Introduction: An Elevator for My 10'x12' Storage Shed

Picture of An Elevator for My 10'x12' Storage Shed

When the town we live in told me I couldn't replace an old shed with a new, larger one because they had increased our property's setbacks to 20' along the sides and 50' from the water, I was forced to place a much smaller one, closer to our house (It's OK, since the old shed is still in place, outside the setbacks and "grandfathered" in... I'll make that bigger too... By going up... Revenge can be sweet:)

Still, I wish it had more room in the new shed.  The kind of shed I purchased was the "lofted barn" type.  It didn't take me long to change the "loft" part into a "floor" part, nearly doubling the inside storage space.

After I completed the new floor, and within an hour of struggling to get a heavy box up the ladder, I was busy designing and making an elevator... All the while nursing a sore back that lasted a week.

Step 1: Preparation:

Picture of Preparation:

After drawing up a number of ideas, I settled on one that took up the least amount of space.  The ladder was already in place and I had left additional space in the overhead to fit bulky materials, so I decided that would be the best place to locate the elevator as well.

In order to keep the platform as level as possible, without having to handle multiple lifting lines, I settled on a rig that "ancient" drawing boards used.  If you went to school before the 90s, chances are you've seen one.  The drawing board rig keeps the platform perfectly level in one direction.  I could have placed another just like it facing the opposite direction, but opted instead for a simple bridle that keeps things steady as long as the load is somewhat balanced.

I purchased all the parts I needed at our local hardware store.  I chose 2 sizes of line, which is a bit of overkill.  One for the hoist, (3/4") and a lighter line for the stabilizer (5/8").  Using 5/8" for everything may have made things a bit easier and less expensive.

Step 2: Rigging the Lifting Portion:

Picture of Rigging the Lifting Portion:

The elevator uses 2 rigging systems.  The first is the hoist.  This is the one that lifts the platform and lets it down again.  It employs a single, 50' line and 9 pulleys.  The drawing only shows 7 of these pulleys, as the other 2 are used for my "customized" cranking system, but more on that later.

What you'll need for the basic elevator:
50' of line (you shouldn't need all 50', but it will be more that 25')
7 pulleys
5 heavy hooks
2 heavy rings
2 shackles
Screws and tools for mounting it all

Start by fitting and building the platform you'll use for your elevator.  My platform is 2' x 4'.  Every situation will be different, but suffice it to say, you'll be cutting open a section of decking in your loft or floor and will need to support it with appropriate lumber and joist hangers. I cut a 4'x4' opening, half of which is used to house the platform.  The other half holds the ladder.  The reason I opened a single large opening as opposed to 2 smaller ones is the larger opening will allow me to wrestle bulky items into and out of the "attic".

Step 3: Stabilizing Rig

Picture of Stabilizing Rig

This is a separate rig from the hoisting rig.  It's sole purpose is to keep the platform level as it's being raised and lowered.  Here's what you'll need:

1. Line... A 25 foot bundle should be enough.  This doesn't need to be as strong as the lifting line, so you can save some money here.
2. Pulleys... 4 of them.  The same goes for the pulleys.  You can save cash by reducing their size.  There's some stress on the line and the pulleys in this rig, but it's constant and not related to the weight of the load.

What you'll be rigging is one continuous loop, twisted in the center to form an "X"  The vertical portions of the line are fixed to the lift.  when one side is moved up or down, the line fixed to the opposite side moves in the same direction, the same amount.  Very simple and very reliable.

The negative with this rig is it's always present, whether the platform is up or down.  In my shed, I wanted this rig to be as out of the way as possible.  I mounted it next to the ladder... A good compromise in my case.  The ladder backs up to storage racks so it's underside is dead space more appropriate for storing items that won't be needed much.

When mounting the pulleys, try to get them as square as possible and as close to being in line with one of the longer sides of the lift as you are able.  Obviously, an unbroken "loop" of rope is impractical, so you'll be starting and stopping the ends of the line at one side of the platform.  The other vertical side passes the platform in the middle of the rope, so a simple clamp will keep it locked in place.

