Getting a lathe off a pallet
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    Default Getting a lathe off a pallet

    Iíve seen plenty of machine moving videos showing machinery moves with a pallet jack or skates but they all start with a machine flat on the floor. Any ideas on how to get a heavy machine off a pallet thatís about 8Ē thick? Itís heavy. About 4000 lbs.




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    most people use
    .
    fork truck
    chainfall from beam above
    pry bar and wood blocking.
    .
    be careful where you pick, not everything is designed to hold against tons of force. you can permanently bend stuff. its like on a car you dont put jack on the sheet metal autobody cause it will crush picking car from the sheet metal autobody

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    Rolling A frame is another option.
    A towtruck can also be used if nothing else is available.
    It needs to be picked up from above at any rate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TravisR100 View Post
    I’ve seen plenty of machine moving videos showing machinery moves with a pallet jack or skates but they all start with a machine flat on the floor. Any ideas on how to get a heavy machine off a pallet that’s about 8” thick? It’s heavy. About 4000 lbs.




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    "On the cheap", in zero extra space, and with no complex lifting gear?

    Dead-easy, actually. I had less that eight inches, too.


    All I had to do was class the entire pallet as "expendable". It's only WOOD, after all. More of it is literally "growing on trees" all the time.

    Sawzalled a well adjacent a planned liftng point, Cut-way enough wood to get a jack into place, 'downhole". Lifted the 10EE the merest skosh, installed a machinery skate.

    On to the next. The height you have? ONE stubby bottle jack can fit. Or a common garage "trolley jack" can be run into a canal cut for it. No need of costlier "toe" jacks. I have a matched pair of those NOW - compact 5-tonners - but did not THEN.

    Once the 10EE was fully stable on three machinery skates - which it lives atop, yet today?

    Sawzalled the REST of the pallet to flinders and dragged the scrap wood away, one piece at a time.

    If you break anything? Machinery, fingernail, skin, or even a sweat?

    You got impatient and rushed a tedious, but dirt-simple tasking as can actually be done with not even the jack. Wedges, pry bars, and shims work, too. Just more slowly.

    Plan your cuts. Add stacked shims when you must. Toppling it is not in the plan.

    But incrementally demolishing the pallet from underneath rather than trying to save it is all you need to do to keep the task cheap and safe.

    How much risky lift or tilt above the un-stressed pallet do you need?

    Tenth of an inch or less. Pry-bar range if you have no jack. MUCH less if you don't mind driving a few of the cut-up wood scraps out with hammer-blows.

    You wanted an excuse to own a decent Sawzall, anyway, right?


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    there are a number of fairly low tech methods I have used in the past . First I would remove the blocking under the skid to get the machine closer to the floor. Raise the skid slightly at the corner with a pry bar and cut the blocking away from the skid with a recip saw and a demo blade and place a wedge where the blocking was . repeat at each corner the using you pry bar raise the skid a little and pull the wedge out part way and repeat at each corner . In this way you can lower the skid in small increments with out risk of upset

    Method one . go to your local sunbelt rentals and rent a set of Rol-A-Lift. trim the skid near flush with each end of the lathe. raise the lathe of the skid a small amount with a pry bar and place a wedge (preferably hardwood) similar to one used for a door stop between the skid and the lathe . move to other side of lathe and repeat with another wedge then do the same at the other end. Using wedges you can raise the lathe in small increment that you are comfortable with. Once you have four wedges in place you can work your way around and raise the lathe of the skid a little more continuing to lift in small increments so you don't risk typing the lathe over. Once the lathe is separated from the skid enough to get the lifting tines of the roll a lifts between the lathe and skid place a roll a lift at each end and securely strap them to the lathe keeping your straps as low as possible on the machine. Use heavy duty straps and tighten them as tight as possible. Using the roll a lift hydraulics raise the lathe a small amount and slide the pallett out . now carefully lower the hydraulics in small steps alternating ends . When you are near the floor place your wedges back in place between the lathe and floor . Lower unto the wedges and remove rol a lifts. lathe is now sitting on wedges which can be removed in small steps the reverse of the start.

    Method 2 is to get 2 pieces of stout angle about 5" long . I would suggest something with a 4" leg and 3/8" thickness. For this your local scrap yard is your friend. next raise the lathe on wedges as before and then place an angle under each end of the lathe perpendicular to the length of the lathe . Strap the angle securely to the lathe, you should now have a large H shape with the lathe being the cross bar. Now you can go two ways. I have a fleet of toe jacks so I use 4 and put one under each end of the angle. Raise each jack one click and remove the pallett then lower the lathe working around and lowering each jack one click in turn. again as before lower on to wedges and remove angles and lower remaining distance to floor as before. In the likely event that you don't have 4 toe jacks make 4 stacks of 1/2" chip board squares. i would recommend at least 8" square . Put one stack under the end of each angle. use you pry bar to raise the end of each angle in turn and add chip board till the lathe is clear of the pallett. remove pallet then using your pry bar raise the end of an angle and remove one 1/2" thick square. repeat on the other side of lathe at the same end, then repeat at the other end. Working around the lathe repeat as necessary until lathe is lowered to wedges on the floor . then as before finish lowering machine to the floor.

