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Discussion Starter #1
I want to build a track on (2) 4x8’s in an “L” shape, that I can raise as a single assembly to the ceiling of my garage. I have 27” clearance from the ceiling to the roof-rack on my tallest vehicle, and would prefer as much clearance to the vehicle as possible, and the track when raised, be as close as possible to the ceiling.

I have not built the track yet, so I am flexible on how ‘tall’ the track itself would be. I’m thinking the means I use to raise the track will possibly dictate how much vertical area I have on the track for landscaping, overpasses, etc.

I would prefer the ability to raise/lower track with a single person, but no more then 2 people.

Ideas? Suggestions? Photo’s or descriptions of how you have seen others accomplish this?

Thank you in advance.
 

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As I mentioned before, we got a winch because we were convinced it was going to have to be a one person operation to raise and lower the table. The table was built with two 2x6's running underneath the base. The parts that extend beyond the bottom have I-bolts thru the boards with clips on them. The winch will be mounted to the center of the table with antoher I-Bolt, that has yet to be installed. The 4 i-bolts that have the ropes and clips attached will go thru the winch hook so it stabilizes the table as its raise. The winch really moves up and down quick and it had no problems whatsoever hoisting the table. Id guess it weighs 180 lbs at most. I dont know if its helpful but heres how our winch is mounted to the cieling.
http://www.designbydan.com/pt/100_0428.jpg

You are dealing with an L shaped table, I dont know what to tell you. You could use a single winch if you had the table anchored like mine is on maybe 6-8 different spots on the table frame. You'd just have to raise and lower it very slowly to ensure it doesnt swing around and bang into something. Thats all I got, good luck!
 

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A few thoughts,

I had been considering this idea too, figuring out how it might work in my situation at some point. I had thought about suspending the table from "legs", those steel "L" sections maybe, bolted the same at each end, which would fold up just like table legs, except obviously all in the same direction. Advantages - table is not hanging from cable at any point so it can't fall with cable, pulley, or winch failure, it can't swing when suspended, no complex pulley set up, though I would still think a winch (power or hand crank) pulling horizonally would be the way to get it up and down. Disadvantage - it doesn't go straight up and down, but requires the length of the legs in offset distance when it is stowed. This would work with an irregularly shaped table because balance is not an issue. I would still put foldable legs (like a ping pong table) under it, or maybe saw horse set up?

I would think a 2 x 4 frame would be plenty strong, though I still like the idea of metal framework to bolt to.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Brewsted:

I'm still thinking about the wench, and if it could work for me, with the odd shape table. My concern is the various lifting points that would be required, and the required angle for those lifting points that would need to be maintained, and then have the whole thing fit in the area of above my cars. I have a flat ceiling garage, in a flat roof house, so the wench is going to take up some of my available space right off the bat.

SplitPoster:

I'm having trouble visualizing these legs, or steel L sections. Is there a picture or something you can add to the description? When table is stowed, is it hanging down from ceiling more then a couple feet?

I was also thinking about putting foldable 'banquet table' legs under the table, so once it is down and disconnected from whatever 'lift' means, it can stand alone on the floor.

My local Tru-Value is ordering me some of the banquet table legs. Waddell PN# FTL-100, $19.99 for a pair. I used them on a 38"x80" table I built, and they worked fine on that. I think they would also suffice on a 4x8 table, 2 pairs on the L shape.

If I determine it is too complicated to lift the "L" table, then I think I am back to going with a flat-track layout, on 2 seperatable(?) tables, that can be lifted using the Racor PHL-1R.
 

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Scafremon,

No matter what system you use, why not put a pulley or roller above the table and the winch off to the side?

Think of your table hung by four ropes, then pulled up and sideways until the ropes are almost horizonal. Instead of ropes, use square steel tubing, or angle, bolt hinged so that they all fold the same way. It would be like turning all your banquet table legs the same way, only upside down. Box section tubing would be stronger than "L" or angle, just thinking of something inexpensive and easy to work with. How close it can get to the ceiling depends on the pivot point placement, and the positioning of the supports. The table would be suspended all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
(Light bulb went on)... Thanks SP.

Neither the wench nor pulley needs to be directly above the surface being lifted. It can swing towards the lifting point.

If I have a ceiling height of 100", a pivot point at 15", and want my table when lowered to be 36" above the floor, my 'swinging legs' would be ~49" long. As such, the overall ceiling space that the table along with the fixed pivot points takes up would be about 49" more in a direction then if the table was lifted straight up.

I think I am following you, and will think about this more. My garage door opener location may be an issue...but still, your idea is worth thinking about. With fixed swinging legs on top-side, wouldn't need legs underneath...table locks into place.
 

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Scafremon,

Idea came from looking at my Workmate, which folds flat.

The whole finished product really would be a prefab collapsible box frame, with the top connected to the rafters or beams, and the bottom holding the track board. I don't know how practical it would be in your specific situation, but I like the idea of solid support as opposed to a 150 lb. pendulum. Glad it's something to think about.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Splitposter:

I did some sketches last night, and started thinking about the supports and what parts would be bearing the load. I realized that designing something like this myself would not be a good idea. For fear of creating something that could crash down on a car or person, I would probably over-engineer it to the nth degree. (You should see this 60 gallon aquarium stand I made - enough wood supports in there to build a small condo).

I also realized that although I would like to have a single piece "L" track table for landscaping purposes, I need to design a split in it anyway, in case I ever need to relocate it.

So today I ordered the Racor PHL-1R lift thing (I believe I posted a pic in this thread), and I am going to work on a split "L" table, where one piece will hang under the other when being stowed to the ceiling. If for some reason this doesn't pan out, then at least I can use the lift for other storage purposes.

If you do pursue your cantilever(?) design, please keep us updated.
 

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hello,new guy here.i have a 3 1/5 wide x 20ft long track and lift it to the ceiling by 1 rope in the middle and a hand crank boat winch.once it's up to the top i have two pieces of 2 x 4 on each side of the track about a 1/4 of the in from each end bolted to the ceiling rafter with 3/4 holes drilled thru.then i take a 3/4 in conduit pipe and stick thru the holes and let the whole board rest on that with a litte tension on the rope.but it is easier with two people for one to steady the track as it goes up
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just wanted to add an update. I installed the Racor lift and raised my tables today. There are pics in the "Scaf's Track" thread.

It was a pricey way to go, and I still want to tweak some things to make the assembly lighter and take less vertical space, but for now I am happy to get these tables off the ground.
 
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