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HSM Rigging: Hindsight is 20/20

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  • HSM Rigging: Hindsight is 20/20

    A bit of a cautionary tale, and while I'm embarrassed to admit it I think getting the word out is worth more than what's left of my pride....



    Long story short, don't underestimate the size/weight of the machines we HSM'ers have a habit of picking up. Pulling my Clausing 5917 off the truck and tucking it into this corner of the back porch was easy enough (ballpark 1200 pounds), but once it became clear the permanent home was delayed indefinitely I decided it was time to bite the bullet and move it into the basement.

    While prepping it for the move before the neighbor got home to help (read: unbolting it from the pedestals and chip pan), I lifted it a whopping 2" off the pedestals to get the chip pan out. No problem there, but upon lowering it the board I had under the bed (per the Clausing instructions) caught on the wood siding of the back room and began to tip it over (2x4 near the headstock, with the yellow strap wrapped twice around each end). Try as I might to hold it, gravity won out and I ended up underneath it when it fell. Thankfully I was on the end and was able to twist out from under it with little damage to either me or the lathe as it fell, but I was inches from needing someone to get a bucket and mop for cleanup.

    I guess my point is don't underestimate the force of gravity, and regardless of your opinion regarding the potential Brinelling of the spindle bearings, just throw a sling around the chuck as a backup to lifting under the bed on the off chance things get out of balance like this did. I came ***SERIOUSLY*** close to getting squished like a bug this afternoon, and would be lying if I didn't admit that brinelling-the-spindle-bearings thread wasn't partially the reason for not simply slinging the lathe behind the chuck. What's worse is that my 60+ year old mother who was visiting came over when she heard I was having issues, and immediately placed herself in the landing zone asking how she could help. Many expletives later (I swear like a sailor, so only a few seconds), she was out of the way and I dropped it as safely as I could manage. Tweaked the radial nerve in my right arm and have a couple cuts, but other than that it looks like both me and the lathe are none the worse for wear (not the first time it was dropped, judging but the condition of the apron).

    Be safe, guys.
    Last edited by adatesman; 06-25-2012, 12:38 AM.

  • #2
    that is awful, feel for you, but glad its only bent metal. Still don't like lifting by the spindle though
    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mcgyver
      Still don't like lifting by the spindle though
      Neither do I. But having just dropped it I'm thinking a somewhat loose strap around the chuck as a backup to the lifting strap under the bed would be a fantastic compromise to prevent the worst case scenario of getting squished. After all, what's worse... replacing spindle bearings or getting squished like a bug?
      Last edited by adatesman; 06-25-2012, 01:18 AM.

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      • #4
        Sorry it happened but glad your OK. I hate cherry pickers, even though I own 2.

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        • #5
          Actually not the cherry picker's fault... While I double wrapped each end of the board under the bed to keep it from slipping, I simply hooked the center of the sling an thought nothing more of it. Clipping the horizontal on the siding with the end of the board was enough to get the sling started moving in the hook, and there was little I could do to stop it. Better plan would have been separate slings for each side, or barring that a last resort sling around the spindle.

          I'm ***EXTREMELY*** embarrassed by this and very much would have preferred keeping my mouth shut about it, but figure using it as a cautionary tale for others might someday save someone else fingers/toes/life, which outweighs whatever pride/ego thing I have that's making me want to hide it.
          Last edited by adatesman; 06-25-2012, 01:19 AM.

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          • #6
            Glad you're OK. BTW, accidents can and do happen to professionals. While I was working as a millwright we had to pull the flywheel off a Bliss punch press. Let's just say a mistake was made and we dropped the flywheel. Fortunately no one nor any equipment was damaged/injured. It did serve as a good lesson to us.

            On edit: I made a load leveler to go with my engine puller. It such helps keep things balanced and reduces (but does not eliminate) the chance of something tipping.
            Last edited by ; 06-25-2012, 01:26 AM.

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            • #7
              I also own a cherry picker and can also attest to the awkward positions that the load is sometimes wanting to go that I would rather it did not. The load usually wants to start moving and going in the wrong direction much faster than I have anticipated for. As you have shared, best not to get yourself in the mix between the cherry picker and the load or the load and mother earth. Glad you are all right.
              Cheers,
              Gary

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              • #8
                that sucks man, glad you are ok

                when i had doubts about moving a machine i hired riggers
                cost me $800 but it was uneventful so money well spent
                https://www.flickr.com/photos/csprecision

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                • #9
                  I bought a set of 5 fall protection slings 5' long with a large sewn loop on 1 end & a steel ring on the other for $5/ea on ebay. I sling whatever & run the metal ring thru the sewn loop & put the ring on the hook. Works great. I bought an Oliver metal spinning lathe that weighed 750# tonight. Pulled the truck beside it put the 2 sling around the bed & the rings on the truck hoist, picked it up over the side & set it in the truck. I always look for fall protection gear as OSHA requires it replaced every 3 years if used or not.

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                  • #10
                    For those who think it's bad to so: please explain why putting the weight of a lathe on the spindle bearings damages them, but lower quality wheel bearings in vehicles go for hundreds of thousands of kilometers enduring much greater loads both statically and dynamically yet do so with no trouble.
                    Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Arcane
                      For those who think it's bad to so: please explain why putting the weight of a lathe on the spindle bearings damages them, but lower quality wheel bearings in vehicles go for hundreds of thousands of kilometers enduring much greater loads both statically and dynamically yet do so with no trouble.
                      No offense, but that might be a topic for another thread, judging by the religious fervor surrounding the last time that topic came up. I only brought it up because as a last resort possible damage to the bearings is preferable to needing a mop and sponge regardless of which side of the argument you're on.

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                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=Dr Stan]Glad you're OK. BTW, accidents can and do happen to professionals. While I was working as a millwright we had to pull the flywheel off a Bliss punch press. Let's just say a mistake was made and we dropped the flywheel. Fortunately no one nor any equipment was damaged/injured. It did serve as a good lesson to us.

                        Been thru the Bliss plant not far at Hastings, Mi. I bought the Boye & Emmes from their sales manager. As we were going thru he stopped & asked if I knew what the macine made a guy was working on. I lucked out it was a bullet swager & after I said it I said & the bullet looks like a speer. Lucky guess on my part. Very impressive place. They use BIG IRON in there!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dr Stan
                          Glad you're OK.
                          Me too.

                          Originally posted by Dr Stan
                          BTW, accidents can and do happen to professionals.
                          Seen it happen, when riggers were setting up our first-in-the-USA Mazak V120 (miss that machine.... so much fun to be had with a pair of 60" x 120" pallets with 30" or 40" in Z {I forget which} and both vertical and horizontal heads for the spindle, with the latter indexible every 5 degrees....). Anyway, the cable on the tilt bed trailer dropping off the silly-huge forklift (to supplement the 20 ton crane) snapped, resulting in a wild ride for the guy in the forklift. Never in my life thought I'd see 1" diameter steel cable snap, especially under a slow, smooth payout. But it did, and several people needed new shorts as a result.
                          Last edited by adatesman; 06-25-2012, 01:58 AM.

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                          • #14
                            I think you jusy wanted to win my "Ugliest Lathe Contest" really bad! But almost killing Grandma is just going too far!

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                            • #15
                              Am I glad to hear that your weren't hurt besides the obvious one to your pride. When it came time to move my jet 13x40 gearhead lathe from the pallet's to its stand it was obvious that they had done a little homework. Their lifting gizmo consisted of a long threaded rod with a lifting eye at one end and a large nut at the other You removed the large nut and their were two heavy duty pieces of metal both drilled for the threaded rod. One piece would fit over the ways (I had some really thick cardboard cut for this to prevent damage to the ways) and the other piece fit under the ways. There were two bolts to take up on and as we just started the lift one side sagged down. Moved the cross slide assemble and tailstock to balance it. Picked up again and with a few more minor tweaks it was set on the stands. Pity the lathe companies don't include such helpers would make things a lot more easy. Frayed nerves and People getting hurt or damaged equipment can be reduced condsiderably. And long ago I learned to always have a spare set of hands around should things start to go south. This is not meant to be any form of monday morning quarterbacking. Frank

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