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Old 09-17-2011, 03:49 PM   #1
R6 Racer
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Default Gantry build (planing stages)

I am going to be building a smallish Gantry Crane (GC). Around 8 to 10 feet wide & with a height someware between 6' to 10' that will have an adjustable 2' to 3' of travel within that range. (still in the planing stages. any suggestions would be appreciated)
I will be using it in place of a cherry picker (CP), as well as for a general lift around the shop & yard. I have a bad back & have real problems lifting anything with any weight at all. So I am hoping for a kind of "do all" lift. I do know that it will be heavy to move outside but I will be able to tow it with my 4x4 ATV.

Wheels:
It will have 2 full sets of wheels/casters. It will have 4 3" tall castors with 1.25" wide steel wheels & ball bearing swivels. These are from an old 2 ton CP, so I'm fairly confident in their ability to handle the real heavy lifting in the garage.
The second set will be made from 14" tall air filled wheel&tire combos from 2 old hand carts. Plan on building the swivel mechanisms for this set & they will be designed to "slip on/attach" to the GC for outdoor use.

Lift:
I have a 2 ton chain hoist for the real heavy stuff & an 1100lb, 110v electric winch from HF that will mount on a beam trolley that I haven't made up yet. (here is where I wouldn't mind some ideas. Pics good! MMMMMM)

Frame & beam:
Here is where I am really looking for some of your help & ideas. I have a bunch of Sq. tube from 4 old CP's. Its all 2&3/4" x 1/8" thick Sq. tube & that is what I plan on using to make up the 2 "A" frames. I also have a beam that's 5" wide (along the top & bottom) & 8" tall (threw the center) x 1/4" thick.
Here's what I'm still unsure of:
Will my beam be to heavy or big to use with the legs/A frames being made out of the tube I have? (I'de guess it's about 175 pounds)
What troubles might I see, & possibly an A frame design that might help sort out those troubles?


I want to use the materials on hand, but I also don't want it to be unsafe. (I'm just not sure if the beam is too heavy)

I'm looking forward to your thoughts & ideas!

Steve
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

Sounds like you have the right material. Just be sure to use proper triangulation.

I would be more concerned with using a quad to pull it under load. Will have to have something tieing the bottoms together.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

the local junkyard pick n' pull have a couple rolling a frames for yanking engines and pushing the engine across the yard to the front to load in the back of your truck. at each corner is a 14" save-a-spare mounted on the front spindle from a chrysler k-car at an angle on a piece of channel like a shopping cart wheel. that assembly is mounted to another spindle mounted horizontally allowing the wheel assembly to right itself like a shopping cart wheel would. long winded and hard to follow i know, but it makes the GC roll over rough terrain really easy. if the spindles and wheels will hold up a 3K - 4K lb car, it should handle whatever you load on it. hopefully this crude drawing will better illustrate what i mean.


Last edited by bad_idea; 09-17-2011 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

I did a quick Google search on the complete phrase "DIY gantry crane". One of the results is: http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...ne-diy-138063/

Good luck and be sure to start a thread on GJ when you start to build the beast. It seems like a project all of us could enjoy.
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

Quote:
Originally Posted by R6 Racer View Post
I am going to be building a smallish Gantry Crane (GC). Around 8 to 10 feet wide & with a height someware between 6' to 10' that will have an adjustable 2' to 3' of travel within that range. (still in the planing stages. any suggestions would be appreciated)
I will be using it in place of a cherry picker (CP), as well as for a general lift around the shop & yard. I have a bad back & have real problems lifting anything with any weight at all. So I am hoping for a kind of "do all" lift. I do know that it will be heavy to move outside but I will be able to tow it with my 4x4 ATV.

Wheels:
It will have 2 full sets of wheels/casters. It will have 4 3" tall castors with 1.25" wide steel wheels & ball bearing swivels. These are from an old 2 ton CP, so I'm fairly confident in their ability to handle the real heavy lifting in the garage.
The second set will be made from 14" tall air filled wheel&tire combos from 2 old hand carts. Plan on building the swivel mechanisms for this set & they will be designed to "slip on/attach" to the GC for outdoor use.

