Any problem with using Rol-A-Lifts to move Clausing-C Lathe?
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    Default Any problem with using Rol-A-Lifts to move Clausing-C Lathe?

    I’ve failed in getting a rigger in DC area to move some machinery for me. One guy from several hours away said he’d do it but won’t commit to doing it this year, he isn’t very good at scheduling his jobs, if I wanted to wait another month maybe he’d show up and maybe not, no idea, so going to do it myself with some friends and a pair of Rol-A-Lifts. We’ll use those on each end to get the machine out of the building and into a hydraulic lift-bed trailer. Does anyone know how Clausing recommended moving their lathes? This is a 17 x 80” series 8000 and very heavily built for a 17”, weighs 5400 lbs.

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    I use a pair of Rol-A-Lifts to move lathes way too often. The biggest one I have used them on is a Leblond Dual drive.
    They are a great tool for heavy stuff. I usually lift stuff just enough to roll. You will want to spread the forks as much as possible. And have some wood to shim out the lifts around handles or chip pans.

    One thing that you may or may not know is you should use a ratchet strap to clamp the lift to the machine.

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    Thanks, one thing anyone reading this should know about Rol-a-lifts, which I’ve only used a few times, is that you want to rig those devices so they are dead perpendicular to the floor, using dunnage if needed. If at an angle much off 90 degrees to floor, the casters will be difficult if not impossible to swivel so the rigged machine cannot be steered while rolling. Frustrated the H out of me for a few hours before I figured that out.

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    Years ago, I used eight Roll-a-Lifts to move a hydraulic 6 ft press brake. Four across the machine, and two on each end. It worked perfectly. As I recall, we spent about half an hour getting them into place, and 10 minutes with 4 men pushing to move the machine about 75 ft.

    One caution though - the headstock is heavy, but the center of mass is also usually offset from the machine's center line. You may want to position a lift specifically for the headstock.

    And I definitely agree - be sure to tie the lifts together to keep them all in place. Keep the machine as close to the floor as you can - then it can only drop maybe a inch if something happens!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonmn View Post
    I’ve failed in getting a rigger in DC area to move some machinery for me. One guy from several hours away said he’d do it but won’t commit to doing it this year, he isn’t very good at scheduling his jobs, if I wanted to wait another month maybe he’d show up and maybe not, no idea, so going to do it myself with some friends and a pair of Rol-A-Lifts. We’ll use those on each end to get the machine out of the building and into a hydraulic lift-bed trailer. Does anyone know how Clausing recommended moving their lathes? This is a 17 x 80” series 8000 and very heavily built for a 17”, weighs 5400 lbs.
    Should work, and it's fast and convenient if nowt goes pear-shaped, but...

    Taking Sunbelt Rental's 6,000 THE PAIR Rol-A-Lifts as an example, they would not be my first choice. It's the casters I mistrust, especially if not virginal. No eye deer what previous renter may have done as to side-stress, etc.

    Takes longer. Is more work. But I'd put timber skids under and "tricycle" it. On SKATES, not casters. Fetish I acquired many tens of tons ago, machinery skates are.

    Skate roller/axle should fail? Yah have about a 3/4" - 1" drop. Only.



    Caster falls? Anywhere from a third its height, deck to swivel plate/pin to..... 100% of that height.




    2 X 4400 lb Northern polyroller skates HS end, bolted to maintain long-axis alignment.

    https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...9288_200679288

    1 X 6000 lb Vestil swivel-top Nylon roller skate, TS pedestal end. Outrigger across the "pointy" end with skid blocks as tilt-travel limiter.

    Vestil - Machinery Skates

    2 X 5T toe-jacks to get it on and off the timber skids. Trolley jacks for quick adjustments.

    China Lifting Tool Hydraulic Toe Jack Claw Jack Track Jack with 5ton~3ton - China Hydraulic Track Jack, Toe Jack

    Bolts or allthread to suit. Through-bolts, washers and fender washers throughout. NO LAG SCREWS! The "modern" forced-growth timbers split too easily. Eyebolts for puller attach. Pry bars to "dog-paddle" over uneven deck.

    Once IN the trailer bed, toe-jacks again to place cross-grillage so the skate rollers are unloaded, clear the deck, but remain in-place for the unload.

    Straps or binders to suit load and trailer.

    Reverse at unload end.
    Last edited by thermite; 09-06-2018 at 09:26 PM.

