My gantry crane build - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    Forgot to include this one. It is a good example of assembling a steel gantry, and also a good example of the integration between construction and said assembly. However this particular crane uses thinner wall material and is markedly shorter than mine, so the approach used wouldn't be applicable to my build. A good example IMHO nonetheless:


    And it was bugging me that I couldn't find the "just grab it by the horns" approach to aluminum gantry assembly video. The one I mentioned at the outset of the video list rundown, you might recall. So with a little searching, I found it:


    More of the same aluminum gantry stuff, but I had to track it down!

    Thanks,
    Jerry

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    This project has been interesting to follow. There a couple of those cranes in those video's that look like they have failure in their future. Lifting within rated capacity is always important. Side to side swing is not always given enough consideration.
    On a perfect floor moving a rolling gantry crane can go well. Floors are seldom perfect. When you are moving and stop the load swings the reaction to that swing goes to the top and that can increases the next swing of the load. Especially if its flexing side to side at the top. I have used rolling gantry cranes that I stood and hoped it would stop swaying and swinging before it failed.
    There is a lot of calculations going into this project and it looks good.
    I think it was John K that said earlier in the thread that he builds for twice the intended capacity. That sounds about right.
    How else can you cover your ass for that load movement.
    There are two cranes in the videos that I can see failing at or below the top gussets.
    It best to just use the wheels to move the crane unloaded into position and raise and lower in that position. That defeats the purpose of what a lot intend to use it for.
    I had a friend that had a gantry very close to this build and it was a pleasure to use.


    Edit. John K said early in the thread that he adds struts to increase capacity.

  3. #63
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    mllud22 - If you want to discuss gantrys that sway under load, this one will definitely spark conversation:


    The poster defends his swinging crane vigorously in the comments too, with the root of his argument being that he'd rather the gantry flex but remain with all wheels on the ground than to risk having one (or more) of those wheels breaking ground due to the strength of a more rigid gantry.

    Makes for interesting argument, however I prefer the stronger gantry option myself.

    And for a truly backwoods approach to the standing of a gantry, you can't beat these fellas:


    Here's another variant of using a truck to raise a gantry, though in this video they actually use the truck and not a winch on the truck:


    Finally, I fully intend to remain with one fundamental use case scenario for my gantry. That is to put it in position, raise whatever I want to raise, remove whatever is left, lower whatever was raised, then release it from the crane. Ergo, I do not intend to move the gantry while loaded.

    Once I finish, I would be interested to hear from you just how close mine ends up being to the one you referenced that is owned by a friend of yours.

    Thank you for the feedback!
    Jerry

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    implmex - Oh sure, I am a computer engineer by day, which in my case means that I develop software. Fabrication and welding are just a hobby/interest. I welded a bit in high school, all of which was SMAW. An uncle was a welder but I didn't learn much from him, as he was intoxicated most of the time. He did manage to convey that I should be well versed with numbers and precise with measuring if I wanted to be a welder. Numbers and precision, yeah I do those "well enough" in my day job, so ...

    And I grew up on a farm in TEXAS; in our case it was a "poor man's farm", which meant that we couldn't afford new anything, so you had to fix-and-use what you had. So learning to "fix stuff" was part-n-parcel with our daily lives during my earlier years. I suppose that was an introduction to and the clearest memory of "fabrication", so that's where it began for me.

    I then went on to undergrad and was the first (and still only) of our family to earn a university level education.

    Time passed, I did many things.

    A few years ago I decided that I wanted to revisit the "fabrication" days of my youth. It's arguable that I just wanted to work with my hands more than to let the fingers flail away at a keyboard. So I bought some equipment, to include a MIG welder, and worked on a few projects as time would allow. I found that I had a knack for it (kinda) and that it was an enjoyable hobby. The cars/trucks thing was still primary, but fabrication was a close second.

    Fast forward to the pseudo-present; I sold that MIG-only red box and bought a green one that will do MIG/stick. I decided to build a gantry for the reasons I mentioned in my rather long intro video, but also because I wanted a bigger, more challenging fabrication project. And I wanted an excuse to pick up a stinger again. I hadn't done any SMAW since high school and had grown "lazy" with the MIG gun. So I spent a couple of months or so running beads, getting familiar with the new setup and with the different rods. I only remember running 7018 all those years ago; I think. Heck I don't know that for certain either. But I digress. Anyway I did all of this SMAW practice while concurrently researching everything-gantry. A majority of which I found on this forum, BTW. And as I mentioned I went to an online resource for calculating these types of things, specifically engineeringtoolbox.com, and ran the numbers for my design. If I rate it at a ton, I will have a FOS of 5. Rate it at 2 tons and the FOS drops to 2.5. As (I hope) I have mentioned, I don't plan on lifting anything all that heavy with it, but who knows what will come. I do know that its intended use case scenario is automotive related, ergo pulling engines and trannys, possibly body-off restoration stuff. Such scenarios would hardly push the limit of even a 1-ton rating. Simply put, I have done an "overkill" job WRT this project, but that is ok with me. Overkill is good most of the time. I like overkill.

