View Full Version : Lift on the side of a Mill

06-30-2010, 09:40 PM
Has anyone ever tried bolting some sort of a lift to the side of their mill?
My Cincinnati dividing head is way to heavy for one man to move around.

06-30-2010, 09:47 PM
I would think the weight of the lift (used to lift the dividing head) would throw off the tram of the table. I've seen photos of different ways of doing this, but they were either on a tram attached to the ceiling, or a mobile lift that would roll around the floor.

06-30-2010, 09:57 PM
I was thinking of something I could fab up that would bolt to the lower mill base side and that would swing backwards to remove the dividing head from the table.

J. R. Williams
06-30-2010, 10:04 PM
I fabricated a jib crane for my mill for the same reason. The arm is a section of 'uni-strut' and I installed a chain hoist . The boom is about 6 ft long and easily handles my weight, 250lb, without any problems. See the attached link for more details. I have a fixed rail with a block for lifting the chucks for my lathe.


06-30-2010, 10:06 PM
If I don't get in trouble for referencing another shop oriented website, here is a link: http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1980

A jib crane used in a machine shop to lift things on/off the tables.

Bob Ford
06-30-2010, 10:56 PM
This might be too complicated. It works well and it is easy to move things.


06-30-2010, 11:34 PM
Has anyone ever tried bolting some sort of a lift to the side of their mill?
My Cincinnati dividing head is way to heavy for one man to move around.

All I can see on the OP is a small recessed button with a diagonal cross in it in the bottom left the OP - ie no pic image.

I tried to reposted it here but got the same result, but when I cut and pasted it into my browser it works fine.

Just click on this link and it should be OK.


That is a big dividing head. Many of them have a tapped hole for an eye-bolt for lifting.

I have the same trouble with my "Vertex" 8" which weighs 70Kg ~ 155 # if all together.


That is a big lift and I don't lift it any more.

I have this lift which I use for move my rotary table as well as my small (X3 and super X3) Sieg mills and my lathe if necessary.


I have no problem lifting my dividing head onto my HF-45 mill table as I just put it on wooden rails and slide it across. My dividing head lives on a shelf under one of my benches. It just slides onto and off the trolley and the shelf. The trolley can move to and be used at any accessible point in the shop.

All of my stuff is pretty small by the standards of some here.

I have my hydraulic shop press, my oxy-acet set and my shaper all on castors to that I can easily move them between their storage areas and any place in the shop - including the car-port - that I wish to use them in/at.

07-01-2010, 01:30 AM
I have a 500Kg (1/2 ton) electric "PullzAll" hoist-cum-puller:



It is a great tool - very light and small - and rugged too and does all it has to do and does it very well.

I connect it to a shackle at the ridge-point on the portal frame in my car-port to lift various stuff - including on and off my trailer.

I am going to modify my 1 ton engine hoist to take the "PullzAll" so that it is on the back of the vertical leg of the hoist and the cable will run up to and along the engine hoist jib and over a sheave at the end (hooking point). I can leave the jib in or out or as high or low as I like for convenient access with maximum head-room and control. I have already modified the castors on the engine hoist and have retro-fitted a new "air-over-hydraulic" lifting ram to it. Great convenience with maximum safety, convenience and control/

I did look seriously at fitting a jib or other crane/lift for the mill but it was simply not worth the effort or cost as my loads are relatively small - less than 1/2 ton and mostly less than 300>400#, plus I still have full use of it all without tying it all up on an occasional-use-only crane/hoist. The 1/2 ton trolley (previous post) working in conjunction makes it all worth-while - and easy and safe.

07-01-2010, 06:56 AM
Has anyone ever tried one of these?http://i1041.photobucket.com/albums/b412/smgraph/th_swinga-way1.gif?t=1277981690

Sorry about the small pics. here's the linkhttp://www.penntoolco.com/catalog/products/products.cfm?categoryID=3971

John Stevenson
07-01-2010, 07:06 AM
Has anyone ever tried one of these?http://i1041.photobucket.com/albums/b412/smgraph/th_swinga-way1.gif?t=1277981690

What a postage stamp ?

Sorry couldn't resist.

I have this on the POS Bridgy.


I reckon it has increased the value of the Bridgy 10 fold having this fitted so it's now worth 8 pound 15 shillings and 7 pence.

That rotor weighs 250# BTW.


07-01-2010, 07:13 AM
That's awsome John,

Is that beam supported anywhere else?

John Stevenson
07-01-2010, 07:20 AM
Nope, just on the back but it's about a 1 1/2" diameter pin thru it.

That link you put on looks scary, one 1/2" bolt to support that ?

07-01-2010, 10:22 AM
While mine is not as fancy as Sir John's, mine works fine, its modified from a HF truck bed jib crane, about $70.



Forrest Addy
07-01-2010, 10:57 AM
A point of terminology. Not all cranes are gantry cranes. They are named for specific configurations. Cranes that pivot on a vertical axis and have a horizontal boom over which the hoist travels radially are called "jib cranes". Cranes constisting of a horizontal beam over which a hoist travels and which is supported on the ends by A-frames on wheels are called "gantry cranes." A crane consisting of a horizontal beam over which a hoist travels and which is supported on the ends by trolleys runnng on overhead tracks supported by structure is called an "overhead" or "bridge crane". And so on.

This link represents an incomplete listing. http://www.labtrain.noaa.gov/osha600/refer/menu08b.pdf

Besides precision in tools, technique, and manufacture, our trade depends on precise terminology. With every item and concept distinctly lableled we can communicate clearly. Without a good vocabulary we are reduced to grunting and pointing. This is not a snob issue or one born of officious fussiness. It's a plain inescapable truth.

I teach my classes using vocabulary as an aid to fixing concepts and terminology in the minds of my students. So If we wish to have a crane in our shops it should be called by it's accepted name whether it a little jib crane attached to the side of a milling machine for handlng vises or a whopper of a bridge crane salvaged from a factory rumblng overhead capable of lifting anythng in the shop.

07-01-2010, 12:10 PM
You don't need a lift if you can set up a swing for it.

I have a swing to take my vertical head (which I can manage alone if I brace myself for it) from the mill to a bracket bolted to the side of some steel shelving, while I use the mill for horizontal work. I use two 3/16 wire rope loops around a rod through two ceiling joists to anchor the swing. Witrh the shelf and the right height, it all works fine. I leave my ropes permanently attached, and I suppose they bother me less than if they were dangling around the top of a dividing head.

You'd have to use a hook, but with a spare rope to pull the head over so it's hovering over the table, wind the table up to meet the head, bolts in, detach the hook, and Bob's your uncle.

07-01-2010, 12:45 PM
You don't need a lift if you can set up a swing for it.

I did much the same thing except I made a block and tackle to lift the 10" table a few inches before I swing it onto the table.


daryl bane
07-01-2010, 06:25 PM
Here's my copy of a vise lift. It has a feature that will allow it to lock at 90' . so you can clean the underside.