No announcement yet.

Moving a milling machine help!....

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Moving a milling machine help!....

    After lots of thought I am going to buy a knee milling machine instead of a bench top machine. I've been thinking about how I'm going to move the thing into my house. I can get the machine to my door w/ the aid of a fork lift. I'm thinking about using a pallet jack to move the machine into the house (walkout basement---concrete floor ---no stairs or corners to turn. Table taken off.). Once inside the house and in the approximate area how do I SAFELY get the machine off the pallet and slide it into final position.......Any words of wisdom!.............Is the pallet jack a good idea or should I use 3/4" steel pipe rollers.....regardless I'll have to get the machine off the pallet.

    Thanks in advance!


  • #2
    The mill should have 4 holes in the base
    a short length of threaded rod in each hole and a nut on each rod under the mill to use as a jack for each corner
    lift the mill off of the pallet about ΒΌ of an inch,(support the mill with the floor not the pallet)
    cut up the pallet and remove the pieces
    use the jacks to lower the mill
    OR just burn the pallet, eventually the mill will just fall to the floor


    • #3
      My 3,000 lb. Gorton came on a heavy-duty plastic pallet. Lifted off truck with front-end loader, used pallet jack that I bought for $60 (rather warm, I'm sure) to roll it against the wall in my garage. It's still on pallet, but the mill is low and needed to be raised a little anyway.
      Gold is for the mistress - silver for the maid
      Copper for the craftsman cunning in his trade.
      "Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall
      But iron - cold iron is the master of them all.
      Rudyard Kipling


      • #4
        One can do wonders with assorted blocks of wood and a prybar. Lever it up (or down) all around, 3/4" at a time. Just have patience.
        Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
        Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
        Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
        There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
        Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
        Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


        • #5
          We used a fork lift to get it throught the door and then a rolling gantry with a chain fall. In our case the pallet was bolted through the holes that could have been used to jack it up as suggested already.
          Good luck,
          John R


          • #6
            Originally posted by SGW
            One can do wonders with assorted blocks of wood and a prybar. Lever it up (or down) all around, 3/4" at a time. Just have patience.

            yup, that's how I did it.

            When I moved to my new house and shop I just had the movers set the mill down against a wall to get it clear. Then after I decided where I wanted it, I picked it up with a bar and pieces of 3/4 plywood and 2x4s till I could get 1 1/2 water piper under it. Then rolled it around just as slick as you please. Rotated it 90 degrees, moved it to the midde of the shop and parked it in a new spot. Pipe rollers and a big steel bar work great.
            Ignorance is curable through education.


            • #7
              Using the fork lift, set the mill inside the door on 3 3/8" pipes long enough to stick out 6" on each side. Have at least 3 more pipes and start rolling the machine and adding pipes and picking up and moving pipes untill it is where you want it. Take it off the pipes with a pry bar.

              Sweep the floor as you go and don't move fast. Use slow steady movement and wide turns to get it in place. If you use large pipe and it falls off it will tip over. 1/2" cold roll works good also.

              Keep it simple and keep it safe.
              It's only ink and paper


              • #8
                You implied that you needed to get it off the pallet...implying its a new mill. I would use the forklift with a chain in the lifting eye on top of the ram (most BP knock offs have these) while its still outside and you have facility to lift the whole thing. If not, a sling on either side of the ram (not chain as it will damage the bearing surfaces) will allow you to get it off the pallet. Then, set it on the palllet jack sans the pallet.

                The mill base will likely overhang the pallet jack, allowing you to set it on blocks and drop the pallet jack and pull it out. From there a pry bar and increasingly shorter blocks will let you jocky it to the floor.

                Now that I am largely through moving all my machinery, I bought one of the Harbor Freight porta-power kits with a pair of spreader jaws that would have been really handy for lowering from blocks. These have limited strength, but you only lift one end of the base at a time with them.

                Do be sure that when you are moving the mill around, you have the head lowered (turned upside down) if the design allows for it. You lower the knee all the way and can set the top of the head (inverted) on top of the table on a standard BP to keep the CG low, reducing opportunities to tip.

                Have extra sets of eyes to watch as you move and go slowly. Always remember that a tipped and trashed machine is better than a crushed friend.

