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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Western NSW
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    518

    Default Moving large planer

    Hi all,

    Some of you may have noticed the Swift Summerskill planer that has been up for sale for the last year or so. I recently spoke with the owner and went to look at the planer. It is a beautiful machine in excellent condition. He has been trying to sell it without success for a long time. It belonged to his tool maker father who died a little while back in his 90s. He obviously took great care of it as it is in 'as new' condition. His son is a lovely gentleman who is trying to clean out the workshop to allow him to rent it out. I think this is the last of his machines.
    The main issues have been the size of the machine and therefore the cost of moving it along with the fact that planers are really an obsolete machine from a modern engineering point of view. He was getting close to sending it to the scrap merchant which I could not see happen. So in the end we came to a mutually agreeable price.

    So now I need to move it. This machine is BIG and HEAVY. He estimated the weight at 20 tonnes based on his recollection of the weight when it was moved from Melbourne to Sydney. I think this is a bit of an overestimate. My guess is maybe 15 tonne. This would still make it the biggest machine I have moved (behind the 10 tonne Kearns horizontal borer). The dimensions are also a problem with length 6.4m, height 2.6m (with pieces removed) and width 3.1m. The main issue here being the width of 3.1m ..... meaning 600mm hanging over the side of the truck. I am hoping I can get away with permits,flashing lights,flags and signs and not require a pilot vehicle. Will have to make the relevant enquires about this. The RMS have no sense of humour when it comes to oversize loads. It may be possible to remove the big motor on the side which would bring it done to 2.90m but would require a bit of work.

    The main issue though is that it is in a smallish building with a roller door exit that only just looks big enough for the planer to pass through. He assures me in fitted on the way in. Coming out the door though you need to turn the planer hard right and go up a rise to the small carpark above. There would be barely enough room for a semi and the crane to load it on the truck. But then the exit for the workshop is up a SMALL laneway which borders on the M1 freeway just before the long,low roofed tunnel at the airport (height 4.4m max). It would all have to be done on the weekend so the car park and laneway could be empty.It's all possible but not easy. I thought I had finished these big moves after the slideway grinder but just ONE MORE!! I have 3 Pacific type roller skates that I use but think I will need an upgrade for this job. Phil (Machtool) recommended to me some time ago these skates from Team Systems

    6 Tonne Skates - FW06 - Team Systems

    SS60N - Skate - Team Systems

    A set of three will set me back $744 plus GST . Will just have to factor these into the overall price.


    Now for some history and photos.
    The planer was brought new by a government dept in the early 70's for a specific contract job. It apparently did very little work before being brought by the current owners about 20 years ago. It has also done very little work since then. It originally had an 80 inch stroke but the government had this increased to 146 inches ( a more useful 12 ft 2 inches) according to the owner. Its an all electric control spiral gear drive machine. Originally it had a Ward-Leonard DC drive system (think Monarch 10EE type system) but this proved troublesome so some 10 years ago this was updated at great expense to an AC electronic system. This gives infinite speed control in both cutting and return stroke. It has power feed in the horizontal and vertical plane. Also automatic tool lift for the return stroke. The ways have no signs of wear at all and are pressure feed way oil automatically.
    This is with no doubt the best planer I have ever seen.

    2016-09-07 12.20.26.jpg2016-09-07 12.20.32.jpg2016-09-07 12.20.41.jpg2016-09-07 12.20.54.jpg2016-09-07 12.21.00.jpg2016-09-07 12.21.06.jpg2016-09-07 12.21.17.jpg2016-09-07 12.21.25.jpg2016-09-07 12.21.36.jpg2016-09-07 12.21.48.jpg


    Finally I would like to thank my wife for agreeing that everyone needs two planers in the shed.


    Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    near Rockhampton
    Posts
    5,945

    Default

    Good luck with the project Mark.

    I think getting it on the truck will be the biggest hassle and things will get easier from there. I cannot see 3.1m as being that big a hassle for oversize. That is only 300mm each side. If it were Qld, you only need escorts/permits over 3.5m. I would hope you will only need oversize signs and a flashing light. The stickout is not going to be much more then the mirrors.

