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Workshop Crane/Gantry


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After working with my brother to change the clutch on his R1200GS and after a lifetime of backbreaking workshop jobs, I've come to the conclusion I should really at least consider buying a small crane/gantry.

 

Two problems.

First, I haven't got much room in my garage so space is paramount. I've seen there are foldable cranes which I could store in a corner until needed that could fit the bill, but are they any good? A foldable gantry would be even better, but I haven't had any luck finding one.

Second, budget is limited. I don't really feel like spending a lot of money on something that would be used once in a while. Pre-abused would be a good choice but these things appear to be rarer than hen teeth on the second hand market.

 

Any experience on these things? Things to look for/avoid?

 

Thanks.

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Have you considered making a lifting frame from steel pipes?

 

I have one that is easy to assemble and take apart. I'm left with three parts that hang flat against the wall. Of course weight is the biggest factor, along with the ability to roll. Mine does not roll, but I have used it on a variety of jobs like rebuilding forks, installing rear shocks, changing tires on larger bikes. It was very useful when I dismantled three different RTs that I parted out.

 

I can get you the details if you think something other than a true gantry crane would work.

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Have you considered making a lifting frame from steel pipes?

 

I have one that is easy to assemble and take apart. I'm left with three parts that hang flat against the wall. Of course weight is the biggest factor, along with the ability to roll. Mine does not roll, but I have used it on a variety of jobs like rebuilding forks, installing rear shocks, changing tires on larger bikes. It was very useful when I dismantled three different RTs that I parted out.

 

I can get you the details if you think something other than a true gantry crane would work.

 

Cheers Eddd.

Given the variety of jobs this crane could be used for, I'd much prefer something with wheels. Can your design be adapted to fit wheels?

It's also a little embarrassing to say it, but despite living near two large pipe/tube making companies, steel tubing is extremely hard to come by here.

 

I found a foldable crane on eBay. 300€ shipped, one metric ton lifting capacity... sounds too good to be true but, again, even the most expensive cranes seem not to have the crazy price tags they had until a few years ago.

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I would not attempt to put wheels on mine, even if I increased the pipe size. Once the legs are secured to each other it is able to support significant weight when lifted straight up, but the pipe system doesn't have the rigidity to handle torsional forces you'd encounter when trying to move it on wheels.

 

The ebay one sounds good but look closely at the lifting height, or frame height minus lifting device. Devices that hang below the top cross member often are too long when you want to be able to lift something like the intact front end of a motorcycle.

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UNISTRUT!

Everybody that dabbles in lifting heavy stuff needs to learn about the wonders of it. It has many uses around the shop. A properly constructed frame with a couple of 1/2 ton chain hoists could have built the pyramids. It's a staple in industry for building racks to hang electrical conduit, or plumbing pipes. I've personally used it to build work benches, and heavy duty storage racks and shelving. I once built a temporary rack using two unistrut cross pieces to lift a 450 lb. motorcycle out of the back of my truck. I'm certain you could get creative and add wheels. The stuff breaks down and stores easily.

 

Johnny J

 

 

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UNISTRUT!

Everybody that dabbles in lifting heavy stuff needs to learn about the wonders of it. It has many uses around the shop. A properly constructed frame with a couple of 1/2 ton chain hoists could have built the pyramids. It's a staple in industry for building racks to hang electrical conduit, or plumbing pipes. I've personally used it to build work benches, and heavy duty storage racks and shelving. I once built a temporary rack using two unistrut cross pieces to lift a 450 lb. motorcycle out of the back of my truck. I'm certain you could get creative and add wheels. The stuff breaks down and stores easily.

 

Johnny J

 

 

Sorry, but Unistrut or its local copies/versions are out of the picture. They don't sell to private customers here and I have no need for it at work.

The only way to get a hold of it would be through a blacksmith/warehousing firm but the costs would be astronomical, well in line with buying a ready-made crane.

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