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Thread: Anybody ever made a home-made elevator or cargo hoist ??

  1. #11
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    Jan 2013
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    Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_the_Chemist View Post
    I find myself less enamored of lugging heavy boxes up the stairs in the house and to the loft in the shop... Any hints, tips, etc?
    Have you considered a small Trebuchet?

  2. #12
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    Mar 2008
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    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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    I've designed a number of marine railways for a customer. Marine railways are generally not very steep. They are fairly short, used to pull your boat up out of the water for winter. One of the things I found, was that on any lifting device that has a shallow incline, you can't depend on gravity to return the carriage to the bottom of the railway. I ended up using a pulley at the bottom end and the motor/gearbox/winch drum at the high end, with the cable running in a continuous loop. When the winch drum was turning, it wound cable on from one side of the drum and paid it out from the other side. That way the carriage was pulled up the incline under power and returned to the bottom under power as well. Another aspect is the guidance for the carriage. Found that v-groove wheels running in a pair of inverted angles worked well. There has to be a bit of clearance, as the wheel rotates and can't be in contact with the upper and lower angle at the same time. If you don't want to spend the money on v-groove wheels, they can be turned quite nicely from a piece of oak.
    Brian Rupnow

  3. #13
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    Jan 2010
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    Germany
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    You can buy used forklift masts pretty cheap. For a lift in the shop it would be really easy to use one to make a lift to a second floor. Or you could look at one and get lots of ideas. They could easily be adapted to use a winch instead of hydraulics. I would use hydraulics and have it be rock solid.
    How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

  4. #14
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    Oct 2002
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    Kirkland, Washington
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    If you intend to build this into a house in an urban area, you had better check building codes.

  5. #15
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    Jun 2004
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    N.J.
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    If you need a lift for a straight run of steps inside the house, you could look a home/invalid stair lift being re-sold. Often see these at estate sales going for pennies after the homeowner has either passed or moved to assisted living home. Strip it to it's bare bones, so it doesn't"t eat up as much space, perhaps modify it fold up against the wall when not used.

  6. #16
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    Mar 2010
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    Metro Detroit
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    My mother bought an outside wheelchair lift for my (now late) father to use. My mother did not think of the slope on the driveway so it was very difficult for her to roll him (push slightly uphill) back the the chair lift. I think the lift was used less than 20 times. I've already mentioned that I have dibs on it after my mother dies (she might get use out of it in the future). This chair lift is an elevator that lifts 700 lbs about 4 ft. I plan to extend the rails, chain and wiring to the upper control so that I can use it to move my treasures (mostly heavy junk) in/out of my workshop garage attic. My mother paid about $6K for the chair lift and I am guessing if one was willing to search over a reasonably large area one might find a used one for say $1K to 1.5K. If you live in the middle of Wyoming (or similar), you might have to widen your search.

    I went to a living estate sale where the then retired contractor had his wood shop on the second floor of his large garage and he had a 5 x9 ft section of the floor that lowered down to the garage slab. I did not pay nearly enough attention to how he controlled the motion (I was too focused on what he was selling) - I do remember that there was a cable at each corner.



    Quote Originally Posted by reggie_obe View Post
    If you need a lift for a straight run of steps inside the house, you could look a home/invalid stair lift being re-sold. Often see these at estate sales going for pennies after the homeowner has either passed or moved to assisted living home. Strip it to it's bare bones, so it doesn't"t eat up as much space, perhaps modify it fold up against the wall when not used.

  7. #17

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    I built a crude one in the shop portion of my barn. I built a 2X4 foot box that hangs from a single cable. I used an HF winch (120V A/C) up in the rafters. I used framing to spread the weight over several trusses, plus vertical posts. I've tested it with 500 lbs., but never put more than about 200 on it. I have a rope tied to it to keep it from spinning when raising/lowering it. I made some brackets to secure the car in the 'up' position when not in use. Rather crude, but it sure beats hauling boxes up a 14' ladder. I already had the winch, so total cost was maybe $40.

  8. #18
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    Jun 2019
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    Actually I have built such a device, it was far more complicated then those described above. It cost the end user close to $20,000 but is working like a charm to this day.

  9. #19
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    Apr 2006
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    Northwest Missouri USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmagpie View Post
    If you intend to build this into a house in an urban area, you had better check building codes.
    Speaking as a former building official, that is way past the last thing you would want to do.

    By all means build something and post pictures. I tried a wheelchair here yesterday and I failed.

  10. #20
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    Aug 2016
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    Appalachian Ohio
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    Odd you should mention Trebuchet. I had one when we lived in Arizona. We had grapefruit trees and we sent many a grapefruit out into the desert.

    Fun toy.

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