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  1. #1
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    Default Another easy, safe Bridgeport milling machine move.

    Want machine tools? No idea how to move 'em without killing the machine, yourself or both?

    Obtain two sections of angle sufficiently "tall" to clear a pallet jack even if you don't own one. Cut angle sections about a foot longer than the long axis of your mill or other machine base if similar to the Bridgeport in pic.

    Drill to fit holes in machine base. Drill one more hole on each end at sufficient distance to clear the crossmembers, which in my case are the green channels in the pics.

    Obtain suitable quality Grade 5 or better allthread, nuts and flat washers, 16 of each. Bring a tool to cut and debur the allthread. I used some 9/16" diameter for the base allthread and 5/8" for the jackscrews, but size according to the job.

    CAREFULLY raise and block machine with wood or metal scraps (common sense applies) just high enough to insert the angle. Spin top nut down the angle to stop it dropping through, then attach bottom nut, then hold the top of the allthread with visegrips so it doesn't spin and tighten the top nut with a wrench until snug.

    How you lift the machine is up to you. I use LONG prybars for control then when shimmed high enough I place a forklift jack under the notch (there are two) under the table end of the mill. Either block that (bring LOTS of short scrap 2x4 and 4x4) end or use another jack on the rear. I prefer to lift the mill table end first.

    When your angles are bolted to the machine base you can CAREFULLY use a pallet jack if needed (you can rent them) to reposition the mill as needed to install outriggers but do NOT raise it more than a cunt hair off the floor because pallet jacks are tippy!

    Zoom if needed. See how the green castered outriggers sit above the angle? Cut four equal pieces of allthread. Spin nut on the top then drop it through the outrigger and the angle. Install nut (and washer of course) on the bottom. Repeat all four corners.

    Now your machine is sitting on an angle base (I leave them on since I'm not a midget) which you can easily raise using a wrench until the top of the angles touch the bottom of your outriggers. This works with any strong industrial casters of suitable height for the assembly to clear the ground. I use one pair of pivoting casters and one pair fixed because I got them used as a set. Four pivoting would be a little better but isn't a big deal.

    Outriggers shown fit my car trailer but also fit my bros green trailer shown. We winched it aboard with a comealong. (I fucking love Wyeth-Scott.)

    Google "moving a Bridgeport" for images of many cool dollies and lifting methods. I've not seen it done for stability as I do. So far I've moved three lathes and four mills this way. Process for a lathe is a bit different. If you can raise the lathe high enough you can bolt direct to the outriggers. I prefer to bolt downward facing channel to the lathe headstock and tailstock base using existing typical "leveling bolt" holes leaving enough channel sticking out to use the outriggers as above, but I've done it both ways and once using a pipe skid instead of wheels.

    You can add leveling feet to your base angles if desired, or use shims to level your machine.

    Never scrap this setup if you make one. It will get used. My machinist buds hadn't seen this in action. It works at low clearance so we didn't have to rotate the mill head and lose tram to get out the door.

    Note the quarter-inch plate protecting the expanded metal trailer ramp. Use something but don't even think of dragging a 2000lb mill over thin expanded metal. Also note that trailer is no common single axle. It's seriously strong and made of thick-walled stock by the owner. Unless you know your trailer is a beast I'd use a dual axle car carrier or equivalent.

    You can rent drop-deck trailers in some areas which are a breeze to load, but measure your trailer to ensure your choice of outriggers fit. I have two sets and since that pair cleared (by an inch on each side) we used his trailer for convenience.

    Take your time, play safe, and think. Use healthy cargo straps securely anchored. The tubing on that trailer is like 3/16" wall or better. On normal trailers, don't strap to the rails!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bridgeport move rear.jpg   bp side on trailer.jpg  
    Last edited by farmall; 05-09-2017 at 3:23 PM.

  2. #2

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    Well done, sure beats the Egyptian steel pipe roller method I've used for my two moves.

  3. #3
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    Pinchi Farmall, is a CAN DO hombre, kewllioo.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by memphisrain View Post
    Well done, sure beats the Egyptian steel pipe roller method I've used for my two moves.
    Pipe works well too, and pipe under pipe makes for easy pivoting (note orange pipe under tailstock end).

    Lathe pic shows how we used pipe instead of casters to spread the load while moving the lathe off the rotten deck of a borrowed trailer over a weak floor to its final well-supported resting spot. Orange channel bolted to lathe base through the leveling bolt holes, then lowered onto the gray galvanized pipe and tack (so I could take it apart later) welded. That made a dangerously tippy lathe stable and safe to move.

    Pipe slides on pipe pretty well (some grease helped) and you can see a couple of forklift tires we played with though they didn't add much on that move.

    My bros LeBlond grinder on car trailer used the same outriggers shown in the Bridgeport move.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now go score yourself that mill, lathe, grinder, or fat chick you always wanted!

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