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Old 02-02-2019, 08:26 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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Default Counter-Balanced Shop Crane

I already have a gantry crane, but due to its size I keep it in an area of my barn which does not make it easy to get to or use, as I also store my kayak trailer over there.

I have a 120-volt Warn hoist rated for overhead lifting that I have attached to a glue-lam beam that is in a much more convenient spot in my shop, but I hesitate to put too much of a load on that beam.

So, I've been thinking of building or acquiring a jib crane of some sorts. Just a couple of weeks ago I was at one of my jobsites (bank branch) overseeing the installation of a new automatic door opener when I found out one of my other regular subcontractors was also on site because apparently someone had hit the clearance bar that is mounted before the drive-up ATM canopy and busted it clear off the base.

They were planning on throwing away the old clearance bar, but there was no way I was going to let that happen. As inconvenient as it was for me, I loaded this thing up in my truck and was hell bent on getting back to my side of the State.

Problem is, I had a whole other day I had to be out of town and this thing is so large it wouldn't let me close my tailgate, which would leave all my tools more vulnerable to theft than usual.
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Last edited by Spencer; 02-03-2019 at 12:12 PM. Reason: Correcting to call it a "shop crane" as opposed to a "jib crane"
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:33 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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When I got to the hotel I unloaded the clearance bar and did my best to secure it from theft (scrappers).

I knew none of the regular guests at the hotel would steal it, I was just worried of who my drive by and see it laying there, so I propped it up against the back of my truck and locked it to the hitch.

Somebody could have easily slid it right out of the steel cables I was using to lock it up, but I at least wanted to make it difficult for them.

Luckily, it was still there in the morning, so after I finished the days work in Detroit I headed back home and got it loaded up into by barn.

The tube steel is 4" x 6" (if memory serves) and has a 1/4" wall thickness.
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2019, 08:44 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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As this was rectangular tube steel, as opposed to being round, I ruled out making any kind of swiveling floor-mounted jib crane.

I knew a fixed jib would not be very useful for me, so I started thinking about making a counter-balanced jib crane using a pallet jack and a crap ton of concrete.

While researching counter-balanced units by using Google image searches for inspiration I somehow came across one that was currently up for auction nearby.

The auction wasn't starting until yesterday (2/1), so I figured I just wait to see how much this one was going to sell for, as it would surely be ten times the piece of equipment that I could make myself.

I hadn't had a chance to see this item in person, so I was not planning on bidding very high of a price for it, but knowing this same model sells for over 6K new, I took more of a risk that I would have otherwise and ended up with the winning bid.

It came home with me today.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:54 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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I had the manufacturer's name and the model number of this unit from the photos posted on the auction site, but I could not find the weight of the unit listed anywhere on the Internet.

Neither the manufacturer or any of the vendors who sell this unit listed the weight, so before I picked it up today I ran my truck and trailer though a certified scale at a truck stop near the auction site.

I assumed the unit weight just under or just at 2,000 pounds, as that is the rated capacity of the unit. The boom extends out much further than is shown in this attached photo, but at its furthest reach is only rated for 1,000 pounds.

Turns out they really don't want this thing to tip over as when I ran back through the certified scale the difference in weight was 2,820.

That is about 800 pounds more than this trailer is rated to carry, but I was basically screwed at this point. The auction site was getting ready to close and it would have taken me an hour and a half to run home to get my dump trailer and then I wouldn't have had a fork lift to transfer it.

As I had the weight centered directly over the axle I just took it easy on the way home and got here safely without issue.

I was a bit nervous about unloading it by myself, but that went just fine too.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:59 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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I had to do a bit of work to my snow blower, so after cleaning up the crane a bit I figured that would be a good test.

I much prefer to work on things at a comfortable height, so I usually lift up the blower with my Warn hoist, but it ends up twirling around the whole time I'm working on it.

I looped a piece of chain through the end of the crane and hooked my cambuckle straps to both ends of the chain and the blower didn't twist at all.
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:02 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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After getting the obstructions out of the blower and two new shear pins installed I cranked the jib up as high as it will go.

I figured I'd see if it loses any height over night, indicating an issue with the hydraulic lines, pump, or cylinder.
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  #7  
Old 02-03-2019, 10:07 AM
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milomilo milomilo is offline
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Looks to be a very handy lift.
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:28 AM
threepiece threepiece is offline
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Spencer, I can't tell for sure from the pictures, but that doesn't look like a jib crane. It looks more like a shop crane to me. A jib crane would have a hoist configured on a boom in such a way that it could travel along it providing three dimensional positioning of the lifting hook. They are also mounted to a permanent structure such as a wall or column and not movable unless mounted to vehicle.
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Last edited by threepiece; 02-03-2019 at 10:51 AM. Reason: More content
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:10 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threepiece View Post
Spencer, I can't tell for sure from the pictures, but that doesn't look like a jib crane. It looks more like a shop crane to me. A jib crane would have a hoist configured on a boom in such a way that it could travel along it providing three dimensional positioning of the lifting hook. They are also mounted to a permanent structure such as a wall or column and not movable unless mounted to vehicle.
You are correct, thanks for pointing that out.

The manufacturer is calling it a shop crane.

http://www.rugerindustries.com/produ...hop-cranes/117

I'll see if there is a way I can edit the title of the post, but I don't think there is. Maybe a moderator will edit it for me.
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:26 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milomilo View Post
Looks to be a very handy lift.
Thanks, yes much easier to move around than my gantry. It is still going to be a challenge to make a spot to store it and still have it be convenient to get to, but I need to clean up and organize the shop anyway.
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