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In-Home Elevator Uses Forklift Mast
"It's always ready to go, and I never have to worry about a power failure," says Jack Michael, Ohlman, Ill., who built a home elevator out of a salvaged forklift mast. It lifts from his tuck-under garage up to the main floor of his house.
  He bought the forklift from a dealer for $300 and removed all the unneeded parts, anchoring the mast to the concrete floor of his garage. He cut a 5 by 8-ft. opening in the house floor to make room for the elevator cage, which is made of plywood, with paneling on the inside. It has bi-fold doors which fold to the inside only. To steady the cage, he made use of conventional door tracks and carriers, mounted vertically inside the elevator shaft.
  The forklift mast has a single cylinder capable of lifting 1,800 to 2,000 lbs. He used 4-in. channel iron to build a 5 by 8-ft. metal frame that attaches to the forklift tines and matches the opening in the floor. A wire leads to switches that mount in each door.
  The forklift is powered by an electric-hydraulic power unit driven by 12-volt batteries, which he keeps charged with a trickle charger.
  The forklift's hydraulic release lever and mechanism is unchanged. To operate it, Michael rigged up some pulleys and then used enough rope to reach the height the elevator goes. To go down, all he does is pull on the rope. A motion sensor turns on a light whenever a person enters the cage.
  On the upper floor he has built-in safety protection to stop the elevator at the upper level. When the elevator is at the lower level, its roof serves as a floor for the upper level. When the elevator is raised, you can walk through it to get to a large renovation area above Michael's garage.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jack Michael, P.O. Box 155, Ohlman, Ill. 62076 (ph 217 563-2215).

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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #1