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Thread: Lifting a lathe, by the chuck?

  1. #21
    kpotter's Avatar
    kpotter is offline Diamond
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    I used to work for a dealer and we had volumes of manuals from the machine tool manufactures and most of them showed diagrams of how to rig the machines and for the lathes many showed a sling around the spindle. I thought this was insane but I was shown the diagrams and figured they wouldnt tell you to do it if it was dangerous. I witnessed a 20x80 inch goodway get picked up by the spindle with the bed sticking out in front no other straps just hanging by the spindle with the headstock against the fork lift. I thought for sure it was a goner. I throughly checked it out after the incedent, no obvious damage. Six years later I am at an auction and I see the same lathe I ask the current owner how it runs and he says it has been great no problems, I ask some of the machinests who run it everyday and they say no problems super accurate. I think some of you dont realize how strong a lathe really is.

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    I've never lifted a lathe by its spindle, (with or without chuck interposed) and feel safe to say that I never will BUT as usual the finger-waving, overly cautious crowd must have a say, even some who get testy and and attempt to show they are in possession of vast knowledge of weight's and stresses with fancy engineerin' sounding verbiage. Know all them words m'self.

    Check out the diameter of the spindle and compare that to the pin in a lifting clevis you'd feel safe joining the lifting straps with, 1/2"?, skeerdy cats maybe 3/4"? Depending on lathe weight of course but no matter the size/weight, the ratio of clevis pin to spindle would be somewhat proportional, for the reasonable.

    Now, about "brineling" the bearing races? Not unless they are made of lead or you play bouncy yo-yo with the bridge crane! I have no qualms about raring back on a 4' spinning iron on my 17" lathe, it's leverage multiplied many times as it passes over the pivot pin an inch from the part dangled on a form screwed to the spindle, even if the form projects the cantilever 10 or 12" beyond the spindle nose. The puny and "static" (fancy engineerin' word) weight of the lathe doesn't approach that kind of "dynamic", (another'n) pressure on spindle or bearings when metal spinning.

    .......all while, I hide behind them skeerdy cats and lift from the bed or lower, tieing against tilt

    Bob

  3. #23
    47nomad is offline Cast Iron
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    Just throwing out some observations and food for thought. You can and should do what you are comfortable with. Some lathes are more top heavy than others and can get away from you real easy. I would guess that more lathes are flipped over in lifting than those with spindle damage. I have sold every operating handle, handwheels, crosslide screws and associated castings on every lathe I have parted out. Never a spindle. Always the same story. It got away from me while picking up or moving. Yes some manufactures suggest how to pick up their machines. Some provide lifting holes for bars others plates to go under the bed with lifting eyes. Lacking a source of those recomendations you will have to decide what is the best way when you consider what can go wrong. Not all used machinery dealers are bad, just most of them.

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    thermite is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpotter View Post
    I think some of you dont realize how strong a lathe really is.
    Some are. Perhaps most.

    Doubt there'd be any risk in lifting my 'smaller' one - Timken tapered rollers and 90 lbs avoir all-up weight. Same again with hobby-grade or barely above such Logan's, Clausings, et al with low overall mass, and tapered rollers.

    Dif'rent story with high-mass Monarch's, L&S, American, Cincinnati, and countless other 'heavies' - often with uber-precise, and uber-costly - angular-contact spindle bearings.

    Long and short of it is that one doesn't want to take ANY avoidable risk that is potentially time-consuming and costly to repair. Not only w/r the bearings, but also HS to ways clamping and such, scarring, damage to seal covers, nose mounts (D1-3 to name one).

    At best, spindle lifting is a bad habit to get into when there are more universally 'safe' means.

    Now for a 'used' and 'as is' dealer? I don't even see a time-saving.

    If one does this OFTEN, then gear for gripping the bed properly and quickly ought to be kept on-hand. Same again for mills, surface-grinders and the like.

    New and used automobile dealers don't shuffle their inventory about with electromagnets on a crane. It's the scrapyards as does that.

    Machine tools deserve consideration also.

    Bill
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  5. #25
    magicmaker is offline Cast Iron
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    I would never lift by the chuck nor bed. Period. See pics of how I prefer to lift.
    Jim
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails lifting1.jpg   lifting2.jpg  

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    sa100 is offline Hot Rolled
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    I'm surprised that this topic has gone on as long as it has, given that the answer is so simple and has been stated already, more than once. Lifting a lathe by the spindle may or may not damage the spindle or the bearings, depending on who you talk to and what you believe. Lifting a lathe by some other point will NOT damage any of those parts. Simple.

