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Box rail & trolley for moving machine accessories?

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  • Box rail & trolley for moving machine accessories?

    Have any of you used a box rail (barn door) track and trolley system in your shop? The trolleys claim 225lb working load per hanger. I would use two trolleys tied together with a slab of steel. It seems more readily available, easier to install, and less costly than an I-Beam and trolley. Parts should come in at $75-$100 for a 12' setup (excluding the hoist). A track that long could serve both my mill and my large lathe.

    My mill accessories are...
    15" Bridgeport rotary table (estimated 150-180 lbs?)
    6" Vise (est. 80 lbs)

    I value your input. Thank you.

  • #2
    No, but I have the parts in hand for a similar arrangement using Unistrut, the double-depth channel and the 4 wheel trolley, rated 300 lb (used to be rated 600, and the stainless version still is).

    http://www.mcmaster.com/#strut-channel-systems/=14mwaa0

    http://www.mcmaster.com/#strut-channel-systems/=14mwann

    They do have curved track section also, which is however only available in the shorter channel, not the double depth. One would need to double it up back to back for similar strength.

    http://www.mcmaster.com/#strut-channel-systems/=14mwbu6
    CNC machines only go through the motions

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    • #3
      I have exactly what you propose in my garage. A 440/880lb hoist is set up between two trolleys on a 10' section of track. With stops at each end, of course.

      Geoff

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SirLesPatterson View Post
        Have any of you used a box rail (barn door) track and trolley system in your shop? The trolleys claim 225lb working load per hanger.
        Not here, but your question reminds me of an application where overhead door track and hardware (residential & commercial garage doors) was adapted to support floor-to-ceiling display boards.

        The vendor was a hobby shop and the display was their method of organizing myriad small packets onto peg board hangers w/o giving over the entire shop wall space to this aspect of their product lines. Several tracks placed in parallel permitted a series of hanging boards to pass back and forth a short distance giving access to product on respective panels.

        Garage door track might be an advantage to your project. It is available in different capacities, available locally and by choosing a standard vendor/product, it should easily be repairable/scalable down the road. I suspect that your limitation for weight capacity may be with the ceiling.

        .
        Last edited by EddyCurr; 10-17-2016, 11:41 AM.

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        • #5
          One other thought is single track that can be configured along a path. Paint shops that suspend parts (and dry cleaners) use this approach.

          It may seem like a pointless exercise to those with lots of open area and high ceilings. Those of us with constraints like tall machines and low ceilings in more tightly packed confines will probably see potential.

          .

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          • #6
            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
            They do have curved track section also, which is however only available in the shorter channel, not the double depth. One would need to double it up back to back for similar strength.

            http://www.mcmaster.com/#strut-channel-systems/=14mwbu6
            Sorry, failed to notice this before posting.

            Agree with doubling up. Might be able to roll one's own doubler/backer section for savings, or just double up for simplicity and known capacity.

            .

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            • #7
              I don't see any problems at all, I used them to build a 'hay carrier' on the second floor of a work shop. I used a 4ft sliding track to distribute weight over extra trolleys. The shop was built just like a barn with the 'beak' at the end to support the main track outside. I used it to haul saws, drill presses and other woodworking power tools up as well as for moving stock and finished projects. Even used it for pulling engines a couple times, small blocks only, never tried a big block.

              My local farm store has two types of track, a square type and a round style, think the round style is rated higher, but can't remember exactly. Square type is what I used because it worked back to back. (I built the shop with a ridge beam built of double 2x8s with 16" wide 3/4 ply sandwiched between to mount the tracks)

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              • #8
                I'd use cannonball brand track & trolleys as it's round & any dirt trash etc fall out & the track stays clean inside. I have a small, about 1/2 size stainless 12v cherry picker which is rated at 1000# to move anything heavy onto the lathe or mill that works well.

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                • #9
                  Perhaps I found the wrong web site, but they seem to be making track for small scale railroads.

                  http://www.cannonballltd.com/rail_cat.html

                  Is there another Cannonball? Or another section of their web site?



                  Originally posted by flylo View Post
                  I'd use cannonball brand track & trolleys as it's round & any dirt trash etc fall out & the track stays clean inside. I have a small, about 1/2 size stainless 12v cherry picker which is rated at 1000# to move anything heavy onto the lathe or mill that works well.
                  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
                    http://cnbhnp.com/products/door-track-and-trolley
                    Usually available at post frame building dealers & real lumberyards, there is also a knock off I believe.
                    Last edited by flylo; 10-17-2016, 07:01 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I have used a track a long time ago. But I think in order to achieve the load ratings they claim I think you need to bolt it to something (like a barn) through all the specified holes, not just suspended from each end?

                      Dennis

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                      • #12
                        Unistrut info

                        http://www.unistrut.us/E-document/Tr...stems/#?page=2
                        CNC machines only go through the motions

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                        • #13
                          I had a barn door setup lying behind my barn for years before I threw it out. grrr..... Now I need one for my 16 inch chuck. I'm probably going with unistrut, but with two layers for 2 way movement - that way I can move accessories to my lathe and the work pieces (downside of a BIG lathe).

                          I just got a very nice small 500lb chain fall to hang off it.
                          Last edited by lakeside53; 10-17-2016, 11:55 PM.

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