Before you think I have gone off the deep end (perhaps further in some minds), no, I am not thinking of installing an actual lift in the shed.

(Although that is not a bad idea……….!!)

What I am currently looking at is the best way to get materials and machines between the ground floor and the mezzanine.  I don’t want to be carrying things up and down the attic stairs – bad for the back, and likely to end in grief one day (and something broken).

Instead, I am planning to leave a trap door available away from the stairs, where things can be lifted directly up (and down).  What I am trying to work out is the best way to achieve this (on a budget).

I’ve considered a number of options, and none have been ruled out (yet).  The idea is to have a platform the item can be placed on, then lifted and lowered as required.  Something akin to a dumb waiter.   Hmm wonder how much dumb waiters are?!

Block and Tackle:  Harping back to the days before electric motors etc, a rope and pulleys could lift and move significant loads.  Still a good option, just need some pulleys, and something to fix the pulley to.

So that got me thinking about what to fix it to.  There is a strong beam in the roof of the shed, but it is directly over one of the main C section beams of the mezzanine.  One thought for an alternate fixing point came to mind – an engine crane. ($275)

7002It could sit on the mezzanine floor, straddling the trapdoor and hold the pulley.

Alternately, a swivel truck crane ($209) could be connected directly to the heavy C section beam mentioned before.

craneBoth would still require a block & tackle or similar to lift the item, give their limited operating range.

I do have a chain hoist, but still, that problem of what to connect it to rears its ugly head!

I still like the portable I beam solution (mobile girder rail), but that is too expensive to dedicate to the mezzanine ($650)

ohead-crane  Be great for a workshop regularly lifting and moving heavy items, that doesn’t have a structure to lift off.

I also have an electric winch, but it specifically rules out using it as a lifting device – not sure why, but I wouldn’t want to be underneath if I found out!


Anyone that has any other ideas, fire them through!

7 Responses

  1. Option 3 sounds best to me as you can lift easily vertically then move sideways to unload. not so easy with the other options

    • Option 3 is cool, but a. most expensive and b. head height is too limited on the mezzanine. I had that thought about option 2 as well – at least the item can be swung around once above the floor height.

  2. HI Stuart

    Please find attached a brochure with the details off the Peninsula Woodturners Guild 30th Anniversary. I thought you might like to attend what we hope will be a very successful celebration. On the Sunday morning 2nd March the Mayor of Frankston will be making some presentations etc. It is a free event except for the sausage sizzle and tea & coffee, but they are minimal charges.

    Grenville Darroch

  3. What about something like this

  4. Could you not custom construct something? Something in the gantry style lift. Two posts and a beam. The posts could be wood. The beam could even be some salvaged metal pipe, or even wood depending on the weight. You don’t really need the pulleys to slide or roll along the beam, because your trap door can only be so big and I suspect you’re not going to try to get 1000kg up there. This arrangement might even be collapsible so you set it up only when you need it. Although the engine lift may fold up a bit, it could be a pain having to wrestle with that thing up there.

    • It is a good point. I am going to complicated, too early. As much as I am trying to do the shed as ideally as possible, some things can be done simply and refined later.

  5. Imho those wheel options have a foreseeable murphy problem. I know if it was me as soon as I loaded something up and lifted into the mezzanine I’d move the lift and one of the wheels would go into the trapdoor with possibly (probable) painful consequences. Rope and pulley on a beam for me. Not sure you need much else given the weights you’ll be hoisting. It would be more the bulky or unwieldy rather than the heavy you would be putting up there.

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