I had another one of my ideas today and it concerns needing to lift things in my garage around my workbench and the area I usually devote to working on engines and such. There's never enough room to set up my engine hoist, so I have to roll everything outside or hump it by hand. I'm getting too beat up to do all that stupid heavy lifting by myself anymore, so ideas are welcome. What I had in mind was to install three or so fifteen foot long barn door tracks in the area I usually work. Suspend from them on rollers a track (or two) that work like a bridge. Since my work area is partially under the garage door in the up position, I need the upper tracks to be in and out of the area, and parallel to the door track. The bridge has to be lower than the door and track, simply because the frame that holds up the end of the track is in the way. I'd have to have a rigid drop frame with the upper rollers to allow the bridge to clear the garage door track. The door tracks are available in several load ratings. The highest I can ever see lifting is about five hundred pounds, but most likely in the order of three fifty or so. The engines I usually work on are about that much. If I had a double track bridge would I be able to safely double the load rating of a single rail? I have in mind a foot or so spread between the bridge tracks that would allow me to raise the hoist point above them to keep the working height to a maximum. I figure the rails will be spreading out the load between multiple beams to keep local stresses down.
The other thing to consider is the load carrying ability of my garage ceiling. It's 2x6's on 24" centers, with 5/8" sheet rock below and strandboard above for creating floor storage space. I could put some plywood webs between the roof joists and the ceiling beams to give me a little more beef, but I'm having a hard time guesstimating what will be safe and what will be asking for trouble. My work area is one corner of the garage, so I won't be picking things up out in the middle of the span. That space is currently occupied by the garage door opener and screw track, which is a point I can't cross with a device like this anyway.