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Thread: Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Knee Mill

  1. #1
    Supporting Member tmate3's Avatar
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    Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Knee Mill

    I plan to install a 5" riser block on my Enco knee mill. The mill is in a corner where I can't easily get to it with my hydraulic engine hoist. I plan to fabricate the device shown below, and let the knee crank raise the head so I can install the riser. An advantage would be that I would be able to keep the head raised for whatever time it takes to do measurements, complete the riser block, and install it without having to hang it from lifting straps for a day or two.

    One of the assemblies shown would be on each side of the table, sufficiently far apart to span the head. The two sides would be bolted to t-nuts in the table, and bolted together via a cradle shaped plate in the front and a flat cross piece at the rear.

    I would welcome any opinions on whether this will work, or put too much strain on the knee screw or on the table. I don't anticipate having to adjust either the X or Y axes with the load in place. Once raised, I can block up the rear to help support it. The lift distance appears more than adequate.

    Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Knee Mill-side-view.jpg

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    Supporting Member LMMasterMariner's Avatar
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    Hello tmate3,

    The lift distance appears more than adequate, but head is the heaviest single part of this machine. It will be too much offset and I wouldn't take that risk. It is simpler to hoist it from the top. Attached couple of photos how I did it. Also some drawings which might help you with idea how to fabricate block riser. Dimensions might differ, as these are exact dimensions for Harbor Freight 6x26 knee mill. My block riser is approx. 5", actually 125 mm high.

    Good luck and best regards
    LMMasterMariner
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Knee Mill-20160510_021202.jpg   Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Knee Mill-20160510_021212.jpg   Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Knee Mill-20160510_021223.jpg   Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Knee Mill-20160621_160626.jpg   Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Knee Mill-20160621_160632.jpg  

    Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Knee Mill-20160621_162031.jpg   Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Knee Mill-block-riser-final.jpg   Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Knee Mill-riser-block-final.jpg  

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    Jon (Feb 23, 2021), Tule (Feb 24, 2021)

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    Thanks LMMasterMariner! We've added your Knee Mill Head Lifter to our Milling category,
    as well as to your builder page: LMMasterMariner's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




  5. #4
    Supporting Member tmate3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMMasterMariner View Post
    Hello tmate3,

    The lift distance appears more than adequate, but head is the heaviest single part of this machine. It will be too much offset and I wouldn't take that risk. It is simpler to hoist it from the top. Attached couple of photos how I did it. Also some drawings which might help you with idea how to fabricate block riser. Dimensions might differ, as these are exact dimensions for Harbor Freight 6x26 knee mill. My block riser is approx. 5", actually 125 mm high.

    Good luck and best regards
    LMMasterMariner

    Thank you for the photos & information. Did you machine the riser from a solid block, or weld flanges on to a tube? How big a lathe did you use? How did you lay out your holes and drill them if your mill was apart?

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    Supporting Member LMMasterMariner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmate3 View Post
    Thank you for the photos & information. Did you machine the riser from a solid block, or weld flanges on to a tube? How big a lathe did you use? How did you lay out your holes and drill them if your mill was apart?
    My good friend (toolmaker) machined riser from solid 1045 steel block. He first drilled/bored 60mm hole on huge lathe and completed the job on huge cnc mill.
    I only measured it and prepared drawing. 60mm hole was made just to reduce the weight for shipping. Riser was made in USA and shipped to me to Croatia.

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    Supporting Member NortonDommi's Avatar
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    Could you knock up a quick frame with a bit of scaffolding? For real close to the ceiling work a couple of sheaves sitting directly on the pipe and cables pulled down with a couple of come-along's to pull up lifting bars under the head?

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    Supporting Member tmate3's Avatar
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    New idea for lifting mill head without dismantling it

    I've decided to scrap my original idea and fabricate a frame that will straddle the mill and sit on the side edges of the stand. My come along cable will run up and over the two pulleys and attach to lifting straps around the head.

    When I'm finished, I can put casters on the bottom of the frame and use it like a mini hoist to lift heavy items onto benches, etc. I already have the steel on hand.

    Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Knee Mill-profile.jpg Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Knee Mill-head-lifter-l-top2.jpg

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    Finished Fabricating Mill Head Crane

    Finished fabricating the frame for lifting the head off my Enco 6x26 mill. After I have installed the riser in the mill, I will widen the frame a bit, mount casters on the bottom, and use it as a mini shop crane. Unlike a lift table, which must have the load lifted onto it in the lower position, I will be able to have this rig straddle the load while it is on the floor, lift it and move it to a bench or cart, straddle it, and set the load down.

    Didn't take much fabricating skill, but it should give my back some relief. Guess I could use it as a lat machine, come to think of it.

    Head Lifter for 6x26 Enco Knee Mill-finished-crane2.jpg



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    Last edited by tmate3; Mar 3, 2021 at 07:16 PM.

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