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a link to my story of how I move heavy plate home and work with it

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  • a link to my story of how I move heavy plate home and work with it

    This is basically another one of my project blogs. It's a story about how one old guy working alone can move a full sheet of steel plate from a steelyard 20 miles away onto my shop table in position to cut it up with a track burner. Nothing groundbreaking but just a writeup of some techniques that have proved useful to me, hopefully they will to others.

    Enjoy. Or at least, please don't flame! :-)

    metalmagpie

    http://nwnative.us/Grant/shop%20arti...vingHeavyPlate

  • #2
    Nicely done. Well documented.

    So, let's see. All I need to do is....
    Buy a small SUV, and a trailer. And some HUGE clamps. No problem.

    Then I need to buy a plate clamp to go on the gantry crane that I will have to build. And the dolly. And the shop crane. Ok. Can do.

    My welding table is about 2 foot diameter. That ought to work, right? NO? Damn. I guess I can't get there from here.

    My solution is to have the sheet cut at the metal yard into 2x4 foot pieces so that they fit in the trunk of my Prius. If I need bigger I borrow the neighbor and his pickup. He still has a strong back and loves to help. I pay him back by helping him load/unload lumber for his woodworking. I have been known to weld together two 2x4 ft sheets to make bigger pieces as needed.
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

    Location: SF East Bay.

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    • #3
      This is a case of working smarter rather than harder.

      Comment


      • #4
        i like the dolly. You've got a good assortment of equipment such as plate clamp, bug, gantry etc, those make the job fairly easily as you well demonstrated. Without them I'd be thinking bring it in cut to size.

        What are you making with it....and what are the burned shapes on the skid for?
        Last edited by Mcgyver; 10-19-2018, 12:00 PM.
        in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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        • #5
          Back around 2005, I bought home a 4'x8' sheet of steel 1/4" thick for my welding table in the back of my pickup truck. I used the old HF 2T shop crane (was new back then) to help move it from the back of the truck onto the table. Then I again when building my new shop with a different 4'x8' welding table, I used the old HF 2T shop crane to move the 4'x8' sheet on top of the table. Here is the 2018 version of what I did previously back in 2005.






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          • #6
            neat story. what project are pieces for?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb View Post
              Back around 2005, I bought home a 4'x8' sheet of steel 1/4" thick for my welding table in the back of my pickup truck. I used the old HF 2T shop crane (was new back then) to help move it from the back of the truck onto the table. Then I again when building my new shop with a different 4'x8' welding table, I used the old HF 2T shop crane to move the 4'x8' sheet on top of the table. Here is the 2018 version of what I did previously back in 2005.
              An engine hoist would have worked, too. That's what I used to use. Good stuff, 3pB.

              metalmagpie

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              • #8
                I cut up pieces for guys in the local metalworking club, simply to make the cost of half a sheet cheaper for me, and to give them a chance to buy some plate for a better price. I did have a project in mind for my half, but just last night it got vetoed so for now it's just going to stay on my plate dolly until something comes along. Something *always* comes along.

                metalmagpie

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                • #9
                  Having never seen one of those plate clamps up close and personal, how it works is a bit vague to me. I understand how the clamping force increases with the weight of the plate. But what makes it "grab" initially? Are there non-slip teeth on the jaw surfaces? Or is it just the weight of the clamp itself that starts the gripping action??
                  Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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                  • #10
                    as you noticed its hinged, so more weight = more clamping force, and its serrated. Commercially they have to be certified and that has an expiry as they are dangerous if the get worn smooth
                    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
                      as you noticed its hinged, so more weight = more clamping force, and its serrated. Commercially they have to be certified and that has an expiry as they are dangerous if the get worn smooth
                      This is entirely correct. What Mcgyver didn't mention is that they are usually quite expensive. I had to look for years to find mine. My jaw serrations are still sharp, though.

                      In use, you drop it over the plate, then turn a lever which locks the jaws. The lever itself has a very sturdy spring retainer arrangement. Push the lever, the button snaps out. To release the jaws, you need no tension on the clamp, then you have to push the button (takes some effort which is just how you want it) and then you can turn the lever to release the jaws.

                      If you look closely at the picture of the plate clamp hanging from the shop crane, you can see the lever I mentioned.

                      metalmagpie

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                      • #12
                        For handling plate, holding it, things you might use a c-clamp for if c-clamps actually held well, there are better types of c-clamp.

                        The ones that are about 4x heavier, and get tightened with a wrench....

                        https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tnp...hoCYcgQAvD_BwE

                        http://weldfabulous.com/bessey-b-hs1...RoCy9EQAvD_BwE
                        CNC machines only go through the motions.

                        Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                        Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                        Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                        I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                        Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by danlb View Post
                          He still has a strong back and loves to help. I pay him back by helping him load/unload lumber for his woodworking. I have been known to weld together two 2x4 ft sheets to make bigger pieces as needed.
                          What kind of welder are you using on the 2x4 lumber?

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                          • #14
                            I like the trailer. I've actually had a Costco as the nearest shop of any type to my house for over 20 years (in UK) and never seen trailers. I have checked Costco in Atlanta and Melbourne and noticed the contents and even layout are identical so we looked for anything in the US that was different from London and only found that they had extra extra large ketchup

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                              For handling plate, holding it, things you might use a c-clamp for if c-clamps actually held well, there are better types of c-clamp.

                              The ones that are about 4x heavier, and get tightened with a wrench....

                              https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tnp...hoCYcgQAvD_BwE

                              http://weldfabulous.com/bessey-b-hs1...RoCy9EQAvD_BwE
                              ...you want to use a 13/16" or a 1-1/3" clamp to hold a 1/4" plate to a trailer bed?

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