So here's the story:
I am looking to purchase my first lathe. I live about 45 minutes away from Grizzly on the freeway, and so I'm thinking of driving up there to get one. I'm not sure if they will load the lathe into my rental van for me or not, but either way, here is the question.
What type of tools or equipment can I purchase or put together to get the lathe in or out of the van and in through my house and onto its bench?
Prerequisites and Conditions:
- Even though my first lathe will probably be small and between 500 and 600 lbs, I would like the lifting device to be able to lift future purchases of up to 2 tons if thats at all possible.
- Everything will be done on the first floor, so no stairs, but there will be doorways that the lift or hoist or whatever it is will have to fit through.
- The bench top will probably be about 30 to 38 inches above the floor.
- The narrowest doorway to get through will probably be about 28 to 30 inches wide.
Any idea's or suggestions as to how this is done for a home shop?
In a garage, an engine hoist works wonders. I suppose you could use moving carts or something to get it in where you want and then use an engine hoist to lift it onto the bench. It all depends on where exactly its going and what the space looks like.
+1 on the engine hoist. We have a tool that is basically 2 pieces of angle iron with 2 long bolts between them to clamp onto the frame of the lathe just under the spindle (balance point). Be sure to pad the ways with wood or anything else before clamping anything to it. This has moved our 12x36 several times over many years.
Try the "modular" approach.
Get large case of beer from supermarket, borrow nylon lifting strops from local crane company, go to your local gym and get four strong guys who like beer and this should do the trick.
The good bit about this method is that it can be sized to any requirement - bigger machine = more beer and more guys. You also have no storage problem when the system is not being used as you just send them away ( with the empty beer bottles).
Just one small safety warning - get the machine moved first before opening the beer
Motors are fueled by smoke - when the smoke's gone away, it's damned hard to get them going again!
I have a Smithy 1340 that I picked up from my truck and unloaded into my garage with a engine lift.
It was headed for my basement,I have a sliding 6' sliding door going into the basement from outside.
I was able to remove the sliding portion of the door and reach in with the engine lift to get the machine inside the door.
i then put the engine lift in the basement and lifted the lathe onto its bench .
Worked well for me.
I used to have a Smithy. 1 night I wanted to move it in my garage alone. I took some 2" pipe (4-5 pieces approximately 24" long). I levered the base up and inserted 1 under the edge and started rolling the mill along while inserting more pipes in front while removing the 1's from the rear. I had built a table with cinder block to hold it temporarily while moving its table. Maybe not wise to try alone but it did work and I used no effort. Just took my time. 4 friends should be able to grunt it around pretty well.
Are you really sure you want to use a van?
I'd prefer to use a flat bed truck or a car carrying trailer. Moved a Bridgeport recently with a car carrier type trailer. Give you access to all side, and easy to find tie down points. I really don't want to carry any heavy machinery which is not securely tied down.
Understand that if anything happens to that lathe after Grizzly loads it into your van, it's YOUR nickel. And you probably can't even buy insurance to cover it.
Because you need to go through a doorway....here are two approaches.
Use a engine hoist to lift the lathe out of the pickup and set it on some movers dollies.
2nd approach: Buy or rent one of the hydraulic platform trucks that handle up to 1000 lbs about $220 at Harbor Freight....jack it up to the height of the pickup and slide the lathe on it....lower it and you can safely manuver it though the doorways.....jack it up and slide the lathe onto the workbench.
I've used both methods.
I prefer calling a rigger. For a few bucks spent, the machine is delivered and installed with minimal chance of injury to you or the machine. 600 lbs is a lot of weight to crush a buddy's hand with when your homebuilt lifting device goes south.