Cabinet Lift

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Project by chopnhack posted 08-04-2012 02:14 AM 78689 views 44 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Having gotten some work building and installing kitchens, it was time for a serious jig! I couldn’t justify one of those commercial deals but scouring the net revealed an interesting design that I borrowed. No measurements just some pictures on woodweb. Thanks to the original author for sharing. There are some changes from the original, I used a steel cable as that is what came with the winch. My version is a little wider and perhaps a little taller. An easy build and hopefully will work as planned. I have already “tested” it by giving the kids a crank up and down, LOL. I of course did the first run myself as a safety check :-) I am confident that it could hold well over 300lbs. The winch is rated at a 1,000lbs. Of course the practical limitations to the weight limit would be balancing enough cabinetry to reach the weight limit, which of course would be impractical.

The “mast” is made up of 6 pieces of 19/32” plywood laminated together with wood glue and some nails. Try and remember to leave yourself a dado at the top for the garage door pulley otherwise you will give yourself a workout cutting it out later (DAMHIKT) .... and there are nails in there later…. LOL

Make extra strips so you can use them for the base spacers. Buy all thread if you have a means of cutting it (angle grinder), much cheaper than buying bolts and easily customizable to any length you need. I used 3/8” all thread.

Don’t cheap out on the casters, I used 4”, with the rear ones being locking, you don’t want the unit to scoot as your leveling the cabinet!

-- Sneaking up on the line....

17 comments so far

View versa's profile


29 posts in 4595 days

#1 posted 08-04-2012 02:45 AM

That looks great. Where did you get the little white rollers next to the mast?

View a1Jim's profile


118321 posts in 5039 days

#2 posted 08-04-2012 02:49 AM

Wow that’s great . the store bought version is big bucks.good thinking, well done.


View chopnhack's profile


375 posts in 3856 days

#3 posted 08-04-2012 02:52 AM

Thanks Jim!
Versa, the rollers are appliance casters.

-- Sneaking up on the line....

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 5485 days

#4 posted 08-04-2012 03:33 AM

A man after my own heart. I look for things like this because I usually work alone. Looks solid and looks safe. Two important elements. Thanks so much for sharing.

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


24656 posts in 5137 days

#5 posted 08-04-2012 05:10 AM

Looks pretty good from here.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View TimWood's profile


196 posts in 3703 days

#6 posted 08-04-2012 10:04 AM

Awesome idea….perfect execution. The castors on the front look like they aren’t under the weight of the cabinet – like it could become top heavy. Is that just the angle of the picture? Have you given it a test run with an actual cabinet? I’ll bet it’s sweet!!

-- Tim Harrelson

View chopnhack's profile


375 posts in 3856 days

#7 posted 08-04-2012 11:50 AM

Thanks all :-)
Tim, I’m not sure what you mean. I have given it a test run using my own body weight and there were no issues. I stood on the pad and raised myself up. Seemed steady. The driveway is inclined so that might be why the photo looks odd? I am thinking that since the weight is going from the pad through the cable over the pulley and then to the winch on the backside that the weight will transfer and roughly center over the post. Even if that logic doesn’t prove true, the center of the pad is still behind the front casters so it should balance well. Time will tell!

-- Sneaking up on the line....

View ArtB's profile


20 posts in 3613 days

#8 posted 08-04-2012 01:16 PM

I too could use a Gill Lift from time to time. But the price of a new one was unpractical, uses one was hard to come by. Great idea and execution, still don’t know why I didn’t think of it. But how did you attach the platfrom to the pole sleeve, can’t see how the arms work or configured? Oh well nice piece of work.

View Ken90712's profile


18113 posts in 4650 days

#9 posted 08-04-2012 02:34 PM

Well done shouldserve you well for a long time!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 4653 days

#10 posted 08-04-2012 03:38 PM

Looks like a winner, I love watching renovation realities and watching the woman hold the heavy cabinet while the guy is trying to find his drill gun lol. That looks like a real nice lift. You’ll get a lot of work done with it.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View chopnhack's profile


375 posts in 3856 days

#11 posted 08-04-2012 04:55 PM

Art the platform is attached via two 1/4” bolts through the plywood platform into a ripped down 2×6 that fits between each plywood side. The plywood sides (see pic 2) are then bolted together through other ripped down 2×6’s – one on the back side where the winch is and one on the front. Each of these 2×6’s has the rollers that ride against the mast. Hope that clears it up a bit!

-- Sneaking up on the line....

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4765 days

#12 posted 08-04-2012 08:22 PM

this is a really great tool, lifting heavy cabinets is not good for your back, and i like this, im sure your really happy to have it now, and i bet the kids enjoyed the ride also…thanks…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View rseabrease's profile


55 posts in 4552 days

#13 posted 08-09-2012 02:35 PM

Your cabinet lift gave me an idea for a lawnmower lift. I need to raise my lawnmower up to work on it and it is difficults to do. If I made one of these it would be no problem to lift it. I might add some type of propping mechanism so I can get to the blade and oil plug. Your idea is FANTASTIC!!

-- Richard

View JohnMTO's profile


4 posts in 2279 days

#14 posted 02-29-2016 07:44 PM

Ran into your cabinet lift- nice work I’d like a couple of dimensions if you wouldn’t mind. Also interested in how it has held up and what, if any changes, you would or have made.!
See pic below

-- John

View chopnhack's profile


375 posts in 3856 days

#15 posted 03-05-2016 04:59 AM

Ran into your cabinet lift- nice work I d like a couple of dimensions if you wouldn t mind. Also interested in how it has held up and what, if any changes, you would or have made.!
See pic below

- JohnMTO

Hi John, I have no dimensions per se as its been dismantled and in storage that I do not have access to right now. I can tell you that its 2×6 construction and you can extrapolate sizes from the photo. The platform size should correspond roughly to what you are hanging, so upper cabinets are about 12” deep.

Things to do differently, perhaps add some weight to the rear – maybe a pipe flange on either side where the four bolts go through the rear for the casters that way you could install a short nipple and stack some weights at the rear corners over the casters. This only really presented itself when I was installing three cab cases together (mulled together at once) where I had to balance the mast as I moved it into position.

It’s not shown here, but before this went into service I covered the platform with a scrap of carpet and stapled it from underneath. I also covered the upright where the platform meets the ‘trolley’.

Hope this helps! Happy hanging :-)

-- Sneaking up on the line....

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