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    First of all congrats on the Rivett. Nice.

    Lots of different ways to do this, best way depends on your equipment on hand and tolerance for hard work vs cost.

    Probably the cheapest way would be to block up four corners of the lathe between the top and bottom of the pallet. Make sure the blocking has taken the weight, then cut the pallet away around it. Then step machine down to floor with thinner stacks of blocking. Just take your time and step back and look at each set up as you go.

    Little more expensive, but way faster is to find a tow truck operator with a boom style truck and get them to do the lifting. Thing to note about hoisting that machine is the balance point is right about where the chuck is.

    Or beg, borrow or rent a fork truck.

    Careful, the bottom square control rod is lower then the bed. It easy to hit or bend it lifting from underneath the bed.
    DAMHIKT


    On edit- what those guys said. They can type way faster, what with ten fingers and suchlike advantages

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    Thanks for the suggestions. Mpmar_bt you seem to know the Rivett. The manual said something about a lifting point inside the bottom panel at the headstock? Havenít removed that panel yet. And how do you avoid that control rod?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TravisR100 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. Mpmar_bt you seem to know the Rivett. The manual said something about a lifting point inside the bottom panel at the headstock? Haven’t removed that panel yet. And how do you avoid that control rod?
    Look for the mentioned points FIRST. It may be closer in design philosophy to my Cazeneuve HBX-360 that my 10EE's.

    To wit:

    - A 10Ee base was designed from the outset for three-point life. Only. They can be off-level, but never subject to twist, level or otherwise.

    - The Cazeneuve, likewise 8000-series Clausings, take the bridge-beam approach. Their "points" are in the cross skirt at each extreme end, supplementary set at midpoint on longer models.

    ALL of those need to be dealt with as a "team" in leveling the machine so as not to introduce twist.

    Your Rivett may be closer to the Cazeneuve concept than to the 10EE, but the process is the same.

    Cut away the wood to get the access you need to place "whatever" lifting gear you can lay hands on right "up close and personal" to where it was meant to be lifted or supported.

    How much were you expecting to be paid for a used pallet even if you did save it without a scratch, anyway?

    it's the machine that is important. And yerownazz, fingers, toes, etc. Not the kindling wood temporarily on delay-en-route hiding under it.


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    The original manual says, "Machine should be close to its location on its skid. Remove wooden clamps from skid, and slide lathe off skid using rollers. Lifting hooks can be used on headstock end of base, remove panel #34 to expose lip for lifting hooks."

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    Quote Originally Posted by TravisR100 View Post
    The original manual says, "Machine should be close to its location on its skid. Remove wooden clamps from skid, and slide lathe off skid using rollers. Lifting hooks can be used on headstock end of base, remove panel #34 to expose lip for lifting hooks."
    *yawn* Northrop-Page once paid me to write stuff like that.

    Even though.... I had been an instructor, among other things, rigging, the Engineer Center & School, before 'nam... [1]

    How much flexibility and how many alternative methods d'you suppose was even wanted in print...

    When the manuals were to hit grizzled old US Army Signal Corps Sergeants .. who would usually find several better ways, based on local circumstances?



    [1] Long Binh, I harboured a tee-shaped steel beam with big loops attached. Used that to lift LOX cryotainers, and the massive air-compressors in and out of the roof hatch of our Liquid Oxygen plants.

    Sounds a perfect fit to the above "factory" description as spreader bar for an overhead, multi-point lift, your lathe.

    Now all you have to do is find a maintenance shop that still has one, fifty years on. It was made to change engines, M48 family of tanks.

    Oh. And space to deploy a crane to make use of it....

    Sawzall approach might be cheaper?


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    Just remember that lathes love to fall over, so be certain to keep your patience, don't rush, and have at least one other person at hand in case it goes topsy-turvy.

    Keep in mind it can break your leg or even do you in if you're in the way - if you've not done similar work before find a friend or acquaintance who has (really has, not just spouting).

    Let us know how it goes.

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    I've pipe rolled a lathe from a similarly heavy crate off onto timbers that were parallel with the bed. Then I used a jack to put blocks of cribbing under each end and removed the timbers. Lastly I worked it down with a pinch bar until it was sitting on pipe again and rolled it to where I wanted it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TravisR100 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. Mpmar_bt you seem to know the Rivett. The manual said something about a lifting point inside the bottom panel at the headstock? Havenít removed that panel yet. And how do you avoid that control rod?
    Welcome. Racking my brain to remember - that guy has been six deep in a connex box since last summer. I'm in the middle of about the slowest shop move ever.

    Anyway, how I damaged that rod was to get in a hurry and pick it with a timber crosswise under the bed slung with heavy lifting strap. Timber was too long and pulled up on the rod. If you stoop down and eyeball it you can see how it would work to get support under the bed without hitting that rod. But move the support too far to the front it will interfere with the rod.

