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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Del Rio, Texas
    Posts
    37

    Default Need help/advice on shop A-frame

    Greetings, I was given a 22 ft piece of 8 in x 1/4 I-beam and have been planning for a while on building a rolling A-frame with it. My shop door opening is 13'6" and I wanted to make the a-frame as wide as possible, although, if I cut the beam ih half, I could make 2 a-frames and maybe sell one, but I don't know about that. I'd still like a wide a-frame. The beam will be for the cross bar only and the uprights will be out of something else. I want to put turnable wheels on it, that is so I can change the direction of the wheels for mobility and big enough wheels so I can roll it out into the yard and maybe up into a trailer. I bet some of you have really neat a-frames or ideas for one. I also plan on bolting the uprights to the cross bar in case I have to dismantle it or modify it. The top hgt will be about 10 ft. Thanks,
    KenCO " Uccahay "

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    North of Phila. PA
    Posts
    404

    Default

    If you plan on rolling it thru the door the wide way I wouldn't make it more than 13'wide max if you move it with 2 people. I think about staying closer to 12' in width if you try and move it yourself. Keeping it square in the opening will be a PITA. The extra bit of space will help alot. Lets be honest at 12'w you only have 9" per side to play with. That would still leave you with 10' to build a second one.

    The other thought is to not worry about the door width and roll it out long ways. Then it can be as long as you want. The longer the beam the lower the weight it will carry and the harder to store and move.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Olive Branch Ms
    Posts
    129

    Default

    I have been thinking about building a lift in my shop too. I found this overpriced unit on Northern tools. Mine is going to be similar except I am going to use some sq tubing to attach the casters on each side.
    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...0557_200330557
    Webb's Welding and Repair LLC
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SO CAL
    Posts
    77

    Default A-frame

    Ken,

    The Company I Work For Has An A-frame That Is Adjustable From Approximately 9 Foot To 18 And A Half Feet. The Spanner Beam Is Of Equal Dimensional Properties As The One You Plan To Use So You Are Good There. Pipe Posts Hold Up The Beam And Channel Frame Makes The Base. Swivel Casters Made Of Steel Are A Good Idea But Pricey. Also Depending On How Much Weight Is Hanging When You Try And Re-locate It Will Determine How Difficult It Is To Push. We Never Use Ours Because We Have An Overhead Crane. Been Trying To Sell It For A Year But No Takers. If You Plan On Selling One You Build I Recommend Locating A Purchasing Party First Who Can Specify Desired Dimensions.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    National City CA
    Posts
    1,086

    Default

    The real question is how much weight do you want to lift?
    This will determine your span. The longer the span the heavier the beam needs to be. If I knew a bit more about the I beam I could give you a recommendation. But I would say no more then 1000 lb. max at a 13 foot span.
    Last edited by kcstott; 04-14-2008 at 05:37 PM.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Del Rio, Texas
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Wow, these are the responses I've been looking for ! The wheels on the NT crane would be alright for staying on concrete but I plan on rolling this thing out into the yard, dirt,grass,small rock, etc. I'm thinking maybe 13 or 14 inch car or trailer tires. Say, for instance, someone brings out something large and heavy and I can't get to it right then, ok, so he pulls up in the yard, out of the way, I lift it out of the trailer, he pulls out, I sit the object down. That kind of thing. 8 feet is max legal width on trailers here, so 10 or 11 feet wide would be plenty, except I have a thing about odd numbers ! 12 feet would be squeexing it a bit if the wheels are on the outside of the base. Maybe I'll compromise and make it 10 1/3 or 3/4 Anyway, I'd like to see some more pics of homemade cranes. Here's a question, should the bases be at least half the height of the crane ? I believe so. I'm thinking at least 5 feet long. The overall hgt of the crane will be about 9 feet so I can roll it to the back of my shop. I hope y'all will keep the suggestions coming. I think this is half the fun of building this thing !
    KenCO " Uccahay "

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SO CAL
    Posts
    77

    Default base requirements

    Your rule of cutting the height in half to get the base length is at least super close to correct; the A-Frame I use has an overall height of 18.5 feet as mentioned in previous thread and I verified the base length to be 7.5 feet. If you stick with half of the height you are safe for whatever you need to pluck off a flatbed or trailer. Sounds like you got a good idea going for the tasks you would like the A-Frame to do. I can try and get some pictures posted to aid with the fabrication.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Del Rio, Texas
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Thanks, Mikedogg. I'd love to see pics of other a-frames and thanks for the advice
    KenCO " Uccahay "

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    315

    Default

    Harbor Freight has this really cheap, But it is always more fun to build. But thats if you have one near you.


    James
    Miller Dynasty 200DX SOLD
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    621

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBoostin View Post
    Harbor Freight has this really cheap, But it is always more fun to build. But thats if you have one near you.


    James
    Everything from harbor freight comes with a grain of salt.
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