Attachment for Shop Crane for moving Lathe Chucks
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  1. #1
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    Default Attachment for Shop Crane for moving Lathe Chucks

    In case it is of use to anyone . . . here is the simplest solution I could think of for moving heavy lathe chucks. Since I already had a shop crane, I made an extra-long boom that extends ~15" beyond the front of the crane. That allows the end of the boom to reach the center-line of the lathe, without bumping the crane's legs on the front of the lathe. Then I made a C-shaped assembly of 2" pipe which hangs by a chain from the tip of the boom. It works. It shows no tendency to tip, even with a 15" chuck hanging from the boom. Of course, I wouldn't want to add much more weight, since the lift point is beyond the pivot point (front wheels) of the crane.

    img_1338.jpg
    img_1339.jpg

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    Since you aren't trying to do anything stupid, adding some weight to the back of the crane add some extra piece of mind. Easiest way is to go to home Depot and grab a 40lb bag of sand.

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    So you took a tippy HF "shop crane" and made it "tippy-er" ?

    homeshopmachinst.com is the place for you.

    The rack in the background, could have simply set a 6" beam from there to something left of the headstock, (another shelf ?) put a trolley on it with a chainfall.

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    Where you get into trouble with that setup is when you are pushing it forward and run into a pebble or nut on the floor....that's when it tips over.

    But for my shop, I don't have room for a cherry picker - especially with an extended boom - to be sitting around all the time. I mean, I do have room but the real estate is too valuable to accommodate it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    So you took a tippy HF "shop crane" and made it "tippy-er" ?
    It is surprisingly "non-tippy". I thought I might have to add weight to the back, but with the 15" chuck suspended, I tried (carefully) lifting up on the back and I could not easily lift the rear wheels. I'm not worried about tipping.

    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    The rack in the background, could have simply set a 6" beam from there to something left of the headstock, (another shelf ?) put a trolley on it with a chainfall.
    . . . Or I could have used the gantry crane in the photo, but this set-up is more convenient.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plastikdreams View Post
    Since you aren't trying to do anything stupid, adding some weight to the back of the crane add some extra piece of mind. Easiest way is to go to home Depot and grab a 40lb bag of sand.
    Agreed, a little counterweight and you'd really be in business. I wouldn't use sand, just all of those programming errors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4kinetic View Post
    ... Of course, I wouldn't want to add much more weight, since the lift point is beyond the pivot point ...
    Looks to me as though you are living on the edge. I see risk associated with the balance of your setup, particularly as you pull/push your assembly across the shop floor. Since it looks as though you have the real estate, I think dd's gantry crane idea in post #3 is an alternative worth thinking about.

    -Marty-

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    Sure, an engine hoist isn't the most elegant lifter. But your C frame chuck hook is pure genius.

    metalmagpie

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    Quote Originally Posted by plastikdreams View Post
    Since you aren't trying to do anything stupid, adding some weight to the back of the crane add some extra piece of mind. Easiest way is to go to home Depot and grab a 40lb bag of sand.
    I have a 675 pound chunk of 17-4 on the back of mine The counterweight is worth several times more than the cherry picker

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    What, no u-tube video ?

    And with VERY LOUD ACID ROCK MOOSIC !

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    I've wondered, at times, why chucks don't have a lifting eye threaded hole...?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    I've wondered, at times, why chucks don't have a lifting eye threaded hole...?
    Some do, some dont

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    Thanks for the C frame chuck hook idea, I need to add a small crane setup for my lathes to get work in/out, and for lifting chucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    What, no u-tube video ?

    And with VERY LOUD ACID ROCK MOOSIC !
    It's Freedom Rock! And turn it up man!
    YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    It's Freedom Rock! And turn it up man!
    YouTube
    Those were the best years of rock, its been downhill ever since

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    I've been using this for about 20 years. It's 3/4 rod. Will lift any chuck I have to 16" no problem.

    Cherry picker has got to be one of the worst inventions. Especially those fold up piles of shit that will lift nowhere near what they're rated for. Believe it or not, a Forklift takes up less room than a cherry picker and it's a million times more useful.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails chuck-lifter.jpg  

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    Had a setup very similar to that in one shop, the chuck frame was cut down from a paper? spool carrier and the engine hoist was modified to have low height front legs so it would run under the machine. Worked amazingly well for the 4th on the mill too.

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    A lot of people have expressed concern about the possibility of tipping. It's a legitimate concern and anyone who doesn't understand the reason should not attempt something like this. I thought I indicated an adequate awareness in the initial post.

    In using this set-up, if I needed to move the chuck to the other side of the shop, I would lower it within 6" of the ground. If the crane tipped, it wouldn't be a big deal. If it felt unstable, I would add counterweights.

    Nearly every day, I use tools to do things different from the intended purposes of the tools. Sometimes it is because I need to accomplish a task now, and I don't want to wait a week for a new tool to arrive. Sometimes it is a one-time task that doesn't justify a new tool. Sometimes there just isn't a tool to buy for the particular job. I think this is true for most people here. This crane adaptation was made from scraps and took less than 2 hours of my time. I think the cost/benefit ratio is pretty good.

    Everything we do involves some sort of calculated risk, even if we are not conscious of it. If your use a pencil in an unsafe way, you can blind yourself.

    When I cautiously lifted my largest chuck (170#) for the first time, I tried lifting up on the back end of the crane to see if it would tip easily. With a lot of force from my legs, I could barely get the wheels off the ground. That seemed fine to me. I could easily add counterbalance, but that was my heaviest chuck, so it seems like overkill.

    Out of curiosity, I did a load test. The rear wheels of the crane begin to lift with a 450# load.

    img_1340.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4kinetic View Post
    Out of curiosity, I did a load test. The rear wheels of the crane begin to lift with a 450# load.
    Careful, 450 pounds is about where those bullshit pins for the fold up legs shear right off.

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    Unistrut and its associated trolley wheelsets are rated for about 400 lbs., with actual engineering data sheets available... Assuming the overhead structure can support that, of course.

    Hoyer patient lifts (for humans) are also good for about 400, and have smaller footprints and adjustable leg spread to get around things. Got mine for $50 off CL.

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