Before you think I have gone off the deep end (perhaps further in some minds), no, I am not thinking of installing an actual lift in the shed.

(Although that is not a bad idea……….!!)

What I am currently looking at is the best way to get materials and machines between the ground floor and the mezzanine.  I don’t want to be carrying things up and down the attic stairs – bad for the back, and likely to end in grief one day (and something broken).

Instead, I am planning to leave a trap door available away from the stairs, where things can be lifted directly up (and down).  What I am trying to work out is the best way to achieve this (on a budget).

I’ve considered a number of options, and none have been ruled out (yet).  The idea is to have a platform the item can be placed on, then lifted and lowered as required.  Something akin to a dumb waiter.   Hmm wonder how much dumb waiters are?!

Block and Tackle:  Harping back to the days before electric motors etc, a rope and pulleys could lift and move significant loads.  Still a good option, just need some pulleys, and something to fix the pulley to.

So that got me thinking about what to fix it to.  There is a strong beam in the roof of the shed, but it is directly over one of the main C section beams of the mezzanine.  One thought for an alternate fixing point came to mind – an engine crane. ($275)

7002It could sit on the mezzanine floor, straddling the trapdoor and hold the pulley.

Alternately, a swivel truck crane ($209) could be connected directly to the heavy C section beam mentioned before.

craneBoth would still require a block & tackle or similar to lift the item, give their limited operating range.

I do have a chain hoist, but still, that problem of what to connect it to rears its ugly head!

I still like the portable I beam solution (mobile girder rail), but that is too expensive to dedicate to the mezzanine ($650)

ohead-crane  Be great for a workshop regularly lifting and moving heavy items, that doesn’t have a structure to lift off.

I also have an electric winch, but it specifically rules out using it as a lifting device – not sure why, but I wouldn’t want to be underneath if I found out!


Anyone that has any other ideas, fire them through!

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