Moving Lathe OUT of basement
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  1. #1
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    Default Moving Lathe OUT of basement

    New Member here. First post. I've been a home machinist for a number of years and sadly my mentor has gone into a nursing home and his wife offered me to buy his 5914 Clausing Lathe.

    Book shows it weighing 1120 lbs. (IIRC)

    I need to:

    move it up a flight of stairs - straight shot. Stairs are wood - built in late 1950's stringers are NOT grooved.

    I plan on:

    Adding a 4x4 post under one side of the landing (where I have access)

    Adding 2 or 3 support post under the stair treads - probably jam a 2x6 under several and then put 2x4 columns in.

    Put 2x6 runners ful length of the stairs with 2x nailed on the top sides to act as guides and also a few 2x4 or 2x6's acrosss the bottoms to tie the runner together and spread the load some.

    I have an extension of my hitch with which I can mount a winch - my current winch is only rated at 2,000 lbs - initially I thought that was fine but am now thinking I need a back up plan should that run out of power.

    I plan on addign a Safety Anchor (not sure what yet - I have access to various come alongs, ratchet straps etc.

    I plan on puttign the lathe on 4x4 runners thru bolted to lathe feet with a couple cross braces.

    I plan on adding soap or wax to runners

    I plan on pulling up the HEADSTOCK end up first - so that when it "tips" at the top of the stairs - it will be minimal - was even thinking some insulation foam to cushion the landing might be a good insurance idea.

    I plan on adding some sheetmetal to the front bottom of teh 4x4 runners

    I plan on having some plywood on the landing extend out onto the driveway which I would attach to the 2x6 stair runners locking everything in place.

    So IF you've made it this far -Thank You for your perseverance! My questions are:

    what are the areas I may be overlooking? Is the winch a total dud? (oh btw I am going to remove just the easy stuff. Motor, tailstock, chuck, covers.)

    Thank You in advance for any and all insights you can share!

    Jacin in Ohio

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    Never had to do it, so take my input lighter than others with experience.

    Do you have any assistance available to move it? I would personally further dissasemble the lathe before I went through the trouble of all that you have listed. Broken down into headstock-bed-cabinet, and all the other various easier to remove pieces should be movable by 2 decently strong guys I would think. If anything goes wrong pulling it up the stairs like that...it is going to go really wrong is my concern. Plus it doesn't sound like any less work anyhow, if not more work even.

    I would try to build the skid as wide as will fit through the path at least, rather than just the width of the cabinet feet. I would pull off the tailstock/carriage/chuck, but leave the motor to not make it any top heavier than it already is. Good luck. Hopefully some of the people with basement experience will chime in to help you.

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    Take it apart, less crying that way...Phil

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    FWIW, Let me add: My buddy put this lathe down there in the 70's in one piece - granted that was 40+ years ago. I know for a fact that he did not disassemble anything as he was afraid he might "mess up" any factory alignments. I don't think he reinforced the stairs at all, at that time, but I still would. I know if he removed anything it would have only been the chuck and tailstock only.
    I do recall him tellign me that they anchored it to his '67 Buick Wildcat rear axle and that he swore the car was a foot closer ot the house when he was done. I assume that was with skinny bias ply tires not radials on a dodge diesel.

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    It's doable. Pictures and detailed plan, please.

    As wide a stance as possible, good rigging, don't be below it when its coming up the stairs, etc, etc. What could go wrong?

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    BTW - I'm not ruling out disassembly. However, that isn't necessarily as "easy" as it sounds. The area I'll be working in is SMALL. Lifting the headstock, carriage and bed off the cabinet are far more than my bad back is gonna accomplish so I would most definitely have to come up with some sort of plan for that route as well.

