Moving an HLV-H to my basement shop (photos & story)
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  1. #1
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    Jim Rozen suggested that I put up a link to the photos of pulling a Heavy 10 out of my basement and replacing it with a Hardinge HLV-H. Here’s the story that goes with the pictures. Link at bottom.

    I am in the process of setting up a small shop in my basement. Many have questioned my sanity at putting machine tools in the basement, particularly since I don’t have a walk-out and it is something of a hassle to get a bulky object around to the back to in order to go down the basement. I have persisted nonetheless. My first machine was a 1976 South Bend Heavy 10 that I had a piano mover move home and then down the basement. Watching them work and reading various posts here inspired me to work carefully and safely move a Rockwell mill, Logan shaper, and Walker Turner bandsaw down the basement by myself. It seems that it takes me about 6 hours to move a machine from the garage down the basement, but I don’t mind being slow so that nothing gets damaged along the way.

    Now my shop is still not up and running, and I have made hardly any chips, but along comes a local auction with a Hardinge HLV-H. So now I have a problem: the HLV-H is a potentially interesting machine, but I already have a nice small lathe. Immediately the rationalization process started & I began to think about how I might be able to get this machine. I’d read enough to know that this was worth going to take a look at, and I’ve seen several of the Hardinge lathes, but I’d never run one. I was the first person to the auction preview and asked if I could apply power to the lathe. The owner was not there but the auction company rep looked at me and decided I must know what I’m doing…looks can certainly be deceiving. I ran the machine through its speed ranges, listened to the gears, and checked the various feeds. The only thing I noted was that there was a small but increasing amount of drag as the carriage was moved to the tail stock. Based upon what I’d read about the Hardinge I decided that while the bed had some wear, it was fairly minor. I chatted with some of the rebuilders who came and were looking at the machine as well as a few machinists who were also looking at it. It seemed that I was looking at an HLV-H in very good condition.

    I started calling some riggers to get quotes on moving the machine as this was well beyond what I had done before. One didn’t want to mess with residential moves, and another looked things over carefully and decided that they could do it. I now had another cost to factor into my choice to bid or not. I knew the machine had some value and eventually set my final price. Since it was an on-line auction I waited and watched as the bids spiraled upwards, nearing my price. With a few minutes left the bidding went over my limit, but my wife encouraged me to keep watching and asked what it was really worth to me. With her encouragement I put in my max bid of 6250 and a moment later watched the auction close with my bidder number taking it for my max bid. I’m not sure which is a bigger “Hardinge rush”: running the machine or winning the auction for one.

    This time I was the second person at the auction and I arrived to find the rigger waiting there with a flatbed and forklift ready to pick up the machine. Took a little bit to get the lathe out and onto the truck, but I was glad to have a rigger doing it, particularly when I could see just how top-front heavy this machine was. The rigger had several crews busy that day, so the plan was to only put the Hardinge in my garage and then come back the following week to swap the Heavy 10 for the Hardinge in the basement. When we got home, the rigging crew looked at the situation and said it would make the job go faster if they used a crane. My eyes must have bugged out when I heard that, but the more we talked it through, the more sense it made. So the next week they show up with a 27-ton boom truck and another flatbed with tools.

    I’d already cut another door in the basement to allow easier access to move the lathes in and out of the shop, so the first step was to swing the toolboxes over the house and put them in the backyard as this was where most of the action was going to take place. The thought of a 2200lb toolbox plummeting through the roof was not pleasant, but I figured it was a good validation that we could move a 1700lb lathe. We anchored a large sheave to the larger of the toolboxes and then ran the crane cable through the sheave and down into the basement to draw the Heavy 10 up the stairs. After using a come-along to move things by myself this looked like the deluxe way to move machines! Once the Heavy 10 was outside we re-cabled and lifted it over the house and put it on the driveway. The process was reversed for the Hardinge. Part way down the stairs we heard the sounds of gushing liquid and I realized with some horror that I’d not drained the sump. Fortunately a bucket and rags were available to mop up most of it, but it did make quite a mess. There were some additional challenges once the lathe reached the bottom of the stairs, but they were solved after a bit and the machine rolled fairly smoothly into the shop.

    Once it was all done and the trucks pulled away, my wife put down the camera and said to me “you are one stubborn man.” My reply was that the word probably begins with S-T-U, but more likely ends with P-I-D.

    Photos of the process

    --Larry

  2. #2
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    Wow Larry. Great story and photos. You are indeed fortunate to have such capable riggers in your area. I'd say that whatever they cost you it was worth it.
    Enjoy the new lathe.

    Les

  3. #3
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    Great Job and a nice lathe...... you did this really right and so glad to see that there are no photos of lathes tipped over or stories of folks going to the hospital like I've read elsewhere..... I curious as to what the rigging bill was (about) as someday I'll have to do this.... and whatever it was it was money well spent. Thanks for sharing these...

  4. #4
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    Hope you enjoy your Hardinge, like I do mine.

    Don

  5. #5
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    WOW! Thanks for posting those Larry. I'm always eager to see that others are will to go to similar extreme lengths like me to set up a home shop! More evidence to show the wife that I'm not alone!

    Did you ever do any engineering load calcs on your stairs? You must have some beefy runners or lots of bracing. I know the el-cheapo construction methods used out here would never support such a load!

    Great Job!

  6. #6
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    Thanks for sharing the story & pics, Very interesting... You were wise to hire pros to do the move. I have seen too many nice machines destroyed, by folks trying to save a rigging bill...

  7. #7
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    That's pretty cool... as time goes by you kind of figure out the hard problem is figuring out which machines you want to own and then finding them in the right condition ... can sometimes be more of a problem than paying a little extra.

    My favorite pics on your site, juxtaposed for effect:



    And the "FOR SALE" sign that just appeared next door:


  8. #8
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    Looks like a pretty nice Hardinge. I wish I'd brought one of those down in my basement instead of the birmingham. Hopefully who ever buys my house when I move will be interested in keeping my machines.

    Nice pictures of the move, enjoy the lathe.

  9. #9
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    While not nearly as heavy as your Hardinge, I also decided to have a local rigger deliver my Clausing 5914 lathe:



    They did a pretty good job for the $200 delivery cost, but they used forks under the chip pan to load/unload, and Clausing recommends blocking under the bed and lifting from above. They used straps over the bed to tie it down to the trailer and I'm not sure that was such a good idea either. It was certainly a lot quicker than renting a truck/trailer would have been and probably nearly the same cost.

    For me, taking pictures always seems to get forgotten in the excitement of a new tool acquisition, but there are a few more pictures here.
    Clausing Delivery & Setup

    Mike

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the comments, I'm gld you guys got a kick out of seeing the story and photos. We will certainly remember it for some time to come, as will the neighbors I'm sure!

    Rivett, rigger said he had about 3200 in the job but we worked out a compromise as he had initially quoted me much lower. In the end I think each of us made out just fine with the job.

    Tak, while I did not do any calculations, I did put bracing under the stairs: some 2x6s bolted to the studs supporting the stairs. That was one of the first areas the rigger wanted to look at before agreeing to move the lathes.

    Toolbert, the guy next door with the house for sale is really cool about seeing odd goings on at our house, too bad he decided to move. I agree with you though, the sign is amusing. I think this one is my favorite.

    --Larry

  11. #11
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    Did either lathe earn any bonus air miles??

    dk

  12. #12
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    That must have impressed the heck out of your remaining neighbors Beautiful machine, good story and pics.

