How To Build The Perfect DIY Gantry Crane
Everything You Need To Know To About Building A Custom DIY Gantry Crane
How To Build A DIY Gantry Crane That Fits Your Needs
If you’re used to doing things on your own, whether it’s full-time for your job or as a DIY weekend warrior, you’ve probably found yourself needing to lift something really heavy. How did you solve that problem? Did you call your friends, hoping they were free to come give you a hand? Did you have to spend a few hundred dollars renting a forklift to get the job done? What if you could lift and move your heaviest objects on your own, without pestering your friends or wasting money on equipment rental? You can check all those boxes with a gantry crane.
What Is A Gantry Crane?
A gantry crane is an overhead crane used for lifting objects too heavy to be moved manually. They use a single I-beam girder with freestanding support legs. The hoist and crane are mobile or stationary, as can the crane itself. It does not need to be attached to a building for support, making a gantry crane an ideal way to move any number of weighty objects up, down, side to side, or back and forth.
You might have seen large-scale industrial gantry cranes moving containers in a shipping yard. You can actually re-create that powerful force on a smaller scale, perfect for your personal workshop. Gantry cranes can be purchased pre-made, but it’s impossible to get a truly personalized gantry crane design buying off the shelf. They also can be significantly more expensive than customized versions you create on your own. Instead, in the true self-reliant fashion that fits a DIY-er like yourself, you can build your own homemade gantry crane that suits your needs.
A lot of workshop owners find gantry cranes useful for many purposes. Whether they are lifting engines or other automotive parts, lifting boulders or carpentry equipment into trucks for transportation to job sites, a homemade gantry crane can be like having an employee who works for free. They can offer more lifting power than several men and are always available to work.
THERE ARE LOTS OF WAYS TO GO ABOUT BUILDING A GANTRY CRANE TO FIT YOUR WORKSHOP. GANTRY CRANE DESIGN OPTIONS ARE AS UNLIMITED AS THE WAYS TO USE THEM. IN THIS ARTICLE WE’LL GO OVER YOUR DIY GANTRY CRANE STYLE AND MATERIAL CHOICES, THE BASIC COMPONENTS OF A HOMEMADE GANTRY CRANE, SOME USAGE CAUTIONS, AND IMPORTANT SAFETY TIPS.
Cost Concerns: A New Gantry Crane Vs. A DIY Gantry Crane
Before deciding on building a gantry crane from scratch, consider whether or not simply buying a gantry crane may be the right choice for you. If you have less experience, limited need to customize and a bigger budget, a pre-fabricated crane could be just what you need. There are a number of different sizes and styles of pre-engineered gantry cranes on the market. If you’re looking for a custom fit for your unique workshop needs, you’ll have a great appreciation for building a gantry crane from scratch using a customizable set of professionally engineered gantry crane plans.
As with any project, you’ll want to make sure the gantry crane you want is going to fit your budget as well as your garage or fabrication shop. Let’s take a look at estimated costs for purchasing new and from-scratch gantry crane plan designs.
When you are building a homemade gantry crane yourself, you have freedom in both time and resources. It allows you to keep your costs down and get creative. At the same time, you are still benefitting from expert guidance via the use of tried and true gantry crane plans. If you’re sold on a DIY gantry crane, keep reading as we discuss the different types of cranes, materials and additional considerations.
The Three Types Of Gantry Crane Design
When it comes to building a homemade gantry crane, you have three basic options: fixed, adjustable and telescoping. Let’s dig into what each type is, how they are best used, and the pros and cons of each.
Jib Crane Designs Vs. Gantry Crane Design
As you research the right crane for your workshop or job, you may come across jib crane designs. Like gantry cranes, jib cranes lift heavy objects using a hoist with a chain or cable, but they have a single leg with a boom, or arm, to which the hoist is attached. Jib crane designs differ from gantry cranes design in that they are completely stationary, being secured to the floor using bolts or embedded using cement. They may also be adhered to a wall. These cranes are capable of lifting extremely heavy payloads, with larger jib crane designs able to lift up to 15 tons. They are only made from steel and are well suited for stationary work spaces.
Jib crane designs range from fairly simple to more complex. They do require a concrete foundation depending on the weight needing to be lifted. Jib crane designs are customizable based on lifting capability, area of rotation, crane height, and more. If your work involves lifting high weight items in the same place again and again with no need for mobility, you may consider jib crane designs instead. Some situations may benefit from a setup involving a combination of a jib crane and a gantry crane.
Rolling Gantry Crane Vs. Overhead Shop Crane
While most DIY gantry crane plans are for a crane on wheels, your shop needs may not require a mobile heavy lifter. For these situations a stationary overhead shop crane may be just what you need. These cranes are similar to gantry cranes but instead of the hoist moving between two legs, it is on a beam called the bridge, which is perpendicular to two more beams, called runways. The runways are attached to four columns, two on each side. The trolly can move side to side across the bridge, and the bridge can move forward and backward along the runways.
These overhead cranes are ideal for lifting bulkier loads, such as car engines, and are great for loading and unloading trucks and trailers. They can easily be operated by a single user and offer very efficient use of space in your garage or shop. These types of shop cranes can be purchased in kits that you assemble yourself, easily running many thousands of dollars for a 2,000 pound capacity crane. A more budget-friendly option is to build a custom one-ton overhead shop crane yourself following a set of professional plans. These plans include complete blueprints for building your shop crane, as well as material and fabrication details.
Components Of A Homemade Gantry Crane
Each crane is a bit different depending on the type and intended function. However, there are three very basic parts you’ll find on any gantry crane design: the frame, the wheels and the hoist assembly. As we’ll see, there are many options and varieties when it comes to these different components.
Frame Options: The frame consists of two legs on each side, generally using an A frame design. Homemade Gantry Crane frames can be made from wood, steel or aluminum. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks.
Completing The Frame: Girders, Casters And Hoists
The frame is completed when the two legs are attached by a beam across the top. Depending on the type of crane you’re building, the beam may be movable or static.
Using Your Homemade Gantry Crane: Common Pitfalls
Building a homemade gantry crane can be a risky task, and so is operating one. Heavy- duty weightlifting can go awry at any moment if you are not paying attention. When crane accidents happen, they tend to be severe, and sometimes fatal. Keep yourself and your shop all in one piece by consistently following safety protocols.
Once your DIY gantry crane is built, pay close attention to your processes and avoid distractions while using it. Here are some specific points to keep in mind.
Using Your Homemade Gantry Crane: General Safety Dos And Don’ts
Safety should always be a top priority when using any large piece of equipment, and your homemade gantry crane is no different. Here are some general safety tips and advice to keep both your crane and your body intact before, during, and after use.
Your Homemade Gantry Crane Starts With A Quality DIY Gantry Crane Design
You’ve considered your needs, you’ve done your research, and you’ve decided what type of crane you want. But before you jump into building a gantry crane, you’ll want a quality set of gantry crane plans. Professionally engineered homemade crane plans will guide you through the whole process, tell you exactly what tools and materials you’ll need and still give you the freedom to customize your crane for your needs.
As with any heavy-duty DIY project, you do assume a risk of damage or injury when building a gantry crane and using it. While Gizmo plans provides top-quality, tested, and re-tested DIY gantry crane plans, we cannot account for the endless variables that go into creating a homemade gantry crane, the environment it will be built in, the materials used, or how it is used. Please review our disclaimer of warranties and be sure to build your DIY gantry crane with your personal safety and security in mind.
Building a gantry crane from scratch is not just a budget-friendly option, it’s a great way to add functionality, safety, and capability to your workshop in a manner befitting a self-reliant, DIY individual. Visit our crane plan shop and find the right set of DIY gantry crane plans, jib crane designs, or shop crane plans for your new heavy-lifting partner.