View Full Version : Moving a Bridgeport long distance

08-12-2011, 09:35 AM
Hi All...We are selling our home in the Denver area and moving to a small town in the middle of Kansas. I'm going to transport my BP and lathe on my flatbed trailer. They will be wrapped with a 'blue' tarp to protect from possible rain and bugs. Now, two questions; i've lowered the table, turned the head upside-down, placed a piece of 1/2 inch masonite on the table and raised it till it touches the motor case on the head. Do i need to do more to protect the motor? Second, once we get to Kansas, what would be a good rust prevention plan as there is a heck of a lot more humidity in Kansas than there is here in Denver?

08-12-2011, 09:38 AM
Sounds like you done good. Just make sure the motor bolts are tight. Strap it to the trailer seven way from sunday so that it's solid.
Drive slow.

Weston Bye
08-12-2011, 09:46 AM
Was it me, I would at least unbolt the turret (4 bolts) from the base and lift off the head, ram and turret. This assembly would then be crated. The net result would be to lower the center of gravity.

Perhaps it's being over cautious, people move Bridgeports intact all the time, but one less thing to worry about.

08-12-2011, 09:55 AM
I think I'd want more protection that just one of those blue tarps. Chances are it would get shredded by the wind after driving for hours and hours.

Ideally,I'd oil it up, wrap in a tarp, and build a 1/4" plywood box around it, screwed together, with cleats along the edge to screw into.

Or, wrap in tarp, get a roll of that poly film wrapping stuff, and wrap the whole thing sufficiently so no part of the tarp can flap in the wind. If the tarp is protected like that, I think it should stand up to the trip, and the poly film will add extra waterproofing.

08-12-2011, 10:09 AM
I agree with Weston. I'd remove the head, and lower the center of gravity.

08-12-2011, 10:24 AM
If your worried about the center of gravity put another stap or two on it.

As SGW said , I would wrap the blue tarp with poly film .
Be sure to oil the machine before tarping.

There is a product, I think the name is Bo Shield that is one of the best rust proofing oils.
Good luck on your move.


08-12-2011, 10:32 AM
North of Kansas City with plenty of humidity. Rust not a problem unless really long term storage in unconditioned space.

Dr Stan
08-12-2011, 10:38 AM
I too would not bother removing the head, just make sure its well strapped. If possible run 1/2" lag bolts through the base of the BP into the trailer bed, or if you want to get really stout, use 1/2" carriage bolts.

When I moved my 9' planner from Baltimore to western KY it was lag bolted to a couple of 4X4's which were in turn well strapped to the trailer.

As far as the blue tarp I'm with others who said it will just shred, as it will. I even used a good canvas tarp and it shredded. Since then I've just given machines a good coat of LPS 3 and ran down the highway. However, the poly film to wrap the machine sounds like a good idea to me.

For rust protection I consider LPS 3 the best of the best.

08-12-2011, 10:44 AM
You can buy that stretch wrap stuff at Office Depot, $20 for a 20"x1000' foot roll. I only moved my lathe about 250 miles but I strapped it and lagged it to the trailer and then wrapped it. The stuff held up really well, little hard to wrap after it has been strapped but worth it I think. I did go over the 'front' with packing tape and taped any corners as they tended to work through. Not only protects if but if anything vibrates loose it will likely keep it contained and not lost.

Forrest Addy
08-12-2011, 11:02 AM
I like the stretch film. Make the last layer from the bottom up so the open edges point down and they naturally shed water. Stan is exactly right. LPS complies with the MilSpec for metal preservative. And it will dam up crevises so water can't infltrate.

I also like the turret off method on a trailer. I'd dismoint the lathe from the pedestals if it was possible or lay it on its side. Ever encounter roll coupled oscillation? High load centers of gravity greatly exacerbate the tendancy.

Before you set out take the loaded trailer around the block. Find a street you can increment the speed up to 35. Start from 25 and see-saw the steering wheel firmly left and right. If the trailer wants to steer the towing vehicle be careful as you increease speed. If the tendancy gets repidly worse, chicken out before it gets uncontrollable. You've demonstrated the trailer is unstable at highway speeds. You may have to lower the CG and/or redistribute the load.

Lathes are tall and narrow. They topple easily. Every year, one or two such incidents have been reported on this very message board and a couple guys were injured. Before you move the lathe, bolt 3 ft long 4 x 6 timbers cross ways on the lathe pedestals to widen its stance. Many lathes have face planted because this precaution was not implemented.

