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home shop gantry

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  • home shop gantry

    Who has made themselves a home shop gantry system? I'm assuming a beam the width of the room, and a track on each side the length of the room for the beam to ride on. A track on the beam, and from there you can reach anywhere within 2 ft of the walls and corners. Extend the track on the walls to the outside, and be able to load from a truck- under a canopy would be nice. When I get to build my new shop, it would be nice to be able to load everything in without having to lift and carry it- then anytime something heavy has to be toted, the system can do it.

    Is it even worth it to think about this? Brians post about moving his lathe got me thinking about it. If you were starting the building from scratch, would you do it?
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    I have a halfway solution; workshop is 13m long, 10m wide. 3m high along the long walls, 6m high in the middle. I have a fixed H beam running the long length in the middle with a trolley and a 3 ton 3 phase chainblock. It means I can only lift on the centreline, but it does 90% of what I would do with the setup that you describe. Going for side rails would have lost a lot of lifting height; this way, I can lift about 5m.

    All of the gear, no idea...


    • #3
      You are describing a bridge crane, not a gantry.



      • #4
        I been thinking about that for a long time. I have a standard house garage, no headroom.
        If I built the garage from new, yes, I would make provision for a hoist, crane, lift, beam,,,something.


        • #5
          Here is my little shop gantry. It isn't designed to be used inside the shop, though.


          • #6
            I built one into my shop. It spans 23' and rolls 35' the long way. I can get to any corner of the shop (which is good, since I keep a rarely used 500lb wood planer in the corner). I think I posted about it in this forum but the search doesn't go back far enough. If you want I'll see if I can find the photos or take new ones. I've lifted 3500lbs with it, but generally keep things at 2000 or under.
            Southwest Utah


            • #7
              Bridge crane it is- no supports and wheels touching the floor.

              For a shop redesign, I'd want a minimum of 16 ft between walls, so might as well go 20 ft, a standard length for materials. I know that's a pretty substantial beam if you want to hang say 3000 lbs under it. A high enough ceiling would allow for a triangulated structure to be used, plus leave room to hang lights that are still out of the way. All in all though, I think the expense of doing it up this way would have to be largely covered by paid work going out the door- not something that I'm after. The bridge crane would be nice, but maybe not affordable.

              When I build the new shop, I want it to all be at ground level- no stairs to traverse with heavy equipment. In order to move equipment out of my basement I will have to use some kind of gantry, so maybe it makes more sense to come up with a rolling lift cart instead, something that I can disassemble so it can be brought out of the basement as well. That would probably be more useful anyway, since it can be used outside of the workshop- anywhere that the floor is flat.

              And then there is the electric fork truck. My friend had one and it was the handiest thing. All it needs is floor space-
              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


              • #8
                A nice idea. Not cheap but it would be very nice.

                Needs a high ceiling though. Not only for clearance with the beams and lift gear but also for any general area lighting to mount above the sweep of any parts sticking up above the traveling beam.
                Chilliwack BC, Canada


                • #9
                  Having a bridge crane in a metal supply warehouse makes sense with material constantly unloading, stored, cut and loaded out.
                  Or a machinery dealer.

                  In a home shop, it only suggests you have way to much stuff jammed in your shop.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cijuanni View Post
                    Having a bridge crane in a metal supply warehouse makes sense . . .In a home shop, it only suggests you have way to much stuff jammed in your shop.
                    Or, it means you're getting old, or that you need to load/unload heavy things from your truck, or that you might get new, or sell old machines that need to be moved, etc. I use my crane several days per week, mostly for changing chucks but sometimes for much heavier work like holding heavy steel fabrications in position. The younger grandkids like to 'float' around the shop in a sling-swing too. I scrounged for used components and built it myself for an even $1000 and would be lost without it.
                    Southwest Utah


                    • #11
                      A gantry supported by the building, requires that the building steel framework be designed for just such a use. Is that in the budget?


                      • #12
                        If we go by the proper descriptions, it's the bridge crane that would be supported by the building- and that is what I was talking about. Apparently a gantry is supported by legs and wheels basically, so the floor supports it.

                        Chances are, the budget won't allow a bridge crane setup, since these days it would be mired in regulations and become way too expensive. If I could do it for $1000 and it didn't interfere with insurance, I'd go for it. If it was $3000 including everything required to make it legal, and including the extra expense for the building, I'd probably go for it. But that's probably dreaming. Chances are there will be a minimum lift capacity number to deal with, and no system under the minimum number would be approved. I know that many of us would be able to design and implement such a system, and it would carry the load required and work fine- but would not meet a regulation and would negate any insurance. They would probably figure that if you rated it for say 1000 lbs, you would try to carry 3000 lbs with it- a fair assumption given human nature. And no engineer would sign off on a home-built project like this due to liability.

                        I know people in the crane business and have asked about this. They won't even talk about a system of this small size.

                        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                        • #13
                          Sorry, a correction.
                          A bridge crane supported by the building....
                          The bridge crane can also be freestanding so it doesn't rely on the building structure. A freestanding 20' span, 30 feet of runway, 2T capacity, about 33k.
                          Building a new shop building, 20' span and adding a bridge crane to it for a few thou? Pretty unrealistic.
                          Last edited by reggie_obe; 11-22-2020, 09:43 PM.


                          • #14
                            You can get a gantry crane frame for under a grand rated for at least a ton. Add a chain hoist and runner, and you have a commercial product that insurance people likely will not quibble with.

                            I have seen some very doubtful stuff people have made. One using about 4 or 5" tall H beam, spanned a 1 1/2 car garage, had a crummy-looking home-made weld right in the center, and the owners use it regularly to pull large V-8 engines for their drag racers.

                            That sort of thing is one reason why nobody with a stamp is going to look at a home-made frame. Just start with the uncertified weldor, and go on from there.
                            3751 6193 2700 3517

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan

                            If you look closely at a digital signal, you find out it is really analog......


                            • #15
                              I'd love a bridge crane, but my shop is not suited for it at all so a shop crane is what I use.