    And why even think of lifting in this way, when most lathe beds have stout cast in webs every few inches? Those webs are all but crying out to be used as lifting points. How much harder is it to run your strap, cable or chain around one of those webs than around the chuck? The webs are high enough up on the lathe that it shouldn't be much more top heavy than if it is being lifted by the spindle. (Tipping is always one of my biggest concerns when lifting).

    Steve
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  7. #27
    thermite is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by magicmaker View Post
    I would never lift by the chuck nor bed. Period. See pics of how I prefer to lift.
    Jim
    'Surely you jest.'

    In any case ... that's a toy. NICE toy. But not heavy.

    You'd not expect to lift a Lodge & Shipley 30"+ by its chip-pan?

    ... or would you?

    Bill

  8. #28
    magicmaker is offline Cast Iron
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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    'Surely you jest.'

    In any case ... that's a toy. NICE toy. But not heavy.

    You'd not expect to lift a Lodge & Shipley 30"+ by its chip-pan?

    ... or would you?

    Bill
    That "toy" earns a lot of money and that lifting method is as per Hardinge. I have no desire to deal with bent spindles, ruined bearings, nor broken/bent beds.

    You guys with the "big toys" can do as you please with lifting. I'm not into the macho mentality. It will not affect me if you break or drop something. Good luck.
    Jim
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  9. #29
    Tyrone Shoelaces is online now Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Burman View Post
    What's the consequence if the armchair experts are wrong and what's the consequence if you are wrong.

    Does the manufacturers' manual of your machine show/recommend lifting by the spindle. If not don't do it, simple.

    Phil
    That sums up my feelings as well. I've lifted more than my share of lathes, all sizes, and I've never seen one I couldn't lift by intelligent rigging around or through the bed in some way. I've also had a few lathe handbooks/rigging diagrams pass through my hands over the last 45 years and I've never seen one that advises rigging via the chuck/chuck spindle.

    For me it's a bit like picking a radial arm drill up by the arm. I've seen that done recently and by all accounts the same drill is working fine. In my opinion you should find other ways.

    Having said that I would make the casting of rigging holes in the beds of all modern lathes mandatory.

    Regards Tyrone.
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  10. #30
    thermite is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    Having said that I would make the casting of rigging holes in the beds of all modern lathes mandatory.

    Regards Tyrone.
    Bit of work with the right carbide tooling, and even the single-dovetail way Hardinge could be made easier to lift...

    ('Ducks' .... and waddles off, stage left...)



    Bill

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    'Surely you jest.'

    In any case ... that's a toy. NICE toy. But not heavy.

    You'd not expect to lift a Lodge & Shipley 30"+ by its chip-pan?

    ... or would you?

    Bill
    well to be fair the weight isn't fully supported by the pan but by the 2x lumber.
    i will say this though, maybe direct from Hardinge but... 2x, on the flat, with a hole drilled through the center is asking for trouble.
    but that's another argument entirely.
    ultimately i agree, why pick up a lathe by the spindle if there is any other way to rig. i just cant for the life of me see how this would be anything other than an absolute worst case scenario method.

  12. #32
    Steve in SoCal's Avatar
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    On long bed lathes picking it up at the spindle is not going to work. Even if I was to try and pick this up by the spindle where do you think that would get me?

    Steve
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails model-62.jpg  

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    When you move lathes every day the risk of tipping one over goes way up. Lifting from the bottom or from the webs is usually not possible. The chuck sticks out and limits your ability to get the lathe balanced when rigging from the webbing of the bed. If you have to pull a 300 lbs chuck off and fiddle with the tailstock and carriage to get the balance right and what if you get it wrong. I have had to fix so many lathes that have been dropped because they lifted it from below or from the webbing and had the thing tip up that I cant count them. The dealer that I worked for would buy these up all day and we would fix them, never had a bent spindle though.
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    jim rozen is offline Diamond
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    "Experience beats armchair experts every time. "

    I'd be more than happy to come to your shop and lift your lathe by the spindle.

    Come to think of it, I never did see dave sobel lift a lathe by its spindle in all the
    years he had his shop.