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    first I would call a mover and ask the cost to have some pros do the job. For a few hundred it wold be a go.
    If that fails run some 2x4s or 2x6s flat on the floor boxed in length wise at ends) to toe-in your vertical posts under stir case and landing. A cross timber across the outer wall at back door would be Ok. That timber could be a stacking of 2x6s x 48" and a vertical on that for the back door jam..Oh will it fit through that door?. Crank it up on a skid/sled bolted to the machine feet with a come along or a winch. Have also a chain so you might pin the chain link every few inches so if your pull device fails it can only go back down 2 or 5 inches. That chain will hold it while you move the anchor when at the top. *Nobody can be behind the machine as it moves up. having room you might have put some 2x4s along the walls so if it twists nobody will have to get near it.
    Think about at-the-top with your safety chain fixed/safe you may have to move the anchor. to a tree, a parked truck with wheels blocked so to pull it a little out of the house..have a bunch of short 2x4s so to crib under any ramps or what ever it might set on so that something can't bend or break.
    All this with due diligence, Not Buck said so.
    I had a surface grinder go wild this year because my winch lock did not lock (catch spring was out of it/broken..,very dumb working alone and with not a short stop safety(the chain)...I could have bought the one way ticket with being on the wrong side of the machine..

    Likely I will have to move the piano out of the basement this way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    first I would call a mover and ask the cost to have some pros do the job.
    If that fails run some 2x4s or 2x6s flat on the floor boxed in length wise Ends) to toe -in your vertical posts under stir case and landing. A cross timber across the outer wall would be Ok. that timber could be a stacking of 2x6s x 48' and a vertical on tha for the back door jam..Oh will it fit through that door?. Crank it up on a skid/slead bolted to the l
    Yes, I did plan on toeing in teh verticals - the basement floors here are notoriously unpredictable (thickness)so I thought that'd be good for that reason as well. In my last job we worked with numerous riggers - to say I was less than impressed is an understatement. It is ENTIRELY Hit or Miss - that's not something I can risk. Yes it'll fit no problem thru the door. BTW the stairs is flanked on both sides by walls, but I don't know how they are tied together as it is finished. I also noticed that under each tread a wood triangle is in place - whether these were added by my buddy or were there when NEW I dunno - my house (couple blocks away) does NOT have those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    first I would call a mover and ask the cost to have some pros do the job. few hundred it wold be a go.
    If that fails run some 2x4s or 2x6s flat on the floor boxed in length wise Ends) to toe -in your vertical posts under stir case and landing. A cross timber across the outer wall would be Ok. that timber could be a stacking of 2x6s x 48' and a vertical on tha for the back door jam..Oh will it fit through that door?. Crank it up on a skid/sled bolted to the machine feet with a come along or a winch. Have also a chain so you might pin every few inches so if your pull device fails it can only go back down 2 or 5 inches. That chain will hold it while you move the anchor when at the top. Nobody can be behind the machine as it moves up. having room you might have put some 2x4s along the walls so if it twists nobody will have to get near it.
    Think about at-the-top with your safety chain fixed/safe you may have to move the anchor. to a tree, a parked truck with wheels blocked so to pull it a little out of the house..have a bunch of short 2x4s so to crib under any ramps or what ever it might set on so that something cant bend or break.
    I had a surface grinder go wild this year because my winch lock did not lock,very dumb working alone and with not a short stop safety(the chain) /I could have bought the one way ticket.
    Your comment about the winch lock not working is EXACTLY what I want to plan for. If I use a pulley (to reduce winch load) I will have to momentarily stop and reset the cable. Not sure if I really wanna do that.
    My winch has around 26' of cable so Icouldn't use a pulley in one shot as I skecthed about 10' over and 10' down, but if I stopped when the lathe is entirely on the ramp - that drops to 10' plus 3' m- still not sure I want an setup where I have to fiddle with it mid lift.

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    The safety chain is separate from the pull device.. not even on the same anchor. it has to be safe all by itself. it has to be safe at mid travel or at the top. you can borrow/rent 20 feet of chain. winch it up 5 inches and then re-set the chain

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    IIRC the back of the headstock-column on the 5914 is all cast aluminum covers.

