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Dumbwaiter In The Garage


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#1 dave8338 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2012 - 07:21 PM

I had mentioned awhile back, that I was doing a few mods to the garage to make more room for the toys. I've been busy with that for the last few weeks in all my "spare time", so I thought I'd post a few picks of what I've been up to.

The barn was converted into a 3 car garage prior to us buying the property 16+ years ago. They did a nice job with ONE exception: The rear 10' was inaccessable due to a change in the floor elevation. It drops down about 16" to the lower level and rear of the barn. The only way to store anything back there was to lift it over the wall (garden tractors wasn't going to happen) OR wedge it through a 32" walk in door.

Here is my solution:
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When finished (I'm hoping by next weekend) I'll be able to load the GTs on the bench and store them for the winter. Should be room for at least three of them. :orangecool:
It will raise and lower using cables and a chain fall hoist. I've already picked it up by hand just to ensure that everything moves freely and without slop. So far... it does.

I have an idea for a nifty little ramp extension... we'll see if it works.

Edited by dave8338, August 01, 2012 - 07:45 PM.


#2 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2012 - 07:26 PM

Neat design and ingenious use of space. :thumbs:

If I could make a suggestion: put safety stops on all four posts.
Something as simple as a large pin in each post that would support the weight in case of a failure.
We'd rather not read about you in the Darwin awards. : :smilewink:

#3 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2012 - 07:32 PM

I'll be interested in the finial product when you are done. Looks pretty cool. Looks like you have a few bikes as well.

#4 dave8338 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2012 - 07:43 PM

Good heads up on the safety stops ! You are correct that it could be something very simple just to make sure things can't fall too far.

As for bikes, yeah... I have a few of them too. I think in that picture you can see half of them.

Can't wait to move the 70's Craftsman 32", up onto the bench and get it out of the middle of the mess.

I've designed the system to be expandable to the haymow so that by adding to the guide tracks and raising the mounting point for the chain fall hoist, I'll have a lift up to the second floor and WIDE OPEN SPACE with a 20+ ceiling height. May never use that option but it is nice to know it is possible.
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#5 dave8338 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2012 - 11:02 AM

I worked on the garage project again, yesterday.

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This is one of the four pulleys used to lift the platform from below the decking. Trying as hard as I can, to keep the lifting system out of the way.
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And here it is installed.

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This shot is of one of the two main cable tie supports. For testing, I'm using 3/8" x 6" lag screws. When it is up and working, the lags will be replaced with bolts that will go all the way through the support posts.

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And this is what it looks like when in place.
I still need to make the horizontal supports to complete "the box" so that everything lifts straight up. Without them, only the rear of the platform would raise as I'm using the chain hoist at the rear of the lift and not in the center.

More to come...
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#6 UncleWillie OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2012 - 08:32 PM

Pretty neat idea. I look forward to the finished product

#7 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2012 - 10:29 PM

I love the idea! That would be an awesome space saver and a very useful tool to have around! I'm wondering if the dimensional lumber framework will support the weight of 3 tractors without bowing sufficiently to throw the geometry off on the lifting system though. Just a thought.

#8 dave8338 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 09:18 AM

Thanks, guys. It will certainly make for more room that is much needed.

Steve: The platform is not completed yet as I want it to be light enough that I can cycle the full range of motion by hand. Prior to installing the 4x8 sheets of plywood for the decking, I'll finish up the joist work.
You are correct. As it sits now, I wouldn't want to lift much more than a sheet of paper on it ! :thumbs:
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#9 dave8338 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2012 - 09:53 AM

Here are a few more pics of the project.


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I worked on the vertical support for the platform. It keeps the rear of the platform from raising ahead of the front. Rather simple solution, but functional. :thumbs:

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Here is a close up of the bracket I made with another roller to keep things going up and down smoothly.

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And here is a shot showing the rear of the platform with the main lift beam, all lined up (used an eyebolt for my plumb bob :blush2: ) and ready for the top support bracket to get finished up and mounted. The bracket will hold the chain fall and bring the lift into action ! :smilewink:

After work I'll be tearing into main bracket. I have the mounting plates in place just to get everything lined up, so it more time with my welder...