08-12-2011, 11:20 AM
One important consideration, beside tipping over, is sliding. I would nail/bolt some 2x4's around the base so it can't slide. The top can be secured by straps. The base must also be secured to not slip with sudden stops, etc.

08-12-2011, 11:25 AM
I stretch wrap anything that can move.

Dont worry about the head, it is not going to go anywhere. It is negligible in the weight scheme of things. Get the knee as low as possible and make sure one strap goes behind the table on top of the knee and then two more over the ram. Get good 2" straps. They are not much, even new US made ones. If the deck of the trailer is metal put wood between to add some friction.

I stretch wrap anything that can move. When I brought my lathe up from LA I stretched it and it came up to SF like this. When we got there for the night we tarped it and then shrink wrapped it the next day. Any piece of tarp that was exposed to the wind was pretty much torn up.


08-12-2011, 11:29 AM
I have moved a nunber of machines in the last year 4 or 5 10ee's, a sheldon R15 a 14X54 pacemaker, plus a few more for short moves. Where the machine is going to be put back into service right away I like CRC's Power lube it has good holding power but wipes right off. then it's a blue tarp then wrap it good with stretch last thing is Duct tape I run 3 or 4 down the lathe 3 or 4 across the lathe 1 or 2 around the lathe the pacemaker whent thru snow and very heavy rain and didnt get wet. good luck. ken

Weston Bye
08-12-2011, 11:41 AM
I did a lookup and found that the weight of the components from the turret up comes to about 725 lbs., about a third of the weight of the whole mill.

08-12-2011, 11:41 AM
Skip the blue tarp and spend a few extra bucks for a canvas one. Not as noisy, less likely to rip. Load machine, stretch wrap starting at the bottom, canvas tarp, little more stretch wrap to keep the tarp from flapping, four 2" straps, done. Check tension on the straps after 20 minutes/10 road miles.

08-12-2011, 12:05 PM
I did a lookup and found that the weight of the components from the turret up comes to about 725 lbs., about a third of the weight of the whole mill.

That must be including the ram. I can move a regular J head by myself.

Weston Bye
08-12-2011, 12:14 PM
Yep. Turret, ram, head. Approximately 725lbs. As I said previously, 4 bolts and it comes off all in one piece, if you have an adequate crane.

08-12-2011, 12:25 PM
Ahh, I misread. I thought you said head.

08-12-2011, 01:47 PM
The proportional benefit to be derived from lowering the center of gravity is a function of the trailer wheelbase width.

You don't want the trailer to flip if you have to swerve.

John Stevenson
08-12-2011, 03:53 PM
I have rather a soft spot for Bridgeports, - Hackney marsh

08-12-2011, 06:42 PM
Thanks for all the replys and suggestions. With the head/motor assembly turned upside down, i'm hoping that will help with lowering the center of gravity. What i'm planning to do is to get the BP onto a 4X8 sheet of 3/4" plywood. Then turn down the 4 screws in th BP base until they stick their points into the plywood. Then will use a winch with a strap around the base of the BP, and winch it up on the trailer. Then will use some lag type screws and screw the plywood to the deck of the trailer. Of course there will be blocking under the ramps and the corners of the rear of the trailer and the front will be attached to my truck. Did this once before with a slighty smaller mill and it worked well. Just have to get everything lined up correctly and keep the corners of the plywood from catching on anything. My lathe is a bench top style Enco 12 X 36 lathe and weighs around 1000lbs. That should add a lot of ballast down low on the trailer bed. And, i'm going to try and load up a 1953 Pontiac straight 8 flathead. That sucker's got some weight also. Will try and lay it down on it's side, as close to flat as possible. I'm going to try and find a roll of that shrink wrap and get after everything on the trailer. And the long distance drive is about 450 miles. I can usually do that drive, pulling a trailer, in about 7-8 hrs going about 60-65mph. I don't like to drive at night towing anything, so if i leave here around 8am, i should be there by 5pm and that accounts for the one hr time difference. Any comments, let me know.

08-12-2011, 07:10 PM
The wrap is easy to get. Even office depot carries it.

08-12-2011, 07:52 PM
I have rather a soft spot for Bridgeports, - Hackney marsh
Just make sure no-one sees you otherwise the local EPA equivalent will have you for heavy metal contamination.

08-12-2011, 08:24 PM
I haven't seen anyone mention dogging down all the gibs tight. I'm thinking that should help take some stress off the lead screws etc as the machines jiggles around with the trailer but I don't know for sure. Worthwhile doing or not?

