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Hoist Frame

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Colin Heseltine29/01/2020 21:54:07
655 forum posts
227 photos

Has anyone used one of the hoist frames advertised on Ebay. You would normally mount your own electric hoist on the frame. They usually come in several versions, extending and non-extendiing. The assembly is bolted to a 48/50mm steel scaffold pole fixed against your wall. The short one (750mm long) with a 600 Kg load capability and when extended (1100mm long) 200Kg.

I need to pick up a indexing head (weighs around 67.5Kg) and be able to put in on the table on a Bridgeport sized machine. Problem I have is I have not got a brick pillar close enough. I really need a overall length of around 1.5 metres.

I am wondering whether if I replaced the extension arm with a longer one what the load capacity would reduce to, and would it be safe. So long as it would take between 80-100Kg.

The indexer is on a hydraulic table but not always easy to get this next to the machine.


Clive Foster29/01/2020 23:35:40
3105 forum posts
107 photos


Don't worry about the pillar. Should be fine on a freestanding pole fixed top and bottom. Trying to figure a similar set-up for my Bridgeport but some-one didn't arrange the workshop correctly to fit the pole in.

I have that arrangement in my loft, albeit with a 6 ft pole between attic floor and roof supports with an electric hoist from Lidl hanging of it too lift stuff up and down. At 66 I'm way past hauling stuff up and down loft ladders by hand.

Alternatively perhaps consider something clever with a wheel chair hoist on a trolley. Or even one of those crane things that bolt into the corners of large van bodies. You can also get jib lift thingies with a bottle jack to drive them up and down. Both naked and on turntables, poles and other supports. Maybe from £100 up.

When you do figure something out let everyone know. I'm two years into the problem and have yet to come up with a good solution for me.


Cornish Jack30/01/2020 11:03:13
1219 forum posts
171 photos

I fitted this in my garage/workshop


- presumably similar setup to Clive's (Lidls sourced hoist) and specified length scaffolding pole from Ebay. Worked fine for a (unweighed but too heavy for me to lift) workbench, on the short arm. Haven't used it extended yet.



Colin Heseltine30/01/2020 11:12:59
655 forum posts
227 photos


Pole location is my issue. There is a row of three heavy duty shelves where the pole would ideally need to be located. My wall pillar is about 1.3 metres away from machine.


That is exactly what I am looking at using but the extension arm would need to be lengthened to give me a hoist position about 1.5 metres from the wall. The question is would it then hold the weight of hoist (identical to yours) and the weight of the indexer at around 67Kg.

Could you please let me know he height of your roof and the distance from the hook to the ground. I would also appreciate it if you could chdck the hook to floor distance when the hoist cable is doubled round a pulley.


Durhambuilder30/01/2020 11:45:20
72 forum posts
5 photos

Could you mount the hoist motor vertically on the support pole and run the cable out over a pulley block or similar? Would save excess weight on the end of the arm.

Neil Wyatt30/01/2020 12:13:38
18994 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

A ceiling mounted rail with a travelling hoist?


Clive Foster30/01/2020 12:19:28
3105 forum posts
107 photos


Yup thats what I have in the loft. Very much one of my better ideas.


Don't see any great issues with extending the arm for the sort of weights you envisage. When putting up my extension the builder and I had mine working hard with the cable doubled and the hoist just outside the strut lifting a 15 ft RSJ. I never dared check the weights but Mr Builder said it would be fine. Scaffold pole support deflected somewhat.

Would it be practical to mount the pole in front of the shelves and swing the hoist around when access is needed to the one its normally parked in front of? Might need storage re-arrangment to put the rarely needed things behind the crane. Maybe handy if you have heavy stuff on bottom shelves.

Looked at from a different angle perhaps some inspiration here :-

compact jib.jpg

A bit over hefty perhaps but as it comes apart rapidly with R clips and pin joints most of it can be stored out of the way if the main part is sat in front of the shelves. 500 kg point is around 5 ft out I think as the arm is essentially same as an engine crane.

I have been contemplating putting something like that on my work cart but the commercial ones are, realistically, way too hefty.


Edited By Clive Foster on 30/01/2020 12:19:45

Edited By Clive Foster on 30/01/2020 12:21:35

Pete White30/01/2020 12:50:43
162 forum posts
16 photos

I eventually decided on a different route for moving the vertical head of my 1ES, weighing in at 42 kg.

No picture to hand, but I basically welded up some 25 mm box section to form a bridge cradle with support feet by which the head could be lifted a few mm. via a bolt. I place a board on the table, remove the head and then lower the table to the same height as the bench where the head lives. The cradle and head are then slid along the board onto the bench.