    I think the electrical box is under that headstock end base cover. I could see using the top of that window as a lift point. That base is crazy stout. I would usually be skittish about lifting a lathe from a point below the bed. Recipe for flipping, too much weight above lift point. In this case with that base, motor and clutch assembly mounted on a big inch thick plate you got enough weight below to be fairly stable.

    So, you've got some good solid methods well described above. How are you thinking you want to do it?

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    Locate some 4x4 to attach crosswise to the beast to insure it cannot fall over before doing any pry type lifting.

    Cut away material so it can be pried up.

    Remove by cutting pallet outside line of lathe.

    Split so an end can be removed.

    Also consider renting engine hoist or buy one at that import place for $100.00...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpmar_bt View Post
    Welcome. Racking my brain to remember - that guy has been six deep in a connex box since last summer. I'm in the middle of about the slowest shop move ever.

    Anyway, how I damaged that rod was to get in a hurry and pick it with a timber crosswise under the bed slung with heavy lifting strap. Timber was too long and pulled up on the rod. If you stoop down and eyeball it you can see how it would work to get support under the bed without hitting that rod. But move the support too far to the front it will interfere with the rod.

    I think the electrical box is under that headstock end base cover. I could see using the top of that window as a lift point. That base is crazy stout. I would usually be skittish about lifting a lathe from a point below the bed. Recipe for flipping, too much weight above lift point. In this case with that base, motor and clutch assembly mounted on a big inch thick plate you got enough weight below to be fairly stable.

    So, you've got some good solid methods well described above. How are you thinking you want to do it?

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    I got the blocking removed from around the perimeter of the lathe. Put a 6í pry bar under the headstock end. I can literally hang on the prybar at a 45 degree angle and it doesnít budge. And Iím 180 lbs. Iím thinking straps and lifting. Iíve got a friend with an 8,000 lb telescoping lift which is how we got the skid into the building in the first place. But it was too late to try to get it off the skid and I wanted to do some homework before attempting anything. Iím hoping I can get him to come back with the lift later in the week.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    Just remember that lathes love to fall over, so be certain to keep your patience, don't rush, and have at least one other person at hand in case it goes topsy-turvy.

    Keep in mind it can break your leg or even do you in if you're in the way - if you've not done similar work before find a friend or acquaintance who has (really has, not just spouting).

    Let us know how it goes.
    Thank you. I definitely donít want to get crushed by this thing. Itís definitely heavy.


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    Quote Originally Posted by TravisR100 View Post
    Put a 6’ pry bar under the headstock end. I can literally hang on the prybar at a 45 degree angle and it doesn’t budge.
    Having moved many lathes over the years I strongly suspect that you have missed finding one or more hold down bolts and the lathe is still bolted firmly to the skid . Although this lathe is heavy for its size it not overly heavy as lathes go and certainly a 6' pry par will lift it. Depending on the Bar you are using the fulcrum may be to far from the toe and you are not getting a sufficient mechanical advantage using a small rod as pivot very near the toe could help you. I use a Pry Bar from Eastern Rigging Supply which they call a nose bar with a bent toe . I have owned over the years 2 monarch 10EE lathes which are similar and moved them with ease with a 5.5' pry bar
    Using simple physics 4000 lbs 2" from the pivot will require a force of 114 lbs to lift it. also keep in mind that you are only lifting one end of the lathe so you are not lifting likely much more then 3000 lbs so the force needed would be more in the neighborhood of 85 lbs

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    Agreed. Either still bolted down or the lever end is too long.

    But if you have access to an 8K lift then there's your answer. You will have to lift it from above to get the pallet out from under. That guy weighs 4,000 pounds so make sure any lifting gear is rated for 4K working load.

    You mentioned the headstock lift points earlier. What else does the manual say about lifting it?



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    Quote Originally Posted by mpmar_bt View Post
    Agreed. Either still bolted down or the lever end is too long.

    But if you have access to an 8K lift then there's your answer. You will have to lift it from above to get the pallet out from under. That guy weighs 4,000 pounds so make sure any lifting gear is rated for 4K working load.

    You mentioned the headstock lift points earlier. What else does the manual say about lifting it?



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    It is certainly possible that Iím missing some hold down bolt(s). Didnít appear so but possible. The pry bar Iím using is adjustable length and has an adjustable toe.

    Other than what I posted previously thatís all the manual says about moving it.


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    Since you have use of a fork truck I would lift and block it up one end at a time. Then just slide the forks under and away you go. Move the pallet and then set it down on the same blocking on the floor. You know the headstock end lifting point. As for the tailstock end I would look for a through web on the base where I could use a heavy lift strap basket style. Hook the strap over the fork and ease it up just enough to slip the 4X4 underneath and then ease the lift back down.

    You want to end up like this:

    rivettlift.jpg

    My thinking is that blocking one end at a time will keep the other end on the ground so pretty stable as long as you move slowly and only lift it enough to block it.

    I left mine on 4X4s so I could get under it with a pallet jack. That would be a bad plan for most lathes but the base on that guy is so solid I don't think wood movement will affect it.


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