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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Sydney, NSW
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    64

    Default Lifting heavy things in workshop

    I'm curious as to what, if any, people's solutions are for lifting and shifting around things they are making in the workshop, considering how heavy most of the timber is we use? I'm always struggling to move, flip over, etc. Block and tackle from roof beams? Or just good old physics and muscle? I've recently moved in to a new place, and with that a new garage/workshop, so have gone through the setup of things again, and just thought something like a block and tackle from the roof could be very useful.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Berowra Waters
    Posts
    1,522

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghallahad View Post
    I'm curious as to what, if any, people's solutions are for lifting and shifting around things they are making in the workshop, considering how heavy most of the timber is we use? I'm always struggling to move, flip over, etc. Block and tackle from roof beams? Or just good old physics and muscle? I've recently moved in to a new place, and with that a new garage/workshop, so have gone through the setup of things again, and just thought something like a block and tackle from the roof could be very useful.
    My next shed is having one of these: Overhead Crane 3.0 T | Miscellaneous Goods | Gumtree Australia Newcastle Area - Newcastle | 1282916852

    Best option and no need to keep floor area clear for forklifts etc. cheap too.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    26,170

    Default

    One way to reduce the effort is to fill your shed with so much gear you simply cannot fit large pieces of anything in there.

    The most obvious way to move heavy things is to get help, but I realise this is not always available for many people, and I have this independent streak which often causes me to attempt lifts beyond my capability.
    The heaviest thing I have made recently ie with the shed is at its most crowded, has been 1.6m long workbench with a solid slab top weighting bout 40kg. I could just lift the bench top by myself but I moved it with help of my mate who we were making the bench for. My neighbours are also extremely helpful, one youngish beefy neighbour in particular works from home so he's mostly around all day and he has helped me quite a bit. He often comes in and just lifts the thing by himself

    I make a lot of use of a basic sack trolley with solid rubber wheels, and after a lot of practice milling slabs for about 13 years I found I could use one to move 100kg slabs but that is outside the shed and I doubt my back could cope with that sort of weight these days. At the timber milling yard there are now two fork lifts available which means no more using sack trolleys to move slabs
    Inside the shed I use a sack trolley to move things like electric motors and even some smaller machines.

    I also have made a couple of basic low trolleys (4 castors attached to a sheet of melamine or ply) that I use from time to time. I have a serious hefty lab vacuum pump that weighs about 45kg that I sometimes move from under the house to the shed and back.

    I bought a hydraulic lift trolley for my 32kg SCMS so I could easily store it under the LHS wing of my TS. It's also been really useful for lifting heavy electric motors up to bench height levels

    The most awkward thing for me is moving large pieces like slabs and sheet goods, usually from my van down the ~50m long narrow footpath alongside the house. For this I use the 600mm wide by 1.5m long wheeled bas I removed from my Dust extractor as it now sits inside and enclosure outside my shed. I added a couple of vertical metal pipe to one side and lean the goods up against those and wheel it round to the shed. I also used it in 2017 to move my 230kg metal milling machine but it's not been quite the same since and may have retire it and if so, will look to make a purposed built trolley for this purpose.

    At the mens shed two of the most useful lifting gismos was a pallet lifter for moving machinery. We got it for $100 and it lasted for about 4 years before the HD rubber wheels disintegrated. I think the decided to sell it as is and got $100 for it! The other lifter is a manual forklift that can lift 400kg I believe they still have it although it has suffered some abuse. Not cheap though.

    My WW and MW bandsaws, planer/thicknesser and surface plate bench are on wheels and I've used a set of 700 mm long galv water pipes to move other machines.
    Some of my machines have HDPE feet so they can be slid around easily on teh concrete floor.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    moonbi nsw Aus
    Age
    67
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    1,966

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    I had an opportunity to get 2 RSJs about 4.5m long. A mate had them and asked if they were any use to me. As my father used to say "if you get offered anything take even if you don't have an immediate use for it". One is 172mm high while the other is 200mm. I "glued them together makin sure they were straight and flat then lifted them into position ("on my own") using an endless chain. I have forgotten how I managed it but I know I was on my own. So with the RSJs welded to the apex of the shed frame I made a girder trolley to take a 1tonne chain block.
    I don't use it a lot but it is so handy when I do. I wanted to change the motor on my drill press. I got the DP under the RSJ attached a road as a sling and did the change over without getting a sweat. When I bought home my SCM Panel Saw (weighs in at around 1Tonne)I backed the trailer into the shed put an Acro prop under the RSJ (for assurance) then lifted the machine and drove out from underneath. Once on terra firmer it was just a matter of pushing the machine to its place on short bits of pipe.

