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  • Help designing machine rollers.

    Tomorrow I tackle the move of my Bridgeport. A small forklift is supposed to lift the machine onto a flatbed about 4' high. I only barely made a beg, plead, borrow deal on the off loading forklift. There are some great people in this world and I hope I can return the favor sometime with some machine work.

    My mill has a cabinett door on the back, and yet I need to put the back against the wall. I've been thinking of building a cradle out of 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" angle iron and some rollers made out of pipe or something. I'd like to have it sit on the ground but when I need to move it I'd like to use a wratchet wrench to lower the rollers and move the big damn thing. I'd have two long rollers for the X direction and two long rollers for the Y direction. This is just a concept but what suggestions or designs have you got? I'm sure others have to jostle their mills around a little? Any ideas?

    Spence

  • #2
    What's the door lead to, storage..pump? If it's storage, bag that and make a nice oak cabnet for the wall. Nothing like a good solid and level footing for a machine. Anything that you try to make for "quick moves" will end up being a toe-jammer or trip-maker. Another option, Remove the door.

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    • #3
      I think I have seen before a machine sitting on two steel plates with grease between them and bolts in the back corners of the plates that can be removed so the machine can be slid, one plate on the other if it needs to be moved a bit and still has a totally solid footing. The plates are rather large though and would cost quite a bit.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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      • #4
        A BP clone weighs only 2200 - 2500 lb. A couple of big-necked neighbors could scoot it into place if the floor is smooth. Push against the ram on one side and twist a little then walk around the machine and repeat against the other. Put the right english on the push (there's no way to tell you how, it's like riding a bicycle) and you can walk the machine into place.

        I move mine single handed when I have to pull it out from the wall for long stuff.

        [This message has been edited by Forrest Addy (edited 06-06-2003).]

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        • #5
          The cabinet has the three phase transformer and other electical connections in the rear cabinet. I hope that I can reposition the cabinet. I'll know much more when I get my hands on it. I think it has Boss 5 controls. I haven't seen a paper tape reader for years. Someone has interfaced a PC but I would really like to see the tech docs on the project. I would really appreciate any links to documents or information on the machine.

          Spence

          [This message has been edited by SJorgensen (edited 06-06-2003).]

          [This message has been edited by SJorgensen (edited 06-06-2003).]

          [This message has been edited by SJorgensen (edited 06-06-2003).]

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          • #6
            Hey Doc, by the looks in the picture, there's Spaghetti everywhere. How many wires actually go from the box to the machine? How about mounting the box on the wall with longer leads to the machine?

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            • #7
              Spence.
              Drop some 1" angle iron or 3/4" cteel ares on the floor like a railway track and drop the mill on these. Then you can use a prybar to slide it into position. Unlike roller the machine stays on the bars so ther is on tpping.
              An old guy showed me this many years ago when he was moving a machine simlar to a series 2 on his own and he must habe been well over 65 and not a big guy.
              I have used this method since and it's really easy and safe.

              John S.
              .

              Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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              • #8
                That thing looks dangerously top-heavy. Watch out!! Don't want you to get squashed and come back as sjgsn. (Few parts missing.)

                The rest I'm sure you can figure out. 2500, huh? Maybe weld up a chassis with wheels and adjustable feet. Feet up = rolling; feet down = parked & level.

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                • #9
                  Well I just got back from moving the BP. This was very stressful on me and I am still wound up tighter than a golfball but everything went ok after all. This was a really really tippy and dangerous move. I didn't know the driver and I didn't like his truck (1964) I'll give up the details later.
                  Spence

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                  • #10
                    Spence,
                    Anything like this:-

                    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stevens...livery%201.jpg

                    The reason it's so high is so it can go over the top of a phone cable. The machine is a Beaver NC5 mill, just a bit bigger then a Series 2
                    No stress, just gotta have faith baby.

                    John S.
                    .

                    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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                    • #11
                      I once worked in a guy's optics shop which was a pretty small place and he had good ideas for moving and handling heavy, fragile items like large glass telescope mirrors. Optical fab guys use Bridgeport mills but don't usually need real tight tolerances on such things as laps. This guy had a couple piece of rectangular tubing bolted to the base of his Bridgeport mill with nice casters. The tubing was on top of the base so when the casters were supporting the mill the base was only and inch or less off the floor. He had jack screws in the standard holes in the Bridgeport base which he screwed down on pieces of flat steel when he had the mill were he wanted it. He set an optical testing instrument (laser interferometer) on the table of the machine while I was there and used the caster wheels to roughly point the laser beam in azimuth and then screwed down the feet to get the mill leveled and steady. The X,Y,Z motions of the table were used to get fine alignment of the interferometer. The mill was fairly easy to push around on the casters and seemed very stable when it was sitting on the jack screws when were 3/4 or 1" thread. I have the jack screws in the base of my Bridgeport but not the casters. I use a gantry crane and hoist to move machines in my shop. The gantry crane is rated for 3 tons and has large wheels so it is easy to push around with a EE Monarch hanging on it. Usually I move the gantry crane over the machine pick it up and set it on a pallet or dolly and move it and then move the gantry crane unloaded to get the machine set on the floor. Nice thing about a gantry crane is that you don't have to worry about top heavy things. Bridge cranes are the ultimate but too expensive and the gantry can be rolled outside to pick things off a trailer where the bridge crane usually can't.

