Need storage ideas!

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Need storage ideas!

Post by DianneB » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:50 am

Right now my storage space is the middle of a 2 car garage with 9 foot ceiling. It is all on one level at the height of the bed of my pickup truck. I have a 4 wheel cart, 6 feet long, to move things around, and three 'storage tracks' side by side made from 2x4s. 8 feet long, all of which are filled when all the equipment is at home.

I'd like to build more rolling stock but I am out of storage space and don't have room to add another track on the same horizontal level!

I have been thinking of changing the "3x1" storage to a rack 2 tracks wide by 3 high but I would need a "fork lift" of some sort to raise/lower rolling stock (under 300 pounds) to/from the storage tracks and then the fork lift would also have to be stored. (Lowest track would be 7" above the floor and the top track 70" high.)

I live on a small pension so CHEAP is important but DIY is no problem.

Just brain-storming, trying to figure out the best way to do it - any and all ideas are welcome!!!

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Re: Need storage ideas!

Post by jcbrock » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:10 am

Here's the hoist at the St Croix. You could build something like it out of lumber with a cheap electric winch or even cheaper hand-powered winch, maybe one salvaged off an old boat trailer. A pulley at each corner and casters for mobility.
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Re: Need storage ideas!

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:55 pm

Harbor freight seeks a nice little hydrolic motorcycle lift that could be adopted for lifting cars. The only failure point on them is the cheap light weight wheels. Most people replace them with good solid casters.

You could make up a nice little stacking car frame and use the lift to roll cars onto the upper level(s).

If you have access to a welder, make the frame out of 1x2” angle iron and save a lot of space formerly taken up by 2x4’s.

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Re: Need storage ideas!

Post by pat1027 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:29 am

I like John's idea for a movable lift. Ratcheting boat trailer winches are less than $30. I have a Harbor Freight worm gear drive hand winch for moving heavier things up and down my basement stairs. It was around $30 as well.

In my trailer I built a three level rack from 2" x 2" x 1/8" angle. It handles jostling down the highway fine. Depending on the availability of economical materials you could build from wood or steel. My tender rolls around on a stand build from 1 x 3 pine.


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Re: Need storage ideas!

Post by Dick_Morris » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:13 pm

Some brainstorming - How about shelves along the entire length of one wall with a lift mounted on the side of one bay? Use a sideways transfer of cars from the lift to the shelf. The lift would be on vertical tracks (Unistrut?) mounted to the shelf. With hinges and couple of cables to provide support, the lift could be made to fold against the shelf. A lift centered on the shelf unit would allow cars to be moved either direction so that fewer would need to be moved to get to the car at the very end of the string. Until you have the shelves filled with cars a piece of plywood on the tracks would allow the space to be used for other stuff. The elevator bay would need to be steel, but rest could be made of wood (More thought - cables supporting the outboard side of the lift would get in the way of moving the cars to the transfer stand. I can think of a couple of ways to get around that problem, but it's something that needs to be planned for.)

I made the space at the bottom of my engine stand wide enough so that the tender would fit under the locomotive.

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Re: Need storage ideas!

Post by DianneB » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:25 am

Dick_Morris wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:13 pm
Some brainstorming - How about shelves along the entire length of one wall with a lift mounted on the side of one bay?
I was thinking of a free-standing unit between the bays - 2 wide by 3 high - what I hadn't thought of was attaching the lift to the end of the frame. That would provide stability to the lift and, with a 9 foot ceiling, the lift could be run all the way to the top and be out of the way when not in use. Thanks for the idea Dick!

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Re: Need storage ideas!

Post by Greg_Lewis » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:11 pm

I'd be careful about a hand-operated boat trailer winch. Some of the ones I've seen could get away from you if you are working with a straight up or down lift. A winch with a worm drive would not have that problem, but there are many out there with only spur gears. I'd avoid those.
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Re: Need storage ideas!

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:55 pm

I agree Greg, I've had the misfortune of launching my little lake boat down a fairly steep shoreline when a fallen tree had blocked the ramp. Because the ratcheting mechanism only works when pulling the boat up, it ran away from me and the handle turned into an egg beater. Best use a chain hoist or something that will ratchet in both directions...or worm drive.

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Re: Need storage ideas!

Post by MsChrissi » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:09 am

An alternative to a boat winch is a 2500 lb 12v bumper winch from HF, they also have a 120v AC hoist version that is good for 1500 lbs. They are relatively cheap on sale. We used the 12v one for the elevator on our motorhome and the hoist version to lift the whole table of our CNC plasma cutter. Both are smooth and controllable.

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