties. The drive it had on it when I got it was functional- and somebody had even made up some nice sheetmetal belt guards- but was a hodgepodge obviously built and modified over the years. Parts had been stovebolted, others brazed, still more stick welded, and it was all just angle iron.


Doc.


There, nice fab job - the way things ought to be.

wierdscience
03-19-2010, 08:51 PM
That settles it,Doc is the machine base building guru!:)

Too_Many_Tools
03-22-2010, 01:34 AM
Hmmm...two responses and over 700 views.

Thanks for the two great responses...how about some more folks?

Does everyone else have their machines sitting on the floor? ;<)

If you only look and don't contribute, the HSM website concept will not work.

TMT

Fasttrack
03-22-2010, 02:01 AM
Doc - that's some damn nice work. I really appreciate the effort you took to make the bases look "factory cast". I've got some covers/accessories I am planning to make for my Pacemakers and I was thinking about using some of the "tricks" I see that you've used to make that factory look. (quartering pipe, etc). Really nice job.

None of my machines that are currently running needed a seperate base. Furthermore, they had factory built cabinets/storage solutions built into the base already ;) :D

Too_Many_Tools
03-22-2010, 02:09 AM
Doc - that's some damn nice work. I really appreciate the effort you took to make the bases look "factory cast". I've got some covers/accessories I am planning to make for my Pacemakers and I was thinking about using some of the "tricks" I see that you've used to make that factory look. (quartering pipe, etc). Really nice job.

None of my machines that are currently running needed a seperate base. Furthermore, they had factory built cabinets/storage solutions built into the base already ;) :D

If they are some good solutions, how about some pictures? ;<)

Thanks

TMT

Doc Nickel
03-22-2010, 03:58 AM
Doc - that's some damn nice work. I really appreciate the effort you took to make the bases look "factory cast".

-Well, sometimes you gotta have a sense of aesthetics... :D

Over the years I've seen people's shops both in real life and online, where you can see the owner took a solid sense of pride in both his work and his work space.

Like Frank Ford's stuff- many of his homebrew hand tools have fancy-wood grips, decorative knobs and brass ferrules. The tools don't need those accoutrements, but they look better, more professional with them. They show a definite sense of pride.

A few years ago I picked up another bench grinder and a Lisle drill grinder- which is basically a single-ended bench grinder with some accessories. I needed a stand for both of them, and I found myself doing the same thing I'd already done twice before- looking for an old truck rim and a chunk of cut-off drill stem. (That's a section of oilfield drill pipe to most of y'all. :D It's cheap and common up here.)

I caught myself and said I can do better than that! That's when I made those first two shown in my Project Pages. Then came the Nichols base- that I wanted to match the contours of the mill itself. I wanted it to look factory, so that even Nichols enthusiasts might have to look twice.

After that, things snowballed. I figured if I'm going to make the piece, make it right, and make it look good. I am a sculptor (http://www.docsmachine.com/rage/index.html), after all.

Here's a pic of that base for my old drill press. This pic is six or seven months old- I've made a little more progress since then, but it's still not done.

http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/rockford17.jpg

Yes, I intended to match the "tree" shape with the new countershaft support.

Doc.

Fasttrack
03-22-2010, 04:30 PM
If they are some good solutions, how about some pictures? ;<)

Thanks

TMT


I would but I'm 3 hours away from my machines! :( I'll see if I can dig up some pictures in Photobucket...

This is the only one I could find:

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n22/fasttrack237/Kearney%20Trecker%202D/P1010044.jpg

I actually took this picture to show the little foot-step. This machine is so tall that I actually need to stand on the step to change the speeds, and I'm 6'2" with boots on... Without the step, it'd be a real PITA. With the step, it's actually very easy.

Anyhow, the door to the side of the footstep has heavy cast in shelves on the other side as well as a little transformer to go from 220 volt 3 phase to 110 volt for DRO/lights/etc. This is a great place to store attachments that aren't used often. To access the cabinet, you have to walk around the table so it's not super convienient for collets, etc. I like those to be exposed and within arms reach.

The other side of the cabinet contains the electrical panel....

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n22/fasttrack237/Kearney%20Trecker%202D/P1010054.jpg

ehughes
03-24-2010, 09:53 PM
Rather modest compared to Doc's work.

http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/ruralearl/3-24-10001.jpg (http://s151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/ruralearl/?action=view&current=3-24-10001.jpg)

Frame made of 3/16 x 1 1/2 angle covered with sheet. The drawers are made of wood using a Sears dovetail jig & mounted with full extension slides.
Just have to watch out for the knee elevating screw in the top drawer when the knee is low.

http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/ruralearl/3-24-10002.jpg[/URL]

Regards, Earl

Falcon67
03-24-2010, 10:14 PM
http://raceabilene.com/machine/G0519/images/G0519_running.jpg

I have slides to put a drawer and some storage under it, but no spare time lately for that.
All the tooling for both machines is stored in here:
http://raceabilene.com/machine/images/ShopCabinet.jpg

Too_Many_Tools
03-24-2010, 10:57 PM
Great contributions everyone!

Keep them coming!

TMT

CCWKen
03-25-2010, 12:52 AM
I built this for the A/C lathe. The frame is all welded steel. There's 3" of concrete that makes up the bottom shelf. The upper has about 1 1/2" of concrete. The two ends hold drawer units from an old desk. It has a slide-out chip tray and drains coolant to a front catch then down a tube to the tank.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/CCWKen/ToolBox/Craftsman%20Lathe/LatheBench-2.jpg