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Thread: My Gantry Crane Build

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  1. Default My Gantry Crane Build

    Hi y'all-

    Well I haven't posted in the Everlast forum in quite a while. It's been since the summer of 2018 if I recall correctly, which was when I bought my 275p.

    The primary reason I bought that particular welder was because I wanted the power of the unit (amperage) as well as the ability to stick weld if I wanted. The warranty was the reason I went with Everlast, in the end. And the reason I wanted the higher power capability was that the first project I would use the new welder on was a gantry crane. Well, I am here to report that although it required the better part of an entire year to build (due to lack of time because of work primarily, but also due to weather (as this project was built entirely outside) and a design change along the way) I finally finished up my crane in October of last year. This is how it ended up:

    Mind you, although the 275p is billed as a MIG welder that can also stick weld (in other words, Everlast seemed to indicate that the stick welding feature of the 275p was available, but not the best part of the welder itself) I chose to go with stick welding for this project. And the reason I did that was because it was built outside, sometimes in the wind. Often in the wind actually. Also, I wanted the digging penetration capability of the 6010, and since the 275p has a 6010 mode, that was another reason I chose this particular welder. I found that in this mode, an inverter based machine like the 275p can do just fine.

    Anyway I thought I'd share the result. In retrospect, I probably should have posted as I went along with the project. It seems like I would have found more support on a welding forum than elsewhere. I digress.


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    I have decided to add a new means of outdoor mobility to the gantry. It lives on asphalt and even though the casters are the heavy duty industrial type (rated fofr 6500 lbs each) it can be difficult to move around; especially after a rain. I've noticed that the wet stuff will result in small divots under the casters. So the next time that you attempt to move the crane, you must not only move the weight itself but move it out of those small divots. Once moving it's fairly easy to get around. I think that if it was on a shop floor somewhere it would be rather easy to reposition. On asphalt however, well that's a different story. When I built it originally I had this concern but need for completion for an automotive project drove me to just install casters on it for the time being and address any movement related issues that might crop up once it was done later on. Well now is that "later on."

    So I plan to add wheels and tires, 4 of them (obviously - hah!), one on each corner. I plan on installing a kingpin so that the wheels can rotate for better maneuvering. This should produce the result I'm after, but TBD. Anyway, I'll post progress/build pictures and detail as I work on the lil' after-project project.

    I've ordered the raw material from the steel supplier and they should have it ready sometime next week.


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    Very nice work. I'd like to see more pictures if you're willing.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

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    Thank y'all for the feedback, I appreciate it.

    I realized today that I didn't include a picture with a gratuitous inclusion of my welder. So I'll correct that now:

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    Unfortunately I had only one spray can's worth of the rusty metal primer business, so for the flat plate that I'll weld onto the c-channel to give it more thickness I was forced to grind a little more closely and apply self-etch primer:

    Finally, I had to leave these for the night because they need to be cut to length. The supplier had them listed at 8" long but I only needed 5". I didn't notice the oversight until after they had begun preparing the order. Therefore I decided to just leave it as it was, cut them myself and then have some small scrap pieces leftover. Dunno what you could use them for, but I'll find something. Eventually. Anyway these are the radius-ed components that will be welded to the top and bottom of the gantry's legs:

    And that would be as far as I could manage tonight. 'Had to get inside and help the wife with the process of getting our son into bed dontchaknow. I do that every night, without fail, so my projects require more time than they otherwise would. In my previous-to-marriage-and-children life I would have worked on this until the wee-hours of the morning and had it all but finished. No more. However no complaints. That tradeoff is a good thing actually.

    Anyway thank you for reading.
    Last edited by av8or1; 06-13-2020 at 04:51 AM.

  6. #6


    What do you lift with this gantry crane? I ask because it's built so heavy.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoama View Post
    What do you lift with this gantry crane? I ask because it's built so heavy.
    Eh, it's overkill zoama. And how. Mostly, my projects are automotive related, though I do run bigger trucks. I have an F350 and an F450. On occasion I have need to lift an awkward and/or heavy item off of the ground and into the bed or vice versa. So it comes in handy in those scenarios. And of course pulling engines and transmissions, a purpose or which I've already used the gantry in fact:

    And of course it yanked that drivetrain right out like it was nothing, I mean absolutely nothing. That said, a gantry of this size is still overkill for such usage. However, that was always the plan. I am a big believer in overkill, generally speaking. And this gantry is indeed that. I chose the height based on the notion that a pending project I have will involve removing the cab off of my F350. So I measured the height of the truck (which is a 4x4 so it's taller than a 4x2), factored in the height of the trolley and hoist and came up with a number. I decided to build telescoping verticals in order to have an adjustable height. I did that because the aforementioned height that I will need for the cab removal put it rather high into the sky and if I had built the verticals as one solid, non-adjustable component, then you'd need to move it around at that towering height too. Somehow that seemed a little more unstable, if running around on un-level asphalt, than I was willing to accept. So with the adjustable variant I can place the main I-beam in its lowest position for relocation, and by an appreciable amount IIRC. Thus the extra effort required (and $$$) for adjustable, telescoping verticals was worth it. For me it was anyway.

    Finally, the primary reason that I chose the (overkill) materials that I did was because they were specified on a formal gantry design plan that I loosely followed. During my research into gantry cranes the recurring theme that I encountered was to follow an established plan from well-known, reputable supplier. Folk/companies who have built these things for a while and who have a history with them. There are el-cheapo gantry cranes that can be had for less (Harbor Freight for example), but boy, I wouldn't trust those things much further than I could throw them. They just seemed so flimsy to me. So I found a company that manufactures gantry cranes professionally, got a plan and worked with it. I went with a little beefier material than the plan specified, but the 1/16" thicker material was actually an option on the plan, so I felt comfortable with that. In hindsight, the extra thickness probably was unnecessary given my use case scenarios. However I did so because the steel supplier gave me a price on the 1/4" material (tubing) that was equivalent to his quote for the 3/16" variant. So I thought to myself "why not go with the heavier duty stuff if it's the same cost?" And thus price drove that decision really. It is noteworthy that the final product I built was actually small in comparison to the cranes that the company from whom I got the plans typically builds. Hah! And yet to common, non-shipyard, non-railyard, non-etc. folk such as myself, my gantry appears gargantuan in stature.

    Anyway I then ran the numbers and would feel comfortable rating it at a ton with a safety factor of 5. Or rating it at 2 tons with a safety factor of 2.5. The main beam deflection at 10,000 lbs was within the tolerance for that weight, and with room to spare. So it could likely be rated even higher, but I stopped doing the math at that point since I'll never use it for anything that even approaches those numbers.

    I ordered the spindles and hubs yesterday. Those should be here mid-to-late next week. I am eager to get the wheels and tires on it, for it should move much easier around the asphalt than it does currently.

    Overkill? Yes. Overkill = good? Yes. In my book at least.


    ps- I forgot to mention that I chose the width of the gantry solely based on the width of my F450, which is the largest truck I will likely ever own. The width of the gantry yields a good cushion on either side and that was what I was pursuing when I drafted the original design. The plans I followed specified varying length options and the one I chose was within the stated range, so I pressed ahead with that choice. It has worked out well. Easy to back the truck into, no clearance issues to contend with.
    Last edited by av8or1; 06-13-2020 at 07:16 PM.

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    With my work continuing each night until at least 7 pm, there hasn't been much time to work on the gantry-on-wheels project. However I did manage to get the first two root-package end supports completed and into primer:

    I did my usual 6010 root and 7018 cap passes. I got good penetration on both and again, I won't grind these welds. I'll just let 'em be as-is.

    Hopefully I can keep this pace of at least making some meager progress each night. We'll see. TBD.

    Anyway thanks!

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    'Tell you fellas what: work is downright nuts these days. Had to tend to that for most of the day (weekends are usually off, but when necessary, well...gotta do what you gotta do). Again, no complaints, as it's what puts the goods on the table. So I found a place to put it on pause about 6:30 and got my tail up to get outside for a break. Decided to make what progress I could on the gantry. I still had to put together two more of the root packages, so I was hoping to polish that much off at a minimum. I would get close, but not quite. Anyway, I snapped a few pictures along the way. The idea behind those is merely to convey the general idea of how I'm fitting these up, running the 6010 root and 7018 fills/caps. Wherever possible I establish a bevel and land. Not much of a gap, if any. Here is an example from (I think) the third of four of these critters:

    I just laid 4 tacks on the sides then stood them up for the weld-out (which I did after a wire wheel to get to bare metal):

    It was well over 100F today, so in full gear I found myself putting out a fair amount of the wet stuff myself. Had to stop a few times just to cool off a bit. However I pushed through.
    Last edited by av8or1; 07-12-2020 at 05:23 AM.

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    I've made progress the past couple of nights, despite the work thing. Somehow.

    Anyway I finished the end units last night:

    And so it was time tonight to return to the gantry itself to install the mounts upon which these hub support units will be placed:

    There will be two of these on each end of course, one on the top and one on the bottom. The hub support units install on the outside of these mounts and a king pin runs through all of them. In this way the hubs can rotate to enable the gantry to travel in different directions.

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    Hi zoama-

    See pictures? Are you referring to the initial build or the work to come? I rather strongly suspect the former. Assuming that is the case then I'll include some various pictures of the build of the crane with an attempt to put them into chronological order. Perhaps even a video link or two. Not much commentary to offer with these, but will answer questions if there are any. lol

    Anyway on with the pictures. I'll include a maximum of three pictures per post, as more than that seems to become a little much during a read somehow. At least for me it does. By breaking them up into separate posts, it is easier to digest (again, for me anyway). These are actually links to imgur, where I uploaded them as I went. 'Point being that I won't consume a lot of disk space on y'alls server...

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