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Installing a PM-1228VF-LB eventually

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BobZed

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#1
Hi, everyone. I'm a new member (just joined a couple of weeks ago). I don't have much machining experience and don't yet have any metal-working machines; but my wife and I have been serious hobby woodworkers for quite a few years. (See my registration post.) I've had an interest in machining for quite a while but only decided recently to get more serious.

I've done a quite a bit of research online, which eventually led me here to hobby-machinist. Reading the posts here essentially convinced me that I'd eventually like to get a PM-1228VF-LB lathe. I think it's about as high-end as I can go, given the features I think I want and the space likely to be available.

My current plan is to set up a small machine shop in my basement. This will require reorganization and some renovation of my already crowded basement; so I want to make sure I've considered all the details first.

My first significant problem would be logistical - getting the lathe to the basement. Because of the layout of the stairs to the basement, the lathe, likely in its crate, would have to be moved part of the way on its end, likely on a heavy duty hand cart. (I won't attempt this myself; I'd hire professional movers to do it.) Are there any potential problems doing this? Is the lathe secured well enough to the crate to allow this? Will any oil leak from the lathe if it's moved on end? If so, can I eliminate oil leaks by draining just the gearbox?

The specs say that the PM-1228 requires 13A at 120V. I presume that means that I'll need a 20A circuit for it.

Is the manual for the PM-1228 available somewhere? I've looked around but haven't been able to find it. I've downloaded the manual for the Grizzly G0773, which I understand includes essentially the same lathe; but there are obviously some differences between the two.
 

ChrisFromCanada

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#3
Well, I just took delivery of a PM-1228 and accessories last week so I can actually give a bit of info!

I'm with you that this lathe is an excellent cross section of features and power while still only needing a 120v circuit.

I'm currently running it on a 15amp circuit. The manual does suggest a 20 amp, however the max draw is listed as 15amp. Given that it is the only thing on the circuit I'm not too concerned about that. I've not had any issues under load the last couple of days.

The lathe arrived well packaged for shipping and bolted into its crate on top of a pallet. From the disassembly of the crate I can tell you that there is no way the crate would handle being on its end. It does not have the strength to support that much weight. I'm not even sure it the bottom of the crate could support the lathe unless it is in turn supported at multiple points. I had to use a shop crane (engine hoist) to position it onto the stand. I'm not sure if you could perhaps unpack the lathe and bolt it into a heavy duty frame to move it. Keep in mind it is the better part of 500 unforgiving pounds. You could also remove the chip tray and rear splash shield to reduce the size of things a bit. I can't comment on the oil situation, but draining it is as easy as removing the drain plug with an allen key.

As odd as things are, my decision to go with the 1228 was the prime cause of my decision to insulate my garage. I realized there was no way I was getting it to the basement due to the 90 turn on the landing part way down.

They don't have an electronic copy of the manual, however if you have any specific questions I'd be happy to look them up for you.
 

Muskt

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#4
Hello BZ. You have an interesting situation approaching. My personal opinion is that it can be done--although considerable work will be required and there are definitely risks involved.

Before I go any further, I would like to point out a couple of items that you may not have considered. SMOKE & SMELL from cutting oils or coolant. I have my shop in a separate building, & I really do not like those smells, especially in the house--I would estimate that the smell in the house could be somewhat nasty.
The next thing is the chips on the floor, in the carpet, on the dog, etc. Even with the best of intentions, and my shop being in another building, I occasionally forget to remove my shoes--even a coarse foot wiper misses some of the little buggers.

Back to the move. I think that it is doable. As Chris said, I would not even consider using the shipping crate. I have a PM1236, & it was packed very well; however, I would not have even considered standing it on it's end in the shipping crate (yes, I realize that it is 2.5 times the weight).

So, without even having seen a 1228, here is how I might proceed. This is just for ideas.