Lift:
I have a 2 ton chain hoist for the real heavy stuff & an 1100lb, 110v electric winch from HF that will mount on a beam trolley that I haven't made up yet. (here is where I wouldn't mind some ideas. Pics good! MMMMMM)

Frame & beam:
Here is where I am really looking for some of your help & ideas. I have a bunch of Sq. tube from 4 old CP's. Its all 2&3/4" x 1/8" thick Sq. tube & that is what I plan on using to make up the 2 "A" frames. I also have a beam that's 5" wide (along the top & bottom) & 8" tall (threw the center) x 1/4" thick.
Here's what I'm still unsure of:
Will my beam be to heavy or big to use with the legs/A frames being made out of the tube I have? (I'de guess it's about 175 pounds)
What troubles might I see, & possibly an A frame design that might help sort out those troubles?


I want to use the materials on hand, but I also don't want it to be unsafe. (I'm just not sure if the beam is too heavy)

I'm looking forward to your thoughts & ideas!

Steve
wheels will blow out / sink like the titanic in dirt unloaded even worse with weight on it gantry cranes are designed to lift not haul when lifting. unless its the gantry cranes in a shipyard/oceanside dock


when your lifting things that can KILL you over your head there is no such thing as overbuilt. Remeber you only have one head when it gets squashed like a grape thats the end of the story.


me i would pick up a used gas motored forklift



the wheels are 5 inch steel the beams are even thicker/wider
2k or 1ton rated

Last edited by ibedayank; 09-18-2011 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

comparing the footprint each would take up, and the cost of a used forklift, forklift maybe the way to go. alot more versatile. i have seen a couple decent looking ones on cl for cheap. i was also thinking if lifting bothers your back, trying to push a gantry crane around would be a nuisance. you can always hang a chainfall from the forklift.

Last edited by bad_idea; 09-18-2011 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

I have an old electric Clark forklift. I love it! Electric is smooth, flip over a quarter smooth.For putting things exactly where you want them with precision, without losing fingers
The gas ones are jerkier I find.But are cheaper and more plentiful.
I got mine for under 4k with the charger.
triple mast 14 ft,sliding carrier.Made a short and long boom for it .
I have a tow ball attachment for moving trailers around as well as a 1 yard bucket.
Works for me. Best money I ever spent over all.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

I have an old 60s clark cap #3000 2 stage mast 12 foot lift i think
gas burner Boss paid $500 and a new battery so $650 use it more than he thought we would
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

Here's the measurements from my 1 ton Harbor Freight crane.

Horizontal caster leg rectangular tube 59" wide by 3 1/4" tall by 4 3/4" wide aprox. .210" wall thickness

Outer vertical upright square tube 4 3/4" aprox .165" wall thickness

Inner vertical upright square tube 3 3/4 wall thickness unknown.

Horizontal I-beam 2 7/8" wide by 4 3/4" tall. The center part of the "I" is approximately .2" thick while the top and bottom flange averages about .25 thick.

The plates on the beam and uprights are 8" x 12" approx. .29 thick.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

I made a copy of the Wallace 3 ton gantry crane ( the old design that used square tubing like the newer 5+ ton models do) It adjusts in span, height, and footprint. It was a lot of work to make it but I did save some $$ on it. The only thing I would have done different if I were to make it again was/is to use only one pin in each leg for height adjustment. Just too much tolerance to have all 8 holes line up in all positions with out a lot of work.

William...
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

Thanks a lot guys. Some really good information here so far.
Keep the ideas flowing ! ! !
I think mine will be something like the Wallace in the pic. Only mine will have an extra sq. tube along the bottom of each A frame.

Steve
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

Here is my asdjustable gantry I built a couple years back, I have lifted 2800lbs so far with it and it never once, acted unsafe I even rolled the load 3 feet, but if you want details let me know
Jon

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Old 09-19-2011, 08:18 PM   #13
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

Hey Jon that's a great looking unit!
Would you mind giving me the dimensions of your crane as I have them marked them in the pic I posted right before your post? I am curious what ratio you used between the measurements of "B", "C" & "E" !
The one dimension that I missed marking is the second measurement for the I beam. Mine is 5" x 8" (8" is "G" on my pic.) & I am a bit concerned that it might be to big/ heavy.

I am also curious as to how adjustable your height is, From what to what.

