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Old 06-07-2006, 12:34 PM   #1
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DYI Engine Hoist

I wanted an Engine hoist that I did not have to leave on the floor of my garage when not in use. Also, have it available to lift other heavy items if needed. With a Google search for a DYI Hoist, I found it, Built it and used it successfully in swapping my 3.Slow.


My Garage was built in the mid 1950's with real 2X12Ceiling Joists. There wasn't even a creek during the lift.

Disclaimer, if you do not have a well built structure, you could pull the ceiling down!!

Below are the plans, parts list and approximate cost.





PART LIST
2 each 10' Length Metal Strapping supports from Lowe's @ $15.00 ea = $30.00 (These are found in the Electrical Dept and are used to support Conduit, I believe?)

12 each 7/16 X 3" Lag Bolts = $5.00

4 each 3/8" X 1" Bolts & Nuts with Nylon Lock Threads = $4.00

20 each 3/8" washers (for all bolt & washer connections) = $3.00

3 ft of hardened Chain = $8.00

1000 lb Come Along Puller = $9.00 (Harbor Freight)

2 each "U" Bolts = $5.00

1 each Chain Link Bolt = $2.50

Total = $66.00


Follow these steps.

1. Cut the Metal Straps into 6 lengths of 3 ft for the Top portion of the setup.

2. The lipped portions of the Metal Straps interlock (See Second Image) to provide a secure attachment that SLIDES forward and back for proper pulling and inserting the engine! Total movement front or back from center would safely be 1 ft.

3. Cut additional 3 lengths of 2 ft for the bottom portion. This will safely provide about 8 inches of lateral movement if needed.

Note: I used Axle Grease on the runners to allow smooth gliding. Don't get too aggressive with the amount of force used to slide the runners. It is possible to over shoot and possibly drop the engine!!!

4. Layout the top half of the sliding rack pieces on the floor to get an idea how the top and bottom portions will slide. Notice the space (About 1/2") between the 2 top rails to allow the bottom portion to smoothly lock and still slide.

5. Dry fit the bottom 2 ft lengths in the same way and even loosely bolt the top portion to the bottom portion so as to see how the whole mechanism will work. Immediately, you will notice that everything will have to be parallel to and square to prevent binding as the pieces slide.

6. Create a Story Board of the Ceiling bolt attachment points for the top portion of the sliding Rack by laying a 2x4 on the floor. Mark the center point for each hole. Drill out these points so that all 4 rails will be mounted parrallel on the ceiling Joists. Just make sure the first whole is at the distance down the 2x4 that you want to put the first rail from the wall in your garage.



Remember the whole rack needs to be centered over the engine bay!

Also NOTE: the rack is setup to connect 3 Ceiling Joists. If your spacing is different than mine, then the length of your long cuts will have to be adjusted accordingly! 3 Ceiling Joists are a MUST for the strength of this structure.

DO NOT Tighten the Lag Bolts Right Away!

7. Put the 3rd rail into each side and make sure the fit is correct that it slides without grease!

8. Take the 3rd rail back out of each side and begin attaching the lower rail portions with the bolts, washers, and nylon locking nuts.

9. With all the fittings loose, lift the lower assembly to the top rails and tighten the Lag Bolts into the ceiling joists making sure the whole rack slides without grease. This will make sure the upper and lower rails are set tight only when they run parallel!

10. Make sure the very bottom rail slides without grease before tightening the bolts & nuts from the lower half of the rack.

11. The Chain will easily pass through the lower rail and can then be joined together with the "U" Bolts and Chain Link Bolt.

12. Add the Axle Grease and test the rack's ability to slide.

13. The Come Along Puller will clip to the Chain Link Bolt

If you have any questions, please feel free to PM. This really helped me pull and insert my 3.Slow without any assistance. The wife was scepticle as usual but it worked like a dream and there's no lift to find a home on our garage floor!
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Old 06-07-2006, 12:47 PM   #2
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I'm glad it worked for you. And I mean no offense, but that looks pretty scary in my opinion. I would have serious reservations using something to where I did not know it's actual load capacity.
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Old 06-07-2006, 12:51 PM   #3
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same hear.

the brand that T&B sells is called Super Strut. Structural yes, to what point... i wouldnt want to find out.
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Old 06-07-2006, 01:41 PM   #4
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So... you hung an engine from this?