    So if you basket the headstock with a sling there's going to be a lot of internal pressure on those covers. I think I would strip that part down.

    I would want to use something like a 1" ratchet strap to retain the tailstock, no sense in having it slide back down and crash to the bottom.

    Having something like a single Gr70 chain you can attach to the sling and wrap around trailer hitch structure should work be necessary on the winch or the cable at some point. Good to have some kind of bearing, even if wood, to direct the cable between the horizontal and the angle.

    I've winched some big machinery up on a trailer before but it was on a shallower slope than you're considering and I had a 1-1/2t lever hoist and a 3t for backup.

    John's suggestion to make the skid as wide as possible is very good. That lathe is pretty narrow front-to-back. The skid is going to take a lot of abuse, I'd look into some GRK-RSS screws and possibly some metal like Simpson flat straps to help reinforce any wood-wood joints.

    The first part of the job is a little hairy getting the weight up off the flat and up onto the inclined plane.

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    I'm not sure how to word myself here so don't judge me. I've dealt with my Dad who I had to put into a home. If your friend is still of a sound mind ask him how he got it down there. If he doesn't know that his wife gave it to you, out of respect for him just ask him "Hey Chuck (his name here) how in the hell did you ever get that damn lathe in your basement without turning into scrap metal?" If he remembers it'll spark an afternoon of conversation on the good old days and give you some ideas. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there wasn't some pictures floating around somewhere of the move. A "Hey check out what I did this weekend!" Not that Machinists, Old Machinists like to talk about the Good Old Day's or anything.
    My Dad once worked with a guy who had some health issues and was hospitalized. After an extended stay he got better and was sent home. When he got there his clothes and tools were gone! Finds out his kids took the tools and his wife gave away his clothes. She said they didn't think he was ever coming home. Ahh I can feel the love from here!

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    The safety chain is separate from the pull device.. not even on the same anchor. it has to be safe all by itself. it has to be safe at mid travel or at the top. you can borrow/rent 20 feet of chain. winch it up 5 inches and then re-set the chain
    I
    Not sure how to add pics yet, but to describe what I’m working with. I welded up a bolt on extension to my pintle mount. It’s about 20” long and has a sleeve which the winch drops into(which is then pinned) there is s 1/2” eye bolt that I planned on for the safety chain, but now I’m thinking I will just put a chain slot in it since it’s plenty wide enough. The opposite side also has a 1/2 eye bolt if the need arises to anchor it to anything more stationery

