Reality check - 6x6 wood beam for lifting?

I need to lift an 1,100 lb mill up in the basement about 3 feet to slide a
stand under it. Both floor space and vertical clearance are limited and an
engine hoist won't work. I'm planning on using a 6' long 6x6 wooden beam
between the celing joists to anchor a 2-ton chain hoist for the job. The
wood beam would be anchored at one end to a steel I-beam in the basement and
the other end to a jackpost which would be temporarily bolted to the
concrete floor. The beam is from Menards (like Home Depot) and is of
unknown variety although it's labeled as chemically treated and has no major
knots or cracks. The chain hoist would be mounted to the wood beam about 2'
from the steel I-beam.
I've started to run a few calcs with the stress and beam deflection
calculators at the Engineers Edge web site and it *looks* like I'll be OK,
but it seems like a good idea to solicit opinions here. Anybody got one?
Mike
Reply to
Mike Henry
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Gut reaction: I would go bigger to be on the safe side.
Best wishes,
Chris
Reply to
Christopher Tidy
Less than half a long ton in the middle of a 6' long 6" square beam should be trivial. You would see and hear it complain a long time before you were in danger.
Note that this advice is worth what you paid for it :-)
Mark Rand RTFM
Reply to
Mark Rand
Mike, I am not too far from you, as you know (East of Naperville). Feel free to borrow my shop crane for a weekend. That's what would be the easiest and cheapest way to go.
You can take it apart and carry downstairs easily.
Shop crane is pictured here
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I am sending you a Cc: but I am not sure if it will work.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus30966
I'd say you're on the right track. The only way you'll know for sure is to try it.
If you (or anyone else) may have lingering doubts about the capacity of a lifting cross piece the thing to do is bolster it. By adding a brace of steel along the top of the 6x6 (or whatever you may be using) you'll increase the strength greatly. In this type of situation I'd be looking for something 4 to 6 inches wide and perhaps 2 feet long (minimum) and perhaps 1/2 to 1 inch thick, however the dimensions aren't critical.
What type of chain fall are you planning on using?
dennis in nca
Reply to
rigger
Thanks Igor, but I already have a similar chain hoist, but the legs on the hoist get in the way of sliding the stand under the lifted mill and there isn't enough vertical distance between floor and ceiling to block up the stand and lift the mill high enough.
Mike
Reply to
Mike Henry
Wouldn't you want a strip of steel bracing on the bottom of the beam so it would be in tension where it can do the most good by controlling any cracking of the wood beam and keeping it in compression? A strip along the top would help with load distribution by reducing the point loading which is another good thing.
As for the beam, given the quality of today's lumber, I think it's much safer to use a built up beam of 2x material i.e. three 2x6 nailed or screwed together since a defect in one will generally not align with defects in the others and will help prevent catastrophic failures.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
Dennis,
Thanks - I can get a 34" x 4" x 36" piece of 1018 for around $70, which is cheap insurance in my view. Can it just be lag bolted down to the wood beam (ends and center)? Another possibility I'd considered was to screw down a couple of lengths of Unistrut channel to the top of the wood beam, possibly the double-channel style (two U-channels welded back to back).
The 2-ton chain hoist is this HF model:
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and an acquaintance has successfully used it to lift the same mill.
Mike
Reply to
Mike Henry
Chris,
I'll delve into the calcs a bit more, but 6x6 is the largest that can be fit into the available space due to pipe and ducting that the builder stuffed between just about all available ceiling/floor joists. It ooks like my original idea of using a 4x4 was a non-starter.
Backing it up with a steel plate, per rigger's reply seems like a good idea, though, and should accomplish the same goal.
Mike
Reply to
Mike Henry
Alright... though you could move the shop crane aside along with the mill tat you lifted, to put in the stand... I think that I have a 4x10 or so board (formerly used as a shelf above the fireplace) that I can let you borrow.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus30966
Hi Mike. I'd suggest not attempting to bolt the stiffener in place as this is likely to only weeken the 6x6. Don't worry, there will be zero chance of the metal moving under load. Adding channel opens up the possibility of damage to the stiffener that a solid chunk of metal would not allow however proper use of softeners where the channel is crossed by the chain could elliminate this possible difficulty.
dennis in nca
Reply to
rigger
Adding steel to the bottom of the beam will mean boring into, and weakening, the beam.