Step 4: The Hoist:

Picture of The Hoist:

I purchased an inexpensive trailer winch off the internet, but quickly realized the winch was both too small to hold the 3/4" rope I had chosen and the gearing took the 4-to-1 ratio forever to crank.  I pulled an old bronze sailboat winch out of storage and put it back to work.  In order to line everything up, I had to add another pulley, but at the moment, all's well in my elevator equipped storage shed. :-)

Update #1:  I forgot one part: In the last photo, you'll see a 2x4 attached to the lower half of the left end of the 2x8 platform.  There's a matching piece attached to the top half of the 2x8 that defines the opening.  When these two meet, it stops the upward movement of the platform.  if I had planned right, I would have made the stops out of 1x4s at both ends, but since I was building by the seat of my pants, and didn't have any 1x4s, I screwed plywood down about 1 inch over the opening to stop the opposite end.  I'll fix this as well.

Step 5: Update:

Picture of Update:

After mulling it over, I decided to re-think my priorities and went back to my shed and eliminated a few pulleys from the system.  I managed to reduce the number of pulleys from 9 to 6, reducing the friction in the system by about 30%.

First, the bad news:  The line no longer runs through a clean system, devoid of wear points.  The 4 pulleys that changed the lines direction from left-to-right and top-to-bottom is now done with 2 pulleys.  Because the line's angle from the top pulleys to the bridle changes slightly as the platform goes up and down, the line that goes through the pulleys used to change direction moves from side to side  as well, making contact with the pulley's steel frame. contact points can be filed down, but it's not an elegant solution... But hey, it's a shed.

I also had to lower the bridle height at the eve side of my platform.  This takes a bit of stability away, but nothing I can't live with...  I'm adding a photo of how to tie a "stopper knot".  I use stopper knots to tie off the bitter ends of line that run through fairleads and eyes.  They don't add weak points to the line and are very easy to untie.  Basically, a stopper is a granny knot with an additional loop around the standing part of the line.  Some people call this a "figure 8" knot because of the way it looks when it's being tied.

Good news is, I now have 3 additional pulleys to play with and the platform goes up with less effort and comes down without any effort whatsoever.

Another area where friction can appear is in the line itself.  Braided line is smooth and runs through pulleys easier than laid line will.  If you use braided, try to find some that has colored fibers woven into it.  Besides looking pretty, the contrasting colors makes it easier to tell if the line is twisted.  The photos of the line in my system show what happens to twisted line.

It becomes distorted and "lumpy".  All these lumps trying to squeeze through the pulley blocks adds a lot of friction.  Untwist your line when you rig it, and check it once in a while to insure it isn't causing you grief.  If your system seems to be getting harder to work, check your lines for twist.

Hoe you enjoyed this... Hey!  Why not download my FREE iPhone app?  Everything you wanted to know about me... Ain't that exciting?  Here it is...


lucamantov (author)2016-10-11

Hi. Really enjoyed your post.
I am considering using your system attached to a counterweight (instead of winch) for my son's "hanging bed".
I would install 2 H frames linked also horizontally, the counter weight hidden in one of the H frames, and a bed "floating" up and down.
Can you help give any ideas how this would work?
How would you increase safety?
My majour concern is safety: having heavy conterweights or bed above his play area isnt ideal.

StevenV55 (author)2016-07-19

Hi BFK, I hope that you are still around this site! As soon as I saw your pulley system elevator and that you are an engineer I thought that I might ping you for some advice! I've been looking around online for a counterweight pulley system to hoist furniture etc. (and afterwards build a dumbwaiter type system) to my newly built home office on the roof and I can't find anything that doesn't involve mechanised options. I want the counterweight to do the heavy lifting without the sound since I live in a house with neighbours right next to me and the only option I have to get everything up is the rather small internal yard - stairs are a no-go: I live in a "protected" house, in the sense that I can't replace the small spiral stone staircase, which, though a very nice feature, is useless to get anything up to the roof except a person! I can't even get a basket of washing up those stairs! So at first I settled for a luff tackle system suspended from a double pipe, which I used which the builders used to hoist cement bags etc. up by hand. It worked fine until they tried to add one extra bag of cement (around 75Kgs I think) and the pipe bowed! It did not break fortunately but after that they resorted to getting an electric winch for the stones etc. While the manual pulley is handy, it is hard work, even with the weight reduced by a mechanical advantage of 3, but there is always the risk of letting the rope go or something happens and then whatever you're hoisting crashes down into the yard and probably right into the well (which is beneath the internal yard)! So now I am thinking of getting permission from my neighbour to install a 3-H or wide flange steel beam (I think they're the same thing) from my end of the internal yard to the other end of the yard (the wall that both my neighbour and myself share) on the roof and then construct a counterweight pulley system. I was also thinking of adding an additional safety rope-type system just in case the primary system fails. The problem is that I don't know how to do this without some proper thought put into it and I have spent every penny I had in constructing the office on the roof with double-glazed sound-proof windows and extra insulation to try and reduce the amount of heat coming into the room (in summer, in Malta, where I am, it can go up to 40 degrees centigrade!).

So if you have any ideas, advice drawings, some website I can go to where I can learn about counterweight pulley systems (that aren't for theatres, which is what I found), please write back, or email me directly -

I'm going to try and add a few photos to give you an idea of the space we're talking about. The first 3 are from when the builders were using their mechanised one and the last one is the only one I found on my computer that shows my luff tackle, on the very edge of the photo! All you can see in that photo is the pipe and the top two-pulley tackle, which was originally used by the navy. You can actually see the bend in the pipe!

Thanks for any help mate!


ŠtírK1 (author)2016-03-12

Bezvadný nápad!

ChristopherJames (author)2016-02-28

Now this is a smart idea for a storage solution at home! I think most people would just climb a ladder and get extra hands to help bring things down, but obviously installing something like this would make the job so much easier! I'm actually surprised that no one else thought of something like this before! I imagine the moving platform must have saved you tones of backbreaking climbs already!

woodlandone made it! (author)2015-12-25

Merry Christmas. Hope you have more going on in your life on this day than I do. But I totally enjoyed reviewing your design/concept. I'm wanting to do something like this to raise and lower an outdoor bed that will hang on a lower back porch. I don't want the neighbor's cat, a raccoon, or the local fox family using it for their bed so I will need to raise and lower from pulleys. Is there a way to do this from a single/combined cord that when raised can be tied and anchored to the house wall? I'll need four (4) eyebolts to attach to the bed frame, and beyond pulleys and additional eyebolts to channel cords thru, I have no idea.

I see there are several engineering minds looking at this site. Any suggestions?

MichaelR258 (author)woodlandone2016-01-24

Have you looked online at a bicycle hoist? (there are similar arrangements for clothes airers as well). Single length of rope, 3 pulley wheels & a cleat.

One end of the rope goes over the pulley & straight down to one side of the item. Other end of rope goes up & over 2nd pulley (next to 1st pulley) then across to 3rd pulley and down to other side of item. Maybe knot the rope before the double/dual pulley to keep everything level. If the bed is to hang on chains, maybe have the chains as an addition so it's not hanging on the rope/pulley?

futuregeneration1 (author)2015-07-04

Excellent !!!!

wlindsay1066 (author)2015-03-19

Wow this is really great. This gives me enough detail information for my same issue only different need. I am looking to hoist a sailboat into the rafters of my carport. This season's solution put too much effort on balancing the boat. If I can hoist from a four point system it should stablize much better.

UdyRegan (author)2015-01-07

An elevator seems like a good idea for the heavier things that need to be put up in storage. We're using a pulley system for an attic and it can be quite a fair bit more tedious!

angelderrick (author)2014-11-08

Hi, Do you mind send me the PDF at Thanks.

mac.mccolm (author)2014-10-18

This is awesome! I am completing my 12 x 24 shed and have been searching for the type pulley you used and cannot find them. Can you please direct me to a source? Thanks so much!

