PDA

View Full Version : Small Homebuilt Gantry Cranes



Too_Many_Tools
02-06-2010, 05:08 PM
I would be interested in seeing examples of small homebuilt gantry cranes that HSMers have built to load/unload equipment.

I am especially interested in seeing examples that are easily setup and broken down by one man.

Thanks

TMT

hoof
02-06-2010, 07:27 PM
TMT, Check your PM's I live near there, let me know if I could help somehow.

Hoof

Forrest Addy
02-06-2010, 08:26 PM
TMT: Years ago, I built a "lifting horse" (essentially wooden saw horse) about 11 ft to the 10 ft long 4 x 8 beam, and 4 x 4 legs braced with 2 x 4 struts to triangulate the corners. I used one to lift a 3000 lb turret mill and any number of lesser loads. Once the lifting horse (It needs to be mobil to be a gantry) made one can assemble it on the ground and raise it in increments to set on its feet, shift it into position, and stand in a pick-up bed and rig it with a chain or lever hoist.

It cannot be made mobil with casters because the wood legs are too tender. You have to back the load under the hoist lift, drive away the truck, and set the load on the ground for moving on rollers, pallet jack, etc.

Cranes are for lifting heavy expensive weights and so are wrapped in safety mytique. Insurance companies require that cranes covered under the usual commercial liability policies have to pass load and operational certification tests. Just because the crane is home-made and in infrequent use in a home shop does not mean the builder can disregard safety and common sense engineering principles. Work safely, you lurkers.

chipmaker4130
02-06-2010, 08:28 PM
Well, I built mine with the rails permanently mounted to the long walls. It can reach any part of the shop and never needs to be broken down. If you're interested in that type I'll take a photo.

Doozer
02-06-2010, 09:24 PM
I just finished designing and building this gantry myself.
Strike a pose Doozer! Man, I feel like Atlas.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i169/kooldoozer/Machines%20and%20Stuff/SDC10920.jpg
My friend Jim C. keeping an eye in things.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i169/kooldoozer/Machines%20and%20Stuff/SDC10921.jpg

14 feet under the beam and 12 feet wide.
Beam is 8 x 4 S-section.
Those pics were taken yesterday.
Today I re-mounted the hand winches to the bottom,
to make it easier to crank up without going up and
down ladders. It is a one man setup operation.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i169/kooldoozer/Machines%20and%20Stuff/SDC10918.jpg

Jin pole with electric winch shown in the goosneck of the trailer.
This is to lift the 14' main posts, which weigh 130 lbs each.
Main posts are 4" (measured) sch 40 galvanized pipe.
The beam has pockets that allow it to be set atop the bases
for transporting it. In this mode, the bases can swivel.
I rated the capacity at 2 tons.

--Doozer

Forrest Addy
02-06-2010, 11:01 PM
What's all that white stuff? Here in he Pacific NW we got sun and the trees are budding.

Nice set up. Have you load tested it?

digr
02-06-2010, 11:11 PM
If the situation is wright this (http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4532) is what I did to mine.

The Artful Bodger
02-06-2010, 11:23 PM
Guess I am just a worry wart but I do get concerned when I see gantrys with castors. This is what I see in my over-active imagination:-

Lift something heavy then try to move the gantry, lets say sideways, it goes well to start with until one castor hits something like a pebble or a crack in the concrete then the weight of the load puts a sudden and severe side load on the gantry and those top corners buckle sending the whole lot onto the ground.

Dan Dubeau
02-07-2010, 12:07 AM
What about using a spring loaded caster. you know the kind they have in home depot on the portable step ladders. the ones that you grab to get what you need off the top shelf after you've been walking around the store trying to locate an "associate" for 20 minutes, and as soon as you grab the ladder to do it yourself 10 experts with orange bibs pop out of the woodwork.:D

Too_Many_Tools
02-07-2010, 12:20 AM
I just finished designing and building this gantry myself.
Strike a pose Doozer! Man, I feel like Atlas.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i169/kooldoozer/Machines%20and%20Stuff/SDC10920.jpg
My friend Jim C. keeping an eye in things.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i169/kooldoozer/Machines%20and%20Stuff/SDC10921.jpg

14 feet under the beam and 12 feet wide.
Beam is 8 x 4 S-section.
Those pics were taken yesterday.
Today I re-mounted the hand winches to the bottom,
to make it easier to crank up without going up and
down ladders. It is a one man setup operation.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i169/kooldoozer/Machines%20and%20Stuff/SDC10918.jpg

Jin pole with electric winch shown in the goosneck of the trailer.
This is to lift the 14' main posts, which weigh 130 lbs each.
Main posts are 4" (measured) sch 40 galvanized pipe.
The beam has pockets that allow it to be set atop the bases
for transporting it. In this mode, the bases can swivel.
I rated the capacity at 2 tons.