    So there you have it, hope that answers the question. I did try to "keep it short", per the informal forum guidelines.

    Thank you for the feedback too, I appreciate all of y'all.
    Jerry

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    Regarding the build, well I went out to complete both sets of leg gussets tonight. Got as far as finishing the 6010 root passes on all mating surfaces of the one leg that I had already started. Then the wet stuff decided to pay us a visit. So I quickly laid down a coat of primer over all the beads that I had ran, packed everything up, drove into the workshop, closed it up and walked out to a greeting of a downpour. Good times!

    So I don't know when the wx will cooperate, but finishing the gantry is at the top of my projects list, so hopefully soon. We'll see.

    Oh well, at least my new stinger showed up yesterday and I installed it to my cable:
    new-stinger.jpg

    Ran with it today; likin' it thus far!

    So that's all the new-news I have, hope y'all are well.
    Jerry

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    I went backwards- unbuilt a scrapped gantry into a rotisserie also, you mentioned pulling the body off your truck- if there are industrial salvage yards around you, a pair of scissor lifts might be a different option- i used scrapped scissor lifts to pull the body off our 65 galaxie(and sized the lift cradles to also fit my 69 mustang- the galaxie was done in 2003, was 2013 though before the gantry got built/mustang got hung)

    anyways, a couple pics of options...

    this was a 15' wallace 3 ton gantry, risers were 3x6x3/16, I cut them in half, doubled up to make 6x6, flipped the top beam on its side(not for lifting much temporarily)welded in a 3/4 plate to bolt rotated risers on (this was so I could roll the suspended car in/out if needed)...the side plates holding the legs together, I split, welded spacer bar leaving 4" gap for the pivot to go thru... once car gets done, the risers can be rotated back, beam stood back up, and it will be a shorter 3 ton gantry again... I took this apart by myself with a forklift, hauled it home, put back together by myself using just a floor jack - assembled on its side so lifting the heavy 15" top beam wasnt required, used the leg sticking up in the air like a 'gin pole' and pulled with chains to 'roll' it upright(one son helped drive the other tractor). had restraining rope tying off so it wouldnt flop much past center, once tied off up that far, reconnected chains, pulled back enough to undo restraints, and backed it down smoothly- was kinda surprised how smooth it all went.
    did get a scrapyard forklift last year and restored it, now have a way to get the thing down/up a heck of a lot easier when the time comes- my back aint up to even getting the cradles backon the mustang to unmount it, forklift is overkill, but they sure are handy... think all up only got about 800 bucks in it- not counting 5 weeks of evenings of course...

    edit- sorry, just noticed there were 3 more pages to this thread- looks like you ae building a really heavy duty unit
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bodyoff.jpg   01.jpg   9-22-2018-sm1.jpg  

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  8. #67
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    tc429- Wow, that was an interesting build! I hadn't heard of the notion of converting a gantry into a rotisserie. Interesting concept. Looks like the project has served you well, so I'd say good call!

    Despite having rain off and on the past couple of days, the heat and sun emerged from their place of hiding today to dry out the land around my workshop. It was just enough so that I could get in a little work on the gantry after a full day of slinging code. I needed to do a little cleanup on the welds from last time; the center of which was to flip the outer verticals (and their legs/feet) on their sides so that I could lay a couple of beads on the underside of the joins. However in the interest of wanting to see "more, bigger" progress, I decided to o'er leap that for the time being and make an attempt to repeat the entire process on the second outer vertical and its leg/foot. So the procedure was to determine the location of the leg/foot support plate through fitup, weld the support plate to the leg/foot, drill the 8 holes for the mount, then weld the gussets into position. Doesn't seem too bad really, but lemme tell ya what...

    Although the mag drill allows hole-making like possible in this context, I've found that drilling said holes is more time consuming than you might think. I've also discovered that it is the least favorite task of all that I have worked on during the course of this build. Dunno why really; just conveying my thoughts on the matter. Granted, retaining a modular design was/is paramount to me, so I wouldn't change a thing. 'Just sayin'...