The original idea was to have a length of track on the board and rollers on the cradle feet, but I needed to mount the head in a hurry, so never got round to that bit.laugh

Bit of fiddling but a cheap solution that works for me.smiley

Edited By Pete White on 30/01/2020 12:56:43

Ian S C30/01/2020 13:03:53
7468 forum posts
230 photos

dsc00231 (640x427).jpgMy hoist could be adapted to work on a short boom. My set up has a rail made by welding two lengths of angle iron back to back. My hoist is mainly used to lift the 8" 3 and 4 jaw chucks for my lathe, I don't think I would try lifting the 6'" 4 jaw now. The hoist is powered by an old garage door opener motor (36v), but run on the 18v power supply that I use for the power traverse on the vertical milling machine.

Ian S C

dsc00229 (640x427).jpg

duncan webster30/01/2020 13:31:18
3947 forum posts
63 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 30/01/2020 12:13:38:

A ceiling mounted rail with a travelling hoist?


That's what I've got, rail is made from unistrut, at each end I have a length of wood sitting on top of 2 roof cross members, the unistrut is supported from the centres of these timbers, thus any one roof cross member never sees more than half the supported weight. I bought what a friend called a 'jeweller's chain block' light enough to pick up with one hand but 250kg lift

Cornish Jack30/01/2020 13:59:08
1219 forum posts
171 photos

Colin - the various measurements are:-

Floor to ceiling - 92"

Hook to floor (normal) - 54"

" " (with doubler pulley) - 49"

The boom normal length is 28" and the extension is 40"

The support pole is fitted to the concrete floor and to the roof trusses (6x4) and about 2" from the wall.




Colin Heseltine30/01/2020 19:53:00
655 forum posts
227 photos

Thanks for all the help and suggestions. I had wondered about using 41mm x 41mm unistrut and bolting it across a number of roof joists. Ceiling is plastered and there is a room above so reinforcing would not be easy, and was worried as to whether the ceiling joists would take the load.

I think I will go with the route used by Cornish Jack and make up an extended inner section. I already have a similar hoist. If necessary I can always put an additional support half way up the scaffold pole, so it has three fixing points. I cannot fix to any other wall area, a) because other machines are in the way, b) the wall is single skin between the pillars. The pillars were put in to support RSJ's which are used to support the double skin wall for the upper floor.


Nicholas Farr30/01/2020 20:50:22
3330 forum posts
1531 photos

Hi Colin, maybe you could add another tie bar to your extension piece, take it to the top point of the existing one on the pole. It could be as simple as a suitable steel wire rope with an adjuster to get it taught. Just an idea that may give you that extra support.

Regards Nick.

Chris Evans 630/01/2020 21:19:10
2052 forum posts

Colin, if you have a use for it there is about 100ft of 25mm x 25mm tube here.


Colin Heseltine30/01/2020 21:27:24
655 forum posts
227 photos


Never gave it a thought to using wire rope for the extension. That will keep it all flexible. You've just made my mind up 100%.


Many thanks for the offer. Will give you a call.



Chris Gunn30/01/2020 21:31:27
429 forum posts
27 photos

Colin, An alternative to the hoist is a trolley on castors, to store the indexing head on, make the height of the top the same as the height of the table when lowered. The indexer or anything else can be stored on the trolley, and when you need to use it, just slide it across onto the bed when lowered. I keep a rotary table and a big vice on my trolley, plus small vice clamps and other stuff on 2 shelves under the top. The trolley can be wheeled around when not in use.

Chris Gunn

Colin Heseltine30/01/2020 22:30:33
655 forum posts
227 photos


I have hydraulic lift table with the the big indexing head, a big rotary table and a further indexing head. Problem is I cannot always get it close enough to the machine. At 67 Kg it is awkward to even slide off the trolley to the mill table. OK I should have bought a lighter one, but the deal was too good to miss.smiley


Mike Poole30/01/2020 22:51:35
3308 forum posts
73 photos

Would it be possible to mount a small arm on the mill to pick up from wherever you can conveniently get the lift trolley. Some mills have an arm to swing the vertical head in and out as required but these do have a position to stow the head while horizontal mode is used. With some thought you may be able to store the mill accessories so a simple swing arm could load or unload as required.


Colin Heseltine30/01/2020 23:12:15
655 forum posts
227 photos


That's an interesting thought. Bridgeports have a mounting point at the rear for cherrying heads or slotters.

I will have a look at that idea.


Steviegtr30/01/2020 23:15:52
2423 forum posts
336 photos

I once tried something like this & failed. I reinforced my roof joists with 2" angle iron. This was to lift a 454 Cubic inch, big block Chevy engine out of my Stock car. Hmm ever after the roof would puddle water in the middle.


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