Click the image to open in full size.

Glad it worked out for you.
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Old 06-07-2006, 02:09 PM   #5
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It's not difficult to understand that the engine without the Trans weighs around 300 lbs. The Chain could be larger but it is a hardened steel chain that has been used to do much more than this. With such a light load, it really wasn't a problem.

Also, as I mentioned at the beginning, I found someone who already did just what I had to a similar weight engine without the Trans.
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Old 06-07-2006, 02:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KempLN3R
It's not difficult to understand that the engine without the Trans weighs around 300 lbs. The Chain could be larger but it is a hardened steel chain that has been used to do much more than this. With such a light load, it really wasn't a problem.

Also, as I mentioned at the beginning, I found someone who already did just what I had to a similar weight engine without the Trans.
Okay, now I'm going to beat you up a little. Please don't take this personally as it's not an attack on you. I just have concerns about the safety of the device you have built. Here goes:

It's not so much calculating the weight of what you are lifting, it is more so an issue of using the right tool for the job. I don't think those metal rails are designed to carry stress in the manner for which you are using them. Nor is a lag bolt designed to hold a vertical stress. Nor should a come-along be used in the manner with which you have it set up. Also, the wood with which you are loading you are not using the entire 2x12 for the load. This is because you are loading from the bottom, and your lags don't go through the wood the depth of the wood. In other words, even if you had a 12x12 beam above the lags are only "holding" a portion of that actual wood. Not to mention your tieing into wood that already has a load on it. I also have serious doubts as to the longevity and reliability of this device. And you admit to having to be careful to avoid "over-shooting" which just indicates a lack of integral safety design in my opinion.

You can buy an engine hoist for roughly $300 bucks. So saving $234 bucks and risking life and limb, or even just limb, is not worth $234 bucks in my opinion. I know you can rent them too, or borrow them from a neighbor or friend.

I'm sorry to be so harsh, but unless you are an engineer and understand all the calculations involved I think you are better to overbuild. My buddy has a homemade hoist which consists of a narrow (8 foot) 10x10 timber frame bent and a chain wrapped around the entire beam above with an actual chain hoist designed to lift vertical loads. The cost to him, about $100 bucks.
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:25 PM   #7
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I understand your concerns but if you want a floor operated lift then that's OK. I did not. There are electric hoist lifts that can attach to your ceiling but there is no flexibility to move the engine around during the lift unless you spend almost $1K.

As far as safety, I would even go as far as to concede that if someone wanted to use long bolts that terminate with a washer and nut, it would be safer but not required.

Here's the reality though:

1. If the engine is even weighs 450 lbs, each of the lag bolts is only taking on 1/12th of that weight = 37.5 lbs. at each attachment point. This is because the whole load is evenly distributed and the 2 x 12 Ceiling Joists are tied together by the Steel Unistrut.

Putting this type of rack in the middle of a long span of Ceiling Joists (Probably more than 6 ft from the supporting wall) would not be wise without a supporting structure to the floor. Otherwise, this ceiling can handle this load, no problem.

2. The Unistrut construction of the rack is using steel that supports nearly 1700 lbs per 2ft span. That is for just the single bar of Unistrut.

3. The Come-Along is graded @ 1,000 lbs. So, spend another $10 and get a 1 ton chain puller if you want to.

4. Lag Bolts are actually designed to take verticle pull out loads and there are specific ANSI tests for this requirement. Extreme examples of this stress occure from Hurricane Winds that try to pull a roof off. After a brief search on this matter, it appears that Lag Bolts are recommended by code in some areas of the East Coast because of the resistance to verticle lift forces they provide. There even are specific brackets that accept the Lag Bolt to be installed Vertically.

The problems with LAG bolts have to do with the fact that often they are installed without the pilot hole drilled first.

5. The Hardened Steel "U" Bolt Shackle and Quick Clip connector support 1400 & 1700 lbs respectively.

So, given the over 2.5 confidence level in all areas of this structure and the principles to load spread are similar to putting a refrigerator, waterbed or moderate sized fish aquarium, then the risk to life and limb really was not a concern.

I hope My little addition can help some one else. And, I would not have posted it if the risks were as high as you are making them sound in your reply.

I am sure you are a good mechanic that relies on the methods and tools you already have. That makes sense. And, as far as that goes, I hope to be able to learn as much as possible about turning a wrench on my 4Runner from the mechanics here.

Last, I did not come up with this idea on my own. Below is the example I found. I am sure others will find this unique and useful.

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Old 06-08-2006, 12:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrenchmonster
I don't think those metal rails are designed to carry stress in the manner for which you are using them.
actually having worked for T&B building products that use uni-strut/super-strut yes that "stuff" is designed to carry loads off the inner lip as it is shown.

Proper application of the material is to use either specially designed clamps (that chatch the inner lip) or threaded nuts that catch the inner lip that you can then screw in hannger rod/bolts to.

so again, not the setup i would neccarly choose to use... its no worse than the same com-a-long on a tree branch out back

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Old 06-08-2006, 01:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KempLN3R

1. If the engine is even weighs 450 lbs, each of the lag bolts is only taking on 1/12th of that weight = 37.5 lbs. at each attachment point. This is because the whole load is evenly distributed and the 2 x 12 Ceiling Joists are tied together by the Steel Unistrut.

Putting this type of rack in the middle of a long span of Ceiling Joists (Probably more than 6 ft from the supporting wall) would not be wise without a supporting structure to the floor. Otherwise, this ceiling can handle this load, no problem.
While the ceiling held the load, it is horribly unsafe. The way that is setup, the entire height of the joist is not carrying the load, nor is there enough end bearing for those joists with that load, also, since they are cut back to match the pitch of the roof, they lack their full strength. Depending on where you slide the engine to, the majority of the load is being applied to that joist, and they are not rated to hold that. Also, lags bolted into the bottom like that are not strong enough to hold that load based on the material they are bolted into. If nothing else, you should have at least doubled a couple joists to help with the load and built a mount that attaches to some bracing put ABOVE the ceiling joists and put in a couple extra studs at the end to help transfer the load to the foundation. In actuality, in that situation, you should have put a couple beams into the ceiling, but a couple doubled joists with a little more support at the ends would have been better than what you did.
Did your way work? Yeah, could it work again? Yeah, but the idea is to build it so that it will guaranteed always work, thus being safe. I mean, I could run 8 inch lift blocks on my front axle, would it work? Yeah. Could I wheel with it? Yeah. Is there a good chance that when I least expect it it could let go and injure or kill me or my family? Definitely.
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Last edited by Intrepid; 06-08-2006 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 06-08-2006, 05:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snap-on
actually having worked for T&B building products that use uni-strut/super-strut yes that "stuff" is designed to carry loads off the inner lip as it is shown.

Proper application of the material is to use either specially designed clamps (that chatch the inner lip) or threaded nuts that catch the inner lip that you can then screw in hannger rod/bolts to.

so again, not the setup i would neccarly choose to use... its no worse than the same com-a-long on a tree branch out back

I never used the term "stuff" so I'm not sure who you are quoting.

And it seems as if anything, Snap-on, that you are supporting the case that eventhough the uni-strut rails may indeed be strong enough to hold the load, that their application is not within its proper usage in this case. Right?

KempLN3R, first of all, thank you for your very well written response. It's refreshing not to be greated with the "kiss my grits" attitude that seems to be more increasingly pervasive on YT posts recently.

It is clear you have given great thought to the safety and feasibility of the hoist design. However, I still have reservations. But before I address those concerns further let me clarify one point.

I wasn't trying to imply that the floor type hoist was the only hoist suitable for the job. I can appreciate the value of the overhead hoist, and I can also appreciate the general cost barrier it may impose. There are certainly lower tech options than the electric, whole shop, trolley type hoist. For example, a jig crane would be a more low tech viable option, and can be had for roughly $500. Still, for someone with limited use for such a device $500 may be a hard sell.