    I remember seeing the photo of Phil moving the base of the big Churchill and he has the rear on skates and the other end on the franna and it pulled it out.
    Gold, the colour of choice for the discerning person.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    South of Adelaide
    Posts
    688

    Default

    I'm glad you saved that machine, i looked at the ad may times and thought it would be sad if that machine was scrapped. If i wasn't halfway across the country i would give you a hand to shift it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Norwood-ish, Adelaide
    Age
    55
    Posts
    5,553

    Default

    Mark, I seem to recall that when Richard saved that second grinder a few contributions were tossed his way. Are you taking donations?

    Michael

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nowra
    Posts
    1,581

    Default

    Wow thats a great looking planer. Give me a shout out if you need an extra pair of hands for the move.
    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    Andre

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Western NSW
    Posts
    518

    Default

    I seem to recall that when Richard saved that second grinder a few contributions were tossed his way. Are you taking donations?
    I don't think so Michael but thanks for the offer. The price was more than fair and I'll move it myself so total cost won't be too bad.


    Give me a shout out if you need an extra pair of hands for the move.
    Thanks for the offer Andre. I probably won't move it till late Oct/early Nov as I have a lot on at the moment and its still so wet I couldn't move the truck out of the shed even if I wanted to. Floods out this way hopefully peaking tonight or tomorrow. Only good thing about all the rain is I have not been able to start cementing the floor of the new shed so will now have to do some major rearranging. Will have to find a way the put it next to the slideway grinder as they will really complement each other.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge S Aust.
    Age
    68
    Posts
    4,664

    Default

    Told you that new extension was tooo small already.
    Nice save by the way.
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Age
    70
    Posts
    5,082

    Default

    Nice pickup. a planer in that sort of excellent condition is a rare beast indeed, quite possibly unique in the world. As well as running as a planer, i'd be thinking of putting a few different head attachments, grinding, milling?

    Good luck with the loading and transport, sounds like you'll have to skate it out into the open all the way to the carpark. There are container forklifts that can do 30 tonnes, as an alternative to the crane hire, but they are big animals.

    Moving heavy precision machines is always nerve wracking. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    Ray

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Western NSW
    Posts
    518

    Default

    a planer in that sort of excellent condition is a rare beast indeed, quite possibly unique in the world
    I have certainly not seen its equal although I am constantly amazed at what gems are to be found in the back of nondescript looking sheds.

    As well as running as a planer, i'd be thinking of putting a few different head attachments, grinding, milling?


    Given its variable speed arrangement it may be possible but I am not sure what the slowest speed is and whether that is slow enough for milling. I have the Churchill slideway grinder for grinding so that will not be necessary.


    sounds like you'll have to skate it out into the open all the way to the carpark. There are container forklifts that can do 30 tonnes, as an alternative to the crane hire, but they are big animals.
    There is absolutely no room to get a forklift near the planer so it will have to be skated out of the shed then up the driveway which is slightly uphill and into a very small carpark. I have a guy from Botany cranes coming over to have a look at the situation and give some suggestions. I am not sure what size Franna's come in and whether they will be able to do this job.

    I am sure it will take a couple of days of preparation anyway. Power needs to be disconnected. Some items need to be removed from the top to get the overall height down. The crossrail counter weight needs to be removed. It currently is sitting on ?anti vibration pads and bolted to the floor so these need removing and then the planer needs lifting to get the skates underneath. Need a good toe jack...might be able to hire one maybe. So lots to think about. Luckily the owner is in no hurry so plenty of time to plan.

    Sorry I missed calling in on my way back from my visit to the National measurement institute. I did pick up the Gaertner circular and SIP linear dividing engines but by the time I got finished it was very late and I had to get home for work the next day. They are still wrapped up and unfortunately will stay that way till the new shed is built. Here is a picture of the SIP linear dividing engine though it does not show its true majesty. It is truly a piece of art conjured from brass/steel and cast iron. In the picture it is missing the engraving mechanism and brass microscopes but the machine is complete and in perfect condition. Should be in a museum really.
    The owner passed away and his wife was downsizing. He was a materials scientist and this machine came from the defence departments materials division. I also got a beautiful Amsler testing machine and a great number of incredible books. Still have to go back to pick up the rest as I didn't think I could load the rest and still get home.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Western NSW
    Posts
    518

    Default

    Here is the only other picture I can find from tonys lathe site in the UK. Again does not do it justice but gives you an idea of the machine when set up. These machines are capable of extreme precision.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    near Rockhampton
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    Default

    Mark, have you considered hiring skates from a hire company like Coates? Although your crane company will probably have a set anyway.