--Doozer


Nice job.

I am still puzzled how you get that I-beam up in the air by yourself.

And how do you balance the two vertical posts while mounting the I-beam to them?

Perhaps a sequence of pictures showing you assembling and disassembling the gantry crane is in order (hint, hint). ;<)

TMT

Doozer
02-07-2010, 01:11 AM
http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i169/kooldoozer/Machines%20and%20Stuff/SDC10907.jpg

Ok, this might explain some. The winch is now mounted to
the legs, so envision it not there. Anyhow, the 4" channel
is used to provide weld points to attach the beam to the
4 1/2" pipe. The legs are also 4 1/2" pipe (where the angle
iron braces are welded). The 4" channel also serves to
capture and hold together the pipe welded to the beam and
the pipe of the base legs. You can see there is a split, it
is not one piece of pipe. The split is in the middle of the two
pieces of channel. The beam is just set up on the legs and the
4" channel keeps it all together. The bases are free to rotate
for steering the whole assembly until the pins are put in the
raised beam. The 14 foot 4" pipe poles fit
inside the 4 1/2" pipe welded to the beam and the 4 1/2"
pipe the is part of the legs. The semi-difficult parts are
lifting the beam (180 lbs) on to the base legs and inserting
the 14 foot long, 4" poles (130 lbs ea.) into the 4 1/2" beam
pockets/base legs. This is where the jin pole with the electric
winch is handy. It fits into the goosneck hitch of the trailer.
The bases stay balanced and upright during this process
because they have 4 casters.

--Doozer

Your Old Dog
02-07-2010, 07:14 AM
What about using a spring loaded caster. you know the kind they have in home depot on the portable step ladders. the ones that you grab to get what you need off the top shelf after you've been walking around the store trying to locate an "associate" for 20 minutes, and as soon as you grab the ladder to do it yourself 10 experts with orange bibs pop out of the woodwork.:D

I use angle iron wheel chocks on my engine lift when I'm worried about it moving unexpectedly.

Cousin Doozer, nice crane. Cousin Dog will have to remember that over here in Strykersville ! :D

luthor
02-07-2010, 07:28 AM
If I understand this correctly, the load is taken on the two thru bolts each side, is this correct?

Weston Bye
02-07-2010, 07:36 AM
Guess I am just a worry wart but I do get concerned when I see gantrys with castors. This is what I see in my over-active imagination:-

Lift something heavy then try to move the gantry, lets say sideways, it goes well to start with until one castor hits something like a pebble or a crack in the concrete then the weight of the load puts a sudden and severe side load on the gantry and those top corners buckle sending the whole lot onto the ground.

Your overactive imagination is spot on. A former brother-in-law did something similar. Tipped the rig over forward and sent the crossbar of the gantry across the windshield of his pickup truck.

aboard_epsilon
02-07-2010, 08:28 AM
i had pics and plans ..
they were on a drive i lost ..
if anyone has saved them they have permision to post them again .

all the best.markj

aboard_epsilon
02-07-2010, 08:44 AM
heres my plans..thanks to MR Roache ..buggered if i can find a pic of the whoile thing

quote=JRouche]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v366/Jrouche/aboard_epsilon/TOPSOCKETS.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v366/Jrouche/aboard_epsilon/LIFTINGEYE.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v366/Jrouche/aboard_epsilon/FOOTPLATE.jpg[/quote]

Doozer
02-07-2010, 08:46 AM
"If I understand this correctly, the load is taken on the two thru bolts
each side, is this correct?"

Yes, that is correct. Actually there are 3 bolts per side, the 2 that you
see in that pic and there is another one in the poles only, that the
beam pocket just sits on. The 2 that you see lock in the bases from
rotation. If you just put in the bolt that the end pocket sits on, the bases
can still rotate. Basically this is so you can get the beam cranked
up to the top, put in the bottom-most pin, then take the slack off the
hand winches and move the bases into alignment.

--Doozer

Farbmeister
02-07-2010, 09:40 AM
I would not use the gantry shown by the OP.

The height of those legs is very concerning. Look into slenderness ratio (how tall a column can be vs its cross section). Also, the beam should be moved on top of the shortened legs rather that be welded to the side. You are putting a rotating moment on the legs that are to long with wheels on the bottom.

There is a program called 'beamboy' that can show you loads and deflections that will result.

Alistair Hosie
02-07-2010, 11:53 AM
Looking good doozer the boozer man you look so taLL all the way up in the air:D Alistair

JoeFin
02-07-2010, 12:40 PM
Not to be "crapping" all over your design Doozer, but personally I would have went for some thing cantilevered with multiple support legs. At least that was my 1st impression when I looked at yours

I found this in about 1 minute of googleing around

http://imghost1.indiamart.com/data2/PH/XI/MY-1002749/6mobile-gantry-crane-500x500.jpg

As you can see here - even the "World's Largest Gantry Crane" employs a multiple leg design

http://lh3.ggpht.com/abramsv/SHBq6MLijnI/AAAAAAAAU-Q/nnsQOfRbQPc/s640/239084159_ee65a97cc2_o.jpg

Granted yours stores away much more efficiently - some thing of Major Concern for the HSM. But when these things fail they do it all at once, meaning there is little or no warning, and all to often little or no time to get out of the way.

hardtail
02-07-2010, 01:35 PM
For home Mickey D's is hard to beat............

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=30862&page=3

Incidentally I put 6 heavy swivel castors on my gantry at home and unloaded my mill and lathe, the lathe was 4800#'s and the legs shot outward at one point.......fortunately all the welding held but the top has a lil sag in the pipe now........the results could have been disastrous for both machine and men. I wouldn't put swivels on every castor again.

Doozer
02-07-2010, 02:37 PM
I don't mind critiques and criticisms about my gantry at all.
I welcome others thoughts and experiences on the subject.
I did keep in mind column loading and side loading.
It is fairly easy to see why I put the pipe pockets next to
the beam instead of underneath it, as to allow it to be hand
winched up. The side loading and no right angle gussets I
did think about. I have had a much smaller gantry rack on
me (pulling out shrubberies in the landscaping!) so I know
it has to resist sideways components. I believe the beam
side pockets are attached and welded very well, and I know
that an angle brace that spreads out the force would be
better, it will be sufficiently strong for its intended use.
Actually having the beam pockets on the side rather than
underneath the beam adds considerable sideways stability
if you think in terms of force vectors. That is why I am
not worried about side forces with this set up.
I do have a Dillon force gauge, and I am going to try an
lift the trailer with the gantry and load it up, just to see if I
get any creeks and groans. I did a Google search on
Gantry Pics and I did see the one tubular one posted above.
It looks a bit overkill for 2 tons, but you never know what
factors the designer was planning for. I hope this inspires
some ideas for you all.
--Doozer

CCWKen
02-07-2010, 04:06 PM
I build my gantry a few years ago and had it certified at 2-tons. (Not the power lift.) No offence but I'd be leery of going over 500lbs on yours. Center loading on your beam will do funny stress things to your posts. There's no way that thing will safely hold two tons. Sorry.

As far as rollers on a gantry; I have rollers. If they are used for the intended purpose there's no problem. They are NOT meant for use to move a loaded gantry. The wheels are used to position the gantry over the load or to facilitate storage. Nothing more. For sure, the rollers need to be able to support the gross weight though.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/CCWKen/ToolBox/Trolley%20Lift/TrolleyBracets04.jpg

hardtail
02-07-2010, 05:29 PM
Ken has some wise words........thats exactly when I got into trouble with mine I was trying to move the lathe still hanging on the hook........up to that point the gantry had done it's job properly. We couldn't get the lathe to it's final setup place with the gantry anyway just trying to save time rolling on pipes so really did nothing but stress the ol gal needlessly.

Another point was I would say 2 tons would have been the cranes previous safety margin, I had a 5 ton chainfall on it and knew the lathes weight.......never have more hoist than crane. I bought that hoist to lift diesel engines and was going to build a proper 5 ton gantry, trouble was lathe showed up before gantry was built.

Doozer mine has a center support like yours with bottom bracing, but yours is even taller, I would be very cautious getting a feel for that thing the first few times you use it.......make sure your on level ground too.

Doozer
02-07-2010, 06:11 PM
My heaviest machine is the Gorton 9-J which is 3000 lbs.
I will take everyone's cautionary words to heart and use
the gantry with care, which goes without saying anyways.
--Doozer

John Stevenson
02-07-2010, 06:38 PM
Doozer,

We had a commercial gantry made of H section beams, all welded with a single post either side like yours.

We used this to just lift truck cabs off then roll the truck back, never mover the gantry with a load on so never had any problems.

Insurance company came round one time on an inspection and went ape, told us we had to get rid of it.

