I agree about the in-person inspection, it makes for a vastly better HF
experience. Even then I've had a couple odd surprises on the positive
side where an item on display was apparently an older version of the
product and the item in the crate turned out to be a newer and nicer
version when I got it home. I haven't had a reverse case yet.
As for the sling ratings, if you see the item in person it may well list
the appropriate standards. The HF ads very often don't describe the item
Guys, thanks for all this great information. Just what I needed. Also, it
finally motivated me to do a Google search - DUH! So, here is some info on
the specific slings that Enco has on sale:
Check out the "Tuff-Edge Slings"
description *.pdf and the "General Information on Web Slings" *.pdf. Looks
like a class act, ASTM references, 3/16-inch thickness polyester,
Given this information, Iggy - is that Harbor Freight "1 TON CAPACITY
LIFTING SLING" for $9.99/ea really only .03-inch thick as stated at
I also found that
on catalog page 1352, offers
slings for prices lower than the Enco sales price.
Looks like, for my steadying purposes (see details of my reply to Steve B),
I would probably be adequately served by a two 1" x 6' single-ply slings.
These can be wrapped multiple times around the machine part if shorter
length is called for. Several of the 1-inch width eye loops should
(translation = 'I hope') fit in my crane's slip hook. The four load leveler
chains, slip hooks, lifting nuts, and 3/4" threaded rod will be doing the
primary lifting for the lathe. I will re-evaluate when I finally settle on
a milling machine.
Bench lathe and stand are separate; lathe weighs 1000 lb. Several on the
yahoo 12x36importlathes group report having handled these successfully
(slowly and using care) with the shop crane.
If shipping material is not appropriate to the task, I plan to move it down
the lawn and across a crushed stone patio to my walk-out basement door on a
toboggan-skid constructed of 4x4's atop 1/2" plywood with turned up front
edge. It will be pulled by a JD lawn/garden tractor with a hand-held tether
rope at the rear end to aid in steering and provide some braking if needed
on the 7/40 downslope.
Our 50 tonne crane uses perhaps 3/4" chain for overhead lifting. While
the dies are lifted with four chains, only two are ever fully loaded,
and they take some pretty (very!) aggressive shock loads sometimes.
I've never even heard of one breaking.
"David Merrill" wrote
If you do it this way, use a "basket loop." You can google to see one.
Basically, you are hooking one eye to the hook, going around the machine
(sometimes more than once) and bringing the second eye back to the hook.
Don't use a choker setup unless you absolutely have to. More chance of
breakage, and it comes down really tight on the load. The basket lift will
be the strongest, yet gentlest on your load. A choker is when you pass the
web through the eye, and have only one eye hooked to your lifting eye. Even
if you have to use a short piece of chain to make up the shortage, use a
shackle on both ends of the chain.
Basket, don't choke.
We've had some hoist rings pull out for various reasons. They typically
hit the roof if they were under full load (about four stories up) with
the chains attached. *Kinda* dangerous!
Sometimes people don't hook up the dies right and one hook comes off.
That's a pretty amazing sight. 15 - 50 tons of die flapping around.
Leaves a hellova dent in whatever's underneath.
Well, I can tell a very recent (November 2006) war story:
When I was taking delivery of the Millrite, which weighs 1,200 pounds, I
used a towtruck (rented with driver from a local gas station) to pick
the mill out of the bed of the 3/4-ton truck that brought the mill, put
it down on the ground. A towtruck and some slings is how the mill got
into the 3/4-ton truck as well.
The original plan was to put the dangling mill through the doorway
opening using the towtruck boom, thus clearing the threshold, but the
straps stretched too much, and it wasn't even close to fitting. So, we
took the head off the mill (200 or 300 pounds, four 5/8-inch bolts), and
put the machine base through the opening using the boom.
Attaching the machine base to the towtruck hook was a trick. What (only
just) worked, was a 6' double-eye strap wrapped twice around the base in
a choke hold just under the flange to which the head attaches.
This was too close for comfort. I plan to make a lifting plate that
bolts to the headless base for future moves. I also got some flanged
eye bolts and T-slot nuts so I can bolt these eyes to the table T-slots
and securely lift the table off the mill, should it become necessary.
The machine head was moved into the basement on a little 4-wheel wooden
dolly, and reinstated on the base using two 3-foot endless slings, a
quick-link, some chain, and an engine hoist rented from the local Taylor
Rentals. The problem was that the hoist couldn't go lower than about
24", so the lift had to be done in two steps. First from dolly onto
some cribbing, shorten chains between hook and quick-link holding the
slings, then lift up to the low ceiling, just clearing the top of the
One thing to be aware of is that slings (or chains) pulled tight to
reduce headroom can pull sideways out of a lifting hook, abruptly
dropping the load, so I use a large shackle or quick-link to ensure that
this cannot happen. MSC carries suitable slings, alloy shackles and
The 3' endless slings are made by Lift-All (type EN1-801D), are made and
tested to a recognized standard, and are marked with their load limits.
Cost $16 each from MSC. I didn't use heavier slings because they are
too stiff and hard to use for such a small load as this.
As for lifting equipment in general, if the manufacturer does not
explicitly specify a safe working load, the item is for decoration only.
Do not use it for hoisting. Period. This excludes the vast majority of
stuff found in hardware stores.
I've moved a lot of Bridgeports in my time. The easiest way is to slide a
timber under the head, approach with a fork lift from the front, with a fork
on each side of the head. The machine is perfectly balanced, and won't tip
over since the majority of the weight is below the lifting point.
Get yourself a collection of Unistrut brackets, nuts, bolts, 1/2" all
thread lengths and sections of Unistrut. You'll find them indispensable
for a while lot of rigging, including things like a Bridgeport.
Good idea. I'll have to see what loads the manufacturer guarantees,
especially in bending. I've seen some pretty stout unistrut.
As for the lifting plate for the millrite base, that sounds like a good
millrite project. Use 1-inch plate, and who needs to compute stresses.
I've lifted my Bridgeport using two pieces of the deep (2"?) Unistrut
run under the ram in front of and behind the column and resting on top
of my forklift forks on either side of the column. I only picked the
Bridgeport up about an inch for safety and moved slowly, but there was
no sign of the slightest strain on the Unistrut.
The name's not "Ignorant." Iggy has never advised anyone to "follow"
his advise on chains. Why are you making up these lies?
For the adults in the group:
Selecting and using chains certified for overhead lifting, especially
for the industrial purchaser, is a good idea. The less personal control
you have over lifting equipment the more abuse resistant they should
be. And rigging materials can take a terrible beating. Anyone with
more than a few months of industrial experience knows what I mean.
On the other hand, for those of you who have direct control over the
materials and methods of rigging (and for those who need to delegate
this responsibility) I offer the following:
To insure your chain's "weakest link" is safe requires: 1. Frequent
inspection and 2. Proper rigging methods.
When you inspect your chain it's important to inspect each link,
individually. One "fast and dirty" way to do this is to measure links
for lengthening and welds for distortion and cracking. We used a sheet
metal go/no-go gauge when measuring links, with elongation information
supplied by the manufacturer, any chain with links drawn thin beyond
the "safe zone" were immediately cut-up and discarded. I'd suggest
this inspection be done at least weekly in a busy shop.
The inspection for damaged welds (on a well cleaned chain) takes longer
and should be done by an experienced person (or an outside service),
rather than the newest hire. Welds won't generally be damaged by
tension alone but can easily be damaged by improper usage such as using
a chain for a heavy lift while a link is bearing on a sharp hard edge.
Placing a softener under the chain at this type of stress point should
be "standard procedure" in all shops. A "softener" can be as simple as
a heavy piece of carpet, or a 2x4, or as complex as a steel framework
over 1" thick felt depending on your requirements.
Why do I use ordinary non-certified lifting chain in my shop? Because
it's not required, and here's why:
3/8"- grade 80 lifting chain is rated at 7,100#.
3/8"- grade 30 (we used to call this "plow" chain) not certified for
lifting is rated at 2,650#
The heaviest lift I may encounter in my shop is 1000#. Also, should I
encounter any weight approaching this weight I always use a "basket"
and one or more chains which will raise lifting levels by 2 to 4 times
the rating of the individual chain. Do I feel this method is safe?
100%. Why do I feel safe??? INSPECTION. This is THE most important
thing I can stress. A chain rated grade 120 can be less reliable than
a grade 30 "If it has not been inspected thoroughly." The softer,
lower grades of chain are naturally more subject to deformation so I'd
suggest inspecting these after every heavy "pick."
My suggestion for everyone: Monday morning: Inspect those chains!