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Moving a Lathe (info required)

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  • Moving a Lathe (info required)

    Hi Guys,

    It's time to move to a new location that being Alaska. I've made a shipping crate for the lathe and now it's time to pick it up and position it on the crate. When I receive the new lathe I found myself in a bit of a bind trying to pick up the lathe and position it on the bench. I had to place the sling under the bed making it very unstable when suspended ( it wanted to tilt badly).

    My question is, is it harmful to lift the lathe by the spindle? In other words, place the sling directly behind the chuck and lift from that position. Naturally, that end is the heaviest of the lathe and to lift from this point would help control tilt of the lathe when suspended.

    I would really appreciate your advice.

    For those having fought for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.
    Freedom is only one generation away from extinction.

  • #2
    I wouldn't want to do it that way....

    I think the recommended way to pick up a lathe is to rig it down through the center of the bed, between the ways. If you try to put a sling around the bed, you risk bending the leadscrew.
    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


    • #3
      Contrary to convention wisdom the spindle is a very stout part of the machine. A sling passed around back of the chuck makes a convenient pick point ensuring the CG is below the center of lift. Place the other sling around the furthest away bed web (not around the bed if you can avoid it.) If you have to go 'round the bed block the lead screw and shafting with wood so the sling doesn't touch it.

      If it's a small bench lathe it can still be tippy and top heavy. I'd strongly advise the first move would be to bolt crosswise timber under the pedestals to broaden its fooprint. Do that the very first thing. The very last thing once the lathe is in its new location is to lift one end of the machine as a time and remove the timbers. Lift it with care.
      Last edited by Forrest Addy; 06-17-2008, 12:13 PM.


      • #4
        I think the lathe weighs about 1500 pounds. It's not a small lathe. I will try to post a picture when I get home from work.

        For those having fought for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.
        Freedom is only one generation away from extinction.


        • #5
          Lifting the spindle

          At work they bought us "top quality/inspected" Clousing 18"x72". The riggers wrapped a sling around the chuck and hauled that sucker in with a mobile crane. That maching runs crooked ever since. Last 8" of travel runs out as much as .010". NONE of the manuals in the file cabinet for all the different brands of lathes we have at work show rigging by using the spindel!



          • #6
            My lathe weighted about same and what I did was to put a sling between the ways and around a bed support as close to the chuck as possible and then did a 2nd sling around the heavy end attaching it to my hoist chain....


            • #7
              Depends on how heavy the lathe is. On a small machine you could lift by the spindle but on something heavy you dont want to do it. I talked to Scott at Monarch before I bought my 10EE and he said he has seen quite a few bent spindles from people trying to lift it that way.

              If there are cross ribs in between the ways then thats a good place to lift from. Use the carriage and tailstock to balance.


              • #8
                I had to move my lathe back in November and wrapped the sling around the bed. I used a 2x4 to keep the sling off the lead screw and power feed rod to keep them from getting bent. You have to be careful that the 2x4 doesn't twist when the sling comes under load though. It takes a bit of finagling to get it right. I did it that way because the nearest cross rib in the bed was too far away from the headstock and the lathe was going to tip if I lifted it by that. I lifted it with an engine hoist and a lot of maneuvering help from my friends.
                Stuart de Haro