Best way to move a 42" Bridgeport table on and off the surface plate?
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  1. #1
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    Default Best way to move a 42" Bridgeport table on and off the surface plate?

    I imagine I could use the tapped holes to hold a bracket then attach that bracket to either a hoist or a forklift. The surface plate I have is 4'x3', so it should be big enough for this.

    I want to measure the table and ways for flatness and wear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirRage View Post
    I imagine I could use the tapped holes to hold a bracket then attach that bracket to either a hoist or a forklift. The surface plate I have is 4'x3', so it should be big enough for this.

    I want to measure the table and ways for flatness and wear.
    Many ways to do it, I've got some 1/2"-13 eye bolts and just screw them into normal t-slot hardware. Then use an engine hoist or whatever available to lift it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirRage View Post
    I imagine I could use the tapped holes to hold a bracket then attach that bracket to either a hoist or a forklift. The surface plate I have is 4'x3', so it should be big enough for this.

    I want to measure the table and ways for flatness and wear.
    I was just the other week moving a recyled B&S #1 Universal table of comparable size and mass. Rubber doormats, straps, chains. Engine hoist was but half the solution.

    Ignorant El cheapo (read: Harbor Freight) footpeddle jack-up die cart more-yet. Briefly, Northern's El Cheapo machinery skates. I was coming off a pallet. I don't have the mill!

    For hem's sake, last few inches make sure you have paper plus plywood or sumthin protecting your plate in case ANYTHING goes pear-shaped. Enuf mass in a knee-mill's table to put serious divots inta the granite, you happen to hit with a corner.

    Pull that safety cover only when all is done and STABLE enough yah trust yer rig for the last inch or so.

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    Slide the table so it over hangs a stout table or a pair of saw horses with planks on top.
    Couple of pipes, lower the table on to the pipes and roll the table clear of the saddle ways.
    John

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    The rear two holes are 1/2-13 NPT. You can screw in a plug with a eye bolt on the end.
    You can use the T-slot in the front to hold two brackets opposite the rear two holes.
    Now you have four lifting points.

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    Get a lift point made up using the t-slots or tapped holes or whatever so that it's all from the top with nothing underneath. I then either use a hand operated chain fall attached between the lift point and the item to slowly and gently lower the heavy item or if I don't have access to one, set it on a pair of thin boards and then use a pry bar and some wood blocks underneath between the surface plate and the pry bar to lift one end at a time to remove the wood strips under the item and gently lower the item to the table.

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    I would screw in 4 - 4" long Allen cap screws in the end of the table and either use 2 nylon straps or 1/2 nylon rope tied with a square knot or 2 - 1/2 13 eye bolts centered about 12" apart with a piece of 3/4" plywood say 6" x 12' with 2 5/8" clearance holes drilled 1" from each end/ Then use a 1/2" flat washer under the eye bolts. tighten them snug with a pipe. I would not roll it onto a precision plate. I would also set it on the flats of the bottom of the table on 1 2 3 blocks - 4 of them. The table will be bent high in the middle or bottom is convex.

    You can slide (tap with plastic mallet) the 1 2 3 blocks under there and indicate the top 4 corners of the table so the all read the same. Now you know whats what. then indicate the table. setting it on the flat ways on 4 points you won't have any sag. You could set it on 3 points, but I have been testing Bridgeport table the 4 point way for 50 years. If you can get a helper, that would be best and slowly lower it from a chain hoist or hydraulic engine lift. They average .007" high in the middle.

    I looked on You Tube and this is somewhat I say about supporting in on 4 block the same thickness to check off the ways. This guy is grinding a short table. But you can see what I mean. YouTube also Steve Watkins a member of PM shows planning a Bridgeport table, but he doesn't show the 4 blocks but they are under there.

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    On my 10"x48" Beaver mill table, I used bolts in the end-bracket holes for slings to the shop hoist, when spotting and scraping. Turning the table can be done by bolting or clamping a bit of stock to the middle T slot and using it as a lever to turn the table, once it's sittng on a solid+padded surface. Lifting off the mill was done with an eyebolt in the middle T slot.

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    A crude way of doing it would be to file and stone the burr's off the table top and then clean / blow out the T slots. Then having long bolts on both ends have a helper or a slow moving lift, lower the table down on the surface plate and then use long feeler gages under the ends until the table hinges on the feeler gages. You could ry up one end at a time like one of the other guys said with wood. Oh and wipe the plate and table with you hand to make sure no dirt is on them that would scratch the plate. I messaged HWElecRepair who rebuild dozens of Bridgeport's to comment as they are experts.

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    Everybody has given sound advice on lifting the table. As already mentioned it's that last 1 inch that's critical. Take all precautions for having some wood between the table and the surface plate when lowering onto the granite. From there it's a simple, albeit time consuming, game of pry up (protecting metal and granite) one end, clean and lower to thinner protective pad. The last layer I'll use is from some cheap plastic office folder/binder or even a milk jug cut for flat sections. It's that last lowering where the table meets the reference surface that's critical whether it's on the granite, 1-2-3 blocks or whatever you choose. That last lowering is where it's critical to take your time so nothing is damaged. Even a light "bump" is to be avoided where that much mass is capable of a metal raising dent. Move the mass in a controlled manner, same in reverse for removing it. Hope this helped, good luck.

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    We do table movement 2 ways, depending on the table size. Our grinder operator uses a motorized hand fork truck when moving the table onto/off of the grinders. We use the table bracket holes (different holes depending on what surface is gonna get worked on) for movement. We also have a big A frame that we use for bigger tables, that would probably be more advantageous for being able to have finer control with regards to lowering it onto the plate.

    It is also important to bring up when you are bringing the table off the slab, that there is the possibility of bouncing (our hand fork does this) or the balance being an issue where one end will dip low and scrape across the surface. Just an fyi.

    Jon
    H&W Machine Repair

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    Yes one has to break the suction with a pry bar lever before lift straight up or it will bounce and scare the you know what out of you the first time you do it plus likely put a nick in the plate.

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