Once I got the 4 post up and bolted down to the footing then the 3 header beams in place with a bolt in each end so they would remain in place I had to figure out how I was going to get the big main beam up on top of the headers. This took some thought and I went to the rental place to see what they had that could lift the 1500 lb beam and place it on top of the frame. The only machine they had that could do it was almost $650.00 for a half day and then $100.00 drop charge. I decided to do some more thinking and soon came up with a workable idea that I thought should work. I had a big heavy 20’ 6” beam that I rigged up to unload boats off delivery trucks. It was set up to be used with a folk lift. I had rings on both ends for straps that went around the boat to be unloaded and the whole thing was lifted with a 10000 lb folk lift. Some of the boats were 24’ and weighed 5000 or 6000 lbs and the beam never flinched.
My plan was to somehow raise one end of this beam into the air and hold it in place with straps that were secured to a large oak tree. Also I put straps that went off from both sides to keep it from falling over from side to side. It took me a whole day to set this thing up and most of another to make a trailer hitch mount for my electric boat winch to sit on and add some more additional bracing and rigging for the winch. Also I had to get both the main beam and the 6” beam into the building site and that was no easy matter because all I had that would drag these beams was my ol’ Bronco and with the limited space it took quite some time to lay these heavy beams in place where I could rig the crane and have the other beam close enough so I could reach it with my winch line.
Finally the day came and I was ready to try out my new lifting machine and I figured if I could get it off the ground and on some blocks the device would do the job. I wanted to prime the beam before putting it up so I set up to do the first lift of about 3’ so I could paint. My engineering was off a little and by the time I got the lifting beam in place and angled high enough to get clearance to clear the header beams the big beam I needed to lift needed to be dragged about 6 ‘ sideways and outward by about that much also. I figured this would be a good test and if my winch was strong enough to do this it would do the job. Also with this sideways movement I needed to make it would put my make believe crane to the ultimate test and if it would do this without falling down it would make the 14’ lift with ease.
After I painted the beam and looked things over I went in for the night and planed on doing the big lift the next morning. When morning came I was ready to see what would happen. My oldest son just happened to come by and he said he would hang around and help until we got the beam sitting on the header beams. The lift went well, the winch did the job and I don’t know how it happened but the crane, the way it was positioned was just about perfect. The only thing wrong was one of the straps/ braces was in the way and if it had not been for this minor oversight I could have sit the beam exactly where it was to be stationed but as it was I had to sit one end out of position and wait until I took down the crane where I could then jack that end of the beam into place.
This left me with a little dilemma of now that the beam was sitting on top of the uprights what am I going to do with the makeshift crane structure. When I came up with the idea I had planed to just pull it over towards the big oak tree it was supported by but after the lift was done I saw that the beam had moved off the steel plate I had sit it on where it met the ground and had wedged itself under the pile of lumber and I was afraid that if I pulled it over it would break the straps on my lumber and knowing it will be some time before I would get that far I decided not to go that route.
After looking at the situation I decided to use the beam we just lifted in place to aid in the removal of the crane. I tied off the end of the crane to the beam and then removed the strap that was connected to the inside corner upright. This is where it get really scary because it was then that I realized that the strap that was connected to the big container would be long enough to let the beam down slowly if I moved it to the rear upright support. The crane was already tied off so I moved the strap completely from the firm anchor point at the container and set it up to lower the lifting beam to the ground. Once the strap was secure I removed the strap that was holding the lifting beam to the main beam and then removed the corner strap from the front wall upright support beam (the one that was in the way preventing me from being able to sit the main beam in the exact place) leaving one strap that was attached to a big pine tree. I then went to the pine tree and jacked the crane beam far enough so it was off center then all I had to do was go to the one remaining strap attached to the crane beam and let it off slowly until it was on the ground.
Right now, the way the structure sits is a little shaky with a little movement in both directions but you really have to push on it to make it move. I have drilled ½” holes and placed 1 bolt in each piece at both ends to hold it together and to keep it in place until I can either get a portable welder to the site or get juice in the building then I can add my corner bracing and weld everything together. I will also be adding some side bracing to the upright beams once the floor is poured. I have some large eye bolts that I am going to weld a couple pieces of rebar to and set them in place and pour the floor over them just leaving the eye out of the concrete to tie in to. I also have some large turn buckles I will use to tighten and plum the uprights and once this is done it should be rock solid.
I didn’t keep track of the time I actually had in the fabrication process because a lot of the time I spent welding was lost because once I found out I had to remove the old boat lift and that steel would be available I scrapped the idea of using the W10X19 beam and use the W8X31 instead. I spent a lot of time putting that first beam together but all is not lost I can still use a lot of it for other projects I have going on. There is still much to do with all the bracing left to do brackets to be made and I’m sure there will be some changes to be made as the project continues. At least now I can start building my walls and hopefully by summers end I will have the roof on.
I have so many projects I want to build when I get a roof on and the first one is going to be a cement mixer I can use to mix the concrete to pour the floor. I have some parts already ready and when the time comes I’ll post it here and let you know how it works.
I hope to get all my pictures together and get them post as soon as I can and bring to an end phase one of my pole barn project.
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Thread: My pole barn project part two.
07-03-2011, 08:17 AM #1Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
- Richmond Va
My pole barn project part two.