Author Topic: Moving my lathe  (Read 194 times)

Offline Brian Rupnow

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Moving my lathe
« on: November 21, 2020, 05:19:58 PM »
A week ago, my lathe quit. This was very upsetting, because it had just quit about 2 or 3 months ago, and had to be taken to Toronto for repairs. Fortunately, the safety switch inside the change gear cover had slipped out of adjustment, so my cost was negligible, but the hardest part was getting the lathe out of my tiny workshop and out into the garage and into my truck. I must declare right here, that I really like this lathe. I bought it new about 6 years ago, and it has performed faithfully for me. When it was brand new, I brought it home in my truck, unloaded it with my engine hoist, and hired a local machinery mover to move it into my machine shop. Two great big men stopped by, put a machine skate under the heavy end, and moved it into my machine shop. This took about 15 minutes, and they charged me $500. Never again, said I!!! That was out and out robbery. Three months ago, I moved the lathe out to my truck by myself and drove it to Toronto for repairs. When it was repaired, I unloaded it from my truck and moved it back into my machine shop by myself. That went well, but I was 74 years old in July, and it was just about more than I could handle. Last week I moved the lathe out to my truck by myself again for a trip to Toronto, but thought "there has to be an easier way to do this". I had designed and built a "transfer table" three months ago which I could load the lathe on and transport it from my truck to my machine shop. The really ugly part was moving the lathe from the wheeled "transfer table" back onto the cabinets which the lathe normally sets on.--But wait!!!!  I'm a machine designer. Damn, I'll build a machine to assist me!!! (The lathe issue was a wire coming loose on the reverse terminal inside the lathes electrical cabinet.) This first picture shows me in the process of unloading the lathe from my truck, using my cherry picker hoist to place the lathe on the "transfer table".


Offline Brian Rupnow

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Re: Moving my lathe
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2020, 05:28:04 PM »
From my garage, one has to pass thru my office to get to my machine shop. (My "machine shop" used to be an annex of my office, with a huge old drafting table in it). The "wheeled transfer table" is quite easy to steer, with fixed pneumatic wheels and tires under one end , and swivel casters under the other end. This picture shows the lathe and transfer table in my office, having just passed thru one doorway between my office and garage.

Offline Brian Rupnow

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Re: Moving my lathe
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2020, 05:42:33 PM »
And here we are with the lathe in my machine shop, almost in it's home position on top of the cabinets on the right hand side. You will see that I have built an overhead gantry, with a wheeled carrier riding on top of the dual 2 x 4'rs passing over top of the lathe, supported on both ends by vertical 2 x 6" timbers. A threaded 1/2" diameter rod reaches from the overhead wheeled carrier down thru a 1/2" clearance hole in a 1 1/4" diameter piece of cold rolled steel held in the chuck. By tightening the nut above the wheeled carrier, I can lift the heavy end of the lathe off the transfer table and see daylight under it. It doesn't require a tremendous feat of strength to manually lift the light end of the lathe and swing it over into it's home position atop the metal cabinets. Then, in theory, I can push the wheeled carrier across to position the heavy end of the lathe above the cabinets, and unscrew the nuts on the 1/2" threaded rod to lower the heavy end into place.

Offline Brian Rupnow

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Re: Moving my lathe
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 05:50:25 PM »
Now, as I said in my previous post, "In theory I can push the wheeled carriage with the heavy end of the lathe suspended from it into place". In reality, it didn't happen quite that way. The heavy end of the lathe was so heavy that the 3" o.d. diameter bearings on my overhead "wheeled carriage"  actually sunk into depressions that it made in the 2 x 4 lumber, and consequently couldn't be pushed by hand. POOP!!!.--However, I have a couple of old scissor jacks that could probably lift the Empire State Building if I wanted to, so I laid one on its side and pushed the carriage into position.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 06:05:49 PM by Brian Rupnow »

Offline Brian Rupnow

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Re: Moving my lathe
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2020, 05:55:08 PM »
With the lathe correctly positioned, it was a simple matter to lower the lathe into it's home position and bolt it into it's final position on top of the cabinets. The lumber and the wheeled carriage are bundled together and put into storage in case I ever need to do this again. (God forbid.)

Offline Brian Rupnow

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Re: Moving my lathe
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2020, 06:03:09 PM »
A number of years ago, someone (I don't remember who) gave me a bunch of huge old bearings, because they knew I "Built things". I never throw anything away, so when it was time to devise a wheeled carriage to move the heavy end of the lathe, I used a piece of 1" thick aluminum bar and a couple of steel shafts to mount the bearings on. The weld spots you see are holding bearing retainers in place so they don't slip of the ends of the shafts. It worked. Maybe not quite as easily as I had hoped, but it did work. If I ever have to use it again I will bolt some steel straps to the top of the 2 x 4rs, so that the wheels (actually bearings) won't sink into the wood and make it hard to move when the lathe is suspended from it.

Offline crueby

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Re: Moving my lathe
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2020, 06:53:12 PM »
You need a Sherline lathe. Unplug it, tuck it under your arm, walk away...   :Lol: