Metal on metal lifting a knee mill by the table
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  1. #1
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    Default Metal on metal lifting a knee mill by the table

    Just turned the corner at my shop to see the maintenance guys moving an old bridgeport by putting the forks under the table(naturally without any wood blocks even) to lift the front end of the machine up allowing them to slide wood underneath and then reposition the forks under the base to lift it completely. Had I seen them getting ready to do this I would have stopped them but to turn the corner and see that made me cry a little. The worst part was watching the handle turn a little bit as pressure was added/removed from the table.

    There is no real point to this post other than to vent a little. Beyond frustrating to see a machine be treated so poorly when there was plenty of room to do it the right way.



    Had always hoped to work out a deal to buy one of the old knee mills from here one day for my garage, now I don't think I want one of them.

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    I have heard of putting blocking under the table and then lowering the knee to get the base of the floor .

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    Like a whore handling a baby!

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    If that's the worst thing that ever happens to it, I'd call it a cream puff.

    I came around the corner once at a place I worked, here's 2 guys milling green sand cores on a rotary table. That's right, machining sand. No covers, no vacuum collector, just sand everywhere. They only did 200...

    My comments nearly got me fired.

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    Are you worried about the forks scratching up the way surface on the bottom side of the table? Don't be! The screw sits lower than that surface so all they did was bend the screw instead.

    On another note, lifting a BP by the Knee elevating nut is maybe not the best idea. I know guys do it all the time, but all that retains that nut is a small set screw meant only to keep it from turning.

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    Surely you told them the ram is threaded for a lifting eye!

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    I bought a lathe last month and the guy says call him in a week. I call him and he says hes at the machine now getting ready to drag it out. These guys weren't exactly surgeons so I rushed over there. I get there just as they are trying to rig it up to lift. They had a nice crane and slings but had em wrapped around the bed pinching the lead screw. Another 5 mins and I would have been really pissed.

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    Sorry to abandon my post... stupid holidays.

    Yeah so the forks were on the lead screw like Derek said for sure. I was worried about the forks scratching the bottom but mostly about the weight bending the table and now that I see it was on the lead screw that especially. The handle turning was probably from the machine rolling the screw along the forks as it tilted which is less alarming but with the forks on the lead screw all the weight of the machine would be on the bearings of the screw at the outer end of the table which probably bent the table to a convex shape.

    It's a knee mill, put your hands on the head and push

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazemaster View Post
    I bought a lathe last month and the guy says call him in a week. I call him and he says hes at the machine now getting ready to drag it out. These guys weren't exactly surgeons so I rushed over there. I get there just as they are trying to rig it up to lift. They had a nice crane and slings but had em wrapped around the bed pinching the lead screw. Another 5 mins and I would have been really pissed.
    Reminds me of when I came back from vacation to see the new lathe set up at a previous job, oh beautiful I said. Only to notice weeks later that it was missing a leveling screw, which led me to believe it hadn't been leveled(I dropped my pen which led me to notice). Drag it into place, plug it in, good to go right?

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    That's the difference between a bad Millwright a good one and a machinist who would never lift it that way. I will put wood on top the of forks and come in from the side and under the ram. Have to be sure everything (knee, saddle, table, ram) is tight before hand and wood spacers between machine and mast of the forktruck and chained just incase it slides forward.

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  14. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    That's the difference between a bad Millwright a good one and a machinist who would never lift it that way. I will put wood on top the of forks and come in from the side and under the ram. Have to be sure everything (knee, saddle, table, ram) is tight before hand and wood spacers between machine and mast of the forktruck and chained just incase it slides forward.
    If they are missing the lifting eye, we always fork under the head also. A knee mill almost balances where the head meets the column. We have also forked them underneath when there is zero headroom, they are very top heavy though.

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    reposition the forks under the base to lift it completely
    while speculation is useless... they probably got lucky they didn't tip the machine over.


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