This is how I moved a Jet XActa saw into my basement:
1. Built a plywood ramp with 2x2 strips as "guardrails" at the sides, and
nailed it to the basement stairs (using double-headed nails for easy removal).
2. Built a cart of 2x6 lumber, approximately the same size as the side of the
saw cabinet, and attached a pulley to one end of the cart. Laid the saw down
on he cart (cabinet and top only, no extension tables, no fence, etc., net
weight about 400 lb according to Jet).
3. Braced a 4x4 across a door opening 6 feet from the basement stairs, lashed
one end of a rope to the 4x4, and passed the other end of the rope through the
pulley on the cart and back to my teenage son.
4. Walked down the ramp ahead of the saw to guide it, while my son payed out
5. Stood the saw upright on the basement floor.
Calculation beforehand showed that, due to the slope of the stairs, about 60%
of the weight would rest on the stairs, and 40% would be loaded onto the rope.
The use of a movable pulley meant that my son had to hold back only half of
the load on the rope (20% of the total), with the other half being loaded onto
the 4x4. So the stairs took a load of some 410 pounts (60% of the saw, plus
100% of me), the doorposts about 40 each, and my son about 80. He said it was
Note that the total load on the stairs was about the same as that of two large
adults at once. Not a big deal.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Before you go putting this stuff down the stairs, make sure that your stairs
are built to handle that kind of load. A failure could ruin your whole
day. If your stairs have the vertical backboard supporting each stair you
will probably be ok. If it is open, I'd do a few calculations before I
tried any of these, especially the heavy ones.
I don't have my manual handy, or I'd remember that your allowable stress
would be halved due to impact loading, and that your worst case moment
would be if you managed to drop the piece onto the stair from some height.
If you assume 550 pounds placed in the center of a 3' wide stair without a
center stringer or vertical backboards, then you will just exceed the
allowable bending strength of a 2x12. If the stairs are 1" thick, then you
manage to go over by a factor of 4. If you dropped the load even from a
small height, then you will not have to worry about getting the machinery to
the basement. You'll even have a woodworking project.
The sled idea sounds better because it will redistribute the load over
several stairs. My question is what you will use to hold everything back.
550 # has a lot of potential energy, and as it goes kinetic it will require
a serious beam to tie off the tackle to. Again, you could have another
While you are at it, very seriously consider the loading of the joists you
are dragging this stuff over to get to the stairs. I'm assuming that you
don't have the luxury of going across concrete until you get to the stairs.
You could find some serious deflection at those weights. Gathering
everything on the wood floor at the top of the staircase would not be a good
Reduce the size of the equipment as much as possible. Take things down in
as small a size as possible, with the equipment laying down on its side.
Tumbing band saws don't look so good. You may have to make yourself a slide
to put on top of the stairs, down which a sled carrying the equipment should
be placed. Make the slide of 2xwhatevers placed side by side, or a few
sheets of thick plywood with some 2x's to support them, with lots of support
from the stairs. Putting a little sandpaper under the sled might slow it
down a bit. Go slowly. A few inches per second is fast. A foot per second
is out of control. Use a good block and tackle, with several shives to get
a very high leverage. Figure that you can control 50# easily, so you will
need 5 shives on each end. This is not the project to demonstrate how
strong you are. Save that for the beer cans after the whole thing is done.
Get a few friends, and have one or two in charge of nothing but watching and
making sure things are going right.
One of the easier methods is to convince your SWMBO that her kitchen would
do better in the basement, and that your woodshop would look better on the
upper floor, after you reinforce the beams. This particular argument is
fraught with danger also. There are many sharp objects that would have to
be transferred in that case. Some might slip.
Talk about a response. I appreciate all the input from you guys. First I
will put some risers on my steps to increase their strength, then I will
also put in some vertical supports from basement floor to the steps
themselves, and as mentioned, I will support the landing at the top of the
stairs. After all that, I think I will use the sled and rope and pulley
method for the big trip down the steps. I am not sure about how to keep
them from tipping though, they are a bit top heavy and last time I removed
the top of the jointer planer combo machine I had to get it realligned by
the SCM mechanic, luckily it was back when I bought it and they didn't
charge me for the service call, now it's about three years old and these
guys charge about $100.00 per hour, Ouch.
Thanks agin for the input, it has been and will be helpfull. The big event
will happen on or around the 27th of this month, I will take some pictures
and post them on the binaries pics ww group.
Hey Mr. Munster, I hope you will be coming over to help!
Lay them down on their sides or back, or whatever will make them have the
lowest center of gravity. It wouldn't hurt to tie them to the sled, since
you are not going to have anyone below them to guide them <g>
Jim in NC
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