Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Movingly heavy objects

Some years ago I bought a battered old fly press and built a kind of shed around it. In 2013 I decided to dig the final section of my workshop out from below the house, this involved shovelling about 20 cubic meters of rock and earth and is a separate story, but before digging I wanted to move the press down into the workshop using the slope that I would be digging out. We erected this scaffolding structure to await the arrival of the press body and the large flywheel, which we shifted along the path in front of the house. Then used rollers to get the press body in under the tripod and hoisted it onto a scaffolding pipe slope down to the shop.
This is the view back up the slope showing the structure, we used two sheets of 25mm plywood interchanging them along the way as we lowered the press body down on pipe rollers using an electric winch.
I made a truss to allow the flywheel to stand up on its own and also to allow it to be tethered to the winch while rolling down the hill. Again the sheets were swapped along the way. You can see some slats screwed into their undersides to stop them marring too much against the scaffolding clamps and also to butt against them and prevent slippage. I screwed them only in the center so that they could be knocked diagonal where they happened to fall where a clamp was.
Again the view from below.
There was a bit of luck with how the sheets of plywood landed and we were able to get the press body  nicely seated on rollers when it arrived, you can see the flywheel still on the slope.
With the two parts down I disassembled the scaffolding and used a chain block slung from the ceiling beams to reunite the parts of the press. With it sat on timber with stoppers screwed in to stop it skewing in use it delivered some hours of service like this until a few days ago.