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Moving a Myford VMC advice needed thanks!

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Dave Barr03/10/2020 14:50:50
24 forum posts
3 photos

Hi, I need to move a Myford VMC mill that I have bought. Planning to rent a Transit. Hoping the head comes off easily and myself and the seller can lift it off and place in van. He has a loader machine. The machine will unbolt from the base steel box I expect so the column and table will go into the back of the van as well.

Here's the issue: I get home early evening. It will be raining (Scotland). Will myself and my 21 year old son both large build 6 foot reasonably strong be able to get these bits out of the van using just manpower or am I going to get stuck?

Really grateful for any advice or experiences. No stranger to moving equipment but still....

not done it yet03/10/2020 15:35:47
5790 forum posts
20 photos

Dunno what what weighs what, but I collected an Eagle surface grinder (with an all-up weight approaching 350kg) t'other week and unloaded it myself - in pieces, of course.

The only really heavy bit was the base which was loaded into my little hatchback. Simple/easy to unload using an inclined plane to slide it down to ground level.

I did the same with my Centec 2B, as well. I used ratchet straps (to slow/control the slide of the stand) from an Ifor Williams trailer bed. The bare machine (column and base) were slowed by just me guiding it along.🙂

Two of you should manage it easily.

Edited By not done it yet on 03/10/2020 15:37:30

Clive Foster03/10/2020 15:55:42
2637 forum posts
92 photos

Dave

You will only know for sure after you have done it!

As ndiy says it ought to be possible but I'd not risk it.

Beg, buy, borrow, hire or steal an engine crane along with some chains or strong ratchet straps so you can tie the hefty bits up to support them should you loose your grip, make a miss step or simply run out of room to manoeuvre.

Having unwise amounts of experience in helping shift excessive weights by inadequate means I've found its awfully easy to run out of room for two when working inside a van or in the door opening areas. Was once drafted in when it became clear that two in the van and two outside would make for a fast, simple, job yet just two was clearly going to be "ambulance on speed dial time".

The step down transition from in the van to outside can be tricky too.

I could easily be persuaded that side door is better than end doors for this sort of thing.

Sounds to be one of those things that an experienced and practiced team can manage with decepive ease but seriously risky for an inexperienced, scratch, team.

Clive

Dave Barr03/10/2020 16:09:02
24 forum posts
3 photos

NDIY/Clive, appreciate your thoughts. As a backup plan if the 2 big bits prove totally unmanageable I will take the van to my work where I can use the forklift to unload them onto a pallet and store them indoors until I get myself sorted in my own time. The main part is to bring them into my possession and 250 miles closer to home. Once stored I can transport them the last 5 miles at my leisure.

John Rudd03/10/2020 16:23:06
1432 forum posts
9 photos

My experience fwiw.....

I bought an engine crane from my local 'mart' ( precede that with a device that does mechanical work).

It proved its worth when the 626 mill arrived( same machine). I lifted the head off from the lower section at the rotating point.

Having placed the cabinet in its final place, then proceeded to move into situ, the bottom half.

Then with ropes positioned, the topworks was lifted back onto the lower half.....

I used the same crane when I moved house some 3 yrs ago...split the machine into two manageable lumps and move into the garage.

You could possibly break it down into more manageable lumps by removing various items but a crane makes it so easy.

Ian Skeldon 203/10/2020 16:51:21
506 forum posts
45 photos

Hello mate, I have a Myford VMC, they are pretty damned heavy, however they also break down really easily and are then easier to move and then re-assemble. Head comes off easily and the motor comes off the head really easily, table also comes off easily, knee will come off but is a bit time consuming and finally body will separate from the base.

Good luck and hopefully many years of use.

Martin Kyte03/10/2020 17:36:52
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2313 forum posts
38 photos

I concurr with Ian above. Stripping the machine allows it to be shifted on your own, a pair of you and you can leave some of the lumps togather. I've moved mine twice and am just about to do it again along with another identical machine.

Couple of points. The head will lift complete with motor as a two man job, I have done it on my own but I would not recommend it (you have to get it on your shoulder and I was 10 years younger then). Much easier to drop the motor off. As has been said table, sadde and knee disassemble.

There is a neat trick to get the column off the base without lifting it bodily. If you consider the column as an L, put a wooden pad on the floor in front of the base and rotate the column forwards around the front of the L. The top will end up resting on the pad. A quick rotate and you can lay it down again on the front foot and stand it upright again. Reverse the process to get it back on. For reassembly it is convenient to drop the column onto 4 wooden spacers first leaving a gap between it and the base. This makes it easier to jiggle things around to line up the fixing holes, drop the bolts in and rock the column to slip the packing out. I've never used cranes or hoists on a VMC but take advantage of what you have available.

regards Martin

Mike Poole03/10/2020 17:39:36
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2940 forum posts
70 photos

3509743c-acc5-4e3d-9016-34f93e1e5c69.jpegMy Warco VMC broke down into these bite size pieces was assembled by myself and one of my sons, heavy enough to make sure you lift properly but not a problem for two reasonably strong adult males.