    A rigger brought my Harrison M300 home the April before last from several hours away. The morning of the delivery, the phone rings ... "any restrictions on your roads?" Oh, sh-t ... the town had put weight limits out the NIGHT BEFORE. A quick run down the road to the first pink sign and my heart paused ... 9 ton limit and he was driving a 27 ton rig. Quick call to the town brought no exceptions ... for good reason. Had the lathe dropped at an auto repair shop 5 miles away with an old beater wrecker. We lifted and secured it in place for the final ride. "Any mud at your place?" "No, just a tiny bit ... recalling that when I take the dog out it is a bit slick.

    It's amazing the difference between a 200+ lb guy with dog and a 7 ton wrecker

    To make a long story short, we wrecked my front lawn, side lawn, planted the wrecker in 14" deep mud ruts for the night with the lathe 60 feet down my muddy back yard. For the finale, the rain POURED that night. I had covered it completely in plastic after hosing it with a full can of LPS3. Next day, the wrecker guy came back and pulled himself out by winching up the hill and out ... tree by tree.

    Den

  13. #13
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    Larry- wow............. thanks for posting. I'm moving an HLVH out of my basement tomorrow and then moving another in... but man oh man.... what a bunch of work your crew must have gone through. How much time did it take total to get the hlv from the truck to the basement.

    Markus

  14. #14
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    Larry, great job, and I too often use riggers to move my machines. I just wanted to say that you have a wonderful wife to support you as you have described. When non-machinists are astounded at my modest shop, I just say that at least my wife knows where I spend my free time. I have a supportive spouse too!

    -Art K

  15. #15
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    Marcus, it took about 4.5 hours to get the Heavy 10 out and the HLV-H in. Good luck with your move tomorrow!

    dkmc, I like the idea of frequent flyer miles for lathes!

    My wife read my post here and the follow-up comments & thinks that she needs to post her side of the story. To my mind it seemed to go quite smoothly, all things considered, but to her it was quite another story...

    --Larry

  16. #16
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    Think of the impression you would have made, by having a SkyCrane to do the job... [img]smile.gif[/img] Years ago , I saw one setting A/C Units at a mall.. I stopped, along with a bunch of others, & spent several hours watching... That pilot was skilled !!!!

  17. #17
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    Well, there goes your chance of evading the local homeowners association covenants..... I think that crane blew your cover!


    Minneapolis, eh? Your mayor was a couple grades behind me in high school..... and his mother was the guidance counselor.... how's he doing as mayor?


    BTW, as far as basements, moving equipment, etc.....

    All my machinery is in the basement. The basement is reached by the stairs in the pic below.

    So I suppose I'm as crazy as you..... although my stuff is lighter than the Hardinge.....


    At the top of the stairs is the need to step to the left the width of a door to get in line with the outside door. The landing there is about 36 or so inches deep, just enough for the door you see to open all the way without knocking a broom or whatever off the back wall. Very convenient for machinery moving........

    [ 10-30-2005, 12:18 AM: Message edited by: J Tiers ]

  18. #18
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    No Larry, the ...pid. word does not apply.
    It was a well thought out, executed move.
    I enjoyed the photos.
    Enjoy the Hardinge.

  19. #19
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    Cool move and nice photo shot.

    I can't resist pointing out however that the price you paid sounds a tad high for one of the older generation HLV-H's...esp in an auction situation (I assume you actually paid that plus "buyers rip" added ?) I've sold current generation HLV-H's (square edged base, small DC motor control, etc) for not much more than that. But then maybe I sold them too cheap !

  20. #20
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    That is a purely lovely machine. I myself
    did like the 'lathe over house' photo the best
    too. I was wondering how much a bang it would
    make if the slings broke...

    As far as the machine having the larger dc
    feed motor control box, you are better off
    with that than the newer, small ones. Hardinge
    blew the design on the original potted feed
    electronics module, and they die in very short
    order.

    The replacements are also troublesome and tricky
    to put into the space allocated in that tiny
    box on the end. Never, ever let anyone pry
    that larger variac/power pot based control
    unit out of your hands! It'll run forever,
    indestructable.

    Jim


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