    The biggest Franna is a 25 tonne model. The next size down I think is a 20 tonne. I think Phil used a 20 tonner to get that big grinder lifted into a container. I used 25 tonner to lift my grinder off the truck, but that was because I had a second job for it where I was relocating a concrete tank. The price between 20 and 25 was not a lot. If I had to have a complete guess, I would be surprised if it cost more then say $1500 to get the planer loaded onto a truck that is if a Franna can drag it out and into a suitable lifting position.

    I would agree with the others that it is in all likelihood the best condition planer in the country. Probably the last to ever come here.
    Gold, the colour of choice for the discerning person.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Western NSW
    Posts
    518

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by .RC. View Post
    Mark, have you considered hiring skates from a hire company like Coates? Although your crane company will probably have a set anyway.

    The biggest Franna is a 25 tonne model. The next size down I think is a 20 tonne. I think Phil used a 20 tonner to get that big grinder lifted into a container. I used 25 tonner to lift my grinder off the truck, but that was because I had a second job for it where I was relocating a concrete tank. The price between 20 and 25 was not a lot. If I had to have a complete guess, I would be surprised if it cost more then say $1500 to get the planer loaded onto a truck that is if a Franna can drag it out and into a suitable lifting position.

    I would agree with the others that it is in all likelihood the best condition planer in the country. Probably the last to ever come here.
    I could hire the skates but I will need them when I get home anyway as it will go in the old shed next to the new shed. Will then skate it through to the new shed when it is ready. A lot of stuff to move to get it in the shed though.
    The uncertainty about the weight is a slight concern. Will be interested to see what the crane company think about the weight. I like the idea of a franna lifting one end and dragging it up to the carpark but would have to turn it around first. Plenty of ways to skin a cat and I sort of like dealing with these problems.

    Richard I remember telling you when you brought the slideway grinder that the pain of buying and moving the machine fade quickly when the machine is in place but the regret of not buying it lasts a lifetime. Thought of that when I was looking at it even though there were lots of reasons why I shouldn't buy it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Australia east coast
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    67
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    2,601

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    Quote Originally Posted by markgray View Post
    Richard I remember telling you when you brought the slideway grinder that the pain of buying and moving the machine fade quickly when the machine is in place but the regret of not buying it lasts a lifetime. Thought of that when I was looking at it even though there were lots of reasons why I shouldn't buy it.
    Yeah - until the cost of moving it goes well over 5 figures, then one thinks twice....

    Which is why that machine isn't on its way to Hobart. Had the freight and rigging bill been somewhat less, it probably would have been. Getting stuff across Bass Strait is a real deal killer.

    I'm happy that you bought it and it wasn't scrapped, that's for sure. It has to be one of the best condition and modern planers in existence. A work of art in its own right.

    Not to worry though, I just picked up a rusty Alba/Invicta 4M shaper including table brace with original rotating base shaper vise, for $60, delivered. Pity about the flight rust, though. Not to mention that I sold my last shaper because I never used it.....

    PDW

  14. #14
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    Mar 2014
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    South of Adelaide
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    688

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    The user "Tyrone Shoelaces" over on practical machinist might know what that planer would weigh, he's had a lot to do with big English iron. We have a mill at work that is similar size and beefyness, I think it weighs 18T.

  15. #15
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    Mar 2012
    Location
    Western NSW
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    518

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapatap View Post
    The user "Tyrone Shoelaces" over on practical machinist might know what that planer would weigh, he's had a lot to do with big English iron. We have a mill at work that is similar size and beefyness, I think it weighs 18T.
    The owner thinks he remembers the weight at 20T when it was delivered years ago. Since then it has had the big DC motor/generator removed. It doesn't look more than 15T but these big machines can be deceiving. My truck with the crane attached max's out at 17t so if it weighs more than that we need to start removing things. At that stage it becomes not much fun and time consuming. Unfortunately I won't know till the crane picks it up.

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