1. Uncrate the lathe.
2. Take a bunch of digital pictures. (Every possible view.)
3. Remove the Tailstock, the Chuck, the Compound, the Cross-slide, and the Carriage Knob (after moving the carriage to the headstock end).
4. If the back splash and chip tray are installed, remove them also.
5. Remove the gear train cover, & take more pictures.
6. Remove all of the gears & Banjo (it it has one).
7. Remove the Motor and mount (after taking more pictures). It should now weigh nearly 100 pounds {or 40 something Kilihoogles) less than when you started.
8. Construct a temporary base from 2x4s with at least 2 (3 would be better) cross braces. This should extend a few inches beyond the gear-train end.
9. Bolt the lathe securely to the temporary base.
10. Coerce 3-4 willing assistants (Bribe them with Beer--after the move).
11. Tie/strap the machine to a very heavy duty moving dolly with the headstock end down.
12. locate another piece of 2x4 that is long enough to span the doorway leading into the basement.
13. Obtain a serious rope or strap to use as an emergency brake in case the machine gets away.
14. Attach the rope/strap to the handle end of the dolly, & take a couple of turns around the 2x4 in the doorway.
15 Burn a couple of sticks of incense, & think "pure & lovely" thoughts, then GO FOR IT!

OK, these are just some ideas that I came up with (no adult beverages were involved).
You did not state if you have a corner on your stairway--I would guess that you probably do. Even so, I would still use the rope & 2x4 in case of an emergency. Walls are much easier to repair than arms or legs.

Best to you
Jerry in Delaware
 

ChrisFromCanada

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#5
Jerry put together a really good list, however I just thought of one more thing. While you have the machine upstairs and before you start the disassembly, test it! Run it through the full cycle and make sure everything works as it should. Long shot, but imagine getting it to the basement only to find out something needed to be shipped back for warranty... ouch!

We did use a 2x4 to help position it and I would not trust one in a doorway unless you double it up. It had quite the sag that did not inspire confidence...

I'd probably run a 2x10 or 2x12 the full length under the lathe and extend out the extra on the gear train end.

Don't laugh, but is your basement a fully below grade or just partial? Any large windows that you could setup a ramp to ease the lathe down?
 

BobZed

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#6
Thanks for all the advice, ChrisFromCanada and Muskt. I didn't reply sooner because I've been away for the past few days.

Not only did the PM1228 provide most of the features that I wanted; but all the positive comments about Matt's pre- and post-sales service were a big factor in my choice.

I suspected that moving such a heavy machine on end in the crate might not be feasible; and also that getting it to the basement would not be simple. I think you've convinced me that having a basement shop is likely not sensible, especially considering Muskt's comments about the smoke and smell. I expected that there would be some, although I didn't think it would be as bad as Muskt's capital letters suggest. I was planning to wall-off the shop in the basement, which would have reduced them somewhat; but it sounds like that wouldn't really be sufficient. My wife is particularly sensitive to odors, so having the lathe (and possibly other metal-working machines in the future) in the basement is a non-starter with her. (She's also concerned about the little buggers Muskt mentions.)

Plan B would be to wall off part of my 2-car garage as a machine shop. (I have a friend who's done that, although he parks only a motorcycle, not a car, in the remaining space.) However, it's currently filled with lots of stuff (accumulated over many years, and likely disposable, given the will to do it), including quite a bit of wood for our woodworking, leaving just enough space for a single car; so fitting in a machine shop, even a small one, would be tricky. And I don't know if that would solve the odor or little bugger problems.

Plan C is to set up the shop in part of a garage-size building we're planning at our cottage. However, that would obviously be much less convenient that having the shop at home. But it would allow for a larger shop; and I could plan the installation of power and lighting, rather than being limited somewhat to existing installation in plans A and B. (But I'd also have to plan to insulate and heat the shop.)
 

ChrisFromCanada

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#7
Glad that you at least have multiple backup plans Bob!

One thought, what about moving your wood stockpile into the basement instead of the machine shop? Then you could put your lathe in that location. As an added bonus, the wood would be in a nice stable environment to season and stabilize. I would personally prefer to have the lathe at my house just for the convenience of being able to wander out and do a bit of work. Most garages are very well sealed to the rest of the house due to carbon monoxide concerns so that would help with the odours I bet.
 

BobZed

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#8
Hi, Chris.

That's a good idea. Unfortunately, the space in the basement where I could store wood from the garage is already filled with other wood. (The wood in the garage is mostly "big" wood, ie, 8' or longer, which would be difficult to store in the basement.) And there's a lot of stuff in the garage other than wood that I'd have to relocate in order to make space for a machine shop.

