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DT
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5,195 Posts
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Can anyone give me advice on how to lift my track to the ceiling.

It is on a plywood baseboard; It is heavy: 70 - 100kg; It has to go up 140 cm; I have lots of pulleys: 10 doubles and 6 triples and one or two extra rated for 8 mm rope.

I'm looking for a good pulley and rope design that would minimise rope usage, probably with 5 or 6 anchor points on the table
 

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Scott Brownlee
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4,275 Posts
I originally planned to use pulleys for my layout in the garage, but didn't, mainly as there would have been problems with the up and over doors.

However in contemplating it I realised that the layout would get pretty heavy, and arranging the pulley system so the rope - just one continuous length - to have six or eight anchor points and still be easy to pull would be a lot of trail and error. Then there is swing to worry about - basically you still need legs to steady it when in use. All in all I decided it was way too much to think about verses a simple set of a-frames holding up some boards.

In short, no I can't help.
 

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800 Posts
If it's a rectangular track base then six lift points are sufficient. One in each corner and one in the middle of the long side on either side. The underside of the platform needs to be structurally sound (2"x3"s on 12" centers is fine if you use another board under the sides to run the attach points to). The attaching points can be detachable hooks to get the rope out of the way. Traditionally when picking up like that you will have the six pulleys set directly above the lift point of the platform and all the pulleys will point towards a common location where the lift actuation occurs. I wish I could draw a picture, I'll have to look into it. The actual pulley strength and rope strength need only support a few hundred pounds in order to be overkill. The layout might be heavy to you and me but to a pulley it won't be anything, I hope that makes sense.

Legs can be detachable, hinged or whatever. You could even use saw horses if you have them. It would probably be nicest if they were attached to the platform and hinged, then locked into position.

No matter how you get the platform in the air, it MUST be physically locked into the up position when it is up in the air. Ropes stretch, screws come loose etc and you don't want to be under the thing if it breaks loose. Safety first and all that. The likelyhood of it coming loose are slim but why take the chance?

If you opt to use fewer pulleys then I mentioned, which is perfectly all right, you just need to allow for the rope being on an angle which won't allow you to pick the platform up quite as high. Again, the platform isn't as heavy as you think it is. With multiple pickup points you're perfectly all right. If just ONE pulley can pick up your weight then you've got it whipped.

You can do as Ecurie was considering and use just one rope but I have always preferred to build with plenty of backups in mind. One rope fails or one block fails and the whole shooting match is on the floor. Hopefully there wasn't anything under it at the time. I've had a few near misses when crane loads broke free over my head. You don't want to be in that situation.

This is one of those things that if I were there I'd be able to show you exactly what needs to be done or do it myself. It really isn't a big job, but then I spent a lot of years in construction so anything smaller than a city block is small
Just take your time, brace the ceiling and use good hardware. You may want to use either a power winch or a geared winch like those used on boat trailers to save you any effort picking the thing up.
 

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Dennis Samson
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807 Posts
All the detail is not in the photo, but here's what I did:



All my pulleys are single and there are 4 strands of rope going into the winch on the wall. I'll try to take some more detailed photos when I get back home next wekend - I'm working away from home at the moment.

I hope this helps!
 

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1,426 Posts
This is very interesting...

In september I start working on my liftable permanent layout too!

@ Gascarnut: what are the dimensions of that wooden rectangle?
I would like to lift a 2.5 meters by 5 meters track!

Greetz

Gunther
 

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Dennis Samson
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807 Posts
My frame is 12 feet by 6 feet (that's about 3,6m X 1,8m). I built it very light and have been careful to keep the scenery light too. I have not weighed the whole thing, but I doubt that it is more than maybe 70kg. I use Carrera track, so I felt that the track itself had enoough stiffnes that I did not need to make a very stiff framework. It's just important to make sure it stands level with all the feet on the floor. I am going to put adjusters under each foot, and then mark the position of the floor so I can place the track in the same spot every time.
 

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Premium Member
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That is the best use of space i have seen for ages.

Where do you get that type of electric winch?

Great

Gareth
 
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