Thanks

Steve
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

Here's one that was on Pirate 4x4.
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showt...278&highlight=
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

Quote:
Originally Posted by R6 Racer View Post
Hey Jon that's a great looking unit!
Would you mind giving me the dimensions of your crane as I have them marked them in the pic I posted right before your post? I am curious what ratio you used between the measurements of "B", "C" & "E" !
The one dimension that I missed marking is the second measurement for the I beam. Mine is 5" x 8" (8" is "G" on my pic.) & I am a bit concerned that it might be to big/ heavy.

I am also curious as to how adjustable your height is, From what to what.

Thanks

Steve
Steve,
Really cant tell you what Ratio I used I just looked at a bunch of different cranes and I just started building it,

My beam is 8" tall and has a 6" flange on it

When all the way down it is exactly 10'4" under the beam, when raised it is 12' exactly under the beam, it will just go out my garage door when down but I leave it at 12' when inside because when a tall item, is on a trailer 10' is not enough to lift it high enough
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

Quote:
Originally Posted by R6 Racer View Post
Thanks a lot guys. Some really good information here so far.
Keep the ideas flowing ! ! !
I think mine will be something like the Wallace in the pic. Only mine will have an extra sq. tube along the bottom of each A frame.

Steve
I'm convinced you just don't need this extra brace. These commercially made ones like the Wallace, and a nearly identical one I have (cannot recall the mfg right now) don't have them, they are engineered by people who have calculated the stresses, and it just isn't necessary.

What will be necessary is temporary braces or cables to tie the bottom of one end to the bottom of the other end, if you plan on moving it outside in un-even areas, WHICH I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU DO NOT DO.

Here is one pic of mine.......................



Another one, this pic was made by the seller for Ebay listing before I bought it. I drove from Atlanta to Sandusky, Ohio, to pick it up, and was still a reasonable deal when all was said and done.



Charles
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:43 AM   #17
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

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Originally Posted by Charles (in GA) View Post

Another one, this pic was made by the seller for Ebay listing before I bought it. I drove from Atlanta to Sandusky, Ohio, to pick it up, and was still a reasonable deal when all was said and done.



Charles
Just a curious question Charles. On an adjustable gantry like yours how do you raise or lower it without some kind of jack or overhead lift that is taller than the gantry. It looks too heavy to be hoisting by hand and it seems like lifting or lowering one side at a time would jam the other side.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:27 PM   #18
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

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Originally Posted by jamesemery728 View Post
Just a curious question Charles. On an adjustable gantry like yours how do you raise or lower it without some kind of jack or overhead lift that is taller than the gantry. It looks too heavy to be hoisting by hand and it seems like lifting or lowering one side at a time would jam the other side.
The advantage to the open legs is you can use a come along to raise and lower it.
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:55 PM   #19
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesemery728 View Post
Just a curious question Charles. On an adjustable gantry like yours how do you raise or lower it without some kind of jack or overhead lift that is taller than the gantry. It looks too heavy to be hoisting by hand and it seems like lifting or lowering one side at a time would jam the other side.

Quote:
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The advantage to the open legs is you can use a come along to raise and lower it.
It actually has lugs on the outboard sides of the A frames for hooking a come-a-long, but the lug is not big enough for the hook, and I really haven't figured a good way to do it with the come-a-long without modifying the portable gantry crane.

You can jack just one side, one or two holes at a time, using virtually anything that will work. I used a cherry picker boom, one side, turn the cherry picker around, the other side, turn it back around, etc. I now have a scissor lift and probably would just drive the lift under it and raise it up so the I beam is sitting across the railings and pull the pins, or, hang the chain hoist from the building and do it that way. I keep it all the way up, and with a 14 ft door, never have any need to lower it.

They are about useless if the bottom of the beam is below ten foot, as the trolley and chain hoist takes up space below the I beam and you only have about 8 working ft if the bottom of the beam is at ten foot. You need it real high. You cannot carry loads with one of these except to very carefully roll it on a smooth floor. It is not something to use off a hard surface.

Charles
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:24 PM   #20
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Default Re: Gantry build (planing stages)

^ Charles' examples are the way to go.

Here's ours - Spanco brand -- also has the tabs on the outside of the a-frame (upper / middle left of pic) so you can use a come-along to winch it up and down....I scrounged a pair of come-alongs that stay mounted on the gantry now.

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