Mike

Edited By Mike Poole on 03/10/2020 17:43:41

Clive Foster03/10/2020 17:47:16
2637 forum posts
92 photos

Dave

It's the transition from in the van to out of the van where trouble is most likely as you cannot get a pure straight lift.

Consider arranging a narrow sturdy, well supported, table (two scaffold planks?) outside the van door(s) onto which the heavy bits can be worked to make the transition. Once on the "table" there will be easy access from both sides for a straight lift.

Its the twist that does your back in!

Obviously minimise vertical shifts. No point in putting the head right down on the floor when it only has to come back up again. Clear some bench space.

Consider arranging intermediate support for things that will end up at floor level. Breaking vertical lifts into foot or so steps so you can change your grip and angle of back as appropriate considerably reduces the strain.

Advance prep is the key.

Don't be afraid to do a mock run with a cardboard box or other lightweight item of similar dimensions to verify that the move will go safely. I know of a guy who did just that and tripped mid move during the "edge sideways'n turn bit". Jabbed himself in the back with a door handle I think. He reckoned looking silly for minute or two under a cardboard box beat the heck out of looking silly for a month or two in plaster casts. Let alone the hassle of finding folk to drag him out from under an offending heavy object.

I think the parts for this are in the dangerous zone. Much heavier and you have to get serious with proper lifting kit. Much lighter no problem.

Just seen the superb pictures from Mike which really makes it clear what you will have to deal with. Straight lifts will be the order of the day if manhandling. Young Clive would have dived in. Old Clive knows better and would get a crane.

Clive

 

 

Edited By Clive Foster on 03/10/2020 17:52:34

not done it yet03/10/2020 18:09:48
5790 forum posts
20 photos

All this talk of lifting downwards makes me smile. An inclined plane reduces the effect of gravity and the more shallow the fall the slower it will move. It is a simple principle.

I used a couple of (barely) 2m sturdy planks, yet had to pull the base of my grinder down the slope to unload it from my car.

Lifting it back up is the harder part!

Mike London03/10/2020 18:11:01
24 forum posts
1 photos

If you are renting a Transit, can you you not rent a Luton with a tail lift?

Normally can lift a ton plus which should cope with a VMC intact and on the ground I used some short offcut lengths of scaffolding under base to manouver to position.
Saves dismantling and that is how I sold my VMC.

Dave Barr03/10/2020 18:14:15
24 forum posts
3 photos

Wow! really grateful for all the thoughts and pictures above. Obviously the separation of the knee with table and the column would be really beneficial but how difficult could that be and are there any balls/screws/gib strips or other parts that might fall out and get lost/damaged?

Unless it's straightforward I might leave these 2 bits together and take it to work to unload then later on buy or hire/borrow and engine crane to use at home along with my mates van.

The main enemy is time as I expect the trouble will happen once I get back up the road. Also a hired plywood lined Transit might not have the tie down points I need.

Clive Foster03/10/2020 18:51:16
2637 forum posts
92 photos

If you can temporarily store it at work on a pallet the obvious option is to make that Plan A. No rush to unload by hand and get the van back.

Stripping to knock down kit form for easy handling as in Mikes pictures won't take long indoors. 2 or 3 hours to undo and move the parts 5 miles home sounds very realistic.

Hurrying always dumps me in the kitty litter.

Take the pallet with you. Bolt the machine firmly onto the pallet and put it in the van.

The machine will be much more stable on the wide pallet than on its relatively narrow base. Will need much less tying down to ride happy.

Stop and check the ties after the first few miles! I've had one work loose!

Clive

Phil H104/10/2020 11:55:39
357 forum posts
40 photos

Dave,

Forgive me if I missed an equivalent answer (I read most of them).

I had the Chester equivalent of the Myford VMC for a while. One of the issues I had was managing to keep the wiring in order. Obviously when you break it down, you will need to choose disconnection or maybe cutting and fitting a plug and socket. However, your manual for the electrics might be far better than mine was.

Having moved one of these into position then helping to load it into a van - I would say that you need an engine crane. Oh and plenty of straps to keep the machine in position during transit and a sheet of plywood to prevent damage to the floor of the van.

Phil H

Dave Barr04/10/2020 21:37:59
24 forum posts
3 photos

Cheers Phil, worry not all thoughts and suggestions are very welcome.

I design and repair electronic equipment for a living so I'll just be snipping the motor wires ....this is the only area of the whole thing that doesn't worry me.

Plan to get an Invertek brand 1 to 3 phase inverter drive to fit to the machine plus make up a wee control box for run/stop, forward reverse and variable speed etc. Also I'll be fitting a work light and possibly an extra external fan on the motor if it gets hot at low rpm's.

Regarding the weight I'm taking an 80 x 120cm pallet with me plus a drill/bits and bolts/studs/nuts/washers in 6mm/8mm/10mm to bolt the machine (minus stand and head) to. Not burstingly keen to take the knee off, that might have to come off when I get the machine up the road. I'm not sure what size the bolts that fit the column to the base are, could they be imperial, could they be 3/8" in which case I'll go with 8mm to bolt the base to the pallet.

