Need some ideas on how to protect my tools from flooding risk

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I just inherited a house in a beach community and for the first time have enough space for all of my woodworking tools AND two cars. All houses here are built on pilings but it is allowable to enclose the downstairs to use the space for a garage and/or storage. This is what I've got.
The problem is that water has flooded the downstairs area twice in the 33 years my father lived here. It never got more than chest deep and there was no wave action inside... just water.
The solution appears to be that I've been blessed with a 10 foot ceiling down there. I could easily build a mini deck along one wall that would allow me to move my tools out of the danger zone when hurricanes are imminent. By tools, I mean table saw, 18" bandsaw, 8" jointer, RAS. We're talking about some significant weight.
I'm sure I can build something up to holding the weight. What I can't seem to figure out is how to get the tools up there safely and back down again. I've considered lift tables but nothing seems ideal. I do not want to spend thousands of dollars on this.
Ideas?
Jay
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Jay Hanig wrote:

I think you are asking for trouble from the salt air so close to the beach. Your tools will rust and corrode quickly. IMHO chuck
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On 2/24/2010 9:22 AM, Chuck wrote:

I am well aware of the effect of salt air although the workshop is both air conditioned and dehumidified. Dad's tools tended to rust but that was from neglect. I'm not likely to neglect mine.
In any case, this is where I'm moving. The alternative is to sell the tools and have none. So I'm back to how do I get them up out of a potential flooded area? Salt spray is not going to attack them.
As an aside, the cars show no rust after being garaged in this same area for some years.
Jay
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Overhead hoist on a rail????? ww
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Are you allowed to build a platform a couple of feet above the sand level? Put everything on a platform and use ropes/chains and pulleys to be able to raise it up to the ceiling height. You could even build it so the area where you stand to use the tools was part of the platform. With a few/couple of two or three sheave pulleys you could get enough mechanical advantage that it would not be too heavy a load to lift. It might take a few minues to do all four corners equally, but hurricanes usually move slow enough that that would not be a problem. A tsunami could be bad news, but there haven't been any of those on the east or gulf coasts that I am aware of. West coast / California is different, but I don't think they get hurricanes<G>.
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On 2/24/2010 10:47 AM, hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

First off, the floor is a concrete pad. It is for all intents a room just like any you might have at our house, except there are 12" X 12" pilings in the corners. It is otherwise standard stud construction.
I could probably tie in with the pilings to create an overhead beam of some sort. It would need to be stout.
As for time, there's plenty of time. Hurricanes usually take a few days to get here with everybody watching carefully what they're apt to do. If I decide to evacuate it'll be a matter of a day or two; not minutes.
Jay
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Jay Hanig wrote:

build a platform to put everything on, including your workbenches, tools etc. get a 4 point car lift and raise the entire platform up to the ceiling if/when you need it.
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wrote:

What you describe is a "stilt house", along a coastal region. Old fishing houses along the coast were on stilts (in the bay). The pilings were creosote telephone poles. Miami may still have one. They have disappeared from the keys and gulf coast of Florida.
-- I miss the Tiltin' Hilton
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Oren wrote:

Still quite common on the Carolina barrier islands, and in the mudflat parishes of Louisiana. ISTR some mortgage/insurance companies, and some local codes, require that style of construction, if you are in the wrong place on the flood plain map. Ground floor blowout walls are usually open lathe like an old porch base, for X percentage of the exposed faces. Lousy house for people that have trouble climbing steps. Some of the houses I walked through, the living floor is 14 feet above grade.
We are talking million dollar houses here, by the way, not fishing shacks. I think anybody that puts anything more expensive than a fishing shack on a barrier island (aka big sandbar) or exposed mudflat coast is a fool, but that is just me.
-- aem sends...
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Ignoring the damage that salt air humidity can cause, getting the tools up off the floor as high as possible is probably most easily and cheaply achieved by the use of block and tackle to hoist them to the ceiling if you can devise hard points in the ceiling capable of holding the weight. Once hoisted to the ceiling, heavy duty strapping like that used by truckers to secure loads could be used to secure your machinery.
Good luck
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Jay Hanig wrote:

Sure. Got lots of ideas.
Make a boat for each tool out of 3/4" ply. Leave one side off so you can easily get the tools onto the boats when the time comes. Figure 60lb/ft3 of displacement, so a 4'x4'x1' boat will float 960 lbs of tools. (but just barely)
You'd want to figure out a way to keep the boats from tipping as they rise, but that shouldn't be too hard.
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On Wed, 24 Feb 2010 09:10:36 -0500, Jay Hanig wrote:

Hmm, that doesn't actually sound like a lot of height - 'chest height' must mean what, 4-5'. What's your tallest item - the table saw? How tall is that from bottom to the the very top? 3'-4'? To get that out of the way of a serious flood only gives you a couple of feet or so of headroom. That might a lot to ask from an overhead hoist with cables/chains safely supporting things.

Yeah, I think I'd be looking at a big raisable platform. If you want to get really creative, recess the platform into the floor (i.e. build up around it) so that when the platform's down things can easily be slid onto it or off.
Run cables to four corners of platform via overhead pulleys. *something* drives winches to wind those cables up and down and sits above flood height. That "something" could be a pair of electric motors and gearboxes (expensive and needs external power to work) or could be a small gas engine (maybe even one from something like a cement mixer could do - any old thing, scour freecycle lists) with a gearbox and homemade winding drums (self-contained solution, cheap, but would need quite a bit of testing before it was considered reliable!)
Whatever you do end up doing:
a) make sure the platform can be locked in place and you don't have all that weight just dangling from cables! :-)
b) make sure it's routinely tested. You don't want the situation where a storm's coming and you find you need vital spares to get it all running!
cheers
Jules
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I like the platform idea but it doesn't need to be as big as you want for a working surface, just big enough to hold all your tools. Run 2 stringers from the floor joists above with Simpson straps to distribute the load and lift the whole thing with 4 pulleys in the corners. Store it above when you are not using it, maybe as materials storage. You can use a small boat winch to crank it up there. Just be careful of where the loads get transferred to when you set the winch. I would anchor it to the slab, not a piling but if you had a diagonal brace, in line with the winch cable to transfer the load back up top it would work. Join your 4 lift ropes to the winch cable at a central ring/clevis and be sure you have safety chains when you get it up there so you are not swinging on the winch cable. (like jack stands for you car)
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Jay Hanig wrote:

Rent a U-Haul and take the tools with you when you leave. Anyone who stays in place during hurr. evac. has an odd, painful deathwish.
On the outside chance you get a flood with no wave action (kind of like expecting a fire with no smoke), you could buy the heaviest plastic tarp obtainable, wrap up the tools and duct tape it to seal. As good a prospect as hoisting them off the floor and expecting them to be undamaged.
If your father had flooding with no wave action, it was probably the surge of an offshore hurricane. We live on the water, Gulf coast, and have had nice, gentle six-foot surges from hurricanes 200 mi. away....the water was up over our seawall. Worst wind I have seen was about 70 mph; hope I never see worse. On open water or the beach, the wave action was terrific. Have sailed with 6 ft waves in just a gentle breeze. If you have a real hurricane coming at you, it would be better to have a plan with neighbors for getting valuables to a safe place. If you have a direct hit by a hurricane, expect 20' storm surge and forty foot waves.
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Wouldnt a sump pump help
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ransley wrote:

don't you need a sump for that? the OP is asking for something on a cement slab, probably at grade.
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wrote:

Uh, no, not if it floods at chest or 4ft level, a sump can be sukin at 2". Even if its a slab so what, dig down and recess it even just one inch would help. I mean he is talking 4- 41/2 feet of water, if he had only 3 inches he wouldnt need to spend all this effort raising stuff
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Don't know about there but here. North eastern corner of North America (North Atlantic) we are experiencing significant rises in ocean levels. For a variety of reasons, including storm surges, high tides, possibly global ice caps melting etc. Considerable damage to wharves and harbours during the current and past few winters. many millions of dollars damage. Maybe building an extension up at main house floor level would be better! Our basement is 300+ feet above sea level and almost completely below ground. Stay at around 50 deg F even during the coldest weather.
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On Wed, 24 Feb 2010 15:28:03 -0800 (PST), ransley

Where are you going to pump the water to? This slab will be 4 feet below sea level if he has a surge tide 4' above grade. Even if you could pump the water out, the walls would blow in. That is the way they are designed.
This is not really supposed to be habitable space. People just cheat.
If there is actually much more than a foot of water it will probably blow out the walls anyway. There is no guarantee on the beach that this water won't have white caps on it and it might be driven with 130 MPH winds, just being a wall of water. That is why people leave.
Houses can be built to survive but you notice, even this house lost the ground floor.
http://gfretwell.com/electrical/art.gilchrist.house.irpt.jpg
This is 150 MPH construction
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On Wed, 24 Feb 2010 19:23:17 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I know that picture, Galveston, TX ?
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