My plan is to use a 12 volt starter motor to winch the platform up and down. What do you think?

bfk (author)mac.mccolm2014-10-19

Hi Mac: Thank you for your nice comment.

Depending on how you rig them, any type of pulley should work, but "Wall/Ceiling" pulleys and a "Rigid Mount" pulley and shackle are what I used. I've added a couple of pictures of my setup.

An internet search of those names will get you to where you need to be. I'm in the States and every hardware store should them, but any big box store should carry a full line of pulleys as well. I opted for the stamped metal type. They cost a little more, but don't make me wonder if the casting is going to crack while I'm underneath.

I was originally planning on electrifying mine too, but was able to winch the heaviest trunk I had by hand so the added cost/space/DC source wasn't necessary. The only change I'd make to mine would be to replace the 3/4" line with 5/8". For me, the increased amount of stretch would be more desirable than the friction of the 3/4" line... Someday, maybe...

My platform only has an area of a few square feet, but a larger platform, holding more weight may benefit from power. I'd think a starter motor, if strong enough at all, would have to be geared down pretty far to overcome the forces. The lift speed would also be slowed down quite a bit.

When I was building mine, I was thinking of a powered boat winch (powered in both directions... Freewheeling on the downward cycle could prove to be exciting in a bad way:). There might even be enough cable wrapped inside to eliminate the lifting line entirely.

Good luck with yours and I hope this helps. Mine has been intermittently used for over 2 years now and still going strong.

bfk (author)2014-01-14

Thank you very much. This project is still working great. 3/4" line was a bit of overkill. 1/2" would be more than strong enough and create less friction. Placing the stabilizing lines against a wall would work well in a garage. Why not motorize it?

caarntedd (author)2014-01-12

Awesome. I have a large storage area above my garage. Guess how I'll be moving heavy or awkward stuff up and down from now on? Thanks for the ideas. Nice work.

bfk (author)2013-07-06

Hey jott 1. Thanks for the comment. The entire instructble should be available in PDF format. If it doesn't work for you, let me know and I'll pm it to you.

jott_1 (author)bfk2013-07-11

I've got the pdf format. I'm looking for autocad or sketchup format.

jott_1 (author)2013-07-06

Nice project. I'm thinking about adding a garage door opener to automatic it a bit. Although I'm not sure how much it can lift. Are the drawings available for down loading. That would give me a good start on a gambrel style garage.

bfk (author)2013-01-18

Oh... And one more thing: About the friction thing, if you can eliminate pulleys from your design, you'll be better off with the friction thing and make it easier to haul heavy loads.

On mine, I wanted to get the line over to the opposite side of the ladder, but paid for it by needing 2 additional pulleys (I've reduced it to 1 since publishing the Instructable).

The fewer pulleys, the more efficient it'll be.

Good luck and enjoy your summer.

DeanAshby (author)2013-01-18

From Sydney here! This is a brilliant idea for a storage shed! I can just imagine this elevator being used to move items from one level to another and the best thing about this idea is that you don’t need any electrical power. Would you recommend this at a storage shed that stores heavier items like lawnmowers and all?

bfk (author)DeanAshby2013-01-18

Hey Dean! It's winter here, so lawnmowers aren't even an issue... Just kidding:)

Thanks for your compliment. That was kind.
You only have to remember that the heavier the load, the more pulleys will be needed and the more friction will build up, overtaking any advantage of the pulleys. On mine, It's good for about 100 lbs if I get all the twists out of the line, but it still takes a fair amount of energy to haul that much weight up. Probably less than pushing that much weight up the ladder ahead of me though, but also less awkward and dangerous.

I don't bother using the winch on the lighter loads, but you'll need some form of additional purchase for heavier ones for sure.

MR.Geo (author)2012-02-26

If I were to make this rig, I would have the pulleys on one side slightly offset to reduce wear on the line at the crossover point.

bfk (author)MR.Geo2012-02-26

That certainly sounds like a good idea. My lines aren't all that snug, so they pass by each other rather politely. If they were tight, I could see how they might get worn.

Another point is, this rig has been used on the underside of drawing boards (albeit, quite a bit smaller in size) for as long as I can remember, and then some. I don't ever remember seeing wear at the crossing point.

Offsetting certainly wouldn't hurt, but it would be 2 of the diagonals that are offset. If the pulleys on one side were offset, the lines would still meet at the center (unless you're offsetting them in opposite directions, which would be correct).

Thanks for your logical suggestion and if you ever set it up, please let us know how it works. I'm not against adjusting things to make them better:)

DeusXMachina (author)2012-02-16

Awesome! In my opinion, most people, or most Americans at least, are horribly inefficient at utilizing vertical space.

How well does the stabilizing rig work? It's an elegant solution, but it seems like it might be prone to jamming.

bfk (author)DeusXMachina2012-02-16

Thank you for your comment... When I first decided I'd experienced enough pain and started laying the project out, I was thinking the entire exercise was a joke... But when I got into it, I recognized what you state in your comment about "utilizing horizontal space" and thought it not so funny.

As far as jamming goes, the stabilizing rig is very stable. If you use braided line and make sure it's untwisted (the pattern in the braid helps greatly with that), it will work reliably forever. It may need adjusting once in a while, but there isn't any stress on the line that would make it jam. It simply rolls back and forth. You can make a small prototype by putting 4 nails in a rectangle to represent the pulleys and loop a string with a single twist in it around them. You'll be able to see how the parallel sides move the same distance and direction as each other and how difficult it would be to make them jam. As a matter-of-fact, they really don't have to be snugged very tight at all. The line will still move the same distance, no-matter how loose or tight it is. The looser it is, will only allow the platform to swing further away from a completely vertical direction, so if that's not an issue, you can leave them pretty slack and it will still keep the platform level.

There's more chance for the hoisting rig to jam, since the bitter end (the end you pull on) is able to twist, which makes the line "lumpy", for lack of a better word.

When you coil line to hang it, do NOT use the method of twisting it around your arm. Coil it in your hand, putting a half-twist in every loop to take twist out. The best way to reduce the chances of jamming is to remove pulleys. For me, it was a choice among pulleys, ease of construction and space. I'll eventually be taking at least one and hopefully three out of the system if I can figure out how to rig the thing without having to fix them to the roof proper. That will also reduce friction.

Whew! Am I long winded or not?

DeusXMachina (author)bfk2012-02-20

I appreciate your long-winded response!

bfk (author)DeusXMachina2012-02-21

I'm an engineer. I think having to go into detail is in my genes:)

WPee (author)2012-02-16

We all like this very much.
I would like to SUGGEST adding some type of POSITIVE LOCK to the pallet when in the up position.

I can see me stepping off the ladder and onto the pallet and going for a ride.

Again it is a great idea for a lot of us, I am constantly going UP & DOWN the narrow ladder with simple loads.

bfk (author)WPee2012-02-16

My plan was to drill holes through the 2x8 platform frame and through the corresponding floor joists where a 3/8" or 1/2" bolt could be slid, but after I'd gotten it all together, winched tightly in the up position and cleated off (ya'll do know how to cleat a line off, right?), I figured locking it in place wasn't all that necessary.

Terrible Pictures, I know, but the last one shows the proper "nautical" way to tie a cleat. This is guaranteed to hold any load on the line (Non't use drywall screws to mount the cleat).

bfk (author)bfk2012-02-16

Oh, and if you decide a positive lock is the wisest thing to do, and using bolts-through-holes is the way to go, consider tying the bolts to short strings that allow you to pull them out of the holes, but won't let them drop to the floor and roll under something where the'll get lost. That way, they'll always be hanging near the hole they belong in when it's up.

Good luck making something to carry your loads for you. I'll be modifying my Instructable as I modify my setup, so I'll be learning along with everyone else.