    The caster holes and the pin holes are the only outstanding drilling that remains, so at least there's that.

    Anyway, I resumed the build in the evening:


    The first fitup on the second outer vertical and leg/foot:


    Unfortunately between all of the prep (grinding bevels, applying primer, etc.) and the drilling, by the time my ol' friend darkness came around to say hello again, I had only managed to weld the support plates and drill the holes:


    Heck, the welds I have on those support plates are only the 6010 root passes at that, so I indeed have more primary work as well as more cleanup-work ahead of me the next time out. Constructing this particular element of the crane has been the most time consuming of all thus far. I suppose that when you think about it, there isn't much of a surprise to be had. I mean, there are 4 components involved, all of which need both welding and hole-drilling done, not to mention all of the general prep and primer, etc. The desire to retain a modular gantry that can be disassembled and stored or moved more easily does have cost to it, as you might imagine. In the end though, it will be worth it - to me at least - to have such functionality.

    Anyway thanks,
    Jerry

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    I once did the opposite...bought a 50 ton overhead rail bogie mounted gantry,welded two of the wheels to the track,hooked up a truck winch to the gantry crane hook,and pulled er over.....what a crash,and a massive cloud of dust.Had er all cut up and loaded by nightfall.Then the auctioneer said we could have the rails too.And a wagon made from a loco tender....was that solid...like an eggcrate made of 1" thick rivetted steel plates.20 ton at least.Funny thing was ,if we hadnt busted up the crane ,we could have loaded it.Such is life.

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    Jerry, I think you're doing great with this build. Design wise, you're certainly not undersizing your materials. If there's any 'weakness', it'd only be weld penetration, and I think you're laying down enough material. If I was working with you, I'd bring in more welding power and not mix rods for root/final passes... I'd go with 7018, probably thicker than what you're using. Your fitment is excellent- it's tight enough so that ONE pass with the right power and rod diameter would give you full material strength... and I'd avoid making a multiple-pass thing out of it, because each pass creates a new profile for internal stress as the weld cools. Most guys would blame their hands, eyes, and technique, but it looks like your machine is struggling a little to yield a nice consistent bead. Weld a bit, then take off your gloves and feel the connections and down the leads- if you find hot spots in the connections or leads, FIX them, as they're limiting your arc power.

    Your early notes in design included insight from one poster about the fact that a calculated static load (expected vector and magnitude) is important for proper design, but it's the unexpected dynamic vector and magnitude (a swaying load, an imperfect floor, or a settling of rigging) that will cause a dangerous failure.

    Next note, is that crane loading, particularly the beam on which the trolly load rolls, must be rated not so much for it's yield capacity, but it's DEFLECTION. Let's say the section modulus of your S-beam, when supported at both ends, deflects 1" vertically under 2000lbs. In order to modulate that load sideways, the gantry must be able to ROLL UPHILL, which might not work out so well.

    Also realize, that if you have a 1" deflection in the middle of that beam, the vertical columns (not being rigid) will now be leaning inward at some angle. That means all the joints and gussets will be experiencing new loads, and furthermore, the columns will be experiencing loads that are displaced from their center... you're now into the realm of Radius of Gyration... and things can get really crazy, really fast... especially if you want to roll it across a floor, and the floor isn't-quite-flat.

    The notion of "I'd rather have it sway, and keep the wheels flat'... is... well... self-evident. I'm fairly certain that's at SA-200 hanging in the breeze, and I'd never subject a machine like that, to the likelyhood of kissing Earth over used-soda-straw legs. He'd probably claim that photo of proof of it's capacity, it will prove itself unworthy soon, and best we can hope is that no innocent parties are injured or killed when it gives up.

    The notion of 'it bent, so bend it back and add more metal' seems like a sensible plan, but it is NOT. once a structural member yields, throw all the section modulus numbers in the trash. If a design exhibits an undesired deflection, it needs to be reinforced BEFORE YIELD. Also, reinforcement is best done with the LEAST amount of added welding, because welding increases the Heat Affected Zone AND... adds internal stress to the structure, frequently, the failure is unseen in the form of an incipient crack in either a previous bead, or in a parent metal.

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    Hi Dave-

    Great feedback, thank you for taking the time to post such good information. That kinda of thing will help everyone who might consider this in the future, which was/is the point of this thread, so thanks!

