Lifting heavy stuff in the shop

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Forum topic by b2rtch posted 08-11-2012 12:14 PM 5478 views 0 times favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4922 posts in 4504 days

08-11-2012 12:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

As some of you know , I am rebuilding a Powermatic 60 jointer.
According the Powermatic documentation this thing is 600 pounds fully assembled.
I have been moving it around all by myself as I did it before with the Unisaw.
I always have been carrying and moving heavy stuff and I know how to use the weight of what I have to move to my advantage. ( When I was much younger I used to carry around, quite frequently, a full sized blacksmith anvil). I worked, all by myself , on huge cranes and mining equipment for well over 15 years.
I am going to be 63 and somehow, lately, things got heavier and I ( hopefully) go smarter.
It seems to me that rebuilding table saws and joiners and stuff like that for re-sale could be in my future and even if not, I shall always need to lift one thing or the other.
I would like to buy one of this (it can lift #650/1300) :

I would like to hang it from my 10’ ceiling on a circular mount or may be on an arm from the wall so that I can pick a load, put it on my work table and then when finished put it back on the base.

Did anyone of you built something like that?
Thank you for reading.

-- Bert

38 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5033 days

#1 posted 08-11-2012 01:30 PM

Hi Bert
I don’t have a set up like this but I would be careful what can of load I put on your rafters or joist if you have a upstairs. I agree having something to help lift heavy objects would be great but a 660-1300 load could be a problem.


View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4888 posts in 3690 days

#2 posted 08-11-2012 01:35 PM

Hi Bert.
I haven’t done such a thing in my shop but I’ve worked in shops where such lifts exist. The slickest and strongest ones ( you want one rated for at least 1 ton and some older machines are much heavier) have a hoist mounted on a trolley running on an I-beam sitting on iron posts bolted to the floor. Usually the beam is clear span from wall to wall. The most versatile ones that cover most of the shop floor have two additional trollies. The lift beam is mounted to a trolley at each end which run on another set of I-beams running the full length of the shop, giving an X-Y movement, and the hoist gives the Z axis movement.
This page seems to have every conceivable lift option. For a quick overview, mouse over the logo patch and each logo brings up a different kind of lift.

I’ve been reading about how muscles change with age. There can be plenty of muscle mass, but your nervous system gets wacked out so that 10 lbs feels like 20 or more. It takes a LOT more focus to lift the heavies. And the used up muscle takes longer to restore. Ibuprofen is my friend.

Good luck and be safe.

-- DanK All my life I've wanted to be someone. I see now I should have been more specific.

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 5153 days

#3 posted 08-11-2012 01:43 PM

Hey Bert 63 you’re just a kid lol
HF have them at a very good price.

Better be safe than sorry go for it Bert.

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 5349 days

#4 posted 08-11-2012 01:46 PM

I built something similar and like A1Jim says…….be careful you dont put to much load of the trusses/rafters. I put a steel I Beam from one side to the other supported on posts (with a footing) and could slide the hoist back and forth.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7480 posts in 3949 days

#5 posted 08-11-2012 02:16 PM

Such a hoist would be good on a steel frame and track, or similar. But I would not fasten that to anything on the structure of a wood frame building. I use an engine hoist for lifting that stuff….to be sure it’s not nearly as handy as an overhead wench, but it still works fairly well (and it only cost $130).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View AandCstyle's profile


3306 posts in 3713 days

#6 posted 08-11-2012 02:25 PM

Bert, I have and use a shop crane from HF. They also have one rated for 2 tons. I am not certain if it would meet your needs or not, but it is cost effective, somewhat portable and will not strain your rafters/joists. I especially appreciate the portability factor, in that, I can use it to unload an item from my truck, set it on a dolly, then move the crane and item to my shop then lift the item off the dolly and set it in place. HTH

-- Art

View Bluepine38's profile


3393 posts in 4541 days

#7 posted 08-11-2012 02:46 PM

Art’s idea is the same one I had, except you would have to check the width on the cranes feet to make sure
it could straddle your shop machinery. I am also having a bit of problem with items getting heavier as I get
older, and the doctors keep getting younger.

-- As ever, Gus-the 83 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Loren's profile


11503 posts in 5104 days

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

I don’t recommend using one of those electric hoists for this.

I have a similar (smaller) electiric hoist and it lifts and lowers
much faster than I want when lifting cast iron machines…
it’s very tricky to control and moving something up or down
a half inch is not really possible. The hoist runs with a 1700 rpm
motor with a clutch to slow it down on one end and a gearbox
on the other. The gearbox is really not geared down a lot
though so the hoist reel turns quickly.

I bought a manual chain fall hoist and I get a lot more control
with it. Plus it can lift a lot more than the electric one I have
and was much less money to buy it.

If you intend to move machines a lot, I recommend you get an
engine hoist. Such a hoist can help you load and unload
machines to and from vehicles as well as be brought into
the shop.

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 4149 days

#9 posted 08-11-2012 05:08 PM

I use an engine crane, cherry picker, for the things I can’t lift by hand. And when it’s not in use you can extend the boom fully and hang a hammock from it.

-- See pictures on Flickr -[email protected]/ And visit my Facebook page -

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 4228 days

#10 posted 08-11-2012 05:51 PM

I have the same shop crane as Art (AandCStyle) and have used it to lift every tool in my shop at least once. It even handled lifting my Hammer A3-31 off the pallet and held it in the air for me to add the mobile base to the bottom.

I don’t use the shop crane very often because most of my stuff is on wheels, but when I do need it I’m very glad I have it. It has a pretty small foot print, and you could keep it outside in a shed if you wanted it totally out of the way while not in use (if you don’t use it often).

Also as a safety precaution, whenever I lift anything major like that I just make sure someone else is in the garage with me, I just have this fear that something bad will happen and the machine will fall on me and pin me to the ground unable to call for help. A little fear is a good thing sometimes I think, prevents us from doing stupid things.


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View b2rtch's profile


4922 posts in 4504 days

#11 posted 08-11-2012 09:56 PM

I am not a fan of cherry pickers, I use one at work from time to time and IMO they suck.
I would rather use an electric hoist , if it is too fast for good control it is easy to rig it with four parts of line (I worked on cranes 15 years of my life). The problem is that I still have nothing to hang it.
I realize this morning that not only I have ceiling lights in the way but I also have the garage door in the way.
The other solution would be to have A frame or a gantry.
Where would I out it when I do not use it?

-- Bert

View zzzzdoc's profile


576 posts in 4459 days

#12 posted 08-11-2012 10:10 PM

I may have the exact same unit. It’s been invaluable lifting my jointer/planer, bandsaw, and table saw onto their bases.

Highly recommended.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

View b2rtch's profile


4922 posts in 4504 days

#13 posted 08-11-2012 11:15 PM

The main issue with cherry pickers is that they lift on and lower on an arc, not straight up and down. A hoist goes straight and down , this is why I prefer a hoist.

-- Bert

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 5221 days

#14 posted 08-12-2012 12:06 AM

If you double the cable on a hoist, it will slow the lifting to a more manageable speed. If you use a single cable, it is way too fast to be comfortable with. The double cable just about doubles the lifting weight too.

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 5003 days

#15 posted 08-12-2012 01:24 AM

We use the engine lift others refer to. But the chain hoist is a great option, we used those all the time in the Navy.

-- .

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