Thanks, all

WPee (author)bfk2012-02-17

Here is a suggestion for a self locking that will open on the up stroke but lock on the down motion unless the latch is help open...usually by a string on the counter weight.

bfk (author)WPee2012-02-18

An automatic lock that holds the platform in place... That looks good. It reminds me of the type of lock some aluminum windows use.

I wonder if you could modify it to unlatch if you were to pull on the rope. That way, you wouldn't have to unlatch it with one hand while holding the rope with the other to inch the platform down.

WPee (author)bfk2012-02-18

Next you will ask for an automatic unloader :-) :-)

bfk (author)WPee2012-02-18

Man, you're good...

Your assignment, should you decide to accept it :-)

heathbar64 (author)2012-02-17

I wonder why you used the snatch block at the top of the bridle, and doubled the lifting line. Yes, it gives you mechanical advantage, but you eliminated the trailer winch because it was more advantage than needed. You could have just run a single line from each end of the platform over a pulley and wyed them together and to the winch Fewer pulleys, Less of the expensive 3/4 line to buy and less to wind up on the winch.

bfk (author)heathbar642012-02-17

What your suggesting sounds like a good idea. If I were to do it again I'd certainly consider it. As it is, I'm glad I had the boat winch as the boxes I've stored (about a dozen so far) have all been around 50lbs. or less. I've been slipping the line off the winch and hauling things up hand over hand. Much faster. I couldn't do that with a trailer winch. That's also where the oversized 2/4" line comes in handy. Anything smaller would be brutal on my hands. If it weren't for the boat winch, your suggestion, even tying 4 lines together, may be the way to go.

btw, those weren't snatch blocks, but that's a great idea as well. That would certainly make loading the thing easier.

Thanks for your comments.

sarah05148 (author)2012-02-17

I am also a great lover of pulleys. right now mine are rigged to lift 2 4x8 foamcore panels for an easel that I can lift and lower for bigger paintings. My main problem has been friction on the line. Any suggestions? I have tried different lines, now I just have cotton sash cord because the foamcore is so light, but other setups have had more problems when I have had more weight on the line. Even using more pulleys for more advantage doesn't seem to help much.

I'm working on a design to cut a hole in the floor of my kitchen corner cabinet that goes to our cool and dry crawlspace then to make a small box for things that don't need to be in the fridge but do need to be kept cooler than my regular shelving. it's only about 5' down. ....

bfk (author)sarah051482012-02-17

Hi sara05148. I don't know if I can say I "love" pulleys, but I certainly have had a close relationship with them while I was cruising and living aboard a sailboat. I've added another step to my instructable that addresses some of your issues.

Pulleys are machines and are subject to mechanical friction. If it's possible to reduce the number of pulleys in your system as I did in mine, friction is also reduced. The pulleys I removed had nothing to do with mechanical advantage, so I lost nothing there.

The line you use is also another area where you can get into trouble. If the line is too large for your pulleys, it will bind. If it's too small, it will jam. Your pulleys are designed to be used with a specific size line.

Finally, not all pulleys are designed alike. Mine are simple, inexpensive devices made to be used in situations like my storage shed. It sounds like your situation is a bit more "refined". Most low-cost pulleys rely on a simple axle. The more weight that's applied, the more difficult it is to turn. Like any other man-made machine, pulleys come in both low and high quality versions. There are some that use bearings, either low quality plastic, or high quality ball or roller. If your system is as simple as it can be, the line you're using is a quality, soft braid and you're still having trouble, it may be the quality of your pulleys. I know yacht quality is as good as it gets, so if you're in an area where there's a marine store nearby, see if you can purchase what you need with the stipulation that if they don't help, you can return them... btw, on boats, don't call them "pulleys"... Call them "blocks".