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    This past Tuesday I moved a 17" colchester with Rol a lifts. as others have mentioned they need to be strapped very securely to the machine with the straps as low as possible . They need to be as near vertical as possible in order for the casters to steer. Use lots of blocking to both protect the machine and to keep things vertical. I used three lifts one at the tail stock end and two at the head stock end one in front and one behind with careful blocking to protect the controls.I happen to own 6 rol a lifts so using 3 is an easy choice but you certainly can use two if you have a set with a high enough rating and if you need to go up a ramp of any kind 2 would be preferable. If you use just one at the headstock end the end cover that covers the belts and change gears need to come of or you will damage it .A block placed between the top of the lift and the casting will support the top of the lift. A short piece of 4 x 4 will work. When rol a lifts are jacked the top tends to push in against the machine and you do not want pressure on the gear train or pulleys. You might want to use multiple straps to hold the lifts to the lathe as they ten to stretch when the lifts are jacked and the bottom of the lift will want to pull away from the machine . If you are renting the drop trailer and not moving very far I would skip the trailer and hire a towing company with a roll back truck, I can usually hire a towing company for $100 an hour and if I an prepared before they arrive I can load and secure in about 10 mins and the same for unload which gives you 40 min travel time for a $100. I have moved dozens of machines over the years with rol a lifts and a a roll back truck . Winching aboard is straight forward . One thing to keep in mind if you do pull it a board a roll back is to put blocks under the lathe and secure it to the deck before leveling the deck. When the deck is tilted gravity is your friend and the lathe will stay in place but once the deck is leveled if the lathe is still on wheels may want to roll forward or sideways if the truck is not parked dead flat. The same goes for unloading. Roll the deck and tilt it before removing the hold down straps. Keep in mind that some roll back decks come to an almost knife edge which the casters will transition easily but others have a bump that can be as much as 1.5" so having a scrap of 1/8 plated 1' x 3' to ease the transition ion is useful. Always remember don't lift any machine any higher then necessary and slow is almost always better

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Harvie View Post
    I used three lifts one at the tail stock end and two at the head stock end one in front and one behind with careful blocking to protect the controls.I happen to own 6 rol a lifts so using 3 is an easy choice
    Good input!



    A lot of it is indeed about what you have - and are accustomed to working with.

    I own all that other stuff that was on MY list, some of it in "depth"! Takes up less space.

    Might even have cost me less, in total.

    OTOH, for-sure you own more rigging gear than just the rol-a-lifts, too, yah?


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    Thanks for all the good input, am still hoping the distant rigger will suddenly tell me he can do it next week, while continuing to prepare myself. Yes we lack “normal” skates and may have to get some. We’re equipped with forklifts (big one temp ooc), lifting straps synthetic and wire, toe jack, shackles, chain, come-alongs, chain hoists, Johnson bar, pry bar, ratchet straps, etc. A lot of that is in truck now as I have to pick up a cyl grinder and small hor. mill plus a few lighter things tomorrow AM. Place I’m getting them has a forklift in the shop but only a couple of steel plates on soft ground of the yard where I have to pull the “18 foot” trailer Sunbelt rented me that’s really only 15.5’ long, I measured it. I’m glad the bed is only 15.5 feet, the total length of the rig is going to be difficult in the small yard, and rain is forecast. 2WD truck too. If it doesn’t rain I think I can pull it off. If the yard gets muddy I’m probably f———ed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonmn View Post
    Thanks for all the good input, am still hoping the distant rigger will suddenly tell me he can do it next week, while continuing to prepare myself. Yes we lack “normal” skates and may have to get some. We’re equipped with forklifts (big one temp ooc), lifting straps synthetic and wire, toe jack, shackles, chain, come-alongs, chain hoists, Johnson bar, pry bar, ratchet straps, etc. A lot of that is in truck now as I have to pick up a cyl grinder and small hor. mill plus a few lighter things tomorrow AM. Place I’m getting them has a forklift in the shop but only a couple of steel plates on soft ground of the yard where I have to pull the “18 foot” trailer Sunbelt rented me that’s really only 15.5’ long, I measured it. I’m glad the bed is only 15.5 feet, the total length of the rig is going to be difficult in the small yard, and rain is forecast. 2WD truck too. If it doesn’t rain I think I can pull it off. If the yard gets muddy I’m probably f———ed.
    It IS going to rain. Lybarger's Corollary.

    Combat Engineer won't even leave the Beaver-hoorhouse 'til it's raining or snowing and mud is ten feet deep. Ain't got shit conditions, we requisition them so we know how to act! "Engineer Weather" is legendary nasty.

    Toss-in two sheets, 3/4" exterior ply, panel-sawed into total eight 2' x 8' slices at and by Big Box. First cut, each SKU is free, others are dirt-cheap.

    Pre-placed as thirty-two feet of treadway at a go, it will not survive in usable condition.

    But neither will the truck or trailer get stuck, so "BFD" on the rice-crispies plywood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    Good input!




