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How NOT to Lift a Lathe

Tom A

Member
The red strap wrapped over the feed rod bothers me more than the one under the chuck, for some reason.
None of it looks good, though.
 

jim rozen

Active member
Most of the load is being put on the spindle I suspect. One thing's for sure, it's not gonna tip over and land on it's face.
 

Greg Menke

Active member
Its not a heavy lathe so it might work but I don't like that red strap even if its just to hold the balance and/or keep the lathe from swinging side-to-side.

Heavy strap on left should go over the top of the ways, around the outsides then up between the ways straight up to appropriate spreader across the forklift tines; not a fan of it angling out to the tines directly. Alternatively tines together up above the lathe, strap up between and then wrap around the outsides If there are concerns about tipping, then another strap from the chuck up to the tines as a stabilizer could be added.
 

RC Mech

New member
Not necessarily, it’s dependent on the overall construction of the machine. But it’s generally poor practice to lift a machine by the spindle. Dudes here cite Brinnelling of spindle bearings, bending spindles etc.

Figure what is the max work piece load of that lathe? 400 lbs? Then you’re putting the entire weight of the machine and cabinet (1500 lbs or so) on the spindle by lifting it as shown.

My only manual lathe has a max work piece weight of 4600 lbs. The machine weighs 10,000 lbs. Looking at the headstock casting internally there’s no way I’d ever lift it by the spindle.
 

CalG

Active member
compare a lathe spindle bearing load capability with a typical wheel bearing from a Heavy Duty pickup truck.

10K # load would be a lot, but 3K would be nothing.

Just don't jerk things around.

Many (some? A lathe I have?) lathes include passage holes in the base casting to run bars through to provide sling points.
 

Joe Michaels

Active member
Whomever is doing the 'rigging" is using a light duty strap binder as the 'red sling'. Those strap binders are used for securing loads like motorcycles, barbecue grills or canoes to trailers or pickup beds. Those strap binders are unsafe to use as lifting slings.

The sling made up around the spindle of the lathe looks to have been wrapped a few times to take up for long length. Plenty of slack still in it. When the forklift comes up to take the load, there is going to be a lot of slack to be taken up in that sling on the spindle. No telling how the lathe will hang off the forklift.

Whether the lathe is light weight or not, rigging off the spindle is not something I'd recommend. Many lathe manufacturers will give rigging instructions based on the center of gravity of the lathe being somewhere towards the headstock end of the bed. They will sometimes call for putting slings around 'girths' or cross-members cast into the bed. Other manufacturers will call for slinging around the lathe bed, but also call for wood blocking to hold the slings off and clear of the lead screw and feed rod.

I suppose the person doing the 'rigging' in this photo could have done worse: wrapped a chain around the bed, unprotected, and tied a knot in the chain to connect the two ends of it.

I am reminded of an incident a bro of mine related to me, concerning the use of those strap binders as lifting slings. A friend of his who had spent his career in the heavy construction trades and had done a good bit of rigging wound up with a bad compound fracture of his leg. The fracture resulted from this friend taking a shortcut in doing some rigging in his home shop/garage. The friend was working on a light trailer frame and had to pick it up and stand it on edge for some work he needed to do to it. He had a gantry in the shop with a chainfall, and had some proper slings. Instead of getting the slings, this guy took a strap binder that was at hand, and used it as a sling. He told my bro that as he made up the rigging with that strap binder, his 'inner voice' was telling him 'don't do it... it's unsafe.... use a sling'. His other inner voice was saying: "It's only a light trailer frame...." As this guy raised the trailer frame and it started to stand on edge, using the strap binder as a sling, the strap binder let go. The frame came down, caught the guy in the leg, laid him out on his shop floor and busted his tibia with a compound fracture. Surgery, pinning of the fracture and a slow recovery were the outcome.

We had a saying at the powerplant where I retired from: "Most accidents happen at home." At work, with the right equipment and enforced safe work practices, there was a lot less likelihood of taking a shortcut and having an accident. The guy 'rigging' the lathe in this photo will be unlikely to drop the lathe or have it get away from him, but how it hangs on his 'rigging' and whether damage to the lathe results is another matter.
 

SteveM

New member
The damage that could be done to this lathe reminds me of an old expression in medicine (before they had things like antiseptic and antibiotics):

"The operation was a success but the patient died".

Steve
 

Andy FitzGibbon

New member
Spindle weight ratings ought to be calculated for dynamic loads, not static, so that changes the equation a bit.

Highly unlikely that the spindle itself would see any damage when bring lifted like this, unless it were subjected to some sort of shock force (like a drop). The bearings seem like more of a risk.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

4GSR

Active member
If anyone has seen the four light duty bolts that hold the headstock on the bed, it's a wonder they don't rip out of the cheezy cast iron those lathes are made of. Plus on top of that, the headstock does not set on a flat and vee like most USA made lathes does. So alignment is compromised when picked up by the spindle.

