bookmark_borderGarage Beam Trolley

Back when I was doing some part-time work for Mr. Arimoto, one of the miscellaneous tasks I helped him with was assembling a new woodturning lathe. This was a serious lathe, with a heavy base and a heavy lathe body with a large heavy bed. To lift the top into position on the base, we used a rolling gantry that held a steel beam suspended overhead, and a wheeled trolley with a pulley underneath that rode back and forth on the beam. It made the whole operation possible.

To own something like that, you need to have someplace to keep it when you’re not using it. I don’t really have a place to put a big gantry system, but one day I was browsing in a tool catalog and saw that you can buy a beam, trolley separately, and install it on an existing I-beam. Ding! There is an existing exposed I-beam in the garage! Sometimes we are moving heavy pots of dye onto and off of hot plates, or I am trying to position heavy lumber or machinery all by myself. This would be super handy.

Beam Trolley and Pulley

One trip to the Harbor Freight store and some ladder work, and now we have our own gantry system. HF stuff isn’t always the best quality, but I won’t be using these items anywhere near their advertised weight limits, so I expect it will be OK. This beam runs the full width of a 2-car garage, so it can help us transfer things across a wide area. We could use it to lift heavy loads out of a pickup truck if we ever bought heavy things or had a pickup truck.