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Has anyone built themselves a lift table similar to the commercial ones?  I know I can by a HF unit, but was looking for ideas for a homebuilt lift table/ work bench.  I'm planning on building one so it's customized to suit my needs and work shop.

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@Texas Todd needs to chime in here, he has a dandy!

I know a few guys here have got a motor cycle lift table they put extension wings on hopefully they will chime in as well.

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This should be an interesting thread. I was thinking about building a table set up so I could run a tractor up with my ramps but the idea of a lift is even better. :)

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I'm with Racinbob. I have been entertaining the idea of hydraulics with a scissor type lift?

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I have seen a couple modified HF motorcycle lifts, but I want to build something similar, but would like to have access from the bottom side as well.  A scissor style lift which would give you access to the blades on a mower deck or draining fluid from the engine or transmission.  Most of all something that saves my back and knees.  I figure I have all the tools to make something similar to the harbor freight unit and I wouldn't have any more into it but my time and that's a trade off to have it customized to suit my needs. 

If anyone has done this or has idea's and suggestions, fire away. 

34 minutes ago, Racinbob said:

This should be an interesting thread. I was thinking about building a table set up so I could run a tractor up with my ramps but the idea of a lift is even better. :)

I thought about a table and ramps with a front mounted winch, but with a little more effort and ingenuity???? like you say step on a foot pedal air  valve and up, up and away

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Engine and tran oil changes are no problem on mine. Mower deck still has to come off to get at the blades. I have considered lifting the front of the tractor with the chain hoist and get to the blades from there, but to date haven't attempted it.

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2 minutes ago, Texas Todd said:

Engine and tran oil changes are no problem on mine. Mower deck still has to come off to get at the blades. I have considered lifting the front of the tractor with the chain hoist and get to the blades from there, but to date haven't attempted it.

That's what I do - but after getting it lifted high enough to work on the underside, I use a second chain over the jib crane as a safety - don't really trust the inner workings of the chain hoist..then I can sit on my roll around seat and work on it...:twocents-02cents:

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Any chance to cut out the lift bottom about where the deck would sit and fab up a removable panel? ...Just thinking out loud here.

 

Tom @Shynon has a HF lift where he lifts up the whole tractor and sets it on a castered heavy work table he built. Has cool storage in it too. I like the idea of being able to roll the tractor out of the way when not workin on.  Don't think it would work with a deck on tho?  Got any pics Tom? Which would work for me as I jack up the whole tractor with a floor jack  and on to stands to get at blades. Still gotta lay on the floor with a creeper tho.

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 If any of you guys can get to Euclid Ohio, these guys usually have lift tables. https://hgrinc.com/?all=1&view&aisle&from&to&markdowns&newarrivals&sort&kw=Lift Table&per_page=24&min_price&max_price&pn=1

 

 I got a nice one with no motor but hydraulics intact and then added a Harbor freight hydraulic pump/motorized used on their car lift, It goes 42' high and no way will any bike or Wheel Horse ever tip it over no matter where on the lift you place it. The lift itself weighs 880 pounds and lifts one ton, so it is a step above Harbor Freight. Press the button and it is to full height in about 20 seconds

 

 My only caution is to know whether or not the thing operates on three phase electric. One guy even recessed his lift into the floor and uses it as a low rise to work on cars. These industrial lifts will definitely lift to their stated rating. My Southworth is made in New England and they still carry parts for it Even those smaller 48"x48" units could have their tops extended with little danger of tipping.

 

 I use mine all the time. Here it is being used to R&R a rear end that has bad hubs and axles at the keyways. I used the lift to gently raise and lower the rear end with the tractor frame hung from the ceiling.

1-6-2017 005.jpg

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I have one of those HF lift tables. If you take off the belt guard and mid tach o matic it will lift most Horses except a D I pick up my 1267 with no problem and I can roll it around to where I want it

 

download.jpg.4849e73231c1bc9dc4c3bbe5a5b93fea.jpg

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I also have one of these small lift tables from HF and it is a real back saver. You can roll it under a :wh: (side to side without a deck on) used the foot pedal to bring it to a comfortable height. Also great for loading heavy items into a pick-up truck.

For blade changing etc. I use the engine hoist and a sling.

Pittsburgh® Automotive 60730 500 lb. Capacity Hydraulic Table Cart

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, 953 nut said:

I also have one of these small lift tables from HF and it is a real back saver. You can roll it under a :wh: (side to side without a deck on) used the foot pedal to bring it to a comfortable height. Also great for loading heavy items into a pick-up truck.

For blade changing etc. I use the engine hoist and a sling.

 

That takes up a lot less room than mine. I like that. But I like that I have a place to set all my tools down while I work too! That works with a deck on? Doesn't look wide enough to make it to the center. Interesting. I may need one of those too! Would like to see a pic of a :wh: atop that bad boy! :wwp:

I can't read...Without a deck on....As Roseanne Roseannadanna said....Nevermind!

Edited by Texas Todd
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DSCF0708.jpg

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Posted (edited)

A little off the question I know. I have the Harbor Freight motorcycle lift. Added a piece of plywood to top too. Works well for me. Now the question, Anybody converted the hydraulics on this unit so it can be raised without pumping the foot pedal? Like a car lift. Yes I am getting old and weaker.

Marv

Edited by Marv
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1 hour ago, Marv said:

A little off the question I know. I have the Harbor Freight motorcycle lift. Added a piece of plywood to top too. Works well for me. Now the question, Anybody converted the hydraulics on this unit so it can be raised without pumping the foot pedal? Like a car lift. Yes I am getting old and weaker.

Marv

Older, weaker that's why I started the thread Marv.  Back surgery and a hip replacement makes it harder and harder to get up off my knees these day.  Sitting on a short stool is the way to go after 50.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Marv said:

A little off the question I know. I have the Harbor Freight motorcycle lift. Added a piece of plywood to top too. Works well for me. Now the question, Anybody converted the hydraulics on this unit so it can be raised without pumping the foot pedal? Like a car lift. Yes I am getting old and weaker.

Marv

 Harbor Freight makes a high position motorcycle lift. It slides handily under the frame and will lift to 30 inches. Harbor rates the unit at 1500 pounds, but 750 is enough for me.  The lift will slide between the back wheels and also under the tractor without a deck. It pumps up very easily with your hand and a long lever. https://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result/index/?dir=asc&order=EAScore%2Cf%2CEAFeatured+Weight%2Cf%2CSale+Rank%2Cf&q=high+position+motorcycle+lift

 

 Here i am using it to lift the 12 horsepower on some stands so I can get to the frame bolts for dis-assembly

 

 A bargain at 179.00 and i am pretty sure that you may get by using a 20% off coupon as well.

 

 It seems to me that converting a HF motorcycle lift might get expensive. you might want to sell it and get a Handy Lift or equivalent for  maybe 750.00

dec242016 024.jpg

Edited by ohiofarmer
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Harbor freight high lift motorcycle lift and work table in the background with storage underneath. Made a bolt on platform to lift tractor high enough to put on the table, also doubles as a worktop.

20170312_143411.jpg

20170114_162929.jpg

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I just started looking at all the engineering drawings I can find for building various types of table lifts - no real fan of most scissor types since their support footprint gets smaller as it goes up . I'm hunting either an air/hydraulic or electric/hydraulic pump unit for the main grunt power and plan to use a long hydraulic cylinder to build my table lift setup . Trick here will be it has to live outside , be able to be towed/moved with a Horse and probably stored in the shed , with a tractor on top of it when it's not in use . I've got a lot of back/leg issues and getting down on the ground is just about completely done for me , for what little time I work on low things now I pay for that for a week and taking enough meds to knock a Horse flat . I really need a portable A-frame as well but no idea of where to store the thing without making the place look further like a junk yard , which I don't want .

 

My plans will include a big enough table to work on other stuff , at least large enough to fit the D-180 , full size Harleys and handle at least 1 ton of weight . I'd like to keep it's minimum low height to 6" or less if possible , a removable ramp section and wheels on one end to facilitate towing it with a hitch of some sort . Probably going to require 2 cylinders for that much grunt , but I don't think it will be that tough to design the hydraulic system . I almost had it made awhile back , a guy scrapped an older 2 post single phase lift that ran on 110v and used hydraulic cylinders - would have been perfect if I could have gotten there quicker , but it went into the scrap pile and ruined the pump unit and cylinders . What a waste and disappointment .

 

There's a ton of videos on YouTube that show various DIY units using different methods , the most common is the scissor lifts but there are a few that use a simple arc linkage lift arm style , much more like the heavier industrial floor-mounted lifts , some of which are somewhat portable . For those using the HF stuff , please take the time to inspect the welds closely - I've seen several fail and a local guy brought one to the welder next door to be repaired after it nearly dropped his new motorcycle when 3 main frame welds broke on it .

 

Sarge

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1 hour ago, Sarge said:

I just started looking at all the engineering drawings I can find for building various types of table lifts - no real fan of most scissor types since their support footprint gets smaller as it goes up . I'm hunting either an air/hydraulic or electric/hydraulic pump unit for the main grunt power and plan to use a long hydraulic cylinder to build my table lift setup . Trick here will be it has to live outside , be able to be towed/moved with a Horse and probably stored in the shed , with a tractor on top of it when it's not in use . I've got a lot of back/leg issues and getting down on the ground is just about completely done for me , for what little time I work on low things now I pay for that for a week and taking enough meds to knock a Horse flat . I really need a portable A-frame as well but no idea of where to store the thing without making the place look further like a junk yard , which I don't want .

 

My plans will include a big enough table to work on other stuff , at least large enough to fit the D-180 , full size Harleys and handle at least 1 ton of weight . I'd like to keep it's minimum low height to 6" or less if possible , a removable ramp section and wheels on one end to facilitate towing it with a hitch of some sort . Probably going to require 2 cylinders for that much grunt , but I don't think it will be that tough to design the hydraulic system . I almost had it made awhile back , a guy scrapped an older 2 post single phase lift that ran on 110v and used hydraulic cylinders - would have been perfect if I could have gotten there quicker , but it went into the scrap pile and ruined the pump unit and cylinders . What a waste and disappointment .

 

There's a ton of videos on YouTube that show various DIY units using different methods , the most common is the scissor lifts but there are a few that use a simple arc linkage lift arm style , much more like the heavier industrial floor-mounted lifts , some of which are somewhat portable . For those using the HF stuff , please take the time to inspect the welds closely - I've seen several fail and a local guy brought one to the welder next door to be repaired after it nearly dropped his new motorcycle when 3 main frame welds broke on it .

 

Sarge

 I notice that you live in Ohio, Illinois  If i were you, I would look again at post 10 and try to see that some of those lifts are high capacity and could be modified with the top of your choice. One guy on garage journal bought one and used it to lift his car. My lift is 30x 96 and I can load a mid size bike on it and stand on a corner and jump up and down and no danger of tipping

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I need a larger footprint than what those table lifts can offer , unless it was cut apart and seriously modified - easier to start from scratch . I have a lathe , so making all the tubes , bushings and such isn't a problem , just the time to do it all not to mention all the other projects I need to finish . That surplus place in Ohio mentioned previously is a gold mine - I'd be all over that selection of industrial surplus equipment in a heartbeat .

 

It's just gotten too hard to do the usual maintenance work on all my equipment and keep things in good condition both mechanically and cosmetically wise . I'm considering using one of the 8 ton long style rams with the attached air/hydraulic but not sure if those can run in the horizontal position or not , depends on how the pump is designed . Tank/motor inclusive units aren't cheap and pretty hard to come by around here , but I'm on the hunt anyway . I've also considered using an acme lead screw in 3/4-1" sizes , but the overall cost skyrockets with anything over 2' long for high enough quality threaded rods built to handle that kind of load more than a few cycles . The one for the Atlas/Clausing drill press I'm restoring right now was north of $125 alone , not including any threaded inserts to make it work for a lift . Still working on a basic design and the real obstacle is of course the spare cash to get all the iron and parts necessary , as with most things I build . Looking forward to the day I don't have to try to get up off the ground after working on a project or tearing up my back further trying to load parts onto a work table to make things easier - age isn't necessarily the issue , but the miles have added up on me pretty hard and injuries over the years in Construction hasn't helped a bit .

 

Sarge

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This is good stuff guys.  I'm looking for ideas other than my own.  Building something like this for me would accomplish several things.

  1. Having a lift customized to suit my specific needs
  2. Creates a fun project so as to utilize and gain more experience in my skill set.
  3. Learn from the project. IE learning new skills and practicing established ones.
  4. Keeping my mind sharp and my hands tuned.

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Wide variety of motorcycle lifts here. http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/diy-motorcycle-lift.701077/page-2

 

 Look for the Southworth lifts on the above linked thread. That is what I have and also a guy named Sailah. has a really nice one. They may look fragile in the photos, but the x braces and most of the lift is made from 3/4 inch solid steel plate. I bough mine for 318.00 and it weighs 800 pounds. Where are you gonna buy steel for that price? My Southworth was abused and not repaired for its first life. The original owner did not replace one of the bushings and a slide wheel that led to premature wear and caused an the egg-shaped hole.I engineered a repair and added a Harbor Freight hydraulic /electric power pack used for their own car lift. I have about $500 in it, but it is a $3500.00 machine, made in USA, and the guys in engineering took my phone call and gave me ideas on repairing it. http://www.southworthproducts.com/en/

 

 If you do build your own, i like the simplicity of using a floor jack to operate it. The parallel arm lifts do make a swinging arc while lifting and do take up more floor space while the x/arm lifts lift straight up. that is the advantage of the x/arm

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i have considered using a screw type landing gear jack for a 5th wheel trailer - they are plenty of length and can take a lot more weight stress than most trailer jacks that use cheap screw drives/components . My only issue is the footprint of a scissor lift gets smaller as it goes up , which will transfer weight forward and for what I need to do with some of the things I work on that would be dangerous . Either a twin screw scissor lift or twin x-lift in my opinion spreads out the load enough to safely handle the 2,000lb minimum I need here , it's just getting the geometry correct . Been surfing the Chicago surplus sites , no luck so far but I'll either find a pump unit or maybe a complete used lift .

Either way , it has to get done this summer .

 

Sarge

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Here's what I use.... 

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Got a real great deal on it. I used to have a wooden table about 2' high... you can see it in the background of pic 2 with the 4 wheeled wagon on it. These pics were right after I had gotten the cart. The wooden table has since been retired and disassembled. The cart is quite heavy and stable. Has a capacity of 1000 lbs., and is quite nice to be able to roll around the garage with a tractor on it... raised or lowered. At full height, the embossed name Kohler on the engine shroud is right at about eye level.

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