    Interesting choice WRT welding. I could see how that would work, ergo the single pass 7018. I'll discuss the rationale behind my approach, since the subject has arisen and it too might prove useful in the future.

    The primary reason that I chose the 6010-7018 thing was because I consulted with a professional welder and that was his recommendation. I also found good support for such an approach from various sources online. So I decided to experiment with it a bit, then look at the results. I was happy with what I saw, so I decided to move forward with it. As for my welder, it's a fairly capable machine. Inverter based, sure, but as a guy-in-a-garage it meets my needs. Specifically, it is an Everlast Power MIG 275p. Rated at 275A max (@ 50%) and 195A continuous (@ 100%) MIG. Stick is 200A max (@ 50%) and 140A continuous (@ 100%). All welders will vary a bit, as we know, so I did a little playing around with it to see what would work with this particular one.

    In my experimentation with 1/2 plate, which is mostly what I am using in this build, I found that 75A works well with a 45-degree bevel, 1/4" land and a 1/16" gap. If no bevel, land and gap - for whatever reason, say a lap join, then I found that 95A will do nicely too. This is with 1/8" Lincoln Fleetweld 5p 6010. Further, regarding the 7018 stringers/cap, I found that 135A did well and even 130A was sufficient. I chose to run a little hotter, so I've been going with 135A. This is 1/8" Lincoln Excalibur 7018 MR. I did a couple of rudimentary stress tests and was satisfied that the welds would hold (and with good margin) given the use case scenarios that I have planned. And only after all of that did I begin work on the actual McCoy.

    And speaking of use case scenarios, WRT crane loading, I have no intention of moving it under load, period. Quite frankly, it's becoming heavy enough on its own that simply moving it around unloaded will be a workout. Or so it would seem, we'll see.

    In the interest of keeping things short, that's all for this reply.

    Thanks!
    Jerry

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    Now regarding deflection stuff. Oh sure, that was the metric by which my calculations were made. Yield capacity was a part of what I ran the numbers on, but it was deflection that was primary. It's been a while, but IIRC, at a 10,000 lb point load on an 11' beam span, with the materials chosen, the deflection was within the maximum limit (ergo it was less). So I stopped there, as I don't really plan on using it for anything all that heavy (where "all that heavy" = more than 1.5 or 2 tons, which is a FOS=2.5 at worst; really it'll be a ton or less, so that is a FOS=5). Automotive projects will be the primary user of said crane; and since the "customers" will be bits-n-pieces of an automobile or truck, nothing will approach those numbers. That is, I will never lift a vehicle in its entirety. Just engines, trannys, bodies (shells), that type of thing. With that in mind, I don't forsee anything becoming bent. That said, if that was to happen, hell no, I would not re-use any component that was involved in such an event.

    So I hope that provides readers with something to digest.

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    Just as an FYI, Dave contacted me offline and we swapped a few build stories. Good stuff that, Dave clearly has a good knowledge base and a wealth of experience. One of the issues that we discussed was the notion of gantry crane movement on uneven ground, which will always be the case with my crane. I've posted pictures of the casters that I purchased; I think they'd more than support the loads I have in mind + the weight of the crane itself. However given the surface (outdoor, asphalt) it might be good to consider a different option. I think that these casters would do just fine given my use case scenario, but I decided to take a look-see anyway. I found a semi-pneumatic dual wheel product that I liked, save the price. It was just too much, and way-so. I mentioned that to Dave, who was kind enough to supply the following suggestion (posted with his permission BTW):
    drawing-1.jpg
    drawing-2.jpg

    I had a similar idea, and think that his suggestion is good. That said, I have decided to delay working on this component for the time being, or even thinking about it much, until it's time to actually do the work, which it isn't yet. So we'll see.

    Anyway thanks,
    Jerry

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    Finally, I managed to get a little welding done last night, and had planned on working on the gantry most of the day today. However, family stuff intervened; part of which was related though, as I took my son to the paint store to have them color match some exterior acrylic paint to Longhorn burnt orange. He insisted that I use his sweater as the specimen:
    longhorns-color-match-attempt.jpg

    LOL! It appears that the acrylic paint won't work BTW, the color match turned out too red. So I dunno; maybe see if Rustoleum has a dark orange, go with that and call it a day. We'll see.

    And then there was the weather:
    friggin-wx.jpg

    So events conspired against me this weekend, unfortunately. I have a little over 30 feet of weld to lay down on the legs/feet and their gussets, and that doesn't include the outer vertical stuff. So it takes some time, as you would suspect. Fortunately what I have done thus far is at least in primer, so it's protected from the elements (at least as best as it can be).

