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removing the head/table from a meddings MF4?

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Toby05/01/2017 19:13:49
117 forum posts
17 photos

I need to pick up a meddings MF4 and am pretty sure I will have to remove the head and table to transport it. Or rather to lift it as I gather they are not light and I am going to have to do it without a crane etc.

Can anyone advise how the head is fastened to the column on these? It would be nice to be prepared and be sure I have the right tools with me

btw. it is the later, square head style if it makes any difference.

Any advice gratefully received!

Toby

Nigel McBurney 105/01/2017 19:50:59
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965 forum posts
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On my late type square head Meddings floor standing drill the safety switch pedal is located in the base and there is a big label stating do not remove head from the column due the wiring going down inside the column.A lot of the drills did not have the safety switch. If you have to dismantle the machine the head is clamped to the column so spanners are required,being Meddings the head ,table and base will be a good fit so may need some persuasion with a heavy plastic mallet. Suggest you take some abrasive pads or fine emery as the column may have some rust,the column can at times have clag of solidified oil,cutting fluid etc so take rag and something to dissolve the old oil, WD 40 or a can of solvent i.e. brake and clutch cleaner or similar, and take a fine file as there may be some bruising on the column and the cast table /head /base will not slide until any burrs are removed I would start by bringing up the table to support the head,a square of plywood ,can be placed between the table and drill chuck, slacken the bolts securing the head,stand on the base and twist the drill around the column to free it off,then it is preferable to have two people to lift the head as it is heavy and if it does start coming off easily it can jam on the top of the column unless it is held square,do not let the head tilt to one side.If you can wait I can have look at my drill tomorrow,its freezing cold tonight,and post the bolt sizes and spanners required.If the head will not slide up the column,CAREFULL lifting with a small hydraulic jack between table and head,keeping the jack close to the column may be needed.

Toby05/01/2017 20:01:44
117 forum posts
17 photos

Thanks Nigel,

This one does not have a foot switch which makes things easier. It is also looks like it hasn't been used much so I am hoping nothing will be too stuck. I will go prepared though!

No hurry (I will not be picking it up before Saturday, probably monday) but bolt sizes would be great! Plus if you could confirm the head bolt location?

Good idea on the jack!

Thanks!

Toby

Alan Waddington 205/01/2017 21:42:38
523 forum posts
87 photos

Toby

The only flaw it can see in your plan is I would guess 75% of the weight is probably in the head, so stripping it from the column might not help too much.

Unless your planning on hauling it in a car and don't have the space to stow it in one lump , it might be easier to manage by leaving complete.

I've moved my geared head Meddings a few times by lowering the table and head as far down the column as possible and then strapping to a flat bed trailer, stood on its base. Not sure if you can do that on your model though.

Mike Poole05/01/2017 22:02:08
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Moderator
3168 forum posts
72 photos

The bolt behind the feed levers releases the head clamp. I transported one of these singlehanded and broke it into bite sized pieces. i would take the motor off the head first but make a note of the connections. these drills are very top heavy so be careful. i think it may be worth letting the table and head slide to the bottom and pull the column out while laid on its side, some wood blocks would be useful. As nigel said the column is much more cooperative when cleaned. I have a parts leaflet with an exploded diagam as a PDF if you would like a copy send me an email address by personal message and I will send it to you (it is 10Mb).

the head clamp bolt is M12 so 19mm AF, the base clamp is M16 so 24mm AF

The overall weight is 144kg or 315lb

Lifting the head off the top will need at least 2 people and preferably 3 which is why I would let gravity be my friend and drop the head down the column

Mike

Toby06/01/2017 07:05:23
117 forum posts
17 photos

I'll be transporting it in a van so there is enough space to transport it whole but there will not be enough head room to carry it upright so it will have to be laid flat.

As you say it will be pretty top heavy so I like the idea of dropping the head rather than removing it. I have a sack truck so I reckon (with the head dropped) it will be easy enough to get it to the van. Getting into the van will be the challenge although a mate has agreed to lend me his engine hoist.

I assume that, if the head and table are down as far as they will go, I will be able to manage the top end of the column safely with the bottom either on the sack truck or lifted by the hoist.

Mike: Thanks for the bolt info, the parts leaflet would be very useful, I'll send you a pm.

Toby06/01/2017 07:15:24
117 forum posts
17 photos

btw, I have been looking at pictures online, is the head bolt the one circled in red in this picture?

Mike Poole06/01/2017 08:24:06
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Moderator
3168 forum posts
72 photos

Yes that is the head clamp bolt.

Mike

Toby06/01/2017 09:06:31
117 forum posts
17 photos

Thanks Mike, and thanks for the manual by email, it is very much appreciated.

Cheers,

Toby

Mike Poole06/01/2017 11:01:33
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Moderator
3168 forum posts
72 photos

Hi Toby, glad the manual is useful, the column height is about 1450mm around 57"with the head lowered so depending on your van it may sit upright which would be nice as laying it down is a bit awkward as vulnerable bits are on most sides it may be worth taking the star wheel off as this is easy to damage if it falls on that side and the gear selector is plastic and delicate so removal might save it from damage.

Hope it all goes well.

Mike

Toby06/01/2017 11:06:59
117 forum posts
17 photos

thanks Mike, I have just measured it and unfortunately I only have 50 to 54" headroom in my van. I did think I might be able to lie it down but with the top of the column supported on a box so the side of the head is held off the ground. I wasn't sure that would be good for the column though.

So yes, I think I will probably end up removing the star wheel as the other side has the gear change plus a lot of switch gear not shown in the picture above or the manual.

Edited By Toby on 06/01/2017 11:09:09

Mike Poole06/01/2017 12:38:58
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3168 forum posts
72 photos

The column tube is very substantial, it has a wall thickness of 6mm so not much harm is likely to occur.

Mike

Toby06/01/2017 12:45:44
117 forum posts
17 photos

ok, thanks, that is good to know. I might do that then as I already have a solid ply box in my van. Saves me taking it out

Steven Vine06/01/2017 14:28:04
340 forum posts
30 photos

Hi Toby

I got hold of an MF4 last year. When I went to collect it the seller, a very nice guy indeed, helped out.

In case it is useful, this is how I did the move.

We took the motor off to reduce weight and prevent damage.
We took the pulley cover off to reduce weight and prevent damage. There is a clear plastic screen on the side of the pulley cover that is easily damaged.
There is a chuck key plate just below the head, that is also secured around the column. For safety, there is a sticker on the head, that states, 'Do not release this collar until the above head HAS BEEN LOCKED OR SUPPORTED'.
I stood on a Workmate bench next to the MF4.
The pinch bolt (cotter pin), as indicated in the photograph, was undone, and I lifted the head a little way up the column.
I moved the head up the column a little way, and then the other guy clamped the collar/plate under it to stop it falling down. I moved the head up the column a little more, and the plate was clamped under it again.
When the head was at the top of the column, still standing on the Workmate, I lifted the head off the column. The other guy then moved the base+column out of the way. I then lowered the head onto the Workmate.
We then removed the table from the column.
I transported the base+column, table, motor, pulley cover, and head, in a hatchback.

As Mike says, the column is substantial, and you have to be an animal to bend it.

At the other end I was on my own.
In the workshop, I laid the head on the floor on some blocks of wood.
I then laid the base and column horizontally on some blocks of wood, so that the column lined up with the hole in the head.
I then slipped the table, followed by the plate, onto the column.
I then slipped the head onto the column.
I moved all the pieces to the bottom of the column. I then lifted the whole assembly up so it was vertical. With all the bits at the bottom of the column, the center of gravity is on your side.
I then gradually moved the head up the column, by lifting it a bit, and clamping it, and clamping the chuck key plate, etc.
The guy I bought it off showed me a trick to move the head on the column ... firmly lock the table below the head. Then bring the quill down so it touches the table, and keep winding, so the head is raised. Lock the head, move the table up, and repeat ad infinitum. I kind of think that this is not too good for the gears?

