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Building a garage elevator... 3"x3" wall thickness

  1. May 2, 2017 #1
    Afternoon everyone,

    I just found this awesome site where I thought I could enlist the help of a lot smarter people than myself with my project.

    I want to build a garage elevator to raise and lower various articles from my storage loft. My loft has 9' floor with a 15' ceiling. I was going to reinforce two of the 2x6 studded walls with another 2x6. Then I was going to attach a 3"x3"x 14'6" long tube to these two studs which are 48" apart. These two 3"x3" pieces of box tubing would rest on a plate anchored to the concrete floor and then run up through the loft floor with additional bracing bolted to the loft floor's surface. I may not be explaining this well so I made a quick sketch and will try to include if I can figure out how. The loft is 18'x18' and was calculated to carry about 9K pounds after we deducted the weight of the loft itself.

    Sorry it took so long to get here. but my question is would 1/8" or 3/16" wall thickness for the 3"x3" frame tubing be the best choice? I do has some heavy items, 400 to 600 pounds to go up but I am not sure if 1/8" wall is heavy enough.

    Any thoughts or suggestions to wall thickness or loft design?

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2017 #2


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    So are you using plywood to make the 3x3 tubing? I do not know the answer to your question, but if you do get something going, I'd really like to build something in my garage.
  4. May 2, 2017 #3
    The 3"x3" tubing would be mild steel.

    I am just not certain if 1/8" wall would be thick enough or if I should go with 3/16".
  5. May 2, 2017 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF. :smile:

    Can you give us a bit about your background for building a project like this? What training and/or experience have you had? And how was the load of the loft calculated at 9000 pounds?
  6. May 2, 2017 #5
    Not much formal education but I did stay at a Holiday Express last night. :)

    I used an beam span calculator and entered the type of wood and MOP (modules of plasticity) along with 50 PSI live load and 15psi dead load with 2x12 x18 at 16" OC for the joist, and two 2x14 LVL bolted together to form each of the outside beams. On the floors the two beams are bolted inside a notched 8x8 post and the other ends of the beams are resting on 6x6 posts in the walls and bolted to the existing 2x6 wall studs.

    If my calcs are right the loft should easily support more than 9000 pounds but I like the 9000 number since I'll be working underneath the loft area.

    Now I need some help on this elevator. Any thoughts or suggestions? I am thinking I am just going to do the 3"x3" 3/16 wall thickness and not worry about it.
  7. May 2, 2017 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    Good point. Sorry, we cannot help with questions like this due to liability reasons. Thread is closed.
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