Small Homebuilt Gantry Cranes
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.
TMT, Check your PM's I live near there, let me know if I could help somehow.
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.
Last edited by Forrest Addy; 02-06-2010 at 08:47 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.
I just finished designing and building this gantry myself.
Strike a pose Doozer! Man, I feel like Atlas.
My friend Jim C. keeping an eye in things.
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.
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.
Last edited by Doozer; 02-06-2010 at 09:52 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?
If the situation is wright this is what I did to mine.
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.
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.
Originally Posted by Doozer
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). ;<)