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Old 12-31-2007, 06:54 PM   #1
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How to build an elevator?


Happy New Yea... hack, cough, hark, sneeze...

Normally, you see the west side of my little "ranch", 'cuz that's where Millicent lives.

Now, here is the "East Fourty":


Never mind the decrepid old trailer-house. That pile of steel in the foreground is my new barn. Mechaniacal Workshop. There's more steel than shows in the picture -- $24.000 worth! It all goes in that empty space behind the pile; 24 x 36 feet, two stories high-- as soon as I scrape up the money to pour the concrete slab.

Meanwhile, I'm brainstorming on the biggest problem with this structure: The fact that is needs to be two stories because I do not have enough land for a larger footprint.
I'm going to need an elevator.

The elevator will stay upstairs most of the time, leaving the ground floor clear for working. The elevator should probably be roughly the size of a car lift. And yes, I can buy a car lift for two Grand. Trouble is, a car lift only goes six feet up, and I need 12 feet. I've sent e-mail to a couple of car lift dealers, and they didn't even bother to reply, so it seems unlikely that those lifts lend themselves to being extended.

Any ideas?
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:22 PM   #2
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Re: How to build an elevator?

How about expandable rams like they have on end dumps?
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Old 12-31-2007, 09:22 PM   #3
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Re: How to build an elevator?


Multisectional telescoping hydraulic rams -- yes, that could get me the height. But I suspect those rams are terribly expensive, and they are certainly much more powerful than I need. I won't need to lift more than... oh... maybe 1000 pounds. And I'm on a ridiculously tight budget.

So I'm thinking something simple and mechanical. Four steel pillars that the platform slides along, pretty much like a car lift. Two shafts and five of roller chains. One electric motor. I'm already comfortable working with chains and sprockets, so I could build that.

But then I'm thinking... maybe something even simpler. And getting rid of the pillars on the ground floor. How about simply a winch all the way up at the ridge beam, lifting a platform/cage with four cables? Or just ONE cable?

See... I'm stuck here at home on New Year's Eve with a nasty chest cold, and I'm trying to use the time to think "outside the box".
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Old 12-31-2007, 10:08 PM   #4
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Re: How to build an elevator?

sounds like you would like to suspend the whole platform from the ceiling so that rams lift beams and rigging will not be in your way as the platform is not in use ive seen these types of lifts in the mills how about 4 electric chain blocks one on each corner on a aluminum frame? they could be wired to one switch so they work together. that may be cheaper and easier than a whack of chain drives and pulleys and one large electric moter plus you could have it so you can take off a chain block or 2 and use it elsewhere wow i am obvously drinkin! happy new year!
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Old 12-31-2007, 10:17 PM   #5
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Re: How to build an elevator?

Why not put telescoping rails on the second floor, for a guide, use a 500 lbs weight for counter weight (smaller motor), and a locking device, to keep the platform from falling to the first floor.

How is that for thinking out side the box (actually, saw that kind of platform on some old sci fi flick, attached to the bottom of a rocket ship )


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Old 12-31-2007, 11:01 PM   #6
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Re: How to build an elevator?


Yes, it would be nice to have all the hardware upstairs when the platform is upstairs.

But it's not necessary, if a we find a good solution with four pillars on the ground floor.

Four motors.... Could I expect them to all run at the same speed?

A counterweight is a good idea. Hadn't considered that. The platform will necessarily weigh quite a bit, and I could take most of that burden off the motor.

Definitely a good locking device, yes!

Timbuk, have a New Year's snort for me also, please. I'm "living on" hot chocolate and hot milk-n-honey for my chest cold, and I'm OUT OF PEPPERMINT SCHNAPS! I'm invited to a humdinger of a party tonight, but don't dare go. No fair giving 100 people my bug.

Poking around on the internet, it looks like I can get a 120 Volt winch that can lift 4000 pounds for $450,- -- with a 50 foot cable. I only need 12 feet, so I could leave some cable off and maximize the leverage on the spool.

Yeah, I see all the "jeep" winches that can pull 10.000 pounds for $49.95. But they are 12 Volt. I'm guessing they turn v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y?
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Old 01-01-2008, 02:08 AM   #7
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Re: How to build an elevator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess

Yes, it would be nice to have all the hardware upstairs when the platform is upstairs.

But it's not necessary, if a we find a good solution with four pillars on the ground floor.

Four motors.... Could I expect them to all run at the same speed?

A counterweight is a good idea. Hadn't considered that. The platform will necessarily weigh quite a bit, and I could take most of that burden off the motor.

Definitely a good locking device, yes!

Timbuk, have a New Year's snort for me also, please. I'm "living on" hot chocolate and hot milk-n-honey for my chest cold, and I'm OUT OF PEPPERMINT SCHNAPS! I'm invited to a humdinger of a party tonight, but don't dare go. No fair giving 100 people my bug.

Poking around on the internet, it looks like I can get a 120 Volt winch that can lift 4000 pounds for $450,- -- with a 50 foot cable. I only need 12 feet, so I could leave some cable off and maximize the leverage on the spool.

Yeah, I see all the "jeep" winches that can pull 10.000 pounds for $49.95. But they are 12 Volt. I'm guessing they turn v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y?

Now, on the jeep winches, I'm not too sure if those winches actually lift 10,000lbs. I think that they will drag 10,000 lbs, but only lift a fraction of that weight.

I'd probably go with the 120 v winch, with multiple cables (no problem with different speeds on different motors).


My I suggest to install a ramp and use a winch to pull the load up to the second floor?

Good luck with the project.


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Old 01-01-2008, 02:33 AM   #8
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Re: How to build an elevator?

Taking a page from a carnival's (sp?) cheap ass stuff...a good wench with a big ass set of pullies, I would add a set of four poles to act as guides...I also like the idea of being able to "lock" it into place and that would help there as well. sorta along these lines..christ I should wake my 6 year old..he can drawl on paint better than me *LOL*
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Old 01-01-2008, 02:49 AM   #9
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Re: How to build an elevator?


Thanks for the "good luck"! I may need it.

This is an exiting project -- I'll have much more shop and storage space than I have ever had before.

I have thought of outside access to the upstairs, yes. If I put a big door in the upstairs gable, I could lift my Stuff into the upstairs exactly the same way hay is lifted into a real barn. (The shape of the barn is a classic gambrel.)

An outdoor ramp would, hypothetically, be marvellous. I see before my inner eye the typical barn from my childhood, built on a hillside so that the upper floor of the barn is accessed almost level from the ground on the uphill side of the building. Alas, my land is level, and not large enough for a 12 foot tall ramp/bridge.

So I'll probably go with the indoor elevator -- just inside the main door. The trick will be to make it simple and inexpensive, yet functional and safe.


I do have the option of putting the elevator outside, on the "hidden" gable end of the barn. But then again I would have to add a big door -- and that's the south wall, which needs insulation against the sun. And outside the barn, there is no overhead structure to mount anything to.
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Old 01-01-2008, 03:01 AM   #10
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Re: How to build an elevator?





Demonknight, (cough, cough...) Demonknight, you just made my New Year's Celebration! I think I just coughed/laughed up a lung!

Quote:
...a good wench with a big ass...


Here I am, nursing a cold when I should have been with a great bunch of friends dancing on the roof and shooting off fireworks (it's five minutes before the new year here)...
...And I still get a great laugh!

Please do not take offence, Demonknight. It's a VERY easy mistake to make; downright common.

Quote:
...a good wench with a big ass...


I'm still laughing and spitting up lungs!

You meant winch. You wrote wench.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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