Since that is out of the way, I will now address my ongoing concerns. Basically, I'm weary of using any material in a manner its not designed for. After your safety clarifications my underlying concerns would be:

1) The Wood. You readily admit that one should be cautious to place the hoist nearer the end of the joist, rather than in the center. Although the warning may be heeded by some, I feel it is human nature to want to place the hoist in the center of your shop.

I feel that placing the load above the joists would be advisable to utilize the entire depth of the wood, vs. relying upon the structural integrity of the wood and lag bolts. I have too much real world experience with lag bolts shearing off or pulling out of the wood to have any faith in them above my head regardless of the lag bolts engineered strength. And yes, I do drill the pilot holes.

2) Lack of control to prevent "over shooting" scenario. I strongly feel some stops should be integrated into the design to prevent over shooting. Like spaning the load above the joists, this is just too easy a fix to ignore. Maybe some caps welded on the end, or some other type of safety device to ensure the mechanism cannot derail itself. I can just see a car rolling or someone inadvertantly bumping into an engine, and derailing the hoist.

3) I would most definately upgrade to a proper chain hoist. I would feel much more confident using such a device for the control up and down. I've had the little safety/reverse latch on come-alongs fail on me... and it's scary.


Now for Intrepid...

I just wanted to say that I don't believe the cut on the joists to match the roof pitch would affect the load. The compressive force coming from above would spread the load through the 2x12 adequately down to the foundation because it is tied into the rafter and plywood which ties it into the entire structure. In and of itself the joist is only used to stop the spread of the rafters above. So it's stretching. Before builders figured this out they used butresses on the outside of the structure to help prevent the triangle above from spreading apart. Before that, builders used single pitched roofs.

Also, the load would indeed be spread across the lags as KempLN3R has suggested. The issue I see is failure of the lag, compromising the structure and causing imbalance.

Intrepid, I do however whole heartedly agree the hoist could be EASILY designed to carry loads above the joists, and in turn add a great deal of safety.
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:26 AM   #11
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Wow, this morning, I expected to get flamed big time! It's refreshing to see that this is slanting more toward a debate than a linch and hanging from a tree!

WrenchMonster, as a group, the members on this forum can help each other, that seems to be the goal on Yotatech unlike other forums I have reviewed.

Your comments about stopping the travel are valid and something I worried about from the start. When moving the engine around, it takes a lot of effort to get the thing moving. If someone got too agressive, it is entirely possible a tragedy would occure. I considered drilling a hole on the ends of the unistrut and inserting a bolt but the travel would have been reduced too much in my prototype. Simply increasing the length and utilizing a bolt would work. The issue for me was that I had already cut everthing and still needed to get the job done.

Heavier duty Pully with Chain etc, why not. I didn't but probably should have. The come along worked beautifully, but I am sensing from other posts that others have gotten injured utilizing the come along method. This is not a tool I would mix with the intake of Beer, etc. as so often takes place in the garage! I do not anymore but I understand the environment all too well!

Now, for the use of Lag Screws versus a bolt, washer & Nut system, there are quite complicated formulas to demonstrate the forces the Lag Bolt will handle. Maybe someone here can elaborate and help here. I have a scientific medical technology background and have delt with statistics on a daily basis but the structural engineering terminology is not familiar to me.

What I have found are examples of much greater loads per lag bolt which utilize a much shorter (2 inch) length Lag to attach garage ceiling storage racks. ONRAX claims that 500 lbs can be put onto their system and that a typical garage would allow upto 8 racks! Other similar systems exist utilizing the same concept but suggest 300 - 400 lbs loads. These companies have had to employ engineers, lawyers and purchase multimillion dollar liability insurance on these products. So, were even I would not use a 2 inch Lag Screw with only 4 hangers for the below examples, some one else has put a lot more into this thought process than we have at our disposal and still decided to do so.




Again, I thought it was good idea from the start. My opinion, right, we all know what those are like. I just hope we could focus our posting into helping and improving this forum, not tearing someone down. What is the motive for that? The debate is healthy and it could be that in the end a better system would grow out of the process. The result could actually be a nice tool that other newbies would find quite usefull when they come to this forum. I am not looking for any recognition for this. Come up with a better mouse trap and post it. That would be GREAT!
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrenchmonster
Now for Intrepid...

