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Is this a daft idea please?

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Tifa 857205/03/2021 10:42:35
27 forum posts

I've just worked out that I have just enough room in the shed for a mill.

However, my mill of choice weighs 220kg (ughhhhhh!!)

There's no spare headroom, there's steps, so engine hoists or jacking trollies are out of the question.

It occurred to me that I could strip it down into its component parts, table/pedestal/head/base etc....and reassemble in situ? My guess is that each peice would be about 50-60kg's? Not exactly light, but managable.

Has anyone done this please, and is it likely to be fraught with complications?


Hopper05/03/2021 10:45:51
5505 forum posts
137 photos

Should be doable. Pull the head, motor and table off and even the column if need be. Get a few mates around and suitable refreshments and make a day of it.

As long as you know how to put it all back together so it works and lines up etc.

Oldiron05/03/2021 10:48:40
834 forum posts
23 photos

See here Moving mill Plenty of other threads on this subject.


John Baguley05/03/2021 11:25:51
489 forum posts
51 photos

I did this twice with my Chester Eagle 25 mill and stand. Once when I bought it so we could get it in the car to bring it home and a second time when I moved it into the new workshop. No problems at all. Did the same with a Boxford shaper that I bought and my Denham Junior lathe.


HOWARDT05/03/2021 11:57:02
777 forum posts
28 photos

There was a recent topic regarding moving a Warco GH Universal to which I contributed, Have a look there. That machine is 100kg heavier than yours but similar problem. You may find the head weighs more and the base weigh a lot less, depending on how many bits you need to break it down into.

Bill Dawes05/03/2021 12:24:13
471 forum posts

I guess it would be a daft idea if you have typical shed wooden floor!!

Assume it is concrete however, so go for it I say if it fits and you have room to actually work it.

Bill D.

Phil P05/03/2021 13:18:27
788 forum posts
194 photos

My Alexander mill is in a wood shed, I ordered the shed with a double thickness flloor and the support battens spaced every 12" instead of 24", I thought that would be strong enough.......It wasn't, the mill wobbled around all the time.

What I did was to make some 2" diameter holes with a hole saw under where the mill fixing bolt holes are, then inserted a slug of mild steel bar which was slightly counterbored on the top surface and standing just proud of the shed floor, but importantly they were now bearing down onto the poured concrete base below. A bit of sealant around the metal slug makes sure it is sealed from damp etc.

The mill sits on these using some adjustable bolts to level it up, and it is solid as a rock.

I have since done the same procedure for the Harrison and Myford lathes


Edited By Phil P on 05/03/2021 13:19:35

Ady105/03/2021 13:27:03
4693 forum posts
713 photos

welcome to the nuthouse

Bill Dawes05/03/2021 14:05:17
471 forum posts

Having a similar problem with a washing machine in our utility room, suspended floor rather than concrete, shakes the house down at times, had the floor up to look for broken joists which were ok, strengthened and supported them down to the concrete base, better but still not right.

Guess I will have to bite the bullet and build up a concrete pedestal from the base.

As an industrial fan engineer I know the lengths we go to getting impellers balanced, never understood how a drum full of clothes forever changing position could ever be balanced. The answer must be that they are not, just a well designed isolation system.

Bill D.

old mart05/03/2021 15:16:50
3317 forum posts
203 photos

I would invest in a couple of sheets of 19mm exterior plywood to sit it on if the floor is wood. You will still need somewhere to put it when you dismantle it. Take lots of photo's as you proceed. When the museum inherited the Tom Senior light vertical, we took it to bits to move it, there was nothing left that two pensioners couldn't lift easily.

Edited By old mart on 05/03/2021 15:18:04

Tifa 857205/03/2021 15:36:42
27 forum posts
Posted by Bill Dawes on 05/03/2021 12:24:13:

I guess it would be a daft idea if you have typical shed wooden floor!!

Bill D.

Hahaha.....thanks Bill.....yep, daft, that's definitely, definitely me!

As it happens it is a wooden floor....pretty solid though, and no problem with the lathe on the other side.

I was thinking of mounting it onto a few thick sheets (say about 32mm? ) of high density MDF screwed to the floor at 12" centres?

I really like the spec of a Chester Champion 30Vs @ 220kg's. but if the general consensus is that it's likely to try to walk itself out of the door, I guess it might make sense to go smaller with the Champion 20VS @ 113kg's...

Much prefer the idea of the bigger model though.....alternative ideas would be great if anyone has them.

Phil P's idea of using slug/spacers might be a plan....

old mart05/03/2021 15:48:58
3317 forum posts
203 photos

I looked at the Chester website and they don't seem to have any stock, you could try Warco or ARC for their equivalents.