.

Too_Many_Tools
02-07-2010, 06:53 PM
I don't mind critiques and criticisms about my gantry at all.
I welcome others thoughts and experiences on the subject.
I did keep in mind column loading and side loading.
It is fairly easy to see why I put the pipe pockets next to
the beam instead of underneath it, as to allow it to be hand
winched up. The side loading and no right angle gussets I
did think about. I have had a much smaller gantry rack on
me (pulling out shrubberies in the landscaping!) so I know
it has to resist sideways components. I believe the beam
side pockets are attached and welded very well, and I know
that an angle brace that spreads out the force would be
better, it will be sufficiently strong for its intended use.
Actually having the beam pockets on the side rather than
underneath the beam adds considerable sideways stability
if you think in terms of force vectors. That is why I am
not worried about side forces with this set up.
I do have a Dillon force gauge, and I am going to try an
lift the trailer with the gantry and load it up, just to see if I
get any creeks and groans. I did a Google search on
Gantry Pics and I did see the one tubular one posted above.
It looks a bit overkill for 2 tons, but you never know what
factors the designer was planning for. I hope this inspires
some ideas for you all.
--Doozer


Any idea how much you will test it to?

Anyone know what the ?x load factor should be?

TMT

Too_Many_Tools
02-07-2010, 06:58 PM
Well, I built mine with the rails permanently mounted to the long walls. It can reach any part of the shop and never needs to be broken down. If you're interested in that type I'll take a photo.

Yes..please post pictures.

Thanks

TMT

Too_Many_Tools
02-07-2010, 07:00 PM
I just finished designing and building this gantry myself.
Strike a pose Doozer! Man, I feel like Atlas.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i169/kooldoozer/Machines%20and%20Stuff/SDC10920.jpg
My friend Jim C. keeping an eye in things.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i169/kooldoozer/Machines%20and%20Stuff/SDC10921.jpg

14 feet under the beam and 12 feet wide.
Beam is 8 x 4 S-section.
Those pics were taken yesterday.
Today I re-mounted the hand winches to the bottom,
to make it easier to crank up without going up and
down ladders. It is a one man setup operation.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i169/kooldoozer/Machines%20and%20Stuff/SDC10918.jpg

Jin pole with electric winch shown in the goosneck of the trailer.
This is to lift the 14' main posts, which weigh 130 lbs each.
Main posts are 4" (measured) sch 40 galvanized pipe.
The beam has pockets that allow it to be set atop the bases
for transporting it. In this mode, the bases can swivel.
I rated the capacity at 2 tons.

--Doozer

Thanks again for posting your gantry crane...it is appreciated.

Any idea how you would erect the crane without the trailer assist?

TMT

Doozer
02-07-2010, 07:44 PM
When you guys respond and quote my post, it re-displays my pictures
and that drives the bandwidth of my Photobucket account off the map.
I hope my bandwidth limit does not exceed allotment and the pics go
bye bye. If that happens, that would be the reason why. Then
Photobucket suspends viewing them until the next month.

As to erecting my gantry without my trailer, a few lifts of scaffold
would also work. My dad is a contractor, and has enough scaffold
to go up 6 stories or so. Lifting the beam onto the base legs means
lifting 180 lbs 4 feet high. Two good guys or an engine picker could
do this. As could a Hoyer lift. The main poles weigh 130 lbs each,
and need to be inserted into the beam pockets vertically, about 5
feet off the ground. A 14 foot hoisting point is about what I used
to set up the main poles. This is where a scaffold would come in.

--Doozer

J Tiers
02-07-2010, 08:41 PM
I can see teh issues that prior posters brought up, and I am not sure that this was covered.......

The stability against collapsing sideways seems small. No reinforcement of the very small lever arm the beam has on the posts. that long post and short connection look like nothing so much as a conduit bending device!

Then also I understand you winch up the crossbar. That means the posts must be a somewhat loose fit? Even if subsequently bolted, it just looks out of proportion, I think the posts will be bent easily by the beam connection if any substantial weight is put on and has a side force.

The other direction also, although there is reinforcement, the posts are very long, with a somewhat similar effect.

I would not use it in its present height, although I believe it could be shortened and very likely be a good useful device, especially if the beam tubes are lengthened and substantial gussets or bracing added.

Too_Many_Tools
02-26-2010, 12:10 AM
I thought I would bump his discussion up so encourage anyone else who would like to post pictures of their gantry cranes.

Thanks for any additions.

TMT

hardtail
02-26-2010, 01:26 AM
I should have pics of unloading the new mill in 2 days..........