Furnace Cart and Lift Build

Discussion in 'Furnaces and their construction' started by Al2O3, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member

    Starting The Furnace Thread got me motivated to build a cart and lift for my larger A60 furnace. It can be mounted on my present lift but I figured what the heck, the new cart and lift takes up about the same floor space as the furnace body on a drum dolly so why mess with swapping them on and off? It’s a counter balanced furnace body and lid lift similar to my present rig.

    1 Lift Sketches.jpg

    I hit the shop early this morning. Plenty of cutting, welding, and even some foam was flying. I got a lot done. I have bunch of this 2 ¼” x ¼” channel left over from a job at work so I made good use of it. Here’s the base with 5” swivel casters.

    2 A60 Lift Base.JPG

    Added a couple uprights and a cross member on top and set the furnace in place. That center section is an 8.5kw electric insert that can be inserted/removed so this furnace goes either electric or natural gas.

    3 Lift Furnace.JPG

    Made the guide pulley patterns. They will be cast aluminum and bronze bushed.

    4 Pulley Foam Machining.jpg 5 Pulleys.JPG

    Just need to make the pulley brackets, cables, and cast the pulleys.

    6 Pulleys in Place.JPG

    It's a good start!

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  2. Mister ED

    Mister ED Silver

    That looks really nice Kelly. You sir are a genuine madman.

    I spent the morning putting together and then taking back apart my wood shaper ... still making a funky noise. Spent the afternoon adding remote switches to my milling machine (just converted to 3ph). At least that went right and the mill now has remote start/stop, jog, forward reverse, & speed pot.
  3. Petee716

    Petee716 Gold Banner Member

    That's certainly a lot done in a day. Can you give a little more detail about what's going on around the caster mounts and the angled side plates?

  4. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member

    I just tacked the caster base to the 2 1/4" channel and then stitched on 1" x 1/8" strips to reinforce the mount by connecting the protruding part of the caster mounting plate to the channel.

    7 Caster Mount.JPG

  5. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member

    I got a little later start today but made some progress. I spent the better part of the morning measuring and cutting brackets.

    8 Brackets.JPG

    Before I took a break for lunch I welded them up. The two brackets in the last picture on the right were out-of-position welds and a bit challenging. I was laying on my back welding upside down on the top one and the barrel/furnace shell is very thin compared to the bracket.

    9 Cross Member.jpg
    10 Furnace Body Bkt.JPG

    11 Furnace Brackets.jpg

    I hadn’t made the foam patterns for the four pulleys on top the cross member so had to go back and make those. One pulley is for the lid lift and the other for the furnace body cable.

    12 Top Pulley.JPG

    13 X-Member Pulley.JPG

    Here it is with the foam pulleys in place.

    14 Furnace with Pulleys.JPG
    ....and here with the lid lift pulleys set in place and some thoughtful chin-stroking by the guy behind the camera, pondering my options on the lift brackets.

    15 Lid Pulleys.JPG
    That's all for today. I should be able to pick away at it some more during the evenings this week


    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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  6. J.Vibert

    J.Vibert Silver

    This is really putting into perspective how much easier it 'can' be to have a "lifted body" furnace then what we've seen in the past with the Gingery inspired builds.

    Are you going to slap on a boat winch to lift the body or are you going to motorize it...?
  7. Mister ED

    Mister ED Silver

    You are talking about Kelly .... it will be CNC Servo controlled.;)
  8. J.Vibert

    J.Vibert Silver

    I was actually expecting some type of wrist watch control via bluetooth, but I didn't want to bate him into it...lol
    Mister ED likes this.
  9. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member

    The furnace and lid are counterbalanced with lead ballast on carriages that roll on the guide posts. I updated the sketch in post #1 with labels to describe it a little better. With the ballast, the body and lid lifting weight will be nil so won't need a winch and was just planning on operating it by hand for now.

    As far a simplicity, it could be just two posts with a cross member on top, and a hand crank winch to lift. If you used pipe for the posts, you could just put a hoop around each post for guiding or maybe use Uni-strut type channel and stick a guide peg in the slot. Two pulleys and a weight would eliminate the winch and accomplish same thing. Check out the top hat furnace lift in The Furnace Thread.

