Duff Norton aluminum ratchet jack
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    New Mexico USA
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default Duff Norton aluminum ratchet jack

    Had this old jack so long I almost cant remember what was wrong with it. I only think about whenever I stick my forklift. It goes up fine but it wouldn't ratchet down.If I remember it dropped. Then I heard maybe is supposed to drop. Any one know?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    3,638
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3892
    Likes (Received)
    1813

    Default

    You run the dogs by hand to lower the load. That's what the knobs are for sticking out of the side. They have a quick drop feature when you pull the lower dog all the way back.


    Those jacks are an excellent IQ test.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    Posts
    1,746
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    238

    Default

    Most likely what you have is a track jack also known as a railway jack. track jacks are designed to lift track for sleeper placement and it does not matter if the track is dropped in a dead fall when released . These jacks therefor have no provision for ratcheting the load down. There are very similar jacks made by simplex and by duff norton that are used by riggers that can raise and lower the load by ratchet. These are often mistakenly called railway jacks but more correctly they are called toe jacks or sometimes riggers jacks. At first glance both types appears nearly identical but a track jack does not have the reversing leaver to slowly lower the load. an example of a simplex toe jack would be a simplex 84a and a duff norton would be a Duff norton 514. Although examples given are both 5 ton they can be found in varying capacity and heights. The Duff norton jacks have not been made in some time but the simplex jacks still made and readily available from industrial suppliers

  4. Likes BobRenz, Monarchist, TedinNorfolk, Demon73 liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    eugene,or
    Posts
    655
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    50
    Likes (Received)
    264

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    Those jacks are an excellent IQ test.
    More than that they are exciting! Pretty thrilling kneeling next to several tons in the air, while manually operating the dogs to slowly lower it without accidentally dropping it.

    I've got one. Price was right and I like the weight of the aluminum body but it's not my first choice due to the need to be almost under the load to lower it.

    Teryk

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    New Mexico USA
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    Looks like I was trying to fix something thats not broke. Could you explain the procedure of running the dogs ?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    eugene,or
    Posts
    655
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    50
    Likes (Received)
    264

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by boggie View Post
    Looks like I was trying to fix something thats not broke. Could you explain the procedure of running the dogs ?
    Try it first without a load and don't blame me if things go sidewise. As I said it never feels safe (probably isn't) but if done correctly works,

    There are two lifting dogs that index on the gear rack. Each dog has a little post on it that you can use to pull it in and out. To lower the jack one tooth on the rack you:

    1. Disengage the lower dog from the rack and raise it one tooth so that it is engaged with the tooth directly below the upper dog. This does not move the load or the rack, only repositions the dog.
    2. You then push down on the handle which lifts the load using the lower dog and unweights the upper dog.
    3. Disengage the upper dog from the tooth it is in and lower the load with the handle.
    4. As soon as the next tooth clears the upper dog, release the dog and let it catch on the next tooth, taking the weight of the load and unloading the lower dog.

    Repeat.

    I should state that the dogs and rack should be clean and well greased so that the dogs move easily and that you should be well within the load limits of the jack as you have to lift and lower the load with one hand while working the dogs.

    Teryk

  8. Likes Monarchist liked this post
  9. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    South Central PA
    Posts
    12,707
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1700
    Likes (Received)
    2861

    Default

    I bought one of those without knowing how it worked. I figured it out like you are, and used it. The last stroke upward dropped the load. I also had mine for a long time without using it. I sold it, and bought a hydraulic toe jack - didn't want to chance dropping something unintentionally while working with others. Got $75 for it on Ebay. Sure is a convenient size though.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    10,375
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    5843
    Likes (Received)
    4596

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    I bought one of those without knowing how it worked. I figured it out like you are, and used it. Also had mine for a long time without using it. I sold it, and bought a hydraulic toe jack - didn't want to chance dropping something unintentionally while working with others. Got $75 for it on Ebay. Sure is a convenient size though.
    Bought one Chinese-made toe jack on "speculation". I only need 'em about once a year.

    First thing I did was jack up 4,000 + lb of AB5/S, measure it, check the clock, measure it again 24 hours later. Not perfect, but little-enough leak-down I bought it a mate.

    Seals CAN still fail, of course, so the all-mechanicals I had grown up with are not really "worse" - just more awkward and tedious to use.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    New Mexico USA
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mTeryk View Post
    Try it first without a load and don't blame me if things go sidewise. As I said it never feels safe (probably isn't) but if done correctly works,

    There are two lifting dogs that index on the gear rack. Each dog has a little post on it that you can use to pull it in and out. To lower the jack one tooth on the rack you:

    1. Disengage the lower dog from the rack and raise it one tooth so that it is engaged with the tooth directly below the upper dog. This does not move the load or the rack, only repositions the dog.
    2. You then push down on the handle which lifts the load using the lower dog and unweights the upper dog.
    3. Disengage the upper dog from the tooth it is in and lower the load with the handle.
    4. As soon as the next tooth clears the upper dog, release the dog and let it catch on the next tooth, taking the weight of the load and unloading the lower dog.

    Repeat.

    I should state that the dogs and rack should be clean and well greased so that the dogs move easily and that you should be well within the load limits of the jack as you have to lift and lower the load with one hand while working the dogs.

