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Raising mill off its base with 4x4 box tubing

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Friday, December 19, 2014 - 16:59

When buying the mill i asked if the base could be made to a custom heigh along with moving the front leg brace as low as possible, Charter Oak was glad to do so. The reason for the lower base is that from floor to ceiling i have 6' 8" and the standard height base would cause an issue if i ever needed to use the full travel of the head, the lower front brace was so that i can make alittle cabinet for under the machine and this would give alittle more room. They did a great job on the base, but after using the mill for alittle while it was just too low so i bought some 4x4 box tubing with a 3/8 (.375) wall thickness to put under the mills base and then positioned the mill so the motor (the highest part of the machine) would raise/sit in between the rafters.

The only means i have to lift the mill is an engine hoist, but like said, i have height issues and the top of the hoist arm and the bottom of the rafters cause havoc. When lifting the mill originally and placing it on the base was a real chore for two reasons, the distance from the floor to the bottom braces of the base are around 6" (or so, i forget) and the distance from the floor to the top of the engine hoist legs is 8" so i could not slide the engine hoist under the base. Ended up buying some 6" long bolts to replace the shorter leveling bolts which came with the base so i was able to raise it up so the engine hoist legs could fit under it (alittle more on that in the "delivery article"). The other issue was the hoists arm and the bottom of the rafters, which was workable at first but still a real pain... second time around when i needed to lift the mill another 4" and would have caused a real problem, but taking the motor and forward/reverse switch off made things much much easer (wish i did that originally).

Since the welder was out and the mill was out in the open, i needed to weld a peice of angle iron to the back of the base to be used as a ledge for the cabinet to rest on. While i was grabbing some angle iron i found a piece of 2" box tubing and thought i would add two more braces to the back side of the base, placing them under the 4" box tubing.

Turning the leveling bolts while "under presser" from the weight of the mill was is a pain, jacking it up with a mini pump jack made it much easyer. The mill lifted, the 4x4's in place and clamped to the base. Took a shot of the longer leveling bolts need to get the engine hoists legs under the bases. After the 4x4s where in place and clamped to the base i then drilled them out and bolted the mill to them before any welding took place.

Here are the extra braces i added along with a shot of the angle iron.

There was a thought to just adding some spacer blocks under the bases leveling bolts, but along with a cabinet under the mill, i can now make some little drawers next to the 4x4's. Will post something when that project finishes.

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