However, your suggestion did make me think out-of-the box a little, namely, to use the space in the basement where I was considering putting the machine shop (plan A) to store some of the stuff in the garage. Other stuff can certainly be thrown out; and some can be taken to our cottage. So, I might be able to make enough room in the garage for the shop. However, there would still have to be space for one of our 2 cars, which might be tricky to arrange, although not impossible.

I certainly agree that having the shop at home would be much more convenient that at our cottage, which is why plan C was a last resort.

Bob
 

ChrisFromCanada

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#9
Not going to lie Bob, I'm having trouble finding sympathy for you given that "problem"... Nothing like having too much wood for your hobby!

Fingers crossed you are able to get something figured out though. I'm loving working on the metal lathe.
 

jdell42

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#10
Bob,

My machine shop is in a basement but its a walk out basement. I do not have any significant issues with smell or smoke as its a hobby for me.. but when I am cutting steel for longer periods of time it the smell does find its way into the house, but not enough for the wife to complain too much. I have never set off the shop smoke alarm or anything like that. A small fan with an open window could likely cure that issue completely for me.

When I moved my 1228 I used a dolly to get it down the hill to the basement in the normal orientation. Its manageable.. however lifting up is not. It comes on a pallet in a crate. The crate is 1/4 cheap Chinese plywood so you will certainly need to remove the crate as there is no structural integrity to the crate. The pallet is a typical pallet but you can not transport it in any orientation other than flat with the pallet. I needed a engine hoist to lift mine.

If you need to transport it in the vertical orientation with no hoist I would suggest you would be in for a challenge, even with 4 or so able bodied men. There is really not a lot of real estate for people to lift and move it effectively and the center of gravity is heavily skewed towards the head stock. You are likely looking at 500lbs of awkward weight.

That being said it can be done but it would not be something I would look forward to doing.

John
 

BobZed

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#11
Hi, John.

Thanks for you comments about a basement shop and the crate. I've pretty much decided that getting the lathe to the basement would be a challenge, as you say, and setting up the machine shop there isn't feasible for that and several other reasons. I think my best option is to set it up in part of my garage, provided my wife agrees. At least then it will be conveniently located at home; but that will require quite a bit of planning and preparation prior to getting the lathe.

Bob
 

BROCKWOOD

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#12
Ah setting up in the garage would be your best plan if only for ease of handling. Of coarse with smoke & smell issues, for those that are sensitive to such things, I would think you have a 2nd reason not to go with a basement shop. Have you considered decking a portion of your attic for additional storage of smaller &/or lighter parts? I thought my garage was too full to add a large mill. Took some doing, straightening up, consolidating & even letting a few things go - but we always make room for the things we believe we need. Many may not consider what happens next (after you do get your dream machine up & running). More tools, more toolboxes, more oils, more material in the form of steel, aluminum etc. All these things need a place to conveniently exist near the lathe. Welcome to the site (I'm still a newb on here & in the hobby myself). This forum has many selfless & experienced members that like helping others. I am honored to have met a few & am blown away by their patience! Look forward to seeing you get to where you want to be with a new lathe!
 

fradish

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#13
Did you ever get the soft-copy of the PM1228 manual? You can get one here:

http://www.precisionmatthews.com/shop/pm-1228vf-lb/

It's not that great, I think this is what comes straight from the factory.
Matt mentioned that PM is working on a new manual, but it is not ready yet. I think Matt
generally rewrites all of the factory manuals. But until that time I also printed out the Grizzly
G0773 manual and refer to sections of it. There are differences between that machine and the PM1228,
but sections of it are helpful.

Also, if you have not bought one yet, take a look at the PM1127-VF-LB lathe. I myself own the PM1228
and I like it a lot, but if the PM1127 came with the D1-4 spindle (like it does now) at the time I bought
my lathe, I probably would have gone with it instead. One of the big selling points on the PM1228 at
the time over the 1127 for me was the D1-4 spindle.

Not that there is anything wrong with the PM1228, but the PM1127 comes with more accessories
(like a 4 jaw chuck & AXA QCTP) for slightly less money and 11" vs 12" doesn't seem like such a big deal.
Buying a QCTP and 4 jaw will probably set you back at least $500 (unless you get a great deal or buy used)
I think the PM1228 comes with a larger motor (2HP DC vs 1HP AC with VFD) though. The power requirements
for the PM1127 is listed at 20A (though that may just be a suggestion of the circuit size and not the actual
draw) while the PM1228 lists 13A.
 
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