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What Damage Might I Have Caused?


May 18, 2018
Hi Folks,

This is my first post here, so please go easy on me.

I have aquired a 3600 pound CNC knee mill, brand new (Taiwanese). It's got Meehanite castings and a 11" x 58" table. I was thinking of making a stand for it, so I purchased some 5" wide C-channel, about 35" in length (25" for the width of the mill, plus 5" on each side). I bought 2 sections of C-channel, one to go across the width of the front of the mill and the other to go across the back.

I needed to mark the holes where I would drill the channel, to bolt it to the mill. Using my company's forklift, I lifted the mill from the side with the forks under the ram, on both sides of the column. I used about 2" of plywood between the forks and the ram, and I made sure the ram and turret were locked down. Due to the fact that my forklift only has 4ft forks, I had to move the table away from the side I was lifting from. This caused the mill to tilt as I was lifting it, and it made it extremely difficult to get the C-channel lined up correctly.

What I tried, at one point, was to set the mill on the C-channel, both front and rear, and attempt to hammer the channel into alignment (with a handheld 3 to 5 lb sledge), while taking a bit of weight off with the forklift. This absolutely did not work and the channel was not moving whatsoever. In the end, I did get everything lined up and my holes marked, simply by moving the channel and setting the mill down (this took some luck, as the mill was tilted heavily while in the air).

When I removed the channel and set the mill down, I noticed that the ram was no longer square over the table. It seems that by me beating on the C-channel, I had actually moved the base about 5 degrees out of square. Of course I know that the ram/turret can move this way, but I can't imagine it did it any good moving while the turret was tightened.

Now, I am concerned that I may have caused a crack somewhere (given cast iron's low tensile and impact strength).

How concerned should I be? Working with cast iron of this size is new to me.

Pretty stupid of me, I know.
I would not be at all worried, just a flat face and 4 bolts so will slip with out harm. but next time its probably just easier to use a tape measure to pick up hole centres.
Thanks for all of your replies. Yes, I am quite tall, however the reason for the stand is so I can get a pallet jack underneath it easily. It's final position in my shop is currently unknown.

So I shouldn't be worried about having caused a crack? I can't find any, but it's impossible for me to check everywhere for tiny fractures.