As I've avoided "catastrophic failures" as related to lifting beams I have no comment about the suitability of laminates although I'm always a little leary of weakening by nailing or screwing. Aren't these structural laminates generally glued together for strength?
dennis in nca
Reply to
rigger
LVL (laminated veneer lumber) beams are usually made in dimensions small enough to be reasonably handled by guys on ladders, and meant to be doubled. The 1.75" beams are rated for their span when doubled to 3.5" and lagged together every 8" by 16d nails. I just installed a beam over the garage door opening in my new addition. The beam comes as a "kit" of two 1-3/4" x 11-7/8" x 17' LVL planks and a nailing schedule.
I've seen them thicker, and wouldn't be upset about handling a 6-footer, but wouldn't want to muscle up a full beam over a 16' span!
LLoyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
A 6' length of W6x12 wide flange beam would be cheaper and much stronger than the wood/steel composite beam.
Ned Simmons
Reply to
Ned Simmons
Cap the top edges of the 6x6 with some scrap angle iron. A 2 ft or so piece of 2x2x3/16 angle on each edge, with one flange lying flat on top and the other down the side adds a lot. No need to attach them, the strap/chain/whatever that you wrap around the beam to hang your hoist will hold them in place. Spreads the load, and eliminates any tendency for the hanger to cut into the beam.
Reply to
Bill Marrs
A 6x6 #2 yellow pine 6 ft long (properly graded) will carry about 1500- 1800 lbs, but that is with no safety factor. If it was my mill I would want it to be able to carry at least twice the weight I was lifting. And even then I would keep any body parts well out of the way.
A #3 beam won't do
If you can shorten the free span of the beam, it will make a lot of difference.
You will also need to keep the beam and jackpost from falling over.
Assuming your floor joists are taller than six by lumber, you could probably spike the beam to the joist and support both with the jackpost to increase it's load bearing ability.
You will need some fancy foot work to hang your chainfall, but a welded eyebolt through the center of the 6x6 with a bigass washer on the other side would probably do.
Paul K. Dickman
Reply to
Paul K. Dickman
I have hung 500 lb (TIG welder) from a 4x4 beam a couple of times. It did not look like the beam was having any trouble. Your 6x6 has about 5x the moment of inertia of a 4" high beam, and half again the width, so I don't think bending stress or deflection should be an issue for you.
I would, however, worry about the anchor to the Ibeam if not sitting atop it, and about restraining the jack post from tipping.
Reply to
Don Foreman
Borrow Ig's hoist, belay your mill to your 6x6, lift both ends of the beam with two hoists, slide stand under mill.
Reply to
Don Foreman
Maybe I am missing something, but if the shop crane (which is my way of calling what others may call engine hoist that, I think, is a little less ambiguous) can be moved aside after the mill is lifted, thus freeing up space for moving the stand, then there is no problem?
Anyway, I offer the following equipment: shop crane, chain hoist, and a 4x10 (IIRC) beam, chains, 8" casters (for making some temporary movable platform), and slings for a few days for free.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus30966
Depending on exactly which Menards beam you are looking at the answer is yes or no. Their construction lumber and pole barn timbers are mostly southern yellow pine, really heavy duty stuff. But their landscape timbers are some sort of unknown hardwood (hardwood defined as having leaves and not needles) that is quite soft and tends to have fracture checking. I have seen some major defects that would make me real leery of using one of these for lifting.
Better(and not much more expensive)would be 3 2x8's nailed together. MUCH better would be some LVL timbers nailed together. Put a plate on the top of the beam to distribute the load a bit, make sure that the beam cannot tip (don't just depend on the flat bottom), and brace your posts so they can't tip.
Mike Henry wrote:
Reply to
RoyJ

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