I previously posted some pictures at the end of a rather long day when I brought the mill home but never did a proper write-up. Here it is.
This is a Bridgeport Mill. It's sitting in the basement garage of the person I've just bought it from.
I have a mini-mill and have been thinking about upgrading to a larger mill. For a lot less then the price of a new mill I can get this one. The person selling it has to move so I got a great deal on it along with plenty of tooling. An older Bridgeport Mill, if cared for, works better than a newer foreign made mill. These are widely used so parts are still available.
Problem is how to get it home. It was located a couple hours north of me outside of Pittsburgh. A Bridgeport Mill weighs around 2200 lbs. I've never moved anything near that heavy before.
Step one. Rent a U-haul trailer that could take that kind of weight. I had previously installed a Class-III trailer hitch in the van for my bike rack.
When I installed the looking-back camera on the van this wasn't one of the uses I imagined.
On moving day the gentleman I was buying it from provided a lot of help and several helpers to get the mill onto the trailer. Notice the metal rods underneath the mill. This is called "The Egyptian Method" for moving heavy objects. Same principle used in the building of the pyramids.
Used a chain-fall to provide the pulling force.
Once the mill was in the trailer I used 2x3s to build a cross-hatch framework around the base to stop it from sliding in the trailer.
Used tie-down straps front, back and center to stop it from tipping. Here's the mill after we've gotten it to my house.
Now is where it gets interesting. There is just myself and a friend to offload the mill. I'd talked to a local towing company earlier in the week about craning the mill off the trailer. "No problem" I was told. They could easily pick it up. So the plan was for them to pick it up off the trailer then we'd move the trailer and then they would set it down in front of the garage.
So I called and a wrecker shows up. Yes the driver can lift it up and set it down. He just can't move it with the truck. Ruh-Roh! Somehow this point was missed in my previous discussion with the towing company. Another problem was the tow truck can only reach the mill by coming at the trailer from the side. A telephone pole prevents the trailer from being pulled too close to the front of the house. The mill would have to be off-loaded, literally, in the middle of the street.
Ever have one of those "What the hell did I get myself into" feelings? I sure had one at that moment. So I asked the driver if they had a bigger truck. They have the kind that are used on tractor-trailers, but it does has a thirty-foot boom. "How much?" "$175 an hour."
I told him to go get it. It's big. It's so big he backed it down the street since it wouldn't take the corner in the front of my house.
The driver picks the mill off the trailer then the trailer is moved out of the way.
He booms it over towards the garage door.
Had the driver set the mill down on the metal rollers. Then used the shop crane I'd previously bought to move the metal lathe, the come-along that was bought to adjust the penthouse top chains and tie-down strap bought for this to move the mill into the garage.
Once I got it all the way into the garage, called it a day.
There were no injuries so it was a good day.