    I added a 6mtr carport in front of the shed and added an RSJ to its trussed. Boy it has come in handy during the on-going Jeep project. I can easily shift around the Jeep tub of chassis on my own safely. When I mill logs with the chainsaw mill I use the endless chain of the carport to maneuver the pieces into position.

    I was 28 when we moved here and used to move awkward things about. If I couldn't move something with a wheel barrow, bag trolley it couldn't be moved (yeh read into here stubborn, independant impatient... )

    On Sunday last I put my foot into a hole and badly sprained my ankle so have been hobbling around the house since. My stupid brain told me I could easily cut the grass because the mower is a walk-behind self propelled jobby. I had to severely reprimand myself for being so dopey
    Just do it!

    Kind regards Rod

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Gold Coast
    Age
    68
    Posts
    2,522

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    In my last 2 story house there was a good size RSJ beam holding up the floor joists for the rooms above the 2 car garage I used as a workshop. I had a girder clamp that I use to hang a variety of lifting things off it. I managed with a rope through carabiners, a boat winch and a come-along puller at various times to lift different stuff. A block and tackle would have been good but has to be stored somewhere when not in use. When I moved to a single story house I rented an engine crane to move stuff off the trailer into my new garage workshop.

    (p.s. Like the others above, bloody minded, independent, don't ask for assistance I'll do it myself with some Heath Robinson construction. )
    Franklin

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    3,655

    Default

    Assistance from mates is best. Too heavy, then more mates needed.

    Otherwise, I use a "come along winch" to both drag stuff across the floor and to lift stuff using lifting eyes in ceiling joists.

    Warning: I would never trust those "pretend winches" from the super-discounters.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    26,170

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    A friend of mine worked as an engineer for an international Scientific instrument maker and they delivered a 1 ton instrument to a Uni lab in Beijing.
    When he arrived for the installation the instrument was still in parts in crates, as he had to sign off on the location, electrical/AC/water cooling Services etc.
    The location was approved but the engineer said, moving it down there could be difficult as location is a basement only accessible via 2 flights of steep, narrow stairs.
    The chief Chinese technician said no problem - we will have it in place tomorrow morning, and sure enough when he got there next day all the parts were in the basement.
    Approx 650 kg of the instrument (electronics, vacuum pumps, tubing etc all came apart so was able to be be carried down in pieces, but the engineer couldn't understand how they got the 350kg electromagnet down there. It turned out they dragooned the Uni weight lifting team and half a dozen thick bamboo poles and suspended the magnet from a rope cradle and just carried it down. Getting around the stair corner was tricky but they assisted that stage by taking the weight with ropes from above.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Alexandra Vic
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,697

    Default

    Have had a 1.25T battery powered pedestrian fork lift for 12 years, cost $700 at the time with a decent set of batteries in it, has gone through a couple of sets of car batteries since. Also have a 2T pallet jack for things where space is a bit tight for the fork. Finally got everything out of storage end of last year and into new barn, used the fork to load and bought a H&F 1T mobile gantry kit for unloading, so now have all three. Anything I have made for shop since I got the fork has been set up so that there is clearance underneath substantial beams in the frames so I can use the fork or pallet trolley to move things for rearranging layouts or just cleaning and vacuuming. Obviously all of above only works with a big area to move in, but is more or less essential for me as I am a loner without access for mates to help shift things, and body is slowly deteriorating, limiting my lifting, lugging and shoving ability. I also have a collection of piano and 2 wheel sack trolleys for moving finished things around.
    I used to be an engineer, I'm not an engineer any more, but on the really good days I can remember when I was.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Not far enough away from Melbourne
    Posts
    3,955

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    I have had an engine crane for quite a while. It was great when I moved house last time. It got all the machines into the trailer. I also put all my timber on pallets and loaded them with the engine crane too. That allowed me to have the timber on pallets in the weeks prior to the removal and I could take my time restacking them in the new shed afterwards, but managed to shift everything in a long weekend, including the household furniture and effects.

    I keep my anvil and its stump on a dolley and use the engine crane to lift it on and off as required for use. The dolley allows me to shift the anvil into tight corners where it could not be put with just the engine crane. The engine crane is pneumatic over hydraulic so the compressor does all the lifting. The engine crane made putting the cast iron head assembly on my new Nova Voyager drill press an easy one man job.

