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Tool Suspended from Above: What Is It Called?

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  • Tool Suspended from Above: What Is It Called?

    I have seen places where the workers have tools suspended on devices from above. They can just grab the tool and do something with it and then let go and it retracts. I need a search term. Is there a name for such devices?
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.

  • #2
    That would be a counterweighted overhead tool support reel.
    https://www.mcmaster.com/tool-balancers/
    Last edited by brian Rupnow; 11-26-2020, 03:45 PM.
    Brian Rupnow
    Design engineer
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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    • #3
      AKA tool balancer.
      Sole proprietor of Acme Buggy Whips Ltd.
      Specialty products for beating dead horses.

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      • #4
        https://www.mcmaster.com/tool-balancers/

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        • #5
          Sword of Damocles comes to mind.
          West Sussex UK

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          • #6
            that would be the tool of damocles ...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by brian Rupnow View Post
              That would be a counterweighted overhead tool support reel.
              https://www.mcmaster.com/tool-balancers/
              I remember the gas station / service stations of the past had air hose, grease and oil hoses on over head reels like that.

              I've seen factories or assy. lines where the tools are suspended by those coiled air hoses.

              JL..................

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              • #8
                I don't think the air hoses hold them up, the balancers do..

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                • #9
                  Two suggestions took me here.

                  When I followed the link, at the bottom of the page I saw these ...

                  https://www.mcmaster.com/tool-balanc...itioning-arms/

                  ... which may be perfect. Not only up-down, but some lateral positioning too. I want to hang some lights from my shop ceiling for when I need/want to take photos and videos. I am equipping some of those inexpensive, clamp on lights with LED flood lamps and I need a way to pull them down when needed and push them up and out of the way when not. I have an unused desk lamp or two that I can play with. Since they would be upside down, perhaps by attaching the spring at a different point I can reverse the balancing action.

                  I am thinking of hanging them from a pair of screw-in hooks to keep them from rotating. But they would still be easy to detach and move to another location. I had tried some woven straps which the clamp on the clamp-on lights can grip, but they twist around too much. I can install pairs of screw-in hooks at various locations in the ceiling so I can move the lights around quickly and easily. And they would not take up any valuable floor space in my crowded shop. Some additional screw-in hooks and a pole with a hook on it would take care of the cords.

                  Thanks Brian and Peter. I will post the results. You will see some of my photos in our sponsor's magazines if George is kind enough to publish my latest efforts and perhaps a video or two on YouTube in the near future (I hope).
                  Paul A.
                  SE Texas

                  And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                  You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                  • #10
                    maybe you could repurpose one of these "articulating tv screen arms" like i did. this was around $15.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      A couple of lengths of 3/4" EMT attached to the ceiling on short standoffs would give you more flexibility to mount the lights directly.
                      https://www.iastage.com/wp-content/u...5714774295.jpg

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                      • #12
                        I was going to say guillotine until I read the text of the post..

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                        • #13
                          https://www.balancersdirect.com/balancer-applications/

                          Another bit of input above. These things come in all sorts of variations some with ratcheting return mechs like a window shade. Pull it down to use it, give it a short pull and it will release and retract. Others will just balance the weight and will have to pushed and pulled to move. Some are adjustable and some are not. So some study may be called for to make sure that you get one with the action you want, and the force range you need.

                          lg
                          no neat sig line
                          near Salem OR

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                          • #14
                            Thinking of doing this for my 4" grinders.

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                            • #15
                              Food for thought, a scissor arm or accordion arm mounted on the ceiling would be more rigid (and cheaper) than anything on a tool balancer. You could make them yourself out of wood or metal, two knurled screw would lock them when extended or retracted. Like so: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Vintage-D...lack/570884169

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