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How to raise a mill by the base?

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  • How to raise a mill by the base?

    I need to raise my verticle mill high enough to level it. The problem is that the mill is in a corner of the shop..not much room, low ceiling height.

    I tried a prybar to raise it just enough to insert a wood wedge..all that does is scoot the mill around.

    Has anyone used the four 3/4" holes in the base ..maybe drill and tap to 7/8"?

  • #2
    The end of the studs will damage floor without a plate under them, those holes are normally for holding down so probably wont have much thickness for threading.

    Put your pry-bar in the center of the front (all my mills have a cast notch for this) NOT at a corner.

    The first 3/8" of a lift is the hardest


    john
    John

    I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure , but I'm not a complete idiot - some bits are still missing

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    • #3
      If it's a b-port or clone,look at those holes carefully.All the mills I have leveled they were threaded,but filled with paint/goo.

      Some where threaded 3/4-16,some 7/8-14 and some 20x1.5mm so among the different brands there doesn't seem to be a hard standard.
      I just need one more tool,just one!

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      • #4
        Block between the mill and wall to prevent slide. I was amazed what a Gorilla bar would do getting my Lagun in place.

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        • #5
          Your not using the correct pry bar. I lift my mill with a pry bar a little at a time putting pieces of plywood under each corner until it is high enough to slide onto a flat bed trailer. I have moved my mill several times to a different shop every time I move to a different house. Pry bar works fine for me.

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          • #6
            Build A

            Toe Jack, check out internet for ideas. I made one and am always lending it out to people to borrow. How close to Waterloo Ontario Canafdda are you? You can borrow mine, Mike

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            • #7
              isn't there a notch or somewhere around the perimeter where you can get a pry bar under it? even if its not on the right side, use this to get it off the ground, once you have a small gap on once side you can move your way around. If you can get a pry bar under you should be able to lift without shifting it about, try different height fulcrums

              madmans toe jack, works great, I borrowed his then made my own ....for total effort saved/cost its one of the best tools in the shop
              .

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              • #8
                ...as others have said. Take it slow, use blocks of 1/4" plywood and work your way around gradually lifting it up, building the piles of blocks. I generally substitute blocks of greater thickness for the stacks of plywood as I get whatever it is I'm lifting up high enough (first some 3/4" thick blocks, then 2x4 blocks, etc.) but you don't need to.

                The main thing is to have patience and don't try to do the lift all at once.
                ----------
                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

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dhammer
                  I tried a prybar to raise it just enough to insert a wood wedge..all that does is scoot the mill around.
                  one other thought...I don't know how big the mill is or your experience level so apologies if I'm singing to the choir, but be aware you shouldn't use softwood for blocking machine tools. It can shear under machine tool loads and if the grain is such that it does so on an angle, the machine topple. Use solid stuff for blocking! There's no requirement to level a mill except for coolant flow so don't sweat being exact; I did mine by taking some AL blocks and cutting them at a slight taper....made for a quick and dirty way to adjust it (roughly) level
                  .

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                  • #10
                    This is kind of basic, but your pry bar should be the kind that you push the handle down to raise the mill. If you are lifting the handle up that is why the mill slides.

                    Bob

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                    • #11
                      If it's a BP style mill, lift the back by putting a jack/post under the back of the ram.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gary350
                        Your not using the correct pry bar. I lift my mill with a pry bar a little at a time putting pieces of plywood under each corner until it is high enough to slide onto a flat bed trailer. I have moved my mill several times to a different shop every time I move to a different house. Pry bar works fine for me.
                        I'm having trouble with this, Gary. How big are the pieces of plywood you put under each corner? I'm envisioning a mill about two feet off the ground with the corners on 4"x4"x1" pieces of plywood stacked up teeteringly high. OK, maybe you can do that without a cataclysmic accident. Now you back up a trailer just under the forward lip, and push. As soon as the mill has moved 4" max, it falls, killing the pusher and destroying mill and driveway.

                        My real question is who typed your message if you're dead? :-)

                        metalmagpie

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                        • #13
                          Great advice..mission accomplished

                          You guys are great..thanks to all those offered suggestions.

                          I used a combination of your methods..different pry bar, blocking one end against a wall.. and after many many trips up and down I finally got my mill leveled..or at least in a position to use "level" as a reference surface.

                          I need to machine a casting..MLA's die filer. Frank Ford's tutorial mentioned leveling his mill..that is what lead me to this project. Anyway..on to the next step.

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                          • #14
                            Sorry I know it's a bit late, but this is also a suggestion next time you need to either lift/move a machine. HF recently had these side-winding trailer jacks on sale for about 25 bucks each IIRC, sadly I could only get 2 of them The plate bolts on to where the trailer jack normally fits to the drawbar.



                            Pete

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                            • #15
                              Yep, that's what I did - I just drilled and tapped the holes, and made some long screws out of allthread and nuts, with nice little pads underneath. Seemed stout enough at the time, and they appear to be holding just fine these years later:






                              I suppose I could lower the mill down onto some solid support to make it more solid, but I haven't felt the need. My shop floor is a 90-year old garage slab that slopes about an inch in four feet, so most things aren't level except my mill, lathe and work bench. All the tool drawers that face South run out to the end of their extension if I let go, and all the North facing ones slam shut. . .
                              Cheers,

                              Frank Ford
                              HomeShopTech

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