On 12/16/2015 9:27 PM, Alex Sanchez firstname.lastname@example.org [SOUTHBENDLATHE] wrote:
If there's a forklift available, some 4" wide cargo straps (like used to hold heavy loads onto semi-trailers, not Home Depot ones) looped around the bed webs should handle it, or use some web straps made for the purpose. They have loops made to slide over forklift forks.
Another way to lift a lathe is with the straps around the outside of the bed, but for that method you must use wood blocking between the straps and front side of the bed so the straps do not touch the lead screw. It'll get bent without the blocking.
Lathes over 14" swing should be lifted with wider straps or special slings. Most machine tool manuals for ones one or two people can't pick up usually have diagrams showing proper ways to lift them with straps, slings or forks.
If the bottom of the bed is below anything like a feed rod, leadscrew etc, a lathe can be lifted with a forklift with the forks under the bed.
Any time you use a forklift to move machinery, it's important to secure the machine and/or straps so they can't slide off the forks. It's amazing how easily and swiftly 2,000+ pounds of machine tool can slide off those steel forks. Put picking eyes or large bolts through the holes in the fork ends to make certain straps can't slide off.
You'll want to lighten the lathe as much as possible by removing anything normally removable like the tailstock. Run the carriage all the way to the tailstock end and lock it there using the carriage clamp bolt. That's usually a square head bolt sticking up on the right/front/top side of the saddle.
Once you get it set down on a smooth concrete floor, it should be possible to slide it quite easily, if you have enough strong guys to get it moving. Do not ever try to push the whole lathe sideways! Do one end at a time. Lathes heavier than a 14" South Bend won't be pushable, unless you have a team of Olympic class weightlifters.
If at any time it starts to tip over, get away and let it go. Arms and legs are much harder and more expensive to repair than cast iron.