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Old 03-26-2011, 09:39 PM   #1
Printer Mike
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Default DIY elevator...

Anyone ever made one or have any info.? I only need to lift one person about 8 feet. Slow is OK. Quiet would be nice...
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

There are several systems for home use available. Some are DIY installs if I remember right. Elevators get into all kinds of safety, inspection, and code issues. Many engineers and fabricators could make one but liability comes to mind.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

Cousins used to have an elevator in the barn that was a man cage with a rope up and over a pulley and down to a box of rocks for a counter balance. There was a second rope that was tied to the roof and floor that was used to pull yourself up or down depending on your weight and the amount of rocks in the counterbalance box. There was also a foot brake that pinched the pull rope to control speed if necesssary.

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Old 03-27-2011, 09:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

Years ago I worked in a shop that had an elevator made from modifying a garage door opener. It was used as a dumb waiter type thing to raise and lower parts from the storage room upstairs. Worked very well as I remember and had no problem lifting a couple hundred pounds.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

I made an elevator to bring boxes up to the attic of the new garage, I'll try to go out and get a couple of pics.

Basically it is two pieces of unistrut bolted to the wall with a set if rolling hangers attached to a platform. The motor is a 110 winch sold as a 220/440 pound pull electric winch for lifting deer and the like. A couple of pulleys to multiply the force and direct the cable and call it done!

Works great and saves the back and cussing!
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

If you ever go to apply for a permit for this, never use the word elevator, use the phrase "Reciprocating Conveyor". This avoids lots of unnecessary red tape. Also, some metal shops/etc won't touch your project if you say it's an elevator. I was considering putting one in along with a mezzanine level in my garage, so I did a bit of research. Current plan is to use the 4 post lift I got along with a wood platform to allow access to the upper storage.

Last edited by phy6; 03-27-2011 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

"Reciprocating Conveyor"
Yes.. That's what I meant.

Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

I did the winch thing. Works great.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

Can you give us more details on how and where it will be used? Is this to get yourself up to the attic, or is it for a relative with a wheelchair, or what?
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

if its to be used for people, I would build a braking system similar to what is used in regular elevators. Basically the lift cable is hooked to a spring loaded brake, that stays retracted as long as the cable is connected. The weight of the elevator keeps the brakes from stopping the car. if the cable snaps the brakes flip out and lock the car to the guide track. Clear as mud.
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

How about a single post in ground lift? Just build your platform or box.
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

If used for people, you better get it done professionally, because if anything goes wrong and someone's hurt, you'll sure wish you had...

For a dumb waiter you need a way to prevent people from falling into the hole/shaft (someone was killed recently when this happened in a restaurant.) along with other safety considerations.

I know a guy who does these for a living and he'd probably advise you to 'forget it', unless you have a serious budget. (and you won't get approval from the state for a home-made people lift.)
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

Winch works great for me and moving stuff. If I were to think about making a people mover, I would use a screw so if the motor craps on you or you break a cable the platform would not fall.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:25 AM   #14
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

If it is to be a people mover, look into the lifts for wheelchairs. I have put a few in, as a Rehab Tech, and they were pretty simple. They may run a couple of thou, but as a people mover, they are really good. They can also run off their battery when the power goes out. Or you can just use an old forklift front, mount the lift and hook up a hydrolic pump to an electric motor. You can buy them for the back of a farm tractor at auctions all the time.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:28 AM   #15
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

One fellow I know used a fork lift ram to build a lift.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:58 AM   #16
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

A friend of mine took a mast of a fork lift. Then build it into the wall. Works very well.

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Old 03-28-2011, 11:31 AM   #17
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

This is the pics of mine, Like I posted earlier, this could easily be adapted to use a screw drive instead of the cable that I am using.Garage pic 012.jpg

Garage pic 010.jpg
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:22 PM   #18
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

This might give you some ideas, too. (But you'd need something different for eight feet.)

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Old 03-28-2011, 01:31 PM   #19
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

OK, one person and ~8 ft of lift (one story approximately).

But what, where, and why?

In the (personal) shop to get up to the mezzanine? Just get a scissor-lift aka man-lift.

In the house for someone in a walker/wheelchair to get to the second floor? Go and buy one.

Anything industrial/commercial situation? Go and buy one.

The liability and permits and inspections and certifications pretty much prevent you from any DIY on this one.

Sorry.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:50 PM   #20
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Default Re: DIY elevator...

I really like this idea because id like to be able to store supplies above the ceiling in my garage. I think building a shaft out of 2x4 and a simple winch on the car would do it.
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