LumberJocks

Ergonomic Moving of Heavy Materials in Shop

  • Advertise with us

« back to Safety in the Woodworking Shop forum

Forum topic by Steinbierz posted 06-24-2020 05:47 PM 881 views 1 time favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Steinbierz's profile

Steinbierz

116 posts in 940 days


06-24-2020 05:47 PM

Hello,

I go in for back surgery tomorrow (my fifth since 2009) and I will most likely leave the hospital fused from T11 through S1. I am currently fused from L3-S1. I will admit that some, if not all, of my surgeries have been through stupidity on my part either in the shop or, when younger, out on the job as a Coast Guard vessel inspector. My most recent back episode started with moving sheets of 3/4” plywood by myself to sheath the walls of my shop. On one faithful occasion, I was carrying a sheet and slipped on a piece of EMT laying on the floor that had fallen out of a scrap bucket. The weight of the panel as well as my awkward body position as I fell sealed the deal.

I am wondering what others use in the shop to better move heavy materials when no help is around? While waiting for my surgery to be scheduled, I ordered the Rockler Material Mate panel cart but I won’t be able to assemble it until after my recovery from surgery.

Are there any other devices, ranging from anti-gravity beam devices on down that people use? BTW, I have had the orange Stanley hand panel carriers for years and might not have jacked my back up if I had used it in the above situation but I still am not a big fan of them. I also have looked at the Gorilla Grips from time-to-time but am really starting to wonder if I should be manhandling panels like this with regularity.

Sorry for the long post but would love to hear what people use across the broad spectrum of choices. Thanks.

-- Larry ~ Alvin, TX (Home of Nolan Ryan)


28 replies so far

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3385 posts in 4240 days


#1 posted 06-24-2020 08:22 PM

I use the orange panel carrier you talked about. I’m 65 now and have never had any back or other issues. It used to be that anything that needed moving would move. The losing strength issue didn’t start at all till about 60. Before that, no difference between 55 and 35. I would just move or lift it. Now, everything is getting heavier. a 40lb bag of something feels like a 90 lb bag of cement used to. I once carried one on my shoulder and another under my arm to offload them. Now I look at one and consider rolling it.

No back issues but I can tell you that this getting old thing is for the birds.

As for your problem… get a friend to help? Good luck with this.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

26126 posts in 3486 days


#2 posted 06-24-2020 08:35 PM

get a couple Mover’s Dollies from Harbor Freight, add the required brakets to hold the panels where you want….and just roll along…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1459 posts in 1391 days


#3 posted 06-24-2020 09:01 PM

What I use to move sheet goods is my helper!

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View 987Ron's profile

987Ron

59 posts in 119 days


#4 posted 06-24-2020 09:03 PM

At 82 I do not move large panels. I get help, lots of help or have the sheet goods cut down at the supplier.
Best of wishes for your surgery and recovery.

-- It's not a mistake it's a design opportunity

View Steinbierz's profile

Steinbierz

116 posts in 940 days


#5 posted 06-24-2020 09:20 PM


I use the orange panel carrier you talked about. I m 65 now and have never had any back or other issues. It used to be that anything that needed moving would move. The losing strength issue didn t start at all till about 60. Before that, no difference between 55 and 35. I would just move or lift it. Now, everything is getting heavier. a 40lb bag of something feels like a 90 lb bag of cement used to. I once carried one on my shoulder and another under my arm to offload them. Now I look at one and consider rolling it.

No back issues but I can tell you that this getting old thing is for the birds.

As for your problem… get a friend to help? Good luck with this.

- Craftsman on the lake

i hear you…I am 64 and although I have been athletic all my life, moving panels, bags of cement, stack of 2×4s, etc. is no longer a picnic!

-- Larry ~ Alvin, TX (Home of Nolan Ryan)

View Steinbierz's profile

Steinbierz

116 posts in 940 days


#6 posted 06-24-2020 09:22 PM



What I use to move sheet goods is my helper!

- Madmark2

I used to have a helper who looked a lot like my son…got married and moved away!

-- Larry ~ Alvin, TX (Home of Nolan Ryan)

View Steinbierz's profile

Steinbierz

116 posts in 940 days


#7 posted 06-24-2020 09:24 PM



At 82 I do not move large panels. I get help, lots of help or have the sheet goods cut down at the supplier.
Best of wishes for your surgery and recovery.

- 987Ron

I hope i am through with back surgeries after this and will no longer pick up a panel and try to move it myself…maybe you CAN teach a dog new tricks! ;) Thank you for your well-wishes!

-- Larry ~ Alvin, TX (Home of Nolan Ryan)

View Steinbierz's profile

Steinbierz

116 posts in 940 days


#8 posted 06-24-2020 09:29 PM



get a couple Mover s Dollies from Harbor Freight, add the required brakets to hold the panels where you want….and just roll along…

- bandit571

I’ll have to look into those. I used to have a couple of moving dollies that I occasionally used to move panels (I didn’t have brackets though like you mention) and it would sometimes get pretty unwieldy.

