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  • Moving Mill/Drill

    Going to take a look a mill/drill tomorrow evening, one of the generic models. Not exactly my dream machine, but it suits my current needs and the price is right.

    Just wondering if anyone has advice on the best way to break it down into some big sub-assemblies for moving it. If I just separate the column from the base is that manageable for a single person, or should I count on pulling the head off the column as well? I would hope to break down some of the assemblies anyhow for a deep clean and fit check before use anyhow, so it's more a matter of how big of an assembly can be moved than trying to keep everything in once piece to save work.
    Cayuga, Ontario, Canada

  • #2
    Removing the motor on mine made the resulting column+head manageable by two people. If you do remove the column, check carefully for any alignment shims under its base.

    Keep a camera handy to record "before" scenes of things you disassemble, especially electrical wiring.
    Regards, Marv

    Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
    http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

    Location: LA, CA, USA

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    • #3
      Without knowing the model everything is no more than a guess. RF-40, I removed the tables, motor from the head, and head from the column. Left it on the stand. Two people on a furniture dolly, the second person mostly to keep things balanced and upright. Still top heavy on the stand.
      "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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      • #4
        Rent a engine hoist, make sure it can handle 700 lbs or so.
        Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router

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        • #5
          I used an engine hoist to move mine a couple of times including the last time. worked very well
          Glenn Bird

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          • #6
            IIRC, on my Jet 16 I removed the head from the column, the column from the base, and the table from the base by unscrewing the Y axis Acme screw so I could slide the whole table off. Still had heavy pieces, the thing is like 800lb all in. I used an electric cable hoist from H-F secured to my basement ceiling joists to assemble it and my lathe. Getting the parts down the basement steps was exciting too.
            Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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            • #7
              I moved my mill down the stairs and made a tight turn- yeah that was exciting. I pulled the table off- that was all. Later I realized that it needed tramming anyway, so I could have pulled the column off the base. When it comes to moving it up the stairs, I'd pull the motor off first, leave the head on the column and pull the column off the base, then pull the table off the XY part. In my case that makes two parts weighing roughly 100 lbs each, and two parts that would be heavier. The head and column part would probably be 200 lbs. This mill weighs about 500 lbs, so not much more than a baby really.

              If you take it apart, consider that this is your chance to clean it up, relube, align, etc.
              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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              • #8
                Originally posted by darryl View Post
                This mill weighs about 500 lbs, so not much more than a baby really.
                Aren't babies closer to six or seven pounds?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tomato coupe View Post
                  Aren't babies closer to six or seven pounds?
                  Type of baby was not specified..... human? elephant? whale? Perhaps mill?
                  2730

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan

                  Everything not impossible is compulsory

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                  • #10
                    Well, the problem solved itself. Took a look and decided not to buy. Going to be patient and wait for something better.
                    Cayuga, Ontario, Canada

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                    • #11
                      If you have the equipment to move 500 lbs safely, you can do over 1000 lbs safely. I had a Sieg X3 mill that upon removing the column from the base, I could move by myself. I don't recommend a mill that is small enough that one person could move it by hand if broken into two pieces.

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                      • #12
                        Just curious, what made you decide not to get it ?
                        Last edited by 754; 09-09-2021, 12:58 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 754 View Post
                          Just curious, what made you decide not to get it ?
                          I was a bit on the fence about the mill already, I think that we can agree that while a mill/drill is a functional machine it leaves a lot to be desired compared to a proper knee mill. However, this one was priced fairly and the advertisement said there was some tooling included and the picture showed at least a vice installed on the machine. So I thought it may be something to get me by until something better shows up, better to have something than nothing and it's the type of machine that could probably be sold again without a lot of hassle when I would upgrade. When I showed up the machine was in good shape, first owner and he didn't use it much, but the only tooling being provided with the machine was a handful of collets and a couple end mills. That changed my mind pretty quickly because in order to do some of the operations I want (such as angle milling) this machine would need a good bit of tooling, I don't mind buying some but didn't want to start from scratch at the price he was asking. There were already other people looking at the machine, so trying to beat him down on price at that point was not worth the effort. So I move on and keep my eyes open for something better.
                          Cayuga, Ontario, Canada

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                          • #14
                            Here's a nice grinding fixture I picked up at an auction. Similar to this one, only motorized. No brand name on mine. https://asmfab.com/product-lines/st-mary-spin-rolls

                            Handy for OD grinding grinding parts without needing a collet fixture and high concentricity to the surface in the rolls. Most often used when a tap has to be relieved beyond the threads for deep hole tapping.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                              If you have the equipment to move 500 lbs safely, you can do over 1000 lbs safely. I had a Sieg X3 mill that upon removing the column from the base, I could move by myself. I don't recommend a mill that is small enough that one person could move it by hand if broken into two pieces.
                              I have the equipment and experience to move 10,000 pound machines.
                              So it is difficult for me to right-size my suggestions to help with a problem
                              like moving a small mill. So many ways to do this with something so light
                              it is hard to suggest just one. So I just won't comment on it.

                              -D
                              DZER

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