I've seen many USA made lathes picked up by the spindle, moved and placed, back in operation with no misalignment. Yeah, not suggested, I won't do it with my lathes...
 

Doozer

Active member
That is about a 500 pound lathe.
No way in hell is that rigging a problem.
Anyone experienced in moving machines
would not hesitate to do this.
If this were my own personal lathe
I would not hesitate to rig it this way
at all. Have done this many times on
my equipment. Just understand the loads
you are working with and what steel and
iron are rated for. Basic engineering.

-D
 

ClappedOutBport

New member
I lifted my Sidney by the spindle with a bar sticking through. With 3 big bearings... uh yeah, don't think that they are going to Brinnel any sitting static with one load application. Besides that, they were already fucked.
 

CalG

Active member
If anyone has seen the four light duty bolts that hold the headstock on the bed, it's a wonder they don't rip out of the cheezy cast iron those lathes are made of. Plus on top of that, the headstock does not set on a flat and vee like most USA made lathes does. So alignment is compromised when picked up by the spindle.

I've seen many USA made lathes picked up by the spindle, moved and placed, back in operation with no misalignment. Yeah, not suggested, I won't do it with my lathes...


This is just talking crap!

Have you any IDEA how much dead weight can be lifted on a SINGLE 1/4 inch diameter grade 5 cap screw?

Get back to the thread with your homework.

God I hate stupid!
 
There's a few websites with tables of shear and tensile loads for bolts, and yeah it's amazing just how much even one 1/4" bolt can take before it fails. I've rigged and hoisted some quite expensive loads in open pit mines where it would be a pretty large machine tool in the + 50 tons range to match what I was hoisting. That red strap was definitely done by a complete fool with zero understanding of what he was doing. The head stock end probably is safe enough. But not all moves go exactly as planned every single time. Add even fairly light shock loads for any unplanned reason and there will be bearing damage. There's no fudge factor left lifting that way. Fine when it goes perfect, except when or if it doesn't. I saw the aftermath of a 45 ton crusher mantle dropped from about 10' up on a basically brand new custom built drop deck trailer with multiple tag axles for the extra weight. Instant scrap iron. The load didn't bounce, it went through the trailer and a couple of axles.

I'd estimate that lathe at around 1200- maybe as much as 1500 lbs. Add maybe 400-600 for the cabinet. More if it's loaded up with tooling. With something that light I'd prefer long eye bolts down through the bed and through drilled 4"x4"s running cross ways to the bed length with heavy washers and a nut. Use a shackle on each eye bolt and lift from those. That spreads the load out a bit across and along the bed, and it's still impossible for the machine to roll over because the center of gravity is always below the lift point. Straps are ok, I still hate them because I've seen more than a few fail. You have to pad even seemingly non sharp edges with rags, cardboard or even scraps of carpet between the strap and the component being lifted. Old school chain or slings are to me much safer and more predictable. If a strap does fail, then most times there's little warning. Trying for doing any move fast = stupid. Slower but well thought out and without even a paint scuff is a successful move.
 

Frank R

Active member
I think some of you are missing the point. It is not a matter of the strength of straps or bolts. Sure, it CAN be lifted, but SHOULD it be lifted that way?

When I saw that picture I was reminded of an old antique lathe I once considered buying; it was an old Seneca or Barnes I think. While inspecting I finally came across that the cap above the front bronze bearing was cracked. I unbolted it from the headstock and found it was in two pieces. If I had not seen that fine crack and lifted that lathe by the chuck it would have come crashing down.

Many of the old lathes I deal with only have two small castings holding the spindle onto the headstock, and they sometimes are perforated to hold an oil cup. They simply were not designed for that kind of load; it was not their purpose.

Add to that the smoothness of the floor you travel across as you are moving it, the load can bounce a little, adding to the load.

There are discussions here when someone mentions using a tool post grinder on a lathe; there are always a few voices that scream that this should never be done because it will instantly turn your lathe into useless scrap. There are other people who bolt their lathes down and level them; to get the best precision out of them. Well, I think some of those types might not think lifting a machine by the very part that is supposed to be precise is a wise idea.

Can you do it? Yes, well, maybe. Should you do it? No. There are other methods that are better. Manufacturers do not recommend it; they may know something.
 

4GSR

Active member
This is just talking crap!

Have you any IDEA how much dead weight can be lifted on a SINGLE 1/4 inch diameter grade 5 cap screw?

Get back to the thread with your homework.


God I hate stupid!

Sure, but do you think Asian lathes of this type have grade 5 bolts used to bolt down the headstock? It's not the bolts that would cause the problem, it's the cheezy cast iron used. The cast iron can deform around the bolt heads, I've seen it before. When that happens, it goes unnoticed for years until a alignment issue comes up. Hi spot blue will detect if the cast iron is distorted.

Now you go do your homework!
 








 
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