Mill and Lathe

The Big Move!

The Mill and the Lathe were now up on skids but we needed to move around from the garage at the front of the house to the workshop at the back.  Half the trip would be on a good smooth concrete path but the rest would be across a clay backyard. The Mill weighs about 2800lbs whilst the Lathe is 1600lbs.

I worked out that by using the pallet jack (kindly loaned to us by Billy Moon) we could relatively easily get the machines along the paths and that we use winches attached to convenient trees to pull it across the garden and into the workshop. This was going to be too big a job for just Andrew and I so I put out a call for help to the local bot builders.

At 10 AM on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, long time Team member, Mark Harrison, Robert Woodhead of Team Mad Overlord arrived and we got to work. We decided to move the Lathe first as it was the lighter of the two machines.


First job was to jack the Lathe up high enough to get the Pallet Jack under the skids. I used a automotive trolley jack to do this.


The lathe is on the pallet Jack and out onto the driveway. We always had a rope rigged up to catch a runaway as the drive slopes down away from the garage.


We used half sheets of Plywood to spread the weight and cover the gaps in the path. I was worried that the weight might crack the path.


Once we got it to the end of the path we rigged up a winch to a convenient tree and started pulling it across the backyard.


We changed trees to pull it across the yard.


Just as well we didn't have a good lawn! the pulling got tougher when the skids dug into the clay.


Almost to the workshop.


I bolted a pull point to the floor of the workshop to allow us to winch the machines right into place.


We used plywood to ease the trip over the bottom of the doorway.


The Lathe in the workshop.


Julie BBQ'd some hotdogs and burgers for lunch. The lathe move took two hours and we were pretty confident going into the Mill move.


Right from the start the mill proved to be much tougher to handle. It is 1200lb heavier than the Lathe.


Again Plywood smoothed the way.


Off the path and into the yard.


Attaching the winches.


The extra weight caused the mill to dig deeper into the clay despite the wider skids. It proved much harder to move and damaged both our 4000lb winches.


Billy Moon arrived to help. He went and got his 4000lb chainhoist and I went and bought a 8000lb winch fron Northern Tool.


The Chain hoist proved especially useful. Taking turns the mill inched closer.


The Sun was getting low in the sky by the time the mill reached its next turning point.


Rigging up for the last pull into the shop. The guys were concerned that the ring in the shop floor might pull out but it held up fine.


After about 6 hours actual work both machines are finally there.  Thanks again to Mark, Robert and Billy as we could not have done it alone. We learned that a 2800lb Mill is much tougher to move than a 1600lb Lathe!