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmach10 View Post
    I'm not sure how to word myself here so don't judge me. I've dealt with my Dad who I had to put into a home. If your friend is still of a sound mind ask him how he got it down there. If he doesn't know that his wife gave it to you, out of respect for him just ask him "Hey Chuck (his name here) how in the hell did you ever get that damn lathe in your basement without turning into scrap metal?" If he remembers it'll spark an afternoon of conversation on the good old days and give you some ideas. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there wasn't some pictures floating around somewhere of the move. A "Hey check out what I did this weekend!" Not that Machinists, Old Machinists like to talk about the Good Old Day's or anything.
    My Dad once worked with a guy who had some health issues and was hospitalized. After an extended stay he got better and was sent home. When he got there his clothes and tools were gone! Finds out his kids took the tools and his wife gave away his clothes. She said they didn't think he was ever coming home. Ahh I can feel the love from here!
    So just to give you some background. And I will be very honest here, I have ALWAYS lusted for this lathe. However to actually be getting it is VERY bitter sweet. I'd MUCH rather have my friend still at home (though that ship has sailed). A couple years ago my friend's wife tried to sell me the lathe then. I point blank asked her IF she NEEDED the money - at which time she said "NO" (and I don't believe that situation has changed). So at THAT time I talked her out of it because my buddy is mentally still pretty good - in HIS mind he can still go run it (although he hasn't touched it in a couple years - maybe more. Anyways I talked her OUT of it because I didn't want my buddy to SEE one of his life's treasures "going away". Even though I know he'd want me to have it - I still couldn't bear seeing him watch it leave if you know what I mean. But since then things have changed. Physically he's gone down hill alot. Mentally he's still pretty sharp, but his short term memory isn't so great. My number one concern is to NOT cause him any grief - I don't want to risk that at any level. Having said that his wife now wants it gone - I'm sure she just doesn't want to burden her kids with having to get rid of it when she's gone - you know how some people like to think ahead. Anyways I fully appreciate your comments - they are exactly the kind of stuff I am wanting to avoid at any cost. My buddy means a shit ton to me. He and his wife have treated me much better than a lot of my family has. They are just "good people". Old time machinist - that I just wish I could have learned more from. Still to this day - we talk shop - although with the current world situation I am not allowed to visit him in the home at the moment which kinda pisses me off, but I fully understand it's for their safety as THEY are the most vulnerable. Having said that until recently I would still bring him small lathe projects and ask him how HE would approach them. It ALWAYS made for a fun conversation at the home. At one point he was fully impressed with the part I brought (not my intention believe me) but he leaned back and with sheer pride said, You're making some pretty cool stuff becuase I TAUGHT YOU! I was like, DAMN STRAIGHT I owe THIS to you. I was floored that I was able to give him a gift of pride and a huge smile that day - I tear up just writing it. What a cool guy he is.

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    CORRECTION: My safety anchor is NOW a 3/4" eyebolt. I just tried my chain and it wouldn't fit thru a 1/2" eye bolt - oops! All better now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HemiRambler View Post
    Having said that until recently I would still bring him small lathe projects and ask him how HE would approach them. It ALWAYS made for a fun conversation at the home. At one point he was fully impressed with the part I brought (not my intention believe me) but he leaned back and with sheer pride said, You're making some pretty cool stuff becuase I TAUGHT YOU! I was like, DAMN STRAIGHT I owe THIS to you. I was floored that I was able to give him a gift of pride and a huge smile that day - I tear up just writing it. What a cool guy he is.
    Sounds like he would be very happy knowing his lathe has a good home with someone who will appreciate it.

    A week or so ago I called on a CL add for a lathe. Turns out the realtor was trying to get rid of it out of the garage, Not sure of why it was left, he did say the previous owner was retired and it had been there 15 yrs. Never went to look since it was a duplicate of one I have now. The seller knew NOTHING about it and was almost an hour away.

    It would probably be a relief to your buddy to know his lathe does not meet a similar fate.

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    Adding pics is easy. In the header above the text window there are some icons, click on the one that is a picture of a tree. This will let you add a picture from your computer, just have the pic on computer already. Sometimes when cell phone pics are used they come out small, so use a real camera if you have one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    Adding pics is easy. In the header above the text window there are some icons, click on the one that is a picture of a tree. This will let you add a picture from your computer, just have the pic on computer already. Sometimes when cell phone pics are used they come out small, so use a real camera if you have one.
    Perhaps I AM trainable! Test PIC img_0019.jpg

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    Please do something to keep the truck from rolling. If you are just in park,you are counting on the pawl to hold the load. Even with the parking brake on I would be concerned. Make sure you block the wheels securely before you start to pull.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    Sounds like he would be very happy knowing his lathe has a good home with someone who will appreciate it.

    A week or so ago I called on a CL add for a lathe. Turns out the realtor was trying to get rid of it out of the garage, Not sure of why it was left, he did say the previous owner was retired and it had been there 15 yrs. Never went to look since it was a duplicate of one I have now. The seller knew NOTHING about it and was almost an hour away.

    It would probably be a relief to your buddy to know his lathe does not meet a similar fate.
    That day may come, but right now he still thinks he's coming home. Your point is well taken though!


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