Nothing is completely assembled so the lack of cable clamps (just one in most photos) will be corrected.

Edited by dave8338, August 15, 2012 - 09:58 AM.

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#10 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2012 - 12:25 PM

Man, I hope this works out for you. That's a lot of work invested, there.

When I used to have atv's, I put some steel in my garage ceiling and then a chain lift and 'shelf' of sorts to hold one atv 5 feet in the air so another could slide underneath. Of course it helps that my garage ceiling is 10'5". When I sold them, I just raised a lawn cart that I no longer need up there and left it.

Your post inspired me to rethink it and I got out there this past weekend and build a real shelf on it for my tiller, snowblower, spreader, etc. Now I can use the chain hoist to raise or lower any of those things, and then just push them by hand once they're up to shelf level. Wll have to take some pictures soon and start another thread.

#11 dave8338 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 20, 2012 - 08:36 AM

Had a little time to work on the project this weekend. I made the main lift support that attaches to the beams in the barn. This particular bracket, will hang from the ceiling and be the anchor for the chain fall. 3/16" -- 3/8" material is what I had laying around home, so in order to get the 2000 lb. goal that I set for the bracket, I had to double up the 3/16 wall x 1 1/2" square tubing and stitch weld it every 6" with a 2-3" bead.

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The end plates are 3/8" x 4 1/2" x 12" and will work well to hold everything in place.

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And here it is all glued together and painted "Safety Blue" out of a rattle can of Rust-Oleum...tiz what I had other than Satin White in the spray bomb collection.

#12 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted August 20, 2012 - 11:12 AM

Good to see it coming along. I'd really thought about going the whole 9 yards and following your lead, but what I landed on doing was just making raised shelves with a chain lift coming up through the middle. Now I can put my toro power handle stuff up there that I don't use often, like the snowblower and tiller attachments. Though the one thing I want to finish is a trap door in the middle where I can raise stuff up and set it temporarily on the trap door. Right now, I had to wrestle things like the tiller off the chain lift and on to the shelves.
IMG-20120820-00157.jpg


Having a full lift like yours is the bomb, though.

#13 dave8338 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 20, 2012 - 12:48 PM

Good to see it coming along. I'd really thought about going the whole 9 yards and following your lead, but what I landed on doing was just making raised shelves with a chain lift coming up through the middle. Now I can put my toro power handle stuff up there that I don't use often, like the snowblower and tiller attachments. Though the one thing I want to finish is a trap door in the middle where I can raise stuff up and set it temporarily on the trap door. Right now, I had to wrestle things like the tiller off the chain lift and on to the shelves.
IMG-20120820-00157.jpg


Having a full lift like yours is the bomb, though.


AWESOME ! :thumbs:
It would appear that great minds think alike. I see what you are saying about getting the tiller in there. I like the way you set it up so that you can stack MANY pieces in the same square foot area. Sure adds room in the garage, doesn't it ! :smilewink:
I'm hoping to have the main support bracket up and in place by the time I go to bed, tonight. We'll see...
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#14 dave8338 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 21, 2012 - 01:28 PM

As best layed plans "usually" go for me, I was unable to get the main bracket mounted last night. It is up in place with drywall screws at the moment however... after two hours of searching, I for the life of me, couldn't find my 1/2" wood auger bit. On the bright side, I did find ALL the other bits that have gone AWOL. Turns out that I at some point, threw them in the back of a drawer below the table saw and for 6-months or longer, have been missing them. That "caper" has been solved. :blush2:

Stopped on my way to work today and picked up a new Irwin 1/2" auger bit and will attempt to make the connection final, tonight.
I'm getting too old to lift 60 pounds over my head with one hand while attempting to use the screw gun and screw, on a ladder.
It is up there, now for the attack ! ! ! :firejumper:

Here is where it goes (the slats are just for alignment)
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And here it is on the ladder prior to the "Hail Mary" move I used to get it in place...
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Edited by dave8338, August 21, 2012 - 01:46 PM.


#15 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted August 21, 2012 - 02:21 PM

Where's that sky hook when you need it? Better look in that drawer again, might be there.
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