Lifting the Machine!

To setup the HF44142 I pondered whether I should build a bench or buy one. The question was moot after I found a sales ad from Sears in which they were advertising the following bench
(Sears web item #
00959831000) for $79.99. It was perfect, has lots of space for storing tooling and was easy to assemble. The galvanized top was the "icing on the cake". These benches go on 

We'll never forget !!!

sale about every other week. Look through the web ads and your local store flyers -- you should come close to the price that I paid.
To make the whole thing moveable once the machine is in place I went to Home Depot and bought (4) medium-sized three wheeled furniture trolleys. I set the bench on the trolleys, temporarily moved it into it's final position in the shop and used wooden shims to level the whole thing. This worked very well, just remember to get the medium sized trolleys (rated ~ 275 lbs each). See picture.

The trolley system is pretty sturdy and allows me to move the bench at will for cleaning, maintenance, etc.. (Note: I changed this setup. See alternative on next page.)
On the other hand, it is not as rigid as a true bolted bench arrangement, but since I have to remain somewhat flexible in my shop configuration this system offered the best compromise.

"Now comes the moment of truth". I had to move the machine from the shipping pallet onto the mobile bench. Remember that this machine weighs in at approx. 600 lbs and the last thing I want was to damage the ways, mill table/cross slide or the mill head. If you are going to attempt a job like this by yourself (as I did) you will need either a gantry crane or an engine lift (a.k.a "cherry picker", see picture). That is the only safe method of lifting this machine. The engine lift depicted below is a HF 2 ton folding model, lifting to 107 inches. (HF# 35915-5VGA).

Next we'll see how to lift the machine and what's required to get it into position.

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