Moving Heavy Equipment Down Stairs

I have been thinking of converting a corner of my basement into a metal
shop, probably starting with a slip roller, but ultimately going to a
mill, etc. The general question is how to get a heavy piece of
equipment down the stairs? In my case I need to get it up two steps
from the attached garage, across four feet of linoleum (sp?) and then
down a dozen carpeted steps. If you want to be specific, let's talk
about an Enco Slip roll, 50 inch by 16 gage capacity, weighing 528 lbs,
according to the catalog. Obviously a mill or lathe would weigh more,
but it might be feasible to break it down to pieces 500 pounds or less.
I assume that I could skid 500 pounds on the level if I had to, or
better, put it on rollers. I could certainly get a neighbor or two to
help me, but I don't want to risk injury to anyone.
I have all kinds of clever ideas, including mounting the equipment on a
kind of skid, laying down wooden tracks on the stairs, and using a cable
hoist to lower it, but maybe there is a better solution that I have not
considered. Obviously, this is not something that I would do
frequently, but I would like a solution that was flexible enough to use
the next time I bought something heavy.
Moving equipment on the level seems straightforword, put it on casters.
I figure to buy an engine hoist that I can break down and pack away
when I don't need it, which I would use to lift up heavy machines to put
them on a stand, etc.
Surely this is not a unique problem, but I have not seen it addressed on
this forum.
Reply to
Richard Ferguson
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Many people are leery of giving advice in a situation where one dumb move could easily kill someone. That having been said, I have skidded 600 pound machines down 2x4 ramps using a come-along. The only tricky part is attaching the come-along at the top, and attaching the hook to the machine.
Does your basement have any outside stairs? I had a lot of luck once I found out about knuckle boom trucks. They can lower machines right down external stairwells. I had one for a long time but sold it recently.
Guy Lautard wrote that a friend of his chose a weekend when his wife would be gone, and he cut a large hole in his living room floor, built a heavy framework supported clear down to the earth, lowered in a lathe and a mill, and then fixed the hole in the living room floor before she got home.
I used to get guys to help me, but not neighbors. I picked guys who had plenty of years in the construction trades, who have seen a whole lot of heavy things moved by pro riggers. Basically, it comes down to common sense. I moved my whole machine shop with just me and my partner, Karen, whose dad was an engineer and who got to be a pretty fair rigger. We did fine.
Richard Fergus> I have been thinking of converting a corner of my basement into a metal
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Richard Ferguson
wrt moving iron
It's addressed all the time here. See the recent thread about a lathe that tipped over while being moved on level.
There's no stock formula.
If you must move it yourself: Break it down to components. If you think you can't, then take all possible removeable (larger, of course) pieces off. Avoid having to move what's configured to be top heavy. Going down or up, keep a leash on it, and don't allow anyone to get in front or behind it. Be careful! FM
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Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
Y'know, I'd be tempted to just build a second outside entrance to the basement. Stairs with a low slope, facing in such way that the truck with the tool could just put them down right at the top of the ramp. How much would it cost (compared to the tools?.)
Dave Golber
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Or vertical, get a crane to lower the equipment. Heck, this is rcm, build a crane.
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Just remember that you have to get actual metal materials down there and then back up again. This will require a pathway thru your home that your family might not like. Seriously consider an outside workshop with an at-grade access. Might even be a tax deduction if you have an office in there.
Reply to
dann mann
The ideal setup for a basement is a Bilco door and no stairs, just a straight drop down. Over the opening use a portable gantry crane/trolley hoist (swingset frame type) or a beam with a trolley hoist. The guy who sold me my Nichols miller had the portable setup, which he was able to wheel right over to my truck, and the place that I got my drill press and bandsaws from had a beam over a stairway with a trolley hoist.
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I actually did just this. After I moved a 13" Clausing Colchester into my garage with the help of a buddy with an engine hoist. Machine is just shy of 2000 lbs. I built a gantry crane to move it through my front door, through a hardwood foyer, and slide it down into my basement. I have pictures of the gantry construction in the dropbox.
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Look under Gantry_Crane
I broke the machine down and moved everything but the bed on a two wheel dolly cart. The bed I estimate at around 800 lbs was the only thing I moved with the gantry crane. The move went very well with no damage to people or home. The gantry will be used to reassemble and move equipment around in the basement. I'll post pictures of the bed move to the dropbox very soon.
Machinery skates can be dangerouse if the floor is uneven. By lifting from above with a gantry, moving machinery can be safer since you move the ends of the gantry keeping you very clear of the load.
Working slow, scared, and alert will be the best factors in keeping you safe. It's when people become comfortable and complacent in a dangerous environment when people get hurt.
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