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Need some ideas for moving a mill


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  #1  
Old 06-09-2008, 08:47:39 AM
Dan Parry
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Default Need some ideas for moving a mill

I need some ideas for how to get the mill in the attached picture down into my basement. I can take it apart and probably move most of the components downstairs with the help of a few guys. However, the column is another story. We’re talking at least 500lbs (I think; maybe more). The problem is that my house has no outside entrance to the basement – this means that the machine needs to come through the house.

I figure someone out there has been presented with this problem somewhere along the line and knows of a good way to do it without causing any harm to the machine or my house.

If all else fails I have a spot picked out in my garage but it is much smaller and needs many preparations before it will be an acceptable environment. This is a last resort!

Thank you in advance for your help.
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2008, 10:49:46 AM
Handlebar99 Handlebar99 is offline
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Default Re: Need some ideas for moving a mill

If it was me,I'd remove as much as convenient, get a heavy duty appliance dolly, case of cold beer, invite a couple of ex-linebackers over, send wifey off to Marshall's to shop for a couple of hours, and put that sucker in the basement.

But then again, what do I know, I'm just a cranky old guy in Rifton.
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:37:03 PM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: Need some ideas for moving a mill

Dan,
You definitely need a couple pals with a strong back as handlebar said, but don't get the ones with the proverbial "weak mind".
I'm thinking we can work smarter, not harder here.

Can you lay 2 or 3 two by six planks on the stairs (maybe screw them down if wood stairs- or screw enough boards together for full length of stairs if stairs are concrete) and then let the mill slide down with a rope?
(Plywood on the stairs would be good, but wouldn't allow you a place to step down in front of and behind the mill if necessary)
If the mill is odd shaped such as it is going to hang up on the stairs between the planks, you could band a couple small pieces of plywood to the mill to provide a smooth, flat sliding surface to ride on the 2X runners on the stairs.

You would need a good place to attach the rope, (or even a "come-along" cable winch) say tie it to a tree or vehicle in the yard if you have a door by your stairs, OR maybe weld a piece of two inch pipe or a big ring to a 1/4 inch metal plate about the size of a shoebox lid with a bunch of holes in it. Screw that plate to the floor with some lags or a LOT of deck screws (easy with a screw gun) Take 4 or 5 turns around that pipe and it will provide the friction for you to let it down slowly. Or better yet, use a block and tackle. It will also allow you to pull the thing back up if something gets caught.

Gravity is working for you. Going down is easy. All you gotta do is slow it down and give it a smooth place to slide. Let us know how it goes. If you have a door by your stairs, I would use a chain and a vehicle to slowly back it down. Kevin
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:46:14 PM
Handlebar99 Handlebar99 is offline
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Default Re: Need some ideas for moving a mill

Kevin has some sound solutions -- but before you start lagging things to the floor -- I hope you're single (Or you soon will be!)
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:18:53 PM
JoeCB JoeCB is offline
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Default Re: Need some ideas for moving a mill

Dan, I have had the pleasure of moving the very rotund 500 lb. base of a pre war Hammand surface grinder up and down stairs. All good advice previously given... I'll add ... use two come-alongs side by side so if you run out of cable on #1 you can still hold the load /w #2 until you re-rig #1. Run the anchor cable out to something substantial or use a 4X4 across the bottom of a door jam at the head of the stairs. Be sure to shore up the stairs in several places... you don't want 500lbs and a couple of heavy guys AND the stair case laying on the basement floor. For the sake of the marrage, pad and protect all surfaces.
PS, It will eventually have to come back up the same way... just slower!
Joe B
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:33:39 PM
Mike Cannon Mike Cannon is offline
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Default Re: Need some ideas for moving a mill

Dan ~ Also try to borrow a Johnson bar for the day if you do not own one already.The bar might not help you get it down but it might come in handy once it is on the basement floor and needing placement. Just another thought,why not put plywood covering over any floor surfaces on your travel thru the house? When you get that kind of weight on small hard wheels they can put down a real signature. Wives don't like that sort of thing at all, I know!!!! Mike
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:24:15 AM
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ListerDiesel ListerDiesel is offline
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Default Re: Need some ideas for moving a mill

Break it down into the smallest pieces, but remember that if you use a hydraulic crane to take the head off, you'll need it again to put it back on again!

Most of the suggestions can't be improved upon, make sure you have something firm to anchor any 'come-alongs' to, people's safety is a major consideration. We have a couple of big 6ft bars with spike at one end and crowbar fork at the other, great for moving heavy iron, also have a 3ft version as well. Don't use them much, but indispensable when we do.

Make sure also that any straps/ropes are in good condition and rated for twice what you're going to ask them to hold. Keep people out of harms way, especially going down those stairs, better a bent floor than a bent body.

Peter
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:28:30 AM
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JeffK JeffK is offline
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Default Re: Need some ideas for moving a mill

How about an electric powered hand truck? The oil companies use them all the time to get boilers in and out.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:25:12 PM
Dan Parry
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Default Re: Need some ideas for moving a mill

Wow, guys! Thank you so much for the great ideas. I think I can put most of these great ideas to use. I didn’t expect such a reply – it’s good to know that there is support like this out there. Hopefully I can return the favor one day. THANK YOU!

I’m not sure what an electric powered hand truck is though. I mean I guess I know what it is but I’ve never seen one. I wonder if I could rent one. Is it specially made to bring heavy items up and down the steps?

I will keep you posted. I’ll probably be making the move sometime during the beginning of July.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:23:16 PM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: Need some ideas for moving a mill

Dan,
I doubt you could rent the hand truck UNLESS you are buddies with a boiler/heating contractor who has one. A plumber might use one also for water heaters or??? It is a two wheeled cart, but it electrically "jacks" the load up and down so you can get the wheels on the next step. It would for example, lift a boiler up in your truck, OR you could set it down out of your truck by first dropping the wheels, then letting the load down. I've never used one, but seen 'em in pictures. Honestly, I think your mill is maybe a little taller than what they are designed for, and chances are you can't get one or wouldn't want the associated cost. I think the suggestions to brace up the stairs and use a 4 x4 block in a doorway as an anchor are especially good.
A third party taking photos might be interesting also...
Order pizza and Gatorade for your pals but tell 'em they gotta work first! Kevin
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:39:14 PM
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Default Re: Need some ideas for moving a mill

The electric hand trucks that I have seen were used by movers for large copy machines and heavyoffice eouipment. They look similar to a moving dolly but have a set of small motorized arms sticking out by the wheels that turn slowly and climb from step to step, or reverse to go down.
Steve
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:22:05 AM
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Doug Kimball Doug Kimball is offline
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Default Re: Need some ideas for moving a mill

Dan,
I have a very narrow bulkhead with removable stairs. I made an adapter to fit the receiver hitch on my truck for my 2 ton hydraulic engine crane. I used heavy rachet straps to 'guy' the boom. With this set-up I could back right back to bulkhead wall without the crane legs interfering. I did not use the crane hydraulics but a good chain fall attached to crane hook. Lowered main body of mill onto a pallet jack & moved into position. I then reassembled crane to conventional mode & used it to reinstall head & 49" table. I believe the main body with knee was 1100 lbs. It would have been easier with help but I did it alone. Something like 13 hours to disassemble, move & reassemble. I hope I don't have to move it again!!
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