Bill Dawes05/03/2021 15:57:34
471 forum posts

I suppose if your lathe is ok the Mill should be as the rotational forces on a lathe will be greater than a mill unless you have a huge boring head the size of a chuck. The main difference is the work is rotating on a lathe especially relevant if it is not concentric of course.

Bill D.

Tifa 857205/03/2021 15:58:11
27 forum posts

Thank you old mart.

Yes, Chester are out of stock, so are Warco....I have a friend working at Chester who say's they've never been so busy since lockdown. I suppose if you can't spend your money going out, buying machine tools is the next best thing...

I had to wait a few months for my lathe to arrive, I suppose the mill will be much the same. It appears everyone is out of stock at the moment. The Chinese must be rubbing their hands together!

Journeyman05/03/2021 16:58:29
1022 forum posts
193 photos

If you are thinking of either the Chester or Warco mill this size consider getting one with an R8 spindle nose. Height advantage, plenty of available tooling and non-locking taper. There is also a belt drive brushless motor option which has some advantages over the older style DC motor.


old mart05/03/2021 17:32:11
3317 forum posts
203 photos

I agree wilh Journeyman about choosing an R8 spindle, it is a proper mill design, not a drilling machine one.

John Purdy05/03/2021 17:55:40
270 forum posts
169 photos

Tifa 8572

When I bought my mill, similar to the Warco VMC or Chester 830VS. which weighed 1350 lbs (612 Kg) I had to move it from my garage into the basement of the home I was renting. I disassembled it into its major pieces. All the pieces were light enough to carry except the cast iron base which required a dolly. It worked with no problems and had the added advantage that the bits could be given a good clean to remove the shipping dirt and grim from its trip from Taiwan. The same thing was done when I moved from Winnipeg out here to BC so the movers could get it out of the basement.. You should have seen the look on the movers faces when they first saw it in the basement! It hasn't suffered in the least. From My experience I say go for it.


Howard Lewis05/03/2021 18:16:55
5241 forum posts
13 photos

If humanly possible DON'T take the column off the base. If you do you may be making trouble m,for yourself in trying to tram the machine again, once installed.

In the previous shop, I did, (Before buying the crane ) so that two of us could manhandle the pieces into position and reassemble. and have bitterly regretted it ever since.

Am NEVER confident that it is accurately trammed.

Don't break it so that you have to fix it!

My elderly RF 25 is stated to weigh 300Kg. It now sits on a substantial steel bench on a rectangular angle iron load spreading frame, made from 60 x 60 mm angle iron. The floor is 18 mm ply supported by unequally spaced 8 x 2 bearers (The bearers gave height for the wheels of the engine crane, under the floor, to lift the machine through the doorway and onto the bench. Machine, bench and load spreading frame were then jacked and packed, on rollers, into position.

Lack of rigidity in the support has never been a problem. But suspicions about the tram HAVE!


Howard Lewis05/03/2021 18:21:08
5241 forum posts
13 photos

To move a machine up the steps, Jack and Pack is the way to raise the machine, (Being careful to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible ) Strap it to a substantial pallet or board (Cut up a scaffold board? )

It can easily be moved forward on rollers, to position it.


Nigel Graham 205/03/2021 20:39:50
1686 forum posts
20 photos

I had similar with moving home, and dismantled everything.

My Myford Mill and Harrison L5 lathe were still in bits from having acquired them. The Myford lathe was on its cabinet in the kitchen but once separated from its cabinet, the removals men could carry each easily enough. (I think I took the motor and controller in the car.)

For re-assembling, luckily I have a small collection of scaffold tubes and clips so was able to fashion frames from which to suspend blocks-&-tackle, and on which to clamp a trailer winch. These were accompanied by lots of blocks of timber and some jacks. Plus plenty of planning the lift at every stage.


This was almost all single-handed.

I tried as Hopper suggested, "get a few mates round" - you'd think your own model-engineering club with over 30 members would rustle up a couple of volunteers to help a fellow-member. I had no replies, from any of them! In the end my nephew helped me with some of the lifting.


I would say one thing to really take care about, is re-fitting the table to the mill; to avoid its own weight unfairly acting on it like a big crow-bar until you've pushed it to its mid-travel.

Also beware of losing keys! There is a Law of Nature that the key needing to be lifted out of its recess won't; the one intended to stay put will make a leap for freedom.


On floors - my present (oh, all right, final) shed is of concrete walls and floor, and came with a house. My previous one was an ordinary wooden garden shed I lined out' but to take the weight of the machines I had then ( a Warco mill on an angle-steel stand, and a Pools lathe) I cut holes in its floor and built shallow brick columns on the underlying concrete pad. The machine stands were directly on these, though with thin plastic pads interposed as shims / damp-proofing. Some plywood patches covered the holes against draughts and mice.

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