    I recently made a height adjustable combination assembly/infeed-outfeed table. The core of the table is an electric sit/stand desk frame which can lift 100kg. It adjusts from 70cm to 120cm in height at the push of a button, low enough to be used with the thicknesser and room to spare for use with the drill press, the two extremes of height I need for any infeed-outfeed support. This table is on casters so I can, for example, wheel the table to a low shelf and drag a heavy object onto it, wheel it to the workbench, raise it to workbench height and slide it onto the bench. Then I can put it back the same way.
    If you ask me what I am doing on a particular day and I say I am doing nothing, it does not mean I am available. It means I am doing nothing.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sth Gippsland Vic
    Posts
    3,128

    Default

    Block and tackle off the roof is good for furniture. Not the machinery . I have some Chain ones hanging where I lift sections of machines off . Taking apart for restoration. Or for helping lift heavy furniture onto the trailer . It hangs at the first beam in from the roller door . Iíve also hit a rolling A frame which is a pain getting in and out when I need it .
    For furniture I use a rope block and tackle . Iíve got a pair of these. Made them in 2007 from Jarrah , Elm , steel and Bronze . I put this up just a few months ago for this Oak table I was making . Havenít used it for about 7 years .

    85EA64A6-44F6-4222-829D-2A7D4841E12E.jpeg 3763D58E-FD41-446F-A2F8-01E4A7BBE291.jpg 5758152D-5E33-4FF9-8C60-E25CB731BD90.jpeg

    This table had to go up and down so many times through final assembly and polishing I lost count . Couldnít have done it waiting for a lift from someone . Once the top was on Me and the rope B&T could only just get it up and down. Any heavier and it would have needed the chain B&T put up there .

    Hereís the link to the Jarrah Block and Tackle build .

    Jarrah Block and tackle set


    Rob .

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    The Fabulous Gold-plated Coast.
    Age
    67
    Posts
    3,743

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    I have reinforced a roof truss in the garage and put a manhole in the ceiling below it. I mounted an electric winch so that I can hoist heavy stuff into the attic for (probably permanent) storage. I aim to use it for machinery repair too.

    I have a pallet jack for machinery moving and a Cablift 1500 for 100kg loads. (Auction score when Bosch closed in Melbourne years ago).

    When we lived in Melbourne I made a mobile gantry crane with telescoping legs and hydraulic cylinders to extend it from garage door height to 3 metres high. I might make another one as I found it incredibly useful.

    If I ever get rich I would like a Barth scissor lift table to feed panels to the saw.
    It's all part of the service here at The House of Painô

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    26,170

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Q View Post
    I have reinforced a roof truss in the garage and put a manhole in the ceiling below it. I mounted an electric winch so that I can hoist heavy stuff into the attic for (probably permanent) storage. I aim to use it for machinery repair too. .
    I built a loft/attic in our steep roofed house with access via a 150kg rated Al folding ladder.
    We use into store all manner of stuff but mainly camping gear.
    Carrying anything large/heavy up the ladder was very awkward so I rigged up a set of 20mm PVC irrigation pipe "rails" that sit on top of the ladder and an MDF carriage/box that slides on the PVC. Lift is provided by a small removable manual boat winch. Works a treat.

    These photos were back when it was first built - now its absolutely "chocka"!
    Loft1s.jpg
    Loft2s.jpg
    Loft3s.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Ringwood, VIC
    Posts
    449

    Default

    I put this together recently to lift my lathe onto a new stand.
    It was so easy im thinking of making it a fixture.

    20211003_180205.jpg

    I have a length of 4" rsj which ought to fit nicely down the centre. (my shed is pretty small, only 10x17 (feet). And a girder trolley of some sort.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Sunshine Coast
    Posts
    78

    Default

    For flexibility I have a cherry picker. I originally bought it to lift the lathe (which was about 800lbs). Since then I've used it to mount a few very larger turpentine stumps on the lathe, carry and load an 8" jointer, and a few other very heavy items. Benefit is it's compact and takes up little foot print when not in use, doesn't cost much and is on wheels so you can move the items arounds as you see fit. I.e. I used it to lift the 8" jointer in and out of a van and rolled into the shop... Says it will lift 1000kg.

    Draw back to them is they don't like 20mm or greater lips. Could be fixed by putting much larger wheels on it though

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Box Hill
    Age
    64
    Posts
    113

    Default

    I think all of the cheap lifting devices that you can buy are so cheap and really great. And most say they comply with AS whatever which is a very far cry from being certified.
    Anyway my point is that design engineers canít even come close to design and get certified half cheap imports. I think itís great that hoists etc are so cheap but do remember what you are getting would not even come close to what be required to comply with Aust standards.

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