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    thermite is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim rozen View Post
    "Experience beats armchair experts every time. "

    I'd be more than happy to come to your shop and lift your lathe by the spindle.

    Come to think of it, I never did see dave sobel lift a lathe by its spindle in all the
    years he had his shop.
    Punchlines first?

    "Son, where's your Mother?"

    "Dad, she's upstairs weighing the postman."

    One can research the joke...

    Bill

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    PeteM is offline Diamond
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    Most everything in my home shop is hoisted down through a large trap door. I've had good luck picking up most of the weight of lathes with a heavy strap under the bed (or the OEM-provided lift point) PLUS nylon web securely attached through the spindle, around the chuck, etc. The extra web is to keep the lathe from tipping and provide balance -- it doesn't carry anywhere near the full weight (but could if it had to).

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    My .02...use your shop, use your brain, find a simple way to put nothing at risk. It cant tip over. The leadscrews/feed rods can't get bent. The spindle bearings can't get trashed (whether they can or can not, I decided not to find out). The bed can't get scratched by the aluminum pads. It took a drill press, a bandsaw, and a tape measure to make it. I've got it forever if I ever have to move it again (the machines now sold, still have the lifter LOL)

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  18. #38
    gmatov is online now Diamond
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    I have moved quite a few lathes. The OP says the builder says lifting by the spindle is proper. "Experts", here, tell you no WAY would I do THAT!!!

    One says you will "Brinell the bearings!", and that is bullshit. Brinelling occurs when stationary bearings undergo vibration. They impact pockets into the outer races. You don't "Brinell" a bearing by forcing hard steel against hard steel with a lift.

    I worked with crews moving lathes who threw straps around them, said I don't think that is right, was told that "WE are Millwrights. WE know how to lift stuff"
    More often than not, they would flip it over. Too stupid and fast to lift and test.

    Worst people I ever worked with. VERY good at jacking 500 ton stators around in the warehouse, but when they came to us, they were all but useless, worse, dangerous.

    IF you have the BOOK, or if you have spoken to the Corp, and lifting is BY the spindle, WITH the chuck in place (Matt shows an..ING machine with no chuck, and home made piece of channel with an eyebolt that I think is positioned entirely wrong to lift ANY lathe, unless it is 20 feet long, then you have to compensate for that overhanging length.)

    Headstock end is the heaviest of any shop size lathe, unless you are making turbine rotors, or some such, 40+ feet long. THEN you have to determine center of gravity.

    Wrapping a web sling where YOU think it should go is going to go wrong.

    Look at the fucking book, or listen to the people on the phone.

    It ain't brain surgery OR rocket scientist degree work. I have known some pretty dumb guys, in other ways, who could lift anything you wanted.

    I am gonna get blasted for this, I have before, lower a turbine rotor into a casing HAS to be level to the thou. 12 foot long, 6 foot diameter, that ain't easy but doable.

    30 years ago, so I am an old asshole who should listen and not speak. Wrap the sling around it and give it a try. What do you have to lose. You WON'T flip it over, with a top lift!

    George

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    wippin' boy is offline Diamond
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    "WE are Millwrights. WE know how to lift stuff"
    yup, guys like that scare the sht out a me

    Look at the fucking book, or listen to the people on the phone
    thats what i'd do

    p.s.
    i've picked a lathe by pretty much every way shown or discussed
    you look it over and do whats right...you hope
    there is no perfect "all around" pic
    just perfect all around pickers
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  20. #40
    Phil Burman's Avatar
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    It's amazing how some people can live so long but learn so little.

    This is an extract from ISO 15243:2004 Rolling bearings -- Damage and failures -- Terms, characteristics and causes:

    5.5.2 Overload
    (true brinelling)

    Overloading of a stationary bearing by static load or shock load leads to plastic deformation at the rolling element/raceway contacts, i.e. the formation of shallow depressions or flutes on the bearing raceways in positions corresponding to the pitch of the rolling elements (see Figure 22). Furthermore, overloading can occur by excessive preloading or due to incorrect handling during mounting (see Figure 23).

    Inappropriate handling can also cause overloading and deformation of other bearing components, e.g. shields, washers and cages (see Figure 24).


    Phil


    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    One says you will "Brinell the bearings!", and that is bullshit. Brinelling occurs when stationary bearings undergo vibration. They impact pockets into the outer races. You don't "Brinell" a bearing by forcing hard steel against hard steel with a lift.
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