A few months ago I started a new pole barn and had planed to put a steel frame in the building to be used for unloading stuff off of trucks at the door and also to raise and lower the top off of a powder coat oven I built. Since the oven is on the back of the building and the big door was on the front wall I decided to place a beam through the shop with a roller dolly that I could use at both ends of the shop.

After much heated discussion here and on other sites about why what I wanted to do wouldn't work for this reason or another I decided to just forget all the fussing and do what I do best and just do the job. I got delayed for several months because I had to vacate the shop I was in and I had a ton of junk, some good junk and some bad junk but I had to get it away from where it was at.

This included a 4 post boat lift that was stationed at the site that I had to take down because the owner of the property didn't want left there. This was a very nice boat lift but it was just at the wrong place and after much work moving stuff the day finally came when all that was left was the tower. I had already climbed up on top and removed both hoist and yardarms, removed the power, and readied the structure for disassembly.

I had talked to a couple of guys that did that type of work because I didn't have the equipment to grab on to the steel and hold it while it was cut loose in a safe manor but after talking to them both I had to throw the safety factor out the window. The cheapest estimate was $10,942.00 and he got to keep the steel that was left. I told those guys thanks but no thanks I'll do it myself and sent them on their way. Both guys said: You'll be sorry! I just told them that it would be worst if I did let them do it.

It took several trips up and down the tower to muster the courage to make the first cut but once I made that cut I just kept going until it was on the ground. It took me three days with no help at all and two tanks of gas and 4 tanks of air to get it on the ground and another day to load it on my trailer and get it home. The highest guy said it would take him and two helpers about a week to complete the job. I know everybody has to eat but dog gone I like to eat too.

Once I got the steel home I decided to use that steel for the beam to run the depth of the building because it was much heavier than the W19 beam I had already welded together. I used that beam or parts of it for the rest of the support members I needed to complete the job at my barn.

I welded two of these large beams together to get the 31 foot span I needed and made a couple fish plates out of some 1/2" plate and on the mill drilled, 16, 16mm holes in each plate and then marked and drilled the holes in the beam and connected the three parts then welded it in place. I also salvaged two pieces of 3X5 I beam that was long enough to run the span that I could use as my rail for the hoist and I welded those together and then welded that to the bottom of the W8X31 main beam for the trolley to run on. I didn't weld this beam solid, I welded it at each end with about 6" of weld then I placed 3" welds every 2' and at 8' I went back to 6" and so on.

I made a mini crane using my motor lift as a base and tied it securely in my small trailer. I then found some 2x2 sq tube and I welded several pieces together to get a 15' length and placed it into the sq tube on the lift and bolted it in place and this turned my motor lift into a 15' foot mini crane that I figured I could set my uprights and headers with. This took some rearranging and after several attempts I finally ended up with a workable solution and all 4 columns was up and bolted into place. The headers added a new challenge because they were heavier and longer and they also needed more height but I finally came up with an attachment that I installed to the end of the 2x2 box tube for the beam to sit on so I could raise it and position it on top of the columns. I placed two headers on the front wall because it has a longer span than the back wall where I just used 1. This ended one problem but opened up a whole new can of worms.

End part one.