When the head is at the top of the column, it does get very top heavy, and awkward to move about.

The low speed gearing on it is an absolute god send when drilling large holes.

Good luck with the move.

Steve

Nigel McBurney 106/01/2017 14:28:06
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965 forum posts
3 photos

Hi Head clamp bolt is 19mm ,it appears to be a clamp bolt with the internal loose collars,may pay to take a copper mallet,to give the bolt a clout to free up the internal clamp. the column base flange bolts 4 off require 19mm spanner and the nut and bolt securing the column into the cast flange requires a couple of 24 mm spanners. My drill was loaded horizontally by the dealer using a forklift with slings below the forks,onto my trailer. I raised it ,myself and my wife,using chain hoist, once upright it can be quite easily walked into position. take timber blocks to support the heavy bits and keep the easily bent parts off the floor,and tie it down its quite easy to roll a load over in a van. I have been to many sales of machines and stationary engines and these items have remained undamaged in their place for years,the damage is done transporting them to the sale by people who don't really care. My Meddings has 3 mt spindle and I have owned it for about 20 years,been a good drill, nicely made, only complaints are the levers for feeding the quill down are not long enough for a 1 inch capacity drill,I made one of them longer to get more leverage,and the handle to wind the table up goes anti clock opposite to most machine tools.

Toby06/01/2017 14:53:37
117 forum posts
17 photos

Thanks Nigel and Steve,

There is a chance I might be on my own when picking this up (apart from auction staff but I doubt they will want to help) so I think I will definitely try to drop it down the column first and then slide the whole thing onto my sack truck. If I need to separate it I might try the opposite of what Steve did when re-assembling it.

I certainly don't fancy standing on a workmate and hefting a 70kg weight so I think that approach is out.

I am curious that yours has a 3mt spindle Nigel. Everything I have read says the M4 range has a 2 MT. I will have to pull mine out and check when I get it.

Bazyle06/01/2017 15:02:26
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6181 forum posts
222 photos

Be prepared for any oil coming out when not vertical. My smaller (MT2) Meddings seemed to be designed to be adequately sealed but I've read of the big Elliotts disgracing themselves when moved. If the seals leak and you think of using grease instead of oil have a look at the thin grease packs used in Landrover front swivel hubs as a compromise they use for leak control.

When I picked mine up I took the rear and passenger seats out of my little 850cc car to get the column in down the footwell.

Toby06/01/2017 15:11:03
117 forum posts
17 photos

According to the manual Mike sent me this one is greased rather than oiled so I am hoping that is not a problem.

Mike Poole06/01/2017 16:25:41
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Moderator
3168 forum posts
72 photos

Meddings made the virtually identical MF5 which is 3mt and has 8 speeds instead of 10 on the MF4, they also fitted the lifting rack for the table as standard but on MF 4 it was an option. In my opinion the lifting rack is very desirable and I was lucky to find a near scrap drill with a perfect table and rack that I swapped to my drill. The standard table is very heavy and with a cross table and vice mounted it finished up at the bottom of the column a few times. I was going to fit a collar to limit the fall but the other table turned up on eBay. The two MF4s I have worked on both had grease in the gearbox. One thing to check is the tufnol gears are in serviceable condition, mine have been slightly abused but still work fine, I did get a pair of new ones at a bargain price on eBay just in case they ever give up. Meddings still stock spares for these machines.

Mike

Toby06/01/2017 16:40:13
117 forum posts
17 photos

Thanks for that Mike, so possibly Nigel's is actually a MF5 rather than an MF4?

unfortunately mine does not have a lifting rack but I am already thinking about ways of adding one, perhaps a vertical threaded rod, motor driven, although I have not worked out how to do that and still allow the table to rotate sideways. Perhaps a rotating collar between the head and the existing chuck-key collar? Anyway, maybe a simple limit collar is the most pragmatic solution short term at least.

I am keeping my fingers crossed the gears ok. It was certainly smooth and quiet when turned by hand but I guess I will not know for sure until I get it and have a proper play with it. I don't suppose spares from Meddings are cheap.

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