    Anyway thanks,
    Jerry

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    Happy Fathers Day to all of you dads out there!

    There was a considerable amount of activity seen around here this weekend. With that in mind, I was just hopeful that there might be a smidgen of time for ol' dad. And as it turned out, I did manage to get in a few hours today. That fell between lunch/let-the-wife-go-shopping and the downturn in weather (yes, we had *more* rain this evening - sigh). Therefore with only a short window of time, there aren't any "hero pictures" or significant developments on the gantry project. Today's agenda was to dress-up a couple of the welds on the vertical seams on the first leg/foot gussets and their outer verticals, finish the 7018 stringers on the second leg/foot, and finally run a couple of beads on the inner joins of the gussets on both legs/feet. Not surprisingly, I didn't manage to complete all of that. However I did get the 7018 stringers on #2 finished, dressed up those vertical seams on #1 and even run both beads on the inner joins, also on #1. So all that remains is to run the beads on the inner joins on #2. I'll get to that next time.

    So after the stringers were done (nothing interesting to see there), I decided that the best way to run the inner beads would be to turn the leg/foot on its side thus:


    That indeed gave better access to all 4 seams, with only one being an overhead weld, with which I was fine (ergo I wasn't going to flip it on its other end just to weld that one seam in the flat position). Once I had finished and cleaned those beads, I dressed up the aforementioned outer seams that needed a little re-work. What's the reason for the re-work? Well, when I originally ran those 7018 stringers vertical-up several days ago, the notion of turning down the amperage on the welder prior to doing so somehow slipped my mind. But no matter, with a little grinding and a nice 7018 cap, all was well again. I then flipped the leg/foot over to its other side to dress up those verticals (now in the flat position). No sooner than I had done that and applied primer, I heard the grumblings of our nemesis The Rain. So I packed everything up, drove it back into the workshop and came out to find that the wet stuff was already showing itself:


    Fortunately I stood the leg/foot back up just prior to the onset of the downpour:


    And then that was that. With another half hour or so I could have polished this task off, but it wasn't to-be; not yet at least. 'Had a great day otherwise; my son caught his first fish *and* on Fathers Day, so you can't beat that!

    Anyway, once again, Happy Fathers Day!

    Best,
    Jerry

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    The welder in the pic is an old roundtop Lincoln 400 AS,weight around 1600-1800lb,depending on the motor.

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    Just a quick update ... things were slow on the gantry project last week. The demands of elder care, work, family stuff and even more bad weather resulted in only a handful or less number of hours that were available all week. Despite all of that, I managed to get a few things done; one of the main beam gusset support plates needed welding on the underside, so I laid the 6 beads down and applied primer (after allowing it to cool, naturally). Then the second inner vertical needed the mounting holes drilled on the inner side of the gusset's support plate. With that done all 8 holes have been completed on that side:
    holes-14.jpg

    I outlined the corresponding holes on the bottom of the second inner vertical's gusset support plate, then center punched them. Only managed to drill one hole yesterday however because even with that center punch the mag drill would walk on me. Eventually I broke through:
    holes-15.jpg

    However the weather started to roll in, so I had to forego drilling the second one for the time being.

    So that's where things are for now. More soon, hopefully, depending on the stuff happening on the homefront. Gotta decide what to do, if anything, with grandma. It's a difficult thing to see a parent lose function; I suppose it's just a part of life.

    But anyway, enough of that. I'll return with another update when I have progress to report.

    Thank you,
    Jerry

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    I had short segments of available time this week, so I used them to work on the gantry. The objective was to weld the 1.5" x 1.5" x 3/16" angle iron onto all 4 sides of the inner verticals. This is how I will consume the majority of the gap that will exist between the inner verticals (4" x 4" x 1/4" SST) and the outer verticals (5" x 5" x 1/4" SST). This arrangement will leave a 1/16" gap on each side of the inners, thus 1/8" total from the perspective of right-left and top-bottom.

    I had some material from a previous trip to the metal supply store:


    But needed more, so a quick stop after work earlier in the week turned up several of these identically-sized sticks in the drops section. That's a score so I snatched-up all that they had:


    Took the angle grinder with a flap disc to them, then had them in primer:


    And here is the first inner completed:


    Too many interruptions to get to the second inner; perhaps tomorrow, we'll see.

    I managed to make a quick video regarding today's portion of the work:


    Take care, thanks.
    Jerry

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    Despite the downpour we've experienced this weekend and the yard work necessary after so much of the wet stuff, I found just enough time to attempt the trial insertion of the prepped inner vertical into one of the outers. As I suspected, the square edges of the angle iron caused an interference with the radius-ed inner corners of those outers. Therefore I busted-out the angle grinder with the flap disc to correct the issue. After a couple of passes I felt confident that the result would work. With the aid of a floor jack and a couple of car dollies (these components are too heavy/bulky for one guy, or at least this one) the fit was indeed satisfactory:


    And for once the measurements I so diligently made actually came out spot-on; this is in regard to the amount of inner vertical tubing that would exist between the top edge of the outer vertical and the bottom edge of the 45-degree gusset when the inner vertical is completely "bottomed-out" within the outer:


    With that I stood it up, applied primer over the angle and let it dry:


    Then tended to the aforementioned yard work business, but finished out the before-darkness work with a quick fit-up of one of the casters that I'll use and its mounting plate:


    That plate will be 5" x 8". The caster mounting plate is 5" x 7", so there'll be 1/2" on each side. And of course the plate is 1/2" in thickness. I chose this 5-by-8 plate size by happenstance mostly ... I have some 1/2" x 5" plate remaining; one of those pieces is 8" long and that's enough for this application, so I decided to just go with it.

    So that's where things are for the time being. Gotta go help the wife get the son into bed.

    Y'all take care,
    Jerry

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    Well, how have y'all been? I hope that you had a good 4th holiday. I somehow managed to pull a few muscles during the break, so that slowed my plans to work on the gantry.

    That said, the last hole in the inner vertical's gusset support plate is now done, as are the 4 pieces of angle on the second inner vertical. That angle bridges the gap between the inner and outer SST, as shown in a previous post (and video). For the second time 'round however I decided to go with 1/8" angle rather than the 3/16" that I did on the first one. That made for less grinding, the fit is almost as tight and I can re-use the 3/16" on another project in the future.

    So with that progress completed I decided that tonight I would drill the pin holes through the verticals. I started by putting both sets together thus:


    And:


    No sooner than I had the mag drill out and ready to go did I hear the sound of thunder. I kid you not. Sheesh. So I did the usual; packed up and called it a night (early). At least this time The Rain waited until I was in the house before it showed up, so I guess that's something.

    The good news is that only a few items remain:

    1) Drill pin holes and secure pins.
    2) Weld caster support plates to the legs/feet. Secure caster h/w.
    2) Remove inners, clean & prep, then paint the entire thing.
    3) Stand the gantry.
    4) Implement the ram jack mounting, install ram jacks.
    5) Touch up paint.
    6) Install trolley and hoist.

    And that should do it. Still a little laundry list yet to go, but at this point the light-o-being-done is on the horizon.

    Take care,
    Jerry

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    So I spent a late night or two looking at options for pins that I might use to lock the inner and outer verticals together. The general idea I had was to find one that was at least 1/2" thick in diameter and that had a lanyard that would tie the two ends together. Ergo a locking pin. I didn't really find much along those lines, but I did find a boatload of ball-type locking pins, like this one (this is a general example):
    17-4 Stainless Shank - Aluminum Handle (Inch) - Fairlane Products

    So I dunno. Those seem like they would work, but the idea I had in my head was to use the positive locking pin-within-a-pin variant.

    Not wanting to spend too much time in thinking/debating mode over something like this, I decided to let that brew and skip to #2. Here are the caster support plates cut to length and in primer:


    Then I set about welding them in place:


    And drilling the holes:


    And after 16 of those I was done:


    So far I've drilled 72 holes and have 4 more to go for the pins. Perhaps that is normal in the gantry crane building world, but for me, wow! As a friend commented a while ago regarding this project as a whole "that's like work or something."

    Anyway, the list:

    1) Drill pin holes and secure pins.
    2) Weld caster support plates to the legs/feet. Secure caster h/w. [DONE]
    2) Remove inners, clean & prep, then paint the entire thing.
    3) Stand the gantry.
    4) Implement the ram jack mounting, install ram jacks.
    5) Touch up paint.
    6) Install trolley and hoist.

    And speaking of casters, does anyone have any feedback regarding how these particular ones work? I ask because they don't work like I anticipated. They articulate, which seems to (obviously) be for shock/load absorption. But there are three set screws on the end, no springs inside and nearest I can tell, the resistance to load would come in the form of how tightly the through bolt is cinched. Just curious...

    Anyway thanks,
    Jerry


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