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Old 01-08-2010, 12:54 PM   #1
D KRAGER
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Default Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

I'm almost ready to hang osb on my ceiling. I usually don't have much help and just do it as time allows, so renting one is kind of out of the question.

Although I might try to get my shit together and pick a weekend and rent a lift, but not sure if that's gonna happen or not. (Too many things going on, hate it)

My neighbor does have a set of scaffolding on rollers. I was thinking of using it somehow with telescoping tubes bolted to the coroners. Then have a winch mounted in the center with the cables tied to it.

I have some telescoping tubes from an old pop-up camper I was thinking about using, some cable and in theory it should work......?????


Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

You know what they say about opinions, but here is mine

Buy an actual drywall lift. You might be able to find a used one on Craigslist, or you can get decent ones brand new for $200 shipped or less on eBay. When you are done with it sell it on Craigslist, you will get most if not all your money back out of it. It will actually be cheaper than renting one and you can do it at your leisure.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:08 PM   #3
Stuart in MN
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

There are plenty of plans for them online, but I see you can buy one on Amazon for $99.95 right now (plus $79.49 shipping, but that's still less than $200.) At that price I wouldn't bother trying to build one, and you could probably sell it when you're done and get your money back.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...meconstimpr-20
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

Some guys are able to hang sheetrock alone by using "kick sticks". Essentially you just build a "T" brace out of 2x4s and the height of the brace is about 1/2 inch longer than the ceiling height (or the distance from the scaffolding to the ceiling in this case). Rest one edge of the material on the "T" and the other on your head. Kick the leg of the "T" to push the material tight to the ceiling and then use your head and arms to keep the end you are working with tight.

Put in a few screws or nails on your side and then to the side supported by the "T" and do the same there. Takes a while and isn't as easy as a true drywall lift, but it can be done.

Your idea with the telescoping tubes would work too - it would just take more time up front to engineer and build it. Another problem is with four individual tubes, you will need to be sure everything is perfectly flat or you will end up with one corner of the material hitting while the others are still inches away. A true drywall lift has a pivot to deal with unlevel floors and ceilings.

To be honest, you would probably save yourself a lot of headaches to just borrow or rent one for a weekend and get it done all in one shot. Maybe you could persuade a friend to help you can you can just use manpower to muscle the sheets into position.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

I use a couple of wood cleats screwed to the wall about 3/4 inch from the ceiling, in a corner, another one on the other wall. With a scaffold, at least one buck, you can slide a sheet onto it by yourself, climb up, then position the sheet onto the blocks to hold it while you use the quick grip type clamps with your now free hand(s) to clamp the loose edge to the truss or ceiling joist. Then use a hammer and block of wood to final position the sheet for attaching. In the middle of an area, same thing, with a pair of blocks screwed to the last sheet you put up, with a shim under them to give the 3/4 inch gap. Keep moving the cleats across the room as you work. I have to do a lot of things by myself, as I am off on Fridays, and there is usually no one to help me do these things, unless I hire a guy from work. This ain't easy as having help, but then again you don't have to kiss ass to get help. I tend to use a lot of screws when building things by myself, because it's easier to remove an item if you need to take it on and off for final fitting, or a change comes along that you did not anticipate.
The best bet is probably as another poster suggested about buying a lift and selling it when you're done.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

You can rent one at a tool rental for about $25 a day. I just finished my basement and I went and did my ceiling by myself in a day. So for $25 you probably couldn't even build one for that price. I know that I would never hang a ceiling again without using one of those drywall lifts.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

Edge, the OP said he was doing this as time allowed and renting was out of the question.

I used some scrap 2x4's to make some brackets that I screwed to the studs for a 2' wide furr down I had going around my addition, worked really nice, you could make a larger version to get you around the perimeter. I did a similar deal for hanging 1/4" luan under my porch soffit which was 4x8 pieces. I used a 2x4 on edge and had uprights that I screwed to the joists. If you work it right, you can do three sides with the brackets, then use the second idea to fill in the middle as you work your way across the room, then back to the brackets along the last wall.

I mounted them about 1" below the joists. Now all that said, the middle of the room I rented a lift, but I was only doing a 12x12 area (16x16 room) and that's only 4 1/2 sheets.

I thought about buying one on Craigslist and selling it later for the same amount, but just ended up renting one at HD.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

I have been tring to figure a way to use my cherry-picker and some fabricated holder as a drywall lift. Any ideas?
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1320stang View Post
I used some scrap 2x4's to make some brackets that I screwed to the studs for a 2' wide furr down I had going around my addition, worked really nice, you could make a larger version to get you around the perimeter. I did a similar deal for hanging 1/4" luan under my porch soffit which was 4x8 pieces. I used a 2x4 on edge and had uprights that I screwed to the joists. If you work it right, you can do three sides with the brackets, then use the second idea to fill in the middle as you work your way across the room, then back to the brackets along the last wall.
Never thought of using blocks along the wall. My walls are already done, but it's osb, so you're not gonna see a few screw holes in it. I might use a combination of all the ideas on here.

Use blocks along the wall then make a "T" wedge for the other end. 10' ceiling by the way...

If I can get some of it done, then out in the middle I can surely find some time on a weekend to rent the lift to finish it up. I just don't want a bunch of money wrapped up in rental fees.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by D KRAGER View Post
Never thought of using blocks along the wall. My walls are already done, but it's osb, so you're not gonna see a few screw holes in it. I might use a combination of all the ideas on here.

Use blocks along the wall then make a "T" wedge for the other end. 10' ceiling by the way...

If I can get some of it done, then out in the middle I can surely find some time on a weekend to rent the lift to finish it up. I just don't want a bunch of money wrapped up in rental fees.
Just an FYI....'most' people do the ceiling first....that way the side drywall (osb) supports the edge of the ceiling material....makes for a much cleaner finish....otherwise, you can expect it to maybe sag along the edges over time.

I did my garage with the 'kick stick' method along with cleats along the sides...wife helped when needed....
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

Where are you located at?
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

Two ideas:

Build scissor jack using four or six 2X3's and have a threaded rod & nuts performing the draw between cross peices. Probably about $25-35 in hardware minimum. Spin threaded rod with air drill/ratchet.

There are telescoping poles with flat pads on each end and a caulking gun lever that extends the pole (sort of like zippoles shown at zipwall.com) Like an adjustable deadman Tee brace. Can be tough to handle by yourself and you need at least three for a sheet. At $15-$20 each times three, have you saved anything?

Also, hire local high school kids for $$/hour.
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Costner View Post
Some guys are able to hang sheetrock alone by using "kick sticks". Essentially you just build a "T" brace out of 2x4s and the height of the brace is about 1/2 inch longer than the ceiling height (or the distance from the scaffolding to the ceiling in this case). Rest one edge of the material on the "T" and the other on your head. Kick the leg of the "T" to push the material tight to the ceiling and then use your head and arms to keep the end you are working with tight.

Put in a few screws or nails on your side and then to the side supported by the "T" and do the same there. Takes a while and isn't as easy as a true drywall lift, but it can be done.

Your idea with the telescoping tubes would work too - it would just take more time up front to engineer and build it. Another problem is with four individual tubes, you will need to be sure everything is perfectly flat or you will end up with one corner of the material hitting while the others are still inches away. A true drywall lift has a pivot to deal with unlevel floors and ceilings.

To be honest, you would probably save yourself a lot of headaches to just borrow or rent one for a weekend and get it done all in one shot. Maybe you could persuade a friend to help you can you can just use manpower to muscle the sheets into position.

We usually use this method but we have always called the T a dead man
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

I bought a lift and sold it when done. I was putting up 4x16x1/2 to a cathedral ceiling with a peak of 18'. The lift with an extention reached 16'. Once I had the sheet close to position I blocked up the lift legs with 2x10x12" until I got the height. Next time I'll hire it done.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

i got a used one on Ebay that was only 20 miles from home. Got it for $101.00. Once I get around to redoing the farmhouse it will come in handy then I'll resell it for hopefully about the same $$. Nice owning it so if I only get 2 sheets hung in one night I am not out a days rental. After a hard days work of I can hang 1 sheet its progress. I vote for searching craigslist and Ebay to find your own then relist it.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:18 PM   #16
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

hire some local mexican guys to do it they did my 5/8 rock on my 30x80 for cheap didnt pay to do it my self there were hung in 3 days.just my2cents
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

[QUOTE=ddawg16;723688]Just an FYI....'most' people do the ceiling first....that way the side drywall (osb) supports the edge of the ceiling material....makes for a much cleaner finish....otherwise, you can expect it to maybe sag along the edges over time.
[QUOTE]

Yea ceiling first, I hear ya. It's a pole barn and I started on the walls so that I could get all my benches and stuff situated so that the shop was still functional. Built in 2004....... ongoing process as time allows.


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Where are you located at?
South of Springfield, IL 35 miles
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

I saw this and kinda liked it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkrRblKLvJw

Pretty cheap to make and you can use the platform to drive the rest of the screws without a separate ladder.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:45 PM   #19
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

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I saw this and kinda liked it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkrRblKLvJw

Pretty cheap to make and you can use the platform to drive the rest of the screws without a separate ladder.
Yea that's a pretty simple contraption without much for moving parts. Maybe I can use the neighbors scaffold and do something easy like that if it's the right height.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:47 PM   #20
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Default Re: Homemade drywall lift? Anyone build one?

http://www.drywallhoists.com/product...FRXCsgodazrcvQ

159.99 and free shipping.
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