So I spend the past week planning for this weekends “big lift”. The milling machine stand that I built over the past couple of weeks had 2 coats of Tremclad brushed on and was ready to have the workhorse lifted, and secured, onto its table. For those of you who need a history lesson check out my milling machine stand post Off with their heads! I wasn’t quite sure how the whole deal was going to go down. Some unknowns consisted of; was the engine lift going to reach high enough? Were the lift legs going to be in the way of getting the machine onto the stand? Was I going to be able to sling the 700 lbs machine in a safe a stable manner?
I used a 2 ton engine lift crane to do the moving. The first issue was that the crane legs are not wide enough to straddle a pallet. I cannot understand why engine lifts aren’t manufactured to be able to get a pallet in between the legs. I have used numerous different lifts over the years and out of all of them only 1, a German made lift, was designed to fit a pallet in between. Anyway…I got the machine somewhat (and I do mean somewhat) balanced and lifted with the crane only to give me enough room to take my circular saw to the pallet. I needed to cut the pallet away so I could reposition the lift to get a better vertical pull on the machine.
I cut a couple lengths of 5/8” hot rolled round bar to slide through the casted holes of the machine base. After slinging, and re-slinging, the base numerous times I finally got a solid hold of the machine to be able to get it into the workshop closer to the stand. Lifting from the base of the machine is kind of scary since the unit is so top heavy. I did not feel comfortable lifting it the 32” required with it slung the way it was.
After numerous more attempts I finally discovered, what I thought be, the best, safest, and most stable set up. I ran a couple straps around where the gearbox mounts to the rear vertical support. It balanced the weight nicely and, would hopefully, allow me enough crane height to get the machine all the way onto the stand.
Next problem I had was that the crane legs would not straddle the machine stand, big surprise! (no…not really) The lifting hook of the crane was not going to reach far enough into the center of the stand table allowing me to place the machine centered on the stand. The only solution I could come up with was to place a floor jack under the crane in order to get more reach. See the picture below, it’s too hard to explain the details.
I would not say the lift went smoothly and it certainly lacked finesse however in the end the machine finally made it atop and sat resting in its new home. I still have all my fingers and toes and the machine suffered no damage so I guess I am happy.
The machine got bolted down to the stand using ½” ready rod at all four corners. I put some rubber sealing washers where the rod goes through the table top splash pan in order to prevent coolant from leaking through the bolt holes and into the frame of the stand.
The wooden stand sides got bolted on and the toolbox slid into place. Finished! At least that part. It’s a relief to have the machine off the floor and out of the way. I can now start with cleaning all the oil and grease from the machine and performing a basic inspection. I suspect the machine will need some attention before it is put into use as the China built machines are not assembled with the greatest of care.