12/05/2004   Delivery!

After two rained out attempts, I finally was able to schedule the forklift & moving truck rentals on a clear day.

So, up at 5:30 to take delivery of my 6000 capacity rough terrain forklift;

Once that showed up, off we went to Penske for the van, then down to Norman Machine Tool;

Not quite like the old Abandon Hope All Ye ... business, but I think the chain hoist there is a nice aesthetic touch.

Vince set up the ram so he could pick up the mill with the forklift while I got the knee and table set up to support the head.  The accessories I got with the mill included a wooden endmill rack, which I put between the head and table;

Then off to the truck;

Yours truly, ready to tie down;

Since the van didn't offer any hard points, I ended up fixing lines from the ram leading to the four corners of the box, and some straps lower on the base leading side to side.  The mill didn't move at all during the admittedly careful drive home.  The truck didn't handle any differently with the mill in there, and was rated for quite a bit more weight than the Bridgeport.  The one-way truck rental was only about $150, and I opted for insurance.  The open bed truck they had would have cost $200 or so.  Of course the biggest advantage is the closed box caused the weather to be good- it would certainly have rained otherwise... ;)


First I had to pull the mill towards the tailgate so the forks would straddle the ram.  Naturally, the metal gate is 1/4" higher than the wooden floor of the van, so I had to lever the base of the mill up a bit to fit some plywood scraps underneath as a little ramp.  The tow strap kept the mill from sliding backwards while I pried up the base 1/2" or so with a digging bar.  With the scraps in place, the mill slid neat as you please.  Be sure to cast off the tow strap before backing up again to set up the forks.  I forgot that for a moment and had an Oh @**% moment as the mill was dragged even further towards the edge of the tailgate.  Yikes!

First test lift to make sure things are set up OK.  Observe the right-hand tow strap is loose.  I changed the pitch of the forks to put more weight on that end.  Each tow strap is restrained with a smaller one leading back to the forklift, the one on the right is easily visisble.  I should have put some cardboard under the dovetail, the straps were a little frayed after all was said and done, but they are cheapo Home Depot ones- I bought them specifically for this move and figure they are essentially disposable.

Then off we go;

And I did just barely miss the fence.  The forklift steers from the back, so you can't drive it the same as a car.

Now we're ready to set up for the trip down the basement stairs, here I paused to fit the sled underneath the base.

Naturally, the basement door is too low by a foot or so for the whole machine to slide down the ramp, so I had to take the ram & turret off, and move the head of the ramp down two steps before there was enough clearance.  You can see the sled here, the head of the ramp is out of view two steps down the stairwell.

Closeup of the top of the base;

I had to scramble to find a spot to put the entire head.  Eventually I had some 2x6 scraps under the table saw's legs and a 4x4 under the bit of dovetail to keep it from pitching.  It would have been easier to slide the turret further to the right- but once the table saw was stable the head behaved itself.  The huge forklift made all this much easier.

About this time our friend Captain Beth showed up to help, she's steering with the straps while I lower away.  The base is suspended over the stairs & ramp by the forklift.  As I lowered, the base & ramp pitch downwards onto the ramp, the uphill end resting on the lip of the basement stairs. 

The hoist coming down from the forks is prevented from being pulled off by the changing lifting angle via another strap leading back to the forklift.

The base is kept from tumbling or sliding by a comealong and strap down at the base of the mill, also leading back to the bottom of the forklift.  Once the base and sled were stable on the ramp, we cast off the hoist and used the comealong to ease the works down the ramp.  A winch or chain-hoist would have been convienient, it takes a while to spool out a comealong with so much weight on it.  No grease or coercion was required to make the sled slide, it was quite eager to go downhill... ;)

If we hadn't run into height clearance problems, the whole mill on its sled could have been placed right onto the ramp.  As it was we had to lever the uphill end of the sled over the edges of two steps before the sled came evenly down onto the ramp.  As we inched the sled over the steps, we kept most of the weight on the hoist so things stayed under control.

And about 30 minutes later, all safe and sound resting on the basement floor.  You can see how low the head of the ramp had to be for the height clearance.  Down in the basement, I used the shop crane to pick up the base and set it level on the floor.  The expanding foam is an oversight- I keep forgetting to clear it away.

The ramp is made of four 2x6x8's per "rail", bound together by lag screws.  The outermost 2x6's of both rails are raised about 1/2" to form a guide.  The two rails are spaced and braced with 2x4's.  The ramp is touching only at the bottom and top edge, no special preparations were made to mate the ramp bearing edges and the floor.  There was no apparent shifting or flexing of the ramp during the move.

And that ends day 1.  Day 2, I started working on the head.

Here the head is off, suspended by my shop crane.  The righmost long strap ended up being unnecessary.  I also wised up and pulled out the endmill before I cut myself- or a lifting strap.

Then after pulling the motor and removing a few levers, I got the head onto my handtruck- I added straps before moving it of course...

Then the ram & turret;

I finally got to use the hoisting ring...

This was a bit of a heavy load for the handtruck, but the move was uneventful.  Next time I'd pull the ram from the turret and move them separately.

And later on day 2, I got the base into position.  The clothes are there while we're remodeling the 2nd floor.  Since the steam pipe is so low above the base, I switched to a chunk of 4x4 thru the door on the base to a lip in the casting with a length of nylon strap looped between the hook and the 4x4.  It wasn't really well balanced, but it was good enough to lift almost all the weight so I could shove the base around a little. 

As I reassembled the mill, I discovered the sled added enough height to cause the top of the motor to interfere with the floor joist overhead, so I had to remove the sled.  I now have approximately 1/2" clearance above the motor.

And here, unfortunately, my camera died so I don't have pictures of the rest of the reassembly.  I'll add pictures of the installed setup once we get a new one.


;;; eof