I just wanted to say that I don't believe the cut on the joists to match the roof pitch would affect the load. The compressive force coming from above would spread the load through the 2x12 adequately down to the foundation because it is tied into the rafter and plywood which ties it into the entire structure. In and of itself the joist is only used to stop the spread of the rafters above. So it's stretching. Before builders figured this out they used butresses on the outside of the structure to help prevent the triangle above from spreading apart. Before that, builders used single pitched roofs.

Also, the load would indeed be spread across the lags as KempLN3R has suggested. The issue I see is failure of the lag, compromising the structure and causing imbalance.

Intrepid, I do however whole heartedly agree the hoist could be EASILY designed to carry loads above the joists, and in turn add a great deal of safety.
Back to you sir.

The cut of the joists is beyond the edge of the bearing on the wall plate, which effectively means that where the load is transfered from the edge of the 2x12 to the wall plate, the joist is only 2 inches thick, rather than the full 11.25". The "compressive load" you mentioned from above is almost nothing. The tributary area of the roof on the end of that joist is only the width of the bay between the two rafters, approximately 16 inches, the load from that area is very minimal unless there is a lot of snow or something on that roof. The load from that area is so minimal that it really has no effect on the end of that joist. You are correct about the use of those joists to keep the walls/rafters from spreading, but that also has no real effect on the joists ability to hold loads.
As far as load transfer to the foundation two of the joists run to a small double 2x6 header, which is not adequate to support the load, the other runs to a double stud, which is better.
As you said, the load would be spread across the lags, however, the lags are still all within a couple feet or each other and wood is not the strongest material to keep them from ripping out, which is what I figure would fail, rather than the lag itself. Due to the fact that the weight moves from side to side across 3 joists, if the engine is all the way to one side, that joist has almost all of the weight on it, the middle joist has some, and the end joist is actually be pushed up, rather than pulled down. Having the load connected above the joists would help spread it out over the 3 joists rather than focusing it all on one and only on a couple points where the lags connect.
You can take my word for it, this is exactly the sort of thing I do everyday, well, at least when I am not on here.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrenchmonster
I never used the term "stuff" so I'm not sure who you are quoting.

And it seems as if anything, Snap-on, that you are supporting the case that eventhough the uni-strut rails may indeed be strong enough to hold the load, that their application is not within its proper usage in this case. Right?

in a nutshell ya.

As an engineer i can say ya it works... but its not how it was designed to work and I wouldnt do it.
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Old 06-09-2006, 05:41 PM   #14
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Intrepid, okay I think I'm understanding more of what you referred to in your previous post. Good eye on the wall, I have concrete walls in my garage, so load on the walls is rarely an issue. But you are correct, the wall is certainly undersized to support the additional load of the hoist. Furthermore, I think we are on the same page with the lags... I don't think it would be the lag that failed, I think if the hoist fell the lags would just pop out of the wood, and the whole thing would come down as an assembly. Also, I see what you are saying about the weight shifting from joist to joist since the hoist is designed to move on both axes. I was thinking the trolley only moved on one axis, but you're right... if the hoist ended up in the corner it would place extreme stress on the nearest lags. I guess my only question remaining for you would be: Is the 2x12 rafter adequate to hold the load if the wall were stronger? (not considering the design of the hoist, merely looking at the weight the 2x12 can hold)

Snap-on, thanks for the clarification. Just out of curiosity, what is your engineering background?

Kempln3r, I'm glad you are open to suggestions and are concerned about your safety. I know lots of guys who have injured themselves by taking risks... myself included. I'd like to think that perhaps myself and others have persuaded you enough to modify the hoist design in the interest of safety. I'm guessing we won't convince you to dismantle the hoist altogether. That said, let me make one more plea for you to add a little safety to the hoist.

Despite your evidence of other companies building racks and using the same lags to secure them... I can't refute the claim the lags could not hold the load. Like yourself, I'm not an engineer. But I feel when building something structural you should always overbuild. The lags indeed may hold, but I see a very simple solution to attach the rack to the rafters that would increase the safety of the hoist.