                Paul Carpenter
                Mapleton, IL


                • #9
                  Here is what I did with my Bridgeport. I cut two pieces of 3 x 4 inch steel tubing having a 3/8 inch wall about 2 ft long. These are the red primed pieces under the front and back of the base.
                  I pre-drilled the tubing to fit the bolt pattern of the mill's base. Then with the pallet jack raised with the mill sitting on it I bolted each piece of tubing to the base and let the pallet jack/mill down to the floor. The 3 inch piece elevates the mill base just enough to slide the pallet jack out from beneath the mill.
                  The jack stays sitting beneath the mill as a storage place for it. This worked well for me. A mill is very heavy, so do not let it tip when you are moving it around. If it falls on you it will likely kill you, so be careful. I inverted the head and lowered the knee on mine to move it into the


                  • #10
                    I moved my cnc bridgeport with rollers, solid one inch bars cut up for another project.

                    BE sure to sweep the floor first, a grain of sand will hang up a small roller.

                    I'd vote for getting the machine off the pallet with the fork truck too. Don't get in a hurry, Don't let anyone else tell you how to rig, unless they have lots of proven experience like a millwright or ironworker. It's your house and your machine. I occasionally call for help. When my +10 ton lathe was on it's back I hollered. Nothing wrong with calling in favors.

                    Keep your fingers on your hand. A six foot pry bar is golden. A three foot one will mash your fingers. A roller-pry Johnson bar is heaven. A toe jack is too. All those can be rented. A person standing out of the way with a phone is nice. It makes my wife sick with nerve problems, find someone calmer.

                    I was buying and reselling, I put up a Ibeam on Aframe. Not bought a machine since.
                    Excuse me, I farted.


                    • #11
                      There have been a lot of posts lately about moving machinery safely, so I wanted to show off my new hydraulic gantry crane that I put together from mostly leftovers.

                      I work out of a 2 car garage that is way too crowded and has the typical low door, so I needed something that would drop down to roll in and out, as well as being able to span the bed of the truck to lift things out of there. Cannot really get a forklift in and don't have room for one if I could. I decided to build a gantry crane and stop using my old engine hoist because every time I needed to use it, I had to make some crazy modification just to get it to fit. I had 1800 pound castors left over from a project, as well as a stick of 3/16th wall 3" square tubing, so I bought a 8.5 foot 6" heavy I-beam and 8 feet of .25 wall 2.5" square tubing and two 3 ton engine hoist cylinders from harborfreight (only place I could find them locally).

                      I have a one ton chain hoist for lifting lighter things and using over the vmc for changing vises, and some 10K lifting slings to go over the I-beam for lifting heavier things. As soon as the paint was half way dry, my neighbor borrowed it and we loaded a 1500 pound lathe on a trailer and it was almost effortless. It spanned the trailer nicely and rolled on rough concrete without much trouble and felt much safer than wrestling it around with an engine hoist. I still need to drill a couple of holes for safety pins (I don't fully trust the hydraulic cylinders to hold a lot for a long time) and figure out some brakes, but I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. It took a good day to build it, and if I had to buy all new materials, I would do a couple of things differently, but you often work with what you have.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SGW
                        One can do wonders with assorted blocks of wood and a prybar. Lever it up (or down) all around, 3/4" at a time. Just have patience.
                        same here.
                        also as mentioned, if you use pipe to roll it around, make sure you sweep or the pipes will get stuck on every speck of dirt.

                        i've moved several milling machines, a huge shaper, and various other heavy objects using this method and haven't had any problems (and still have all my fingers and toes).

                        andy b.
                        The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining


                        • #13
                          " I'm thinking about using a pallet jack to move the machine into the house (walkout basement---concrete floor ---no stairs or corners to turn. Table taken off.). "

                          Don't take your table off without checking out this link first:




                          • #14
                            Thanks for the help!!..Lots of good info here. That link showing the milling machine going through the door opening makes me wonder if I could get it through my door. I'll have to measure that door again. I think it's only 30-32" wide when the door is removed. Nothing comes easy.



                            • #15
                              Assuming I get the milling machine on the pallet jack to where I want it to go how would you guys get the milling machine on to the ground and slide the pallet jack out. The milling machine base is 24" x 36", and the pallet jack is 27"wide. (forks are 6") I'll have to put the machine on the pallet jack front to rear so I can get it through my 31" opening. Could I slide a 12" +/- board between the forks (front to rear) to balance the mill slightly as I slip the pallet jack out just far enough to slide a board (left to right) at the front of the mill. Then repeat until I get the pallet jack all the way out.

                              Am I making this more complicated than it is or is there an easier way!!!. I've never owned or moved a milling machine but I'm getting nervous about it.

                              Thanks in advance...........Krems