Another thing I see a lot of people do when transporting machinery is one long strap ran over top from one side to the other. It holds the equipment down alright but doesn't do a lot to prevent it from sliding under the strap and tipping over, especially if they had to do a panic stop. Upright air compressors come to mind as a common example. It might not be a problem, but some of the stuff I have seen being moved seemed like they were lucky nothing out of the ordinary happened. Running a strap over a corner can result in it getting cut/abraded through as you travel along...something to be careful about. I have seen people have no idea how to use ratcheting straps too...didn't leave a wrap or two on the take up drum and the strap was cut through where it turned and went through the center slot in the drum...it might have looked like a smooth corner but it was a sharp enough bend to cause the strap to abrade through.

oil mac
08-13-2011, 01:56 PM
Down in the local swamp land, about one mile from where i live, in the summer we have Scandinavian mosquitoes, Endemic for the last fifteen or so years, global warming? I was thinking on doing a Sir John, by dropping my Elliott 00 in the squidgy stuff, That should sort out the Mossies! :D The monster in the black lagoon:)

Nah, not a good idea, I would kill of all the little frogs &other wildlife, with the fright:eek:

All joking aside, good luck with your machine move Michael

08-13-2011, 02:41 PM
I live in Michigan and the humidity can be pretty high sometimes.

I keep a dehumidifier on all the time. In the spring, I forgot to turn it back on and you could tell. I was getting surface rust on some stock laying in the rack.

I keep it about 50% humidity and rust isnt really a problem, as long as I keep the dehumidifier running. :)

08-13-2011, 03:39 PM
It's 88 deg feels like 95 the humidity is at 45% right now. It has been raining the past couple nights so don't plan on leaving it outside. Where at in Kansas are you moving to???

08-13-2011, 05:39 PM
It's 88 deg feels like 95 the humidity is at 45% right now. It has been raining the past couple nights so don't plan on leaving it outside. Where at in Kansas are you moving to???

Small town, pop 3500, north of Salina, called Beloit. Nice little farming town. And yea, i know it gets hot there. They have had their share of 100+ days this summer and they do get a lot of humidity also. My shop has a metal roof and i plan to get it spray foamed soon. It gets really hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and loud when hailing or raining. Where are you at? Would sure like to meet up with any machinists or hobby metal casters back in that area. Also, i really like model A's and speedsters. Have high hopes of one day building a hot rod model A and taking it to Bonneville to see how fast it will scoot across the salt.

08-13-2011, 06:32 PM
I went to tech school in Beloit. I'm living less then 30 miles from there now. I'm going to pm you my phone #

08-22-2011, 11:07 AM
Well, that move is done. I took a lot of your advise and everything went smoothly. Only lost one tie down strap. I guess i didn't realise the table edge was sharp enough to wear thru the strap. But it was only one of about 9straps and it was one of the smaller size straps. I used every strap i had, 6- 2 inch car tie downs and 3 smaller 1 1/2 general purpose type of straps. Only really other thing that suffered was ME. The heat index on the day i unloaded the BP was 104 degrees. Got all the other misc stuff off the trailer early and then went and took a shower. Came back and unloaded the BP and moved it across the floor to it's final (?) location and then went and took a shower. Came back and put away all the fools and cleaned up some of the mess i made and, you probably guessed it, went and took another shower. I was just one slow moving mass of sweat. But even with all that, i'm looking forward to moving and living in a small town once again. Forgot to take any pics, but once this move is complete, i'll bore everyone with some pics of my shop and new life/location. Believe me, i'm excited. Thanks to all... Mike

Alistair Hosie
08-22-2011, 02:32 PM
I don't know what the blue tarp is like! Now in the UK we have a black stuff here used on building sites for putting under concrete to stop water from rising that stuff is pretty tough. I would recommend it without question.Them maybe you have in mind the same stuff only blue. It is great stuff when I was adding a new extension to my woodshop I fixed a big piece onto the roof before adding the paper tar paper and eventually aluminium sheets. anyway it stopped the rain and all for months till I got the new roof added not a drop got through. kindest regards and have fun despite his lordships hatred of biridgeys:DAlistair

08-22-2011, 03:41 PM
Blue tarp here in canada is the weakest stuff you can buy, Sewn togethor shoping bags would be about its quality.

Next up is the thicker green tarps... I forget what quality orange tarps are, I had a bunch but threw em all out cause they where old and all had rips.

Canvas tarps are where its at if you want it to survive. though the green (And to a lesser extent blue) last a few months if you take care to secure them and have nothing sharp under the tarp (And no cats..!)