In short I would add another uni-strut above the 2x12, then use some all-thread, nuts, washers, etc. to extend below to secure the uni-strut frame of the hoist. In this fashion you'd utilize the entire 2x12 and avoid the risk of the lags pulling out of the wood. The other advantage of the above securing method would be the variable adjustment of the rack to level. In other words, your rafters wouldn't have to be perfectly level for the hoist frame to be level.

I'd also take Intrepid's suggestions to heart and beef up the wooden structure, both on the wall and the supporting rafters.

I guess that is about all. By the way Kempln3r, welcome to Yotatech. This is indeed the best forum, period. Like any forum you'll find there are numbskulls, but you'll also find a lot of good guys too. Where in VA are you? I grew up in Annandale and went to MWC, now UMW in Fredericksburg.

Last edited by wrenchmonster; 06-09-2006 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 06-11-2006, 08:47 AM   #15
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DIY Hoist

OK, I have consulted a builder/contractor forum on this project.

Here are the results.

1. Because the Ceiling Joist/Rafter system has the following configuration, the wood structure is quite overbuilt for my load and garage.

2x12 tapered down to 4 inches at outside of the wall plate, 6 inches at inside wall edge, connected to full sized 2x6 rafter is placing far more strenght on the wall plate than if the Ceiling rafter was cut down to only 4 inches.

2. Need engineering calculations to decide the pull out stresses based on wood quality, length of Lag and span of ceiling joists. Conservative thing to do, utilize "U" Bolt construction or the suggested Bolt, nut, washer system.


So, what to do. It's clear that not everyone has construction of their garage with such high grade wood, with 2X12 Ceiling Joist, etc. What about those that just blindly drill into what they think is a sound piece of wood behind the drywall finished ceiling. The 3 inch Lag won't matter if the wood is of poor grade.

The bottom line for me now is, similar to other replies on Yotatech. It worked in my situation but it's not for everyone. Now what, I almost would rather NOT have this initial posting now. It's been fun and all but the variables are too great for it to be a widely useful for people to use!

:pat:
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Old 06-19-2006, 03:41 PM   #16
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how does that rail actually glide, anways? seems like a lot of friction bt it.

the design looks pretty good. id sign that off.....
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Old 06-22-2006, 07:30 PM   #17
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DIY Hoist

profuse007, thanks for the

Go to Lowe's or Home Depot in the Electrical section close to the metal conduit, you will see the this track that I utilized. It has an inner lip that overlaps. The interlocking edges provide the gliding surface. Just make sure everything is square or it will bind up or worse yet, it could jump off the track.

Once a load is attached, this mechanism would not slide without grease. The blue stuff you see is Hi Temp Axle Grease smeared on the inside lip of the rails. There have been concerns noted about the rails sliding too far. My experience would suggest that the whole mechanism should have a stop bolt added to each end to prevent it from traveling too far. It is hard to get going with the load on it and an agressive pull or push could cause it come off the end! To prevent the travel from being to short with the end bolts in place, simply increase the length of the rails over by about a foot for all cuts.
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Old 06-22-2006, 07:43 PM   #18
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kinda looks scary, glad it worked for you. I would have probably bought an engine lift, but if I were to do it this way, I would put more "track" on top of the rafters, and used long lag bolts to connect the bottom and top, in addition to the lags going into the wood. Really, you are not trusting the strength of the bolts, you are trusting the strength of the wood fibers holding onto the threads of the bolts, that strength varies greatly by the type/quality/age of the wood.

Two scenerios, the bolts hold, or the bolts act as a drill bit and tear out of the wood.
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Old 06-24-2006, 09:37 AM   #19
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that would be the shear stress that the dude above mentioned.

as long as you give a proper pilot holes, the bolt will hold very well. i dont see any problem.
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................

Two scenerios, the bolts hold, or the bolts act as a drill bit and tear out of the wood.
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Old 07-14-2006, 10:33 AM   #20
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ill just borrow my friends engine 2 ton engine hoist, that says its rated at 2 tons, u can find them for 150 bucks IMO saves time and money of making ur own
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Old 07-14-2006, 10:33 AM
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