    Teryk
    Mine only has a single lever that says up when pushed forward and down when pulled back. boggie

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    New Mexico USA
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    Mine only has a single lever that says up when pushed forward and down when pulled back. boggie

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    3,638
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3892
    Likes (Received)
    1813

    Default

    These are real basic mechanical things. The guts are exposed, no hidden surprises in there.

    If a guy can't use one of these effectively he can't work in my shop.

  14. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    3,638
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3892
    Likes (Received)
    1813

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    I bought one of those without knowing how it worked. I figured it out like you are, and used it. The last stroke upward dropped the load.
    I have Duff and Simplex versions and none of mine will drop unless you pull the lower dog way back past it's normal position and force the handle down. At full height nothing happens. They just don't ratchet anymore and hold the load with the last tooth.

  15. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    3,638
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3892
    Likes (Received)
    1813

    Default

    I use these mechanical jacks in the 15 ton size and hydraulic toe jacks for rigging often.

    Advantages of the aluminum toe jacks-

    They are light. Much nicer to move around than hydraulic.

    Very fast. Pull the top to height and go to town with the handle. Puts a skate under a machine in 20 seconds or less. Yes, you can go down just as fast with some practice.

    With an 8' handle a 300 pound guy on it they will lift or move ANYTHING. I lifted a 40K lb machine with one that wasn't supposed to be anchored to the floor. Until it turned out it was anchored to the floor. Snapped a bunch of 1/2" bolts. (I normally use a 36" handle with a 15 degree angle on one end)

    You have a real good feel for what you are lifting. I find this is a key reason why I like these jacks. More times then I can count the mechanical jacks let me know when the machine is approaching the "Tip over" point.

    The Duff jacks go up or down exactly .563" and the Simplex are .500" per click. This isn't a big deal, but has come in handy more than a few times for me.

    You can leave these jacks in the rain, outside, under a real heavy load for decades and they will still work fine with a few hammer raps and a dousing of any handy lubricant, or none.

    They are affordable. I own 8 of them plus a few steel ones for spare parts if I ever need any. I have under $300 in all of them. That is 1/2 the investment into one 10 ton hydraulic toe jack.

    The "load drop" feature. It isn't all that useful, but talk of it sure does a great job keeping the used market stocked with cheap ones.

    They work in any position.

    Without a handle they can impart considerable force and move/lift a few thousand pounds easily by hand. They also make excellent load locks in a pickup/truck bed/trailer.

    Disadvantages-

    Takes a surprising amount of time to teach some people the basics of raising and lowering with one. Most people pick it right up or need no training at all. Some just get a look of disgust that it doesn't automatically go down and would rather die then conquer the most basic of mechanical devices: The ratchet.

    They need 2 inches for the toe.

  16. Likes Monarchist liked this post
  17. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    659
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    583
    Likes (Received)
    216

    Default

    Great jacks,I have a 5tand10t Duff jacks use them all the time. I always like to follow up with timber packing just to be on the safe side

  18. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Manchester, England
    Posts
    7,026
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    875
    Likes (Received)
    4005

    Default

    Aluminium ! The first ones I used were either cast steel or cast iron. They were bloody heavy to lug around. Show me a man who could carry one in each hand a 100 yards and I'll show you a strong man.

    Two points. If you were trying to set something up at a particular height they weren't very good, the head went where the rack took it.

    They were great if you needed to use them on their side if you were using them to nudge a machine around. You can't say about some hydraulic jacks.

    Regards Tyrone.

  19. #16
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Tennessee
    Posts
    306
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    51
    Likes (Received)
    166

    Default

    We tend to use the mechanical toe jacks almost exclusively. Much more reliable and less maintenance than a hyd jack.

    The only down side I can think of is it can sometimes be tough to be really precise with them, due to the fact that they move one click at a time. If you are trying to hit a elevation between clicks, about the only way to do it is have somebody hold the handle between notches.

  20. Likes Garwood liked this post
  21. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    St.Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    1,902
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    110
    Likes (Received)
    416

    Default

    I have a 5 ton simplex and used it for everything I've had in my shop with only a 12" pipe for a handle. I can get pretty close to a wall if I use it at an angle with that short handle and I find it completely reliable. I originally had a 10 ton but when I saw the 5 ton I couldn't resist buying it, after using the bigger one too many times the weight difference was enough to make me sell the bigger one. The weight of the 10 ton jack would wear a man out that is much stronger and younger than me in a short day.
    One thing I will say is they're not inexpensive for a home shop type but if you find one used they are the cats meow. With all the machines I have that will eventually have to be moved I won't loan mine to anyone; Told a guy I'd bring it over and hang out while he used it a couple of weeks ago but he couldn't borrow it.
    Dan

  22. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Manchester, England
    Posts
    7,026
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    875
    Likes (Received)
    4005

    Default

    One place I worked at had a pair of " locomotive jacks " as they were known in the shop. The were shortish stubby hydraulic jacks of about 20 tons capacity. They were fitted to a cast iron base/slideway about 3ft or 4ft long. You could wind the jacks along the slideways be means of a leadscrew you wound with a big ratchet. They were really heavy, you moved them around with the forklift truck.

    We used them for removing large ( 8 ft to 10ft dia ) chilled iron rolls from rubber calendaring machines. You picked the rolls up, moved them 3 ft, put the roll down, reset the jacks and moved on again until the roll was out of the machine. Slow but sure.

    Regards Tyrone.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •