Small shop, Crane/Forklift alternative
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  1. #1
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    Default Small shop, Crane/Forklift alternative

    I've got a job coming up that's going to require moving around and loading some heavy blanks into the lathe. I'd love to get an overhead crane, or even just a forklift. Unfortunately, I've got a very tight shop with a low ceiling Which basically rules out any traditional solution. I don't need a ton of capacity, I'm thinking 500lbs would probably be enough.

    Does anyone know of any creative solutions that would work? The only thing I've found so far is this skyhook.

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    since no height looks like the skyhook would be the plan. would be easy to fabricate. i think they are pricey

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    An engine hoist would be a lot more stable if you can use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaguar36 View Post
    I've got a job coming up that's going to require moving around and loading some heavy blanks into the lathe. I'd love to get an overhead crane, or even just a forklift. Unfortunately, I've got a very tight shop with a low ceiling Which basically rules out any traditional solution. I don't need a ton of capacity, I'm thinking 500lbs would probably be enough.

    Does anyone know of any creative solutions that would work? The only thing I've found so far is this skyhook.
    Not super flexible, but did you look at a unistrut-type trolley? If all you need is a track on the (low) ceiling that can suspend material into the lathe chuck area?

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    Wall mounted or floor mounted jib crane.

    This is one of our floor mounted cranes. 6 inch tube, 2 foot square floor plate. Pivot is cartridge that drops in tube. Uses tapered axle bearings on a 2 foot shaft. Counter rollers have small ball bearings in therm. One ton capacity.-
    .dscf1060.jpgdscf1061.jpgdscf1062.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandenberger View Post
    Not super flexible, but did you look at a unistrut-type trolley? If all you need is a track on the (low) ceiling that can suspend material into the lathe chuck area?
    ...and also look at barn door track, one style is called cannonball track.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaguar36 View Post
    I've got a job coming up that's going to require moving around and loading some heavy blanks into the lathe. I'd love to get an overhead crane, or even just a forklift. Unfortunately, I've got a very tight shop with a low ceiling Which basically rules out any traditional solution. I don't need a ton of capacity, I'm thinking 500lbs would probably be enough.

    Does anyone know of any creative solutions that would work? The only thing I've found so far is this skyhook.
    Make something custom like this ? :
    Small Mobile Shop Hoist

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    Buy a used Hoyer or similar type life. They come in hand pumped hydraulic and battery powered versions and have a narrow footprint.
    https://www.hoyerlift.com/
    Patient Lifts, Slings, & More for Home Medical Use - ON SALE

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    I have a skyhook and a forklift. One is not a substitute for the other. I also have a hydraulic lift cart on wheels, very useful. The skyhook also fits on a mount That I made for my mill table. This allows index table, rotary table, super spacer and vise lifts as well. The problem with engine hoists is that the legs have to go somewhere and I don't have that space. My skyhook has an Aloris size B type mount.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandenberger View Post
    Not super flexible, but did you look at a unistrut-type trolley? If all you need is a track on the (low) ceiling that can suspend material into the lathe chuck area?
    This might be perfect, it looks like I'd only lose a few inches to the track and trolley. Have to see if I can find a hoist that doesn't eat up too much room.

    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Make something custom like this ? :
    Small Mobile Shop Hoist
    I think this is my next choice, the Skyhook carts are super expensive. So fabbing up my own cart is looking more attractive. (and yes I am aware of the risk/requirements of building your own lifting device)

    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    My skyhook has an Aloris size B type mount.
    I noticed that they had those available, and it worried me putting loads like that on the toolpost. I guess the cutting forces are going to be way higher, but it just seemed like a bad idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by alphonso View Post
    Wall mounted or floor mounted jib crane.
    Did you have to do anything special to the floor for the jib crane? I think I'd run into the same height issues as with a bridge crane.

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    [QUOTE=jaguar36;3732419

    Did you have to do anything special to the floor for the jib crane? I think I'd run into the same height issues as with a bridge crane.[/QUOTE]

    No, just drill holes in slab and pound expansion anchor bolts in. Make the crane whatever height fits. We have one that is only 6 feet off the floor.

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    "Army" type integrated hoist/trolleys are a game-changer for hook height if you're going the I-beam direction.

    I think I gained a full foot of travel by switching to this style over a trolley+chainfall setup.



    The hook ends up about 9" off the bottom of the beam, which helps with tall stuff and makes bridle angles happier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaguar36 View Post
    This might be perfect, it looks like I'd only lose a few inches to the track and trolley. Have to see if I can find a hoist that doesn't eat up too much room.

    I think this is my next choice, the Skyhook carts are super expensive. So fabbing up my own cart is looking more attractive. (and yes I am aware of the risk/requirements of building your own lifting device)


    I noticed that they had those available, and it worried me putting loads like that on the toolpost. I guess the cutting forces are going to be way higher, but it just seemed like a bad idea.


    Did you have to do anything special to the floor for the jib crane? I think I'd run into the same height issues as with a bridge crane.
    Quote Originally Posted by alphonso View Post
    No, just drill holes in slab and pound expansion anchor bolts in. Make the crane whatever height fits. We have one that is only 6 feet off the floor.
    Not an expert in the field, but every free standing jib crane I've seen had a purpose built (poured) foundation that was much deeper than the floor slab. See any jib/bridge crane website for details and requirements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reggie_obe View Post
    Not an expert in the field, but every free standing jib crane I've seen had a purpose built (poured) foundation that was much deeper than the floor slab. See any jib/bridge crane website for details and requirements.
    Gorbel has foundationless jib cranes. Just requires 6" thick concrete with rebar 24" OC on better. McMaster-Carr stocks the cranes. Assembly instructions weren't great, but it went together well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kb0thn View Post
    Gorbel has foundationless jib cranes. Just requires 6" thick concrete with rebar 24" OC on better. McMaster-Carr stocks the cranes. Assembly instructions weren't great, but it went together well.
    Gorbel also has ones you can move with a forklift.

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    prestolift makes a counterbalanced push around fork lift:
    CW Series Counterweight Stackers (prestolifts.com)
    other models are lighter if you have clearance for legs sticking out front

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    How about something like this:

    Small Mobile Shop Hoist

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    i also have a low ceiling.. its basically a normal room size height

    i have a old electric forklift. the smallest i could find. fait E8, (om e8) can lift 800kg i use it for crates for stacking firewood, and getting stuff of trailers.. its around 80cm by 190cm what fits a normal door lol

    main problem is that forklifts extent when lifting. the forks can lift till around 1.6 meters before the lift hits the ceiling lol

    i am going to build a overhead crane. i dont care about the hight problem its better than nothing. i have 2 options in mind



    like this so the main beam is right below the ceiling.

    2nd: 2 beam 90 degrees so the can be put between the roof construction. so you dont also lose any height and than work with 3 beam trolleys

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    I built a simple crane that I bolted to the back of my lathe bed, so the carriage cleared it. This crane slips over a piece of pipe that is bolted in the truck bed. So I made a simple bracket to bolt on the lathe bed that I could slip a piece of pipe in. Then I can slip the crane over the pipe. My lathe is an 18x80 Mazak that weighs 6,000 lb. I've lifted a 500 lb blank into it. First lift on to a table, reset chain, then lift up to chuck. I make sure I stay very close to lathe to ensure I don't tip the lathe over.
    I also made an adapter that fits on the back of my Bridgeport clone top arm, into that hole in the back.
    So now I have a 1,000 lb crane I can use in my truck, lathe and mill !
    Not at home now so I can't post pics, sorry.
    Bob
    Error | DNS Resolution | Northern Tool + Equipment

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    Me, digging out the 4 foot cube out of the shop floor for the jib crane foundation...not as trivial as bolting it to a slab....


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