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                      • #12
                        John,
                        Can you explain your method again, please? I can't picture what you are saying - but something better than rollers must be pretty good.
                        One of the good things about using rollers (eg steel pipe about 2" dia.) is that you can not only roll the machine easily, but can also turn it fairly safely.

                        Spence,
                        I'd try to move/rotate the cabinet as a first choice, the thought of moving a nicely levelled mill just to check a fuse or something doesn't appeal to me, anyway.

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                        • #13
                          Peter S.
                          The method is so simple. You drop two straight lengths of round bar or angle down on the floor so they look like railway lines.
                          If you use angle you need it V uppermost and it has to ba about 1" to have any strength where machine tools are concerned, anything less buckles.
                          Straight round bar, either black or bright is best. You need it just big enough so when the machine sits on it it's clear of the floor taking into account there are often relieved portions or feet on the edges.

                          Once the machine has been dropped on the 'rails' you just use a pry bar to slide it along. The idea is to get point friction to reduce rolling resistance.
                          You have a degree os stering as f you prise sideways the rails will roll.
                          Advantages of this system are you can go many feet without having to swop rollers etc, no rocking. A machine like a mill, with a small footprint loosing say a 2" pipe roller can cause it to tip over.

                          Just as an experiment drop two rounds rails down and then put something heavy on them, an anvil or tool cabinet, something you can lift easy but is heavy. Then just push this along the rails. You will see what I mean.

                          In my job I often have to move machines, many times on my own. I find this far safer than rollers. In fact last month I had to move a Bridgy and the owners had got it nearly to the door on rollers. All I had to do was get it out the door. As it was still on rollers I carried on. It took two of us and 4 roller swaps and a lot of rocking to move about 8 feet.
                          At the other end I dropped it onto rails and two of use pushed it directly into place, no pry bars.
                          .

                          Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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                          • #14
                            John,
                            Is the angle iron you are describing the 1"x1" angle iron about 1/8" thick or is it heavier stuff? Is the V pointing up so that one edge contacts the base and two edges are on the ground on each side? Is this method for straight sliding but not for rotating the machine?
                            I've got some 3 1/2 angle iron that is about 1/4" thick. I was thinking of building a set of casters in a frame that I would put around the base. Then with some bolts and clips I would hook the base on each corner and turn the bolts until the weight was on the castors. The floor is pretty smooth concrete. The building is leased and I don't want to leave any gouge marks in the floor. I was thinking of casters like the ones that are used on the HF cherry pickers. Another Idea was to build a similar frame that was much wider (maybe 3 or 4 feet) and more securely attached to the base so that I didn't need to worry about the thing tipping over sideways. It could have multiple uses around the shop when not moving the mill. Since the main box is on the backside I may have to move the mill to work on it and I don't want to move the box to the side because I might have to rewire it to do that (I don't think there is enough lenght on the cables.) I'm still looking for documentation on the controls. I will try to power up by the end of the week. After that I am going to pull the three control circuit boards and put them in my scanner and then identify each of the ic's and try to identify the stepper controller circuits. It's a bit of reverse engineering project but interesting and if anyone is game, they could be of great help. I've done this once before and with the help of a few geniuses (especially one that I already know, it might work) I don't even know the logic of the control panel but I think I am getting a picture. This will be another project altogether. I hope that the original controls work and I would like to control their circuity with my circuitry. It's really about sending the right circuits the right signals. To do it best it requires an understanding of the purposes of most of the original circuitry. Lacking that, I might hope to trigger the stepper driver stages directly. I can't wait to power it up and see if it works. I am excited to pull out those old boards (3) and figure out what they do. Still a few documents will save me loads of time.

                            Thanks to all for your help and advice.
                            Spence

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                            • #15
                              Recently I moved by myself a Birmingham mill and JET lathe with these shop made carriages:

                              Mill move:
                              http://www.makeitsimple.com/sections...rtid=15&page=4

                              Lathe move:
                              http://www.makeitsimple.com/sections...rtid=13&page=4

                              Base on carriage design by Bob Powell:
                              http://www.dogpatch.com/bobp/shop/mover.htm

                              Note: Two people would definitely make the moving job easer. Getting the machine to start/stop moving is the hard part. Once moving I could roll or turn either machine with relative ease.

                              I changed Bob's design a bit to accommodate a 35 x 24 inch mill base. The castor mounts are 23 inches and the cross beam is 46 inches (be sure to calculate caster swivel clearance). Depending on your steel prices I would consider using 2x3x.250 tubing instead of using 2x3 angle stock welded to make the cross beam.

                              These puppies are heavy, the mill and lathe didn't stress them in the least. If you know you aren't going to go over 3 thousand pounds I would consider using 3/16 stock instead of 1/4 inch.

                              Another design change is the cross beam is bolted to the caster mounts so the units can be disassembled for easier storage. This change also allows changing the cross beam length without needing to build a whole new set of carriages.

                              Good luck Spence

                              Larry "NgtCrwlr" Mingus

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