Having built Die Keinnamebahn, my H0e scale narrow gauge layout, and its two storage crates, I had now to find a home for it in my house. My well-engineered attic, which was floored on 8″x4″ beams on 15″ centres, seemed ideal. A single attempt at getting one of the storage crates up into the loft by manual means, including using a rope to pull it up into the attic, resulted in one crate into the attic and several of my spinal discs screaming in agony. Needless to say I did not attempt to lift the second crate.
I therefore decided to design and build a custom electric hoist system capable of lifting at least 125kg, if not 250kg, into the attic.
Because I did not want to impose any loads on the roof joists I had to design a frame so that loads are transferred to the strengthened floor structure. After much deliberation I decided on using 48mm steel scaffold for the hoist support frame. In hindsight I could probably have got away with using 37.3mm tubing but I found Richard at Crescent Scaffolding, a local scaffolding hire company, who was prepared to sell me 48mm scaffold tube cut to my size requirements. This saved me a lot of money on delivery costs compared to online suppliers.
To fit below a beam on the sloping roof, I needed to make a lower frame which extended upwards to raise the hoist unit to the maximum available in the attic.
I therefore needed:
- 1240mm 4 off for legs
- 1000mm 2 off cross pieces
- 1500mm 3 off length pieces
- 350mm 2 off vertical extensions.
I also needed the following scaffold fittings:
- corner 3 way connectors 4 off
- feet 4 off (these were drilled and countersunk to use 4 screws each to secure them to the floor)
- T connectors 2 off
- safety chain hooks 2 off
- 90 degree corners 2 off
The hoist is a Proline unit, but any hoist will do that will fit onto the 48mm scaffold pole.
The total cost of the hoist system was approximately £200.
My wife is looking on with mild amazement that I have actually completed a task without her prompting me!