    OTOH, for-sure you own more rigging gear than just the rol-a-lifts, too, yah?

    You are right in your assumption. I own 10 hillmann rollers . 20 or so simplex toe jacks from 5 to 20 ton, a healthy selection of hydraulic pancake jacks and portapowers, a set of aerogo air skates which I used today to move a Mazak 510 mill that weighs around 15000 lbs. as well as an assortment on pry bars ,johnson bars etc. Most of my gear was picked up here and there at auctions ,sales and sometimes just being in the right place About the only rigging gear I have bought new is a very nice bent toe pry bar that came from eastern rigging that I would highly recommend. Despite all the assorted rigging gear I have my go to for moving a manual lathe is almost always rol a lifts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Harvie View Post
    You are right in your assumption. I own 10 hillmann rollers . 20 or so simplex toe jacks from 5 to 20 ton, a healthy selection of hydraulic pancake jacks and portapowers, a set of aerogo air skates which I used today to move a Mazak 510 mill that weighs around 15000 lbs. as well as an assortment on pry bars ,johnson bars etc. Most of my gear was picked up here and there at auctions ,sales and sometimes just being in the right place About the only rigging gear I have bought new is a very nice bent toe pry bar that came from eastern rigging that I would highly recommend. Despite all the assorted rigging gear I have my go to for moving a manual lathe is almost always rol a lifts.
    It's lovely to be well-equipped, know the condition of your goods, not have to rent-and-pray as to condition - or availability on YOUR schedule!

    Took a lotta years gettin' there. Wish I had started earlier rather than Rambo'ing so much shite. The gear lasts a reallly looong time, after all. Chinese made? BFD. Northern ain't HF. They sell what the Chinese use THEMSELVES. Not pretty. Sure works OK for modest money, though.

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    Not s’posed to rain there till 11am so I’ll get there hours before. Here’s what thepickup point looked like recently when I was picking up a 100-ton hyd. press, there are obstructions to either side of this view.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 0b53983a-5008-4e3b-9a7d-7526e2539d1b.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonmn View Post
    Not s’posed to rain there till 11am so I’ll get there hours before. Here’s what thepickup point looked like recently when I was picking up a 100-ton hyd. press, there are obstructions to either side of this view.
    "not supposed to", eh?

    "Lybarger's Corollary" authored by Edward H. Lybarger, is the ultimate distillation and simplification of ALL the "Murphy's Law" and "Sod's Law" wisdom handed down since time immemorial.

    It states simply:

    "All else being equal? YOU LOSE!"

    And, Oh, BTW...Ed's an OPTIMIST!


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    Somehow all went well, no rain. I took two oak skids for the heavier machines. The seller loaded from side of trailer, he had some xtra diamond tread plates he put on the ground and was able to reach trailer that way. Loaded an older B&s cylindrical grinder, a “small” B&S horizontal mill, Famco kick press, and four very heavy cast steel stock racks, look a bit like 2-dimensional Xmas trees. Got back to shop in an hour and unloaded, all uneventful.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 75d24263-9ab2-4efc-988b-9a1b0866e515.jpg   8fb6005b-3b1b-4070-9c84-3cb2bcd40cab.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonmn View Post
    Somehow all went well, no rain. I took two oak skids for the heavier machines. The seller loaded from side of trailer, he had some xtra diamond tread plates he put on the ground and was able to reach trailer that way. Loaded an older B&s cylindrical grinder, a “small” B&S horizontal mill, Famco kick press, and four very heavy cast steel stock racks, look a bit like 2-dimensional Xmas trees. Got back to shop in an hour and unloaded, all uneventful.
    So the Clausing lathe is still "to-do"?

    Or did I miss an update?

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    Yes still need to do both Clausing and Di-Acro 2.5 ton press brake. The latter will be moved by rented forklift on pickup location as seller allows fork to go to the machine. Clausing situation different, But I have some new ideas. I have an 8000-lb. cap. Electric pallet jack, and throwing that and a couple of heavy-duty oak skids into the rigging kit makes things a bit simpler. I’ll elaborate later if needed but gotta run now to return the trailer by 7 AM so I won’t be charged for another day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonmn View Post
    Yes still need to do both Clausing and Di-Acro 2.5 ton press brake. The latter will be moved by rented forklift on pickup location as seller allows fork to go to the machine. Clausing situation different, But I have some new ideas. I have an 8000-lb. cap. Electric pallet jack, and throwing that and a couple of heavy-duty oak skids into the rigging kit makes things a bit simpler. I’ll elaborate later if needed but gotta run now to return the trailer by 7 AM so I won’t be charged for another day.
    We'll be here!

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    New concept involves two heavy oak skids, as wide as practical for stability purposes. One thing I don’t like about the elect. PJ is that it has little side-to-side stability, so keeping things low with the high-CG lathe secured to those skids will compensate. Skids are selected for compatibility with that EPJ, as its forks are fatter than those of manual PJ. Anyway, lift lathe HS end with various tools such as one roll-a-lift on either side. Position skid, lower HS end onto it with oak 2x4 between to allow removal of RAL’s, then remove that spacer. On TS end, do same so it winds up on another skid. Raise TS skid with EPJ so skates can be positioned, one under each side of that skid, then back EPJ out and drive it into HS skid, then raise enough to get ground clearance. Use “big” ratchet straps (at least 3300 lb. WL rating) to bind both ends to their respective skids, two straps at HS end, one at TS end. Drive loaded EPJ onto hydraulic drop-bed trailer, lower and secure with chains, straps, etc. into trailer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonmn View Post
    New concept involves two heavy oak skids, as wide as practical for stability purposes. One thing I don’t like about the elect. PJ is that it has little side-to-side stability, so keeping things low with the high-CG lathe secured to those skids will compensate. Skids are selected for compatibility with that EPJ, as its forks are fatter than those of manual PJ. Anyway, lift lathe HS end with various tools such as one roll-a-lift on either side. Position skid, lower HS end onto it with oak 2x4 between to allow removal of RAL’s, then remove that spacer. On TS end, do same so it winds up on another skid. Raise TS skid with EPJ so skates can be positioned, one under each side of that skid, then back EPJ out and drive it into HS skid, then raise enough to get ground clearance. Use “big” ratchet straps (at least 3300 lb. WL rating) to bind both ends to their respective skids, two straps at HS end, one at TS end. Drive loaded EPJ onto hydraulic drop-bed trailer, lower and secure with chains, straps, etc. into trailer.
    I'd be temped to use outrigger cross-timbers, two each HS & TS attached with the OEM floor bolt holes so the skids could be spaced a foot or so wider off each side of the long-axis CL.

    The same "toe plate" for the DIY uber-reefer-dolly used to move both the AB5/S and Quartet laid-over through the low door is a six-foot length of 7" wide, 3/8" thick steel ELL channel, predrilled to bolt to each machine-tool's base and to 8" X 8" and 6" x 6" "rails", 6" X 8" and 4" X 6" cross-members. Four skates, pair at each end. Steering with trolley jacks to "aim" each increment, propulsion by FL push, then "dog paddle" timber pry bar.

    Lybarger's Corollary, if it can face-plant, it will do.

    Back to your Clausing again. Once long-axis skids are bolted to resist stress on pedestals va bed:

    - HS end, forks parallel to CL, the EPJ.

    - TS end, fork-ettes parallel to CL, a Rol-A-Lift, ELSE second, rented PJ, electric optional, 3 to 5K plenty.

    I normally just use bolted-on 4400 lb skates. Have plenty. All paid for a long time ago. Easy to schlep. Can be ganged-up, side-by, nose-to, and "both" on the built-in clips & loops.


    - Control and steering by HS EPJ (or both), braking by lowering PJ(s) for skid-drag.

    PJ's, or PJ & Rol-A-Lift/skates remain in-place, road trip. Ready reverse on arrival after piss-call.

    Take-with aux goods: Pair of toe-jacks, pry bar, maybe my Vestil pry-dollys. A pail of fasteners, washers ,wedges, shims. Sawzall, drill & wrenches for trimming and bolting cross-timbers & skids. Tie downs, come-along and/or winch. "The usual" rubber doormats & duct tape, and ALWAYS a hundred feet of new poly-rope and iron-bound wood-blocks for it to handle the unexpected.

    One-man rig with the EPJ.

    I can't be BOTHERED to ever work with a second guy, anyway.

    Not unless he's Navy, Merchant-Marine, Herkie-bird loadmaster, or Belvoir trained. "Communications" thing more than skill. "Different" experiences lead to differences in reactions, approach, and would you believe? Even DELAY in taking my barked ORDERS! Or my taking his, if a btter man. CANNOT have more than one mind "in charge".

    Byproducts. Wore stripes before I wore bars, y'see..


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    Good suggestions. One thing about the EPJ that’s good is that if you aren’t pressing on either the forward or reverse control, the brakes are on hard. Or if you let go of the steering/control T handle, brakes go on, so no lowering needed to stop hard.

    Another thing I’m considering is forming a volunteer rigging team out of members of our machinist’s club (CAMS.). Some people have some gear, some have other, some have big trucks, some have experience. We’re trying to do this due to lack of prof. Riggers in the DC area who will even give an estimate to move one or two machines.


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