-- Larry ~ Alvin, TX (Home of Nolan Ryan)

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

4142 posts in 3912 days


#9 posted 06-24-2020 11:03 PM

Mover dollies, but with casters on only one end. The four- caster type can get away from you in a hurry. That would be my forecast, because it has happened to me. 30 years ago I could pick up a Chevy small block short block and put it in the bed of a truck, unassisted. Now I need help with a bare block, and truthfully not having done that in a few years I doubt I could even lift half of one any more, after carpal tunnel release surgery in both hands, and arthritis in hands, back and feet. I’m 67, so I’m a whole lot more careful than I was when I was young and immortal.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

871 posts in 982 days


#10 posted 06-24-2020 11:21 PM

Good luck to you.

As for as panels, you have a good start with a cart.

You may want to look at a vertical panel saw for processing panels. Once the plywood is on the saw it never really has to leave until your done. I have a tv stand that I make. It takes exactly 1 sheet. The panel never leaves the saw. I just kinda saw, flip saw, rotate saw, etc. much much easier than Wrestling on a table saw. You can make a cart that lines up with it so you don’t have to lift anything just roll it on. My is a Saw Trax.

View Steinbierz's profile

Steinbierz

116 posts in 940 days


#11 posted 06-24-2020 11:50 PM



Good luck to you.

As for as panels, you have a good start with a cart.

You may want to look at a vertical panel saw for processing panels. Once the plywood is on the saw it never really has to leave until your done. I have a tv stand that I make. It takes exactly 1 sheet. The panel never leaves the saw. I just kinda saw, flip saw, rotate saw, etc. much much easier than Wrestling on a table saw. You can make a cart that lines up with it so you don’t have to lift anything just roll it on. My is a Saw Trax.

- CWWoodworking

I considered a vertical panel saw some years back but instead ended up buying a 10’ sliding table saw. There are times when, just for the space savings, that I wished I had gone with the vertical saw instead. I think the panel mate should help me get the panels to the saw and onto it a lot easier. I also need to figure out how I am going to get larger logs onto my lathe. I have a cherry picker that I have never used for that but I have seen people on YouTube use it for really big logs so that might be an option.

-- Larry ~ Alvin, TX (Home of Nolan Ryan)

View Steinbierz's profile

Steinbierz

116 posts in 940 days


#12 posted 06-24-2020 11:58 PM



Mover dollies, but with casters on only one end. The four- caster type can get away from you in a hurry. That would be my forecast, because it has happened to me. 30 years ago I could pick up a Chevy small block short block and put it in the bed of a truck, unassisted. Now I need help with a bare block, and truthfully not having done that in a few years I doubt I could even lift half of one any more, after carpal tunnel release surgery in both hands, and arthritis in hands, back and feet. I m 67, so I m a whole lot more careful than I was when I was young and immortal.

- Dark_Lightning

The four-wheel model is what I used in the past. I have had carpal tunnel release on both wrists as well and am now in the early stages of Dupuytren’s Contracture in my non-dominant hand. It sucks getting old!

-- Larry ~ Alvin, TX (Home of Nolan Ryan)

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

5925 posts in 1377 days


#13 posted 06-25-2020 06:28 AM

The word “lifting” needs to get swapped in your conversation, and instead think of how to push it along the floor. There are gizmos to buy, some to make, but mostly it is outsmarting the plywood.

Amazon has Plywheels

https://www.amazon.com/PlyWheels-plywood-dolly-drywall/dp/B00PE32UWO

Paw Paw made his own on this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P86vZzzi9Lk

This guy still likes the carry, he keeps it low to the ground.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYwCsor8bRQ

When you get it to where you want it, throw a square of carpet on the floor in front of the leading edge, and by pushing the upper back edge just a little bit upward, you dig the front point in, and you can twist, and position it up onto a saw, or a work table to cut with a track saw. I haven’t “lifted” a sheet of plywood in several years, but I push 2 or 3 sheets around, almost every day.

-- Think safe, be safe

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

2670 posts in 2210 days


#14 posted 06-25-2020 11:02 AM

The plywheels linked above are like a door dolly my dad made, I like the homemade one better though. It’s a pair of maybe 4” rubber wheels each mounted to a piece of 2×4 maybe 8-10” long and a door hinge connecting them at the bottom. Maybe 2” between, it was built for moving 1-3/4” commercial doors. When you sit something down on the hinge it bends down making the top edges of the 2×4s pinch the door.
I can see the plywheels sliding along the edge of the wood.

I’m pretty young still (37 next month) but I’ve broken my back when younger, tweaked a shoulder and ankle, watched my dad go through 3 shoulder surgeries, so I find myself stopping and working smarter most of the time. My new shop is big enough that I bought a small forklift and it’s the best helper in the whole world! If you have room for any sort of gantry with a hoist or chainfall I’d definitely do that! You can make a nice gantry setup with unistrut and an electric hoist, I’m thinking about doing that still!

Oh and something like this would be slick combined with a gantry for panels!

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

929 posts in 404 days


#15 posted 06-25-2020 11:58 AM

I am amazed at how difficult it is for me to handle a full sheet of plywood as I age. I have some rotator cuff issues and even when going to the gym (not going now due to covid) every other day I have trouble. Going to build a flip cart this weekend for my Ridgid sander and DW735 and planning my cuts so I can have the sheet broken at least half at the store. To the OP, why 3/4” on the shop walls? I used 1/2” and attached 3/4” french cleats and can’t see how you would need or want to install that thick of wall sheeting. Sorry about your misfortune and wish you a speedy full recovery.

showing 1 through 15 of 28 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com