So when I get it home I have a flat driveway that leads straight into my front garage. I'm hoping myself and 3 mates can lift this well enough to slide the pallet out of the back of the Transit and onto the ground then drag into the garage. If this proves dangerous or impossible I'll take the van down to the work and forklift it out and store it some where to give me time to make better arrangements.

I used to do a bit of car engine work back in the 80's and had a brilliant engine crane which would have been just the ticket for this job. Sadly long sold I'm currently scoping out a replacement.

Reading through the above it's clear my plans are still a bit making it up as I go along so genuinely plenty of scope for getting more advice from you chaps.

Cheers, Dave.

Nigel McBurney 104/10/2020 23:20:05
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845 forum posts
3 photos

I have moved a number of machine tools and rally stationary engines,plus have collected and sold a few. The worst problem with vans is that very few have any points for securing straps and rope, one chap came to collect an Amanco staionary engine,small van with plywood lining and with only the bodywork spotwelded on stiffeners,managed to thread some thin rope through the gaps,went to pull tight and the van sides just started to pull inwards,they are not very strong and its not your van, If you dismantle the machine take some timber and old blankets to stop the parts rolling around and dont forget hard breaking or worst still an accident all those heavy bits will come forward.Try to find a mate with car and trailer lot easier. beware of planks when unloading,I have seen planks bend ,break and slip,on the rallyfield. had a friend slip when unloading a valuable stationary engine,result bent crankshaft,on 110 year old engine,Years ago I sold a drill mill on stand ,buyer turned up in merc van,and had no I dea what to do and came with no staps or rope,he thought the mill would stand up on its own,had to give him some rope.I move all my stuff on a trailer,

Mike Poole04/10/2020 23:30:19
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Moderator
2940 forum posts
70 photos

If you go the dismantling route then it’s best to undo the screws holding the nut for the vertical feedscrew as winding the screw out of the nut could damage the thread, I removed the tapered gib for the knee to make it easier to lift off the dovetail, be careful not to strain or damage the dovetails. I removed the table handles to avoid damaging them. Removing the motor would be a worthwhile weight saving as the complete head assembly is quite heavy and a bit awkward to lift to chest or shoulder height. I have done this twice now and didn’t have any damage to machine or people. While it is in one piece it is rather top heavy so if it tips too far you will not save it. Planning should help to ensure things go smoothly but also consider what could happen if things go wrong, fingers and feet are very vulnerable but you don’t want to be pinned against a wall by a milling machine.

Mike

Dave Barr05/10/2020 08:45:38
24 forum posts
3 photos

Thanks, more great advice cheers!

I'm taking a pallet/bolts/drill/saw/leftover decking planks/screws/tools/cardboard boxes/100m 16mm rope/an old duvet etc etc.

Agree the lack of solid tie downs in a van can be a problem. I went to look at the Transit I'm hiring yesterday and it has a few tie down loops low down near the cab bulkhead so gonna put the pallet there. Will brace with rope and decking planks screwed to pallet etc.

Mike, will be taking the motor off the head. How heavy is what remains, will myself and the vendor (a guy who repairs earth moving equipment so presumably strong/handy) be able to lift the head off and lower to the ground?

I've got the impression that some of you have been able to lift the head off single handed, or is this a dangerous idea? Asking more for when I get home. Sorry to sound so ill prepared but have been looking for a machine of this spec on and off for years and it popped up out of the blue. With virus restrictions I'm wanting to drive south and grab it ASAP. Am now buying a 2 tonne SGS crane for this and other future needs (lifting 80hp outboard etc) but won't get it this week.

Thanks, Dave.

Dave Barr05/10/2020 09:17:21
24 forum posts
3 photos

Thanks, more great advice cheers!

I'm taking a pallet/bolts/drill/saw/leftover decking planks/screws/tools/cardboard boxes/100m 16mm rope/an old duvet etc etc.

Agree the lack of solid tie downs in a van can be a problem. I went to look at the Transit I'm hiring yesterday and it has a few tie down loops low down near the cab bulkhead so gonna put the pallet there. Will brace with rope and decking planks screwed to pallet etc.

Mike, will be taking the motor off the head. How heavy is what remains, will myself and the vendor (a guy who repairs earth moving equipment so presumably strong/handy) be able to lift the head off and lower to the ground?

I've got the impression that some of you have been able to lift the head off single handed, or is this a dangerous idea? Asking more for when I get home. Sorry to sound so ill prepared but have been looking for a machine of this spec on and off for years and it popped up out of the blue. With virus restrictions I'm wanting to drive south and grab it ASAP. Am now buying a 2 tonne SGS crane for this and other future needs (lifting 80hp outboard etc) but won't get it this week.

Thanks, Dave.

Bob Brown 105/10/2020 09:56:24
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1016 forum posts
127 photos

When we moved house, I left the machinery moves to the moving companies experts. The machines were loaded onto a pallet and strapped to the pallet, then moved by pallet truck to a Luton style van with a tail lift, the van had tiedowns internally as it was a used for this sort of work. Easy loading/unloading but took an engine crane which I hired for £25.00 to place in the final position, so much easier when you have the kit, gone are the days I'm prepared to struggle with heavy objects.

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