Good luck... And I like the way you think about using the coolness of your crawlspace.


kmartin-1 (author)2012-02-17

I love your "stabilizing rig." Beautiful.

bfk (author)kmartin-12012-02-17

Thanks... It helps to steal ideas:)

onemoroni1 (author)2012-02-16

Your instructable caught my eye because I worked on and installed passenger and freight elevators. Although I would call this a material hoisting device it is well thought out and nicely done to provide convenience.

bfk (author)onemoroni12012-02-16

Thank you very much. I was struggling with what term to use. I thought "lift" sounded too British, (not that there's anything wrong with that) and "hoist" implies a single line, even though the term may be correct. Dumbwaiter was the closest term I could think of that wasn't too pretentious, but other than a personal dislike for the word, the dictionary stated a dumbwaiter is a "small elevator".

I settled on "elevator" mostly because it would draw interest...
It's only a 10' x 12' shed... And an ELEVATOR? Ya gotta look:)

netrunner38301 (author)2012-02-16

just curious what is the maximum load this "elevator" can handle ?
a great instructable by the way...

bfk (author)netrunner383012012-02-16

Oops... I put down 3/16" steel screw eyes to tie the line to the platform in my response below... FAIL I meant 3/8". Sorry.

bfk (author)netrunner383012012-02-16

Good question and thank you. 3/4" Nylon line has a safe working load of 1,000lbs. or there abouts. Because each line is only carrying half the load, that makes the maximum safe load 2,000lbs.... I did mention my setup was "overkill", didn't I?

The actual reason I used 3/4" line was the pulleys I had were sized for 3/4"

There, you dragged the truth out of me:)

Of course, line strength isn't the whole story. My pulleys are held in by 3 drywall screws (each) and the lines are attached by 3/16" steel screw-in eyes and the best way to mount hardware is in shear, not tensile which is how mine is attached, but the heaviest thing I can imagine being on my platform would be me. Plenty of margin and if I'm using it as a seat, no big concern.

Oh... I don't stand under it when I'm putting things up.

blackslax (author)2012-02-16

Extremely awesome Instructable! I might be constructing this in my son's garage this spring.

bfk (author)blackslax2012-02-16

Thanks... Let us know how it goes and improvements. Mine was spur of the moment and not as well thought out as it could have been. I'd be curious how it works with more planning and thought behind it

farna (author)2012-02-16

The only "problem" I see is that the stabilizing lines stay in place. Inside a house that wouldn't work, you'd need a four point lift instead. That could be rigged with just one hoist point, just takes different rigging.

I'm actually thinking about something like this onside my folding attic stairs. I think I can just fold the lower portion of the folding stairs (the lower 2' or so) and the door will go down more vertical (though not by much). Then I could rig a platform to lower from the same hole, and just pull up close to the ceiling when not in use. It wouldn't lower all the way to the floor, but lifting a heavy box 3' and placing on the platform is easier than sliding it up the ladder. Most of the items I store up there are more bulk than weight anyway.

bfk (author)farna2012-02-16

I've seen a device sold at Sears that's designed to hoist things up to garage ceilings. They work on the same principle as threaded shaft garage door openers only instead of a threaded rod, lines wind up on the shaft, hauling the load up and holding it there. I seem to recall they were pretty reasonable, don't take up any floor space and operate with a crank or electric drill.

I suppose you could cut a hole in the ceiling and mount the device above it so the load ends up where you need it to be.

You're right about hoisting a box 3'. When I had the trailer hitch connected, the line was too heavy to completely fit, so I shortened it so the platform only came down that far. That was OK with me, but cranking the winch took forever and got me more exhausted than shoving the load up the ladder (no back issues though:).

knife141 (author)2012-02-12

Very nice idea. Well done! Thanks for posting this.

bfk (author)knife1412012-02-12

Thank you. This was one of those spur-of-the-moment projects that turned out pretty well. Glad I did it, even though it seems like over-kill for such a small shed.

About This Instructable




Bio: Old inventor, reverted back to my 10 year-old self. A shop full of tools, a boat, race car, 3D printer and a beautiful wife who ... More »
More by bfk:Sterile Toothbrush StorageWire IdentificationGoPro Ground Stake
Add instructable to: