Using Bronze Age Technology to Move the Mill

When the Bridgeport  mill was delivered on Tuesday, we had the driver did set it on the floor by the back dock. The metal shop is near the front of the building, so we had to move the mill by hand into it’s new home. The mill weighs bout 2200 pounds, and it’s very top-heavy. This makes moving it difficult and somewhat dangerous. Dean suggested that we use pieces of 1-inch black pipe as rollers, Egyptian style. He brought along a large pry bar for lifting an edge of the mill up enough to slip a piece of pipe underneath. After a couple of pieces of pipe are under the machine, it can be rolled. It looks like it would just sail along, but small imperfections in the floor make pushing very hard in spots.


Steering is done with the pry bar by lifting up an edge of the base a tiny bit and then swivelling the captive edge about the fulcrum of the pry bar. A change of direction is accomplished in increments of a few inches per swivel. [We need to name a unit for inches per swivel.] Steering is also effected by the angle the pipes lie at, relative to the line of motion, and also by sheer force. My rough estimate is that the move was about 75 feet, and took about an hour and a half. JP set the pipes, Dean worked the pry bar, Mike and Steve did the forward push, and Tucker guided the machine into curves. As of Wednesday, the machine  is connected to power. Yea!

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