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Used Chair Lift Makes Slick Shop Lift
A converted stairway chair lift makes moving materials between floors in Albert Franzen's barn easy. The lift, which he picked up cheap at a garage sale, required very little modification to use in the shop.
"I replaced the aluminum tracks with channel iron and rebuilt the chair mount over the traveling motor," explains Franzen. "We just bolted the track to the barn timbers. The cable is rated at 5,000 lbs. and the motor at 250 lbs. If the cable should snap, the emergency brake will hold the platform in place."
Originally designed to run at a 45 degree angle on stairs, vertical placement required building a platform perpendicular to the uprights. He removed the seat and welded a metal framework above the lift motor with its rollers, reinforcing it and installing a plywood platform. Square tubing was welded to the platform frame to serve as a handhold and a place for a dead man switch to operate the lift. Control switches were also installed at the top and the bottom of the lift for those times when no one is riding the lift with cargo.
To get the most height out of the lift, Franzen mounted it so the platform can't descend lower than about waist high. While this makes it more difficult to climb aboard, it makes it easier to load.
"It has been real handy to store shingles and such in the loft or bring them back down," says Franzen. "It is a handy way to get up and down from the loft, too. This year we even hung a deer from a hook on the underside of the platform."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Albert Franzen, 17732 Scott Rd., Hinckley, Ill. 60520 (ph 815 286-7463; afranzen1 @msn.com).

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2006 - Volume #30, Issue #4