Linear Motion – How Do You Move Articles of Antiquity?

Linear Motion Application – How Do You Move Articles of Antiquity?

Very Carefully With A High Load Rail System from LM76!

Linear Motion - Moving Articles of Antiquity using LM76 Rail System

LM76 - Linear Motion

E. Longmeadow, MA – — The Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) has to move articles of antiquity from one location to another. In this instance, they are moving a 5000 year old relief (hieroglyphics) weighing 8000 pounds to a new location in the Museum. Here is a frontal photo of the Relief from The Tomb of Senenuka.

Part of wall from tomb of Senenuka; nine stones fitting together and including two niches; lower left piece smooth limestone; upper far left preliminary black ink sketch; right of this sketch is a complete relief showing two seated figures; central piece has large scene of seated male on the left and other smaller male figure to the right; upper far right male figure relief outline; left of this again a scene of two seated figures at a table.

Senenuka Time of Khufu or Khafre (Maybe Dyn 5?) Overseer of the Pyramid-town of Khufu, Director of King’s wad-priests, Boundary official of a settlement, etc.

The MFA contracted CBI Consulting of Boston to design the frame and fixturing. Craig Barnes, an award winning architectural engineer called Mike Quinn of LM76 to review the linear motion application. Over the course of several weeks, LM76 and design partner Todd Kanipe designed a telescoping, high load roller/linear motion rail system that won approval. According to CBI’s Keith Bouchard, the linear rail system moves very smoothly and so far meets the expectations of this program.”

Linear Motion Application – According to MFA Antiquity Specialist Jean Louis Lachevere, “All of these moves present very real dangers to the artifact being transported. In this case, we have a 8000 pound relief which already has its problems due to age and the fact that it is limestone ( limestone is very vulnerable to the atmosphere ).” Seen from the front, the relief is straight. From the back, much of the top back is gone. Thus, the back of the relief has to be plastered so the back is flat. Pins are inserted to further reinforce the relief and then it is tipped on its back. It is then moved to its new atmospherically controlled display case. LM76’s design is used in the transfer from the dolly to the mounting rails and restraints in the display case. This 36” motion is fraught with things that can go wrong. One of the considerations is the possibility of an earthquake…any problem conceivable is taken into account.

Motion Control  - Moving Articles of Antiquity using High Load Rail SystemCastors and sliders at end of armature. The sliders are mounted to the castors and work like telescoping drawer slides.


Linear Motion - High Load Rail System Moves Articles of AntiquityCastors and sliders as seen from below. The chalk X is used to mark the block where added weld is required. Each block is to be welded both sides. Each slider is to be addressed.


Motion Control Challenge - Moving Articles of Antiquity!Photo demonstrates that the wheels can rotate independently.



Moving Articles of Antiquity with High Load Rail SystemView of the slider assembly at the center of the welded fixture.






For Additional Information on LM76’s High Load Rail Systems go to:

Founded in 1976, LM76 has been a leading designer/manufacturer of linear bearings, slides and linear motion systems. LM76 is renowned for its industry leading Minuteman Teflon® Composite linear bearings. LM76 is a leading supplier of precision linear shafting: RC60, 300 Series Stainless Steel, and ceramic-coated aluminum shafting. LM76 also offers several FDA/USDA compliant linear bearings and slides for the food processing, pharmaceutical, medical, and packaging industries.

For additional information contact Mike Quinn at: LM76, 140 Industrial Dr., E. Longmeadow, MA 01028; Telephone: 413-525-4166, Fax: 413-525-3735 or E-Mail: or visit the website at


Powered by WordPress and ThemeMag