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  #1  
Old 10-14-2023, 11:19 AM
Scratch Scratch is offline
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Default DIY shop elevator

I have a 40'x63' pole shed that I recently poured concrete in myself. See this thread: https://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums...ad.php?t=54427

Then I framed out the walls and put in floor trusses. I was looking for help with my 10' door span here:
https://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums...ad.php?t=54480

So now I have the entire North side of the shed, (going the long way) with a concrete floor. My slab is about 17' wide and about 62' long. On that slab, I've framed out a 10' wide office area, a 10' wide CNC plasma table room, and a 42' wide workshop. My sidewalls are 16' high so I built a loft built above the entire thing for storage.

I have 28 shelving units up there and have them all labeled A-Z so I know where all my stuff is located. I also have a long lumber storage rack, a 4x8 sheeting rack up there, plus a large area to store larger random things that won't fit on shelves like furniture and stuff. I will now be able to store all my small stuff up in the loft, and have a heated, closed in shop below it. Then out in the open part of the shed, it's just a dirt floor, but that's where I'll store my jeeps. (I collect old 40's jeeps)

I needed some way to get up to loft with various items, and I'm not so good with ladders any more so I was trying to figure out the best method. A nice big wide staircase with a railing would be the safest, but it took up so much floorspace. I was thinking about getting one of those rolling steel staircases that are at like Lowes and Home Depot, but even though they can be rolled out of the way, they still take up a bunch of room. My next thought was a staircase hinged at the top that I could just pull to the up position when I didn't need it, but that was getting real heavy, real fast.

Then I saw a bunch of people on YouTube making garage elevators and the decision was made!

After a bunch of research online, I made some plans and built it. I used a 440/880 lb electric hoist, two 14' sections of Unistrut rails, and some various steel and hardware to build my elevator. Although it's a little slow, (takes 28 seconds to get all the way up) it works awesome and is much easier to bring stuff up and down now. The platform is 36" x 49" wide so I can easily bring up full sheets of plywood standing up, and with the platform weighing about 75 pounds and the hoist in double line pull configuration, I should be able to safely lift 800 pounds if I need to (I have no plans to ever go that heavy though...) The best thing is that I can store it in the up position and it takes up just a few inches of space along the wall, basically no footprint at all!

I still need to get rid of a bunch of junk and organize it better, but I thought you might like to see some pics of it so here it is. Here are the storage shelves, long lumber rack and sheeting rack, and the elevator pics after that.
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Last edited by Scratch; 10-14-2023 at 11:26 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-14-2023, 11:20 AM
Scratch Scratch is offline
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More elevator pics:
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2023, 02:09 PM
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Looks good. Was that a kit? What happens if a cable breaks?

I wonder if a rolling staircase may have been a less complicated choice? You still are going to have to dedicate that space to be able to use the platform. This staircase shown below is at an upcoming auction of a print shop. I doubt it will be well-attended so the stairs may go for less than $100. I've seen them go even cheaper at other auctions. Yes, you have to store them, but they DO come in handy doing high things--like an easy-up scaffold.

At first I'm thinking "oh that poor AR out in the cold and damp..."
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Old 10-14-2023, 03:38 PM
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Thai's a mighty fine job!!!!
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Old 10-14-2023, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccutter View Post

At first I'm thinking "oh that poor AR out in the cold and damp..."
That was my first thought too......should be on the warm side of the wall.

I do like the elevator though, but for me there would a low cage to keep me in it.
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Old 10-14-2023, 04:37 PM
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Nice use of the upper space. Nice that it is all under one roof. I’ve been sorting/ purging my work shop, and storage buses/ sheds. I’m making progress, but when it’s raining, I tend not want to walk outside carrying stuff to the buses.


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  #7  
Old 10-14-2023, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim KS View Post
That was my first thought too......should be on the warm side of the wall.
I don't know if you noticed but it is a waterjet carving...
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2023, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccutter View Post
I don't know if you noticed but it is a waterjet carving...
I did notice in one of the pix, from the elevator down, it looked like it was thin, I thought maybe a lens distortion. Not really the place for a valuable or usable AR......not mine anyway.
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2023, 10:20 PM
Scratch Scratch is offline
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No, it’s not a kit. There are a bunch of people online making very similar things for their garage attics and stuff like that. Most of them more simpler than mine with a single line pull. I chose to do this double line pull because of the way I access my loft. (If you ever watch some of the more common designs, you’ll see what I mean)

If the cable breaks, yes I’ll fall. I will probably get one of those fall protection devices that work like a seatbelt. It’s completely loose as long as it goes slow.

I’ve been looking at rolling staircases for over a year now. It was my original plan. But the cheapest one I’ve seen go at auction was over 500 and I still would have to store it. I like the elevator much better. When it’s in the up position, it takes up no room. I can park cars directly below it.

And yes, Thats a plasma cut AR from sheet metal.
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2023, 10:52 PM
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Keep an eye out on craigslist or marketplace for a pallet stacker. Best money I've ever spent. I got my first one for $500 and it'll lift 1500lbs up to 10ft. I've since gotten other ones cheaper, but they all serve their purpose! "Big Joe" is a prevalent brand also Blue Giant or Presto. Some have powered wheels to move around, all mine are the push around manually type.

Edit: watch your lift hight, some don't go as high as others and some have short forks!
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