2009 - Volume #33, Issue #3, Page #27[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Elevator Made From Forklift Mast
The Virginia couple built their log home together 13 years ago and didn't want a stairwell that would take up a lot of space.
"Actually I think I just wanted to build an elevator," Bill French admits.
He started with a forklift mast that he found at a junkyard for $250. He purchased a hydraulic pump and reservoir from a surplus store and two 6-volt golf cart batteries, which he hooked up to two solar panels that keep them charged.
French built an elevator frame out of angle iron. Three of the elevator's walls are covered with plexiglas. The top of the elevator is finished off with floor tiles that match the floor above. Those same tiles were used on the elevator floor.
To get the correct lift height with the two-stage pump, French adjusted the amount of hydraulic oil available so the elevator stops in the correct position at the top floor. He installed up and down switches in the basement, first floor and in the elevator.
The 2,500-lb. rated elevator is used daily, the Frenches say, and is very convenient for moving things between floors. They can take all their groceries down in one trip, and raise it to a comfortable height to unload when stocking the pantry and freezer.
French estimates he spent about $900 to install the elevator. Elly is indispensable and safe, he says. Even if a hydraulic hose were severed, the elevator would drop slowly enough not to cause any harm.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bill and Doris French (ph 276 952-1125).
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