    Since it is counter balanced with guide carriage, with a doubling block on each the furnace body and lid lifting, compared to the simplest approach, I shouldn't disappoint.......and since it has that 8.5kw resistive electric module it will eventually need electrical controls so I will include provisions to be easily upgradeable to actuation with a linear actuator like my other rig. :) .....and the plan is to use the top pulley on the body and lid as the lift pulley in a doubling block so I can use half as much ballast (traveling x2 the distance of the furnace). The guide pulley will need to slip on the guide post a little for this to work because the pulley diameter the cable rides on is slightly different than the contact diameter of the pulley on the post. If that doesn't work satisfactorily I'll ditch the doubling arrangement and just use 1:1 ballast.

    Here's the proposed doubling block cable arrangement....and for those that haven't read the whole thread, the anchored side of the cable needs to be on the other side of the pulley as opposed to as shown in the picture below or the pulley will spin the opposite direction needed to roll on the post.....that was a doozy of a mistake.

    16 Cable Arrangement.jpg

    .........just trying to live up to expectations. :rolleyes:

    Mister ED likes this.
  10. J.Vibert

    J.Vibert Silver

    Wow... I'm disappointed Kelly. Figured you would have done a couple more pulleys and ran the ballasts within the upright tubing. ;)
  11. Jason

    Jason Gold

    Good idea... keeps from having 20lbs of lead swinging around when ya move this thing.
  12. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member

    No swingin' lead here. The ballast carriages are captured on the edges of the posts on this one ala post #1. I only hung the ballast on the inside of the post on the lid lift of my other rig because I had no other place to put it LoL.......:cool:

  13. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member

    I had evening obligations all week and just managed to prep some of the foamies for casting before the weekend. Even though there are only three different pulleys/guide wheels, there’s 24 of them altogether! Yikes! I got the rest of them prepped Saturday and cast them today. ……10 cups with 5 Melts! It was feeling a bit like production work.

    17 Pulley Foamies Sprued.jpg

    It hadn’t occurred to me when I was making the foam patterns that I may have been getting a little cocky because I made two extra patterns for the smallest pulleys but exactly the number of patterns as parts required for the rest….Right out of the shoot I thought I screwed the pooch. I didn’t have enough metal in the crucible for the second pour, at least so I thought and then to my pleasant surprise, when I demolded the two pulleys on the right, wow, was that close. The pair on the left I tried pulling from the sand too soon and the cup was still hot short and broke off…….but got away with that too.

    18 Near Short Pour.jpg

    Things went routinely from there and batted 1000 for the day. Yahoo!

    19 Pulley Castings.jpg

    Here’s the money shot, along with some steel brackets for the lid lift.

    20 All castings and Brkts.JPG

    I did some work on the lid lift. Ya-gotta have a fancy lid lift…..don’t ya? I wanted the center of the lid to be unobstructed, so I made a megshift hoop bender out of some lumber, cut the bend radius on the bandsaw, and routed a ½” groove in each piece. Then I loaded it into my hydraulic press. Thank God my press has pneumatic drive pedal.

    21 Hoop Bender.jpg

    So I got two ½” tube - 20” diameter hoops out of that, rolled a couple 18 ga bands on the slip role and migged it up. Mission accomplished. -Very stiff

    22 Hoops.JPG 23 Lid Barrel.JPG

    Here are the pulleys and lid lift set in place….gettin there.

    24 Assembly So far.JPG 25 Lift carriage Close up.JPG

    Now I need to chuck up all those pulleys, drill, ream, and install 48 bronze bushings!

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
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  14. Petee716

    Petee716 Gold Banner Member

    Looks great. I don't know how it's even possible to accomplish that much in a day.

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  15. Jason

    Jason Gold

    Understanding or non-existant WIFE!
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  16. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member

    I did it all Sunday (and felt it) except I coated half the foamies and made the hoop for the lid lift Saturday afternoon........

    .....and then went out to dinner and on to see Don Felder, Styx, and REO with the wife that evening!! So my head hurt a bit on Sunday but fixed that with corn beef and cabbage Sunday evening.

  17. Jason

    Jason Gold

    Good on you Kelly. My dad is turning 80 this year and I swear can run circles around me! He says the trick is to stay off the couch and never sit down.
  18. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member

    Took a little ground on a weeknight..........Got the pulleys machined and bushed.......

    26 Pulleys Bushed.JPG

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  19. I'm seriously impressed. Great work!!

    What do you coat your foam with?
  20. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks Oldironfarmer, and good to have you aboard here at THF. It's another chapter of tools building tools. You should post your furnace build.

    Thinned drywall mud. If you are interested in lost foam casting, there are a lot of related posts in the Casting Practice Lost Foam sub-forum to peruse at your leisure when you get the chance.


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