Register now to get rid of these ads!

moving a bridgeport and lathe.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by RADustin, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. RADustin
    Joined: Aug 16, 2011
    Posts: 192

    from Louisiana

    So me and my brother been looking for a full size mill and lathe for some time now. Finally found a 9x42 varispeed bridgeport and a 16" gap bed clausing lathe(~40" deck) tucked away in this older guys garage. The price on both of them is right so we're probably going to be buying them.

    I'm worried about moving them though. They are tucked in this garage that has ~8' ceilings but the garage door is maybe a 7'. Its short. The lathe looks like it will barely fit under the door if at all. I know I can rotate the head and what not to shorten the overall height, but still not sure.

    I'm wondering if its worth building some stout dolleys to put them on to roll them out(but how to lift them?). Once we get them outside my buddy has a bobcat we can lift them up onto my 18' car trailer or his 36' goose. I just have to get them out this limited height garage. Not to mention its packed full of other crap I don't want to have to unload just to get the machines.

    The guy that has them now is slightly handicapped so I want to disturb as little as possible in the garage so he doesn't get angry. He has phase converters as well so I'm going to bring wire nuts and all that stuff so his grandkids don't have any shocking experiences.

    any advice or insight on moving these things? Thanks
  2. If need be, you can pull the 4 bolts out of the neck of the mill and lift the entire head and extender assembly off with a cherry picker. If you can't get to the equipment with anything bigger than a floor jack you are pretty well screwed.

    If you can borrow a set of equipment dollies with ball casters you might pull it off. Those triangle dollies you see with the outside drop casters are useless, IMO.
  3. roundvalley
    Joined: Apr 10, 2005
    Posts: 1,774


    First step. Ask the older guy how he got them inside. (if he can remember)
  4. Dale Fairfax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,585

    Dale Fairfax
    Member Emeritus

    I would suggest clearing a path and ROLLING them out on short pieces of pipe. That stuff's too heavy to try to hang from the overhead of the garage( unless it's all steel framing). You can usually raise a heavy machine with a pinch bar far enough to get some 1" pipe under it. Dollies with heavy enough casters tend to by quite high. Bring a lot of buddies. Are you not going to buy the phase converters too? That lathe and mill may be the main reason they're there.

  5. MP&C
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,380


    Check with your local United Rentals for a JLG or Triple-L drop deck trailer. They were made to carry scissor lifts for the rental outfits. One around here locally I've borrowed twice now. Worked great for moving a Southbend lathe and a Lennox Nibbler...

  6. I'd bet that's exactly how they got in there, but unless he's going to clean the whole works out I think he's going to need some way to steer the mill.

    Pipes may not work well on the lathe depending on how the headstock pedestal is built...
  7. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,716

    Tech Editor

    My Jet lathe and Bridgeport mill both have slots in the base that you can stick a caliche bar into.

    That gave me the mecanical advantage needed to raise it up enough to slip a thick walled tube under it.

    With about 3 of those you can roll it out of the space its in, if the concrete is smooth enough.

    The mill felt really scary because its topheavy.

    And I was very carefull about not sticking fingers or toes where I could loose them.

    Last time I had to move them I hired a rigger.

    ( his quote was, while he was moving them, "these machines kill riggers...")

    Then there is the problem of finding a heavy enough trailer, and how to hoist it off.

    Dont use a cartrailer, and dont use a cherrypicker engine hoist.

    There are some horror stories of guys blowing out the tires and axles out from under borrowed trailers.
    And blowing out the seals in a cherry picker.
    One guy had a mill fall over on top of him, and he was trapped.
    911 was called but they couldnt get him out, and then he had a heart attac with this machine on top of him.

    I believe he lived, but he wasnt the same...

    These things are heavy.
    Threat them with a lot of respect...
  8. '51 Norm
    Joined: Dec 6, 2010
    Posts: 748

    '51 Norm
    from colorado

    I have moved full sized mills a number of times using what we call the "Egyptian method".

    It involves a floor jack, a bumper jack and several pieces of 1" pipe that are a couple of feet long.

    Use the jack(s) to raise the machine just enough to get the pipes under it. Then set it on the pipes. Now the whole mess can be pushed around.

    I have found that the end of the mill table makes a great handle/lever to rotate the machine while making turns.

    When a pipe rolls out from under the back; move it back around to the front and start over. You need to keep at least two pipes under the machine and keep the pipes centered so that the machine doesn't try to tip off of the pipes.

    This method is not sexy and is pretty slow but I have used it to move a full sized Bridgeport mill by myself.

    After getting out of the building winches are your friend; forklifts are even better.
  9. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,421


    Moved a Bridgeport 35 years ago with 3/4-1 inch pipe rollers, works fine. :)
  10. Flatheadguy
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 2,037


    A few good ideas above. Especially the pipe rolling to at least get the mill near (outside) the door. BUT....before you do anything.....
    Lower the table as low as it will go. Bring it forward to the limit of it's travel. Bring the head to the front far enough so that is will clear the machine base post area.
    Then, loosen the four bolts that allow the head to adjust vertically. Be sure to remove the draw bar or it will hit the floor when you rotate the head. Turn the head 180 degrees.
    I use a heavy wall 4x4 steel tube between the head and the mill body. Using a fork litft (rent or borrow one) pick the machine up on the 4x4 with the forks just wide enough to clear everything. Tip the forks a bit and go. Lift just enough for ground clearance. GO SLOW, it will pendulum.
    I prefer to lift high enough to BACK the trailer underneath. Although, if you go slow, VERY slow, all will be well. Rotating, adjusting, all the above is to lower the CG as much as possible. Word of caution...if it swings violently, place it back on the ground right away. And if it really gets going don't try to stop it. It can kill.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  11. donut29
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,518

    from canton MI

  12. Hi!
    Joined: Oct 4, 2006
    Posts: 731

    from SoCal

    To get the mill out the door you rotate the head untill its close to the table.

    The best way is to find a machinery mover with a sliding crane and be done with it. It will be easier and cheaper. By the time your done screwing with it and renting stuff its just faster and cheaper.
    It was $400 to move, load, deliver and locate in final destination my last mill.
  13. Fordtudor37
    Joined: Jan 5, 2011
    Posts: 273


    I would hire a heavy equipment moving firm and get them to cover the entire trip with insurance as well.
    Remember they are heavy pieces of equipment and if they start to fall, your not going to catch them, they take precautions you won't think of ahead of time.
    It's also on thier backs physically and time wise, that take the workout not yours !

    When it comes to heavy or awkward lifting I like the phrase -
    "You got paid, it's your problem - I'm only here to protect my investment !"
  14. cabriolethiboy
    Joined: Jun 16, 2002
    Posts: 875


    I built a 3" channel iron dolly with some heavy duty wheels for my Bridgeport. I took the head off and then turret to lighten it up and lifted it with my cherry picker one end at a time. I lifted the front and put half of my dolly under it, then lifted the back and put the other half of the dolly under it. Then I tied the two halves of the dolly together with some more channel iron and rolled it from my house garage to my new shop about 100' away. When I got it there I did just the opposite. I lifted one end, cut the dolly apart, set it down, lifted the other end and pulled the rest of the dolly out. I had a rented Bobcat at the time but it would not go high enough in my house garage to pick up the Bridgeport.
    For the lathe (13x36 LeBlonde Regal) I just used the cherry picker. The lathe would be hard to move with a dolly because it is more top heavy than the Bridgeport. It worked better by strapping around the top and letting it hang.
    Good luck and be very careful.
  15. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,950


    You'd think the guy who owns them would remember how he got them there.
    Ever think of asking him? Just because he is now old or disabled doesn't mean he is inept.

    -and using pipe under anything is akin to how the pyramids were built.... It Works!
  16. mike in tucson
    Joined: Aug 11, 2005
    Posts: 504

    mike in tucson
    from Tucson

    We just moved a Bridgeport to a home garage. Rented a forklift to lift it off the trailer but the forklift was too tall to go into the garage so we set the mill down just inside the door and poured water on the floor. Two guys pushed the mill into place with medium effort. Water dried and all was fine.
  17. 390Merc
    Joined: Jun 29, 2008
    Posts: 659

    from Indiana

    We did this same exact thing earlier this year. Same type of garage and all. My buddy brought his front loader over and used a chain to pull the lathe out of the garage and then pick it up and lower it down onto a trailer in the street/driveway.
    Don't remember how we got the bridgeport out, I'm guessing we all pushed it out while he tugged it along by the chain wrapped around the base. It all worked out pretty good and my buddy hauled them from Indiana down to his new digs in North Carolina.
  18. 32-3 WINDOW
    Joined: Nov 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,696

    32-3 WINDOW
    from utah

    when we move thm in tght spaces we use 1" bar stock and just go from one end to the other , ive moved 40x60' barns the same way exept using power post and a loader , just have to take your time and have a few buddies there , thats what the beer is for after the job is done
  19. Clik
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,926


    If you've got a smooth concrete floor, spray it with silicone, drag it out with a truck and chain.
  20. I have moved alot of machine tools at work 40,000lb plus items. We use Hilman rollers which look like a dolly with solid round bar rollers. Machines can be move by hand after rollers are in place.Two of them steer ,two of them are straight.They are available at most rental companies
  21. i wouldnt trust a bobcat to lift either machine. those things are super unstable and jerky with the steering.
  22. Offy 220
    Joined: Sep 29, 2009
    Posts: 255

    Offy 220

    A few months ago I had to sell my Bridgeport and 6' South Bend lathe - [sold my parent's home and had no room at my house]. I used heavy wall [Sch 80] 3/4" pipe sections and rolled the machinery out of the garage [around 50'] toward the driveway. I used an engine hoist with a sling and a come-a-long to help support it.

    Once they were in the driveway, I rented a trailer [similar to the one pictured above], had a friend help with the come-a-long, slings and pipe sections. Just have patience and work careful - you will be fine.
  23. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,480

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    Use the actual Egyptian method. Put sand on the floor. Its like thousands of ball bearings.

    Another method is sheet metal with grease between two layers.

    I don't know of many skid steers big enough to lift a lathe or vertical mill.

  24. This is exactly how we did it ................much easier than it looks. Took four of us old guys to do it.
  25. I moved a Bridgeport by rolling it on black iron gas pipe with a pinch bar to help steer. I heard of someone moving a 12,000lb Kearney Trecker mill the same way.
  26. i used to use Hilman movers to move my punch presses and used a come along and anchored to my fork lift, a roller can slip out very easily
    those were very top heavy with the big flywheels
    the come along is slow so you can keep controll, also beware of slopes, the last one i moved i spalled my concrete it was proabbly 8K for weight

    had one outside that one was 28,000 and they took it with a riggers forklift, permantly compacted my grass there!!!:eek:

    I am glad all my really big heavy stuff has been sold:D
  27. Norm47
    Joined: Apr 22, 2006
    Posts: 4


    Bridgeport isn't really that heavy. About 2300 lbs. as I remember. Put a 5/8 eyebolt in the ttop of the ram,and any good cherry picker will lift it up. Drop the table all the way down, then crank the table in until it is right next to the column. Lift with a cherry picker to put 1" pipe underbase(have 4-5 pieces) anjd roll it out the door. Run the ram and dove tails toward the front of the machine, run a lifting strap around front and rear dovetails and pick up with bobcat(assuming your bobcat will lift 2300 lbs), put it on the center of the car trailer. If the trailer has a metal floor. be sure to put wood down, and set mill on the wood. Do not do metal to metal. Chain it down, and go home.
  28. BratRod
    Joined: Oct 10, 2007
    Posts: 51


    When I got my Bridgeport it was in the basement of a house (that was the deal get it out and its yours) It only took 3 guys, a chain come-a-long, pipe, a few planks, and a big bar. We removed the head and the table to make it lighter and clear some low hanging pipes and ducts in the building. A very good point mentioned above is to put it down on wood if you have a trailer with a metal floor.
  29. bikersteve
    Joined: Oct 19, 2008
    Posts: 155


    the pipe roller works great, if you can get it lifted high enough with a cherry picker, bolt some 4x4's to the bottom, more surface to work with that way....and bring helpers! moved a Warner and Swasey #3 earlier this year alone.....would have been in big trouble if something happened...stupid!
  30. oldblu65
    Joined: Jan 29, 2009
    Posts: 121

    from Tennessee

    Seeing this thread brought back memories of an incident I witnessed many years ago (30 + ) . I was a maintenance mechanic at a large industrial plant . In the maintenance building , they had a large lathe that hadn't been used in some time so they sold it to a fellow . He brought a new ( large truck - don't remember the truck size designation ) Ford with a permanently mounted rotating crane and a flatbed with outriggers ! They had estimated the weight of this lathe and said this truck ( and crane ) could handle it with no problem ! We had already managed to move the lathe to an outside area . They rigged it then attached it to the crane and the plan was to lift if from one side and set it on the bed ! All was well until it got almost up to the bed level when suddenly the truck flipped onto it's side ! The outriggers didn't collapse , the truck just flipped like some giant just picked it up and ...flop ! Needless to say , the truck suffered significant damage but there were no injuries and the lathe was fine as well !

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.